Alaska Airlines pilots are switching from paper to iPads in the cockpit, a move the airline says could save pilots from muscle and back strain from lugging around heavy flight bags.
The Seattle-based carrier says it's the first major domestic airline to use the iPad to replace the heavy paper -- the 24-ounce iPads should be distributed to all Alaska pilots by mid June.
According to airlines, a move to digital tech will replace 25 pounds of paper flight manuals pilots currently have to stuff in their flight bags.
The airline says the pilot iPads have an app called "GoodReader" that's loaded with PDF versions of 41 flight, systems and performance manuals and reference cards.
As part if Alaska's "Bye, Bye, Flight Bag" initiative, the airline says it also is replacing paper aeronautical navigation charts with electronic versions on the iPad.
Here're more details, from Alaska:
The electronic manuals include hyperlinks and color graphics, enabling pilots to find information faster and easier. Updating these reference materials can now be accomplished with one tap on the iPad screen instead of the former, labor-intensive process of replacing individual pages with new ones. The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.