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Old 12-11-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
Mostly Math
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Petition to allow ereaders to be used at all times during flight

George Takei has a petition going at:

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petition...during-flights
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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Inflight, no problem.

But during take-offs and landings both my hands are busy gripping the armrests.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:00 PM   #3
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I'd love to be able to read during take-offs and landings. However, I'm not a big believer in the effectiveness of online petitions.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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I'm guessing that the regulation is still on the books for two reasons:

To remove distractions during phases of the flight when the passenger's attention may be required. E-readers shouldn't be any worse than books in this respect, but tablets containing games and movies probably are.

Poorly designed or modified devices can dump RF energy on unintended frequencies, including those used for communications and navigation. A blanket policy against using electronic devices helps to avoid that issue.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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one reason often cited for the policy is interference with the flgith controls. i'll be honest that i doubt that's much of an issue. but i'd hate to be on the plane that had a problem with a weird electronic device someone brought on and was using during takeoff ...

but another reason for the no-electronics policy for takeoff and landing's also a legacy of the fact that in developed nations with good airlines, most crashes happened during the first few or last few minutes of flight, well into the '90s. And in third-world countries, that's still the case. Electronic devices most often used are those with headphones -- music and games. Prohibiting electronics until a plane's at cruising altitude is just to make sure passengers aren't distracted. Imagine how differently getting people out of the plane that ditched into the Hudson River a couple years ago would have gone if they'd had to be tapping people to remove their earbuds and listen to the instructions.

I'm not saying an ereader distracts you like an iPod ... but I think it would be hard to selectively allow one and not the other.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cromag View Post
Inflight, no problem.

But during take-offs and landings both my hands are busy gripping the armrests.
Reminds me of one flight where I found myself walking the girl next to me through everything that was going to happen...

OK, soon you're going to hear a thud followed by an increase in noise... that's a good thing, it's the landing gear coming out. See? OK... now you're going to feel a jolt followed by an even louder noise... that's good, it's the landing followed by the flaps slowing the plane! We're on the ground now!

She was terrified of every noise that the plane made. :-)
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BWinmill View Post
To remove distractions during phases of the flight when the passenger's attention may be required. E-readers shouldn't be any worse than books in this respect, but tablets containing games and movies probably are.
This is exactly what I've been told by flight attendants. More than one has said that the point isn't to keep people from reading, it's to keep people from wearing headphones during all the safety (and sales, depending on the airline) blab.

There are way too many devices and capabilities for them to police each type, so they just prohibit everything.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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The distraction argument is a fairy tale. I know several airlines that allow you to use the onboard entertainment system during take-off and landing. Including the headphones.

Also the story that electronic devices can interfere with navigation or communication systems is most likely untrue. The only problem is that there is no solid proof that your e-reader or tablet can under no circumstance cause interference. That is the only reason why you are not allowed to use them during take-off and landing.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:36 AM   #9
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Safety measures should not be determined by popular petitions - let's leave it to the experts in the field. I read recently that the FAA are currently reviewing their policies on the use of electronic devices on flights; we should wait for the outcome of that review.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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I recall one flight where I was told to put away a hardcover book I was reading. I was told in the event of an accident it could be a potential projectile. They do have an answer for everything.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetmolm View Post
Also the story that electronic devices can interfere with navigation or communication systems is most likely untrue.
Yet that's the standard blurb used on every flight I've ever taken. It amuses me because if they were the least bit serious, it wouldn't be left to the honor system.

I won't bother to sign the petition, though, because it's just not that important to me and the minute the plane starts to taxi, I usually fall asleep anyway
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetmolm View Post
Also the story that electronic devices can interfere with navigation or communication systems is most likely untrue. The only problem is that there is no solid proof that your e-reader or tablet can under no circumstance cause interference. That is the only reason why you are not allowed to use them during take-off and landing.
While there may not be actual evidence of devices affecting the operation of an airplane, there have definitely been proven incidents of electronic devices affecting the normal operation of certain hospital equipment, so the possibility isn't totally unfounded.

Personally, I think there have been enough instances of people forgetting to turn off devices and/or put them in airplane mode to be over this as a real concern.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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The distraction argument is a fairy tale. I know several airlines that allow you to use the onboard entertainment system during take-off and landing. Including the headphones.
The entertainment systems that I've seen will automatically cut ouy for announcements. That isn't true for personal devices.

Quote:
Also the story that electronic devices can interfere with navigation or communication systems is most likely untrue. The only problem is that there is no solid proof that your e-reader or tablet can under no circumstance cause interference. That is the only reason why you are not allowed to use them during take-off and landing.
Radio frequency interference is real. It probably won't cause your plane to crash, but given our low risk and high liability culture, certain decosions have been made.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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Since some airlines (American, I think) are having their pilots use iPads in the cockpit, it can't be too much of a problem electronically. Distraction during takeoff instructions, I can see - but limit that to no headphones then, and let me read my kindle.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pidgeon92 View Post
I recall one flight where I was told to put away a hardcover book I was reading. I was told in the event of an accident it could be a potential projectile. They do have an answer for everything.
Well, imagine getting hit by a flying hardcover of War & Peace or Atlas Shrugged.


The digital version would be much safer.
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