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Old May 15, 2013, 10:07 AM   #1
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Airline Industry Remains Divided Over Personal Electronics Usage During Takeoff and Landing




Earlier this year, we noted that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was continuing to look at the use of personal electronic devices during the taxi, takeoff, and landing phases of commercial flights, hoping to take action by the end of the year to loosen restrictions currently requiring that all devices be powered down during these times.

Bloomberg now provides another update on the situation, noting that the airline industry remains divided over whether restrictions should be relaxed as reports of possible interference between these devices and aircraft electronics continue to surface. The report leads with a brief anecdote involving an iPhone:
Quote:
The regional airliner was climbing past 9,000 feet when its compasses went haywire, leading pilots several miles off course until a flight attendant persuaded a passenger in row 9 to switch off an Apple Inc. iPhone.

"The timing of the cellphone being turned off coincided with the moment where our heading problem was solved," the unidentified co-pilot told NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System about the 2011 incident. The plane landed safely.
Despite the fact that correlation does not necessarily imply causation, some pilots and airlines remain concerned over the potential impact of these electronic devices on their aircraft. The International Air Transport Association collected a list of 75 suspected cases of interference between 2003 and 2009 and airlines are continuing to see occasional reports, although some remain in favor of relaxing the regulations.
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Even Delta Air Lines Inc., which argued for relaxed rules, told the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration its pilots and mechanics reported 27 suspected incidents of passenger electronics causing aircraft malfunctions from 2010 to 2012. Atlanta-based Delta said it couldn't verify there was interference in any of those cases.

The airline industry has been divided. Delta said in its filing that it welcomes more electronics use because that's what its passengers wanted. United Continental Holdings Inc. said it preferred no changes because they'd be difficult for flight attendants to enforce.
Just last week, a study indicated that 30% of U.S. airline passengers who have brought electronic devices onboard have accidentally left them on at least once.

With increased connectivity in the air through in-flight Wi-Fi and pilots even taking advantage of iPads to replace their traditional flight bags weighing 30-40 pounds, consumer demand for increased access to their electronic devices during flight has raised visibility of the debate over whether such devices pose risks during critical phases of flight. For now, the debate continues to play out as both sides seek to use scientific data to back up their positions.

Article Link: Airline Industry Remains Divided Over Personal Electronics Usage During Takeoff and Landing
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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I think it's passengers who should relax

they will survive with no electronics until the plane is up
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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I'd prefer that cell phones remain banned during takeoff and landing. The clowns yammering away on their phones — in spite of the rules — are rude and annoying.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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As an engineer that specializes in investigating software issues with avionics software (mostly things that go bump in the night traced to SEU cosmic ray events and EMI) I assure you, I always take my electronic devices to OFF or Airplane Mode during take-off and landing.

It frustrates me when I hear of politicians that know nothing of safety and electronics try to act like they actually know something of the field.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:13 AM   #5
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I don't for a second believe that personal electronics pose any threat to safety. We aren't allowed to bring a 5 oz bottle of water through security, but we're supposed to believe that we're allowed to hold onto and self-regulate electronics that are capable of endangering navigation systems? Not bloody likely.

Fwiw, every flight I take, I see people just put their devices away rather than powering them off. No crashes yet.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:15 AM   #6
MultiMediaWill
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The image used in the article is 100% relevant.

/sarcasm

Anyways, as a pilot my self operating under part 91 (FAR), personal electronics have never interfered with my flights.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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Screw having cellphones on, bring back smoking! If your allowed to bring your annoying children and babble on your Phone during a flight, I want to be able to smoke
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNothing View Post
As an engineer that specializes in investigating software issues with avionics software (mostly things that go bump in the night traced to SEU cosmic ray events and EMI) I assure you, I always take my electronic devices to OFF or Airplane Mode during take-off and landing.

It frustrates me when I hear of politicians that know nothing of safety and electronics try to act like they actually know something of the field.
Interesting how there is no evidence whatsoever that cell phones cause any sort of interference.

Anecdotal evidence from a flight attendant doesn't trump the science for me... nor the common sense that on every flight there are multiple phones and iPads and such that are never turned off. If there were any issues with this, it would have surfaced a long time ago.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:15 AM   #9
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Not sure I want to be on an airplane that could possibly have issues because someone turned on an mobile device.

Shouldn't this be an non issue by now? Was this ever an issue?
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:16 AM   #10
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May be they should tell us which model planes had issues to see if there is an inferior product.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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Why is this a big deal? Don't use your stupid devices during takeoff. You're not that important. Idiots.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:17 AM   #12
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I imagine that far more than 30% of people have accidentally left their devices on. I think that many people think they are in compliance if they put their iPhones into airplane mode, if they close the lid on their laptop, or if they simply turn the screen of their Kindle off.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by spacehog371 View Post
Interesting how there is no evidence whatsoever that cell phones cause any sort of interference.

