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Old 03-26-2013, 10:05 PM   #16
Turtle91
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It's about time...

As a pilot, my company issued me an ipad so we could have our electronic publications (approach plates, departure procedures, and enroute charts) available ALL the time...kind of hard to takeoff/land the airplane when you have to turn off your device below 10,000 ft! And that i already approved by the FAA!

So, yes, it is silly to say that electronics can't be used.

However, I can attest through personal experience (when someone forgot to turn off their cell phone...not me honest ) that cell phones DO interfere with some of the aircraft systems. Most noticeably the radios start cutting out and you get weird beeping sounds on the frequency. I haven't seen the heading bug start spinning or the aircraft start a descent uncontrolled because of it, but you never know exactly what the effects are.

One or two cell-phones/ 3G/4G devices not turned off...probabaly not a big deal....100 of them, could cause issues. So how does the flight attendant make sure everyone has their devices tuned to "airplane mode"?? Especially when it's obvious that some people *cough*usuallee*cough* don't bother following the rules that are there...because they don't think they should have to.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Last edited by Turtle91; 03-26-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #17
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The rules don't apply to me" is your attitude, is it? I take the view that if I choose to fly, I obey the rules, whether or not I happen to think they're silly. Flight attendants have enough to do without passengers who think they're "special".
Dude that is an excessively punctilious way of looking at things, in my opinion. You and I both know a wifi only Kindle on airplane mode is not really the target of the rule and couldn't possibly interfere with the functioning of an airplane in any way. I don't believe I'm special at all, but on the other hand I think for myself and apply my own knowledge, ethics, and morality to situations. Just as you do, HarryT, with stripping DRM from your books, which is expressly forbidden. So I guess you, too, feel that the rules don't apply to you, eh? So let's just pump the brakes on the sanctimonious, hypocritical handwringing, shall we?

If I really thought there was even a hint of danger or hassle for anyone, I wouldn't do it. I'm really a rather mild mannered guy, believe it or not. And incidentally, am no bother at all to flight attendants.

Last edited by usuallee; 03-26-2013 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #18
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It's always the nice guys that don't know what they don't know that cause the problems....lol
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:35 PM   #19
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Dude that is an excessively punctilious way of looking at things, in my opinion. You and I both know a wifi only Kindle on airplane mode is not really the target of the rule and couldn't possibly interfere with the functioning of an airplane in any way. I don't believe I'm special at all, but on the other hand I think for myself and apply my own knowledge, ethics, and morality to situations. Just as you do, HarryT, with stripping DRM from your books, which is expressly forbidden. So I guess you, too, feel that the rules don't apply to you, eh? So let's just pump the brakes on the sanctimonious, hypocritical handwringing, shall we?

If I really thought there was even a hint of danger or hassle for anyone, I wouldn't do it. I'm really a rather mild mannered guy, believe it or not. And incidentally, am no bother at all to flight attendants.
There's quite a difference between the two.

Harry's rule breaking doesn't put other peoples lives at risk if his opinion is wrong/flawed. Nobody will die because he stripped DRM from a book he's bought.

Whilst I agree with you that devices in airplane mode should be fine, since interference is a complex topic I'm also willing to accept the possibility that my knowledge may not be complete and until experts in the field say it's fine to use them, I'll abide by cabin staff instructions and I would hope most other people will do so too.

As for the rest of my thoughts on this subject, I've already hashed them out several times in previous airline threads so I'm not going to go there again
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:59 PM   #20
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Again; if these devices truly posed a threat, they'd be confiscated, turned off, and placed inside checked baggage.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
Whilst I agree with you that devices in airplane mode should be fine, since interference is a complex topic I'm also willing to accept the possibility that my knowledge may not be complete and until experts in the field say it's fine to use them, I'll abide by cabin staff instructions and I would hope most other people will do so too.
Same here-but since I do have my opinion I'll feel free to express it & grumble whilst I comply. Depending on how early it is & how much coffee I've had I might grumble quietly or loudly-but I will grumble.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:41 PM   #22
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Again; if these devices truly posed a threat, they'd be confiscated, turned off, and placed inside checked baggage.
There's levels of threat and risk from unlikely to certainty and each is handled in different ways as appropriate.

