I've rambled about the weather via this forum from time to time, especially during the summer heat. Usually, I discuss how heat affects density altitude and makes us consider longer runways, or how I long for cooler weather. Something we often don't consider is how the heat affects our navigation.

As our iPads often sit in direct sunlight in the cockpit, the dark color quickly absorbs solar heat. The stated ambient operating temperature for iPads is 32-95º F. In much of Arizona, that covers us from about late October through late April. Throw in some direct sunlight, and you'll be presented with the big red exclamation point letting you know you won't be receiving input from your favorite EFB for a few minutes. Usually between 5 and 15 minutes, actually. Well now what???

Fortunately, you have several options. A second iPad that's been out of the sun that has your up to date EFB and flight path loaded is often the quickest. The same app on your phone may be another good option, albeit with a much smaller display. You can go old school with a set of paper charts. You still have at least your local flying area on paper in the plane with you, right?

Alternatively, there are a variety of gadgets and attachments on the market that claim to help cool the tablet down. USB fans, clip on fan cases, and shades. I'm not promoting any device here because I don't see an alternative to our summer heat. Call me a skeptic. The most effective method is to simply get it out of the direct sun. Preparing for the meltdown in advance by getting an alternate ready prior to flight is your best bet. Good luck and stay cool!

Check out Paul Wiley’s article next month for a deeper dive into iPads and EFBs!


Blue Skies,


Please login to add a comment.