Can a cockpit get any more high-tech? Apparently so.
Beginning later this month, Alaska Airlines will issue iPads to all its pilots.
There are a number of reasons for this, and one of them has to do with weight of the “print edition” flight manuals that most pilots currently use, and have to lug around; we are told the cumulative weight of these manuals is about 25 pounds or so. In contrast, an iPad weighs a mere 1.33 pounds.
We’ve also heard that using iPads will result in “fewer back and muscle injuries” to pilots because of the new light-weight electronic manuals, and I hope to learn more about this from Alaska (we’ve posed this and other queries to them and will update you when we hear back).
Q: Will they have to turn the iPad off during takeoffs and landing?
A. Yes, that’s what we hear
Q: What will the pilots do then?
A: Good question, and one that I asked Alaska. We’ll let you know what they say.
Q: Why an iPad and not some other tablet?
A: Because Apple needs the money? Probably not; let’s see what Alaska has to say.
Q: Will pilots be allowed to play Angry Birds in flight?
A: Uh…extremely doubtful, but again, we are seeking clarification on this.
Here’s a final clarification: If you want to learn when airfare prices go down for flights to that city you want to visit, sign up for FareCompare Airfare Alerts, and we’ll let you know in real-time.