American Airlines pilots begin using Apple's iPad during all phases of flight

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    Or, Microsoft.... the notion of 'crash' has worse connotations....:lol:

    OMG ... what a thought! ROFL
  • Reply 22 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    umrk_lab wrote: »
    But ,,, wait a minute ... This is a toy ! Why don't they use a PC, instead, for such serious task ?

    Haha ... Can you imagine trying to find the stylus or the attachable Key board in an emergency?
  • Reply 23 of 46
    calfoto wrote: »
    Does anyone know if the GPS in an iPad will function, let alone keep up with the speed of a jet in flight?

    I've tried to get lat/lon with the compass apps to no avail.
  • Reply 24 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by calfoto View Post



    Does anyone know if the GPS in an iPad will function, let alone keep up with the speed of a jet in flight?


     


    It doesn't really matter, the point of this isn't for using the GPS anyway.  The GPS on the aircraft will be far superior to the one built into the iPad, so they know physically where they are already.


     


    What it's good for is having all the checklists, and constantly updated, the Airport/Facility Directory (that you are supposed to carry and always have an updated copy of), and all the maps.  For a cross country flight, the pilot will have IFR Enroute High and Low altitude charts, IFR Terminal Procedures publications, and relevant VFR Sectionals and Terminal Area Charts.  This stuff is all heavy, and it's worth noting that the charts expire every 6 months - keeping them updated is a pain in the arse.


     


    As to the need to turn off electronics below 10,000ft, it's rules set by the airlines, with pathetic guidance from the FAA.  The relevant CFR is 14 CFR 91.21, which says all electronics devices (with a few minor exceptions) are banned on flights operating in Instrument Flight Conditions (so most scheduled flights), but that the Pilot in Command can make an exception to this rule if he/she deems it safe.


     


    The FCC governs mobile phones (not the FAA), and they state, "Cellular telephones installed in or carried aboard airplanes, balloons or any other type of aircraft must not be operated while such aircraft are airborne (not touching the ground). When an aircraft leaves the ground, all cellular telephones on board that aircraft must be turned off."


     


    Having been Pilot in Command of a light aircraft when a passenger didn't turn off their phone, I can say that the problem is the interference of the phone signal with your headphones.  Every time the phone communicated with the mast you could hear it in your headphones.  If it happened when you were trying to talk to a controller, it's very distracting, and if you fly around the Bay Area as I do, there is a lot of communications with the controllers to keep track of.

  • Reply 25 of 46
    The reason you turn off your iPad and iPhone below 10,000 feet has little to do with the possibility of electronic interference with avionics. That is a myth, albeit widely believed even among flight crews. These devices have already met the FAA standard of having been proven to not interfere with aircraft electronics. The reason you turn them off is because of FCC regulations governing cell phones. Moving in a jet, your device rapidly switches from one cell tower to the next, hogging the bandwidth of several cell phones.

    Further, passengers (and crew) have been "trained" by this myth of electronic interference to believe that anyone using an electronic device will cause the airplane to explode, fall out of the sky, and rain death and destruction on everyone for hundreds of miles around. It is like the requirement that you turn off your cell phone when near a gas pump. No cell phone has ever caused a gas pump to explode; nevertheless some people believe it can, so to prevent panic and possibly even assault by the ignorant, you don't use your cell phone near the gas pump. No phone has ever been proven to have interfered with the operation of an airplane, either, unless the phone was deliberately modified to do so.

    As for backup systems -- each pilot has his own iPad, plus the electronic screens built into the airplane itself. The iPads are used to display checklists and to brief instrument approach and departure procedures. These procedures used to take several volumes of very large and heavy books which filled a large bag. These books require constant updating, which itself can take many hours per month. Electronic flight bags such as tablet PCs and iPads greatly simplify this task and dramatically increase flight safety by making sure every procedure is current. Pilots spend less time leafing through volumes of approach plates and more time looking outside the aircraft, too.
  • Reply 26 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by calfoto View Post



    Does anyone know if the GPS in an iPad will function, let alone keep up with the speed of a jet in flight?


     


    The problem is not with the speed of the flight. The iPad's GPS antenna is not sensitive enough to reliably pick up GPS signals in many aircraft. Aircraft are made of metal which interferes with GPS reception. It is possible to mount an antenna on the exterior of the airplane, though, and connect an iPad to that.

