“I can resist anything but temptation,” or so the saying goes. Pilots are pragmatic if nothing else and will look for ways to make something work and some, dare I say it, look for shortcuts. A few try to get too much utility out of themselves or their hardware in pursuit of trip completion.
The growing number of aviation applications for iPhones, iPads, Garmin handhelds of all flavors and various smart phones leads us into temptation regularly. They’re inexpensive and often very user friendly – more so than some of the approved versions for certificated equipment. I’m talking about moving maps, instrument approach procedures and pseudo glide slopes.
The documentations say that the applications are to be used for awareness only and there are bold, capitalized death and destruction disclaimers that really bad things could happen if used for other than VFR operations. The warnings say that it’s not the company’s fault if you crash into something but all the marketing promos all say “Isn’t it cool?”
Most of the time pilots get away with cheating but there are some stark reminders why it’s good to consider risk versus reward. The situational awareness brought on by a moving map – even unapproved – is something we could only dream about 20 years ago but IFR means It’s For Real.” Supplement all you want but core navigational guidance must come from approved sources.
Anyone know of a friend – perhaps a close friend – who had a close call while using an unapproved device?