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iPads for Alaska

InTransit

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Alaska Airlines Pilots Go Lean And Green With iPads

First major domestic airline to use iPads to replace flight manuals
5/27/2011 9:12 a.m.

SEATTLE — As part of an ongoing effort to use technology to enhance flight safety, improve efficiency and protect the environment, Alaska Airlines is issuing iPad tablet computers to its pilots. The 1½-pound iPads replace up to 25 pounds of paper flight manuals that pilots are required to carry when they fly.

The iPads are being distributed to all Alaska Airlines pilots, a process that will be complete by mid-June. This follows a successful trial by 100 line and instructor pilots and Air Line Pilots Association representatives, who evaluated the feasibility of using iPads as electronic flight bags this past winter and spring.

Alaska Airlines is the first major domestic airline to use the iPad to replace paper manuals.

"We've been exploring the idea of an electronic flight bag for several years, but never found a device we really liked," said Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines' vice president of flight operations. "When the iPad hit the market, we took one look at it and said this is the perfect fit."

The iPads contain an app called GoodReader that is loaded with PDF versions of 41 flight, systems and performance manuals, reference cards, and other materials. The electronic manuals include hyperlinks and color graphics, enabling pilots to find information faster and easier. Updating these reference materials can now be accomplished with one tap on the iPad screen instead of the former, labor-intensive process of replacing individual pages with new ones. The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

In conjunction with replacing paper manuals, Alaska Airlines is exploring the replacement of paper aeronautical navigation charts with electronic versions on the iPad, eliminating the need for every pilot to carry their own copy. The two initiatives, dubbed "Bye, Bye, Flight Bag," will save about 2.4 million pieces of paper.

The cost of the project is expected to be offset by lower paper, printing and distribution expenses and reduced fuel consumption as some weight is removed from the aircraft. Further savings are expected from fewer back and muscle injuries caused by pilots carrying flight bags that can tip the scales at 50 pounds or more fully loaded.

Note to news media: A high-resolution photograph of an Alaska pilot with the iPad on the flight deck of a Boeing 737 is available in the airline's online newsroom image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve 90 cities throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
 

densoo

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Kudos! Now that's the way to get IPads. Spin it into a publicity feel good green issue. Very smart. And in some ways, it is in fact green. Now they've to figure out how to greenly dispose of thousands of circuit boards when the time comes.
 

whatitdoing?

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CAL has been working on this for years. They STILL can't make a decision. Another reason why this place blows..............
 

COpilot

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Latest from CAL; we're going with some other tablet. Just like us, everyone in GA, now ALK find Apple to be best in class; but NO, not us.

Oh well, better than paper I guess.
 

Hutchman

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Latest from CAL; we're going with some other tablet. Just like us, everyone in GA, now ALK find Apple to be best in class; but NO, not us.

Oh well, better than paper I guess.

I'm sure management does find it best in class. That is why Cal will never have them. We have to remain below our peers at all times to conserve management BONE-US esses.
 

whatitdoing?

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I'm sure management does find it best in class. That is why Cal will never have them. We have to remain below our peers at all times to conserve management BONE-US esses.


No sheaot!!! CAL has really been a disappointment for the last 4 years.
 

xjgearbtch

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The Pinnacle, Mesaba, Colgan, dysfunctional family is getting them to. We just go the memo. I can't wait to ditch this 50lbs flight case!!!!!
 

ImbracableCrunk

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But will it have a special hook to hang on the V-speed card hanger?
 

B747FR8DAWG

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Maybe an Alaska pilot can answer this question for me? Is there a mount that was fabricated to hang your ipad on the control colum or side window?

Our company (Atlas) is also exploring the use of iPads in the cockpit.
 

Fubijaakr

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Not yet.
 

Tarquinn

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Maybe an Alaska pilot can answer this question for me? Is there a mount that was fabricated to hang your ipad on the control colum or side window?

Our company (Atlas) is also exploring the use of iPads in the cockpit.


