Ipods on planes?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by da_alchemist, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. da_alchemist macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Someone told me that you're not allowed to bring your ipod on a plane. That sounds ridiculous. Is this true?
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I brought one on a trip to Disney World two months ago. No questions asked.
  3. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    Some airlines ask that electronic items like laptops and gameboys are switched off during take-off and landing, but in the air there will be no problems.

    Maybe that someone thought an iPod was a mobile phone?
  4. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Completely untrue. I was just on a flight a couple of weeks ago with my iPod. No questions.

    Now as to how they believe these electronic devices will actually interfere with the plane's ability to take off and land is another question. I'd hate to head to my ever after because some jerk in 18A is balancing his checkbook on approach. :rolleyes:
  5. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    There shouldn't be any problems - aside from taking off, landing.

    But, I do have a friend who when flying on a lowcost airline (Ryanair) within the UK, was asked to switch it off for the duration of the flight. :confused: They've flown since and nothing was said so perhaps it was a dissatisfied Zen Micro flight attendant who didn't want to see lots of happy iPod people!
  6. munkle macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
    I've been averaging a couple of flights a month and my trusty iPod has been a faithful companion on every single trip...no probs as of yet!
  7. thecow macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2003
    Timonium MD
    I don't see why you can't use your iPod during take-off and landing. It doesn't interfere with any of the radio signals to the pieces of the plane or communication to the tower because it doesn't transmit or receive radio frequencies. I'v used mine during take-off and landing and no one even noticed an I was too tired to care enough to turn it off. I can never sleep on planes. Does anyone know why you aren't supposed to use electronics during those times?
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i believer it is just a precaution as to why you are not allowed to use 'em during take off and landing

    i am missing my iPod right now, and i hope to have a new one soon, i never realized how much i took that thing everywhere with me, and if i was going on a plane i would definately be putting it to some good use
  9. runninmac macrumors 65816


    Jan 20, 2005
    Rockford MI
    I to was allowed to bring and listen to my gold iPod mini on the plane to mexico a couple of months ago. There were actually quite a few people listening to them as I was walking to the bathroom I was amazed at the amount of people that had them.
  10. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2005
    Southern California
    Never had a problem using mine on planes. They do, as with any electrical device, request that they be switched off during take-off and landing.

    The reason for this is because planes are equipped with all sorts of navigation, engine status, etc. systems, and YES, during take-off and landing, these devices can interfere with those systems. Even a small handheld dictionary once set off a Boeing 767's navigational equipment. When the device was turned off, everything returned to normal. (Link)

    Interesting read:

  11. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    There's a very good reason why they ask you to turn off your iPod during take off and landing (it's usually until they reach a safe cruising altitude and the seatbelt signs are turned off) and it's not necessarily to do with aircraft systems.

    Statistically, it's the time that there's most likely to be an emergency that requires the evacuation of the plane and if people are hooked into their iPods, then they wouldn't be able to hear any alarms/announcements which might put both themselves and others in danger.
  12. m-dogg macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2004
  13. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i use it on long haul flights all the time no problem :) cept sometimes i need to charge and the seat doesnt have the plug
  14. dobbin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2002
    If there was a chance that electronic devices could interferewith the plane, then I don't think we'd be allowed to take them on the plane at all!

    I think this is a cover story; the real reasons are probably one or more of these:

    1. They want us to concentrate fully on announcements
    2. They don't want us to drop it, and then undo our seat belt to retrieve it etc..
    3. They don't want claims like "the rough landing made me drop my ipod and it broke... etc"
    4. They want us to have our bags packed before landing so we can exit the plane without delay
    5. They want us to read their magazine and buy some fags/perfume/toblerone/small model of their new Airbus A320... etc

    All of these seem more likely to me than the interference story.
  15. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Take-offs and landings are statistically the most hazardous parts of flight. Most accidents have taken place on the ground during taxi, on the runway during roll, shortly after wheels-up, and on approach for landing. I can recall flights that have taken off in foggy weather and hit a mountain, planes that have collided with each other on the ground, engines that have fallen off shortly after take-off, planes that enountered wind sheer and crashed on final approach, early Airbus fly-by-wire software glitches that overrode pilot commands and crashed into the forest right after take-off, etc. The first and only crash of Singapore Airlines happened at the Taipei airport; a nighttime take-off from a closed runway with construction equipment lying downstream. The pilot did not see the signs, the runway itself was not blocked off, and just prior to wheels-up the 747 bound for Los Angeles struck construction equipment, crashed and burned. There were survivors, but 82 fatalities.

    Once at cruising altitude, however, only a missile (generally speaking) will bring down an airplane.

    So when they strap you in during take-off and landing, and ask that everything be stored away and aisles be kept clear, it's to make sure that if an evacuation becomes necessary, your neck is not entangled by headphone cords, your attention is not diverted to your toys, and you are a nice "mobile electron" that can depart the plane without being hindered by an abysmally short "mean free path". It has nothing to do with RF interference and everything to do with emergency escape.
  16. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    Two of my friends are private aircraft pilots, both retired Air Force pilots with experience in both combat jets and large-scale refuelers. They both agreed there have been tests conducted, with results that prove there is absolutely no interference caused by devices that do not actively transmit or recieve any type of requency (i.e. radio, cellphone, etc.) I think the previous poster is correct.
  17. gco212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2004
    Doesn't the iPod never really turn off anyway? Isn't it really just in standby mode? Or am I wrong, or does standby mode give off different signals or something?
  18. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Well, technically no device is ever "off" there's always a slight drain on the batteries. Which is why all electronic devices have the "if stored for a long period of time, remove the batteries" speech on them
  19. Aaon macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Electrical devices that do not transmit or recieve can indeed cause interference. In fact, in the early days of the Apple II there was serious worry that the FCC would crack down on Apple due to the excessive amount of interference the Apple II would create!
  20. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Yes, but there have also been studies that have shown the opposite. The NTSB and the FAA aren't claiming that an iPod or GameBoy does necessarily cause interference, just that any electronic device has the potential to cause interference. Furthermore, there is the possibility that a modified device in an iPod shell could be used in an active attempt to interfere with what really are very sensitive instruments used in plane navigation. Part of most commercial aircraft design is a certain consideration that the whole plane is on some level a conductor. Do some research into lightning strikes on planes and you'll see some of the issues, but you'll also see most planes running through unscathed. Same with electronic devices--most might cause no harm, but why risk it? The planes are expensive, the people are expensive, and bad PR is expensive. I have been on flights with both instances (a lightning strike in Miami that caused no problems, and one somewhere in the Midwest (Dallas?) that caused an aborted takeoff (sadly, it wasn't one of those high-speed ones; that would have been exciting).

    You're right that it's largely for safety and simplicity, but it's also because there's no real way to determine whether an electronic device transmits or not, and flight attendants can't be expected to know what everything is and decide from a glance. For safety, both personal and aggregate for the plane, is why they are not permitted except 10 minutes after takeoff and before landing.

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