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Old 12-31-2012, 08:44 PM   #16
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If these devices truly posed a danger, then the airlines wouldn't allow them and would force passengers to place them inside checked baggage.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:53 PM   #17
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so what are you saying? airlines deliberately annoy their customers? just for sport?
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:23 AM   #18
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so what are you saying? airlines deliberately annoy their customers? just for sport?
Well, the TSA certainly seems to be security theater, and not rooted in any reality.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #19
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so what are you saying? airlines deliberately annoy their customers? just for sport?
I got stuck at PE airport(a hole) a few months back, as usual I found a place to leave my bag and then went exploring places you're not meant to explore. Found some staff break room, and being dressed fairly formally decided I'd check for biscuits. I was pretty hungry. I failed to notice a guy in the adjoining room who caught me, but we ended up having coffee and I got to ask him annoying questions. He was some Boeing on site support guy.

Anyhoo he pretty much just said that all of the airlines do it to avoid causing conflict when passengers who are accustomed to using devices start using it on an airline who is using older planes without good digital signaling for in-cabin comms. He pointed out that the MD 80's parked nearby had some older gear which could be an issue as an example. It seemed that it was mostly just about comms, and that avionics and control stuff is a non-issue; I assume due to them being refit as complete units, with more digital components and better shielding.

Interestingly you'll find that a lot of older metro trains and such also have the same problem, but don't make a big fuss about it.

The biscuits were horrible floury things :/
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:16 AM   #20
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If these devices truly posed a danger, then the airlines wouldn't allow them and would force passengers to place them inside checked baggage.
Well, there are a few issues with that.

One is that I've only been asked to turn off such a device when the plane is taking off, landing, or taxiing. I assume that is because interference with avionics or communications equipment is critical at those points. If there was an issue during the flight, there is time to tell passengers to turn their devices off. Why prohibit an item if it can be used at certain times during the flight, since most of the people on the plane are (presumably) responsible adults.

The second is that people may want to use those devices in the terminal, since they have to arrive early and may have long layovers. Why prohibit an item if it can be used at certain times off the airplane, since most of the people are (presumably) responsible adults.

Then again, that's quite the presumption. Apparently we aren't responsible adults if we aren't willing to put away our gadget for half an hour because someone feels that it may pose a safety concern. The rules may seem overbearing, but that is because the costs are high if an airline does go down (both in terms of lives and dollars).
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:55 AM   #21
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Then again, that's quite the presumption. Apparently we aren't responsible adults if we aren't willing to put away our gadget for half an hour because someone feels that it may pose a safety concern. The rules may seem overbearing, but that is because the costs are high if an airline does go down (both in terms of lives and dollars).
So you trust the honor system?

TSA: Sir, do you have a gun on you or in your bags?

Passenger: No; I don't.

TSA: Then I don't need to search you or your bags. You're free to board the plane.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #22
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Well we know iPads are safe, because the pilots use them!
Yes, and they have them on airplane mode with wireless off. The problem is you can't guarantee everyone in the plane will do the same thing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:40 AM   #23
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The question you have to ask yourself is why? There are probably dozens of reasons why they are sticking to the older systems and a handful of reasons to modernize. It is a lot easier to build new infrastructure (e.g. in the 1950s when air transportation was expanding) than it is to replace operating infrastructure.
The same older systems that cause innumerable near misses each year? You'd figure the insurance adjustors would've forced it through by now.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:56 AM   #24
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So you trust the honor system?

TSA: Sir, do you have a gun on you or in your bags?
Even though it would be nice if we could use the honor system, or at least assume that anyone bringing a weapon on a plane has no intentions of using it on the plane, the relatively minor difference between a gun and a gadget is that you aren't supposed to use a gun on a plane at all.

And for what it's worth: I have been on commercial passenger flights which did not involve going through airport security or baggage screening. It was a lot like hopping on a bus. (As far as I can tell, these security requirements only apply to international airports and perhaps certain classes of aircraft.) Given these flights were going to northern communities, there probably were guns on board. You probably wouldn't find international terrorists among the dozen or so passengers, but there is a reasonably high probability that one or more of the passengers would be smuggling drugs. Yet I was never terribly worried because very few people go bezerk.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #25
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The same older systems that cause innumerable near misses each year? You'd figure the insurance adjustors would've forced it through by now.
Do you have an article on the old vs. the new systems? I haven't read it, so what I'm about to say is merely informed speculation.

