American Airlines sees Apple's iPad preventing pilot back injuries

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
By switching from heavy 40-pound flight bags to Apple's iPad, American Airlines expects to address a relatively common issue among commercial airline pilots: back injuries.

Patrick O'Keeffe, vice president of Airline Operations Technology at American Airlines, spoke this week at the TabTimes Tablet Strategy conference in New York, where he revealed that iPads will become available to all of his company's 8,600 pilots by the end of May.

American Airlines iPad use
Credit: American Airlines


"We've reduced the single biggest source of pilot injuries: carrying those packs," O'Keeffe said during his keynote presentation. "And we are now able to save $1 million in fuel costs and stop printing all the page revisions."

American Airlines first began using Apple's iPad during all phases of flight last year, and is the only carrier in the world with permission to do so. The iPad is currently the only tablet approved by the Federal Aviation Administration as an electronic flight bag.

Typical flight bags can weigh up to 40 pounds with thousands of pages of charts and manuals. By switching to the iPad and going digital, American Airlines will cut printing costs and make it easier for pilots to carry those charts.

While only the iPad is allowed for use as an electronic flight bag, American Airlines has also embraced devices running Google Android for other aspects of flight. The company has distributed 16,000 Samsung Galaxy Notes to its crew members, and flight attendants reportedly use the devices to manage data related to food service, seating, and up-to-date gate information.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    Because of iPad or tablet device?

  • Reply 2 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,310member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    Because of iPad or tablet device?

    Sure looks like an iPad to me. What's your point?
  • Reply 3 of 50
    davebarnesdavebarnes Posts: 317member
    Let's do the math.
    8.6 x 10^3 iPads x $6.0 x 10^2 = $5.2M
    Save $2M/year in fuel.
    Save $M/year in disability costs.
    Bingo!
  • Reply 4 of 50
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    So... the people charged with safely flying us and landing us, can't figure out how to carry a heavy object without hurting themselves?

  • Reply 5 of 50
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


     


    Quote:digitalclips



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post



    Because of iPad or tablet device?





    Sure looks like an iPad to me. What's your point?


     




     



    The device shown is iPad. Everyone is sure about it. 


    But, at a broader level, its the tablet device that replaced bunches and bunches of papers.  

  • Reply 6 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,310member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    But, at a broader level, its the tablet device that replaced bunches and bunches of papers.  


    I suppose I can see you point, it's a bit like an Apple enthusiast in the 1990's complaining the term 'PC' was used in an article instead of 'computer' as there were about 4% Macs out there being ignored (this when we all knew a PC meant Wintel beige box).

    However, given this is an Apple enthusiast's web site and given the article is about a possible sale of 8,600 iPads, using the name 'iPad' in the article seems OK to me :smokey:.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    ascii wrote: »
    So... the people charged with safely flying us and landing us, can't figure out how to carry a heavy object without hurting themselves?

    40 lbs over time, is going to be an issue even if handled 'correctly'. Look at school kids who sometimes carry that much or an equally damaging amount for their weight 5 days a week.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    smileydudesmileydude Posts: 111member


    Two year payoff is pretty good, especially in this industry.  Also factor in the costs of printing and distributing the changes to those 8,600 pilots, and it's probably closer to a year payoff.  Those iPads probably will have a 3 year lifetime, possibly more.  They don't need constant updates.  As long as the hardware itself holds up, they'll still be able to do their job.

  • Reply 9 of 50
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    I suppose I can see you point, it's a bit like an Apple enthusiast in the 1990's complaining the term 'PC' was used in an article instead of 'computer' as there were about 4% Macs out there being ignored (this when we all knew a PC meant Wintel beige box).



    However, given this is an Apple enthusiast's web site and given the article is about a possible sale of 8,600 iPads, using the name 'iPad' in the article seems OK to me image.


    As an Apple fanboy Its ok to me too :)  and very much happy that iPad is in cockpit.  But, if they have adapted an android tablet, it would be the same case, their backpain would be gone. :) :)  


     


    I think I failed to express what I think. image

  • Reply 10 of 50
    aerobaticaerobatic Posts: 2member
    Didn't Alaska Airlines and British Airways already start giving iPads to pilots? how can American Airlines claim to be the first airline when others already do it?
  • Reply 11 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,310member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    As an Apple fanboy Its ok to me too :)  and very much happy that iPad is in cockpit.  But, if they have adapted an android tablet, it would be the same case, their backpain would be gone. :) :)  

    I think I failed to express what I think. <img alt="1mad.gif" id="user_yui_3_7_3_1_1367419300697_1153" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/1mad.gif" style="line-height:1.231;" name="user_yui_3_7_3_1_1367419300697_1153">

    I would actually be worried if there were Androids in the cockpit of a plane was a passenger on! :D
  • Reply 12 of 50
    hans01hans01 Posts: 12member
    As a pilot that uses an iPad in the cockpit, I can say that AFAIK the only consumer tablet approved by the FAA is the iPad. There are dedicated Windows based EFB's (Electronic Flight Bags) available but I'm not aware of any android tablet.

