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Half of air passengers leave phones on

Half of air passengers leave phones on

Old Aug 5, 2013, 8:05 pm
  #16  
 
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its beyond silly and into the stupid why people have the attitude of wanting to leave their electronic devices on when told to turn them off.

if you've ever been on a flight flying a CAT 3 approach in a snowstorm where neither you, or the pilots can see ANYTHING right down to 50 feet above the ground you'd have a different attitude.
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 9:30 pm
  #17  
 
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Wasn't a cell phone powered on the cause of the Asiana SFO crash?
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 10:33 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Steve M
Plus, there is a small but very vocal minority in the pilots' unions that insist they have personally experienced their aircraft's electronics act up because of passenger electronics interference, and where such interference went away when those electronics were turned off. Nobody seems to be able to explain why these conditions aren't reproducible in laboratory conditions and there are several possibilities. I suspect this is one reason that authorities are reluctant to relax the rules.

I was on this flight one time in which the pilot announced over intercom upon starting descent that he could tell that someone's cell phone was on and was interfering with his communication. He asked that everyone comply and shut down the cell phone. Shortly thereafter, he made an announcement that he was now communicating without interference and he gave a thanks for complying. Then short time afterward that, he again came on with a frustrated tone, saying that someone apparently has still not turned off the phone because he was still getting interferences. I wondered how legitimate all of that was, because that was the first and the only time I've heard a pilot come on and say things like that.
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 10:35 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by evergrn
I was on this flight one time in which the pilot announced over intercom upon starting descent that he could tell that someone's cell phone was on and was interfering with his communication. He asked that everyone comply and shut down the cell phone. Shortly thereafter, he made an announcement that he was now communicating without interference and he gave a thanks for complying. Then short time afterward that, he again came on with a frustrated tone, saying that someone apparently has still not turned off the phone because he was still getting interferences. I wondered how legitimate all of that was, because that was the first and the only time I've heard a pilot come on and say things like that.
How recent is this? I'm wondering if maybe older phones caused worse interference? 3watt bag phones & DynaTacs anyone?
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 10:53 pm
  #20  
 
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Hmm....let's see...


Phones work on what frequency?
Planes work on what frequency?




If there was some interference issue, the FCC would be the FIRST to step in, not the FAA.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 12:57 am
  #21  
 
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When it comes to phones/tablets etc, there are a number of groups and factors at work here, some of which are overlapping:
1) People who don't know how to turn their phones off
2) People who don't want to turn their phones off
3) People who don't know how to activate flight mode
4) People who don't want to activate flight mode
5) People who know how to turn their phones off and/or activate flight mode, but that forget to do so

When it comes to setting and enforcement of rules, there are also a number of actors with a variety of motivating factors:
1) Regulatory agencies
2) Aircraft and avionics manufacturers
3) Airlines
4) Flight crews

If passengers were completely reliable with regard to their knowledge of their electronic devices and willingness to comply with regulations, it would likely be sufficient for most regulatory and enforcement bodies to require flight mode for takeoff and landing but allow WiFi and Bluetooth use during flight, but with the provision for the flight crew to require a switch back to flight mode at their discretion.

Because that is not a realistic depiction of the state of passenger knowledge and attitudes, and because all of the parties on the regulatory and enforcement side of the ledger are extremely risk-averse, it is much easier to require more draconian measures with the vague hope of preventing any possibility of trouble but the very real result that it shifts a measure of responsibility away from them and on to the offending rule violators.

In other words, the regulatory and enforcement groups are doing all that they can to cover their asses.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 1:11 am
  #22  
 
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My issue with this is that on a recent flight, it was okay for my iPad to be on and watching a movie, but not okay for my Nexus 4 to be watching a movie - even though they're both in flight mode. It doesn't make any sense, especially since my iPad is of the 3G variety.

China Southern, by the way.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 1:19 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by roastpuff
My issue with this is that on a recent flight, it was okay for my iPad to be on and watching a movie, but not okay for my Nexus 4 to be watching a movie - even though they're both in flight mode. It doesn't make any sense, especially since my iPad is of the 3G variety.

China Southern, by the way.
I had a similar situation with Air China several times. My iPad and iPhone were both in flight mode and at cruising I was told to turn my iPhone off while my iPad purred along quite happily.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 2:16 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by fruittester1
I also noticed we hadn't crashed and died in a fiery inferno. So I stopped turning off my phone in my pocket.
I guess software engineers just don't know very much about logic.

.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 2:21 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by fastfxr
BS. I'm an EE and have been for 20+ years. My little cell phone has zero effect on the avionics and the FAA knows it. Why else would they consider allowing iPads into the *COCKPIT*?
Obviously you don't have enough experience and/or knowledge and/or logic.

Unbelievable!

