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Disruptions: Fliers Must Turn Off Devices, but It’s Not Clear Why

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Millions of Americans who got on a plane over the Thanksgiving holiday heard the admonition: “Please power down your electronic devices for takeoff.” And absolutely everyone obeyed. I know they did because no planes fell from the sky. No planes had to make an emergency landing because the avionics went haywire. No planes headed for Miamiended up in Anchorage. We were all made safe because we all turned off all our Kindles, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys and laptops, just as the Federal Aviation… (bits.blogs.nytimes.com) 기타...

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Falconus
Falconus 0
Why would I, as a passenger, have an urgent need to power up my kindle during the takeoff run? I just waited two hours getting through the TSA security mess; I probably can afford to wait another ten minutes until the captain says "it's safe now". Besides, if I were instrument rated and shooting an ILS approach to minimums in IMC, I wouldn't want any extra signals to come from the back; it probably won't do anything, but then again, I don't make flying decisions on "probably".
alistairm
I like what you said. Why can't people just turn off their devices as told!? it's very simple.
BlazingPuppies
But it's an unnessasry precaution. I may not have all the bells and whistles in a 737, but when I fly my 152 my instructor ENCOURAGES me to fly with my cellphone on. this is in case of a com failure so I can PHONE the tower. It also says right in the article " the radio frequencies that are assigned for aviation use are separate from commercial use,”
Falconus
Falconus 0
I often fly with my cellphone on too, but I'm not in IMC, and if it did wreak havoc on the VORs or ADF, it wouldn't pose me many problems, because I can see where I'm going. I think that that's not a bad idea as a backup communication device, but not in all circumstances. Yes, it probably is an unnecessary precaution, but especially as a passenger, it's not really necessary to make phone calls, etc. I can see how having rules about the Kindle being off for takeoff is very much overkill, but then again, it is only for like five or ten minutes.
jasmantle
Gee Brett - how long does it take to turn on a cellphone? I have mine handy when I fly - but it's turned off (I get tired of hearing it on my headset, constantly searching for cellphone towers). I think your instructor needs to re-emphasize aviate and navigate, communicate can always wait until later.
jackx
In 2002 I have been on a flight with an old Iberia B-727 enroute from Tenerife Norte to Barcelona. Shortly after take-off at approx. 5000ft the plane suddently rolled over the right wing was descending rapidly. After a few seconds it stabilzed again but than again rolled and descended.
The seemingly very nervouse Captain made the anouncemnt that everybody should immediately check that all cellphone have been turned off. After everybody checked the cellphones the plane contiued it's flight with out any further 'turbulences.
This was a very old plane and it might have been poorly protected against cellphone radiations. Newer planes got better protection but no one can predict how the electronics get influenced by cellphones. A few millimeters closer or more distant to some signal wires could make the difference.
jackx
In 2002 I have been on a flight with an old Iberia B-727 enroute from Tenerife Norte to Barcelona. Shortly after take-off at approx. 5000ft the plane suddently rolled over the right wing was descending rapidly. After a few seconds it stabilzed again but than again rolled and descended.
The seemingly very nervouse Captain made the anouncemnt that everybody should immediately check that all cellphone have been turned off. After everybody checked the cellphones the plane contiued it's flight with out any further 'turbulences.
This was a very old plane and it might have been poorly protected against cellphone radiations. Newer planes may have got better protection but no one can predict how the electronics get influenced by cellphones. A few millimeters closer or more distant to some signal wires could make the difference.
jasmantle
The reason for *all* electronic devices is easy - it totally removes the discretion from the on/off rule. The cabin crew doesn't have to decreee "this one is OK, that one is not". And the pax cannot argue that "this one is OK, or certified, or blessed by the FAA, or whatever".

And there is one more subtle reason - if things start going sidewise on the takeoff or landing, bad things happen at a really rapid rate. There isn't time, when you're tumbling or sliding sidewise unside down, to pack things away, take off headsets, deal with wires, etc, before the fireball comes down the aisle and you decide you really want to be somewhere else.

Finally, a cellphone, travelling at a great rate of speed (let's say, 100+ mph) packs a helluva wallup. A hardball (think Yankees) is only 5 oz and is pitched at less than 100 mph+, and it will break a rib or a collarbone after travelling and slowing down for 60 feet (ask me how I know).

