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The New York Times called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements.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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: A load of BS
By MozeeToby on 12/14/2011 11:57:17 AM , Rating: 0
There are signals which are used for navigation that are at low enough power and close enough frequencies that an old fashioned analog phone searching for a tower could in fact interfere with. That isn't to say that these are the sole navigational aids that modern jetliners use, but they are put into a weighted average to give the most accurate information possible.

Obviously this doesn't include modern cell phones or devices using WiFi or Bluetooth. But, given the choice between the stewards making the call and just telling everyone to shut it off for 10 minutes of a flight, they take the easy road.

Also, one large reason that cell phones are turned off has nothing to do with the plane's instruments and everything to do with your phone being handed off from one tower to the next every 30s. It's a relatively expensive operation for the cell phone providers (in terms of communication and processing time), normally not a problem but at 400 mph it would be an issue if everyone left their phones on.

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
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.

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
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!

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki