Please turn off all personal electronic devices

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aquajet

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
0
VA
If you're the type that thinks the rules governing personal electronic devices on commercial flights are hogwash, here is an interesting read.

...

There are numerous reports in the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) database of navigation errors which ceased after the crew asked for PEDs to be turned off. Although the VOR system was most often cited, the instrument landing system (ILS) was reported to have been affected 17 times, radar altimeters 10 times, autopilot systems eight times, ground-proximity warning systems seven times and an engine fuel controller once, in data through March 2001. Significantly, in a number of cases, the cockpit crew verified that the PED was the source of the error by having it turned back on and seeing the navigation error repeat, before requiring that the device be secured.

...

With support from the FAA, assistance from three major airlines, and approval from the FAA and Transportation Security Administration, we flew a spectrum analyzer on board 37 revenue flights along the Eastern Seaboard. Key findings are that onboard cellular activity is appreciable, signal activity was observed in the GPS band at levels that could result in interference, elevated broadband noise was observed on many occasions in the VOR/ILS band, and passenger use of electronics including wireless devices is occurring at prohibited times including during approach.

...
And here is information regarding VOR and ILS, the two systems cited as most vulnerable to interference, as well as GPWS.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,090
21
UK
still dont see why i'm not allowed to use my dvd drive but i can use my HD even though the HD has huge powerful magnets inside, but a spinning disk os plastic, oh noes.
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
2
I think that one of my favorite shows, MythBusters tested this idea. I don't remember what their conclusion was though. :eek:
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Hector said:
still dont see why i'm not allowed to use my dvd drive but i can use my HD even though the HD has huge powerful magnets inside, but a spinning disk os plastic, oh noes.
Every flight I've been on, they've asked for HD devices to be switched off too - including iPods when coming into land or taking off. I do tend to think that they take a little too excess at points - while I can understand at the point when the crew go back to their seats, asking for them to be off when the flight starts its initial descent with 20 minutes before landing is frustrating!

Of course, it's also got an element of those being the most 'dangerous' points of the flight so not wanting people to be less alert to emergencies.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
1,466
Palookaville
The problem is created by devices that generate significant amounts of RF, not magnetic forces. The only instrument on the flight deck that could be effected by magnetism is the magnetic compass, but the captain's tie tack is going to have more influence on the compass than a magnet in the passenger area. Cell phones seem to create all sorts of spurious RF which can be picked up by a variety of devices.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,090
21
UK
still a HD is a more complex device, all an optical drive is is a spinning plastic disk and a laser, i dont fly much i'm just going on what i was told when i last flew.

good think i ripp all my dvd's
 

Benjamindaines

macrumors 68030
Mar 24, 2005
2,837
1
A religiously oppressed state
Hector said:
still dont see why i'm not allowed to use my dvd drive but i can use my HD even though the HD has huge powerful magnets inside, but a spinning disk os plastic, oh noes.
Since when are you not allowed to use a DVD player / drive (other then landing and take off when ALL electronics have to be off)?
 
IJ Reilly said:
The problem is created by devices that generate significant amounts of RF, not magnetic forces. The only instrument on the flight deck that could be effected by magnetism is the magnetic compass, but the captain's tie tack is going to have more influence on the compass than a magnet in the passenger area. Cell phones seem to create all sorts of spurious RF which can be picked up by a variety of devices.
You are correct IJ, and I think it's important to note that the reason that the RF interference is such a big deal to the airlines is b/c it can lead to pilot error. If the avionics get messed up and the pilot has to make a decision based on the messed up equipment THAT'S when it can get dangerous. The interference itself isn't going to crash a 747.

