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American Airlines to save $1.2 million shifting paper flight charts to iPad

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
American Airlines has started a pilot program to test the use of Apple's iPad running a specialized app providing paperless flight navigation charts, a tool it says will save it over a million dollars a year in fuel costs.

Pilots' iPads will replace flight bags of paper charts that typically weigh 35 pounds or more, according to a report by MarketWatch.

The airline will be using iPads to test the new system on two flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo and Shanghai.

American Airlines joins Alaska Air in working to shift paper flight charts to the iPad; Alaska began the shift in May.

The US Federal Aviation Administration previously classified the iPad as a "class 1" electronic device, meaning it must be stowed during takeoff and landing, even by pilots. However, the FAA has since specifically approved the use of the iPad app providing tables and other information for use during all phases of flight, making it the first time a tablet has been usable during takeoff and landing.



American began offering some of its first class and business cabin customers Samsung-built Galaxy Tab devices running Android for in-flight entertainment, capable of tapping into the WiFi networks present on certain aircraft models.

In order to work suitably, Samsung said it would "customize the Galaxy Tab for American's in-flight entertainment needs, including the addition of expanded memory."

Samsung's tablets are not yet capable of working as electric flight charts however, because they can't run the FAA-approved flight charting app.
post #2 of 107
So much for it only being a toy.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #3 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

American began offering some of its first class and business cabin customers Samsung-built Galaxy Tab devices running Android for in-flight entertainment, capable of tapping into the WiFi networks present on certain aircraft models.

Irony alert. "American" airline gives customers Korean tablet.

I wonder how much better our economy would be by the simple application of "buy local." Congress and the executive branches seem hobbled by a system that is locked in a permanent state of preparing for getting yourself re-elected and cannot work together on much of anything anymore.

The president could unilaterally use his bully pulpit to create a national drive to urge, shame, cajole, and pressure American companies to 1) buy American made products, and if that is not possible at least 2) buy American owned company's products. Make that a part of a new definition of patriotism. Maybe we can't all fight on the front lines, but we can do this. Allow those who do (to a specified level) to label their products and ads with a special "We support America" symbol. Kind of like the star flags the families of service member can fly. The more American parts & supplies your company buys, the more stars. Those who approach 100% can display a gold star.

I think many patriotic Americans would buy Gold Star products even if they cost a bit more. At least it would give flag-wavers not in the military an opportunity to act instead of just give lip service to their patriotism.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #4 of 107
All very nice stuff for the iPad's credibility. These things do matter when aggregated. You can't call something a toy when it's used to navigate passenger airliners. It's lighter than charts and less unwieldy. Makes sense to me.
post #5 of 107
I feel safer flying on airlines using iPads rather than Android tablets.

Here are two scenarios:

(1) The airline uses iPads for it's flight charts and everybody arrives safely at their destination. Everything just works.

(2) The airline uses Android Tablets for it's flight charts and the pilot is too busy rooting his tablet and playing with widgets, so the whole plane goes off course, it ends up crashing and you eventually end up on an island like the one in "Lost".
post #6 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

The president could unilaterally use his bully pulpit to create a national drive to urge, shame, cajole, and pressure American companies to 1) buy American made products, and if that is not possible at least 2) buy American owned company's products.

Obama would be a terrible patriot, according to what you wrote. He uses a Blackberry.
post #7 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Obama would be a terrible patriot, according to what you wrote. He uses a Blackberry.

But he has recently been seen carrying an iPad!
post #8 of 107
Angry Bird's....in the Big Bird's Cockpit?
post #9 of 107
The real question is, if there truly is demand for flight charts delivered electronically then why is there not a dedicated device for them?

It could be built into the cockpit and powered (with battery backup) from the plane itself and have a much larger and higher resolution screen than the frankly archaic 10" 1024x768 display in iPad.

I'd worry about any airline that is so quick to jump on a consumer technology for an environment that needs the most reliable of technology. I've seen enough apps on iOS deciding to quit themselves to know that stability isn't its strongest point.
post #10 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

The real question is, if there truly is demand for flight charts delivered electronically then why is there not a dedicated device for them?

It could be built into the cockpit and powered (with battery backup) from the plane itself and have a much larger and higher resolution screen than the frankly archaic 10" 1024x768 display in iPad.

I'd worry about any airline that is so quick to jump on a consumer technology for an environment that needs the most reliable of technology. I've seen enough apps on iOS deciding to quit themselves to know that stability isn't its strongest point.

I don't think the relevant app would be FAA-approved if it weren't rock stable.

