FAA approves use of Apple's iPad as electronic flight bag

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has authorized a smattering of commercial and charter airlines to replace cumbersome 40-pound paper manuals with iPads, which will instead serve as so-called electronic flight bags for pilots.



Customarily, an aircraft cockpit would contain a collection of paper flight manuals typically weighing around forty pounds, that encompass everything from log books to the operating manual. However, with the latest FAA authorization, they could all be replaced by a one and a half pound iPad.



The first carrier to gain such approval was Alaska Airlines back in May. Their pilots were given permission to use the iPad to consult digital flight, systems and performance manuals. The move cut around 25 pounds of paper for each flight bag.



Jim Freeman, who works both as a pilot and the director of flight standards at Alaska Airlines said ?the iPad allows pilots to quickly and nimbly access information,? adding that ?when you need to a make a decision in the cockpit, three to four minutes fumbling with paper is an eternity.?



The new e-manuals on the iPad are also much easier to maneuver than before as a result of the added hyperlinks and color graphics, while updating the manuals is also a far simpler process. Instead of substituting old pages for new pages, the manual is updated automatically.



Credt: American Airlines

Interestingly, the transition to iPad is thought to reduce healthcare costs that come about from shoulder and back injuries that are tied to carrying the cumbersome flight bags. David Clark, a pilot the manager of the connected aircraft program at American Airlines told the New York Times, ?Cockpits are small, and lifting that thing up and over your seat causes damage, particularly when you consider a lot of pilots are over 40.?



Further still, Alaska Airlines has plans in place to add more applications including aeronautical maps and charts. Be that as it may, they will still need to consult the FAA for approval.



The FAA?s deputy director of flight standards said that ?each airline must submit a unique proposal on how they want to use the iPad and prove that both the device and software application are safe and effective for that proposed use.? In one instance, Executive Jet Management proved the iPad was safe by putting it through rapid decompression at 51,000 feet. By contrast, private and corporate pilots are not required to go though the vigorous approval process as they are deemed responsible for deciding what is safe for use in their own cockpit.



Jack Long, a pilot for more than 30 years who flies for business and pleasure, told the Times, ?I didn?t ease into using the iPad, I jumped.? He was able to scrap his $1,414 a year subscriptions to paper maps and charts, and replace them with the same maps and charts but sent to his two iPads, costing only $150 a year. He also stores digital versions of his aircraft, operating manuals, equipment and a copy of F.A.A. rules and regulations.



The iPad itself possesses greater than 250 aviation apps. The top grossing of them all is ?ForeFlight? which can administer maps, aeronautical charts and weather while assisting the pilots with planning flight plans. On top of that, the tablet has a ten-hour battery allowing it to cope with all US domestic flights without the need for recharging.



The iPad was announced in January 2010 and released in April the same year. As of June 6 2011, Apple has sold 25 million worldwide.
«13

Comments

  • ironheadslimironheadslim Posts: 157member
    But the pilot will have to shut it off on takeoffs and landings.
  • blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    This is a big win for Apple! The more we see stories like this the more corporations will take the iPad seriously and lock into the Apple eco-system.
  • franckfranck Posts: 135member
    Great news for Apple. More bragging rights against the competitors
  • martimus3060martimus3060 Posts: 50member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Franck View Post


    Great news for Apple. More bragging rights against the competitors



    What competitors, lol!



    I know that I can't stand lugging my pubs kit up and down the stairs getting into and out of the plane. This will be great (if only my company will agree to do it).
  • blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by martimus3060 View Post


    What competitors, lol!



    I know that I can't stand lugging my pubs kit up and down the stairs getting into and out of the plane. This will be great (if only my company will agree to do it).



