FAA Still Looking at Digital Device Use During Takeoff and Landing

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A year ago, it was revealed that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration was reexamining regulations regarding the use of digital devices like the iPad or Amazon Kindle during taxi, takeoff and landing of commercial aircraft.

    Today, The New York Times reports that the industry group working with the FAA to study the issue hopes to loosen restrictions by the end of the year. However, there are still details to work out regarding what devices will be acceptable during flight and what 'airplane mode' means.

    Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) promised at the end of last year to introduce legislation to force the FAA to loosen its restrictions if it doesn't choose to do so on its own. The senator was particularly frustrated because airline pilots can use iPads in the cockpit in all phases of flight, while customers are restricted to seemingly arbitrary altitude limits.

    Article Link: FAA Still Looking at Digital Device Use During Takeoff and Landing
  2. macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    About time, i flew to Panama and that airline didn't care at all about my iphone being on. So much more relaxing to sit down and be preoccupied during landing and take off by a movie or music.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Can't tell you how many flights I've been on where passengers simply hide their devices when the FA walks by, but don't turn them off.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2005
    Lake George, NY
    Sooner rather than later, please. I hate flying, and having some music or video to watch and drown out the flight during takeoff would be a welcome privilege.
  5. Administrator emeritus


    Jun 28, 2002
    North Central Colorado
    Reasons would be good

    If they continue to impose the "turn it off under 10,000 feet" rule, I'd like to know why pilots can keep them on, especially since there's no difference between the iPad a pilot is using and the one I'm using.

    Regardless, I feel I'm totally in the minority when I actually power down my devices under 10K' on a flight. Those around me just click the sleep button on the top, and most don't even bother to put the devices in airplane mode during the flight. Several times recently, the folks sitting next to me just cover their phones up while the flight attendant walks by, then continue plugging away when they're not being watched regardless of the altitude or "rules" being implied.
  6. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Yup, this
  7. macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    If these devices posed a real risk (interference to instruments, etc) they they would not allow regular citizen on board with those devices.

    We are stuck in a tube for X hours, if we can entertain ourselves so be it!
  8. macrumors 68030


    Sep 6, 2007
    I fly frequently and see it all the time too. As well, I'm a offender. But there have been reports for a while saying these devices are safe. The FAA just needs to step into the 21st century. :) Just a matter of time.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    i never turn my phone off or in airplane mode. i've also never been in a plane crash. i've sent numerous text and made calls from a commercial plane while in flight(lower altitudes where service is available), nothing bad has ever happened.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2005
    I usually just put my phone on airplane mode and my iPad to sleep.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    I foresee this post being locked or being restricted and moved onto the political forums here. Anytime you mention. A US government department it turns into name calling and slurring.

    The countdown begins...
  12. macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    I see a difference, that guy is flying a plane! If he can safely operate his iPad in the cockpit, I think I can handle operating mine while just sitting there.
  13. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    I never turn my devices off, I set my iPhone to airplane mode when in flight.
    It saves battery life and I'm not gonna be making calls midair.

    I think the rule for airplane mode instead of turning devices off will be the norm for all flights soon, just because takeoff and landing one needs to be able to hear whatever the pilot/staff needs to say in an emergency?
  14. macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2004
    The FAA are a bunch of poo-poo heads!
  15. pmz
    macrumors 68000

    Nov 18, 2009
    There is the slightest, most remote possibility that commenters on this subject across every blog on the web actually have no clue what they're talking about...and that this drawn out process to establish the safety of using devices during take off/landing has some significant merit.

    Just a thought.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Monorails don't have these issues. They should get going on bullet-tube systems, or whatever will replace airplanes soon.
  17. macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2012
    San Jose, Ca
    Since cell phonewill still not be allowed then all iPads with a data plan would still be required to be in airplane mode or at least have cellular turned off. So I don't see the big change.

    I fly all the time. I never power off. I thought airplane mode was for airplanes. :)

    Since I fly a lot I must say that in my opinion I hope cell phones are never allowed to be fully used on a flight. I don't want to hear all that talking on a flight.

    Now Internet on board? I can't wait for that to get on more long haul flights.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    Because the two in the cockpit are mounted with a $150 mount and the 80 or so in the cabin are flying projectiles in case of an emergency. This is no longer a technical issue in my book with aircraft equip with IRS system's but is still certainly a safety concern which nobody seems to be talking about.
  19. macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2012
    San Jose, Ca
    Nothing will replace airplanes "soon". Ever try to bullet-tube across the ocean? There's not a train in the world that can go as fast as a jet. Time is money.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Keep in mind that the FAA or any other agency can't just wave their hand and make a rule go away.

    I was on a conference call this morning where we discussed in part removing a state quarantine. When we put the quarantine in place we had to do an economic impact evaluation study. Now that we want to remove the quarantine, we have to do another economic study on the effects of removing the rule. Might take six to eight months to remove this regulation by the time we are done. And I'm talking about something way more researched then cell phones on an airplane.

    That's the way government works.
  21. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    While phones & tables may be safe to use in flight, I certainly hope the decision to allow them will be based on something a tad more scientific than "I use my phone on planes, and I've never died in a plane crash". :p
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    one reason is the pilots stuff is rigorously tested, and they aren't worried about your factory functioning iphone, but a malfunctioning chinese knockoff with a cheap unregulated 1GW transmitter wired wrong so that when you select airplane mode it actually puts out it's most powerful jamming signal or something stupid like that.

    iphones=fine, chinese knockoffs=potentially sketchy.

    during the super critical takeoff and landing, i'd rather just play it safe.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2004
    New York
  24. macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Turn your devices off!

    Just last week, "Olga" the flight attendant (who incidentally won a silver medal in the 1984 shot put event) berated my ass for reading an iPhone during takeoff. One does not piss off Olga from United Air. :eek:
  25. walnuts, Mar 25, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've always suspected that the real reason for the "off" rule is that airplane mode isn't as enforceable as turning the device off. They probably don't want the FA to be responsible to learn the operation of every device to feel comfortable that the rule is being complied with, and they want some measure of accountability/liability coverage. Should an incident ever happen that is blamed on electronic interference, the FAA and the airlines can easily point to having had the FA check that all devices were off and have some release from liability.

    In fact, I could see the FAA adding a requirement that in order for devices to be certified for in flight use, they have some sort of universal, easily visible airplane mode symbol so that FA's could check easily.

    This is a good point, but a good old book would be a similar flying object hazard and they are not forbidden during takeoff/landing.

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