Pilots to go Paperless

I have a love/hate relationship with flying. I love how fast I reach my destination (versus driving) but I hate the restrictions (like liquids) and all the baggage fees.

American Airlines has plans to ditch 35-lb paper flight manuals and replace them with 1.5 lb Apple iPads. This change is expected to save $1.2 million in fuel annually. A news release states that “By eliminating bulky flight bags filled with paper, (electronic flight bags) mean less weight for pilots to carry, reducing the possibility of injury on duty. In addition, they enable pilots to immediately download updates, rather than waiting for paper versions of required documents to be printed and distributed.”

The airline has run trials on flights from Los Angeles to Asia. The iPads are also equipped to provide an electronic tracking function for electronic charts. However, the FAA still requires pilots to carry a hard copy of the manual as a backup.

Reducing paper and fuel is great for the environment for obvious reasons, but does it compromise safety? Do you feel that the benefits to the environment outweigh the possible issues that may arise from moving from paper to iPads onboard planes? We all know that computers and cell phones malfunction at the most inopportune times. Tell me what you think.

Source: Earth911.com

Photo: faqs.org

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