Print 58 comment(s) - last by omgwtf8888.. on Jan 3 at 3:44 PM

  (Source: NBC Universal)
Passengers are acting out against the rules and even hurting one another

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worries that electronic device use on planes places passengers in harm's way, but the real issue is that the FAA is spreading fear about an issue that hasn't been proven yet.

The FAA has set rules that make it so passengers cannot use electronic devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers during takeoff and landing on a flight. However, there is no solid proof that electronics affect the way a plane performs. This has been in question for some time, but the FAA continues to impose these rules on passengers, and it has caused panic and even injuries among those who travel by plane.

For instance, a 68-year-old man punched a 15-year-old on a plane when the teenager refused to turn off his smartphone during a flight. According to the man, he was doing it to save the entire plane from any harmful consequences.

Just a couple of months ago, a passenger was arrested in El Paso when he decided not to turn off his cell phone during landing. Last month, another passenger did the same when landing in New York and a swarm of cop cars were waiting for him once he exited the plane.

Of course, many also remember the incident where Alec Baldwin was kicked off a plane in 2011 for playing Words With Friends.

This goes to show that the FAA is causing more trouble by making people believe that electronics are an issue when they may very well not be.

Back in March, the FAA said it would review the effects of tablet/e-reader use during takeoff and landing.

 Pilots can already use iPads during the entire flight [Image Soure: The AirplaneNut]

The FAA likely put this testing off due to costs and the amount of testing required for these devices to pass. In order for the FAA to approve the use of e-readers and tablets during takeoff and landing, each kind of device needs to be tested. For example, an iPad cannot be tested alone; the iPad 2 and the new iPad must be tested as well. There are already several versions of the Kindle available as well, such as the Kindle Fire tablet, and many other Android-powered tablets on the market. There are now Windows 8 tablets on the market too.

In early December 2011, the FAA raised a few eyebrows when allowing American Airlines pilots to use iPads in the cockpit. The FAA allowed iPads to replace paper manuals and charts, and they could be used during takeoff and landing. The FAA argued that allowing two iPads in the cockpit was a significantly different scenario than several passengers using several devices for longer periods of time.

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pressured the FAA to allow greater use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing because "they empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness."

Source: The New York Times

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unqualified blog posters
By rgsaunders on 12/31/2012 2:57:25 PM , Rating: -1
Tiffany should not blog on issues where she has not technical competence. RFI and EMI are serious issues on aircraft, and should be subject to the whims of spoiled children. Avionics Engineers are highly trained professionals who have the responsibility to ensure the safety of passengers, they have no obligation to risk that to ensure that some twits entertainment isn't interrupted during take off and landing, the most dangerous parts of any flight. I have seen RFI cause the uncommanded activation of the cabin pressurization outflow valves on a Boeing 707 at 32,000 feet, an uncomfortable experience to say the least. Grow up children.

RE: unqualified blog posters
By rgsaunders on 12/31/2012 2:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
should not be subject to - sorry about that

RE: unqualified blog posters
By sorry dog on 12/31/2012 3:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
can you be more specific about the incident?

If this happened on a flight at high altitude, there should be an FAA incident report on it.

RE: unqualified blog posters
By Fritzr on 12/31/2012 11:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
1) A battery operated device that emits a kW level signal is not likely to be in use by a passenger on an airliner simply due to size.

2) If an aircraft is unable to survive common consumer electronics, then accidents due to this cause should already be on record. Compliance is a lot less than 100% and the cabin crew will not catch everyone who fails to turn off personal electronics.

Yes, it is possible, with sufficient power, to jam even heavily shielded circuits, but an aircraft that cannot handle devices manufactured under FCC rules of the last 15 years will also experience problems from external devices on and around the airport. Especially mobile radios used for comms.

RE: unqualified blog posters
By Fujikoma on 12/31/2012 3:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
What caused this RFI emission you're making a claim about?
Planes fly through a lot of EMI and RFI... constantly. I'd bet it's even worse when approaching or taking off from a major city. I don't expect a plane to be hardened, but when an actual 'accident' occurs and it's found to be from a normal electronic device, then fix the other aircraft and live with it. I'd be more concerned about the airlines skimping on maintenance than I would cell phones, tablets and hand held games. I'd even be more concerned about pilot depression leading to suicide, since there are actual cases of pilots taking others with them (9-11 excluded).

RE: unqualified blog posters
By rgsaunders on 12/31/2012 5:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
The RFI source in that case was one of the aircraft systems, the HF radio antenna cable ground shield had corroded severely at the point where it entered the fin break at the vertical stab and forward for about 12 feet into the cabin area. I grant you this is of a different order of magnitude being as it was approx 1 kw of RF output, however this was also on an older aircraft with mostly analog systems, newer aircraft with digital systems have different issues of RFI/EMI vulnerabilities, I would rather give up my electronics toys during the landing and takeoff cycles than take a chance for no good reason.

RE: unqualified blog posters
By Piiman on 12/31/2012 3:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know that is what caused it?

RE: unqualified blog posters
By rgsaunders on 12/31/2012 5:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
I was in charge of the tech crew that found the problem and carried out the repair, and then carried out special inspections on the remainder of our fleet. This incident happened in the mid 80s on Canadian military aircraft.

RE: unqualified blog posters
By HostileEffect on 12/31/2012 4:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
I usually drop my phone between my legs or under one of those free blankets and keep on doing what I was doing with no ill effect. You should be more worried about pocket ECMs, GPS, cell, and wifi jammers, all of which can be bought online. Use is illegal but that never stopped anyone did it?

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