The iPad flight bag essentially swaps 40 pounds of flight manuals, maps, other bulky documents with an iPad for each pilot and a Hypermac backup battery that extends the iOS tablet’s battery life an extra 24 hours.
Since both pilots will be carrying an iPad, coupled with the extended batteries, the FAA feels this is as redundant as the regular manuals. A few weeks ago we saw our first mounts in our MD-80, so I felt a video tour might explain how the setup works and just what it replaces. So far American has approval for the 777, 737, MD-80 and is just awaiting approval for the 757/767 fleet. Hopefully, this will be just in time for my return to that airplane, as once you use this setup, you won’t want to go back to the paper.
American Airlines was the first to get official authorization for all pilots during phases of flight, but it had to test the iPad in a hypobaric chamber to get approval. The test basically simulated how the device would respond during a rapid decompression. The company also had to conduct mount testing with the FAA.
Watch the video above to see American Airlines’ iPad Electronic Flight Bag in action.