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Print 60 comment(s) - last by dethrophes.. on Dec 28 at 5:08 AM


  (Source: NBC Universal)
Shutting down electronics while a plane was landing or taking off was always critical, but the FAA now says otherwise -- for pilots

Sorry, Alec Baldwin; you still can't play Words with Friends while a plane prepares for takeoff, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided Tuesday that only American Airlines pilots in the cockpit can use mobile electronics during that time.

The FAA doesn't allow passengers to use mobile electronics such as smartphones, tablets or Kindles during takeoff or landing because the use of such devices could interfere with sensitive electronics running the plane. They must wait until the plane reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet. However, the FAA announced Tuesday that American Airlines pilots in the cockpit no longer had to use paper flight mauals during those times, but could use iPads instead.

The FAA made this decision after conducting a test of the use of electronics in the cockpit, in an effort to potentially replace the use of paper manuals and charts. But some are wondering why a similar test couldn't have been carried out for passengers.

The New York Times called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements. The FAA said this is not true because passengers are still allowed to have books and magazines during those times.

The FAA responded to critics of the new rule by saying that only two iPads will be allowed in the cockpit; one for each pilot.

"This involves a significantly different scenario for potential interference than unlimited passenger use, which could involve dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time," said the FAA.

It seems the FAA has a point, but critics still point out that the two iPads in the cockpit will be inches away from the sensitive airplane electronics in question.

Source: The New York Times



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A load of BS
By jRaskell on 12/14/2011 10:27:07 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
because the use of such devices could interfere with sensitive electronics running the plane.


This has always, and will always be a complete load of BS.




RE: A load of BS
By borismkv on 12/14/2011 10:32:21 AM , Rating: 5
I remember a Mythbusters episode testing that theory. The only time they were able to have any affect on the plane's instrumentation was when they held a cell phone right next to an instrument and received a phone call. And even then it was just a slight jump in one of the guages that went away immediately after the phone started ringing.


RE: A load of BS
By mcnabney on 12/14/2011 10:47:39 AM , Rating: 5
If this really mattered you would think that there would be a check beyond looking to see if passengers were using the device. I have left my cell phone on frequently, which really does transmit RF unlike my laptop and MP3 player which you MAKE me turn off.

This whole thing has evolved from a pilot having some technical problems during the flight and seeing a child playing a Nintendo Gameboy (yes, that is how long it goes back). A classic example of 'magical thinking' created a connection that for some reason the Gameboy caused the interference (and not something wrong with the planes actual instruments, sensors, or wiring to the sensors). Since then the airlines have used it as a reason to boss the customer around as a further demonstration of control.


RE: A load of BS
By quiksilvr on 12/14/2011 11:18:59 AM , Rating: 5
Actually, it's one of those "maybe we'll get hit by lightning which will spike the frequency on your device which will cause the flight attendant's silicon implants to vibrate to a resonance frequency which just so happens to match the plane's resonance frequency, causing a rip in the space time continuum and ending the world" scenarios. They think there is one random device that will fcuk up everything in some catastrophic way.


RE: A load of BS
By vignyan on 12/14/2011 11:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
If anything can go wrong, it will - Murphy


RE: A load of BS
By abscode on 12/14/2011 1:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
Icecream man always drove extra blocks away. And I know he's seen us and sh!t, but I think he just be in the car with his friends and say: Watch me how fast I make these motherf*ckers run. - Eddie Murphy


RE: A load of BS
By Samus on 12/14/2011 5:34:14 PM , Rating: 4
It's all just another thing to make air travel that much more irritating. I look forward to being bent over at least half a dozen times within minutes of getting to the airport. The gang raping that happens to each passenger on a plane by staff, airline policy and FAA regulations is just the icing on the cake.

I love flying.


RE: A load of BS
By Hieyeck on 12/14/2011 11:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
Funny you mention that. Mythbusters tested breast implants at altitude as well.


