FAA Approves iPad

Posted: March 1, 2011 by clgiblin in Uncategorized

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration has allowed for a private-jet company, Executive Jet Management to use iPads as an alternative to paper charts. Pilots have relied on paper maps to help find their way since the beginning of aviation. You often see pilots lugging around 20 pounds of maps and charts, even in a time of advanced technology. Pilots have been using the iPad, but not in place of the traditional paper charts. They were not allowed to use the iPad as their only source, until now. In order to receive approval from FAA, Executive Jet Management and Jeppesen, the developer of the map app, had to go through a tough approval process. This included “rapid-decompression testing from a simulated altitude of 51,000 feet and ensuring the table will not interfere with critical navigation or electronic equipment.” Although the iPad would be a huge advancement in flying, there is also the risk of the iPad or app crashing. According to Jeppesen’s product manager, Jeff Buhl, “The recovery time for an application crashing or the OS crashing is extremely rapid.” Although it is able to re-launch in 4-6 seconds, is it safe for pilots to rely just on the iPad for flying?

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