    American is definitely not the first, United has had them for about a year already. And for us pilots, back problems are not the greatest benefit, it's not having to update the paper charts by hand which takes hours every month. Now it just take a couple of keystrokes!
  • Reply 13 of 50
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    It'll also save those pilots a lot of (probably uncompensated) time keeping what goes into that bag up to date. And that's likely to mean better-rested, more alert pilots.

  • Reply 14 of 50
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    [VIDEO]


    davebarnes wrote: »
    Let's do the math.
    8.6 x 10^3 iPads x $6.0 x 10^2 = $5.2M
    Save $2M/year in fuel.
    Save $M/year in disability costs.
    Bingo!

    How often were the paper ones reprinted for everyone, then shipped out? That would also have some cost involved.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,310member
    hans01 wrote: »
    As a pilot that uses an iPad in the cockpit, I can say that AFAIK the only consumer tablet approved by the FAA is the iPad. There are dedicated Windows based EFB's (Electronic Flight Bags) available but I'm not aware of any android tablet.

    American is definitely not the first, United has had them for about a year already. And for us pilots, back problems are not the greatest benefit, it's not having to update the paper charts by hand which takes hours every month. Now it just take a couple of keystrokes!

    That is good news all around.... and you guys get more time for a few more whiskeys before the flight too ;)
  • Reply 16 of 50
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,666member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post



    Let's do the math.

    8.6 x 10^3 iPads x $6.0 x 10^2 = $5.2M

    Save $2M/year in fuel.

    Save $M/year in disability costs.

    Bingo!


     


    You didn't include printing costs and satchel costs to carry 40Lb's worth of paper. How often are the existing maps updated? 


     


    There is another benefit. Pilots will no longer get bored out of their minds flying and fall asleep (plane nosedives into everglades). Now they can play all sorts of fun games thus stay awake and alert!

  • Reply 17 of 50
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    That is good news all around.... and you guys get more time for a few more whiskeys before the flight too ;)

    Someone has seen pretty much every movie that involves a commercial airline pilot.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 826member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    As an Apple fanboy Its ok to me too :)  and very much happy that iPad is in cockpit.  But, if they have adapted an android tablet, it would be the same case, their backpain would be gone. :) :)  

    I think I failed to express what I think. <img alt="1mad.gif" id="user_yui_3_7_3_1_1367419300697_1153" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/1mad.gif" style="line-height:1.231;" name="user_yui_3_7_3_1_1367419300697_1153">
    While this is theoretically true, it ignores the reality that airlines have only used iPads so far. This may be due to multiple reasons. Features which it make it more secure. Software development is far easier. Build quality and reliability is far higher.

    Additionally, as pointed out above, the FAA has only approved the ipad to use in cockpits, so it is fair to say the ipad is currently fully responsible for this.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,310member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Someone has seen pretty much every movie that involves a commercial airline pilot.

    Ah, it's so easy to see the humor while sitting safely on the ground! :D
    I once had a failed landing in Mexico city and everyone but me had taken off seat belts and were unloading overhead bins. As the plane had to abort due to another plane crossing the runway, and accelerate (which with the ring of mountains that close and little air at 6,000 feet, I mean really, really accelerate ...) I was all alone while about 150 people were seemingly glued the the rear wall. The 2nd attempt was interesting too, al lot of praying, beads and wailing I recall. Luckily I had a good book throughout all this.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Ah, it's so easy to see the humor while sitting safely on the ground! :D
    I once had a failed landing in Mexico city and everyone but me had taken off seat belts and were unloading overhead bins. As the plane had to abort due to another plane crossing the runway, and accelerate (which with the ring of mountains that close and little air at 6,000 feet, I mean really, really accelerate ...) I was all alone while about 150 people were seeming glued the the rear wall. The 2nd attempt was interesting too, al lot of praying, beads and wailing I recall. Luckily I had a good book throughout all this.

    I've always wondered what kind of rules they have for media on flights since there is so much fear that goes along with it. I can't imagine Airplane, Flight, or any other movie that involves a terrorizing event in the sky to be shown in-flight. However, I also wonder if the in-flight music stations would also not include, say, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, or Richie Valens in a 50's music station because they all died in a plane crash? The latter obviously being less likely to make one uncomfortable, but I wouldn't be surprised if they want to be overly cautious.
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