Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201300024
Date reported 28 March 2013
Concern title Use of iPad's for completing loading sheets
Concern summary

The concern related to how the operator implemented a new loading procedure utilising iPads for the first time. The reporter advised that the company did not provide specific training for either the iPad or the new loading procedure.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Flight crew

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the method of implementation of the new loading procedure.The reporter stated that the company has implemented a new loading system utilising iPads. The company recently required that all pilots purchase an iPad to be used, amongst other things, to complete the load sheet for the aircraft. The company however has not provided specific training in the use of the iPad or the new loading procedure. The company has emailed all the pilots a set of basic instructions and a list of frequently asked questions in how to use this devise. The pilots are required to submit a 'sample' load sheet to the iPad co-ordinator and are then considered to have sufficient knowledge to accept full responsibility for the accurate submission of a load sheet under CAR233.

The reporter states that it is apparent that crews have not received sufficient training in the use of iPads and have no real appreciation of how to use the iPads with the procedures in the pre-departure phase and seem to be 'making it up' as they go as no guidance or training has been provided in the practical use of this device.

Reporter comment: 'This entire iPad implementation has been undertaken in a reckless and completely unsatisfactory manner.'

Operator's response (Operator 1)

The iPad is being integrated in to the flight deck of airlines worldwide as a means of enhancing information to pilots. The company is progressively deploying the iPad using a 'shadowing' methodology in order to allow for pilots to assimilate with the device whilst retaining legacy methods for a period of time. Pilots have by no means been forced in to using the iPad in the flight deck. Reversion to PDA and/or paper loadsheet submission is still possible.

Furthermore, CASA were briefed on the deployment of the iPad and endorsed the project implementation plan. The company finds no evidence that the iPad implementation has been undertaken in an unsafe manner and rejects any such claims.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the matters raised in the REPCON and is satisfied with the operator's response. CASA accepted the operator's training program for iPad as a computer based training course for current flight crew experienced on the existing loadsheet systems. For new flight crew, a ground course has been included in the operator's induction training program. The operations manual suite of the operator complies with the requirements of Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 82.0 appendix 9 and CAO 20.16.1.

Last update 24 March 2014