iPad Approved as an Alternative to Paper Charts

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the use of the iPad in lieu of paper charts for charter company Executive Jet Management.  Instead of lugging around 20 pounds or more of paper charts, pilots will be consulting digital maps on iPads.  The approval comes three months after testing of the iPad running Jeppesen Mobile TC, an aviation app.  The set up was testing on over 250 flight segments and one rapid-decompression test initiated at 51,000 feet and involved 55 different pilots and 10 different aircraft types.

To protect against electronic failure, each Executive Jet Management flight carries two pilots and two iPads.  According to an article in Wired, the iPad never crashed during the entire evaluation period.  Furthermore, Jeff Buhl, Jeppesen’s product manager for the Mobile TC app, asserts that even in the event of a crash, the app is ready to go again in 4-6 seconds.

The approval applies solely to the one company although other airlines are also in the process of evaluating the use of the iPad for pilots.  Alaskan Airlines began evaluating the use of iPads by its pilots in November of last year.

Screenshot of the Jeppesen Aviation iPad App

(via The Map Room)


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