  • Reply 27 of 46
    Speaking of fire. In the past if these guys crash landed in the snow they could have used their paper manual to start a fire. Not so any more. And where do they even have room to mount the iPad in that cockpit!?
    They can use the battery to start a fire by shorting it.
    OR, they can use the GPS to find their way out of where they are - something books can't do.
  • Reply 28 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by calfoto View Post



    Does anyone know if the GPS in an iPad will function, let alone keep up with the speed of a jet in flight?


     


    Speed isn't a factor. (Unless you were able to approach some significant fraction of the speed of light... though the GPS satellite system DOES, in fact, take into account the relativistic effects of being in Low Earth Orbit.)


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cjcampbell View Post


     


    The problem is not with the speed of the flight. The iPad's GPS antenna is not sensitive enough to reliably pick up GPS signals in many aircraft. Aircraft are made of metal which interferes with GPS reception. It is possible to mount an antenna on the exterior of the airplane, though, and connect an iPad to that.



     


     


    So why bother with that at all?... the airplane already has a hugely robust GPS system installed (2 actually), that also happens to be integrated with the Flight Management Computers and Autopilot... There's no need to utilize the iPad's internal GPS functions.


    (And yes, the airplanes position data could be fed into the iPad for location-aware functions, such as listing charts for nearest airports at the top of a list or some such thing... though getting FAA permission to apply such integration is a HUGE and expensive hold-up to the process.)


     


    While the airplane IS made of aluminum (though that's changing ... see the Boeing 787), the cockpit has larger windows than in back, and portable GPS units work just fine up there! :)  The map function on the iPhone/iPad doesn't work because it also requires a data connection.  And the iPhone's compass App is almost uselessly subject to interference from the various electromagnetic fields generated in the cockpit.

  • Reply 29 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by calfoto View Post



    Does anyone know if the GPS in an iPad will function, let alone keep up with the speed of a jet in flight?


     


    Speed isn't a factor. (Unless you were able to approach some significant fraction of the speed of light... though the GPS satellite system DOES, in fact, take into account the relativistic effects of being in Low Earth Orbit.)



     


    I don't think that is quite correct. Even though in theory they can measure high speeds (which would be limited by their ability to keep the shifting signals locked - a processing limitation rather than a speed of light limitation), I believe that civilian GPS units are required under ITAR not to report speeds in excess of 1000 km/hr to prevent them being used for weapons system applications.

  • Reply 30 of 46
    "those bags can way as much as 35 pounds."

    I think you mean "weigh"
  • Reply 31 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


     


    Speed isn't a factor. (Unless you were able to approach some significant fraction of the speed of light... though the GPS satellite system DOES, in fact, take into account the relativistic effects of being in Low Earth Orbit.)


     


     


     


    So why bother with that at all?... the airplane already has a hugely robust GPS system installed (2 actually), that also happens to be integrated with the Flight Management Computers and Autopilot... There's no need to utilize the iPad's internal GPS functions.


    (And yes, the airplanes position data could be fed into the iPad for location-aware functions, such as listing charts for nearest airports at the top of a list or some such thing... though getting FAA permission to apply such integration is a HUGE and expensive hold-up to the process.)


     


    While the airplane IS made of aluminum (though that's changing ... see the Boeing 787), the cockpit has larger windows than in back, and portable GPS units work just fine up there! :)  The map function on the iPhone/iPad doesn't work because it also requires a data connection.  And the iPhone's compass App is almost uselessly subject to interference from the various electromagnetic fields generated in the cockpit.



     


     


    You are right on all counts -- my point was not that it would not work; only that an external antenna would help it. As to why anyone would bother, I have no idea. Well, some. Back in the day there were a few private pilots that got FAA approval to mount portable GPS units on their control yokes. These had external antennae. I have used portable GPS units in the cockpit myself, but these have generally been with a suction cup antenna stuck to the windshield. Even so, the signal is weaker than what you get just standing on the ramp. Back in the early days of GPS, you could hardly get a GPS to function at all in the cockpit due to interference from the radios -- especially if you had some of those old style boat anchor types that you still see in some private aircraft. This is the thing that people don't understand -- aircraft radios radiate a lot of power, while a GPS unit's power is measured in milliwatts. If there is going to be interference, the airplane's radio is going to win every time.


     


    Anyway, I would far rather a pilot use an iPad as an electronic flight bag rather than messing with those paper volumes.

  • Reply 32 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


     


    I don't think that is quite correct. Even though in theory they can measure high speeds (which would be limited by their ability to keep the shifting signals locked - a processing limitation rather than a speed of light limitation), I believe that civilian GPS units are required under ITAR not to report speeds in excess of 1000 km/hr to prevent them being used for weapons system applications.



