I have been using the iPad and iPhone with ForeFlight and the GNS 5870 MFI Bluetooth GPS receiver for over a year now. I always struggled with managing a lot of paper in the cockpit, so I love having the this awesome tool in the cockpit and I use it on almost every flight. But I really don't use the iPhone in the cockpit, mostly I just use it for planning and filing on the ground when I don't have WiFi available for the iPad. As the article states the upsides to using the iPad are numerous, but there are few things that need to considered, I think most of these have been mentioned already or can be found in the AC but I just wanted to share a few of my experiences.
You absolutely need to have a back up and if you are IFR it should be made out of paper. Some people have mentioned the iPhone as a back up and in an emergency it is better than nothing, but honestly if you are IMC, in chop, in a busy airspace and your iPad decides to take a vacation, do you really want to be fumbling with the iPhone trying glean critical info off it's tiny screen? If you are busy doing that who is flying the plane? Despite having these tools, I still have a subscription for paper charts, plates and AF/Ds and keep current copies tabbed for the flight within arms reach. Maybe that is overkill, but I have always been a belt and suspenders kind of guy when it comes to personal safety. At the very least you should keep a not-to0-out-of-date set of charts and AF/D in the cockpit as a back up. Also I find using the ForeFlight scratch pad and other scratchpad apps not very effective. I still use a pad and pencil for writing down notations and ATC instructions.
As and EFB the iPad is only 99. something % reliable. Just like osvolant's post above, I have had the iPad overheat and shutdown during a flight. If the iPad is working hard it will get hot and if you leave it laying on the right seat in the sun it will get very hot. Steps I would recommend to reduce the chances of this happening: 1) do not run more than the minimal number of apps required during the flight, 2) turn off the WiFi and/or Network connectivity when at altitude. You will not get a reliable signal up there anyway and the iPad and iPhone use a lot of energy searching for a signal. 3) Minimize exposure to direct sunlight, if that is not practical try to point an air vent at the iPad.
Another poster was concerned that the iPad might be too fragile, it isn't. It can take a good deal of abuse, but it's glass and metal construction do tend to make it a bit of a slippery thing. I would recommend you get a case made of a non-slip material or one of the many new iPad knee-boards (some good, some not so much). I actually made a very good homemade knee-board using an original "Apple iPad Case"( the thin one with a felt like finish, that you slide the iPad into). I removed the clip from a cheap $2 clipboard (Staples) and used a rivet gun from home depot to attach it to the front cover where I keep my notepad and pencil. I made a leg strap by attaching two pieces of 8 inch Velcro strapping to the back of the case using the rivet gun. If you do this, pre-drill the holes for the rivets in the case and make sure you insert the rivets so that the flat side ends up on the inside of the case where the iPad is. You can cover them with a piece of foam tape or similar padding to ensure they never scratch your beautiful iPad . Total cost ~$42, not including the rivet gun which I already had. If you have an iPad 2 you will have to figure out what works as Apple has changed the cover design.
Finally, I end this lecture ;-) with the most important advice of all. Fly the airplane not the iPad.
So you don't buy an iPad because you don't agree with the politics of Apple? huh? I feel kind of sorry for you, that you are that hung up on such silliness. It must be rough, having to research the political affiliations of all the companies that supply you with your consumer products.
And it must be horrible having to live in Southern California with all of those dang liberals!
You consider iPads to be balky. After having suggested that you've never used one. Interesting. I use mine all the time (sorry, yeah, I'm one of those progressive iPad users), and never had a problem, in flight or on the ground.
For apps, I see alot of you using Foreflight. I like foreflight, great charts, plates, etc, but my personal favorite is WingXPro. I found WingXPro to be superior to Foreflight, wondering how you other users out there might compare/contrast the two apps.
There is no flaw in the Apple products. As a pilot you should know that flying with Polarized glasses is not now, nor has it ever, been recommended.
I was taught this 14 years ago even before the advent of glass cockpits.
[quote]From the FAA regarding polarized glasses ....
POLARIZATION. Polarized lenses are not recommended
for use in the aviation environment. While useful for blocking
reflected light from horizontal surfaces such as water or
snow, polarization can reduce or eliminate the visibility of
instruments that incorporate anti-glare filters. Polarized lenses
may also interfere with visibility through an aircraft windscreen
by enhancing striations in laminated materials and mask the
sparkle of light that reflects off shiny surfaces such as another
aircraft’s wing or windscreen, which can reduce the time a pilot
has to react in a “see-and-avoid” traffic situation.[/quote]
[quote] Polarized sunglasses are probably worse for flying than a $10 gas station pair. here's the hook: while flying against the sun, a momentary glare off another plane will help you notice it, where as with polarized glasses, you wouldn't see that mirror like sparkle. Also, the biggest factor, is that every screen from a Garmin to a 777 glass cockpit already has polarized screens. you would not be able to see those screens with a second polarized lens. in addition, in commercial planes, the windscreen is polarized as well. This may go for newer GA aircraft as well. [/quote]
Respectfully, I would suggest it is time for you to re-think your use of polarized lenses in the cockpit.