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Old 01-09-2013, 10:46 AM   #61
jbjb
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Uh, yes. But it's nowhere near the amount that an electronic device from the 80s would radiate.
Depends on the device and depends on where in the spectrum you're looking. Clock speeds are generally much, much higher now than in the 80s, so unintended radiation at those higher frequencies will often be greater than in the 80s.

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Then someone really screwed up.
Guess what - people do screw up. Designs can be suboptimal, and even good designs can suffer failures. There are some old planes flying today - I wouldn't want to bet my life on all their systems being adequately screened.

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The simple reality is that, on any flight, there are probably half a dozen people who forgot to turn off their cell phone or other device and it's sitting in their bag or pocket doing its thing despite all the rules. So if your avionics can't handle that, you've got big problems.
As I've pointed out elsewhere, experience has shown that avionics can indeed cope with the existing levels of device usage (within acceptable safety margins). However, we don't have the same historical data to give us confidence that 400 people using random devices is also safe.

/JB
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:58 AM   #62
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Is it that expensive to take a couple of each model of plane, put a cell phone, e-reader, iPad, and laptop in each seat. Turn all the devices on and go for a flight. Have someone call the cellphones during the flight so that they are all active at the same time.

Or am I way over simplifying the testing procedure.

I guess I just don't see why this is all that complicated to test. Use the same devices on the different planes being tested.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:00 AM   #63
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I guess I just don't see why this is all that complicated to test. Use the same devices on the different planes being tested.
Here is the problem:
Would you want to be the person who ultimately signs the bit of paper that says it is ok for people to use devices on planes?
How much liability insurance do you think you would need to carry to cover the inevitable lawsuit when a plane crashes and someone claims it is because a phone was being used?
You could spend the rest of your life tied up in lawsuits.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:55 AM   #64
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Or am I way over simplifying the testing procedure.

I guess I just don't see why this is all that complicated to test. Use the same devices on the different planes being tested.
There are better ways to do the test, but that's beside the point. Let's say that you have 10 different electronic devices and 10 different airplanes to test. That means that you have 100 different combinations to deal with. That is also over simplified because there are far more than 10 different electronic devices out there and far more than 10 different airplanes.

A far simpler approach would be to decide what limits airplanes must work within, then design airplanes around that. Then decide on what limits electronic devices must operate within, then design around that. Thing is, there are regulations around that but they aren't always followed. Or the electrical characteristics of a device changes over time, so what was true at the time of manufacturing isn't true anymore.

Engineering ain't simple. If it were, anybody could build a house in their back yard. But they can't do that, never mind design sophisticated aircraft or whiz-bang gadgets.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:59 AM   #65
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I think you're probably underestimating the amount of time/effort that would be needed to say with a reasonable degree of certainty that there will not be any problem caused to the aircraft.

It's not a case of turning on a load of devices and seeing if something goes wrong. That only works when your goal is to prove something can happen, not that it can't E.g proving that devices DO interfere with the aircraft, could be as simple as doing flight after flight until you get that one time when interference occurs and could have been a problem if not for the controlled test conditions. After that you're done, it's proven*

Proving the lack of interference is I would imagine much harder. Just because the last ten flights did not cause any interference hasn't proven that no interference can or will occur. The testing process to prove that will likely be much more involved/time consuming and thus costly. Cost in the end is likely the real reason for not allowing it.

* well, not quite that simple as you'd have to show it was the device and not some outside influence that caused it. However, I hope it illustrates the point?
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #66
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The older I get, the less I enjoy flying. Dying in a plane crash seems to me one of the worst ways to go, and takeoffs and landings are particularly nervous times. Therefore, anything they can do to keep the trip as safe as possible is OK with me, even if some of the steps have negligible or questionable benefit.

In the case of electronic devices, as I said, the rules appear to be mainly preemptive and precautionary. And it's not feasible to test every electronic device that comes to market. I also agree with those who mention the need to pay attention during takeoff and landing and to minimize the potential for flying projectiles. Regardless, how hard is it for people to turn off their phones, tablets and other devices for just 15 minutes or so at the start and end of flights? Why is it such an inconvenience? Because it interrupts a word game?