RE: A load of BS
By kleinma on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: A load of BS
By mcnabney on 12/14/2011 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 4
It actually took away one of the great joys of life. Accelerating down the runway with music blaring on your audio device is quite the pleasure. No electronics means dead silence and nothing to think about besides how carefully the airline follows Boeing's maintenance schedule.


RE: A load of BS
By arazok on 12/14/2011 3:08:23 PM , Rating: 4
HA! I frequently fly with a co-worker who's terrified of flying. I'm going to plant that one in his head next time we fly!


RE: A load of BS
By Keeir on 12/15/2011 7:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Haha,

I'd be more worried about the pilot....


RE: A load of BS
By espaghetti on 12/16/2011 12:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
$1600 for 4 tickets, bought 4 months in advance for myself, wife, 2 kids under 5 years old that slept the whole way there and back from Memphis to Orlando. A bags of peanuts and half a can of soda or water for each of us. Cramped crappy seats....... I should've been left alone, at least to check out DT whenever I wanted.


RE: A load of BS
By Sazabi19 on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: A load of BS
By bodar on 12/14/2011 7:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, why would we blame the FAA, when we can blame the flight attendants? Oh wait, we ARE blaming the FAA. Welcome to the actual argument.

Not to mention, you sound like anyone who defends stupid laws with "Well, if you don't like it, you can move to Canada/Europe/etc."


RE: A load of BS
By Dorkyman on 12/14/2011 10:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
AND he should learn that spell check is his friend.


RE: A load of BS
By sleepeeg3 on 12/15/2011 2:45:26 AM , Rating: 2
I believe it was an 800MHz phone... a frequency that is no longer used.


RE: A load of BS
By chmilz on 12/14/2011 10:56:44 AM , Rating: 3
I don't turn anything off, I just hide it. Keep one headphone in, turn head, pretend to sleep. MP3 player under my leg or in my jacket, no one can tell.

On a flight with 200 people, I'm willing to bet there's 50 phones that aren't turned off at any point.


RE: A load of BS
By nafhan on 12/14/2011 11:10:04 AM , Rating: 2
They will probably justify it by saying pilots are smart and know how to put the iPad in airplane mode, unlike Baldwin. So, yes it is BS. Seriously, if this was at all likely to bring down an airliner, they'd be taking cell phones away from people at the gate instead of pocket knives.


RE: A load of BS
By AmbroseAthan on 12/14/2011 11:26:35 AM , Rating: 5
I used to fly a lot for my old job and my favorite plane conversation involved my Kindle with a flight attendant.

I was not reading yet and one of the background pictures was on the screen. The flight attendant told me to turn it off. I sat there baffled a moment trying to determine what to do besides replying "it is off" and received a very terse "Well I can see the screen is on, so you need to turn it off now sir."

The conversation went a bit downhill from there as I tried to explain E-ink. She just walked away after a few moments in a huff.


RE: A load of BS
By vignyan on 12/14/2011 11:37:52 AM , Rating: 3
LOL


RE: A load of BS
By MozeeToby on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: A load of BS
By name99 on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: A load of BS
By Ringold on 12/14/2011 2:11:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And navigation signals are used AS THE PLANE TAKES OFF AND LANDS?


If you don't know what you're talking about, just don't post.

Yes, absolutely, navigation systems are engaged from the time the plane comes online.

The modern commercial aviation system would be thrown in to daily chaos if pilots couldn't rely on ILS, GPS-WAAS, to name two systems, to approach a runway hidden in clouds and fog.

Similar situation in take-off, but less life-threatening. Wet compasses are a pain to read while accelerating, nose-up. Yeah, 'UNOS', undershoot North overshoot South, but hard to think of UNOS while doing ten things at once. Rather have a reliable VORTAC, GPS, ADB, whatever signal to help. At times, making an on-course turn takes place just a couple seconds after the wheels leave the tarmac.

quote:
Look, it's perfectly obvious what is going on here. Authorities hate admitting they were wrong, and so this farce will continue, perhaps indefinitely.


Absolutely right. It's that, with a side-dish of propaganda. Make us feel like the government is doing something. Like all the other crap at airports; security is still leaky, but making old women get naked and patting down children and celebrities makes us feel safe.