They're looking into a bracket that attaches to the side window with suction cups, but last I heard there were problems with the ipad overheating when the sun was coming through the glass. The window heat probably doesn't help.
 

igneousy2

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Right now we are only using the manuals for "non-Jepps" manuals (everything else) In order to use the ipads for primary nav reference they will have to figure out a mounting method.

The ipads make cost sense even without ever using them for Jepps. For pilots, if we don't get Jepp approval, it only takes one binder out of our flight case.
 

WarnerNo13

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Right now we are only using the manuals for "non-Jepps" manuals (everything else) In order to use the ipads for primary nav reference they will have to figure out a mounting method.

The ipads make cost sense even without ever using them for Jepps. For pilots, if we don't get Jepp approval, it only takes one binder out of our flight case.

I saw the news report on USA Today, with the pilot saying that the devices will be shut off below FL100. If these are to replace the Jepps, what's the point really if they are off? I envisioned them replacing clipped Jepp charts on the yoke for approach and landing. Can you provide some insight?
 

Dash8don

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I saw the news report on USA Today, with the pilot saying that the devices will be shut off below FL100. If these are to replace the Jepps, what's the point really if they are off? I envisioned them replacing clipped Jepp charts on the yoke for approach and landing. Can you provide some insight?

The first step is to replace carrying our paper copies of the Flight Ops manual (Capt) and Flight Handbook (FO) with the iPad. Right now we still have to carry our paper manuals and iPad during a 6 month period. They would like to use the iPad for Jepps but there are some hurdles they have to get through first: Mounting, Power Cords, Auto Shutoff, etc. Once they solve those problems, get it FAA approved and probably go through some sort of trial period, they will remove the 10,000' restriction. The possibilities are endless with the thing. I think it will be really nice, but this is definitely version 1.0.
 

WarnerNo13

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The first step is to replace carrying our paper copies of the Flight Ops manual (Capt) and Flight Handbook (FO) with the iPad. Right now we still have to carry our paper manuals and iPad during a 6 month period. They would like to use the iPad for Jepps but there are some hurdles they have to get through first: Mounting, Power Cords, Auto Shutoff, etc. Once they solve those problems, get it FAA approved and probably go through some sort of trial period, they will remove the 10,000' restriction. The possibilities are endless with the thing. I think it will be really nice, but this is definitely version 1.0.

Got it! I was assuming that any trials were over since they were approved for use, but sounds like there is a ways to go. Great start though and a long overdue use of tech for the cockpit and burdensome books. I'm wondering if the iPad will be the only deviced used or if some other airlines will use a cheaper, Android based model in the future. If these prove successful who's to say that future cockpits don't have these built in!
 

igneousy2

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Got it! I was assuming that any trials were over since they were approved for use, but sounds like there is a ways to go. Great start though and a long overdue use of tech for the cockpit and burdensome books. I'm wondering if the iPad will be the only deviced used or if some other airlines will use a cheaper, Android based model in the future. If these prove successful who's to say that future cockpits don't have these built in!

They already do have them built in but ipads cost hundreds...Boeing charges tens-of-thousands. This is actually the cheaper alternative.
 

Ralph Cramden

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If I may be so bold as to offer advice to the iPad toting Alaska drivers, don't throw away your paper manuals after the end of the test period. All those margin notes and flagged pages are going to go poof and never return!

Yes, GoodReader has annotation capabilities, but as your updates will most likely come as complete new files, you will not be able to save your notes from update to update.

Another fun fact is manuals get much fatter when removed from the requirement of being printed on paper and delivered to your V file. In black shirt land we have some manuals that are over 1000 pages! Finding anything quickly, even with the search function is frustrating.

With all our manuals on our EFBs and on our company issued memory sticks, I would still be better off with a paper MEL to use while on duty. Many of us carry paper cheat sheets to refer to for the things we look up all the time.
 
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Dash8don

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RC-I agree with you on the annotation capabilities. Many of us have that same concern. I hadn't thought about the increase of information, they just simplified our paper manuals a few years ago, but that wouldn't surprise me.
 
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