.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 3:07 am
  #26  
 
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"The laboratory results indicated that the phones not only produce emissions at the operating frequency, but also produce other emissions that fall within airplane communication/navigation frequency bands (automatic direction finder, high frequency, very high frequency [VHF] omni range/locator, and VHF communications and instrument landing system [ILS])."
http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aer..._textonly.html

I think the biggest misunderstandings from the flying public are:
-Shouldn't planes be everything proof so my little cell phone couldn't possibly harm it and it hasn't crashed yet when mine was on
-Obviously they are doing this just to inconvenience me personally

I have flown a little as a private pilot. Cell phones are allowed on VFR(Visual Flight Rules, high visibility, clear weather, <12K ft) flights so it doesn't seem that they think cell phones interfere with the most basic of electronics on the plane, but commercial airliners also have a lot more electronics built into controlling the plane versus older Cessna's like I flew that have mechanical controls. The instruments that are used for IFR(Instrument Flight Rules, required above 12K ft) actually use various radio frequencies to function so it would be impossible to shield the receivers since they are required to receive therefore making them susceptible to some interference.

One of the biggest things that the pilots and FAA are most concerned about is the ILS(Instrument Landing System).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_landing_system This is a very sensitive and for it to function perfectly, there should be as little interference as possible. Even buildings in the immediate vicinity can cause issues. When pilots say they can tell someone's cell phone is on, this is probably what they are having an issue with. There is actually a second set of lines on the taxiway before the plane pulls out on the runway. The closest line is the regular hold short line, but further back is the ILS hold short line to avoid any interference from the other plane's instruments with the landing planes. The ILS is the reason that no electronics are allowed on takeoff and landing. If the FAA and pilots believe that there is a possibility for interference with a system that is crucial for landing in poor weather conditions, then I am inclined to turn off my cell phone and all other electronics.

There are also other instruments like the VOR and ADF which would be susceptible during flight, but they are not as critical as the landing system have been somewhat superseded by GPS. In bad weather however, I would really prefer to make sure that my pilots have every available tool functioning correctly.

The other argument that people seem obsessed with using is that everything should be more well shielded now and that cell phones are limited to certain frequencies. I would admit that the radios in cell phones probably are lower powered, well constructed, and probably function fairly well. However, almost all new cell phones have the ability to switch back to 2G technology and use more power for the radio especially when the signal is weak like when you are over 6 miles above the ground. In addition, many older planes probably are not shielded as well which are commonly used for flights. You can be assured that Boeing engineers realize people are completely ignoring the instructions to turn of their cell phones. Newer planes will have better shielding but there are still older planes flying. In addition, it is up to the airlines to properly maintain these systems and ensure that shielding is properly reinstalled after maintenance. They don't have a great track record on maintenance. All avionics have to be tested and approved by the FAA which includes testing for shielding against EMI, but like I said that wouldn't protect avionics that use radio frequencies to function.

In the end, they are being somewhat conservative but with good reason because they are trying to prevent crashes and interference with critical landing systems. I like landing safely and I turn my phone off. It especially worries me when I see someone with their phone on when landing in a storm. If the conditions are poor, then it is IFR conditions so they are using ILS. I'm not trying to tell you when to turn off your phone, but it is a real issue. It has been shown in a laboratory, and with my few engineering and science classes, I can tell you there is a scientific basis despite what some random self proclaimed EE might say. Just turn it off. It is not going to function well and it will completely drain the battery life so there is no reason. Your phone made in China which isn't know for the best quality control can cause issues.

Please don't rely on the fact that your phone hasn't caused a crash yet. That would be anecdotal and useless evidence. I've told you exactly when they are worried about phones causing issues and why it can't be shielded. It isn't "safety theater" and your fruit company doesn't make avionics. Actually they don't even make the hardware. That is done in China.

Last edited by MOC991; Aug 6, 2013 at 3:15 am
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 5:29 am
  #27  
 
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Emirates allows you to use your cell phone during the flight except on takeoff and landing.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 6:06 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by evergrn
I was on this flight one time in which the pilot announced over intercom upon starting descent that he could tell that someone's cell phone was on and was interfering with his communication. He asked that everyone comply and shut down the cell phone. Shortly thereafter, he made an announcement that he was now communicating without interference and he gave a thanks for complying. Then short time afterward that, he again came on with a frustrated tone, saying that someone apparently has still not turned off the phone because he was still getting interferences. I wondered how legitimate all of that was, because that was the first and the only time I've heard a pilot come on and say things like that.
I've had something similar happen last year on a BA flight SOF-LHR but after the touchdown. The FA came on and announced the pilot has asked people to turn off their cell phones until we reached the gate as it was interfering with communications.

Last edited by Badenoch; Aug 6, 2013 at 7:04 am
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 6:32 am
  #29  
 
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I've left mine on accidentally in non-flight mode a million times.
I've told you a zillion times not to exaggerate!
I've left mine on a few times .

You harvest some interesting text messages from the Caucasian republics and other flyover states en route to Singapore ("Kleptocrat-tel welcomes you to Azkharmeorgiastan! Data is 238.2p/MB! Enjoy your stay!"). Then you find your battery is drained when you arrive.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 8:25 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by Steve M
Plus, there is a small but very vocal minority in the pilots' unions that insist they have personally experienced their aircraft's electronics act up because of passenger electronics interference, and where such interference went away when those electronics were turned off. Nobody seems to be able to explain why these conditions aren't reproducible in laboratory conditions and there are several possibilities. I suspect this is one reason that authorities are reluctant to relax the rules.
Probably the same reason why I can't reproduce my cell phone interfering with my computer speakers on-demand, but nevertheless, it'll do it randomly?
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