    Only for GPS units capable of functioning above 18,000 meters altitude. The limit is 515 meters/second (1001 knots). And those limits apply only to GPS units built for export. Otherwise you need a State Department export license to export the GPS. You can get a permit for darned near anything these days.

  • Reply 33 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by plovell View Post



    "those bags can way as much as 35 pounds."

    I think you mean "weigh"


    Garth Algar wrote the article.


     


    No Way!


     


    Way!

  • Reply 34 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post


    This must be special iPads if they can be used during takeoff and landing without adversely affecting the plane's operation.



    Exactly.  Alec Baldwin needed this "special" iPad.

  • Reply 35 of 46


    They won't be using the iPad GPS. The plane-installed GPS that is currently in-use without iPads taken into account will still be the standard. The iPad will just be used for digital versions of the arrival, departure, and approach plates for review and orientation prior to entering those phases of flight or during for quick-reference if deviations that aren't programmed into the flight management computer system as necessary. This is just replacing a bag full of books with an iPad.


     


     


  • Reply 36 of 46


    GPS is a non-issue.  Pilots carry Jeppeson manuals that have approach charts for all airports.  These are indeed quite heavy.  The iPad is designed to replace the paper approach charts and maps only.  It's not going to replace the on-board navigation equipment that is GPS enabled.

  • Reply 37 of 46
    When a phone loses connection it boosts it's signal tremendously searching a a new connection cellular radios (phones) absolutely do interfere with airline radios at close range (5 feet or less). Try outting your phone up next to your car radio in a area you lose signal. Now Put 5 or 50 phones in close proximity to a much more sensitive airline radio all doing that signal hunting at the same time and that can become a legitimate concern. If that happened during take off and landing when lots of important time sensitive radio information was being exchanged that would bad as important info could be missed.

    I'm not saying its reasonable for every passenger in every seat to turn off every device or that it's ever been a real world problem, but it's not pure fiction. Neither is it reasonable to expect flight attendants to know which devices do and do not have radios that could cause interference.
  • Reply 38 of 46


    Wat? But all the ubergeeks on the tech sites told me the iPad was a toy. Are you telling me I can't trust the words of smelly neckbeards with personality disorders? Cory Doctorow said the iPad was the end of all things, oh waily waily. Stallman said the iPad was going to devour our personal freeeeeeeeedoms, krishna krishna rama rama.


     


    Aw, just teasing, kids. Gosh, I hope my utter contempt for modern geek culture and its technoreligious, moonbat leadership didn't inadvertently seep through.

  • Reply 39 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jb510 View Post



    When a phone loses connection it boosts it's signal tremendously searching a a new connection cellular radios (phones) absolutely do interfere with airline radios at close range (5 feet or less). Try outting your phone up next to your car radio in a area you lose signal. Now Put 5 or 50 phones in close proximity to a much more sensitive airline radio all doing that signal hunting at the same time and that can become a legitimate concern. If that happened during take off and landing when lots of important time sensitive radio information was being exchanged that would bad as important info could be missed.

    I'm not saying its reasonable for every passenger in every seat to turn off every device or that it's ever been a real world problem, but it's not pure fiction. Neither is it reasonable to expect flight attendants to know which devices do and do not have radios that could cause interference.


    That's just plane ;) wrong.


     


    There is NO EFFECT on aircraft by cellphones or other consumer electronic devices.


     


    There is NO LEGITIMATE CONCERN whatsoever... it's just that the FAA (that's the Federal Government) imposed this rule back in the day, because that was easier than doing any real study.  Now that the rule is in place, we can't seem to get rid of it, even though it's been proven unnecessary.


     


     


    (Now... If you choose to ignore the regulation and instructions from the flight crew that go with it... you COULD be considered a terrorist and be detained indefinitely without further charges regardless of your citizenship.  That's UNLIKELY to be the way it goes down, but the U.S. government has written law that allows exactly that scenario... odd that nobody is upset by THAT.)

  • Reply 40 of 46
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cjcampbell View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


     


    I don't think that is quite correct. Even though in theory they can measure high speeds (which would be limited by their ability to keep the shifting signals locked - a processing limitation rather than a speed of light limitation), I believe that civilian GPS units are required under ITAR not to report speeds in excess of 1000 km/hr to prevent them being used for weapons system applications.



    Only for GPS units capable of functioning above 18,000 meters altitude. The limit is 515 meters/second (1001 knots). And those limits apply only to GPS units built for export. Otherwise you need a State Department export license to export the GPS. You can get a permit for darned near anything these days.



     


    Thanks for the clarification.

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