Airplane Mode

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mtbmtb, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. mtbmtb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #1
    Hello. I took a flight this weekend for the first time with my iPad2 16GB WiFi and it got me thinking as to why there is an Airplane Mode setting? Can someone please help me understand this? What am I missing? Thanks.
     
  2. gpsouza macrumors 6502

    gpsouza

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    Lisbon
    #2
    Basically it turns off any kind of communication from the iPad, as wifi or bluetooth, so it doesn't interfere with the airplane communication service...
     
  3. FloatingBones macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    #3
    It turns off all of the radios so that the device is in compliance with FAA rules.

    As a practical matter, these devices do not create interference for aircraft. A significant number of uses fail to turn their phone/tablet to "airplane mode" before flights. Their phones will merrily seek to establish connections to cell towers; planes don't crash because of this.

    "Airplane Mode" is useful for any time that you want to shut down all of the devices radios and conserve power.
     
  4. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
  5. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #5
    I've often wondered where that myth started - that cellphones can interfere with avionics. I found only one reference, to tests done in a lab in the UK.

    Too bad the FAA has never done a follow up study.

    Simulated cell phone signals..... Not cell phones
     
  6. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    Well crap - you need to get in touch with the FAA immediately. They'd love to hear what you have to say with regard to this matter - it'd be fantastic to rid ourselves of these pesky regulations!
     
  7. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    It's true that most consumer mobile devices don't interfere with aircraft systems, however there are a minority that do. And since it would be too tedious to test every single model of tablet and phone to see if it would interfere with aircraft systems the FAA had to simply ban all mobile devices from operating their wireless systems during flight.
     
  8. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #8
    The main reason they have you shut off and stow devices is so that A) Maybe you'll pay attention to the safety talk and B) So they don't become projectiles in a bad take off or landing situation.
     
  9. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #9
    What evidence do you have that shows this to be true? The FAA has NEVER studied this. The only study is from the UK and they used SIMULATED cell phone signals, not real cell phones.

    This whole thing is a myth, started by poor science. The FAAs electronics genius accepted the UK study because there MIGHT BE a chance of interference, not because there was any proof of actual cell phone interference.
     
  10. mrsir2009, Feb 5, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012

    mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    No, there is no proof. Yes, they do do it just in case.
     
  11. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #11
    Here's another blurb, this time from the FCC

     
  12. thewitt, Feb 5, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012

    thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #12
    One more piece from the FAA policy page on cell phones

     
  13. jamswirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #13
    IT's not the radio's in current electronics that's really the problem. The trouble is that they don't know what effect newer radio/aerial/whatever communication technology will have an aircraft navigation. So, it's safer to get them all turned off. Fair enough if you ask me.
     
  14. mrfridays macrumors newbie

    mrfridays

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    #14
    I'm starting a class action lawsuit against Apple. Not once has my iPhone or iPad transformed into a plane when I switch on Airplane Mode. =(
     
  15. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    Sep 13, 2011
    #15
    The regulation was put in place in 1961....according to the FAA website. They were concerned with radios, not cell phones. They have simply updated the wording since to cover each emerging technology.
     
  16. lepeos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    #16
    I thought this too until I realised you had to turn it on and throw it from a height of at least 10 metres. That should kick it into action
     
  17. yeah macrumors 6502a

    yeah

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #17
    If they ban cellphones on airplanes, why don't they ban WiFi on them too?

    :rolleyes:
     
  18. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Home
    #18
    In-flight WiFi is provided via a single incoming satellite connection which can be switched off at the will of the flight crew, which is totally different to hundreds of people having outgoing connections with nearby cell towers. Think of it this way - sometimes when you get a huge crowd of people that all have their cell phones switched on (eg. sporting events), it may 'overload' the network in that area and as a result the coverage may not be as reliable as it normally is. While it is yet to be 'proven' (but to be honest, it's a case of better safe than sorry; god forbid the day we lose an aircraft due to interference), it may be possible that the same kind of interference could occur to the instruments inside the aircraft.

    However, I would like to point out that this ban is simply related to transmitting devices - devices that send out a signal - which is why cell phones have the Airplane Mode option. The reason why flight crew ask for devices to be completely turned off for taxi, take off and landing is nothing to do with interference at all; it's so the passengers pay attention to the safety demonstration, and so they are more attentive in the event that a sudden evacuation is necessary (hence why electronic devices can be used after the seat belt sign has been dimmed).
     
  19. yeah macrumors 6502a

    yeah

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    Jul 12, 2011
    #19
    I get it now. We need more people like you here on Macrumors :)
     
  20. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    May 3, 2010
    #20
    It would make little sense that airports have implemented severe enough secure measures to cause long screening delays, make us remove our shoes, require us to surrender beverages, grooming accessories and nail clippers if all that's required to take down a plane is a cell phone.
     
  21. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #21
    There is absolutely NO evidence that cellphones interfere with avionics. The UK test was NOT done using actual phones, it was done using simulated cellphone signals.

    The FAA actually has procedures on their website for airlines that want to allow personal electronic devices (PEDs) to be used in flight - to test for any interference. They appear to be pretty convoluted, but they still do not get past the fact that the FCC does not license cellphones for use in the air, only on the ground, and the FAA cannot override the FCC here...
     
  22. FiremanMike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #22
    You should present your case before the FAA and get the rules changed.

    "If it please the panel, I seriously did like 15 minutes of google research, I really and honestly know what I'm talking about better than you!" I'd put it in a really condescending tone, that way they know for sure that you mean business.
     
  23. Capt T macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    #23
    Think of it this way...do you really want to sit on a plane cross country, let alone crossing an ocean, and listen to over 200 people talking on their cell phones?
     
  24. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #24
    Read the FAAs own website. They have no data. Everything is total speculation. They even have documented processes to let each airline ferrule the FAAs regulations.

    Hardly a case for "We have done exhausting tests and here is what we discovered."

    Even the FCC statement is based on pure speculation that there might be issues with ground stations. Their own wording says they have also done no testing, just total speculation and concerns without any testing.

    I guess that's enough for you, but in my job, speculation is not enough to set policy.
     
  25. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #25
    Last I knew there were no cellphone towers in the oceans.... Next time you are on a trans oceanic flight, take your phone off airplane mode and see if you get a signal...

    I don't disagree that having a plane full of people on the phone would be annoying, but if you are going to ban a technology because it's annoying, don't hide behind safety.

    Tell the truth. We are adults. We can handle the truth.
     

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