Unloading Airplanes: Replacing Bulky Flight Bags with iPad

Airline PilotAirline pilots used to carry bulky, black flight bags to the cockpit. These bags contain about 40 pounds of reference materials, from the operating manual and log books to navigation charts and safety checklists. Thanks to technology, that is all part of the past. Today, instead of that hefty weight, pilots bring a 1.5-pound iPad loaded with all the files they need for the flight.

Here are the main benefits of an iPad or electronic flight bag:

1. Quick Access to Information

The iPad used by pilots not only contain necessary documents but also helpful aviation apps from software providers like My Flight Solutions. With these tools, pilots and the flight crew obtain the information they need more easily. They no longer have to spend three to five minutes fumbling with their papers just to make one important decision during the flight.

2. Automatic Updates

As opposed to the paper manuals pilots have to replace each time new regulations are released, e-manuals are automatically updated. Pilots don’t have to go through a complex search on their chunk of flight bags for sections they need to replace. In addition, e-manuals help pilots get news and knowledge on the latest developments and rules in the industry — a significant aspect of their profession.

3. Less Fuel Needed

True, a 40-pound flight bag may not sound heavy, but at 35,000 feet high, everything goes against gravity. So yes, weight matters up there. With an iPad, 40 to 60 pounds of paper is removed from the cockpit. Since the planes are much lighter, this is significant savings, not only on printing costs and paper usage but also on fuel.

With the benefits of using an iPad or an electronic flight bag, looks like the aviation industry will no longer go back to paper manuals. This is good news for everyone: the pilots, the airlines, and the environment, as well!