iPad: Friend or Foe?

Aviation International News » May 2013
May 4, 2013, 1:55 AM

Although Francois Lassale, managing director at Vortex FSM, believes iPads are the future for every cockpit, he also thinks implementation of the new products has been rushed since deliveries began three years ago. Therein lies a threat. “I think the FAA and EASA have been caught off guard and simply rushed to catch up,” he said.

Lassale warned that some operators are so caught up in iPad fever they’re not thinking of the hazards or complexities the units add to their operations. For a Part 91 operator today, there are guidelines in AC 120-76B, but there is no separate authorization required to operate the unit. Just read and fly. A number of attendees acknowledged that they believe the number-one drawback to an iPad in the cockpit is the distraction of the colorful unit, especially if it is not permanently mounted in the aircraft, which classifies it as a Class One electronic flight bag (EFB).

The benefits of the iPad, according to Lassale, include “its low purchase price as well as its low operational cost, not to mention that the unit weighs less than 1.5 pounds. The iPad display is crisp and colorful, which many consider one of the unit’s greatest strengths, not to mention the overall increase in situational awareness the iPad offers.” A swipe or two of the finger is all that’s needed to access information and of course, unlike paper Jepp charts, updating an iPad is a piece of cake.

With well over 100 million units sold since rollout, Lassale warned crews not to move too quickly. In addition to the rushed implementation and distraction of the devices, he believes, “the unit’s simplicity means training on the iPad and its use in the cockpit is seldom given much thought.” That means crews could be playing with the unit when they should be paying attention elsewhere in the cockpit. And of course one of the primary items that worries Lassale is that the iPad is powered by lithium ion batteries, with their questionable stability.

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F2TH
on December 18, 2013 - 10:10am

VORTX FSM Francios has no prctical experience in general aviation and should not make any recommendations on products he has no experience or real knowledge on. I know this for a fact. Hwe is trying to get people to believe his is the expert when in fact he isn't. He is just trying to sell you something he provides if you contact him and that is what he wants then it is going to cost your flight department serveral thousands of dollars or even into the hundreds of thousands of thousands. 

Mr Francios only reads things and know he claims to be the expert so be very careful. Do your own research and save yourself money.

I have used iPads on many different types of aircraft and they are a great too to organize yourself and reduce weight. The flight upto 8 hours the iPad has sufficent battery life. Most companies will install 2 iPads on the aircraft so if you use one at a time you could really get 16 hours of use and noramlly all aircraft general aviation and airlines have a way to charge or recharge the iPads. People have been plugging into the airplanes with cell. phones, laptops and yes even iPads for YEARS so whats the issue about pilots recharging there iPads.

As being a useful tool and a way to organize the pilots use the iPads you don't have the chance of loosing charts and most important you'll have the most current charts. Pilots will sometimes not have to most current chart if they were sent by snail mail (normal mail service) which sometimes gets lost or miss routed and throughing into the trash. So there is a greater chance of not flying witht he current charts, the iPads will alert you when an update is available for anything you load on it, i.e. Jeppesen. If you update it before you fly OMG (oh my god) you will have a current chart. Additionally the iPads have the ability to track your flight on the enroute charts and now the approach plates, what a great tool for situational awareness. 

I hope this was useful, and use those tools such as iPads.

Happy flying with iPads.

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