March 2010 Issue

Plate Reader Roundup: Many OK, None Ideal

Until someone invents a new approach plate designed for the screen, we’re stuck with pixels emulating paper and trying to make plates work on e-book readers.

Call us overly picky, but we have yet to find a digital approach-plate solution we can completely endorse. Perhaps the problem is that they have yet to surpass the bar. That is, they’re almost as good as paper when what we really want is something better than paper. In fairness, the e-reader solutions for approach plates are superior in three critical ways: You can carry plates for the entire country without risking a hernia, updates are a breeze (so long as you’ve got some free time and a good internet connection) and there’s no wasted paper. The readers all support PDF documents, so you can also load useful items like your aircraft handbook or maintenance manual if there’s space to do so.

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