Remember when we used to quip, ‘there’s an app for that?’ You probably wouldn’t have imagined this one – there’s an app that can help you land your plane should the engine give up the ghost.
What iPad app Xavion does is it monitors your flight path and keeps track of airports within range. It will also record airplane flight data, weather, and cabin pressure, made possible by the built-in barometer in the new iPad – who would have thought that would come in handy?
When things go south, Xavion can connect with your stricken airplane via Wi-Fi to guide the plane towards the nearest airport if it can make it – and it’ll also tell you when you can’t so you can immediately look for an alternative emergency landing spot. It’ll also show you a virtual flight path as well as simulated terrain for visual reference in the event you need to wrest control from the autopilot. It can’t help you land though, that still has to be done manually. The autopilot feature will be available via an update in a few weeks.
Granted, the app is more applicable to small planes, and it’s not blessed by any aviation association, but for US$199 a year, it’s a pittance for an emergency back up with features that pricey full fledged systems may not have. Honestly, it’s not something really useful for most of us here, but it just another timely reminder of how powerful and versatile our personal effects can be these days.