Airline Industry Remains Divided Over Personal Electronics Usage During Takeoff and Landing

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 15, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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:
    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.
    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
  2. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    I think it's passengers who should relax

    they will survive with no electronics until the plane is up
  3. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    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.
  4. NoNothing macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2003
    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.
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    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.
  6. MultiMediaWill macrumors 68000

    Aug 1, 2010
    The image used in the article is 100% relevant.


    Anyways, as a pilot my self operating under part 91 (FAR), personal electronics have never interfered with my flights.
  7. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    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
  8. spacehog371 macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2003
    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.
  9. KdParker, May 15, 2013
    Last edited: May 15, 2013

    KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    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?
  10. bawbac macrumors 65816


    Mar 2, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    May be they should tell us which model planes had issues to see if there is an inferior product. :)
  11. Intarweb macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2007
    Why is this a big deal? Don't use your stupid devices during takeoff. You're not that important. Idiots.
  12. squirrelist macrumors regular


    Jun 27, 2006
    Silver Spring MD
    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.
  13. bawbac macrumors 65816


    Mar 2, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    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."
  14. ChiefPilot macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2011
    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....
  15. 1080p macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2010
    Planet Earth
    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.
  16. Dingboche macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2013

    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.
  17. underattack macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    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.
  18. notthedark macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2013
    Maybe the pilots are holding the plane wrong. :rolleyes:

    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!
  19. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    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!
  20. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    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.
  21. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    Calm down, it's not your living room. ;)

    Glassed Silver:mac
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    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. :mad:
  23. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    Ever been in a plane crash, no, so where are you complaining about? :confused:
  24. ChiefPilot macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2011
    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.
  25. Object-X macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2004
    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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