So where does all of this stuff go? Most of us have wrestled with the question of tablet size – large to
read easily, or small to hold comfortably. I finally came down to the larger size because I opted for readability. And that works for me in aircraft like Cessnas and Bonanzas. It does not work well in the
Grumman Tiger. In any case, if you are planning to use the tablet as a primary navigation tool, you would really like to be able to hold it vertically somewhere and not in your passenger's lap. Drop into your
favorite airplane "stuff" website and look at the options regarding mounts. There are mounts that you can suction cup to a window or instrument panel. And there are mounts that attach to the yoke. Borrow one if you
can before you buy and find out what works best for you. I will tell you now – you will not find the perfect solution. So, live with the best compromise.
So, now we have all the data loaded, we have fresh,
fully charged batteries, and we have found the perfect (ok, an acceptable) location. Ready to go. Right? Well, almost.
I tried out all of the various software packages before I settled on the one I like and I found that they all have one
thing in common – they are power hogs. I find that I can fly about three hours with my app up and running, showing my course and displaying approach plates. And then I start to see my power-remaining indicator
dropping down toward the bottom. It makes me almost as nervous as watching the fuel gauges drop down. I have used that much power already?
You have several options for making the tablet last all day. First, carry a recharging cable that you can plug
into the aircraft power. As long as you have a working electrical system, you have a working tablet. Second, carry a small backup battery that you can plug into. (And, of course, that is one more thing that you need
to recharge before you fly.)