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

post #1 of 56
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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 FAAs 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 didnt 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.
post #2 of 56
But the pilot will have to shut it off on takeoffs and landings.
post #3 of 56
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.
post #4 of 56
Great news for Apple. More bragging rights against the competitors
post #5 of 56
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).
post #6 of 56
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!
post #7 of 56
But, but the iPad is just a toy! What is wrong with the government? They're spending my tax dollars on toys!!
post #8 of 56
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?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #9 of 56
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.
post #10 of 56
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.
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 #11 of 56
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.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 56
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.
post #13 of 56
This is big... did you feel the earth move?
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #14 of 56
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.
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

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

good one
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #16 of 56
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.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #17 of 56
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.
post #18 of 56
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?
post #19 of 56
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...
post #20 of 56
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...
post #21 of 56
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
Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View 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...

I'd suggest you not be so disingenuous with your appeal to authority. Stop spreading scare tactics.

Okay, let's clear the air here. What the FAA has approved is the conversion of tens of pounds of flight documentation and such provided by the aircraft manufacturers and their subcontractors. There is absolutely nothing critical being replaced since the aircraft will be required to keep a paper library of these same documents on board. These manuals ordinarily need not be in use during takeoff and landing, so the iPads will be shut down in accordance with other FAA regulations regarding RFI.

The documentation on an iPad will be available to the crew when needed but these documents are not involved in flight safety. As a commercial pilot, I think you should know the difference in what's being proposed here and what the iPad will NOT replace.
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post

2. Mythbusters proved that consumer electronics affecting avionics was BS years ago

Yeah, but nothing gets people turning off devices faster than a death warning
post #24 of 56
I'm taking a long flight next week. I'll be using my iPad2 as in flight entertainment and I hope that the pilots on my plane also have iPads. I'm not afraid of iPads. If their iPads break down over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I can simply lend them mine.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View 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.

IIRC, I read something somewhere that they had two have two iPads onboard in case of failure.
post #26 of 56
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?

My point too. The government did not do anything, other than approve the iPad for use in airlines. First of all, people who want to dismiss the iPad as a "useless toy" will have to take the FAA's approval of it for cockpit use into account. Also, I was kind of stretching the truth about the government buying these for pilots. My apologies.
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

IIRC, I read something somewhere that they had two have two iPads onboard in case of failure.

As someone suggested just keep a copy of the paper one on board, the point of the iPad is that they don't have to lug the paper one around and put it on their lap to leaf through, etc.

In the event of a catastrophic iPad failure, the paper backup will be enough... Assuming that is updated frequently enough.

As a traveller I would think just having two iPads onboard is not sufficient since indeed iOS and the iPad is not designed for the kind of failure tolerance of say, avionics systems or the stuff flight controllers use.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elian Gonzalez View Post

Lighten up, he (she) is joking.

I think the name is a "he" name.

I think he was joking too. I remember that huge thread where "airline pilots" were weighing in the pros and cons. Of course, I'm sure some of them really were pilots but the extreme reactions was, much like every other thread on this forum, very interesting and pretty hilarious to follow.
post #29 of 56
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!!

I wonder how long Angry Birds has to wait for FAA approval.

But anyway good for Apple!!
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

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

Time to abolish all the foolish restrictions that some airlines impose on "electronic devices", even disallowing people to do useful work in flight.
Granted, asking for "Airline Mode" for an iPod/iPad is warranted, but anything beyond that is too restrictive.

Lots of things, these days are "electronic devices", including pacemakers, wrist watches, digital cameras.
post #31 of 56
Interesting article. However, the photo is redundant as (almost) all here know what an iPad looks like. I would have been more interested in seeing the 40 lbs of manuals being shoehorned into a cockpit. \
post #32 of 56
I would think enhancements to voice controls would be good too - for example searching for the checklist for a water landing - and some sort of interactive speech control where the first item is read to you and you reply - in the event you are alone in the cockpit so you can keep your eyes and hands on the controls. lots of possibilities.

Do they have a USB port in the cockpit to plug it in?
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronHeadSlim View Post

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

Airplane mode...

They force passengers to shut it down because its easier/faster/safer than checking all the devices to make sure they are in airplane mode. Not to mention that some people dont even know what airplane mode is. They will always ask to shut devices off.
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View 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...

Physical documentations dont malfunction indeed. imo FAA should force at least 1 backup ipad.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanFruniken View Post

Lots of things, these days are "electronic devices", including pacemakers, wrist watches, digital cameras.

Those things dont "emit" a signal or try to detect and connect to networks... Passive devices are harmless indeed, but they need to play on the safe side and ask for everything to be off.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post

... 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.

ONE. One person that claimed to be a pilot was against it ... everyone else in the thread supported the idea.
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View 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...

Wow. Do you really believe what you're spouting?? ... AND you're a pilot?...
The fact that you typed all that with a straight face (did you?) would lead one to believe that the part about you being a pilot is blatantly false. If you WERE a pilot, you'd realize that nothing in your second paragraph is a concern AT ALL.

All the public really needs to know is that AIRLINE PILOTS WANT THIS, and the FAA needs to get off it's ass and allow it wholesale.
The rest of the world just doesn't understand how they will be used, and so they imagine all sorts of scenarios where it becomes critical to safety. That just isn't the case.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post

2. Mythbusters proved that consumer electronics affecting avionics was BS years ago

Did they prove that there was no potential threat or were merely unable to achieve a negative result? There is a big difference. I seem to recall that MythBusters talked to the FAA or a pilot or something, coming to the conclusion that it was best to err on the side of caution for they could not test every conceivable radio signal from every wireless device.

edit: This is what I found right on the MythBusterrs website.
Quote:
The ban on cell phones on aircraft is designed to force passengers to use the expensive in-flight phones.

BUSTED
It was found that cell phone signals, specifically those in the 800-900 MHz range, did intefere with unshielded cockpit instrumentation. Because older aircraft with unshielded wiring can be affected, and because of the possible problems that may arise by having many airborne cell phones "seeing" multiple cell phone towers, the FCC (via enforcement through the FAA) still deems it best to err on the safe side and prohibit the use of cell phones while airborne.

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode49

Note what myth was "busted" and that they officially back up the FCC and FAA's reasoning for the ban.
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 #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipen View 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...

Wow! You are far smarter than the FAA because you consider them incompetent. Do you follow any of their other decision mistakes? Hahahaha. I understand your desire for a hardened iPad that can survive 25G impact and carries backup batteries. However, most pilots do not want to replace 40 lbs. of paper manuals with a 39 lb. iPad. You'll have your opportunity when the Windows 8 tablet is available.
post #40 of 56
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?

But the FAA did have to spend money approving the iPad - so his post was essentially correct.

Not to mention that the intent of the joke was clear.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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