Phones in flight

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by eric/, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. eric/ Guest

    eric/

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio, United States
    #1
    Dord anybody actually turn their phone off on airlines? I do, but get the feeling that other people don't. I was wondering because I overheard a conversation between a couple of people while flying today and they were talking about how they never do. I doubt it has an effect, but because I'm not sure I just do it.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #2
    I don't think it has any effect on the plane, its more a common curtesy not to talk during a flight.
     
  3. rick snagwell macrumors 68040

    rick snagwell

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    #3
    i just turn to airplane mode. don't really think it has an affect.
     
  4. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #4
    I turn it to Airplane mode and use it as an iPod.
     
  5. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #5
    There have been instances of electronics interfering with the aircraft. It's rare and hard to replicate, but it has happened.

    One time on an international flight, someone turned their phone on and the plane on autopilot entered a small bank. The pilots had no idea what was going on until the phone was discovered. They brought the phone into the cockpit and when they turned it off, the plane resumed normal operations. Turned it on, the plane would bank again. Turned it off, normal, on it would bank again. The FAA took the same make and model aircraft and did a test, but could not replicate the issue.

    A professor at my university used to fly for the airlines and when a passenger kept an electronic device( forgot if it was a phone or laptop) on during takeoff, her navigation instruments threw up inoperative flags. Device turned off and the equipment came back online again.
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    I think that this is true of medical facilities too.

    Hell, most of them use WiFi in-house for their medical systems.
     
  7. eric/ thread starter Guest

    eric/

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio, United States
    #7
    I meant just having it on, not necessarily using it. The whole "turn off your electronics" thing
     
  8. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    #8
    I keep mine on regular mode for short fights less than an hour but any longer flights I turn it to airplane mode so it won't search for towers through the whole flight and waste battery. Either way, I never turn my electronics fully off.
     
  9. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    Location:
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    #9
    I'm pretty sure if you are on edge, it effects electronics. Set your phone to edge mode and bring it close to your landline or TV, it makes a funny sound.
     
  10. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #10
    The funny thing is I just bought a Lumia 900, and it interferes with headphones plugged into it, when I'm listening to music sometimes I can hear the buzz of interference through the earphones.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    If phones could take down an airplane, then Al Qaeda would just arm their people with cell phones, which would then result in the TSA banning cell phones from planes.

    But there's no reason to not turn it off or on flight mode. You're not going to get a signal at altitude anyways, so might as well save your battery. Although I have forgotten turn off flight mode a time or two and lived to tell about it.
     
  12. Comeagain? macrumors 68020

    Comeagain?

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    #12
    RF is a fickle thing. It may cause issues, and it may not. However, there is no way to tell until it is too late. I turn my electronics off completely, every time. Mostly because, if they ask you to, why should you argue? Your phones not going to do you any good at altitude. Why go against what they're saying? It's even technically illegal. "FAA Regulations require that you follow all crew member instructions and all lighted signs and placards." If anything, its a bonus. Your phone isn't on at all, unless you use it as an iPod or to watch movies. It just don't see the argument.

    ----------

    Yes. Edge will interfere with certain electronics, usually speakers.
     
  13. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    Sep 9, 2010
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #14
    Interestingly, the pre-flight instructions often tell passengers to turn off their phones, which isn't the same as putting an iPhone in airplane mode and pressing the top button.

    I've never tried to make a call during flight, but others have successfully, including on 9/11/01, IIRC. I think that the issue with cell service is not so much the altitude but rather the ground speed, which would cause the call to switch towers more frequently.
     
  15. larryloo macrumors newbie

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    Jun 23, 2012
    #15
    I just put my smartphone onto Aeroplane mode, which is what the the flight attendants instruct at the start of the flight anyway.
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #16
    I put my iPhone into airplane mode when I fly.
     
  17. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #17
    I refuse to believe that a piece of equipment as robust and sophisticated as a multimillion dollar aircraft can't operate with a cell phone turned on.

    Think about all of the electronics in your home - remote controls, televisions, computers, cameras, microwave ovens, security alarms - all of these function just fine around cell phones. But an aircraft can't? Sorry, I'm not buying it.
     
  18. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #18
    I always go into airplane mode, but never fully off.

    I will rue the day that they ever decide that cell phones on a plane are OK. That's a few hours at a time I don't have to hear someone yakking away on it.
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #19
    You don't have to worry since at those altitudes, you won't get a signal. Go ahead and try it, keep your cell phone on and see if you get a signal at cruising altitude, you won't. And the plane won't crash either ;)

    Even if you could get a signal, at the speeds you're flying at, you'll be switching towers so fast the cellular network infrastructure won't be able to keep up and you won't be able to reliably make a call. Maybe you could send/receive texts since they're short and quick, but no way would you be able to sustain a call for any length of time.

    I was worried with WiFi on planes, people would start using VoIP, but I think the airlines do a pretty good job of blocking VoIP services.
     
  20. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #20
    Do planes use satellite internet for their WiFi?
     
  21. rasmusonline macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Ryanair's planes.
    #21
    Sometimes I forget to turn my phone into flight mode. I never turn it completely off though. Anyways, I don't think it has any impact at all. It could be a difference if everyone would forget it...
     
  22. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #22
    Your home also doesn't critically operate at 30000 feet on navigational and radio systems and potentially have 450 additional radio personal transmitters active to interfere with it. My phone interfers with my radio in my car when it goes off. I understand what you're trying to convey but I think your analogy is a little off.
     
  23. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #23
    I only do it to save battery life for long flights otherwise I just leave it on. I use my touch and iPad for music etc.
     
  24. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    #24
    I use Airplane mode despite the attendants saying "completely off". It doesn't make sense to shut down further than Airplane mode.

    I've also heard that although the FAA is more or less responsible with enforcing the rule, it is really an FCC issue/concern (perhaps related to the issue mentioned above of frequently switching towers)?
     
  25. noodlemanc macrumors regular

    noodlemanc

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    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Australasia
    #25
    No I browse the internet using 3G on my iPad during flights. The connection is a little choppy, but I can get some sort of signal most of the time.
     

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