iPad Helps Prevent “Single Biggest Source of Pilot Injuriesâ€

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by Maura, May 1, 2013.

  1. Maura
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    Maura iPadForums News Team

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    It’s been quite some time now that pilots have been using iPads in the cockpit, and iDownload Blog reports today that the widespread use of iPads by pilots has had a surprising effect on the health of pilots. According to Patrick O’Keeffe, vice president of Airline Operations Technology for American Airlines, replacing 40-pound flight bags with iPads has meant that the company has “reduced the single biggest source of pilot injuries: carrying those packs.†O’Keeffe made the comments during a keynote address at the TabTimes Tablet Strategy conference in New York City. Aside from this health benefit, O’Keeffe also said that switching over to the iPad should also shave $1 million from American’s fuel bill, and also printing costs. iDownload Blog notes that currently only Apple’s iPad has been approved for in-cockpit use by pilots, with American Airlines the only airline that has official approval to use the iPad in-flight. [/FONT]

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    [FONT=&quot]Source:[/FONT] Apple?s iPad seen preventing pilot injuries
  2. NakedFaerie
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    NakedFaerie iPF Novice

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    So its stopped all those injuries to pilots. What injuries? Paper cuts when they turn the pages? LOL
    There is no risk of paper locking up or crashing. No need to make sure you paper is charged. No need to reboot paper.
    If i was a pilot i won't want to rely on something that can crash especially when in the desperate need on an answer in an emergency.
    To me an iPad doesn't belong in the cockpit. Maybe in the back for the passengers to play games or watch movies or take drink orders but not near the controls of a plane.
    You can see it coming up. "The plane crashed because the pilot was playing Angry Birds HD"
  3. Darkstar2007
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    Darkstar2007 iPad Addict

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    The article referred to the injuries. Which weren't paper cuts... It was due to the pilots toting around a 40 pound flight plan bag. I'm also positive the iPad is locked down to specific apps.. The plane itself is controlled by electronics as well. So, should we remove every piece of technology from the plane to prevent crashes as well?
    The iPad is known for reliability. I'm sure the units were tested thoroughly before approval.
    Personally, I would rather tote an iPad vs 40 pounds of paper I'd be subject to constantly flip through. Less weight, less distractions for the pilot. It's only a matter of time before the other airlines start following suit.
  4. RadioSaigon
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    RadioSaigon iPF Noob

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    Hmmmm... I think perhaps you're being a little too linear in your thinking there NakedFaere, perhaps even a little contentious and/or naive. Reproduced here is an (edited) reply I personally posted on another forum in response to a similar post some years ago now. I've edited it a little to more accurately reflect today's conditions:


    I think you may rather be missing the point here. As pilots, we manually update our documents (literally 1000's of pages over a year) every 28 days. I'm talking pages of paper that have to be manually sorted into their correct location within the overall document... a system fraught with the potential for error, with potentially catastrophic results. Imagine the case of searching for information needed "right this second" on a page inadvertently mis-filed... admittedly, a relatively low potential, but a potential none the less. Further the mass of the updates alone is best measured in Kg's per annum, not to mention the inconvenient weight and dimensions of the updated documents -and the time spent making manual revisions!

    Aviation as an industry is (has been) frequently a driver of technological advance, particularly in reference to it's own needs. The development of GPS is a prime example -although it's wider adoption and approval by the regulatory authorities has been mired in a nonsensical bog of regulatory red-tape and political correctness. That has to an extent been mitigated by the sheer availability of very competent receivers and swift adoption by the grass-roots aviation users.

    So too with the iPad in the cockpit. The iPad has been extensively tested by aviation authorities (at up to 50-60,000 feet unpressurised -from memory), found equal to the task and approved for airline use. The certification is at this stage NOT universal, but rather airline specific. Documentation appropriate for use on the iPad has already been developed and approved by Jepessen and is widely available. In the aviation environment in which I currently work, you would struggle to find a flight-bag that does NOT contain an iPad! For most of us, it's a very easy and wise decision to make -there are a plethora of apps available that simplify the drudgery of pre-flight tasks (a few of which are actually tremendously good!) and the incredible advantage of not having to haul around up to 40Kg of documentation, which we are legally required to carry.

    For the reasons outlined above, I can see that the iPad has an appropriate and useful place in the wider aviation environment, and certainly within the cockpit!!!