As for the iPad's screen being archaic...I think that's more than a little over the top!
post #11 of 107
A pilot program, indeed.
post #12 of 107
The real question is, if there truly is demand for flight charts delivered electronically then why is there not a dedicated device for them?


Why spend all that money to test out an idea. Charts are referred to on occasion. The don't fly with them in their laps.

Hey tell the new Duchess hello for me.....she's hot.
post #13 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Irony alert. "American" airline gives customers Korean tablet.

I wonder how much better our economy would be by the simple application of "buy local." Congress and the executive branches seem hobbled by a system that is locked in a permanent state of preparing for getting yourself re-elected and cannot work together on much of anything anymore.

The president could unilaterally use his bully pulpit to create a national drive to urge, shame, cajole, and pressure American companies to 1) buy American made products, and if that is not possible at least 2) buy American owned company's products. Make that a part of a new definition of patriotism. Maybe we can't all fight on the front lines, but we can do this. Allow those who do (to a specified level) to label their products and ads with a special "We support America" symbol. Kind of like the star flags the families of service member can fly. The more American parts & supplies your company buys, the more stars. Those who approach 100% can display a gold star.

I think many patriotic Americans would buy Gold Star products even if they cost a bit more. At least it would give flag-wavers not in the military an opportunity to act instead of just give lip service to their patriotism.

Buy what manufactured local ??
post #14 of 107
It's a big worry. Consumer rubbish has no place in the cockpit.

I'm a pilot - the cockpit is a place where everything is perfectly designed, perfectly reliable and responds immediately to commands, exactly as intended.

The iPad is far from this. I can think of nothing worse than battling with a flaky consumer device (freezing, apps quitting, et al) while trying to fly the plane.

One little "flake-out" and the plane (and people/structures on the ground) are at risk. I don't have time to battle with device resets or force-quitting or "Please verify your iTunes account password" when I'm trying to intercept the glide slope! Is this a joke?

I won't take to the air without the paper! Sorry - no way. Thankfully, I don't work for American.

I'm all for electronic maps, but they've got to be on a specialised device that is as reliable as the flight avionics. And the display quality has got to be capable of displaying the detail we need - something like a 4HD Barco display.
post #15 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

The real question is, if there truly is demand for flight charts delivered electronically then why is there not a dedicated device for them?

It could be built into the cockpit and powered (with battery backup) from the plane itself

Quite simply because making it integrated to the flight systems will increase the costs 10x minimum due to regulatory issues, it would not offer redundancy in the event of a display failure, and it would be a single-purpose device that would not add value.

Quote:
and have a much larger and higher resolution screen than the frankly archaic 10" 1024x768 display in iPad.

I'd worry about any airline that is so quick to jump on a consumer technology for an environment that needs the most reliable of technology. I've seen enough apps on iOS deciding to quit themselves to know that stability isn't its strongest point.

Aside from the obvious trolling... have you seen the quality of the displays on most flight decks? I don't think the Garmin G1000 is any better resolution... and compared to some of the older instruments it is a few orders of magnitude better.
post #16 of 107
I'd feel safer if they actually used a real Electronic Flight Bag.

Other than that this app isn't that big a deal. It's just a giant PDF reader. It'll be on Android soon enough.

Personally, when I used to fly, I felt safer carrying a cut out of my terminal map and my FLIPs. There's a reason pilots are still trained to do diversions with a paper chart on backup (mechanical) instruments.
post #17 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanthia01 View Post

It's a big worry. Consumer rubbish has no place in the cockpit.

I'm a pilot - the cockpit is a place where everything is perfectly designed, perfectly reliable and responds immediately to commands, exactly as intended.

The iPad is far from this. I can think of nothing worse than battling with a flaky consumer device (freezing, apps quitting, et al) while trying to fly the plane.

One little "flake-out" and the plane (and people/structures on the ground) are at risk. I don't have time to battle with device resets or force-quitting or "Please verify your iTunes account password" when I'm trying to intercept the glide slope! Is this a joke?

I won't take to the air without the paper! Sorry - no way. Thankfully, I don't work for American.

I'm all for electronic maps, but they've got to be on a specialised device that is as reliable as the flight avionics. And the display quality has got to be capable of displaying the detail we need - something like a 4HD Barco display.


+1

I don't care what the fanboys say.

I'd be pissed if I worked for American and they gave me an iPad instead of a certified EFB. WTF?

