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Half of air passengers leave phones on

Half of air passengers leave phones on

Old Aug 12, 2013, 10:00 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by MOC991
The article is old, but that was on the edge of the introduction of what is now called 2G technology which is still used as Analog, TDMA, and CDMA. I thought it made the point more concisely that it is RF interference that is a concern with equipment that cannot be shielded because it is a function of the avionics to emit and receive RF. Here is a more recent article(2006) from IEEE(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) which says the same thing in a more convoluted way:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/a...t-any-airspeed

The point I keep seeing resurface is that the planes are made wrong if cell phones can interfere. Your phone can be interfered with by an RF device, but you probably wouldn't conclude that it was made incorrectly. The avionics use RF and they can interfere with RF frequencies just like your phone or say a walkie-talkie. The most crucial that can be interfered with is the ILS, but the above article says it can even interfere with GPS frequencies.

In the end, the FAA is being slightly conservative because they don't like to gamble with people's lives when they know there is a possibility. In addition to the RF issue, the EMI shielding and safety features that have been implemented may not be on older planes and rely on airlines to maintain the shielding correctly. Now you know why and what the possibility is so provide credible studies that counter the real ones without anecdotes.
The problem with your argument is that real world experience shows there is no real world concern. It has never been documented as a proven cause of interference at ANY TIME in the past 30 years. All just hearsay so far.
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Old Aug 14, 2013, 11:33 am
  #47  
 
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I left one of my mobiles on on several occasions - not out of malice, but just out of forgetfulness - it's my spare mobile with a SIM card I rarely use. Well, I'm still here, ain't I? I remember I heard announcement over the loudspeakers on board a LH plane like 'I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen but it seems like somebody has already turned their mobile on! We remind you that you are not allowed to turn it on until the engines are stopped... etc." Does this mean they've got a device to detect stray turned-on mobiles?
Anyhow, this spare mobile I left on couple of times apparently wasn't detected.
And I don't turn my iPad off - just put it on hold while taking off and landing, but that's it. I just turn off wifi and cell data, that's it - this way its internal GPS is still on and with an offline maps app I always know the exact location of the plane (it takes a little bit longer for the iPad to fix to GPS satellites, but it's quite reliable, location, altitude and speed wise.)

Incidentally, I remember ages ago Alitalia used to ban portable CD players and laptops with CD drives during the whole flight and not just during takeoff/landing, while even Aeroflot allowed them. I remember I tried to ask a FA re such a strange rule and she answered me like this: 'You must've only flown with some very old Russian aircraft before, which can stand this kind of equipment, while our planes are modern and CD players can damage them.'.

Last edited by Pargeo; Aug 14, 2013 at 11:43 am
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Old Aug 14, 2013, 12:37 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by planemechanic
The problem with your argument is that real world experience shows there is no real world concern. It has never been documented as a proven cause of interference at ANY TIME in the past 30 years. All just hearsay so far.
Hearsay
Look up the definition of hearsay. That is not hearsay. It would be hearsay if I didn't provide a study on it and instead just told you that I read somewhere or heard somewhere about something. Anything here we say could be construed as hearsay unless we were witnesses, but everything I said was taken from this study which I provided for you to read and draw your own conclusion. I also didn't think this was on the level of a thesis where I would have to take primary sources and raw data to demonstrate my point.

It has been documented:
In March 2004, acting on a number of reports from general aviation pilots that Samsung SPH-N300 cellphones had caused their GPS receivers to lose satellite lock, NASA issued a technical memorandum that described emissions from this popular phone. It reported that there were emissions in the GPS band capable of causing interference. Disturbingly, though, they were low enough to comply with FCC emissions standards.
and
All in all, we found 125 entries in the ASRS database that reported PED interference. Of these, 77 were considered highly correlated, based on the description of observed PED use and interference occurrence. The reports included cases of critical aircraft systems such as navigation and throttle settings being affected. Based on the random sample entries from 1995 to 2001, we estimate that the average number of reported interference events might be as high as 23 per year. There is considerable uncertainty about how many incidents actually occur in a year; a number of factors could make the number higher--or even lower--than the estimate of 23. Some reported incidents have not been entered into the database, and some of the reported incidents may not be interference events (that is, they might be false positives). But the data certainly suggest that PED interference events occur a few times each month.

