Could an EFB-based pre-flight check be automated?

Nate Kerkhofs
  • Could an EFB-based pre-flight check be automated? Nate Kerkhofs

    Since an EFB is basically an iPad with the right app installed, is it possible that some sort of Plane-tablet connection could be formed (either wireless or cabled) to automate all of most of an EFB pre-flight check? or does aviation regulation not allow this?

    This is a purely hypothetical question since I don't think any EFB app so far supports this, let alone any plane.

    clarification: I'm talking about the preflight checks that ensure that everything in the cockpit is setup correctly for takeoff. I understand that an EFB is an electronic version of the 40 pounds of paper a pilot usually needs in the cockpit. Can this preflight check be done on the EFB? and can this be automated?

  • An EFB could not be used for this purpose, all your suggestion would do is replicate things that are already done by EICAS (engine indication and crew alert system). The reason for this is that "receiving", "pre-flight" and "before takeoff" checklists all involve physically moving switches. The EFB would be unable to perform these actions (e.g. an EFB cannot select flaps 9 degrees).

    What an EFB could do, if tied into the aircrafts ARINC data bus, is to verify things. Such an EFB could verify that flaps are indicating a set position and could alert us if it were not. However,as mentioned, the EICAS already does this, and if I were to advance a thrust lever beyond taxi power I would get a master warning and a takeoff configuration EICAS message as well as an aural warning "TAKEOFF FLAPS" (EMB-145).

    You also mention the bulk of paper carried as a reason for this, but this is not relevant to the checklists. The checklist on many large airplanes is a single sheet of paper, laminated and installed in the airplane. Some airplanes may have a few sheets, but overall checklists account for very little paperwork and they belong to the airplane, not the pilots.

    Where EFBs do help with paperwork are the approach charts, which account for 75% of what I carried on any given flight. Three 2" binders, full of nothing but approach plates. An EFB can condense that down to a tablet, and this is where the value of the EFB is.

  • I'm talking about the preflight checks that ensure that everything in the cockpit is setup correctly for takeoff. … Can this preflight check be done on the EFB? and can this be automated?

    Yes, and No -- You can certainly have a checklist on an EFB and complete it electronically (ticking each box as you verify the task was performed), but the actual performing of the tasks is still a manual process (it has to be, even with a "Class 3 EFB" built into the aircraft: If the computer is "performing" the tasks you've verified that the computer can do them - you still have to verify that the pilot's controls all operate correctly).

    As an example, I have two sets of checklists in my aircraft - a "quick reference" checklist which is a simple laminated card which looks something like the one on the left, and a detailed electronic checklist on my iPad (a "Class 1 EFB") which looks like the one on the right:
    SureCheck Checklist ForeFlight Checklist

    The electronic checklist is nice because it can be much more detailed (you're not limited by the size of a physical piece of paper), and you're less likely to lose your place in the list if you're going through the items as a "do-list" (rather than using it to "check" that you performed all the steps).

Tags
Related questions and answers
  • Since an EFB is basically an iPad with the right app installed, is it possible that some sort of Plane-tablet connection could be formed (either wireless or cabled) to automate all of most of an EFB pre-flight check? or does aviation regulation not allow this? This is a purely hypothetical question since I don't think any EFB app so far supports this, let alone any plane. clarification: I'm... needs in the cockpit. Can this preflight check be done on the EFB? and can this be automated?

  • in the cockpit. Since the cockpit door is locked for security, how can he/she volunteer their services and enter the cockpit to try to help? In these possibly final moments, it's conceivable that someone with minimal flying experience, such as an amateur gamer of Microsoft Flight Simulator, could benefit, as opposed to passively affrighting and discomposing themselves while seated and awaiting death... each other and the plane continued its fall as a result of its stall. The captain was out of the cockpit at the start of the stall. He returned afterwards (I don't recall exactly when), spent some

  • I'm wondering if it is it ok to use a consumer tablet and electronic charts (e.g. within the AirNav Pro app) instead of the paper version for recreational VFR single-piston flights? Edit: to clarify, my question is indeed about official, up-to-date charts, accessed with consumer hardware (I mention AirNav Pro, but it could well be any pdf reader for that purpose) as opposed to paper medium.

  • was that this was dangerous to flight operations, and could have resulted in disaster had there been any emergency on-board during the event. Also, that this could result in an unruly cabin... of the pilots can be seen recording the dance on his camera. SpiceJet specially planned this event, and had extra cabin crew on-board the flight as a precaution. Also, during the dance, one of the pilots...Recently, the crew of an Indian airline performed a short choreographed dance sequence mid-flight on the occasion of Holi. This is, a not so rare practice amongst low-cost Indian carriers, who

  • After answering this question on History.SE, I started to wonder if it would be possible to find out even more detail about the plane now that its serial number is known. I have no idea what kind of flight records the US Army Air Corps kept, however. I know most flight logs today are kept by pilot, but I imagine there would be some way to trace what pilots flew a particular plane. I have no idea if this is possible for USAAC trainer planes in the 1930s. Could I get access to these records? If so, how would I go about it? I'm mostly interested in seeing if I can find out more information

  • and tasks, the DPE and myself called safety of flight and brought the plane back in. He did a discontinuance on my app for a new rating, but did check me off on the tasks performed. He stated that the tasks performed have a two month shelf life. My question is, does the oral exam have the same shelf life since I passed it? The reason this is a concern is that I have a deployment with the Guard in about two weeks. If the plane doesn't get back up and running, I'm hosed. My shelf life on the checkride stuff expires on 5/31 and I won't be back home from my deployment until early to mid-June.

  • loaded "widgets" that have ability to be programmed to "jump" at once.) Questions: Can flight dynamics be affected due to the jump at ANY phase of the flight? What % of the typical (cargo/passanger) plane weight is the actual cargo (excluding fuel)? Does the location of the "jumping" cargo matter? Tail vs. Cockpit What happens if all pax/cargo suddenly jumped to tail or cockpit section...As a thought experiment, imagine a plane with minimal fuel/appliances on board with hundreds of heavy passengers that make up say 10% of the weight of the plane. Now imagine that they have a way

  • Preflight checklists often contain the item Flight controls: Free and correct However, if the rudder is tied to nose-wheel steering, is it even possible to check if the rudder is correctly connected (unless have a rear window and can see the rudder during taxi)?

  • In the US, the FFDO programme trains and permits pilots to carry a firearm in the cockpit. Do any other countries have a similar programme?

  • . During the flight, I heard some occasional short beeps, and couldn't figure out what it was. I looked at the CO-meter which has a red alarm light, but that light was definitely off. On the ground, after shutting down the engine, I heard another short beep, and it definitely came from the CO-meter! The digital readout was showing 10ppm. During post-flight, with the door open, the readout dropped to 0 ppm. I routinely check the CO-meter battery during preflight, so I'm pretty sure the beep is not a reminder for a dead battery. According to these sources: http://www.coheadquarters.com

Data information