If turning on a cellphone always caused a problem and could be shown to bring planes down, then it'd be treated as a similar threat level as trying to take a bomb on board a plane. Nobody would be allowed to take one onboard whether it was turned off or not.

In reality, they fall into the, most likely not going to cause a problem even if someone has deliberately modified it or leaves one on. So risk wise there's no need to totally ban them, but we're not 100% sure that even unmodified devices are going to be totally safe, so for now lets try to get them all turned off during flights (or at least the parts we're worried about).

As more research is done, the risk levels will be re-evaluated and change much as we're seeing with the usage of electronic (non-transmitting) during take-off/landing.

IOW until we know enough to be confident in any decision, err on the side of caution.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:42 PM   #23
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Same here-but since I do have my opinion I'll feel free to express it & grumble whilst I comply. Depending on how early it is & how much coffee I've had I might grumble quietly or loudly-but I will grumble.
Just remember to not shoot the messenger
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:52 PM   #24
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You and I both know a wifi only Kindle on airplane mode is not really the target of the rule and couldn't possibly interfere with the functioning of an airplane in any way.
I was going to follow up on HarryT's post by commenting that very few people realize that a mobile phone includes a radio transmitter, but you pretty much made the point for me: anything with Wi-Fi includes a radio transmitter. Likewise for anything with BlueTooth. Ditto for many other wireless devices.

Transmitters are the biggest risk because they are of relatively high power. Many people don't realize that some receivers also create radio frequency noise. An example is heterodyne receivers, since they use an intermediate frequency before demodulating the signal. Heck, any electronic device will emit electromagnetic radiation. That's why so many devices carry FCC approval. On top of that, poorly designed equipment can create spurious signals at unintended frequencies. Look up radio harmonics for one such example.

I'm not going to pretend that I understand everything here because it is a complex subject that I haven't dealt with in a rather long time. Organizations like the FAA have a better understanding of the issues, so I'm willing to take their word on such matters. I am not willing to accept the word of people who feel inconvenienced by the regulations, and are unlikely to understand how electricity works.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #25
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Again; if these devices truly posed a threat, they'd be confiscated, turned off, and placed inside checked baggage.
Exactly.

If there was the remotest potential for disaster, they wouldn't be leaving it up to the 'honor system'.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #26
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Exactly.

If there was the remotest potential for disaster, they wouldn't be leaving it up to the 'honor system'.
Yes.

But then, the trouble is not really a few phones, trouble is more the mess so many device all emitting waves in a small space could cause.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #27
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Interesting discussion--but if they didn't have the ban, I wouldn't have found so many cool things in Skymall!
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:21 PM   #28
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I’m reminded of a story that our Frequency Manager used to tell. It seems that different countries have different frequency allocations. An example; the same frequency that RC model airplanes in the US use is used by the Japanese military for another purpose. So when American servicemen are stationed in Japan, they’re not supposed to use their model airplanes.

It seems that one uninformed soldier sent his gear to his new assignment in Okinawa, and decided to go virtual flying one weekend. He was happily flying around the base when the Japanese fired up their military transmitter at high power. The military signal jammed his controls, and he lost control of his model; it just flew away until it ran out of fuel.

As luck would have it, the plane flew off the base and crashed into the windshield of a Japanese civilian man, who was so startled that he lost control of his car, crashed and was seriously injured.

Wallah! Instant international incident! I’m not sure what happened to the soldier, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t good.

Moral of the story: What you don’t know can hurt you and others. I don’t know what spurious EM emissions can do to a planes avionics, but it’s not really much of a burden to just turn them off when people who are much smarter than me say I should.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #29
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Just remember to not shoot the messenger
Depends on how early it is & whether or not I've had my coffee. If it's 0-dark-thirty & I'm coffeeless then I won't guarantee the safety of anyone who irritates me. But I doubt I'll be shooting anybody on a plane-I know how easy it is to sneak a gun thru 'security' but it's not guaranteed. I don't want it confiscated (with my luck I'd be the one they catch even if every other passenger was also packing) & I don't see any great need so I simply don't try to carry a gun aboard a plane. So no shooting of messengers, I can be pretty certain of that.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:24 PM   #30
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Organizations like the FAA have a better understanding of the issues, so I'm willing to take their word on such matters.
They're a government agency run by politicians. I'm not willing to take their word on whether or not the ocean is wet.
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