A private pilot is using an iPad to help stay on course, in addition to the standard navigation system.
Jeff Curl has loaded up his iPad with worldwide charts and says it helps him make better decisions in the air.
“I can see the route structure and see what kind of rate I want to file, I can also pull up my radar and see I don’t want to go straight, I’ve got a huge line of thunderstorms,” he said.
Pilots have been enthusiastic about the iPad and its ability to display radar and satellite weather maps in rich color, whether in the boardroom or on the ramp. The device can download and store charts, approach plates, taxi diagrams and checklists—or entertain passengers with an in-flight movie.
While the FAA has several pilot programs using the iPad for air traffic organization and understands the value of the “paperless cockpit,” it’s going to be awhile before it approves iPads as more than a helping hand on board.
Although he loves the iPad, Curl keeps a stack of paper maps handy.
“There are reports some people have had trouble with them overheating and, obviously, that’s a very big safety issue for us, I’m not going to jump on any technology that hasn’t gone through testing,” he said.