American Airlines Pilots to Use iPads in Cockpits, Passengers Must Still Turn Them Off
December 14, 2011 10:21 AM
comment(s) - last by
(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called the rule that passengers need to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet "outdated," and even brought up the idea that the rule may just be used to keep passengers' attention during takeoff and landing announcements.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
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.
The New York Times
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RE: A load of BS
12/15/2011 4:23:48 AM
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
12/28/2011 5:08:28 AM
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.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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