Mifi for gen aviation?


Anyone know if mobile (cell based) wifi hotspots can be used in flight since sat based systems are prohibitively expensive? With two toddler passengers aboard would be great to activate iPod devices for inflight entertainment, not to mention liberating wifi iPad apps!


Any electronic device the PIC determines safe for flight and will not interfere with Nav/COM can be used including cell phones.

FAR Sec. 91.21

Portable electronic devices.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any of the following U.S.-registered civil aircraft:
(1) Aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate; or
(2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR.
**(b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to–
(1) Portable voice recorders;
(2) Hearing aids;
(3) Heart pacemakers;
(4) Electric shavers; or
Any other portable electronic device that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system **of the aircraft on which it is to be used.

B5 is the key for the PIC to allowing cell phone usage in a private plane.

My experiences are that Wifi signals don’t transmit very far so I can’t imagine how you would tap into a wifi network from an airborne airplane?

If what you suggest is based on 3G network, my experiences have been that cell service does not work above 3000 feet AGL on my Ipad. Flying low seems to help hold the 3G signal.

My regular Verizon cell phone doesn’t work higher then 3000 for texting purposes and for cell calls, works better in rural areas then urban.


In my experience I have been able to text with Verizon (somehow) up to around 15,000 ft MSL. Everything else, although, gets cut off at around 3000 as said above. Any reason why the texting would work that high?


texting uses a different system from voice calls.


Once the plane gets airborne, ground based WiFi is, for all intents and purposes, out of range.

Some carriers (very few) offer onboard WiFi hot spots (WAPs) that provide internet access to passengers through a shared SAT connection.


Shoot, I need a better phone so I can access the different system!!

I can’t imagine any reception above 3K much less 15K. Once I get out of “antennae bar range”, my phone is only good for W&B.


Indeed I was speaking of creating wifi hotspot on board by way of a cellular based system, but of course if there was an inexpensive satellite based system comparable in price to the systems offered by sprint and verizon it would clearly work best!


Ohhhh, I think they call that “tethering” if I have the lingo correct?

Re-reading your original post, if you have toddler passengers, why in the world would they need wifi? Some apps work off of bluetooth should you want to game between a couple of devices.

For as many apps and games that run offline, I sure can’t see the wifi need myself for the kids, but then you are talking to one that don’t have kids. :slight_smile:


Every time I read the title of this thread I have to look twice- at first glance I think it says Milf :open_mouth:


I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired (being up at 5:30 takes its toll) or if that’s funny, but it had me laughing. Probably tired.


No boy that just happened! that’s some funny stuff!


Using a cell phone for ANY communication purpose while in flight is frowned on by several regulatory agencies, as well as the cell providers themselves. (It plays havoc with their system’s hand-shaking between towers when you access the system from the air!)

Toddlers? Buy them a couple of personal DVD players and some Barney and Wiggles DVDs.


milf for General Aviation…
it does a milf good…
a milf a day keeps the Doctor away…

man am I bored.


Even if you are bored, I still like what you are writing. :smiley:


It helps to be older than most milfs too. :confused:


Well, this thread didn’t degenerate to bad did it?


I’m a stand up guy- I screwed it up. Sorry Y’all…


I have Verizon and not sure if that makes any difference. I receive texts enroute at altitude and sometimes email also. IF…I have to make a call/text, I slow down to about 120kts and ‘usually’ can get it sent out.


I have Verizon and not sure if that makes any difference. I receive texts enroute at altitude and sometimes email also. IF…I have to make a call/text, I slow down to about 120kts and ‘usually’ can get it sent out.


I’m pretty sure the OP was referring to using a cell phone on a commercial aircraft, not GA.