TAG Aviation (UK) has become the first UK operator to receive CAA authorization to use Apple iPads as Class 1 electronic flight bags. TAG pilots are replacing paper documents and charts with iPad apps such as Vistair DocuNet (a document management and distribution program) and Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck (terminal charts and other aeronautical documents). TAG Aviation is planning to seek regulatory approval for paperless cockpits in other countries where it holds air operator certificates, including Switzerland, Spain, UAE (Bahrain) and China (Hong Kong).
Electronic flight bag
Sweden’s Braathens Regional has received a trial approval from the Swedish Airworthiness Authority for an electronic flight bag (EFB) Class 2 system based on the iPad, the airline announced in late April.
Braathens has equipped each of its 140 pilots with an iPad as part of the EFB system and has begun modifying its fleet of 17 Saab 340s, Saab 2000s and ATR 72s with power supplies to allow both pilots to use their iPad during all phases of flight.
Business jet operators needing FAA approval to use Apple’s iPad running the ForeFlight mobile app can now sign up for Sporty’s Easy Approval system. For $799, the Sporty’s team will help jet operators governed by Part 91F, 91K or 135 gain FAA approval to use ForeFlight on an iPad as an electronic flight bag (EFB). Included in the price are documentation, training, iPad testing and operational guidance. The training includes Sporty’s “Flying with ForeFlight” video.
Just as cellphones, tablets and laptops have become ubiquitous in the cabins of passenger aircraft, so have they become more and more common in the cockpits of our aircraft.
Gama Aviation’s Middle East division has selected the Web Manuals Sweden electronic flight bag (EFB) app for the iPad. Web Manuals promises customers such as Gama (Booth 1155) to improve control of its documentation, legal compliance and “operational agility.” Flight crew at Gama Aviation will get instant cockpit access to all relevant manuals and other documents.
AvioVision (Booth 933) and Web Manuals have jointly developed an electronic flight bag (EFB) app called Aviobook. Designed as a cross-platform solution, Aviobook runs on Microsoft Windows-based and Apple iPad devices. Web Manuals of Sweden brings its expertise in developing cloud-based tools for writing, reviewing and publishing manuals to the joint EFB solution. AvioVision, a Belgian company, developed the EFB functionality, which includes display of charts and documents, flight logging and performance calculations.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) for its GDC64 tablet aircraft interface unit (TAIU). The unit serves two functions: to provide the correct power supply to recharge Apple iPad tablet computers; and to safely connect iPads to aircraft sensors to supply useful data to iPad applications. The GDC64 is hard-wired to the aircraft and doesn’t rely on wireless connectivity.
While it may seem as though Apple iPads are replacing Microsoft Windows-based electronic flight bags (EFBs) in transport category cockpits, that is not the case for Esterline CMC Electronics’ PilotView EFBs. The company is advancing EFB development with its latest product line, the Mk3 EFB, available in 8.4-, 10.4- and 12.1-inch display sizes.
DAC International is showcasing its GDC64 tablet-to-aircraft interface unit (TAIU) at the RAA convention. On May 6, the FAA granted parts manufacturer approval for the device, which feeds aircraft data to an iPad without the need for additional, costly WiFi equipment.
AOPA has released an update to its FlyQ iPad electronic flight bag app that adds ADS-B connectivity and expands Duats integration. New features in version 1.1 include ADS-B in-flight weather with support for the new Dual XGPS 170 ADS-B/Waas GPS receiver. The app also offers CSC Duats support, in addition to existing DTC Duat support, for weather information and flight-plan filing. Other enhancements include “Direct To” and “Add to Plan” buttons for flight planning, as well as in-app rental car booking through Enterprise.