RE: A load of BS
By MrBlastman on 12/14/2011 2:22:23 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
And navigation signals are used AS THE PLANE TAKES OFF AND LANDS? I have to tell you --- if the pilot doesn't know which way to point the plane while it's taking off, there are much bigger problems with that flight that too many iPads being switched on.


I can tell clearly by your post you know absolutely nothing about aviation. Nothing, not a single thing.

Aviation is all about protocol, following rules and procedures. We've come a long, long way from the days of barnstorming pilots in the early 1900's, when very few aircraft were up in the sky at a given time.

Here's news to you--aviation is a regulated mode of transport, much like driving, except far more so. In fact, the amount of regulation isn't even close. The stakes are also much higher.

Pilots are required to follow checklists and procedures for every single flight--even before they flip on the APU/JFS or whatever to begin spooling up the main turbine. These checklists and procedures aren't just limited to the cockpit as they also encompass airport/airbase procedures, tower operations, ATC protocols and more. They also govern transitional flight from the runway to just after takeoff. Pilots can't just go wheels up and point their plane to wherever they want in the sky. Well, they could--but if they did, I can sure as heck assure you they'd receive a visit from the FAA--unless of course the tower and airport have set themselves to pure VFR (visual flight rules).

The same goes for landing, if not moreso. Yes--you have to see the runway to land on it. Yes, any pilot worth a darn can land a plane visually as they practice this for hours and hours. Yes, many of them were previous military pilots and some of them were hot-shot fighter jocks. When you're flying a 737 though, you aren't flying a fighter plane nor a cessna. You've got strict parameters you have to obey coming from a variety of sources. At times, you're required to follow preset patterns and at other times, perhaps in bad weather, you might have to switch to backup instrumentation in a heads-down, instrument only situation.

Sure, in this age of GPS systems, Inertial Navigation Systems and so on, you might not have to rely on a TACAN beacon (in the Military) or VORTAC/VOR/DME system in civilian situations. Some of these signals can be very weak and guess what--it IS NOT UP TO YOU, THE PASSENGER what rules or regulations they follow. Your ONLY priority is to sit your butt down on the plane, follow the rules and let the Pilots do their jobs to get you from point A to point B, safely.

Oh, and one other thing--most of these pilots aren't exactly numbnutzes either. The amount of dedication, information and learning required to become a major airline pilot is astonishing. I'm not saying they are geniuses--and some aren't nearly as sharp as others... but they are far more capable than your average bus driver.

I honestly don't care if I have to put down my cell phone or electronic device for a few minutes. Big freakin' deal. Who cares? It isn't like the world is going to end and all our dolphins are going to steal the world's supply of fish in an instant, flying off into the cosmos and if I'm not connected at that instant... I can't prevent the world from being bulldozed. No, I find it refreshing. I take that time to sit back, clear my head, inhale a deep breath and relax--as I enjoy the large amounts of thrust the plane is exhibiting as it barrels down the runway and up into the skies above. It's quite pleasant. People should try it more often.


RE: A load of BS
By inperfectdarkness on 12/15/2011 10:51:50 AM , Rating: 2
Don't Panic!


RE: A load of BS
By lowsidex2 on 12/14/2011 12:25:44 PM , Rating: 1
It's not one or two devices that cause problems. It's 134 devices, all in high power mode searching for a tower, whose signals amplify, cancel, and mix in unpredictable ways that have interfered with other external signals. Even new generation aircraft with glass panels still rely on old ground based analog signals.

Cockpit ipads come with its own regs. regs like turning off external antennas before flight.


RE: A load of BS
By Dorkyman on 12/14/2011 11:08:25 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, good theory, now show some evidence.

Modern electronics do NOT cause any interference. Years ago, some people thought a rogue device could be an issue, so they banned everything, in great knee-jerk fashion.

Cellphone towers once had an issue with a cellphone signal showing up in multiple locations, now they don't.

I never turn off any devices I use, including my cellphone. I just tuck them out of sight.

