This iPad app can land your plane for you in an emergency

If the engine quits in a small plane, it’s not the end of the world — just glide to the nearest airport and make a dead-stick landing. Simple, right? Sure, if the pilot makes perfect, lightning-quick decisions. Since we’re only human, there’s now an iPad app called Xavion that can connect with a small-plane’s autopilot, find the nearest airport and, if possible, fly you to the runway’s threshold by itself. It’ll even tell you if you can’t make it, so that you can find a nearby farmer’s field instead. 

High above rural Arkansas, I’m jammed in the back of a small four-seat airplane. Andrew Barker pilots the aircraft while Austin Meyer sits beside him. Everything is going great—until the engine suddenly quits at 5,000 feet. With a quick tap on his iPad, Meyer, creator of the popular flight simulator X-Plane, summons his app Xavion to rescue us. The program already knows the closest airports that we can successfully glide to. In fact, it’s been tracking our entire flight and plotting a path to them. It also knows what kind of airplane we’re flying in (a Van’s Aircraft RV-10), what the weather is like outside (blues skies, gentle wind from the south), and all of the other data it needs relative to heading, airspeed, altitude, and position.

Categorized as Apps

By Lorie Wimble

Lorie is the "Liberal Voice" of Conservative Haven, a political blog, and has 2 astounding children. Find her on Google+ and Twitter.

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