FAA Electronic Flight Bag Rapid (EFB) Decompression compliance just got easier for Jeppesen customers using all Apple iPad models. Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Flight Services, announced in a press release last November the 4th generation iPad and iPad Mini passed RTCA DO-160F Rapid Decompression. The tests were conducted by Garwood Laboratories in San Clamente, CA, and Jeppesen released the results just a few days after Apple delivered the iPad 4th generation and iPad Mini to retailers. With Jeppesen's earlier tests of the original iPad, the iPad 2, and the 3rd generation iPad, Jeppesen has successfully conducted testing on the full iPad line.
"We are watchful for new hardware releases that are likely to create a strong market interest," said Rick Ellerbrock, Director and Chief Strategist of Jeppesen Aviaiton. "We coordinate and schedule testing as soon as possible. This is for two reasons: first, as a service we are happy to provide this to our customers, and second and more importantly, should a device fail we could then notify our customer base immediately, before they begin their hardware purchases. This would allow time to learn why a device failed and sort out any go-forward actions."
The requirements for EFB rapid decompression testing are specified in FAA AC 120-76B – Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Use of Electronic Flight Bags. According to FAA AC-120-76B, EFB systems should be tested at their maximum operational altitude to determine that the device will not explode or create another hazard (such as a internal lithium ion battery fire) during a rapid decompression event. The test also helps an operator determine if an EFB can remain finctional after a rapid decompression even, or if crews will need to utilize an alternative source of information normally accessed using the EFB.
"We test to 51,000 feet to cover max operating altitude of most aircraft," said Ellerbrock. "To date, every device we have submitted has passed."
According to Ellerbrock, Jeppesen customers can request a short version of the iPad DO-160F Rapid Decompression test report for regulatory submissions and authorizations.
The following video details Jeppesen's iPad Rapid Decompression Test at Garwood Laboratories:
View on YouTube: Jeppesen / Garwood Laboratories iPad Rapid Decompression Test