Jeppesen Mobile TC Approved for Part 135

 - May 1, 2011, 5:40 AM

Executive Jet Management (EJM) has received FAA approval to use Jeppesen’s Mobile TC App Version 1.2 for the iPad2 as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts following a three-month demonstration program that covered 55 pilots flying 10 different aircraft over 250 flight segments. Jeppesen reported that the pilots were pleased with the app’s ease of use, simplicity, speed and display clarity.

Jeppesen also announced last month that Express JeppView digital terminal charts and procedures for Part 91 operators would be available through the Mobile TC App for current subscribers at no extra charge and that it had tested the new iPad 2 in a rapid decompression from 51,000 feet to simulate the forces of sudden cabin pressure loss. It conducted a similar test on the original iPad; however, significant structural changes merited a new test for the iPad 2, the company said.

Under FAR Part 91.78, the FAA allows Mobile TC and similar programs to be used as an alternative to paper charts for Part 91 operations provided that the portable device running it does not interfere with any other equipment required for flight. Devices such as the iPad that function as an electronic flight bag (EFB) cannot replace any required equipment, cannot be used as a primary source of navigation and cannot be used as a navigational tool. However, for Part 121 and Part 135 operations, the local FAA flight standards district office must approve the specific hardware and software alternative to the paper chart requirement for carry-on equipment.

As part of its demonstration, EJM completed successful non-interference testing on the evaluation aircraft, and Craig Thigne, Jeppesen manager of industry and government affairs, said the company would share such data with interested parties. He also said the company had not encountered any difficulties from foreign aviation authorities with regard to displaying own-ship position on the app.

Owners of iPads can download a free trial app of Mobile TC from the iTunes store. A subscription is available at no additional charge for current Jeppesen digital charting subscribers.

Express JeppView subscribers also receive supplemental paper en route and area charts at no extra charge, and at the EAA Sun ’n’ Fun airshow in March Thigne said the company is working on including en route charts for future updates of Mobile TC, although he could not provide an exact date they would be available. Version 1.2 offers several improvements over the previous Mobile TC issue, including demo charts that do not require a subscription, a chart favorites feature, a groups function to approach, departure and taxi charts, a supplemental screen brightness function to aid in night visibility, and push and chart change notices.

Thigne said Jeppesen is working on other “large screen” Mobile TC apps for other tablet devices, including the Android. 

Separately, at this year’s Sun ’n’ Fun, Hawker Beechcraft announced that customers who purchase its piston and turboprop aircraft would receive a customized iPad with a free one-year subscription to Mobile TC.