Jump to content

Ipads In The Cockpit

Recommended Posts

Similar to the Paper Maps vs GPS (or Charts, for anyone who's been in that topic):

Curious to see what everyone's opinion about this apparent new trend. Coming from the f/w side at school, we hear stories all the time coming out of the US about companies switching to iPads, raving about ease of use and access to charts/approach plates/etc without having to drag all of it along.

I hadn't thought a lot about it on the rotary side of things, but on a trip to Florida had a chance to go to an open house at an airport, and the Sarasota Sheriff Department had a 407 with an actual bracket installed to hold an iPad in the cockpit. Pilot was convinced it was the best thing since sliced bread and then some; both for police specific tasks (beside the point) as well as pilot tasks (entirely the point).


I'm sure there's going to be a lot of 'always have paper copies', and I think that's a pretty established point that most of us agree with; but considering it as a supplement rather than a replacement, I'd love to hear what people think about the usefulness of it in the cockpit or if it's too much of a distraction in your opinion.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pilots have had distractions in the cockpit forever I think, it is not the distraction that is the issue, it is the amount of discipline the pilot has to use the visual aid at the appropriate time. I used to hear of pilots using the kodiak system and messaging the coordinator while flying. I found this out by following a pilot on a job and the coordinator getting on the radio to say that I had just flown thru a no fly zone and why didn't I see the message he sent. My reply was that was waiting for a map of the job still and did not fly with my head down staring at the screen and that if he saw I was going into a no fly to radio me before hand and that once I had a map would be more diligent. Recently I was told of a pilot on a power line patrol texting while flying the patrol. The folks who design and build these items tend to sit behind a computer and try to make our job easier by designing their tool to do everything for us. But truly we only need assistance to do our job while maintaining a visual awareness of what is going on outside. The design that has least detail on the aid the better it is in my opinion. There is some basic issue with touch screens in that you cannot wear gloves, this is something that I believe goes against safety if the crew are wearing gloves.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would expect this topic to be controversial.


In my opinion, tablets are changing a lot of the ways that we organize and access information and it is just a matter of time before a similar tool becomes mainstream in the cockpit. The reality is that the hardware is much more powerful and flexible than any aviation gps is or ever will be. The R&D money put into tablets is more than Garmin could ever dream of having. Tablets are only limited in what they have available for software and that is evolving all the time. Imagine having large, updated, detailed maps in front of you all the time, overlay-ed with all of your flight information, duty day, access to an updated CFS, flight manual, and weather all intuitively at your fingertips. I understand there will be challenges (gloves, size, legality) but those wont hold it back forever.


One of my major customers this winter uses their own ipads for navigating their aerial wildlife surveys and it is very effective. It is very new technology and there are still some bugs being worked out, but in time I don't see any reason why with the right app, it wouldn't be a very effective tool for pilots too. If Garmin wants to survive, its my opinion their only option will be to focus their R&D on making powerful, intuitive navigation software.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Battery life - 9 hours - no cables trailing in the cockpit - big screen - more useable than any GPS I can think of. Cougar already have their ship's documents on them. Or rather 2 of them in case someone sits on one.


The one piece of software that is the icing on the cake is aeroweather - with 3G you don't even need a wifi connection to get your weather anytime.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...