Why pilots can use iPads and you can't

Flickr user Fly For Fun

The FAA has given American Airlines pilots permission to use iPads during all phases of flight

Just as all hope was lost for flyers in the crusade to use gadgets during take-off and landing, American Airlines pilots just got the Federal Aviation Association go-ahead to use iPads during all phases of flight. It seems unfair to passengers packing iPads, doesn't it? The people steering the ship get to do the exact thing we can't. That's how our commenter Seth Levi felt after reading about the double standard yesterday. "What's really insane is that pilots are now using iPads as flight manuals. So using an iPad *in the cockpit* doesn't screw up the computers inches away from it, but some how my iPad 100ft away will?" he said. And that was before this approval for iPads during takeoff and landing. But, the rules for people operating the planes are different than the ones for you and me. Here's why.

  • Safety. That was the F.A.A's official stance on the issue last year, when it mentioned a pilot program for the plane operators. We've reached out to them for a more current comment, but as of the writing of this they had yet to get back to us. Back then, they said that when it comes to "potential interference" two iPads up front was a lot different than "unlimited passenger use, which could involve dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time," a spokesperson told The New York Times's resident iPad during takeoff crusader Nick Bilton. Though, this answer does not satisfy Bilton this time around: "So first it’s no iPads because of potential interference. Then two iPads are O.K. — but only two. Now we will have five or six iPads on airplanes?" he wrote.  

Read more at The Atlantic Wire.