Anecdotal evidence from a flight attendant doesn't trump the science for me... nor the common sense that on every flight there are multiple phones and iPads and such that are never turned off. If there were any issues with this, it would have surfaced a long time ago.
Pilot: "There was a very bright object steaking across the sky then it was in front of us flashing then took off."
Tower: "Would you like to report a UFO?"
Pilot: "No, provide us our course correction and we'll be on our way."
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:20 AM   #14
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As a pilot with a degree in electrical engineering, I shall sit back and enjoy the proclamations of "There's no way an electronic device could interfere with navigation systems onboard an aircraft" made by people who have no clue what they are talking about....
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by G51989 View Post
Screw having cellphones on, bring back smoking! If your allowed to bring your annoying children and babble on your Phone during a flight, I want to be able to smoke
Children and talking on a phone during a flight doesn't affect the health of others. You wanna suck on cancer sticks, do it in your own space.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:20 AM   #16
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iPads

We have used electronic flight bags in our corporate plane for close to 10 years now and last year upgraded them to iPad 3's, they are always on in the Airplane Mode, basically we just use them for charts.
We do not download weather or any other items while they are in the plane, any updates to the charts are done at home, or in a hotel on the road.

We also have everyone not use their personal phones during take off or landings. Our flight instruments are all glass electronic displays and so far we've never had any issue with interference of any kind.

The iPads are great by the way, I can carry every chart for the entire world in them, easy to update and use.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:20 AM   #17
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One thing that may be more important then interference is the effect the use of electronics have on evacuating the plane during an emergency. Pretty much the only time you have a chance to survive a crash is during takeoff and landing. Being able to leave the plane quickly, which includes realizing that there is an emergency quickly, can safe lives.

Someone working on a laptop is going to take more time to get up and move, and the laptop may be a trip hazard to others if dropped. Someone listening to music using earphones may not be able to listen to announcements.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:21 AM   #18
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Maybe the pilots are holding the plane wrong.

My opinion is that all personal distraction devices should be put away during take off and landing. Most airline emergencies occur either when the plane is taking off or when it is landing. In the event of an emergency I don't need your device smacking me in the head after flying across the cabin or you fumbling with it when we're trying to get to the emergency exit door. Put it away!
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:21 AM   #19
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You can drive a car, a train a ship with your iPhone turned on, but when in a airplane, the airplane suddenly tend to fall out of the sky????

This is complete BS. They have the same stupid restrictions in hospitals (unless you are a doctor than you can). As proven 30% of all travels leave there devices on, isn't this proof enough that the rule is nonsens? It is based on blind fear instead of on facts!
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:22 AM   #20
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Not sure of the causation? Come on. This is 2013! You mean to tell me that we don't know if mobile devices affect airplane systems or not??? Gimme a break.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:22 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by japanime View Post
I'd prefer that cell phones remain banned during takeoff and landing. The clowns yammering away on their phones in spite of the rules are rude and annoying.
Calm down, it's not your living room.

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Old May 15, 2013, 10:23 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by spacehog371 View Post
Interesting how there is no evidence whatsoever that cell phones cause any sort of interference.

Anecdotal evidence from a flight attendant doesn't trump the science for me... nor the common sense that on every flight there are multiple phones and iPads and such that are never turned off. If there were any issues with this, it would have surfaced a long time ago.
Would be interesting to know what's the difference between an iPhone in good working condition, and an iPhone that was "repaired" by someone without a clue what they were doing. There was a report about an iPhone going up in flames during a flight, and it was found that during a botched repair a screw had been put through the outer protection of the battery, so that iPhone was literally screwed.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:25 AM   #23
JGRE
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Originally Posted by notthedark View Post
Maybe the pilots are holding the plane wrong.

My opinion is that all personal distraction devices should be put away during take off and landing. Most airline emergencies occur either when the plane is taking off or when it is landing. In the event of an emergency I don't need your device smacking me in the head after flying across the cabin or you fumbling with it when we're trying to get to the emergency exit door. Put it away!
Ever been in a plane crash, no, so where are you complaining about?
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:25 AM   #24
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You can drive a car, a train a ship with your iPhone turned on, but when in a airplane, the airplane suddenly tend to fall out of the sky????
I have witnessed, first hand, a cell phone interfering with a CDI. En-route, not a big deal. If it was during an ILS approach, it might be a bigger deal.

But then perhaps you have more flight experience than I do, and perhaps you have designed more electronic devices than I have, so I bow to your expertise.
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Old May 15, 2013, 10:26 AM   #25
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The problem is there is no way to enforce the rule. How many people have phones/tablets in their pockets or bags that are on? So the rule banning them during landing and take off is stupid, either don't let them on board or let people use them.

A better solution is if someone wants to use their tablet or phone let the flight attendants ask everyone to put it in airplane mode. They could even walk up and down the aisle having passengers show that their device is in airplane mode.

An even better solution would be to have software companies work with the airline industry to have devices automatically detect your device is in an airplane and it puts it in airplane mode for you. Problem solved.
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