North American Jet Charter Group (NAJ) recently received FAA approval to use the Eclipse EFB iPad aboard its Eclipse 500s on Part 135 flights. This electronic flight bag approval gives pilots the option to use Foreflight or Jeppesen en route and approach charts, as well as paperless versions of general operating manuals and minimum equipment lists, which are all stored and referenced through the iPad interface.
Electronic flight bag
At the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., this week, Garmin released the new Garmin Pilot aviation app for Apple iOS and Android devices. Garmin Pilot incorporates a number of features in a package that is much easier to use than the earlier Pilot My-Cast.
The FAA’s $550 million system-wide information management (Swim) program to fashion a unified information management system from the various flight data, weather and advisory systems used in the National Airspace System calls to mind a hub-and-spoke computer network exchanging digital signals with the big iron in the sky.
Flight operations software and services developer Navtech formed a partnership with GlobalNavSource to provide Navtech iCharts and iCharts Enroute via GlobalNavSource’s iPad electronic flight bag platform. The move, Navtech said, supports paperless operations and gives pilots broader access to charts, plates, weather and other data.
Arinc Direct has further developed its iPad app, which was launched at the NBAA Convention last year and designed to be a low-cost electronic flight bag (EFB) solution. The Arinc Direct app will soon include a moving-map display, weather-radar feed, runway analysis and enhanced flight-planning tools.
The popular Apple iPad tablet computer, embraced by business and general aviation pilots for its numerous flight applications, low cost and ease of use, is catching on in the more structured environment of airline flight decks.
Appareo and CHC Helicopter are developing an electronic flight bag (EFB) app for the iPad. The app will help standardize CHC’s flight operations around the world, shorten accounts receivable cycles, provide more complete information for crew scheduling and maintenance and eliminate inflight paperwork. It will also provide flight crews with tools for routing, fuel planning and weight-and-balance calculations.
Very light jet air-taxi operator Linear Air received FAA approval to use iPads as electronic flight bag devices yesterday, making it the first commercial air carrier in the FAA’s Eastern region to receive such approval. “iPads in the cockpit enable Linear Air to eliminate 50 pounds of paper, allow seamless updating and more efficient handling of operational and customer service issues,” said company president and CEO William Herp.
If there is a bright spot in aviation, it has to be avionics, where development of new technologies is still accelerating.
The most fascinating change during the past year has been how consumer electronics in the form of Apple’s game-changing iPad have upended the avionics industry. Pilots are swapping their traditional electronic flight bags (EFBs) for iPads loaded with charts, moving-map displays and even airborne XM weather and synthetic vision.
American Airlines pilots said the airline received approval from the FAA last week to use Apple iPad tablet computers for digital charts and manuals in all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing, making American the first carrier to use iPads in the cockpit for expanded capability.