This iPad approval will finally break the dam. Gee, passengers are so pissed about having to turn off their iPads, why not let them leave them on? Gosh, now everyone else is complaining about iPad favoritism. Okay, We will allow everything on, and we will monitor the situation.

Another stupid rule finally eliminated.


RE: A load of BS
By BSquared on 12/15/2011 4:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
Place a modern cellphone next to a modern amplifier or an old amplifier, connected to a loudspeaker, and every so often you will actually hear the signals go out asking for PCS notifications and updates. Tell me that's not interference.

Most electronic devices inherently eminate radio waves through oscillations in different stages of their circuitry. Some of those oscillations may be in rf frequency range with other devices, causing destructive interference. Improperly designed or unshielded devices can have more unintended effects, look at how microwave ovens can disrupt computers or wireless.

You may be sure of your device, that doesn't mean Grandma May down the aisle doesn't realise that oversized adult massager she has for her ailing neck can cause static RF that could disrupt a lot of other devices.

I am peturbed about putting my electronic devices away or powering them down, but for the blanket safety of myself and other passengers, I'll do it as compliancy. Because if you refuse, it just reinforces why someone who DOES have a device that DOES cause interference would argue they shouldn't have to either.


RE: A load of BS
By dethrophes on 12/28/2011 5:08:28 AM , Rating: 2
But you just mentioned the reason why these rules are BS. If there is a clear danger from these devices the security protocols are insufficient. If it really was considered a problem then there would be an automated detection system. What sense does a visual inspection make for RF interference sources. Its stupid. So by their own lack of interest in preventing RF signal sources it is clear there is no real discernible risk.


RE: A load of BS
By MrTeal on 12/14/2011 12:56:23 PM , Rating: 5
I worked at an electronics assembly company where the production workers had to have ESD wrist straps connected whenever they were handling or getting components. That extended even to components like resistors or connectors, even though you can't damage those devices with ESD. The reason the company made those arbitrary rules even though they don't make sense in that case is that it's cheaper and safer to have all the workers spend the extra time strapping in for everything they do rather than try and teach them which components are ESD resistant, which are susceptible, and which are very sensitive.

My iPod classic is almost certainly not going to bring down a plane. I shouldn't have to turn it off. That doesn't mean every piece of electronics is safe, and moreover is doesn't mean that even ones that would normally be safe aren't out of spec or damaged and transmitting in bands they shouldn't be. Flight attendants are there to give an annoying speech about emergency egress and serve you drinks, not to serve as a judge of which devices are safe and which could cause a problem. There's probably a pretty small chance of a plane coming down from this, but it wouldn't take much if you had some cheap Chinese knockoff phone broadcast on Verizon @ 787MHz but due to crappy design letting enough energy out at a second harmonic of 1575MHz, which is right about where GPS L1 is. It might not bring down a plane, but you're not leaving the tarmac if the GPS signal is being jammed.


RE: A load of BS
By drycrust3 on 12/14/2011 3:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Flight attendants are there to give an annoying speech about emergency egress and serve you drinks, not to serve as a judge of which devices are safe and which could cause a problem.

As I understand it, the origin of this sort of rule was the fact that at one time the 455KHz Superhetrodyne intermediate frequency used in an AM radio, or the modulations of it, is very close to one of the frequency bands used in the aviation industry.
Essentially, anything that transmits or receives has built in oscillators, and as you say, there is no guarantee that some fluke combination of the oscillator modulation output won't interfere with the aircraft navigation.


RE: A load of BS
By NellyFromMA on 12/14/2011 3:18:49 PM , Rating: 2
Get over it. And FYI, I fly quite a bit and am constantly told to turn off any WIRELESS RADIOS or devices containing them if they can no tbe shut off. Most iPads don't have 3g connectivity, and if so, Airplane mode (mysterious name, huh) exists to shut off all radios and therfor meet this requirement. This entire article is hence pointless, as well as anyone flaming about it.


RE: A load of BS
By callmeroy on 12/19/2011 11:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
I agree and I guess a lot of very gullible people don't think it through logically either....if having electronic devices SERIOUSLY was that dangerous don't you think they would be *ALOT* more strict on checking and making sure people have them turned off.

