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Transportation Media Apple

Alaska Airlines Jettisons Paper Manuals For iPads 220

fullymodo writes "Alaska Airlines has become the first major US airline to hop on board the paperless bandwagon. While it's not quite ready to ditch paper navigation charts just yet (though that is under consideration), the airline has announced that it will be replacing its traditional flight manuals with iPads, which will be loaded up with the GoodReader app and PDFs of 41 different manuals and other materials.' So explain why I have to shut off my non-wi-fi-capable ebook reader during take-off and landing?"
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Alaska Airlines Jettisons Paper Manuals For iPads

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  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @01:41PM (#36274406)

    So explain why I have to shut off my non-wi-fi-capable ebook reader during take-off and landing?

    If the plane has a bird strike and has to ditch in the Hudson, they don't want you to miss announcements because you're busy flinging Angry Birds. It's not about the electronics, it's about them having your attention during the two parts of flight where all the crashes happen.

  • Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @01:52PM (#36274486)

    So explain why I have to shut off my non-wi-fi-capable ebook reader during take-off and landing?

    One, I'm sure they tested that model of iPad thoroughly in their cockpit to make sure it didn't interfere with anything. They also know they weren't modified an any way that could generate additional RF. They didn't test your gadget, and they don't want to take any chances.

    Two, people are far more willing to accept small risks when there's a tangible benefit. Switching to iPads saves weight, and thus money. Letting you use your device during take-off and landing doesn't benefit them at all.

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @01:53PM (#36274494)

    It's right there in the article, fullymodo.

    'The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.'

    So your book reader has to be stowed and this iPad is too.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @02:08PM (#36274600)

    The definition of the various electronics classes doesn't have much to do with electromagnetic radiation. They primarily are related to the physical design of the gear and how it's mechanically interfaced with the aircraft.

    Class 1: Anything commercial off-the-shelf and not purpose-built for the plane is Class 1 and must be stowed during takeoff and landing, because they're loose equipment and can become a hazard in turbulence. (Even these iPads have to be put away during takeoff and landing.

    Class 2: Can be off-the-shelf or purpose built, but it has to be bolted down using a certified mounting or a kneeboard. You don't have to stow a class 2 during takeoff and landing.

    Class 3: Installed in the plane, subject to airworthiness certification and the hardware has to be designed for the purpose. Only class 3 EFB gear has to be tested for radio emissions.

  • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @02:24PM (#36274712)

    My friend's Dad was an engineer at Boeing and tested exactly this. Beyond old planes (DC-9 and older), electronics were not a problem, as everything was shielded enough not to interfere. But people have a hard time understanding "you can do it on this plane, but not on that one" if they are used to a behavior.

    Cell phones are a problem for the cell towers, not the planes. The number of handoffs that happen on calls from the air is pretty bad.

  • Re:Why PDF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fnordulicious ( 85996 ) on Saturday May 28, 2011 @02:45PM (#36274848) Homepage

    Navigation charts are bigger and more detailed than what could fit on a single screen, so scrolling is necessary anyway. The navigation plates (terminal procedures, approach, departure, etc.) can fit all on a screen and for the US all of them are already available as PDFs. Here’s an example iPad app that Googling produced: []

We can defeat gravity. The problem is the paperwork involved.