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We're using auto-land today, please turn off all electronics

We're using auto-land today, please turn off all electronics

Old Jul 2, 19, 5:56 am
  #1  
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We're using auto-land today, please turn off all electronics

Landing into ICN this morning it was a bit foggy, not super foggy (I've landed in JFK in far worse) but foggy nonetheless. On approach the captain announced that they were going to be using auto-land and accordingly everyone had to turn off all electronic devices no matter the size. Of course I complied but it got me thinking about why such a request might be made? Do such devices really disrupt auto-landing systems substantially more the "normal" ones or is something along the lines of the mobile phone at the petrol station forecourt, i.e. no real evidence just a surfeit of caution?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:38 am
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Originally Posted by Joely View Post
Landing into ICN this morning it was a bit foggy, not super foggy (I've landed in JFK in far worse) but foggy nonetheless. On approach the captain announced that they were going to be using auto-land and accordingly everyone had to turn off all electronic devices no matter the size. Of course I complied but it got me thinking about why such a request might be made? Do such devices really disrupt auto-landing systems substantially more the "normal" ones or is something along the lines of the mobile phone at the petrol station forecourt, i.e. no real evidence just a surfeit of caution?
There is interference, probably less than there used to be but it still exists. Modern aircraft are shielded but nothing is perfect. Using autoland is an expression used to a largely uneducated public, we can autoland on a sunny day. The issue is that when the pilots cannot see the runway then they have to rely on the system to work perfectly and there is almost no opportunity for them to correct a wayward landing.

Fog is also very misunderstood by the public, what seems to be not particularly bad at the surface may well be dreadful at 50 feet, or vice versa. also the pilots are looking down through the fog layers to try to see the runway, and this is not the same as looking horizontally over the land. There is so little margin for error and your perception of how bad the fog is, is not really relevant. So for safety reasons ( we take no chance) we ask, when we do an autoland in poor visibility for you to turn off your devices completely.

There are many who will tell you that this is not necessary, even give technical explanation as to why they think they are right. The CAA thinks differently to them, and really, why is it important to have your devices on at that time, are we as a society so obsessed that we might miss out that we cannot turn off our devices for 10 minutes?

Last edited by Waterhorse; Jul 2, 19 at 6:59 am
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:48 am
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The ground-based radio transmitters used for ILS systems are not very sophisticated and not that difficult to disrupt. (This is why it's not just an onboard thing: taxiing aircraft also hold position some distance from the active runway during ILS operations, so that their radios don't cause interference either). How much disruption, and how much deviation from course, could be caused? Who knows--but do you really want to find out when conditions are down to minimums and the ground is not that far away?!
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:55 am
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Here are some recent threads on the same topic:

Phones and tablets off —‘it’s really foggy’
Instrument Landing - turn all electronic items off
All devices to be turned off ....

There are more.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:12 am
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On intra Asia CX flight couple of months ago FA asked me not to use Bluetooth headphones as it interferes with navigation system. First time that has ever happened to me, any evidence to support it?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by flyslow View Post
On intra Asia CX flight couple of months ago FA asked me not to use Bluetooth headphones as it interferes with navigation system. First time that has ever happened to me, any evidence to support it?
Why? Are you going to use internet forum responses to argue with the instructions of the cabin crew?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse View Post
Why? Are you going to use internet forum responses to argue with the instructions of the cabin crew?
Did I say that I argued with FA? I was just interested, having used BT headphones for years on different carriers and has never been an issue.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse View Post
Why? Are you going to use internet forum responses to argue with the instructions of the cabin crew?
No need for the sharp response. The poster was asking for information and insight from individuals who may potentially know more about this area, and I do believe it is a valid question since I use bluetooth headphones continuously on board aircraft (mostly to avoid listening to the lengthy announcements, sometimes in upto 4 languages).
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Old Jul 2, 19, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by flyslow View Post
On intra Asia CX flight couple of months ago FA asked me not to use Bluetooth headphones as it interferes with navigation system. First time that has ever happened to me, any evidence to support it?
I asked Flybe this question a few months back. Their response was that they need some sort of signoff from the CAA in order to allow Bluetooth headphone use onboard and they didn't have it (yet).
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Old Jul 2, 19, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by prof View Post
taxiing aircraft also hold position some distance from the active runway during ILS operations, so that their radios don't cause interference either
Almost, there is an ILS protected area yes, and aircraft do hold outside this when conditions dictate, but it is not to stop their radios causing interference. The protected area is to stop the actual aircraft itself getting in the way of the ILS beams being transmitted simultaneously from the far end of the runway and abeam the touchdown point. If you put an aircraft or any large object between the transmitter and the aircraft on the approach it causes some pretty significant deviations of the signals and deflections of the approach indication onboard.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by flyslow View Post
Did I say that I argued with FA? I was just interested, having used BT headphones for years on different carriers and has never been an issue.
I'm not suggesting that you did argue with the FA, I am questioning why something posted on an internet forum, not a reliable source of info, can really help you. Even IF the FA is wrong and you know it, where do you go from there? Disobeying the legal order of the flight crew is sub optimal, an interesting part of the ANO is that the legal order does not need to be correct, merely that the person giving it believes that is in the best interests of the safety of the flight. So other than for interest how does this help?
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse View Post
So other than for interest how does this help?
It doesn’t help at all, but thanks anyway ^
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse View Post
I'm not suggesting that you did argue with the FA, I am questioning why something posted on an internet forum, not a reliable source of info, can really help you. Even IF the FA is wrong and you know it, where do you go from there? Disobeying the legal order of the flight crew is sub optimal, an interesting part of the ANO is that the legal order does not need to be correct, merely that the person giving it believes that is in the best interests of the safety of the flight. So other than for interest how does this help?
There, you said it yourself at the end. I would also be interested but would not - of course - ignore an instruction from flight crew. Intelligent people question things but it doesn't mean they will act on an individual piece of information especially when garnered from an internet forum.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:59 am
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I’m not questioning whether you should question cabin crew instructions, but as I pilot myself I can tell you that some cabin crew, and pilots for that matter, are far from being the sharpest tools in the box.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
There, you said it yourself at the end. I would also be interested but would not - of course - ignore an instruction from flight crew. Intelligent people question things but it doesn't mean they will act on an individual piece of information especially when garnered from an internet forum.
Fair enough, I guess I am just a little sensitive after many "conversations" with entitled passengers who think, that just because they read something on the internet, they can decide to ignore/argue with crew over whatever they feel they want to do.
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