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Old 09-26-2008, 01:43 AM   #1
Sibby
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Planes and e-books

I spend a lot of time on planes unfortunatley, and one of the main reasons for the ebook in the first place was so i did not need to take more than one book. Yet now this week i am left frustrated as we are all told to 'turn off all electronic devices for takeoff - and landing', the whole hour almost of each flight where a book is needed, now with nothing to read.

Now i know these things (or the sony anyway) does not transmit a signal and therefore cannot effect the damn plane, the issue is how do i explain that the the highly educated flight attendants?

Anyone faced similar hassles, any suggestions? I am nominated always for an isle seat and thus in view when the walk through.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:52 AM   #2
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You could try putting it in an antistatic bag as some of them are semitransparent and zip lockable. They are an effective Faraday Cage but i'm not sure if they are transparent enough to read
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Now i know these things (or the sony anyway) does not transmit a signal and therefore cannot effect the damn plane, the issue is how do i explain that the the highly educated flight attendants?
Technically all electronic devices emit some EM, regardless of whether they have a radio antenna. Usually this is so low that it couldn't possibly effect the plane in any way. That said however, there is a fear that a new or malfunctioning gizmo might somehow produce noticeable interference.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:45 AM   #4
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It's not the airlines that set the rules, but the regulatory authorities in each country. There's no point in trying to argue about it.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
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I haven't argued, but I haven't been asked either. The one flight attendant that did pay attention wanted to know where to buy one. That's only 4 flights though, and in Australia where we may not have the nominal rights the US has but we don't have the anti-tourist nonsense quite so bad either.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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In the flights I took recently it was really a short period were they really reuired everything to be turned off. For example it is just at the take off. So when you are waiting in the take off queue it seemed OK to use electronic equipment. So i wonder what the formal rules really says.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibby View Post
I spend a lot of time on planes unfortunatley, and one of the main reasons for the ebook in the first place was so i did not need to take more than one book. Yet now this week i am left frustrated as we are all told to 'turn off all electronic devices for takeoff - and landing', the whole hour almost of each flight where a book is needed, now with nothing to read.

Now i know these things (or the sony anyway) does not transmit a signal and therefore cannot effect the damn plane, the issue is how do i explain that the the highly educated flight attendants?

Anyone faced similar hassles, any suggestions? I am nominated always for an isle seat and thus in view when the walk through.

I'm going to make a couple of comments. I'm not trying to be rude - nor do I care to be rude to you - but these are my thoughts:

1) I think flight attendents work pretty damn hard for (sometimes) very difficult passengers as they try to please so many people and to follow the safety regulations. (I'm not hinting that you are one.) I would also suspect that some are highly educated, but perhaps not in the way you define education.

2) I was aware, a few years before I started bringing my Reader with me on flights, that it must be turned off before takeoff and during the landing procedure. I'm surprised you weren't aware of this, since you "spend a lot of time on planes."

When I fly from Peru to the U.S. and back again - about 6 times in the past 2 years - I simply turn my unit off when asked to do so. Then, when it's permissable, I turn my unit back on.

Finally, because words on a blank screen can so often be frustrating and cold, I offer this little fellow to help express myself when words are sometimes inadequate:


Sincerely,
Don
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:15 AM   #8
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Forgive me for being stupid

Perhaps my words don't read as well on the outside as they sounded on the inside.

I was not trying to suggest that attendants are not hard working or were umb, they do a job i could not for fear of belting troublesome passengers. I was simply sharing my frustration, and was hoping for a way to continue to read from the time of being seated through to the time i stand and leave the machine. I travel often and rarely listen to the same safety instructions; i do turn my ipod off by the way. So now i turn off both, as yesterday my 5yo said in a loud voice upon landing 'Dad they said you have to turn that off, you're naughty'.

So having just returned today from another series of flights i am now taking a magazine and the Sony.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:24 AM   #9
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I have just found this topic after asking the same question on the Sony PRS-505 part of the forum.

I will also be disappointed to have to turn my book off for take-off and landing. In these modern times, I find it strange that devices do not come stamped with ‘Air Safe’ or some other sticker FAA/BAA/etc approved to say that they are OK.

An it’s a puzzle on where do you drawn the line? Just because a device has an off switch, is it really off. My PDA has an off switch, but unless I hold it down for a long time, it only switches the screen off. And almost every flight I have taken over the last 5 years, there has been a phone start to ring or an SMS come in either just as the plane takes off, or as its 10 feet above the ground coming into land.

But are Boeing or Airbus really making planes which will crash because there is some very minor output from an ebook or similar device?

But as I say, where do you draw the line? My watch has a built in GPS receiver, an LCD display, so may admit signals – so this be barred. Or what about pocket calculators – is there really that much difference between them and ebook readers?
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffab View Post
[snip]
But are Boeing or Airbus really making planes which will crash because there is some very minor output from an ebook or similar device?
Of course not. There are some radio based navigation aids that can be confused by radio receivers for nearby bands. The use of TV receivers on flights is a particular problem. These radio navigation devices are backups for GPS, the preferred navigation aid.