I flew just 2 1/2 weeks ago PHL to ATL...the Flight Attendant just about half heartedly walked by my row and with just a glancing look said "Please turn your electronics off"...that was it...no second look...no speech...no inspection....

So you mean to tell me our lives could be in jeopardy if my cell phone is on -- and all you do is ask me nicely to turn it off..that's it?

WoW....makes me feel safe...because we know everyone just does what they are told...without failure.


Safety reasons
By vision33r on 12/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: Safety reasons
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/14/2011 10:36:51 AM , Rating: 3
I've never been told by a flight attendent to stow a book or magazine that I was reading during takeoff. A heavy book could be a potential "dangerous flying object" in a crash as well.


RE: Safety reasons
By tamalero on 12/14/2011 11:26:03 AM , Rating: 3
IT is still an educated way to die.. Ipads in the other hand.. are for hipsters.


RE: Safety reasons
By Keeir on 12/15/2011 7:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly Brandon there are limits what you as a passenger can hold in your (mass wise), rules about how heavy an object you can place under a seat, and about how heavy an object can be placed in the overhead bins.

If you were reading a heavy textbook (over 5 lbs) I wouldn't be surprized if you -were- instructed to stow it.


RE: Safety reasons
By Sunrise089 on 12/14/2011 10:46:33 AM , Rating: 3
If this is true it sounds like a GREAT idea to have those dangerous projectiles sitting in the cockpit where they can hit levers, break screens, knock the pilots unconscious, etc.


RE: Safety reasons
By MrBlastman on 12/14/2011 11:26:52 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The amount of g-force during take-off can turn your ipad into a projectile if someone inadvertently tosses it in the air.


Oh please. At most, the lane is pulling 1.1 to 1.2 g's when the pilot pulls the wheel back (some newer planes use sticks) and lifts off from the runway. The same goes for the acceleration.

As far as I'm concerned, I just obey the rules. I know logically there shouldn't be a problem but, considering that takeoff is the most dangerous time of a flight (not landing, believe it or not unless there is inclement weather), I'd rather just be compliant than create a scene. Let the pilots do their jobs they are trained to do--flying the airplane. Show them respect rather than get them all pissed off and flustered before they go up in the air.


RE: Safety reasons
By Black1969ta on 12/14/2011 11:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
G Forces? Really there are more forces from turbulence than any take off, unless they have a new plan to shorten runways and add steam catapults like aircraft carriers!

Airplanes rarely even see over 1.5Gs


RE: Safety reasons
By Reclaimer77 on 12/14/2011 5:35:36 PM , Rating: 1
Did you fail physics class or something? If you toss an iPad in the air on a plane going down the runway, the relative speed difference between the passengers and iPad is zero. The iPad is traveling at the same speed as everyone and everything else on the plane!

Also they don't tell you to STOW electronic devices, they tell you to turn them off. Your post makes no sense for a variety of reasons.


What's the use?
By Paedric on 12/14/2011 10:50:34 AM , Rating: 3
Why do they even need ipads during takeoff?

If they have a problem during this phase, pilots don't have the time to use books or tablets.

Moreover, i doubt they will get rid of the paper documentation anyway, the risks are too high.
Tablet can fail, they can be hacked, and it's much easier to steal a tablet compared to 15kg of books.




RE: What's the use?
By Tony Swash on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: What's the use?
By vignyan on 12/14/2011 11:40:42 AM , Rating: 2
You are quicksilver!


RE: What's the use?
By danjw1 on 12/14/2011 12:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
I have seen news about iOS hacks. It is a computing device and it can be hacked. But, I agree with you on the front of weight savings. I really think the FAA is way off on not letting passengers use their electronic devices. It would have been reasonable (and more cost efficient, too) if while they ran the test they did, to check on main cabin device usage as well.

But, you are right about the weight savings on manuals, maps, checklists, etc. What I don't get is why this isn't all built into the existing cockpit.

