Monday, May 30, 2011
ipads instead of flight manuals - alaska airlines
"Alaska Airlines is the first commercial airline to switch to paperless reference materials for pilots, replacing each flight bag with an iPad that contains hyperlinked colour PDF versions of 41 flight manuals, aeronautical navigation charts, systems reference cards, and other materials. the documents are navigable through the 'google reader' app.
Over the longterm, the project is expected to reduce paper and distribution costs (as the airline currently uses about 2.4 million pieces of paper on such materials), as well as reduce aircraft fuel consumption by the exchange of a 1.5-pound iPad for 25-pounds of reference manuals, and prevent back and muscle injuries to the pilots carrying the flight bags.
Alaska airlines notes that to respect safety, all pilots are still beholden to the FAA regulation preventing the use of class 1 electronic devices during takeoff and landing. with trial phases completed in winter and spring, the transition to paperless navigating is expected to be finished by mid-june." via DesignBoom.
I don't know how I feel about this. Yay for saving paper and less of a load to carry around, but relying fully on technology when flying a plane leaves me kind of uneasy. I think a good balance between human and machine is ideal. I just feel like we may be relying too heavily on the machine here and not giving enough importance to the human brain. As a result, the danger is that the human starts to trust the machine even if his instincts or knowledge tell him something else, or worse, getting used to not paying attention to instincts or knowledge at all.
hmmm...cool or not cool? What do you think?