    Biggest competitor in the corporate space will probably be Cisco when their Android tablet comes out but the more useful the iPad proves to be in the corporate space the less able Cisco will be able to penetrate enterprises



    Get em locked into the ecosystem early before the competitors get in: Brilliant strategy!
  • vvswarupvvswarup Posts: 314member
    But, but the iPad is just a toy! What is wrong with the government? They're spending my tax dollars on toys!!
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vvswarup View Post


    But, but the iPad is just a toy! What is wrong with the government? They're spending my tax dollars on toys!!



    Where did it say the FAA bought these for airlines? Where did it say the government did anything?
  • eliangonzaleliangonzal Posts: 374member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Where did it say the FAA bought these for airlines? Where did it say the government did anything?



    Lighten up, he (she) is joking.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    The iPad moves a little closer to becoming another iPod in market dominance.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by martimus3060 View Post


    I know that I can't stand lugging my pubs kit up...



    Not to be confused with pubes kit.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post


    Lighten up, he (she) is joking.



    He's making a joke about the iPad being a toy, sure. But it always helps to have the rest of the joke be accurate.
  • jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    He's making a joke about the iPad being a toy, sure. But it always helps to have the rest of the joke be accurate.



    Also, wouldn't be so sure it was a joke. The last article about iPads in cockpits whipped up quite a storm amongst users who claimed to be pilots. The really didn't like the idea.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,556member, moderator
    This is big... did you feel the earth move?
  • leadbottomleadbottom Posts: 13member
    This is all good.



    Next, I would like the connectivity to be built into cars to offer all the electronics to be set up via an iPad. Currently the best still has a poor UI and is overpriced junk.

    It would be nice for the obvious, like iTunes and GPS, but also auto diagnostics, and settings (for instance adjusting the turn indicator volume, current miles per gallon/ remaining range on your tank, and to set other factory settings that are either a hassle or impossible for the owner to adjust.



    Replacing all the gizmos with a clear, easy to use interface mounted where the radio sits (w/ velcro or something snap-in/out) would be primo.



    Something like this would make trip planning easier for us terrestrials, something in one box. Not laptop, GPS, gas receipts, etc., etc. Clean.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post


    But the pilot will have to shut it off on takeoffs and landings.



    good one
  • dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post


    Also, wouldn't be so sure it was a joke. The last article about iPads in cockpits whipped up quite a storm amongst users who claimed to be pilots. The really didn't like the idea.



    I have yet to hear from a single pilot who doesn't love the idea. It's become very popular, especially among private pilots. You can even buy a clip that turns your iPad into a kneeboard. The only issue is you can't get real time weather.
  • jedd88jedd88 Posts: 6member
    I read elsewhere that these iPads approved to be used by Pilots inside the flight decks of commercial airlines need NOT be turned off for the duration of the flight, from preflight to post.
  • ecphorizerecphorizer Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    This is big... did you feel the earth move?



    No but my 747 just shook.



    Hey Dick, welcome back! Where've you been hiding lately?
  • ecphorizerecphorizer Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by leadbottom View Post


    It would be nice for the [iPad to be connected to a car], like iTunes and GPS, but also auto diagnostics, and settings (for instance adjusting the turn indicator volume



    Hey, just how does one change the turn signal volume? I always thought it was a mechanical thing that clicked off and on...
  • ipenipen Posts: 410member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jedd88 View Post


    I read elsewhere that these iPads approved to be used by Pilots inside the flight decks of commercial airlines need NOT be turned off for the duration of the flight, from preflight to post.



    Turning iPads on will affect the flight electronics especially it's so close to the cocpit. Either FAA is lying about this or they're willig to compromise flight safety for convenience?



    As a commercial pilot, I think FAA just made a mistake. iPad may fail during flight. I would not risk the flight safety of a commercial airliner on a consumer product. There is a need to have a specially designed and manufatured tablet for this kind of purpose...
  • hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 563member
    1. Pilot to Co-pilot as plane enters death spiral..."Ah crap, I forgot charge my iPad last night"



    2. Mythbusters proved that consumer electronics affecting avionics was BS years ago
Sign In or Register to comment.