American Airlines Pilots to Use iPads in Cockpits, Passengers Must Still Turn Them Off
December 14, 2011 10:21 AM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: NBC Universal)
Shutting down electronics while a plane was landing or taking off was always critical, but the FAA now says otherwise -- for pilots
Sorry, Alec Baldwin; you
still can't play Words with Friends
while a plane prepares for takeoff, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided Tuesday that only American Airlines pilots in the cockpit can use mobile electronics during that time.
The FAA doesn't allow passengers to use mobile electronics such as smartphones, tablets or Kindles during takeoff or landing because the use of such devices could interfere with sensitive electronics running the plane. They must wait until the plane reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet. However, the FAA announced Tuesday that American Airlines pilots in the cockpit no longer had to use paper flight mauals during those times, but could use iPads instead.
The FAA made this decision after
conducting a test of the use of electronics
in the cockpit, in an effort to potentially replace the use of paper manuals and charts. But some are wondering why a similar test couldn't have been carried out for passengers.
The New York Times
called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements. The FAA said this is not true because passengers are still allowed to have books and magazines during those times.
The FAA responded to critics of the new rule by saying that only two
will be allowed in the cockpit; one for each pilot.
"This involves a significantly different scenario for potential interference than unlimited passenger use, which could involve dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time," said the FAA.
It seems the FAA has a point, but critics still point out that the two iPads in the cockpit will be inches away from the sensitive airplane electronics in question.
The New York Times
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
12/14/2011 10:33:43 AM
Any idea if these will just be standard iPads with radios turned off in airplane mode or have they been customized in some way? Perhaps a lead case would be useful although that destroys the weight benefit from getting rid of paper manuals. Kidding aside, by only using iPads locked down to a flight manual app they should be able to profile all the emissions coming from the device to know if they are of a type or strength to interfere with other electronics. Something allowing a smorgasbord of different devices and configurations wouldn't be able to determine.
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