This article takes a look at electronic flight bags and in particular, OzRunways EFB which is the most commonly used electronic flight bag in Australia and New Zealand.
- No more bulky pilot bag!
- Store all charts and documents in the one place
- Easy to use document library
- Gives an overview of the terrain you’re facing
- Shows weather conditions
- Shows other traffic using OzRunways
- Informs you of flight times
- Informs you of fuel burn
- You can log flights and update your logbook
- Supports multiple devices
- Compatible across different platforms
- Using an EFB can be distracting, inhibiting pilots from seeing obvious immediate dangers or hazards
- EFBs may not pick up all dangers or hazards
- Can make pilots ‘lazy’
- Not many other disadvantages to note
Verdict: The OzRunways EFB is a solid, good quality choice, with pros outweighing the cons
Introduction to Electronic Flight Bags – OzRunways Review
Electronic Flight Bags, EFB for short, are used and adored by pilots worldwide. They’ve eliminated the need for big, heavy bags and trawling through mountains of paperwork. They have revolutionised the way pilots manage their flights and the technology is improving with every passing software update or product rollout. EFB aviation is significantly easier than the ‘good old days’ but does it perhaps come at a cost? Are pilots losing skills that they once had and does this negatively impact how pilots handle different situations? Take a look at our deep dive into EFBs and, in particular, OzRunway’s offering in the EFB aviation space.
What is an electronic flight bag EFB?
An electronic flight bag is essentially a paperless version of the old pilot bag which traditionally houses a plethora of documents such as navigational charts, other paper charts and flight-crew operating checklists. The traditional pilot bag used to be clunky and heavy and if you weren’t organised then it could be a quagmire of recycled trees. An electronic flight bag, which derives its name from the pilot bag, is an information management device that stores all of the information a pilot will need which was traditionally paper based.
What Electronic Flight Bag do airlines use?
To give individual examples, REX in Australia uses OzRunways which is the leading EFB in Australia and New Zealand. Another singular example is Austrian Airlines which use Microsoft Surface Pro EFB, however, ForeFlight is the most popular electronic flight bag used by airlines worldwide. AvPlan is another popular EFB.. This was one of the first EFBs on the market and has since been bought by Boeing through a company named Jeppesen. They grew because of the quality of their product and it has since become a staple of the industry.
What is OzRunways?
OzRunways is the most popular electronic flight bag used in Australia in New Zealand. OzRunways EFB is compatible with both Apple devices and Android devices and they market themselves as the ‘most user-friendly EFB on the market.’ OzRunways can be used for many pilots whether you’re just a hobbyist or at the helm of a military jet. OzRunways EFB has different features that set it against other competition on the market such as their SmartBrief feature which shows interactive weather information and ‘details for every route segment’. For further reading, their website goes into detail about their EFB and the different features it has.
How do you use OzRunways?
First of all, you have to ensure that the software version you are using on your portable electronic device is compatible with the current version of OzRunways. There are many features on OzRunways EFB and one of them is a document library. You can store all of your flight manuals, airport details, maps etc. on your devices. You can also add custom routes to your OzRunways EFB and this also distributes across all of your devices. There’s also good compatibility with OzRunways and other platforms and systems, allowing you to easily log flight hours and manage your fatigue properly. If you’re working for an airliner they can distribute all of their airport information and procedures to your devices, making this a truly one-stop-shop electronic flight bag.
Is Ozrunways easy to use?
OzRunways is exceptionally easy to use and this is why it is the number one EFB solution in Australia and New Zealand. It has great compatibility across different platforms and possesses all of the information that you would typically carry in a big flight bag onto your tablet computer or phone. It has a seamless user interface that helps you get the information you need quickly.
Advantages of using Ozrunways
The obvious advantage of using OzRunways is that it enables you to get rid of the traditional pilot bag! Woohoo! This is a one-stop shop for navigational charts, electronic charts and documents, manuals, weather information, aeronautical charts, documents for flight operations etc. OzRunways gives a great overview of the terrain facing you on your flight along with weather conditions and even other traffic using OzRunways. This EFB also accurately informs you of flight times and fuel burn based on your aircraft’s position and performance at different altitudes.
Disadvantages of using Ozrunways
As with everything in life, there is a downside and Ozrunways is no different. Using electronic flight bags as a whole can have some negative effects and these have been brought to the attention of pilots by the actual EFB developers themselves. It’s claimed that some pilots can become too fixated and distracted by their EFBs that they can miss obvious and immediate dangers or hazards in their vicinity. Essentially, their situational awareness decreases. These dangers or hazards are also something that an EFB might not be able to pick up on. There’s a further argument that EFBs can make pilots ‘lazy’ and pilots in this era are not as skilled as the ones in the last era, which can cause issues if their EFB stops working due to their dependence on them. This point causes a lot of interesting debate in aviation.
FAQs about OzRunways
I’m sure you have a lot of questions about Oz Runways’ EFB and how it works. They have a huge FAQs section on their website and you can follow this link for further reading. You will find answers to questions such as recommended GPS devices and is the weight and balance approved.
How many devices can I have on OzRunways?
You can choose how many devices you can have on OzRunways by selecting the right plan for you. If you run with the VFR Standard subscription then you are permitted to use OzRunways across two devices and these can be Android or iOS, so if you have an iPad for flying but a Samsung phone then you can use OzRunways on both devices.
If you opt for the VFR Premium or IFR Premium packages then you can have OzRunways on up to 4 devices however these are split between 2 phones & 2 tablets. You can take a look at some of their pricing on the website here.
How do I update OzRunways?
Most people set apps to update automatically on their devices and if you’re a pilot using OzRunways then this would certainly be shrewd advice. However, if you don’t have automatic updates on your iOS device then this manual from the Apple support site will show you how to do this manually.
Android users don’t panic! This is your guide right here.
What is the latest version of OzRunways?
The latest version of OzRunways is OzRunways 10.3. Please note that this requires iOS 13 or newer to install onto your device. It is good practice to always check if you are running the latest software version of both your device and OzRunways. Each new version weeds out more bugs and allows a smoother experience for the end-user. There are instructions here to show you how to check what version of iOS you are using.
Who owns OzRunways?
OzRunways is privately owned. Their co-founder and CEO is a guy named Bas Scheffers and you can view his LinkedIn profile here.
Conclusion – Electronic Flight Bag EFB – OzRunways review
There’s no denying that since the inception of EFB devices in aviation they have made pilots’ jobs a lot easier with everything in one centralised device. However, this can come at a cost sometimes. It’s potentially reasonable to assume that pilots’ skills in certain areas aren’t as sharp as they once were, and it does beg the question – is too much automation an issue in aviation? Regardless of your opinion, EFBs are here to stay and the offering from OzRunways is solid. There’s a reason it is the most common EFB in Oceania with a seamless user experience and the ability to use the software across different devices, making flying a breeze for pilots.
For physical flight bags, you can look at the best ones here.