You brought up GPS, but that system is meant for navigation rather than air traffic control. It would have to be extended at a bare minimum since it doesn't tell you where other aircraft are. That would require a radio communications system, which means licensing a chunk of the spectrum and running the risk of interference. If the unit loses the satellite telemetry, or the telemetry gets too old, it take several minutes to reacquire the data. You also need signals from a certain number of satellites for the system to even work, and the requirement is higher when you through altitude into the mix.

Oh, and if you thought that interference was not an issue with the current system then you may have just created an issue with the new system. A lot of radios take a high frequency signal and convert it to a lower frequency before using it. Even though you're not trying to transmit at that frequency, you are inadvertently transmitting a very low power signal at that frequency. But the very low power doesn't matter very much because of proximity. So you have now created a situation where the aircraft's instrumentation may be dancing around the same frequencies as the passenger's toys.

These issues are, of course, mostly solvable. Yet they illustrate the point that it is not an easy fix from a technical perspective. So those insurance adjustors are probably nervous about the unknowns, and engineers are probably twitching over the prospect of approving a system that has a lot of unknowns.

Then there are the practicalities. These are things like ensuring that future and existing aircraft are supplied with the appropriate equipment, as well as the aircraft control towers themselves. Before that though, you actually need to test the system to ensure that it works as expected. That is costly in its own right. After implementation you have to worry that you took the right things into consideration when designing and testing the system (because sometimes we forget why things are done the way they are).

Please don't treat these things as magic boxes that you can swap at will. There is a lot of physics, engineering, and policy decisions behind them.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:13 PM   #26
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I got stuck at PE airport(a hole) a few months back, as usual I found a place to leave my bag and then went exploring places you're not meant to explore. Found some staff break room, and being dressed fairly formally decided I'd check for biscuits. I was pretty hungry. I failed to notice a guy in the adjoining room who caught me, but we ended up having coffee and I got to ask him annoying questions. He was some Boeing on site support guy.

Anyhoo he pretty much just said that all of the airlines do it to avoid causing conflict when passengers who are accustomed to using devices start using it on an airline who is using older planes without good digital signaling for in-cabin comms. He pointed out that the MD 80's parked nearby had some older gear which could be an issue as an example. It seemed that it was mostly just about comms, and that avionics and control stuff is a non-issue; I assume due to them being refit as complete units, with more digital components and better shielding.

Interestingly you'll find that a lot of older metro trains and such also have the same problem, but don't make a big fuss about it.

The biscuits were horrible floury things :/


always same throughout world
I travel many backward places
first big plane, then medium plane, then little plane, then get interesting.
but I used to it. only worry when they give me "jacket" and ask if I want gun

everywhere go, the real travelers, the real workers look for food, for biscuits for the hard times.
you have to get them when available
I sometimes buy bags of biscuits or hardy food when opportunity comes
carry with water bottles
make many friends with biscuits. get special treatment.
get to ride in front away from dust
nut date or fig cake make you king

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #27
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If these devices truly posed a danger, then the airlines wouldn't allow them and would force passengers to place them inside checked baggage.
easy ti say "don't use" "not allowed"
then if not work right
passenger can not complain
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #28
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This subject has already been discussed to death. I very much doubt that anyone's got anything useful to add to it that hasn't already been said a thousand times before.
We need a Dead Horse section of the forum - anything posted on certain topics would automatically be transferred there

Also any thread on any topic that devolves into a discussion of whether pirating is good or bad would automatically be moved to the Dead Horse section
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #29
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As long as there is a theoretical possibility of an electronic device interfering with a plane's electronics, then I am OK with the rules. Even if current tablets and phones pose no hazard, the FAA is not in a position to anticipate any and all electronics that may come into use in the future and pose a potential threat. So they maintain a blanket rule just to keep things simple and theoretically safe. And it's really no hardship for most people -- unless you have a big head and an inflated sense of self like Alec Baldwin. I'm glad they booted him off the plane.

When it comes to air safety, the more rules the better. As long as they make some sense. It's unfortunate we live in a time when this is the case, but it is what it is. I still find taking off my shoes at the airport to be unpleasant. But I'd rather be safe than sorry.

--Pat
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #30
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The problem with the honor system is this - how do they know your device is turned off?
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