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  (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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Stuff Happens
By drlumen on 12/31/2012 6:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
A couple of things I have experienced with cell phones and interference. I'm not going to pretend to know how it happened but to say it happened.

About 7:00AM one morning I'm up getting coffee and the clock radio in the bedroom starts emitting these really loud screeching tones. The radio was off and was not in 'alarm'. Startled I went into the bedroom just as it was ending. No other issues but my cell was next to the radio.

Capturing video in an editing bay one day and in the captured video I hear the same set of tones as heard previously from the clock radio. Fainter but still there.

While on a landline one day, surprise, surprise the same tones. The only common denominator was that a cell phone was present (different cell phones over this time frame but the same set of tones). Since these occurrences I hear these tones in various places at various times.

So, is this interference enough to take down a plane? I doubt it. Could it be enough of an issue in the few seconds at take-off and landing? Very possible. I would hope planes are more noise immune but why take the chance of an altitude indicator glitching or a horizon indicator doing a back flip?

With that said, I no longer allow cell phones in my editing bays because of possible unwanted noise. If the FAA wants to keep the rules for no electronics on in aircraft at take-off and landing I can certainly see the reason and don't have a problem with following those rules.

RE: Stuff Happens
By Camikazi on 12/31/2012 11:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
Chances are that you clock complies with Part 15 of the FCC rules, which states that it cannot give off any interference that might hinder another device but it will accept any interference from any device even if that interference causes undeseried results. Many consumer devices are like that but planes are set to stricter rules and are made to not accept interference (and their frequencies are restricted and never used by consumer devices anyway) and are shielded to be protected against it.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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