American Airlines pilots swap paper for iPads

By David Flynn, June 25 2013
American Airlines pilots swap paper for iPads

American Airlines pilots have ditched 18kg of manuals for a single iPad, with every cockpit in every AA plane now sporting an 'electronic flight bags' featuring Apple's all-conquering tablet.

Similar to the system which Qantas is working on with Airbus's suite of iPad cockpit apps, which will be installed on all Airbus planes in the Qantas fleet, AA's kit replaces of over 3,000 pages of manuals and maps with one iPad for each pilot.

The tablets are fitted with a long-life battery pack to keep them juiced up for 24 hours.

American Airlines says it's the world's "first major commercial carrier" to make the switch and use the tablets "in all cockpits during all phases of flight".

And it's not just about letting the flight crew play Plants vs Zombies in their downtime.

"Removing the kitbag from all of our planes saves a minimum of 400,000 gallons and $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices" the airline claims, while also eliminating "an estimated 24 million pages of paper documents." 

It's also faster and easier to update the iPad-based flights apps compared to the paper manuals.

Travel website Gadling stepped into the cockpit of an American Airlines to shoot this video of how the iPad is transforming the way we travel, even at the pointiest end of the plane. 

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1513

What I really cannont get is why they do not use their computer inside cabin? I mean - there are plenty of computer terminal in cockpit, so why it is imposible to invoke pre-flight check list and other nesesarily manual on those screens and instead using unreliable gadget? Obviously it is question not to crew and even not to carrier, but rather to manufacture.

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