N-Jet Receives FAA OpsSpec for iPad in Cockpit

 - January 29, 2011, 12:00 PM

Chicago-based charter/management provider N-Jet has started using Apple iPads for in-flight display of approach plates. Avionics & Systems Integration Group (ASIG) of Little Rock, Ark., helped N-Jet meet guidance in FAA Advisory Circular 120-76A and Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 15 and create an iPad test plan that includes depressurization and electromagnetic interference testing. ASIG’s rapid depressurization tests cost $200 per iPad. “We need to make sure there’s no bubble in a processor or arcing of electrical contacts,” said ASIG managing director Luke Ribich, “or air in a [lithium-ion] battery pack. That is a real risk.” N-Jet does EMI testing in its avionics shop, according to Howard Seedorf, president and CEO. The iPads replace paper charts with Jeppesen plates in the Jeppesen Mobile TC app. The FAA allowed N-Jet to eliminate paper charts under OpsSpec A061. N-Jet pilots are still using paper en route charts, said Seedorf, because it’s easier to plot on paper. Each pilot is issued an iPad, and the N-Jet operations manual specifies a minimum level of battery charge for dispatch. Pilots fit the iPads into a custom-built kneepad, and the device is not charged in flight or wired to the aircraft.