The FAA has today announced that it will finally allow the use of certain electronic devices during all phases of flight — including takeoff and landing. We’ve long been able to use devices while the plane is in the air, but you’ll no longer be forced to turn them off and put them away at certain times.
JetBlue is the latest airline to ditch its flight manuals for iPads. The budget airline received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to give its pilots custom-equipped iPads to replace heavy paper manuals and serve real-time information to the cockpit during the flight.
Over 60 pilots have been involved during the trial phases of JetBlue’s iPad program, but JetBlue will give all 2,500 pilots a fourth-gen 16GB Wifi-only iPad. The company has been approved to use PC-based laptops in the cockpit for 10 years now, but the company says the iPad will offer new capabilities as JetBlue implements Ka-Band satellite Wifi.
Australian airline Qantas has always been quick to embrace new technology. Back in October 2010, it became one of the first airlines to offer iPads as in-flight entertainment systems, and one of the first to embrace Passbook last November.
Today the company launched a new iPhone app that allows users to search and book flights, find accommodation and store digital boarding passes in Passbook.
When iHome designed their Smart Brief computer bag ($99), they had the good idea to create a product with pockets for all of today’s modern-day computing devices and accessories. Problem is, like every good idea turned product, execution is everything, and that’s where the Smart Brief starts to get a little lackluster.
No one likes turning off their portable electronics on a flight during takeoff and landing, especially if they’re as harmless as an iPod or an e-reader. And the rule if often the subject of debate as we all become more reliant on these devices on a daily basis.
Thankfully, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now ready to reconsider the rule, and it’s asking passengers, flight attendants, airlines, and the makers of electronic devices for their opinion. Tell the FAA you think the rule is silly and you could help towards getting it abolished.
Earlier this week, we reported on the move by Australian airline Qantas to swap out the 1,300 BlackBerries used by its staff (and the related infrastructure) in favor of iPhones. It looks like Qantas is doubling down on Apple and iOS. The airline also announced this week that it will begin offering streaming entertainment on iPads across all the planes in its fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft.
Qantas is launching the new service, which it has dubbed QStreaming, following a successful trial of the service earlier this year.
An Australian airline revealed in a press release last week that one of its cabin crew was forced to extinguish an iPhone 4 that very nearly burst into flames shortly after the plane touched down in Sydney. As it turns out, that certainly won’t be the last iPhone to self combust.
An iPhone 4 user in Brazil has experienced a similar scenario with his own handset. While charging just inches away from his face, the device began emitting plumes of smoke and caught fire.