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Apple’s iPad FAA certified, will help us fly the friendly skies

The next time you grumble about the digitization of our physical media world, just remember that every step away from the analog probably means at least a few trees are being saved. Considering how often we fly, this latest news could save a whole forest. Charter airline service Executive Jet Management has gotten the go-ahead from the Federal Aviation Administration to have its pilots use the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for iPad instead of paper charts for flights.

Jeppesen is the company that makes the “Jepp charts” used by pilots for pre- and in-flight planning and navigation. The company’s press release that the FAA authorization allows for the iPad app to be used as a “sole reference for electronic charts, even during taxi, takeoff and landing. The federal seal of approval comes after a three-month in-flight evaluation of the Jeppesen app

Pilots who tested the app reported back with positive stories to tell about how easy the app is to manage, read and use. The test included 55 pilots in all, flying 10 different aircraft in 250 total flights. Part of the process also included subjecting the iPad to a rapid decompression test starting at 51,000 feet, which it passed. For now the FAA authorization applies only to Executive Jet Management, but the warm reception given to the Jeppesen app by pilots indicates that it might not be so long before Apple’s tablet is helping us all fly the friendly skies.

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