Everyone’s looking for an excuse to get their hands on an iPad these days. It seems like Christmas came early for United Airlines pilots, with their announcement that they are committing to a full transition from flight bags to iPads ($499.00), 11,000 of them to be exact. Conventionally, pilots have to carry around this 38 pound flight bag full of paper operating manuals, navigation charts, reference handbooks, flight checklists, logbooks, weather information and other crap they are forced to carry with them on every flight they go on.
So the choice between encumbering your pilot with paper he would have to sift through or giving them a 1.5 pound iPad that can search for anything at the touch of a screen, the decision was easy. Not only will they be shaving 76 pounds on their net weight, but United Airlines will be saving the 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot that was previously used, which translates to nearly 16 million sheets a year, or 1,900 trees a year, or 326,000 gallons of jet fuel per year. Oh and it reduces gas emissions by 3,208 metric tons…per year. All this from taking 76 pounds off a plane? What else can we throw off to help save the planet? How bout that guy sitting in front of you who thinks they can just fully recline their seat as if your knees have no sensation for pain. Or that guy that uses the airplane’s bathroom the entire flight. Yeah, him too! All in the name of the environment, of course. To replace this excessive amount of paper information the iPads will be equipped with Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck, a free app that requires a paid subscription to Jeppesen’s services. Pilots are now free from clutter and papercuts and now have easy access to their “necessary” data at all times.