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Abstract

All pilots are required to calculate aircraft performance parameters prior to flight. This includes takeoff and landing distances. Traditionally, pilots in training have planned for takeoff and landing performance using paper charts provided by the manufacturer. However, professional pilots use devices such as Flight Management Systems (FMS), Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, or on-board performance computers (OPC) to make such calculations. During primary flight training, student pilots could make performance calculations with proper software, similar to the method they will typically use at the professional level. Recently an iPad application was released which can calculate numerous performance parameters for specific types of general aviation aircraft. The software calculates weight and balance, takeoff distance, climb performance, cruise performance, and landing distance. This research explored the accuracy of the takeoff and landing performance data generated by this software. Specifically, the data provided by the application was compared to similar data collected with paper performance charts. The human/software interface of the application was also evaluated. Results indicated that the application calculated accurate takeoff and landing distances, although there were some conditions that generated large discrepancies and some issues with the applications human/software interface.

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