FAA-BS: Pilots can use iPad but I can’t!

December 14th, 2011

I’ve bitched about this a lot. Now, the TImes Bits Blog asks the same question!

The Federal Aviation Administration said that pilots on American Airlines flights would be allowed to use iPads instead of paper flight manuals in the cockpit starting Friday, even during takeoff and landing. But, passengers are still required to shut down anything with the slightest electronic pulse from the moment a plane leaves the gate until it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The rule barring passengers from using a Kindle or iPad or even a calculator were made to protect the electronics of an aircraft from interference. Pilots with iPads will be enclosed in the cockpit just a few inches from critical avionics on a plane.

There s some thought that the rule disallowing devices during takeoff and landing was made to insure passengers paid attention. The F.A.A. has never claimed this either. (If this was the case, passengers would not be allowed to have books, magazines or newspapers during takeoff and landing.)


Yet in a statement issued to The New York Times, the F.A.A. said that it conducted ”rigorous testing of any electronic device proposed for use in the cockpit as an electronic flight bag, in lieu of paper navigation charts and manuals.”

The F.A.A. did not say why the testing that has been used for pilots could not also be used to test seating area so passengers could use iPads and Kindles, too.

Bull. Shit. Let me use my phone during takeoff and landing. I’ve flown a lot recently. Those 15 minutes or so when I can’t use my devices fell so unproductive. Horrid.