Washington, Dec 22 (PTI) A new app can take control of a small airplane and steer it to the nearest airport without any human intervention in case of an emergency such as engine failure or fuel shortage.
The iPad app Xavion connects to the airplane's autopilot system via Wi-Fi and takes control. The app has long been a useful tool for pilots, tracking flight-path information and weather warnings but this autopilot update takes Xavion into unprecedented territory, 'The Verge' reported.
"In practice, pilots would use this app to guide them down to just before the threshold of the runway. At that point, any pilot can take over and land the airplane," app creator Austin Meyer told 'Popular Science'. Meyer, who also made the popular flight simulator X-Plane, has used it to test Xavion.
The app functions as something of a "virtual co-pilot," Meyer said, allowing pilots to focus on troubleshooting the problem, preparing for landing, and notifying emergency services, instead of losing valuable minutes trying to determine where to go, and whether you can even make it.
"Not only will it tell you how to get to the airport, it will confirm if you are unable to make it entirely. That way, you don't risk crashing into built-up areas around airports. You can set down in a field somewhere," Meyer said.