One of the main questions pilots have when they convert from paper aeronautical charts to digital, is will their battery last the whole flight? The argument for staying with paper is – it never “fails” or needs to be re-booted when you need it most.
While Apple says an iPad should last 10 hours on a full charge, much longer than most airplanes’ typical endurance of five (5) hours, several steps can be taken to extend the life of your battery:
• An obvious first step is to let it go into standby mode when you don’t need it. The features of an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) are really interesting, but you should fly the airplane first and keep your eyes looking outside the cockpit.
• Close applications running in the background that you don’t need. Double-click the home button, press and hold the app icons at the bottom until they wiggle, and press the red circle to close it.
• Set the screen brightness to the lowest level.
• Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you are not using them for your GPS or if the weather accessory doesn’t require it.
• Turn off cellular data. It won’t be usable when airborne and it is the most likely source of interference with panel-mounted avionics.
If you want to make extra sure you won’t have a battery fail on you during a flight, there are many accessories available. Some pilots use a USB 12-24V charger they connect to the aircraft panel outlet (cigarette lighter) for unlimited power, or a portable battery backup can be connected for up to 15 hours of battery life.