The question you have to ask yourself is "Do you want to presume that your flight attendant and/or fellow passenger is a knowledgeable electronics engineer?" If you can say yes, then you can trust them to use their engineering expertise to tell folks what to turn off. Alas, if you can say yes I'm not comfortable with you being in charge of air travel.

These people have absolutely no idea how the iGizmo in front of them works. The rules need to be simple to explain, simple to understand, and simple to check. That's more important than that they are optimal. The "If it has an off switch, then it needs to be off" rule meets all those criteria.

That said, I am an engineer, and I read my Sony Reader all the time during takeoff and landing. However, I don't let people see me because I respect that the flight attendant's job is hard enough without "But you're letting him read."
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RSaunders View Post
The question you have to ask yourself is "Do you want to presume that your flight attendant and/or fellow passenger is a knowledgeable electronics engineer?" If you can say yes, then you can trust them to use their engineering expertise to tell folks what to turn off. Alas, if you can say yes I'm not comfortable with you being in charge of air travel.
Well I guess we should all be dead then. On a plane of say 300 odd people, of which 80-90% will be carrying a mobile phone, I can pretty much guarantee that there are at least 4 or 5 phones left on my mistake (or those that cant be bothered to turn them off). On almost every single flight I have been on (and I fly a reasonable amount), the moment the wheels touch down, there is the sound of dozens of phones being switched off. On a lot of flights, there are even one or two people on a flight who are up out of their seat and getting bags from the overhead as the plane is still taxing around.

Reading the regulations, the advise notes, and other published information (see section 6 of http://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/91-21_1.html as an example), it appears that the use of almost ANY electronic device including a hand-held calculator is prohibited by all international cariers not only on the (foolish) grounds of interferance, but also in case items get loose and bounce around.

I imagine a 505 in the back of the head could be fairly nasty. But then, would it be any worse than say the latest Stephen King book in hardback?

As I have said on another forum, would it just not be a whole lot simplier for the joined up FAA/BAA/etc's of this world to be able to issue a "FAA approvd" image to put on devices?
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:59 PM   #12
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For the brief time that we can't have our electronic devices on, I personally just spend it praying to God that the plane won't crash while I am on it.

Seriously though, I get the point that most of our e-readers don't interfere with the electronics on the plane, but future e-readers (as more of them become wireless) may cause problems. Maybe we should just get used to it now.

So it doesn't bother me to have my reader off for a bit. The majority of the flight can be spent reading so it wasn't that bad for me. And for the record, I have a friend who is an airline pilot here in the U.S. and he says that cell phones and stuff DO cause quirks with their flight instruments. I've heard others say it doesn't. I'm willing to be on the side of safety and just turn them off when they say.

Besides, I don't really relish the thought of the plane going down, spiraling out of control, as the pilot yells: "I told you morons to turn your electronic devices oooooffffff...." That's a "I told ya so" I don't wanna hear.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:08 PM   #13
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I think that much of this problem is the standard "American" problem. If a person on a plane sees me with my reader on, they want to know why they cannot have their gameboy, DVD player, or other device on. It is easier to say no to everything than put the flight attendants through this.

Before you start flaming, I am an American.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibby View Post
I spend a lot of time on planes unfortunatley, and one of the main reasons for the ebook in the first place was so i did not need to take more than one book. Yet now this week i am left frustrated as we are all told to 'turn off all electronic devices for takeoff - and landing', the whole hour almost of each flight where a book is needed, now with nothing to read.

Now i know these things (or the sony anyway) does not transmit a signal and therefore cannot effect the damn plane, the issue is how do i explain that the the highly educated flight attendants?

Anyone faced similar hassles, any suggestions? I am nominated always for an isle seat and thus in view when the walk through.
I must admit, I have been on a lot of flights and never had a problem with turning my Kindle off for the 20 minutes we are taking off and the 20 minutes we are landing. I leaf through one of the flight magazines, or talk to the person next to me ... in other words it's simply not that big a deal to me.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:39 AM   #15
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Before you start flaming, I am an American.
We don't stand for flaming much around here, actually. Discussion of differing ideas, yes, absolutely, but flaming ... not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgillette.rm View Post
I think that much of this problem is the standard "American" problem. If a person on a plane sees me with my reader on, they want to know why they cannot have their gameboy, DVD player, or other device on. It is easier to say no to everything than put the flight attendants through this.
I also am a U.S. Citizen (native) and I agree absolutely with that idea -- our culture fosters and tolerates entirely too much of this sort of ... juvenile self-seeking attitude, and this is only one of the myriad ways it manifests.

I have some theories as to why, but I don't regard them as all that comprehensive. I do, however, think that most of our societal problems can be traced back to this sort of selfishness.
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