EJM Embraces the iPad - Who'll Be Next?

FAA OK's NetJets' Executive Jet Management division to use Jeppesen iPad chart apps.

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Executive Jet Management, the charter and management division of NetJets, has received FAA approval to use Apple iPads running the Jeppesen Mobile TC app as an alternative to carrying paper charts. The authorization is a first for a large Part 135 charter operator, but is probably only the first of many. EJM pilots flew with iPads during a three-month evaluation period during which they carried paper charts as a backup. EJM's iPads are considered Class 1 portable electronic flight bags, a kneeboard EFB that pilots can use during all phases of flight including takeoff and landing. Information from the evaluation will also be used in gaining "future authorization for Class 2 mounted configurations" of the iPad in EJM airplanes, the company said. A total of 55 pilots and 10 different aircraft types from the EJM fleet were involved in 250 flight segments. To win the FAA's blessing allowing use of iPads in a commercial operation, EJM performed a rapid decompression test on the unit to 51,000 feet as well as non-interference testing. The approval could mean it's only a matter of time before NetJets pilots are issued iPads as well. Jeppesen, a division of Boeing, plans to target its iPad apps to the lucrative world airline market. Meanwhile, ForeFlight, a maker of popular flight planning and charter viewing apps, has added geo-referenced approach plates and airport diagrams to its Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch apps, allowing users to view own-ship position in flight and during taxi.