In one telling incident, a flight crew stated that a 30-degree navigation error was immediately corrected after a passenger turned off a DVD player and that the error reoccurred when the curious crew asked the passenger to switch the player on again. Game electronics and laptops were the culprits in other reports in which the crew verified in the same way that a particular PED caused erratic navigation indications.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/a...t-any-airspeed
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ca...2005041601.pdf

Logic and Evidence
There are certain logical ways to make an argument, and I will try to be brief. My argument is if it is possible once, then it is possible again. Your argument is if it didn't happen once, then it will never happen. That is a fallacy since the premises cannot support either conclusion.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance) It is also why anecdotal evidence cannot prove a scientific principle.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anecdotal_evidence) You can't prove a theory based on yours or a random set of experiences because they could be the complete opposite of what happens in the typical case. However, you can prove that if something is possible once, then it is possible.

Last edited by MOC991; Aug 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 1:15 am
  #49  
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So my old iPhone's power button was broken after dropping it. I could not physically shut the phone off. I of course turned it to airline mode as always, but since I couldn't shut it off, should I have been escorted off the flight?
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 2:08 am
  #50  
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Originally Posted by MOC991

It has been documented:
In March 2004, acting on a number of reports from general aviation pilots that Samsung SPH-N300 cellphones had caused their GPS receivers to lose satellite lock, NASA issued a technical memorandum that described emissions from this popular phone. It reported that there were emissions in the GPS band capable of causing interference. Disturbingly, though, they were low enough to comply with FCC emissions standards.
and
All in all, we found 125 entries in the ASRS database that reported PED interference. Of these, 77 were considered highly correlated, based on the description of observed PED use and interference occurrence. The reports included cases of critical aircraft systems such as navigation and throttle settings being affected. Based on the random sample entries from 1995 to 2001, we estimate that the average number of reported interference events might be as high as 23 per year. There is considerable uncertainty about how many incidents actually occur in a year; a number of factors could make the number higher--or even lower--than the estimate of 23. Some reported incidents have not been entered into the database, and some of the reported incidents may not be interference events (that is, they might be false positives). But the data certainly suggest that PED interference events occur a few times each month.

In one telling incident, a flight crew stated that a 30-degree navigation error was immediately corrected after a passenger turned off a DVD player and that the error reoccurred when the curious crew asked the passenger to switch the player on again. Game electronics and laptops were the culprits in other reports in which the crew verified in the same way that a particular PED caused erratic navigation indications.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/a...t-any-airspeed
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/ca...2005041601.pdf
I'm sorry, but these articles are not peer-reviewed articles, nor is the evidence presented scientifically reproducible in any way.

Putting a spectrum analyzer in an overhead bin and collecting pilot stories does not a scientific study make.

I am qualified to review and attempt to reproduce a real scientific study of the type that should have been done if one wanted to publish instead in say IEEE Transactions on Magnetics or IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propogation.

Please let me know if you have any valid, reproducible, peer-reviewed evidence. I'll be happy to be one of the peers, if applicable.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 4:04 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by MOC991

It has been documented:
Based on your assumption that being in print means it is proven then we have also documented UFO's.

Proof has not been documented, hearsay has been documented. As a professional who responds to ASRS reports I can tell you that you clearly have no clue what that system is actually used for. Better to call it the CYA tool for aviation industry employees, not a place to gather FACTS.
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Old Aug 15, 2013, 4:25 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by Pargeo
I left one of my mobiles on on several occasions - not out of malice, but just out of forgetfulness - it's my spare mobile with a SIM card I rarely use. Well, I'm still here, ain't I?
Yeah, and lots of drunks manage to drive home safely from the bar, too. That doesn't mean drinking and driving is a safe activity.

