Speaking of Kneeboards

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iPad Kneepad IMG_1835

I normally fly with a compact, fabric kneeboard that wraps around my thigh with an elastic Velcro strap. Been using these for years – they cost about $30, and it isn’t a tragedy if you happen to leave one in a pilot lounge or briefing room – or forget you set it on the horizontal stab before taking off. I have used metal kneeboards, molded plastic kneeboards – just about anything you can find in a catalog – but because I usually fly airplanes with sticks that are fairly compact, most are just too big and get in the way.

iPad Kneepad IMG_1837When the iPad began hitting the cockpit with many popular mapping and navigation apps, I started to look for a good way to use my full-sized tablet in the cockpit without it just floating around loose. Walking through the vendor booths at Oshkosh, I saw lots of different options, but they were…pricey. So I was quite happy to receive a demo version of a new no-frills iPad kneeboard from Sporty’s the other day because it compact, flexible – and inexpensive. The Slimline Rotating Kneeboard sells for just under twenty bucks, and comes to fit either a full iPad or a Mini – take your choice when ordering. The consist of a fabric covered flexible substrate, a leg strap (which is attached to a swivel, so you can put it on your leg in either portrait or landscape format – or any angle in-between), and four pieces of elastic in the corners that hold the tablet like a picture in an old-fashioned photo album.

Compact, lightweight, and inexpensive – what’s not to like – especially when it works! We just started flying with them, and so far I am impressed. We’ll pass them (got one in each size) around among pilots here at the airpark, and let you know how they hold up and how well they work. So far, I can’t see anything about them that doesn’t do what they are supposed to do.

It’s rare to find something in an airplane catalog that can be had for less than $20 – here’s an exception to the rule, and useful to boot!

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iPad Kneepad IMG_1836

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