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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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RE: Idiots
By jdownard on 1/2/2013 10:33:55 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here is not necessarily cell phones, tablets, or e-readers. The problem is that there are types of handheld, battery operated devices that could possibly be used to interfere with the electronic signals in an aircraft (think FM radio jammer). Likewise, they could also transmit relatively low power signals on frequencies that correspond to approach radios or communication radios, confusing the flight computer or disrupting communication at a critical time. These devices could be manufactured to resemble cell phones, tablets, and e-readers. In a plane with 300+ passengers, how can you possibly expect the flight crew to identify the differences? Not allowing the use of any device during the most critcal phases of flight (take-off and landing) is a minor annoyance at best and could help the flight crew identify anybody attempting to use such a device.

RE: Idiots
By Rukkian on 1/2/2013 10:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
If somebody could make something like that and wanted to purposely cause issues, they already could. They would not not use the device just because the flight attendent told them to turn it off.

RE: Idiots
By jdownard on 1/2/2013 11:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
In order for such a device to be effective, it would have to be activated during take-off or landing. If it was on beforehand it would be detected and alternate protocols initiated. In order for it to be activated somebody would need to have access to it, and likely pull it out, to switch it on. If nobody else on the plane is using anything and one person pulls out a device, and then something strange happens to the plane, then it is possible that the flight crew or one of the passengers would put together somebody activating a device and the plane issue as being related. On the other hand, if all 300 people on the plane have some kind of handheld device out and something happened there would be no way for the crew or passengers to identify the cause.

RE: Idiots
By Rukkian on 1/2/2013 11:46:33 AM , Rating: 2
I can attest that on any given flight several people never put away their electronics, and just hide them. If it were disquised close enough to a cell phone, that could already happen.

Basically you are saying that a terrorist will not take down the plane cause somebody told them not to. I guess we should have tried on on 9/11. Maybe if they just told them not to hijack the planes, they would have sat down and stopped the attack.

While I have no problem with the ban, your argument makes no sense to me at all.

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