The dangers of iPads in the cockpit

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I’d call it the dangers of loose items in cockpit and it’s a problem almost as old as aviation itself. I say almost, because the early cockpits were so open they could hardly contain anything that wasn’t strapped down.
The problem is that these tablets are useful tools in this day and age and they are popular personal devices.

I remember when we started to use ours. It took the engineering department quite some time to get the technical directives in order, to install the mounts and power supply.

I don’t know if the ipad, in this particular accident, was approved for use or if it was a personal item, nor do I know how it was mounted. But the report is indeed a reminder of the importance of stowing your gear…

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When my dad was at Da Nang in ‘68, he lost a good friend to a loose flashlight that got wedged at the top rear of his ejection seat during negative G maneuvers while on a mission. It fired him through the canopy of an F-4C during taxi. Unfortunately, he didn’t survive.

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Ouch! Yeah, loose items in cockpit is a big riskfactor.

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Worth watching as a reminder of how:

“Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” - Alfred Lamplugh

A tragic accident, caused by a tiny little accidental iPad drop. Something to be more conscious of in our cockpits. At my work we have company-issued ones that we use for W&B and Takeoff/Climb/Landing perf calculations, but they’re used mostly prior to takeoff and once again during the descent (everything else we could possibly want is in the panel, G5000 spoils us).

We don’t have mounts for them, but do have perfect little side pockets they’re stowed in, and our Ops Specs/EFB program require they be be stowed during all critical phases of flight (IE, takeoff, approach/landing), but that doesn’t preclude the possibility that one could be dropped, slide under the rudder pedals somehow, and be unreachable the rest of the flight. This is something I’ll be discussing with the rest of the pilot group as a result of this accident, to see if we can come up with a way to do things better.

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In all our flight decks we carry a very stout “Thermal Containment Bag” (TCB) just in case a ped or ipad decides to go Chernobyl. (Or maybe everyone does. Is that a regulation now or just a company thing? Old man moment.)

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I don’t think so, but we have them too.

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We have them too after all the Samsungs started burning up. Phone goes (hopefully!) into the bag, then bag into an ice drawer in the galley, which is all SS lined.

I actually got to see an iPhone go nuclear a few years ago. Pretty amazing how much thermal energy is stored in those tiny batteries, how much fire and smoke it produced. When it went underwater, it continued to burn/smolder for about an hour, and would relight when occasionally removed. It was very eye-opening: we’re all carrying a devil in our pockets! :open_mouth:

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Reminds me of that A-10 pilot’s story, when they crossed the Atlantic and his lunch box hit the switch for the pitot tube de-icing during turbulence. Which in turn led to some… suboptimal flying.

Always sad when it costs aircraft, or even worse lives.

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Back in the early 2000s when I was learning to fly gliders in Taupo and staying on the airfield, I helped them run their tourist flights. The big things were cameras placed in that perfect spot between the seat and the stick; and thongs (the things that go on your feet), which so many tourists wore and which were sure to come off and get caught up in the rudder pedals.

A key part of the briefing was taking their loose footwear off them and telling them not to place anything between the seat and the stick, since the pilot would need to get the stick back to land. iPads are big enough to cause real problems in the cockpit - nasty.

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