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Electronic Flight Bags

  • Thread starter fokkerjet
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I've been tasked to get some information on EFB's, and I'm looking for some input from crew's that use these devices on a regular basis. From the GA side of the fence, Flight Option's seems to be the leader, with TAG jumping on the band wagon. Can I get some thoughts from you all? On the airline side, I don't know if any of you have gone this route yet, maybe jetBlue???? but I'd like to hear from you if you have.

Thanks for the help.
Jetblue has some limited stuff. FedEx is fairly cutting edge on the performance and maintenance side but waiting FAA approval for the rest. FAA AC on the subject should be out now. Last I heard it was going to reflect the ALPA and ATA (FedEx lead) view on the topic. Boeing/Jepp has a nice product but pricey also.
Also, Avionics Magazine has had some good articles on the topic the past couple of months.

SWA has an onboard performance computer. I'm sure an SWA guy can tell you more, but basically it can do all of the performance calculations, tailored v-speeds, enroute performance (driftdown etc). Its the entire performance data and gross weights manual, in a computer.

It's about the size of a laptop, in a padded case, and you touch the screen with a stylus to make the entries. It slides into a holder behind the F/Os seat (at least on the airplane I was riding) to draw power from the A/C for its battery.

When we could ride up front offline, I was jumpseating an SWA -300 RDUTPA, and the crew was showing it to me, and even let me play with a bit enroute. Very cool.

UAL was looking (several years ago anyway, not sure now) at making the FOM in an electronic version. Color me old fashioned, but in somethings, I just prefer paper, that way I can make my own margin notes, even if revisions get to be a pain in the arse.
The SWA laptop was based on the FedEx one, actually. FedEx is now replacing those with one that does a lot more features.
Our performance data is done on a laptop issued to every pilot at jetBlue. The laptop also has our FOM, ops specs, and all other company manuals and information notices. We update everything in just a few minutes before we go fly. The company is committed to replacing paper Jepps with an electronic options and we are working with vendors and the FAA to get something that works for us and is acceptable to the FAA. Our Chief of Standards is the point man for these initiatives.
It would be nice to see this stuff develop faster. I guess some of our flight ops boys visited Jet Blue to see how their laptops were working, one of our problems is that our Jepps are tailored for AA, and it would be a little more difficult and costly to do it. We are also not exactly sitting with extra cash for these special projects.


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