I actually hope they keep the rule in.

--Pat
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:55 PM   #67
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I quit flying after 9/11 because of the idiotic security rules they put in place. Ever since then, my vacations have been local.

Personally, I don't care what rules they implement. They don't affect me, so it's not my problem.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #68
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The simpler approach would be to start designing planes with better control isolation. Why isn't the entire passenger cabin a Faraday cage with opto-couplings for any circuitry allowed out of it? I do understand that retrofits might be too difficult though expensive retrofits are big business for seat-back entertainment companies (e.g. Thales).
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:38 PM   #69
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I quit flying after 9/11 because of the idiotic security rules they put in place. Ever since then, my vacations have been local.

Personally, I don't care what rules they implement. They don't affect me, so it's not my problem.
It's fun discussing it, though! And, I agree it's idiotic (especially the way they enforce it).

I always turn off my phone (if I remember) and I always wait to fire up my ereader (if I remember). If not, oh well.

As far as paying attention to the safety spiel...nothing ever goes as planned. I've only had four major problems flying -- a flat tire on landing in L.A., an emergency landing on the way to Chicago when lightning hit our plane, and two cockpit fires. Different flight crews -- different approaches to handling the emergencies and nothing (in these 4 instances) in the safety blurb made one bit of difference.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:52 PM   #70
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It's fun discussing it, though! And, I agree it's idiotic (especially the way they enforce it).
Please forgive me if I've misinterpreted, but are you saying that you think the rules concerning electronic devices (the subject of this thread) are idiotic, or are you referring to the many other rules introduced post 9/11?

If the former: why? What's idiotic about them?

/JB
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:30 PM   #71
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As far as paying attention to the safety spiel...nothing ever goes as planned. I've only had four major problems flying -- a flat tire on landing in L.A., an emergency landing on the way to Chicago when lightning hit our plane, and two cockpit fires. Different flight crews -- different approaches to handling the emergencies and nothing (in these 4 instances) in the safety blurb made one bit of difference.
You've had only four major problems flying including two cockpit fires? Luck seems to follow you around!

Maybe the desire for passengers to be alert has as much to do with other announcements and not just the saftey instructions. For example, on landing, they often announce important info on connecting flights or baggage pickup while the plane is taxiing to the gate. If half the passengers had headphones on, then likely some would miss this essential info.

--Pat
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:44 PM   #72
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I think it's idiotic the way some of these regulations are enforced. As Tubemonkey said in an earlier post, the potential for disaster is either there or it's not. If it's a serious threat, then ban all electronic devices -- it wouldn't bother the majority of us at all. Leaving it to each individual passenger to decide on compliance is just silly.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #73
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You've had only four major problems flying including two cockpit fires? Luck seems to follow you around!
I don't think the cockpit fires (or the flat on landing) are all that rare. The lightning was, though, None of the very experienced pilots on that flight had gone through that and were quite giddy once we were on the ground and they were able to view the evidence.

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Maybe the desire for passengers to be alert has as much to do with other announcements and not just the saftey instructions. For example, on landing, they often announce important info on connecting flights or baggage pickup while the plane is taxiing to the gate. If half the passengers had headphones on, then likely some would miss this essential info.
There could be any number of reasons they could miss the announcements, but that's kind of their problem and not the airlines. I'm often asleep
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:15 PM   #74
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I think they do this because they want to pretend you are paying attention in the case of an emergency. Once they reach 30k feet, you can use them again.

I love it when they say "put down your reading materials and stop your conversations and listen to this safety briefing" Then they show you how to buckle a seat belt. I don't mean to disparage people from other countries who can't use a seatbelt, but a flight between Chicago and Boise is probably not their first time using a seatbelt. And I know if the plane crashes, I will forget anything printed in the safety placard or told to me, anyway.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #75
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The simpler approach would be to start designing planes with better control isolation. Why isn't the entire passenger cabin a Faraday cage with opto-couplings for any circuitry allowed out of it?
Well, for a start, any extra weight adds to the 'running costs' of air travel, which is an extremely price-sensitive market.
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