The argument that millions of flights which undoubtedly have active mobiles on them has some merit - there are enough data points that you could work with the data scientifically to demonstrate that it is reasonably (albeit not absolutely - it's really hard to prove absolutes) safe to fly with active mobile phones. You can't make that argument just based on your experience with a few flights.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 12:19 am
  #53  
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Originally Posted by You want to go where?
Yeah, and lots of drunks manage to drive home safely from the bar, too. That doesn't mean drinking and driving is a safe activity.
If all the drunks in all the world for the last 50 years drove drunk every time and NEVER, not ONCE, was there an accident, an injury, or other negative effect from the rule breaking THEN and ONLY THEN would your comparison have value. There has not been ONE SINGLE PROVEN CASE of death, injury or navigational error related to personal electronic devices on commercial aircraft. Not one.

There have been many claims and assumptions written about, but nothing ever proven to be related to PEDs left on during flight.
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by planemechanic
If all the drunks in all the world for the last 50 years drove drunk every time and NEVER, not ONCE, was there an accident, an injury, or other negative effect from the rule breaking THEN and ONLY THEN would your comparison have value. There has not been ONE SINGLE PROVEN CASE of death, injury or navigational error related to personal electronic devices on commercial aircraft. Not one.

There have been many claims and assumptions written about, but nothing ever proven to be related to PEDs left on during flight.
I agree with you. I was only pointing out that any one individual saying that it didn't happen on their flight is meaningless. One data point cannot establish anything.

It is only in aggregate that the data is meaningful, and the aggregate data suggests that, even if there is some very minor risk of interference, it has not been enough to cause a plane crash.

That said, I continue to support the ban on the use of mobile phones for conversations in flight, not for technical reasons but for social ones. When 300 people are crammed into a metal tube, you have to set some rules to ensure they don't all end up killing each other. All it will take is two people sitting next to each other, each of whom thinks that his/her conversation is more important than his neighbor's and chaos (or murder!) will ensue. It is the same as restaurants banning the use of mobile phones, only more so.
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Old Aug 17, 2013, 9:34 am
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I specifically said I am not here trying to write a thesis and use primary sources and raw data. It has been done, although it definitely could be done more. I think most universities are cutting budgets while looking at profitable research or ground breaking research, so there is little interest in how cell phones affect avionics.

I also am not arguing the same point as most of you. I am not saying that cell phones have caused an accident. It is difficult enough to figure out the cause of an accident without trying to throw in RF interference to the mix. Although most accidents are a series of mistakes that combine to cause the ultimate accident. It is rare that it would be just one mechanical issue or pilot error that causes a crash. There are also many incidents that the media never hear about.

My argument is that it has been proven that a cell phone can interfere with frequencies that airplane avionic use at least once. That makes it a possibility and the FAA errs with safety. In order to rule out that possibility, you would have to test every model of cell phone to ensure it was safe to use with the avionics. In addition, that would assume that every phone was made exactly the same with perfect quality control. It also would assume that the airlines maintain the EMI shielding perfectly.

Originally Posted by Spiff
I'm sorry, but these articles are not peer-reviewed articles, nor is the evidence presented scientifically reproducible in any way.

Putting a spectrum analyzer in an overhead bin and collecting pilot stories does not a scientific study make.

I am qualified to review and attempt to reproduce a real scientific study of the type that should have been done if one wanted to publish instead in say IEEE Transactions on Magnetics or IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propogation.

Please let me know if you have any valid, reproducible, peer-reviewed evidence. I'll be happy to be one of the peers, if applicable.
This is quite ironic. I can only assume you did not read the NASA study. The irony being that here is that study is in that database along with several other related ones:
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/search/se...st_Names%3AEly

My understanding of a peer reviewed study is that it would be published for other reputable scientists to test, which in this case it has been. It is already a scientific principle that there can be interference in the electromagnetic spectrum, which is what some seem to be disputing. I wasn't particularly fond of the methodology they used. It could definitely be refined, but it can also be reproduced. They mainly were testing whether cell phones were used and their frequencies during flight and showing the spectrum and intermodulation. The better way to do it would be to go up on a VFR flight where there aren't any restrictions and test it with many models of phones with the avionics airliners use. They aren't going to fly an empty airliner burning thousands of dollars just to test that though. The strongest point really is the NASA research on the matter which was done with a more thorough methodology, and it did show interference. I'm saying it is possible and not that it always occurs.

