Alaska Airlines has announced that it is issuing iPads to all its pilots, as part of its ongoing effort to use technology to enhance flight safety, improve efficiency and protect the environment. This makes it the first major domestic airline to use the iPad to replace paper manuals. The 1 1/2-pound iPads replace up to 25 pounds of paper flight manuals that pilots are usually required to have with them in the cockpit.
Alaska Airlines says that it is currently in the process of distributing iPad to all its pilots, and that they should all be equipped by mid-June. The deployment follows on from a successful trial by 100 line and instructor pilots and Air Line Pilots Association representatives who evaluated the use of iPads as electronic flight bags over the winter and spring period.
The iPads distributed to the pilots are loaded with an app called GoodReader that contains PDF versions of 41 flight systems and performance manuals, reference cards, and other materials.The electronic manuals include hyperlinks and colour graphics, enabling pilots to find information faster and easier. The manuals are also now much easier to update via the iPad than previously. The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under Federal Aviation Administration regulations."We've been exploring the idea of an electronic flight bag for several years, but never found a device we really liked," said Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines' vice president of flight operations. "When the iPad hit the market, we took one look at it and said this is the perfect fit."
Source: Alaska Airlines