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The New York Times called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements.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

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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