Apple’s revolutionary iPad creates the paperless cockpit

“What is in those bulky, black flight bags that pilots carry into the cockpit? It is not a change of clothes but reams of reference material needed for the flight — about 40 pounds of it,” Kate Murphy reports for The New York Times.

“There are the aircraft’s operating manual, safety checklists, logbooks for entering airplane performance data, navigation charts, weather information, airport diagrams and maybe a book of KenKen puzzles thrown in for good measure,” Murphy reports. “But instead of carrying all that paperwork, a growing number of pilots are carrying a 1.5 pound iPad.”

Murphy reports, “The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized a handful of commercial and charter carriers to use the tablet computer as a so-called electronic flight bag. Private pilots, too, are now carrying iPads, which support hundreds of general aviation apps that simplify preflight planning and assist with in-flight operations. ‘The iPad allows pilots to quickly and nimbly access information,’ said Jim Freeman, a pilot and director of flight standards at Alaska Airlines, which has given iPads to all its pilots. ‘When you need to a make a decision in the cockpit, three to four minutes fumbling with paper is an eternity.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. When are they going to put iPad compatible chargers in the cockpit of Boeings and Airbuses? Or better yet, when are they building iPads into the cockpit panel? Or why can’t you just use X-Plane to fly the thing using the gyro controller? 😉

    1. Man by the time they finalized the design of the iPad built into the cockpit, tested it and got certification Apple would be on the iPad5 or 6 and they’d have to start over 😉

      Its not a fast moving industry when it comes to the avionics / flight control side. While not bleeding edge the stuff is damn reliable and there is something to be said for that!

  2. For redundant safety precautions these forty pounds of paper are still carried just in case extremely rare, but non-zero level possibility of iPad stopping working for whatever reason.

    So the weight is not yet saved; however, even with this iPad helps great deal since it is much faster to find information through this devices — and, in certain unique circumstances — this might save people’s lives.

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