Your average cockpit just got a bit more high tech. The Federal Aviation Administration is now permitting the use of tablet devices, such as iPads, instead of printed flight manuals during flights.
Traditional flight manuals, which until recently all planes had on board, often weigh in close to 40 pounds making them quite unwieldy to page through when a pilot must reference them mid-flight. iPads on the other hand, with their ability to link between sections quickly and provide full-color graphics, are expected to be much easier for pilots to utilize while on the job.
So far the iPad is the only device that has been approved for use in the air, but the new rule does allow for other tablet devices, like the Blackberry Playbook and Android Xoom. Alaska Airlines is expected to be the first commercial airline to use iPads, but many more carriers should follow suit soon.
What do think of pilots swapping their paper manuals for paperless tablets? Do you feel safer knowing your captain will be keeping their instructions stored electronically? Let us know with a comment below, or keep the conversation going on our Facebook page.
(Photo by JerandSar Gimbel)