BBC: “American Airlines planes grounded by iPad app error”

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Many airlines have moved away from paper manuals and equipped pilots with iPads or other tablets. This makes updating instructions/manuals/flight plans easy and greatly reduces paper.

BBC American Airlines planes grounded by iPad app error

American Airlines had an issue yesterday with iPads that pilots and co-pilots use to view flight plans.

You can read more about this development on BBC’s website here of which below is an excerpt:

The glitch caused iPad software, used by the planes’ pilots and co-pilots to view flight plans, to stop working.

The firm’s cockpits went “paperless” in 2013 to save its staff having to lug heavy paperwork on board. AA estimated the move would save it more than $1.2m (£793,600) in fuel every year.

“We apologise for the inconvenience to our customers and we had them on the way to their destinations soon afterwards.”

Serge Gojkovich, chief executive of car parking app-maker Curbstand, was among the passengers affected.

He tweeted that his San Francisco-to-Los Angeles flight was only able to get airborne after the crew had printed off the maps they needed.


There are certainly pros of moving away from paper manuals and charts to digital pads. But when they starts crashing or malfunctioning then what?

It is quite frightening, however, that an iPad app error can lead to cancellation of a flight.

The issue with American Airlines affected and grounded several flights yesterday, so it wasn’t an isolated incident.