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The New York Times called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements.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


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA














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