Subscribers to the latest edition of Flight Safety Australia are reading about how pilots are using tablet computer-based electronic flight bags—EFBs.
For less than the cost of one flight hour in a single-engine GA aircraft, subscribers to Australia’s two major EFB software providers—OzRunways and AvPlan—get access to an enormous amount of information including approach charts, weather radar map overlay, NOTAMs, aircraft performance and traffic.
The devices are undeniably a blessing, but some experts, including software developers, warn there can be a downside. Fixation, distraction and dependence are three potential hazards of unskilled or unwise EFB use.
Air safari operator Shelley Ross appreciates the profound advantages EFBs offer but cautions that the magic of technology must never drive out the fundamentals of flight planning and situational awareness. The proper place to stare at the device is on the ground, during flight planning. ‘They are definitely a positive for aviation safety as long as users know their limitations,’ Shelley says.
As well as the cover story on EFBs, this issue rides along on an air safari, discusses how to manage the risks of workplace fatigue, takes a fresh look at Australia’s first civilian turboprop crash and, of course, includes Close calls, the popular ‘crash comic’ and quizzes.
Online readers can look forward to these stories throughout Autumn.