And what I really don't get is, why an iPad? That app is essentially a collection of PDFs. If they're going to hand out PDF readers, why not just give me people cheaper tablets.
post #18 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanthia01 View Post

It's a big worry. Consumer rubbish has no place in the cockpit.

I'm a pilot - the cockpit is a place where everything is perfectly designed, perfectly reliable and responds immediately to commands, exactly as intended.

The iPad is far from this. I can think of nothing worse than battling with a flaky consumer device (freezing, apps quitting, et al) while trying to fly the plane.

One little "flake-out" and the plane (and people/structures on the ground) are at risk. I don't have time to battle with device resets or force-quitting or "Please verify your iTunes account password" when I'm trying to intercept the glide slope! Is this a joke?

I won't take to the air without the paper! Sorry - no way. Thankfully, I don't work for American.

I'm all for electronic maps, but they've got to be on a specialised device that is as reliable as the flight avionics. And the display quality has got to be capable of displaying the detail we need - something like a 4HD Barco display.

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. I fly widebody jets to Asia on a regular basis or a major international carrier. Everything on the airplane has at least one backup, usually several. The implementation of the iPad on my airline will come after lots of testing. I have a personal iPad and have had NO problems with it. Each pilot will have an iPad with the necessary charts for navigation. That's four iPads on international flights!

Plus, each cockpit will have one set of paper charts as an additional backup. iTunes account password on an approach? Seriously? They will not be connected to wi-fi in the air. I've seen the Jeppesen charts on the iPad and they look great.
post #19 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Aside from the obvious trolling... have you seen the quality of the displays on most flight decks? I don't think the Garmin G1000 is any better resolution... and compared to some of the older instruments it is a few orders of magnitude better.

I don't know what cockpit the different AA jets have, but a big concern when certifying flight displays in readability in sunlight and such. They design cockpits with ergonomics in mind and avionics with usability and readability in mind.

I wonder about the merits of having an iPad strapped to your lap instead of an integrated EFB with a proper moving map display capable of showing approach overlays.
post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Burdick View Post

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. I fly widebody jets to Asia on a regular basis or a major international carrier. Everything on the airplane has at least one backup, usually several. The implementation of the iPad on my airline will come after lots of testing. I have a personal iPad and have had NO problems with it. Each pilot will have an iPad with the necessary charts for navigation. That's four iPads on international flights!

Plus, each cockpit will have one set of paper charts as an additional backup. iTunes account password on an approach? Seriously? They will not be connected to wi-fi in the air. I've seen the Jeppesen charts on the iPad and they look great.

His anti-Apple comments aside, you have no idea what goes on in the cockpit either.

And there is a huge difference between an iPad and an Electronic Flight Bag certified for the deck. I, sincerely hope this isn't AA cheaping out.

What worries me is that it's getting quite dangerous when Apple portrays this device (like they did in the keynote) as something that's widely used in aviation. It's leading to situations where some morons are actually substituting authorized maps for iPads and getting into trouble (they've had ADIZ violations in DC from a guy using a map on an iPad).
post #21 of 107
Does this mean that American will let me keep my ipad running during takeoff and landing?

If so, I am all for the idea.
post #22 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Irony alert. "American" airline gives customers Korean tablet.

I wonder how much better our economy would be by the simple application of "buy local." Congress and the executive branches seem hobbled by a system that is locked in a permanent state of preparing for getting yourself re-elected and cannot work together on much of anything anymore.

The president could unilaterally use his bully pulpit to create a national drive to urge, shame, cajole, and pressure American companies to 1) buy American made products, and if that is not possible at least 2) buy American owned company's products. Make that a part of a new definition of patriotism. Maybe we can't all fight on the front lines, but we can do this. Allow those who do (to a specified level) to label their products and ads with a special "We support America" symbol. Kind of like the star flags the families of service member can fly. The more American parts & supplies your company buys, the more stars. Those who approach 100% can display a gold star.

I think many patriotic Americans would buy Gold Star products even if they cost a bit more. At least it would give flag-wavers not in the military an opportunity to act instead of just give lip service to their patriotism.

Oh please. How much of the labour to build an iPad is American? And conversely would you be willing to let American industry forego opportunities everywhere else in the world (because of retaliation from other countries)?
post #23 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmarks11 View Post

Does this mean that American will let me keep my ipad running during takeoff and landing?

If so, I am all for the idea.

Nope. The make you put away your PED because they want to minimize loose objects in the cabin and because they want you to be attentive and responsive to direction in the event of a mishap.
post #24 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

His anti-Apple comments aside, you have no idea what goes on in the cockpit either.

