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American Airlines Goes All-in with iPads for Pilots

September 19, 2012 at 9:38 AM | by | ()

These are United pilots, but you get the idea

We might have missed something, but we’re pretty sure American Airlines was low on cash and filed for bankruptcy not too long ago. That hasn't stopped them from spending, as they’ve ordered a whole bunch of new planes and even have been giving away trips to meet Michael Bublé.

Their latest purchase? iPads! Other carriers have been pretty quick to adopt the iPad, but now it looks like American Airlines is ready to jump right into the tablet world. The plan is for pilots to shelf all the traditional paper-based materials, as it’s now going to all be on the company-issued iPad.

The FAA is totally cool with it, so we’d expect to see even more airlines making the switch soon. The iPad will just be part of the airline’s new electronic flight bag, but the big news is how much weight this new technology is going to save. Reducing the weight of these bags from around 35 pounds to like almost no pounds is going to save a lot jet fuel—maybe even $1.2 million worth.

Pilots heading back and forth aboard Boeing 777s will be the first to ditch their old charts and paperwork, and American Airlines is hoping all planes will be set by the end of the year. The carrier is even halting revisions and updates to some of the traditional paper materials as soon as next year, so it’s clear the iPad is here to stay.

Flight attendants might even be the next ones to get access to iPads, but unfortunately it doesn’t sound like there any plans to pass ‘em out to coach passengers anytime soon—bummer.

[Photo of another iPad up front: Delwin Steven Campbell]

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