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Replacing a Garmin 595 GPS with iPad/Foreflight/Dual GPS

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Private Pilot

I currently fly VFR with a Garmin 595 GPS (it's like the 596, but without weather).  I also use an iPad and Foreflight for flight planning and in-cockpit charts and situational awareness. As Foreflight becomes more powerful, I become more and more tempted to get rid of the Garmin entirely.  I suppose I trust it a bit more as a GPS (no evidence to support this) but I am turned off by the fact that annual updates to the Garmin cost $500, while all the same information is updated in Foreflight for $75 a year. If I do get rid of the Garmin, I would buy a dedicated GPS (the Dual) to give my iPad a GPS signal. Has anyone done this?  Would you recommend it, or recommend against it?

3 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on Sep 19, 2013

    Don’t know if this completely answers your question and, of course, YRMV, but here’s what I ended up doing.

    When I bought my first iPad, I opted for an external GPS as you are contemplating. Doesn’t matter which; they are all pretty reliable. At the time I owned a GPSMap 396. I hung on to the 396 for two years into my iPad/ForeFlight life for only one reason: weather. I figured I might want to reconnect to XM weather for a longer trip or if I moved to another part of the country where it was more important to have on board weather.

    2+ years later, having not used the 396 even once since I bought the iPad,I sold it on eBay.

    I’ve had no reason to second guess my decisions on this.

    (I ultimately sold the 396, not because I figured I didn’t need the weather, but because I decided that ADS-B was the way to go for me. But datalink weather is apparently not a consideration for you).

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  2. Wes Beard on Sep 19, 2013

    There is one advantage to having a panel mounted GPS vs an iPad or other tablet: the ability to use GPS approaches to airports.

    Since you are a VFR only pilot, this may not concern you but the next owner may want to have that feature or later on you may contemplate getting your instrument rating. For this reason I would keep the Garmin GPS but may not update the database as often unless I plan to fly IFR.

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  3. Ryan Harvey on Sep 19, 2013

    Thank you — the Garmin 595 is actually just a hand-held GPS so doesn’t qualify for instrument flight. The airplane does have a built-in old Apollo GPS (think of the ones that have a “dot matrix” screen) that works for IFR, but it’s not very user-friendly so I don’t use it.

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