    You can be assured that the regulators world-wide (and most pilots too) tend to take a very "belt and braces" approach to their activities. On that basis alone you can be assured that no single iPad would ever be a "stand-alone" system of information provision within an active aviation environment. The backups could include additional iPads (!), laptop computers, on-board hard-wired Flight Management Systems (FMS) and appropriate power systems -or even those trusty, crusty old mark 1, mod zero paper documents we all love to hate.
  5. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is kinda of strange, if you ask me. Why have pilots been required to tote around all this paper documentation in the first place? PDF has been around for years, as have temptested PCs/laptops (controlled emission devices). Heck, if documentation is truely important, you can build a screen into the cockpit and put a usb port there for the pilot to load his/her documentation into! Not saying the iPad isn't great for this, but it just seems like the entire industry has had its collective head in a hole in the ground regarding the use of technology for something like this! It took the existance of an iPad to demonstrate the need to get rid of 40-lbs of paper?
  6. RadioSaigon
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    RadioSaigon iPF Noob

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    Not the industry AQ_OC -the regulators. It is they that mandate these documents be carried, by each operational member of the flight crew. It is often the regulator that publishes the documents, or provides the necessary data to 3rd party document providers, such as Jepessen. And yes, the regulators world wide do move at a glacial pace towards officially approved adoption of many of the technologies other industries take for granted. As I alluded to earlier, it's often an initiative "from the coal-face" that forces the regulator to look into sanctioning incredibl useful advances.
  7. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info....it is still amazing...even regulators need to get with the game. Aircrafts are electronic devices and there are ways to ensure they cause no harm in the cockpit. If the documentation is important, build it in! :)
  8. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree fully with RadioSaigon's points. Regulators seem unable to accept that a PDF on the screen has just as much value as the printed version. Unfortunately, it seems to be a universal phenomenon. The trucking industry fails in this regard too. I have to carry a binder full of garbage just in case anyone asks to see it. That alone weighs more than my computer bag, which contains a laptop, iPad, 2 phones and all of the chargers and cables required. I also have to carry training records, orientation cards, road use agreements, permits, logs and bills of lading. The whole lot could be carried and used electronically, but try and get anyone to move on it! We've done it this way for 50 years. We are prepared to do it for another 50.

    Just for the sake of experiment, I carried a road use agreement as a PDF in iBooks. The security officer took one look at it, recognized it for what is was and waved me on. (I also had the printed version available, just in case)

    MSDS sheets have to be updated every three years, for example. They could be updated across an entire fleet, without the holders ever being aware that the document had changed. We could all do with a clean sheet approach, but no-one seems to like it simple.

    Sent from my stock iPad 2
  9. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So what are the arguments that regulators give to support the need to carry about tombs of paper, in this digital age?

    Maybe more health-related lawsuits will help these folks get out of the dark ages.
  10. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the problem. Regulators don't need to present an argument. They can just keep saying "NO". They are an industry unto themselves that thrives on complexity and red tape. It's called job security.

    Sent from my stock iPad 2
  11. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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  12. KevinJS
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    I suppose part of the problem is that us end users don't see the big picture. It's easy to see the benefits, but not so easy to see how much work it would cause. Also, any system built up over years has developed it's own checks and balances. Sweeping it all away, even if it looks beneficial, may have unforeseen consequences.

    Sent from my stock iPad 2
  13. Bob Maxey
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    Bob Maxey iPad Addict

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    Bob is torn.

    He agrees and yet, he does not necessisarily agree.

    On the one hand, I wonder what WILL happen if the iPad dies when the data is needed. On the other hand, I wonder who is making good bank because the FAA/others are tied to something like a sweetheart deal. On the third hand, I read too many novels where someone has cut a deal and what looks good on the surface is really happening because someone is being paid.

    Will the pilots JB and will that cause issues?

    Will Angry Birds occupy their time?

    Will they say, "now that I do not need to carry books and plots and charts, I can fill my tote with other stuff that weighs the same? Are iPads cool and that is why they are suddenly "needed?"

    Not sure what to say.
  14. Bob Maxey
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    Bob Maxey iPad Addict

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    I just hope it is a good idea that helps pilots. I hope nothing serious happens. Wait and see.
  15. TitusD
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    TitusD iPF Novice

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    Helicopter pilots in the North Sea use them and say they're rubbish due to the amount of vibration in the aircraft. Most would rather have an iPhone 4S.

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