Charging iphone/ipad cause interference with radios


I just discovered that the interference my handheld transceiver was getting is caused by plugging iphone or ipad into a charger used by vehicle power port. Unplug charger from ipad or iphone and transceiver works great. ipad is a wifi only so it does not have 3G.
Has anyone else noticed this issue?
Using power outlet in a plane to charge ipad or iphone if same problem exists?
With on board com or handhelds?
My handheld is a Pilot III
Any other transceivers?

I sent a email to Vertex Standard Tech support about the problem today also.

Thanks for any responses


I have not had any issues with the iPad plugged into the cig lighter, interfering with radios.


You mean in the airplane dash mounted radio’s?

Have not seen that yet

Just interference with hand held radio, its like turning off the squelch.

Wow I would have thought I have more response or intrest on the subject

Have a good day


I am having this same exact issue with the IPad powered by Aux Power outlet (Cig Lighter recept) interfering with my in dash Narcos. Anyone else?


I charge my iPhone all the time… but I have an AC outlet on my flight deck


Well la dee da. :unamused:
Not sure how that wonderful little bit of info helps to provide insight on the situation?

@Bigdoggh: I have a PA-34 with Narcos that has the same problem, as described, when charging my iPad via the panel “cigar lighter”. The avionics shop boys tell me it’s because Apple designed the iPad charger to work with current automotive electrical systems and not the '80’s era aeronautical electrical systems so there are some spec variances. Hmmm. I take that to mean that they don’t understand the problem any more than I do, or just don’t want to deal with it.

I’ve had a ticket open with Apple for a few months now, we’ll see how that goes…


If what they are saying is indeed true, then why is this Apple’s problem to fix? This sounds to me like the electrical systems in the aircraft need to be updated. Yes, that may be a hefty investment, but you can’t expect a technology company to drop its technology standards back nearly 30 years to accommodate your single, isolated issue.



Glad to hear it’s not happening to too many people, because I’m going to Apple tomorrow to get an iPad Mini to continue my training after Instrument.


hell i can’t even find a usb port on any AA flights. :frowning:


Apple probably didn’t shield the charger very well to prevent electronic interference. Makes the charger cheaper to produce, and who would think of aircraft radios as being a problem.


Sorry I didn’t come back to check on this post until now…

I totally agree with you BL that it is mostly my problem and not Apple’s. However, if they (Apple) wanted to corner a market they could own the aviation market with the iPad alone. I love their products and was surprised that they, in fact, had not “thought of everything”. I think Davysims probably hit the nail on the head with the theory that Apple made a cheap-to-produce device that will satisfy 99.99% of their market. At any rate, my open case with Apple is intended to help improve their product, if they are interested. Again… we’ll see how it goes.

@levyharaivan Don’t worry, it’s definitely a valuable purchase and you’ll love it. In the grand scheme of things a few of us have a minor gripe with the charger causing minor problems.


Apple has cornered the market for aviation- they have more company’s using the iPad and iPad mini as an iEFB they any of the other tablet makers.
Part of A061 in the 135 world is that we don’t charge them in flight. The FAA is worried about a thermal runaway with the battery.
I don’t charge my iPad per the regs but I do charge my iPhone. It’s always in airplane mode in flight.
My bird is in the middle of a rather lengthily 1C inspection. When it’s done we will have wifi. Ill let y’all know if we get any interference with the radios while in airplane mode with the wifi.


The interference you’re getting is an EMI field created by the DC to DC converter.
This has nothing to do with the Ipad or Wifii.

You could install a DC - AC inverter and charge away like Flyboy.

just a suggestion… accept it for what it is and charge before flight; because I’ll wager that the battery will out last both your bladder and the fuel in your plane.


the problem I was having was intermittent with my IPad 2. I did all sorts of troubleshooting, bought ferrite cores for the USB cables, but no fix. I did isolate the source as my IPad 2 while charging in flight.

Update: I bought two IPad Mini w/retina, one on each yoke. I am using a dual USB 4.2 amp power adapter and no interference with the minis.

I am getting lots of interference from my second USB power source with a mini w/retina or Iphone. I plan on trying shielded cable for that outlet.

Question - Is there a high quality cig lighter receptacle that is better than the others?


Not that I can tell… I’ve tried numerous just hoping to get lucky with one but still haven’t found the magic unit. I gave up on the whole crusade and currently I’m just hoping to bump into somebody who will say “oh yeah, I had that problem too and fixed it by xxxxxxxxx”

There’s a young avionics tech at my field who offered to sit in my plane with me sometime and try to make a custom shielded power cable through trial and error… but I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be with a one-off electrical component integrated into my cockpit. :confused:


We installed a True Blue Power port in our 182 during a recent upgrade.
No more issues.


I plug the Garmin Aera 560 into the on board power and I carry a portable charger (can handle 2 full IPAD charges) for the IPAD. True an IPAD charge can outlast most flights, problem is multi leg flights. There usually isn’t enough time to get a good charge on to the IPAD while you are refuelling etc. Portable chargers are available from Sporty’s. Cheaper from an IPAD accessory source, but Sporty’s markets to pilots so I would go with that.


I have the same problem with the Sportys 12-24v Dual USB interfering with both my Garmin 430 and King transceivers in my Baron. It is worse in the lower com frequencies. Even more bizarre is i can move my hand around the cabin and in certain locations, the squelch noise stops even though my hand is not touching anything. There is no interference when i use my old Controlvision 24-12 adaptor.


I am having this problem with an iPad and Garmin 530 comm. The iPad on battery isn’t a problem, nor is the charger and cable when not plugged into the iPad. Together, very strong interference on the 530, often breaking squelch and sometime blocking controller communications. But, not similar effect on my older King Comm 2. Not acceptable for flight, so I’m on battery ufn.



I also experienced the interference in my Baron. It was really strange as moving my hand around the area of the cable without touching anything would make it go away.

Anyway, as noted below in other posts, we installed the True Blue usb power Port and problem solved!

Have been using it for over a year with no further problems.