3G iPad in the air

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Has anyone tried to get data on an ipad or iPhone in the air using 3G or edge service.
I was wondering if it were possible and what the airspeed and altitude limits might be.

-- Eric Warren, February 24, 2011


Hi Eric,

I've used both the iPad and iPhone in the air. Unfortunately, I haven't broken the code as to when it works and when it doesn't. Sometimes, I've had several bars over the open ocean between Catalina and the California coast and other times I don't have any signal at very low altitude over an urban area. In the latter case, it sometimes helps if I cycle it into and out of airplane mode for about 30 seconds to reestablish the signal.

- Joe

-- Joe Moreno, February 24, 2011

I don't have the magic formula either. My general rule is to only expect service below 10K (or about 5k AGL in the mountains) and near an urban area. Regardless I love using Foreflight on the Ipad when flying.

-- Alex Baker, February 24, 2011

If you have the new iPad 3G mode there is a GPS built in and you will get somewhat accurate altitude and position reporting regardless of altitude. You need to leave the phone service turned on while in flight even though it will say ' no service '. Otherwise if you turn on Airplane Mode the GPS will also be turned off.

-- Mark Hanson, April 10, 2011