Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Distracted Pilots?

I've covered Distracted Drivers, and Distracted Doctors so far. I don't want to leave out the potential for Distracted Pilots.

The Allied Pilots Association requested from the FAA permission to use iPADs and similar tablets in the cockpit to replace what are known as "Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs)". The FAA granted permission to conduct a six month long feasibility test.

While the goal of replacing heavy and bulky, and out of date as soon as they are printed, paper charts and other required documents, is admirable. I have to wonder what the unintended consequences will be. Paper is simply not prone to spreading electronic virus, and is somewhat limited in what you can do with it as far as distractions go (Paper Airplanes in the Airplane?). The batteries in paper also never go dead.

It is also not clear if this is a case of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work, with who knows what applications are loaded, or a locked down company supplied device from the information I could find.

On the upside maybe a iWhatsIt can be pressed into service when the autopilot fails...