Originally Posted by planemechanic
Based on your assumption that being in print means it is proven then we have also documented UFO's.

Proof has not been documented, hearsay has been documented. As a professional who responds to ASRS reports I can tell you that you clearly have no clue what that system is actually used for. Better to call it the CYA tool for aviation industry employees, not a place to gather FACTS.
Well based on your false generalization, anything that is written on paper instantly becomes as absurd as UFO stories because they are on paper. I'm sure most people did not read much into that.

Originally Posted by planemechanic
If all the drunks in all the world for the last 50 years drove drunk every time and NEVER, not ONCE, was there an accident, an injury, or other negative effect from the rule breaking THEN and ONLY THEN would your comparison have value. There has not been ONE SINGLE PROVEN CASE of death, injury or navigational error related to personal electronic devices on commercial aircraft. Not one.

There have been many claims and assumptions written about, but nothing ever proven to be related to PEDs left on during flight.
My argument is more that a drunk person cannot drive well and is therefore unsafe possibly causing deaths. I never said there was a proven case of death or injury because of PEDs. It has been shown that cell phones interfere at least once with navigation though.

Originally Posted by You want to go where?
I agree with you. I was only pointing out that any one individual saying that it didn't happen on their flight is meaningless. One data point cannot establish anything.

It is only in aggregate that the data is meaningful, and the aggregate data suggests that, even if there is some very minor risk of interference, it has not been enough to cause a plane crash.

That said, I continue to support the ban on the use of mobile phones for conversations in flight, not for technical reasons but for social ones. When 300 people are crammed into a metal tube, you have to set some rules to ensure they don't all end up killing each other. All it will take is two people sitting next to each other, each of whom thinks that his/her conversation is more important than his neighbor's and chaos (or murder!) will ensue. It is the same as restaurants banning the use of mobile phones, only more so.
There is not any aggregate scientific data for cell phone use on planes. There are only estimates based on estimates of how many people leave their phone on per flight usually published by journalists rather than scientists. A real study would involve testing a random sample of flights. Since every passenger does not leave their phone on for every flight, there is no way to really know how hundreds of different models of phones on at the same time would interfere with avionics.

I'm only arguing that is possible, and based on that possibility the FAA errs with safety and does not allow them. Since every time I've posted, the bar has been raised(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_the_goalposts), I wonder if there is any scientific data that proves that a plane full of cell phones would not cause interference. Also, I am not arguing about all PEDs at all. There are obvious social reason we don't want cell phones on flights. However, you can use your computer and other PEDs along with WiFi on many flights when at cruising altitude. I don't really understand the advantage to having a cell phone, but I do understand the possibility for interference.
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Old Aug 17, 2013, 3:04 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by MOC991

My argument is that it has been proven that a cell phone can interfere with frequencies that airplane avionic use at least once. That makes it a possibility and the FAA errs with safety. In order to rule out that possibility, you would have to test every model of cell phone to ensure it was safe to use with the avionics. In addition, that would assume that every phone was made exactly the same with perfect quality control. It also would assume that the airlines maintain the EMI shielding perfectly.
In the past 30 years there have been 300 million commercial flights in the USA, and an equal number in the rest of the world. On all of those flights there have been a wide variety of all sorts of PED's on and transmitting, in all conditions from new to broken and busted, to wildly out of tolerance from normal emissions. NOT ONCE during all those flights has there ever been a proven case of death, injury, navigational error related to the use of PEDs. You will never get a better data set than that. There is no evidence to support the ban on the use of PEDs inflight.
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