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The New York Times called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements.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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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

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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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