*Boggle parks his hotdog vending cart just upwind of IJ & is suddenly distracted by a shiny object all the way down the block.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,648
31
San Francisco, CA
Dont Hurt Me said:
MythBusters proved that this problem is real & not fiction. I saw the episode.:)
Not exactly. If I remember correctly, they found that it probably would not affect the plane, but just to be safe they called it plausible/confirmed.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
168
So the potential threat to all lives on any flight should be forfeit because someone wants to watch DVDs or call someone just to loudly tell them they're on the plane? :rolleyes:
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
1
Randy's House
It's definitely truth. I have had a couple of passengers on both helicopter and small aircraft flights during IFR use cell's, PDA's and one time an iPod trip off some instruments.
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
1
Randy's House
Johnny Rico said:
I flew lufthansa from dallas to frankfurt in 98 and they didn't let me use my discman. At all. For the whole flight. I tried once, halfway through, and they sent a luftfrau back to make me shut it off. I think they just hated me though.
"Luftfrau"


LOL!!

:D
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
0
VA
Boggle said:
If the avionics get messed up and the pilot has to make a decision based on the messed up equipment THAT'S when it can get dangerous.
Sort of like when you're on short final, looking out the window and you can barely make out the engine nacelle on the wing, while the guy sitting next to you is playing with his blackberry. Yeah, like that.

Nothing irritates me more than to see people breaking these rules on an airplane. :mad:
 

jimN

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2005
934
10
London
The choice between 20 mins without music/film and possible risk of painful firey death is not a difficult one.
 

calebjohnston

macrumors 68000
Jan 24, 2006
1,801
1
devilot said:
I think that one of my favorite shows, MythBusters tested this idea. I don't remember what their conclusion was though. :eek:
They tested for cell phone signals, and determined they didn't have a real effect.
 
Dateline New York

5 suspicious teenagers were hauled off a plane today after refusing to turn off their iPods. As the plane was taking off the pilots began having problems with the instruments. A quick check of the cabin found 5 teenage boys listening to iPods. They were ordered to shut them off, but refused. An air marshall onboard quickly arrested the boys for making terrorist like threats, and the iPods were confiscated and the plane returned to the airport where the boys were handed over to federal custody. One of the boys fathers voiced his outrage over the arrests. "I can't believe they thought it was them, they should be allowed to listen to music!"

The air marshall had this to say, "some people are just downright dumb"


FAKE
 

Apple Hobo

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2004
796
0
A series of tubes
Keep cell phone use banned, regardless of any threats. Who want to spend 8+ hours listening to those obnoxious ring-tones pumped out at max volume, or the mindless bull**** being spewed by the neurotic phone users? :p
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
6
Yahooville S.C.
calebjohnston said:
They tested for cell phone signals, and determined they didn't have a real effect.
Actually they had an effect and had deflected one of the guages big time. plausible I think this was on the shredded plane episode and not the cell phone one.
 

Johnny Rico

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2005
267
0
Apple Hobo said:
Keep cell phone use banned, regardless of any threats. Who want to spend 8+ hours listening to those obnoxious ring-tones pumped out at max volume, or the mindless bull**** being spewed by the neurotic phone users? :p
No kidding, the constant echoing of "hi, i'm on the plane, we just landed" up and down the cabin is bad enough.

Also, slightly off topic, concerts are getting more obnoxious to go to because you end up looking at a thousand telephone viewfinders of all the merkhins who think they're going to get a decent photo from a cameraphone in the dark. :mad:

Remember like twenty years ago when everyone thought that the guy with the cellphone was a big silly jackass? WTF happened to that?
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,268
1,173
Johnny Rico said:
Remember like fifteen years ago when everyone thought that the guy with the cellphone was a big silly jackass? WTF happened to that?
They all got cellphones...
 

Felldownthewell

macrumors 65816
Feb 10, 2006
1,053
0
Portland
I don't think it is unreasonable to ask someone to unplug their headphones or stop talking on the phone for 20 minutes of the day to make ABSOLUTLEY sure that the plane does not crash and kill everyone on board.... Sure its annoying, but you can't listen to your ipod if your dead...Or can you?!?!11??one1!!
 

jane doe

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2004
315
0
I've had my cell phone ring in the plane and cause deflection on the VOR. Good thing I was not in IMC and knew what was going on. A deflection like that shooting an ILS would cause serious problems. I could see how one persons phone going off could cause the pilot to have to "Go Missed" on an approach and cause everyone to be late.

But this is real, I've seen this happen with my own eyes.
 
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