Apple iPad software issue grounds 'several dozen' American Airlines flights [u]

Posted:
in iPad edited May 2015
At least one American Airlines flight was grounded before takeoff on Tuesday due to a software bug that disabled pilots' iPad-powered electronic flight bags, potentially affecting the carrier's entire fleet of 737 aircraft.




Passengers aboard American Airlines flight #1654 from Dallas to Austin said EFB iPads belonging to both captain and copilot "went blank" as crew prepared for takeoff, reports Quartz.

"The pilot came on and said that his first mate's iPad powered down unexpectedly, and his had too, and that the entire 737 fleet on American had experienced the same behavior," said Philip McRell, a passenger on flight #1654. "It seemed unprecedented and very unfamiliar to the pilots."

Judging by passenger reports, it appears the problem lies with iPad software, namely the Jeppesen Mobile Terminal Chart app used by American and approved for gate-to-gate use by the Federal Aviation Administration.

As of this writing, the plane is sitting on the tarmac at Dallas Fort Worth after being delayed for more than two hours. It has not yet been confirmed that other 737s were affected by the apparent glitch.

American Airlines was one of the first major airlines to switch to Apple's iPad for In June 2013, the company announced iPad was operational across its entire fleet, amounting to more than 8,000 iPads. By switching to iPads, air carriers eliminate the need for millions of pages in paper charts and documents, which translates to fuel savings.

For example, American was able to do away with 24 million pages of documents carried in bags weighing 35 pounds each, projected to save some 400,000 gallons of fuel, or $1.2 million, every year.

Update: American Airlines has confirmed the delay of "several dozen" flights due to the iPad issue.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57

    Hopefully someone didn't try that stupid WiFi hack that was discovered the other day.

  • Reply 2 of 57

    Maybe don't use "crashed" in the lede for a flight story…

  • Reply 3 of 57
    What's a "first mate"?
  • Reply 4 of 57
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,405member

    How can jet fuel cost $3 a gallon?

     

     

     

    (@Junebug172:  hint - it's not "Eve";))

  • Reply 5 of 57
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,194member
    Love how the headline makes it sound like an iPad or iOS flaw but then in the article it's blamed on a third party app
  • Reply 6 of 57
    Sounds more like the IT department shut down the iPads using the MDM so they can force American to use the M$ Surface. Its been done before in some Police Departments.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    xixoxixo Posts: 414member

    turn off airplane mode...

  • Reply 8 of 57
    charlituna wrote: »
    Love how the headline makes it sound like an iPad or iOS flaw but then in the article it's blamed on a third party app

    Agreed -- Sounds like American made a statement wrongfully making it sound like it was a device issue also. I thought there was a certain amount of backup manuals the pilots had to carry anyway. They at least should have paperwork at the gate they could put on the plane. The iPad doesn't run the plane and neither does the app. Shouldn't take more than 2 hours to come up with a manual fix. Fact that American seems to think it is valid to expect a computer to always be working without any backup available at the airport is pretty naive.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Junebug172 View Post



    What's a "first mate"?

    Gilligan, AKA, Little Buddy.

     

     

    :D

  • Reply 10 of 57
    I was on 2 AA flights today and no delays
  • Reply 11 of 57
    [QUOTE][S][B]American Airlines has confirmed the delay[B][/S]...[/QUOTE]

    So does this mean they haven't confirmed a delay?
  • Reply 12 of 57

    It's better to be delayed and flying efficiently and safely with all systems checked out.

     

    Go Apple!  Go Go Go!

  • Reply 13 of 57
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,549member
    Airplane-gate. /s
  • Reply 14 of 57
    photodenk wrote: »
    Agreed -- Sounds like American made a statement wrongfully making it sound like it was a device issue also. I thought there was a certain amount of backup manuals the pilots had to carry anyway. They at least should have paperwork at the gate they could put on the plane. The iPad doesn't run the plane and neither does the app. Shouldn't take more than 2 hours to come up with a manual fix. Fact that American seems to think it is valid to expect a computer to always be working without any backup available at the airport is pretty naive.

    Pilot's carry no manuals nor does the plane. If both iPads go down, you can't depart.

    It was s corrupted data update caused a needed app to crash so the flights couldn't go.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    usb-usb- Posts: 22member

    Eh. All technology is susceptable

  • Reply 16 of 57
    mobiusmobius Posts: 376member
    junebug172 wrote: »
    Pilot's carry no manuals nor does the plane. If both iPads go down, you can't depart.

    It was s corrupted data update caused a needed app to crash so the flights couldn't go.
    As Photodenk says, they should have had backup hard copy flight documents at the airport. Seems like an obvious oversight.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    Kill all apps, reboot, restart app. Problem solved for the time being. I wonder how these iPads are "used" in between flights. Just sayin'
  • Reply 18 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,037member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



    Love how the headline makes it sound like an iPad or iOS flaw but then in the article it's blamed on a third party app

     

    But that kind of accuracy would only land you 1% of the pageviews, not to mention missing out on the thousands of comments gleefully mocking and bashing Apple. 

  • Reply 19 of 57
    charlituna wrote: »
    Love how the headline makes it sound like an iPad or iOS flaw but then in the article it's blamed on a third party app

    I know right??????


    Wtf! OMG such BAD reporting.

    Very very irresponsible ????
  • Reply 20 of 57
    mobius wrote: »
    As Photodenk says, they should have had backup hard copy flight documents at the airport. Seems like an obvious oversight.

    The whole reason for EFBs is to get rid of paper - completely. To carry charts or maintain a subscription completely defeats the purpose of going electronic.

    It wasn't an oversight. Paper is gone.
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