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iPads in the Cockpit? There’s a Session for That

October 22, 2012

NBAA Flight Plan about the NBAA2012 session called “iPads in the Cockpit.”

If you were to look into the cockpit of a business aircraft in flight, chances are pretty good that on the pilot’s lap you would see an iPad rather than a paper chart. Tablet devices and the accompanying applications are revolutionizing aviation, and nowhere will that be more evident than at NBAA’s 65th Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2012) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, later this month.

Sarah Wilson at is not only aware of the trend, she’s counting on it. “Everyone is looking for iPad apps,” she said. Her company, which incorporates tablet computer applications into its web-based flight planning software, now claims 50,000 users. is one of several vendors that provide tablet computer apps to be featured in education sessions at NBAA2012.’s growth is indicative of the interest that paperless cockpit systems have generated within the industry over the past two years. It is a technology that continues to evolve.

“We are always improving things on the app and adding features,” Wilson explained. “Coming soon, we’ll have ADS-B support. We have agreements with (several providers) to work with their new ADS-B receivers. Also, we’ll be working with XM weather.”

The proliferation of both tablet computers and apps in the cockpit has led the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue new information on their use, according to Scott O’Brien of NBAA's Operations Division.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of operators who are using iPads and other tablet devices. The number of Part 135 operators that are seeking FAA approval to use these types of devices has increased significantly,” O’Brien said. “So FAA is out now with a major update to the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Circular (AC 120-76B) that includes a lot of new information. While much of it is aimed at certificated operators, large and turbine-powered, multi-engine aircraft operators that fall under Part 91F of the FARs are advised to document compliance with a number of items in the AC.”

At NBAA2012, Members will find updates in a variety of topics related to EFB applications and platforms.

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, Members will have a chance to hear from some of the biggest players in the EFB market at a session called “iPads in the Cockpit.” Presenters will include Ken Wilson from; Jeff Buhl of Jeppesen Aviation; Hilton Goldstein from Wing X Pro; and Tyson Weihs of ForeFlight. The 90-minute session will focus on new developments aimed specifically at business aviation operators and on FAA regulatory guidance on EFBs.

Also on Tuesday, Jeppesen will sponsor “Mobile on the Move,” an interactive look into maximizing the use of mobile technology in daily business aviation flight operations.

Later Tuesday afternoon, Rick Malczynski of, along with Cyndi Nadeau of Key Air, will share their solutions for iPad cockpit use in a session titled “Training Solutions for Flight Deck iPad Implementation.”

“This is a chance to learn about the latest apps and hardware, but it’s also a chance to learn about best practices when it comes to the use of electronic flight bags in the cockpit,” O’Brien said. “These education sessions will provide business aircraft operators the tools to both make the most of this rapidly advancing technology and understand where FAA stands on use of devices such as the iPad, so this is very timely, very valuable information.”