And there is a huge difference between an iPad and an Electronic Flight Bag certified for the deck. I, sincerely hope this isn't AA cheaping out.

What worries me is that it's getting quite dangerous when Apple portrays this device (like they did in the keynote) as something that's widely used in aviation. It's leading to situations where some morons are actually substituting authorized maps for iPads and getting into trouble (they've had ADIZ violations in DC from a guy using a map on an iPad).

After 18,000+ hours I have a pretty darn good idea what goes on in my cockpit... It's not being used as a moving map display, it is being used specifically to replace paper charts.. i.e. Flight operation manuals, airplane manuals and approach charts. This is what's been approved by the FAA.
post #25 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

I don't think the relevant app would be FAA-approved if it weren't rock stable.

As for the iPad's screen being archaic...I think that's more than a little over the top!

It's a map reader. It's not flight critical. The only reason it came out on the iPad first was because that was the first lightweight tablet to market. I'm pretty sure it'll be out on other operating system's shortly.
post #26 of 107
American Airlines looks to be an equal opportunity tablet buyer. At the same time they're putting iPads in the cockpit, they're putting Samsung's tablets in First Class.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/...s-galaxy-tabs/
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Burdick View Post

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. I fly widebody jets

You have no idea?! Fact is, consumer devices flake out. What you suggest makes a mockery of CRM. What do you fly? 707s? I fly A330s internationally - I'm used to everyONE and everyTHING doing exactly as it should, at exactly the right time.

I don't need the distraction of consumer electronics on the flight deck. I need predictable perfection!
post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Burdick View Post

After 18,000+ hours I have a pretty darn good idea what goes on in the cockpit... It's not being used as a moving map display, it is being used specifically to replace paper charts.. i.e. Flight operation manuals, airplane manuals and approach charts. This is what's been approved by the FAA.

My apologies. Your comments made you sound like a passenger, not a front-ender.

I didn't suggest that it's being used as a moving map display. What I was suggesting is that this is a rather cheap replacement, as opposed to getting a real EFB with much more functionality.

And would you really want your approach plates on an iPad on your lap? Yikes!

I dunno. Maybe it's me. But I'd rather have paper AOIs in the cockpit than have to rely on an iPad when the proverbial excrement hits the propeller. As a supplement, it's understandable though.
post #29 of 107
I'm not a pilot, but if I owned an airline, I would immediately fire any pilot that refused to use an iPad.

The iPad is a consumer device, but it's certainly not rubbish and it is more than reliable enough for reading PDF's, and there will certainly be backups just in case. The iPad also has a very nice IPS display. We're not talking brain surgery here.
post #30 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

American Airlines looks to be an equal opportunity tablet buyer. At the same time they're putting iPads in the cockpit, they're putting Samsung's tablets in First Class.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/...s-galaxy-tabs/

It makes sense. The Samsung Tabs screen is more suited to movie watching. They're cheaper and Samsung will customize them. They can add more memory and fill them up with movies. That and Panasonic is already working on Android based IFE. I'm willing to bet that in 5-10 years, most IFE will be based on some commercial OS (probably Android).
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

As a supplement, it's understandable though.

Absolutely........but it doesn't save any weight then, does it? So we're back to square one - a toy.
post #32 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I'm not a pilot, but if I owned an airline, I would immediately fire any pilot that refused to use an iPad.

I'm sure the FAA would have a chat with you if you did that. The flight deck is not a place for fanboys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Apple

The iPad is a consumer device, but it's certainly not rubbish and it is more than reliable enough for reading PDF's, and there will certainly be backups just in case. The iPad also has a very nice IPS display. We're not talking brain surgery here.

Brain surgery involves one life. Flying an airplane puts a few hundred lives at stake.

And while the iPad is more than a vanilla consumer device, it's also not on par with a real electronic flight bag that has been hardened and certified for the flight deck.
post #33 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

My apologies. Your comments made you sound like a passenger, not a front-ender.

I didn't suggest that it's being used as a moving map display. What I was suggesting is that this is a rather cheap replacement, as opposed to getting a real EFB with much more functionality.

And would you really want your approach plates on an iPad on your lap? Yikes!

I dunno. Maybe it's me. But I'd rather have paper AOIs in the cockpit than have to rely on an iPad when the proverbial excrement hits the propeller. As a supplement, it's understandable though.

