Alaska Airlines is replacing its paper flight manuals with iPads. By mid-June all Alaskan Airline pilots will be issued their own iPads. The 1.5 pound tablets will replace the 25 pounds of paper flight manuals that the pilots are typically required to tote along with them when they fly.
Airlines have already gotten the go-ahead from the FAA to replace traditional flight manuals with iPads, Alaskan Airlines; however, will be the first U.S. Airline to do so. iPads will be outfitted with the GoodReader application, which will contain PDF versions of the 41 required manuals. Besides the obviously weight advantage, digital versions of the manuals can be updated much quicker than the traditional paper versions, where typically pilots would have to physically remove and replace single pages.
Operation “Bye, Bye, Flight Bag” is expected to save 2.4 million pieces of paper, offsetting the cost of the iPads with the paper savings over time, as well as the long-term fuel savings for the airline for removing the weight of the flight bag (which can often top 50 pounds).
Much like passengers, pilots will be required to power their iPads off and stow them during takeoff and landing of the aircraft.
What do you think about iPads replacing traditional paper flight manuals? Is it a good idea?