Qantas pilots are to be issued with iPads after the airline struck a deal with Telstra. Apple’s popular tablet will eventually be handed out to more than 2200 pilots, with those flying its 737 fleet to get the first batch in September.
The gadgets will be used on the flight deck to access charts, flight plans, manuals and other operational information. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
It is also expected to massively reduce the airline’s use of paper. Qantas currently prints 18,000 pages of flight operations every day but expects this will be reduced to 3000 pages once all of the iPads have been issued.
Each of the devices will have two apps installed that have been custom-built for the cockpit – one for charts designed by Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, the other developed internally by Qantas for all other information its pilots need to have at hand.
Alex Passerini, a Qantas technical pilot, said replacing cumbersome hard copies would save time, reduce costs and improve the airline’s use of resources.
“This initiative is a response to strong demand from our pilots for a simpler, more efficient system, and follows extensive testing and development work, including close consultation with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority,” Captain Passerini said in a statement.
Telstra’s group managing director for enterprise and government, Paul Geason, said the iPad program was a perfect example of how technology could improve productivity and efficiency.
It is expected to take about three or four weeks to get iPads into the hands of pilots on each Qantas fleet. Pilots will still carry some paperwork to the flight deck as they get to know the new systems.
Qantas has previously used Apple equipment as part of attempts to differentiate itself from rival airline Virgin Australia. It installed Mac computers in members’ lounges across the country in late 2010
could someone enlighten me as to what a 'technical pilot' is? The opposite of a "non"technical pilot. My guess is a pilot who is now a desk jockey and looks after all the "Technical"stuff like publications and other associated matters. I'm sure to be corrected if I have erred or been imprecise or a made a grammatical or spelling error.
Last edited by Bad Hat Harry; 13th Jul 2012 at 04:29.
A leap into the 21st Century! This app would be just the go to beat the ATC delays in SYD on a Friday arvo, or at PER any old day! Firemint » Flight Control HD for iPad Pick a slot and land when you see a gap. Seriously, aviation destroys complete forests everyday and 90% of it goes into the recycling bin, while the other 10% goes into a filing cabinet for 3 or 6 months, and then into the recycling bin! I've heard rumours around Ground Ops that we could be working with iPads/tablets for LIRs, notocs manifests etc. Of course they would need to be military grade construction to survive the Ramp, conditions can be nearly as tough as Afghanistan(without the IEDs and bullets)!!
PS I've seen some Atlas freighter crews using iPads, I believe the guys supply their own iPads and Co. supplies the apps (Jeppesen etc) and a Satellite wifi device. Not sure what they use to connect through but it could be Inmarsat SwiftBroadband uplink?? Anyone know the details?
Generally a Tech Pilot is concerned with any interface between pilots and technology.
They are usually the company point-of-contact with equipment manufacturers and regulators for technical issues. A bread-and-butter duty is to sift through service bulletins and re-publish relevant information in company pilot notices. For example, they would publish a notice for something like an FMC update that changes PFD indications, but wouldn't bother telling you about a seamless FADEC software upgrade.
They usually also deal with wide technical-regulatory issues, such as PBN or FANS, and try to become the Flight Department expert on related subjects through plenty of reading, attending OEM events, talking to experts and having access to detailed background material. They tend to look after things that aren't a personnel issue but are not strictly engineering either.
It can be a fairly narrow secondary duty or a very widespread full-time job depending on the company. I imagine the Tech Pilots at QF are kept pretty busy, and going to semi-paperless flightdeck would be a classic Tech Pilot project.
Jetstar were supposed to have them in February! How have QF solved the issue of attaching the ipad to the airframe when using them for approach charts? At Jetstar there was talk of military grade velcro.
Amasing how the issue of securing only comes up for something that is new. I'm sure that an ipad would do far less damage than a full book of Jeppersen approach plates floating around the flight desk.
Also, once the info in an FMS for a data base approach has been checked against the appropriate approach chart, why is there a need to refer to the chart during the actual approach, security blanket I guess.
The procedure altitude check at the FAF is checked in the data base prior to commencing the approach and is on the ND. Usually it is also on the altitude tape. It's a case of just remembering a what DME that point is if it is referenced to the DME.
What aircraft has FAF procedure altitude on the altitude tape? Why do you think both pilots are head down during the approach? What happens if the FMS stops functioning during the approach, what do you reference for the goaround - memory? Most pilots take their charts out of the book and they have a handy little clip so they are next to you on the window for reference. I have a feeling that VC9 might enjoy his approaches from the comfort of a flight sim and Ejectx3 flies aeroplanes for a living.
Location: I prefer to remain north of a direct line BNE-ADL
I would hazard a guess that you get the charts out in an unfamiliar airport but lets face it, run of the mill ports you can state the FAF height check and missed approach verbatim. Yes there will be secure locks and attachments for the Ipads, the only thing I am thinking is if you get into Unusual Attitudes the Ipad is going to orientate the charts upwards and it will really confuse you, how can you check the GP check height when the chart is inverted? Which means the aircraft is too I guess! lol.