Last I read, American Airlines is planing a complete upgrade to its fleet, this should be part of that upgrade. Even some single engine props are getting most of this integrated into their systems (see Cirrus Aircraft). Most newer Mid size to Large business jets already have this. I see tablets as backups in case of a catastrophic failure of avionics, not as a primary piece of gear.


RE: What's the use?
By Paedric on 12/14/2011 12:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
You don't really seem to know the industry.
You don't trade security for 30kg in a 500,000kg jet.
If you really want to reduce weight, there are far better areas to do so.

As for faillures, what are the chance that four engines fail together?
It's basically 0, except for exceptionnal events. And yet, those sometimes happen, and you can't bet the life of hundreds of people on this.

Yes, the chance of two tablets failling together are slim, but it exists, and must be taken into account.
On the other hand, once you've got the books in the plane, they will never fail (unless they are destroyed, but then you've got other problems).

Battery is also a problem, what if for some reason you have no more battery left?
I don't know if you have ever been in a jet cabin, but you're not going to charge it there.

I'm not saying tablets add nothing, but they're not going to use only tablets anytime soon.


RE: What's the use?
By its tom hanks on 12/14/2011 1:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When was the last time an iPad was hacked (here is clue it involves the word 'never')


really? you're gonna take apple consumer's intelligence to THAT level? i'd be ashamed to say I was in the same consumer group as you if i used any apple products (but don't worry, every day you reassure me why i shouldn't be in that category).


RE: What's the use?
By Ringold on 12/14/2011 2:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why do they even need ipads during takeoff?


Here's how take-off works.

Captain has his hands on the physical controls. First Officer has check-list in hand.

Tower says taxi in to position and hold (or cleared on to the runway cleared for immediate departure, etc). XO reads and calls out that part of the checklist. Captain executes.

Tower says cleared for take off. XO calls out take-off checklist. Captain executes.

Various 'v' speeds are reached; XO announces them, Capt takes note.

Vr, or rotation speed, is hit. XO reads off climb check-list and any after-departure plans. Captain executes.

Say something goes wrong at any point: XO reads off the appropriate checklist, Captain executes.

Things happen quickly, but usually not THAT quickly. Except in extreme circumstances, the checklists are best to ALWAYS be read, for safety.

But note the overall idea: Constant two-way communication, one person repeating what the other says to ensure proper understanding, and read checklists. Checklists, checklists, checklists.

Just much easier to do it on an iPad. To save money, I've given up recreational flying for a while, but when I get back in to it I'll have a tablet and better bet it'll replace my traditional kneeboard and ridiculous mess of IFR approach plates, etc.

Thats what its really about I think, too. Organization, plain and simple. Replacing a dufflebag worth of books and charts with a single device. I'll keep charts and a basic paper checklist handy, but will definitely primarily use a tablet. Sure, tiny chance of a tablet failing, but also a .01% chance a Cessna's door pops open and woosh, there goes your maps (what pilot hasn't seen a sectional disappear out an old Cessna's window or door?), or BUMP, turbulence, water gets knocked over, now my charts wet. It's all just an exercise in risk management.


RE: What's the use?
By Paedric on 12/15/2011 7:38:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a glider pilot, so i don't really use all those things, but when i did some vfr with my dead in a small plane, i always had the map on the legs, the checklist either in my hand or on the map, and the navigation board (or whatever it's called in english) in the other hand.
Basically, i'd still need 3 tablets to do the same thing, so i don't see how it is a big improvement.

But then, i've never used tablets, so i can't comment on whether it is better or worse than a good old pen and paper.

As you still have to carry all the paper, i don't really the use.
On this subject, i know of at least one glider pilot that was only using an ipad for navigation, and had no map. Of course, the ipad once failed, and he was lost. He had to be helped using radio for about 30 minutes before he managed to get back to known areas.
I don't know if you know gliders, but that's not the funniest thing that can happen when you have no engine.


RE: What's the use?
By TakinYourPoints on 12/18/2011 6:45:42 PM , Rating: 2
Your logical and well reasoned posts have no place here


FCC
By thuff on 12/14/2011 2:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
From what I recall, the entire electronics-on-the-airplane ban was initiated by the FCC and adopted by the FAA.