Apology accepted. I can understand having paper charts if you're a general aviation pilot. However for an airline that has to furnish each cockpit with anywhere from 2-4 sets of approach plates for most of the world (2-3 binders), plus a flight operations manual (1 binder), and and aircraft manual (an additional binder), you're talking about a lot of weight, and lots of manpower to keep all those things up to date. On a widebody jet you're talking 140 pounds of paper being carried all over the world.

I believe there will be a way to attach the iPad so you don't have it on your lap
post #34 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanthia01 View Post

Absolutely........but it doesn't save any weight then, does it? So we're back to square one - a toy.

I'm curious how they would use it as a supplement and how do they handle document control (ie. paper or electronic which is most recent?)

If you have backup documents in the cockpit, then how does it save weight, time or money? And if they don't you gotta wonder how comfortable the crew is to be shooting approaches off an iPad.

LOL. I foresee a new line in the pre-approach brief. "In case of iPad failure...." (for that one time, the PIC forgot to charge the thing).
post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanthia01 View Post

It's a big worry. Consumer rubbish has no place in the cockpit.

I'm a pilot - the cockpit is a place where everything is perfectly designed, perfectly reliable and responds immediately to commands, exactly as intended.

The iPad is far from this. I can think of nothing worse than battling with a flaky consumer device (freezing, apps quitting, et al) while trying to fly the plane.

One little "flake-out" and the plane (and people/structures on the ground) are at risk. I don't have time to battle with device resets or force-quitting or "Please verify your iTunes account password" when I'm trying to intercept the glide slope! Is this a joke?

I won't take to the air without the paper! Sorry - no way. Thankfully, I don't work for American.

I'm all for electronic maps, but they've got to be on a specialised device that is as reliable as the flight avionics. And the display quality has got to be capable of displaying the detail we need - something like a 4HD Barco display.

You don't own, nor have used an iPad. That is readily apparent by your comments, which by the way remind me of a little kids. Please specify which airline and route you fly, so that I can ensure I don't fly on it.
post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

LOL. I foresee a new line in the pre-approach brief. "In case of iPad failure...." (for that one time, the PIC forgot to charge the thing).

HAHA....... Yes, I'm curious too, but let's face it - we don't know the specifics so there is a bit of speculation here.

I just know this much: I have an iPad and it is a good device (for what it is). 99% of the time, it works perfectly. But there is that 1% of the time when I feel like throwing it through the window. That emotion has no place on the flight deck.
post #37 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Burdick View Post

Apology accepted. I can understand having paper charts if you're a general aviation pilot.

Military. Flew trainers. I'm a maintainer now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Burdick View Post

However for an airline that has to furnish each cockpit with anywhere from 2-4 sets of approach plates for most of the world (2-3 binders), plus a flight operations manual (1 binder), and and aircraft manual (an additional binder), you're talking about a lot of weight, and lots of manpower to keep all those things up to date. On a widebody jet you're talking 140 pounds of paper being carried all over the world.

I believe there will be a way to attach the iPad so you don't have it on your lap

I get all that. I just wonder about trading all the binders in for 1-2 iPads. Imagine certain situations(like smoke in the cockpit). Has the iPad been tested so it won't crap out on you when you're trying to read the AOIs with smoke, etc.?

Maybe I'm old school (odd, cause I'm young), but I've always considered paper, pencils and a wize wheel to be the most reliable tools in the cockpit when everything goes belly up.
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

And while the iPad is more than a vanilla consumer device, it's also not on par with a real electronic flight bag that has been hardened and certified for the flight deck.

Certified by whom? The FAA?

Wait, aren't these the same people certifying the iPad?
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'm sure the FAA would have a chat with you if you did that. The flight deck is not a place for fanboys.

If this iPad app is FAA approved, then I don't really see the problem if I wanted to furnish my entire fleet of planes with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Brain surgery involves one life. Flying an airplane puts a few hundred lives at stake.

I'm more concerned with incompetent TSA employees patting down grandmothers, little children and mentally retarded people while they don't profile who they should be profiling. That to me is a far greater risk to lives than somebody using an FAA approved iPad app.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

And while the iPad is more than a vanilla consumer device, it's also not on par with a real electronic flight bag that has been hardened and certified for the flight deck.

That may be true, as I am obviously not familiar with electronic flight bags. I do use my iPad every single day though, and I find it to be pretty reliable.
post #40 of 107
I get that this is DED and he's totally fanboying it up. How else to explain the fact that he think this is the first tablet to be certified for use during take offs and landings (somebody hasn't heard of EFBs)? But how does the FAA square the fact that it's certified Class 1 and American wants its pilots to read approach plates on the thing?

Stow iPad at DH?
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