Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:07 am

I'd like what you think about electronic flight bag.
I think that can be very nice for a lot of reasons, such as you don't lose the pages due to the high number of times that you scroll the pages and also you don't have to spend 30 minute to put the chart in the right order in the binder.
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:58 am

EFBs are great. One of the problems though is that they use software like Windows ME (or similar) for operating systems.

Therefore, the FAA (and many other airworthiness authorities) are having a hard time figuring out if they should be able to completely replace paper charts.

Not only that, but many have checklist and navigation functions. Some even display TAWS information. Would you feel safe navigating with something using Windows as an operating system?

There is alot of guidance being developed for these things. You can visit the FAA website for the draft advisory circulars if you're intersted.

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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:52 pm

Oh come on...

How would opening a small program (on Windows systems) give a fatal error or or some sort?

FYI: (consider this: ) The programs on my computer that are giving me headaches are free software that are made by people who have nothing better to do (than to make software without making it redundant).

(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
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RE: A380: Failure.

Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:59 pm

Got Airbus, do you work with computers? I'm a network engineer for a governmental agency, and we do not rely on Windows for mission-critical computing tasks. Sure, we all have Windows desktops, file servers, and we run Exchange for email, but anything highly critical, such as databases, our web site, monetary systems, accounting systems, etc, all run on Unix. Windows is just not as stable and reliable. Most businesses of any size are of like mind...Windows is fine for basic tasks and user's desktops, but it has no place in the datacenter or mission critical tasks.

Given all that, when your EFB does in fact get an error, if it delays a flight, it will certainly be unacceptable to airline customers/pilots.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Feb 28, 2003 8:26 pm

I agree with Brons2 those EFB should run on Unix or something similar even if it's for non critical tasks. But as far as I'm concerned when it's related to flying, those computers should be reliable.
Fabrice Sanchez - Brussels Aviation Photography
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:48 am


I speak in terms of "will 1 application crashing hang the whole system" kind of computer operations.

Yes, you've got a point about Unix boxes. Didn't consider that one.

(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Tue Mar 11, 2003 10:33 am

Does the word OOPS bring anything to mind?

Jeppesen Fixing Database Problem

By Russ Niles

Some Airspace Boundary Depictions Flawed...
Well, so much for the paperless cockpit. The FAA has issued a NOTAM warning pilots using Jeppesen NavData flight-planning information to use paper charts until the company sorts out a glitch in its database that might misrepresent the boundaries of several types of special-use and controlled airspace. "This affects a small number of NavData users," said Jeppesen spokesman Mike Pound. Pound said the company has traced 350 boundary "irregularities" in the database out of more than 20,000 listed. Pound said the false boundaries can show up on data supplied directly to owners of moving-map GPS units. The aberrations can also affect flight-planning information offered by third-party vendors that use the Jeppesen database. He said the irregularities involve the precise position of the airspace boundaries. The glitch does not affect other Jeppesen data such as navaids, intersections and waypoints. The errors do not show up on Jeppesen charts, either.

...Solution At Least A Month Away
Pound said the company is working flat-out to get all the errors fixed but they won't be ready for the March publication of the monthly updates Jeppesen sends its database customers. He said the earliest the problem can be fixed is by the April 17 release of the database. "It is very important that our customers and our partners know we are aggressively working to resolve the situation," Pound said in a company news release. In the meantime, the company has prepared a comprehensive list of the mistakes and posted it as a PDF file on its Web site. Several large U.S. and Canadian airports are mentioned, including the Class B boundary at O'Hare. The errors show up in a cross section of airspace designations from all over the world. Of particular note are the problems with the boundary depictions of restricted, prohibited and dangerous special use airspace in the U.S., New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Most of the mistakes occur in controlled airspace boundaries and clearly not all of them are out of the way or obscure.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Wed Mar 12, 2003 1:48 pm

UNIX is far too unreliable for these things. Even the notion of a proper shutdown can't be counted upon in embedded environments. Take a look at some of the embedded realtime operating systems like QNX and Wind River VxWorks. They've found their way into EKG machines, nuclear power plants, weapons control systems and the like. VxWorks ran the Mars Pathfinder and meets aerospace standards (RTCA/DO-178B, EUROCAE/ED-12B, ARINC 653).

On the other hand, these are reliable enough to control the plane, and you'll pay for it in development costs and long term support costs. In the worst case, you crash and reboot, or end up getting vectors from the ground. Everything is a cost-safety tradeoff.

Either way electronic, Windows, or paper, you're going to be affected by errors in nav data.
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Wed Mar 12, 2003 3:53 pm

They should put the EFB's on modern Macintoshes.

They'll have the reliability of a modern resilient Unix with a user friendly interface inspired by NeXt and Apple, not to mention more portable/powerful laptops.

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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:58 pm

i finally decided that i'm going to be getting the jeppesen electronic flight bag software. what i need now is to decide on a computer to run this software. what i'm trying to gifure out is shoudl i invest in a tablet pc or just a new laptop.

here are a few that i found.

now, does anyone here have any experience with these types of computers? what i'm looking for is a self-contained unit, not necessarely one that needs to be hooked up to an in-aircraft display or computer to run properly.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:42 pm

They're great until you are out on a trip and the database expires. I had a crew that became the victims of this and I wasn't too happy when their company decided to fax 70 pages worth of jepp charts to them using up all our toner and taking up about 30 minutes while two other crews were waiting for flight plans.
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RE: Electronic Flight Bag

Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:11 pm

What makes you all think that EFBs only employ Microsoft operating systems? For one, the Boeing/Jeppesen EFB uses a dual Microsoft/Linux setup, adding greater flexibility while presumably reducing crash likelihood. Of course, despite this, crashes and lock-ups were rated the number-one EFB problem by KLM pilots (with regard to their EFB-equipped 777s).

Still, the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. Paperwork can be worked through more quickly and, more importantly, all sorts of fuel, takeoff, and landing calculations can be made more accurately and with less chance of error. Add on top of these and more benefits the reduction of paper clutter in the flight deck - despite the fact that EFB-equipped aircraft currently still use paper as a backup - and you have a very useful system indeed!


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