A lot of airport and aviation security is theatre. This isn't one of them.
ndfilter
I don't get why I can't use my camera. There is absolutely no pleasure left in flying these days and the last straw seems to be that I am not even allowed to take pictures out of the window because my digital camera might, er, well, I don't know - and neither does anyone else. At least we still get windows.
dragonweyr
Hmm, camera's strike me as strange. But I guess it is better to be safe then sorry.
ou42football
The moral of this story is... Don't confuse Uncle Sam with facts!
99NY
99NY 0
I always thought the industry line was that rather than trying to evaluate the threat/nonthreat posed by the myriad of new and existing electronic devices to aircraft systems its much easier just to require that they be shut off while the aircraft is doing anything aside from level flight at altitude. Makes sense to me.
frank1711
I can't squawk this one enough. Apparently the FAA is unclear on the concept of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Cell phones are typically in upper 800Mhz to lower 900Mhz range, 3G & some wifi are 2.4Ghz and more wifi is rouhgly 5.2Ghz. These devices are way to high in the spectrum to intefere with an airplane's systems. THe transmitters are also too weak to bleed over to the aircraft systems.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/posters/6b15/
ou42football
Amen, Brother! Once again... Don't confuse Uncle Sam with the facts!
jasmantle
Assuming, of course, that the devices are working correctly. Without that assurance....
mpradel
The point has been missed completely, there's no demonstrated interference.

The rule exists so that people are a little more attentive and responsive to the crew and surroundings during critical stages of flight. But fear of bringing the airplane down makes people more likely to obey.
canuck44
canuck44 0
Wayne will know more current data than I, but some of the older systems did appear to have some interference either by encroachment or by complimentary frequency bleed (think LightSquared). Unfortunately, much of the information is anecdotal and could not be duplicated. Passengers can bring a whole gamut of electronic devices from benign MP3 players to cell phone blockers so they don't have to listen to the jerk across the way lying to his wife as to why he is traveling. Some can have malicious intent.

Like immunizing kids, we control the disease by inflicting the inconvenience on all so one child cannot pollute the whole population.
WALLACE24
Have a go at changing the rules if you don't have anything better to do. But in the mean time shut them devices off so we can get airborne.
cseal
I always thought that the instruction was more of a 'put your toys away' during takeoff and landing in order to clean up the cabin in case of emergency - they don't want hard objects flying around the cabin. Same as sitting upright and closing the tray during these activities.
kellyholman
Christopher is right...it's also because most incidents happen during take-off and landing. If someone is engrossed in a movie or listening to Metallica on their iPod, there is less chance they will be ready to evacuate in case of emergency. They just tell people it's because of the possibility of frequency interference so that those passengers afraid to fly don't freak out. Although...if someone is reading a hardcover edition of War and Peace...something tells me that might be a little more dangerous flying around the cabin than an ultra-thin MacBook Air...
dragonweyr
I agree with Marcus Pradel, it is just like not using your cell phone at a gas station. It has been shown that no matter how explosive an atmosphere you put a cell phone in, it won't cause an explosion. But static sparks from women wearing nylons and or nylon pants sliding in and out of the vehicle then touching the filler nossle will. (Mythbusters)So yes it is to get peoples attention, and I even had a stewardess on a commerical flight tell me that, if something happens on take off or landing the guy that listens to his headset that you can hear two seats back is paying attention to the crew and not his device.

paps
Cuidado!!! Es mas peligroso volar com pilotos mal entrenados
alistairm
Okay, so everyone has their own theories as to "why". Though, if a little research is done on the subject, you will see that it is done because there is a "possibility" that interference will occur. In the end, why take a chance - slim or otherwise - and put peoples lives at risk. If you don't believe this and rather think that airlines are just a bunch of cell phone Nazis, then that is your right. Either way, what ever answer you come up with, the fact remains this: YOU HAVE TO TURN YOUR DEVICE OFF! This will not change, no matter how many theories we come up with. Therefore, lets save our time and energy and stop beating a dead horse.
canuck44
canuck44 0
Originally that is true...the real reasons begin to filter out;

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/01/peter-goodspeed-screening-airline-passengers-misses-the-real-terrorist-threat-u-s-military-report/

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