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ASRS Relating to using an iPad as an EFB

We’ve received a bulletin from the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System highlighting a report on the use of Apple iPads with flight data as Electronic Flight Bags (EFB). The report indicates that a pilot was attempting to use the iPad and flight-chart software as a primary means of navigation in airspace in California. The pilot used the iPad to navigate in KLAX-area airspace and may have inadvertently encroached into controlled airspace. The report’s narrative indicates there were inaccuracies in position reference data from the device.

While we recognize the utility of the iPad and the many flight-data applications written for it, we strongly advise pilots to not use it as a primary means of navigation. Applications that provide charting data such as sectional charts, instrument enroute charts, or approach plates can be used as reference but not as a primary means of navigation and position verification.

As an instructor who works with students actively, help the pilots you have contact with to understand the limitations of the applications they use on iPads or any other non-certificated EFB.