We knew that iPads were being shoehorned into different roles like interactive menus and the like, but who knew that it would eventually be used by pilots as a replacement for paper charts? The FAA has just greenlit the use of iPads as alternatives to paper charts by charter company Executive Jet Management. The move comes after three months of rigorous testing and evaluation of the device and Mobile TC, the app the tablets will be running while in the air. The app is made by aviation chartmaker Jeppesen.
So what if the app crashes? Well, according to Jeff Buhl, Jeppesen’s product manager for the Mobile TC app, the chances of that happening is unlikely, and adds that the Apple iOS operating system and the app proved “extremely stable” during testing. In the unlikely event that the app crashes, it takes mere seconds to get it up and running again.
While the current decision only applies to Executive Jet Management, the implications are clear. Pilots no longer have to lug around 25 pounds worth of charts with them on the aircraft and accessing the information they need will be quick and easy. Hopefully none of them decide to squeeze in a game or two of Angry Birds while up there.