iPads in the Cockpit – Gadget or Necessity?

Over the last couple of years iPad’s have become more and more commonplace in the cockpit. IPads and tablet computers replace the traditional paper charts and manuals, using technology that many believe will revolutionise the way that pilots take to the skies. Dedicated applications have been created for aviation purposes including Jeppesen Mobile RC and the popular ForeFlight Mobile, these apps incorporate all of the tools that are used whilst in the air including navigation and taxi procedures. Pilots can also access weather maps, GPS, equipment lists, aviation regulations and flight controls. As a pilot the importance of easily accessible information is obviously paramount however are iPads going to completely replace paper charts?

In a practical sense iPads are designed to replace the almost 25 pounds of paper that pilots would need to carry with them. When you consider that the small tablet computer will hold everything from flight manuals to navigation charts, it definitely clears a lot of space in your flight bag. This one device will be used to check everything needed for flight planning, making a pilots life easier and also saving a lot of wasted paper!

Life in the cockpit will also be much simpler if airlines do decide to go ‘paperless’ as there would be significantly less clutter to contend with. A more streamlined cockpit is a safer cockpit as pilots can concentrate on the job in hand without having their view obstructed by charts and papers. The iPad can be mounted on the wall or even attached to handy kneeboards as found at Flightstore.co.uk.

Some people have voiced concerns about the power capabilities of an iPad however safety tests have shown that no software failures of power outages occurred over a three month period. If there is a failure they program can also reboot itself in 4-6 seconds, ideal peace of mind for those in the skies.

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