Pilots Catch a Break With Help From Cascade TEK and PaperlessCockpit.com’s iPad KABOOM Project

Posted on Nov 17th, 2011 by admin
The push to remove 40 pounds worth of reference material usually found in airline pilots’ carry-on bags got a big boost this past July when the iPad 2 underwent rapid decompression testing at Cascade TEK’s test facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The testing concluded a project known as the iPad KABOOM!, a community effort led by PaperlessCockpit.com to raise money to have the iPad 2 tested to RTCA/DO-160 Rapid Decompression standards. The testing was used to gain FAA approval for cockpit use of the iPad and iPad 2 devices to access operating manuals, safety checklists, logbooks and more. Key issues in adopting the new technology for in-flight use include demonstration of the safety of electronic devices as well as the integrity of the products themselves. As F.A.A. Deputy Director John W. McGraw noted in a recent New York Times article, “Each airline must submit a unique proposal on how they want to use the iPad and prove that both the device and software application are safe and effective for that proposed use.” The iPad KABOOM! project offered participants shared access to testing results.

Cascade TEK conducted the DO-160 Section 4.6.2 Decompression test at its Hillsboro, Oregon location in July. In the first phase of testing Cascade TEK placed the iPad 2 in an altitude chamber for two hours. The second phase of testing simulated rapid decompression, with the altitude switching from 8,000 to 51,000 feet in under fifteen seconds. The iPad 2 remained fully operational and suffered no physical deterioration during the test. Success!

Use of the iPad and iPad 2 in lieu of paper reference materials offers many benefits for pilots, from reducing physical strain to faster access to information in emergency situations.



Rapid decompression testing is just one of the many Environmental Testing Services offered at Cascade TEK’s two locations in Oregon and Colorado providing reliable testing with full range of climatic and dynamic test simulations.

For more information about the iPad KABOOM! Project, visit PaperlessCockpit.com.

Learn more about the move towards a paperless cockpit in a recent article in the New York Times.Cascade TEK RTCA-DO-160 Rapid Decompression Testing
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