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/wireless-devices-airplan...

It was intended to prevent cellular phones from accessing multiple cell towers simultaneously once the plane was airborne. At some height, it no longer matters because the signal strength is not strong enough to connect to those towers; the 10,000' threshhold seems to explain that.

Even so, the ban on music, computers, DVD player etc. simply is not going to cause the aircraft's systems to fritz and make the thing auger-into the ground. It would appear that the FAA simply wants people to not use those devices during takeoffs and landings, which is fine with me.

I've done plenty of gaming on a flight with co-workers (who were on the flight) via WiFi and the aircraft did not spiral out of control, nor was there any annoucement of interference, etc.




RE: FCC
By UNHchabo on 12/14/2011 3:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...is not going to cause the aircraft's systems to fritz and make the thing auger-into the ground.


That's what you think!
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/10/30


Superficial liberal media
By sleepeeg3 on 12/15/2011 3:00:12 AM , Rating: 4
Your whiney, misguided leader, Alec Baldwin, throws a hissy fit so that he can play his word game and he gets dozens of articles on how righteous he is. Nevermind that he delayed the lives of hundreds of people...

Sure the FAA rules are probably outdated, but how about focusing on the freaking economy for once??? The US is $15,000,000,000,000.00 in debt and the entire country produces/consumes less than that in one year. By 2021 the White House is projecting we will add another $9,100,000,000,000.00 to that debt. That is ~175% of GDP. Greece declared bankruptcy at 129%. We are currently at 105%. This country will be bankrupt in 10 years and the media is martyring some spoiled celeb for not getting his way. Stop the presses!

Wake up and realize there are more important things than not being able to use your freaking cell phone for 20 minutes of your life.




Safety?
By ebakke on 12/14/2011 10:29:53 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't emergency response the other reason for having people stow their electronics during takeoff/landing? If poo hits the fan, I'd like to be able to get out of my window seat and not have to wait for the schmuck next to me to figure out where to put his iPad. Or if the flight crew comes over the PA system to alert the passengers of something, I'd like to have as few people with headphones in as possible.




Customized iPads?
By ltcommanderdata on 12/14/2011 10:33:43 AM , Rating: 2
Any idea if these will just be standard iPads with radios turned off in airplane mode or have they been customized in some way? Perhaps a lead case would be useful although that destroys the weight benefit from getting rid of paper manuals. Kidding aside, by only using iPads locked down to a flight manual app they should be able to profile all the emissions coming from the device to know if they are of a type or strength to interfere with other electronics. Something allowing a smorgasbord of different devices and configurations wouldn't be able to determine.




really people??
By doktork21 on 12/14/2011 2:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it so hard for everyone just to put your device away and just go with the flow.. take off and then turn it back on, maybe you'll learn something in the meantime to save your self in an emergency situation.... is it that important to you?? that one email? that one game? after that fiasco baldwin can suck it!!




How ##!$ing spoiled are people?
By Sunner on 12/15/2011 1:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
I fly a fair bit, I've spoken to pilots about these rules, the pilots have been in agreement that there are few to no technical reasons for these rules, but in the end I really don't care.
I can live without my phone/pad for 5 damn minutes, I just turn it off because why not? If you really can't live without it for 5 damn minutes you need to see a psychiatrist, not whine at the FAA.

Some people act like a bunch of spoiled little brats crying about their toys.




By Tyhr on 12/15/2011 12:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't the pilots be concentrating on piloting the airplane during takeoff than playing with their iPad?

If it's such a critical time, I'd rather their eyes be on the plane than on playing Angry Birds or tweeting their friends "We're taking off now! Hope the passengers turn off their iPads or we'll crash!"




Outdated
By PrinceGaz on 12/15/2011 2:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The New York Times called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated,"


I must admit that "outdated" was my immediate thought too.

10,000 feet. Feet? Why are they still using obsolete imperial measurements? 3,000 metres would make much more sense.




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