Airlines caught in a lie. Film at 11:00 .....

I fly a lot. I always hear the same speech when prepping for take-off and prepping for landing:

" Please turn off all cellular and other two-way communication devices. They may not be used while the airplane is in the air. They interfere with the plane’s navigation and communication systems. They can be turned on when we touch down. " Or, words to that effect.

If this is the case, then why does this article tell us:

So now, late in the game, we find out that a study needs to be conducted? I guess the airlines have been lying all along regarding the effect of wireless devices on navigation and communication systems.



Oh come on. You believed that? Lots of people have mobiles. Teenagers do. Some people forget to turn them off. If it really was an issue they’d confiscate them or check that they were turned off. I thought everybody knew it was bullshit.

There may well be good reasons for not allowing mobile use (apart from it would be really, really annoying) but clearly safety was never one of them.

Why parents shouldn’t lie to their kids about stuff they dont want them to do: It wrecks your cred, and you might need it someday.

This “Cellphones will cause a crash” bs is why travelers are non-compliant wiht other safety requests --We no longer believe them that this shit means anything other than to their own convenience.

And I have not heard the airlines I’ve flown the last couple of years explicitly argue the communications interference thing, anyway.

The regulation says no communications electronics in flight, just in case, precisely because they’re not 100% sure what affects what else, specially given the variety of devices and formats/frequencies that exist and that are continuously being come up with – which can be an issue, if it becomes determined that, say, it’s fine to operate equipment A, B, and C, and passengers will loudly insist that they should also be able to operate equipments D, E, and F that is just as commonly used.

(And when the airlines start allowing cell phone use inflight, that’s when the Air Rage Vigilantes will rise, and the cell phone will be outlawed again not for electronic interference but as a potential provocation to violence :wink: )

Hmm… Stinky Huge Guy in the seat next to me, snoring, vs. Stinky Huge Guy in the seat next to me with a Bluetooth headset crammed in his ear, saying loudly: “–So tell Dave I’ll just rent a car when I get there! Yeah! Maybe a half hour from now! I SAID A HALF HOUR! No shit? Just as soon as I grab my bags! WHAT?! Say that again, my phone’s cutting in and out here!..”

So, yeah, I totally support this lie. In fact, if there is truly no danger that today’s aircraft electronics will be disrupted by cellphones, I demand that such sensitive devices be installed in all planes right now.

I’ll try to find the cite for it later, but I seem to recall reading about how this all got started.

Some years ago something happened to the avionics of an airliner, which eventually landed safely. The only thing they could figure out was that some passenger was using a laptop computer at the time. They got the same model and did test, but could never reproduce the problem.

So the decision was made to just play it safe despite having no concrete evidence that devices like laptops and such actually cause problems. I don’t have a real problem with that.

Cel phones can definitely interfere with speaker devices. Hold one next to your stereo speakers some time and you’ll see. Not a big problem, but again, they take no chances in commercial aviation.

Oh. I wasn’t advocating using my toys on the plane. I own a lovely 15" Mac laptop and after the first flight watching a movie after I bought it, I leave it in the overhead.

I get to catch up on my reading and snoozing that way. :slight_smile:

I was just pointing out how lame the rule was.

Airplane electronics are well shielded from the intensity of electromagnetic wave that could be generated with a small, handheld device. It is not the FAA that doens’t want cell phones on planes, it’s the FCC. Cell phone towers are designed for phones traveling from 0-100 mph, not the 650mph a plane will achieve when cruising. At high speed, the phones will jump towers faster than the system can handle it, and crash the system.

Thank you for that interesting bit of info.

Do you have a cite for it? I’d like to pass it on to a few folks I know.

I think I read somewhere that what the airlines planning to implement inflight cell-phone use will do is set up a system so the airliner itself is its own self-contained cell/hotspot and the traffic is relayed through a satellite network.

I seriously hope they charge a buck per second roaming charges on that :mad:

Yeah Emerites is starting in January I read. Thats too bad because they are a pretty good airline to fly when going to Asia.

Did the system crash when the 9/11 passengers made calls? I don’t think so.

But you’re on the right track. A celphone’s signal is picked up by all the towers that can detect it, then the best signal is assigned to that tower and connection. Meanwhile, other towers in range can’t use that channel or they would interfere. At typical ground-level usage, a single phone might only tie up a few towers at most. At high altitudes, a single phone’s signal might cover dozens of sites and tie up dozens of channels.

You will find several threads about this topic on SDMB if you do a search on “plane” AND “phone”. Here are some:

This is incorrect. Look up at planes flying overhead. Do YOU lose sight of them too quickly for you to follow them? No. Now, ask yourself why this is, and you’ll understand why your statement is wrong.

It is not a lie. It’s a real safety hazard, although the severity of the hazard can be debated.

NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System database has numerous reports of passenger electronics devices, which includes cell phones, causing interference with aircraft instruments and systems.

Cite(s) ?

ASRS Report: Passenger Electronic Devices - Warning: PDF document.

Well. The first cite in the report reads partially as follows:

(My bolding)

I’ll keep reading but if this report is basically filled with “cellular phone incidents” like this one, then I will have to ask for an actual cite that provides proof that the signals generated by cellular phones actively interfere with the operations of aircraft.

Cause, so far, this report proves that drunken passengers carry cell phones and that’s really not what this thread is about, is it? :slight_smile:

aaaaaaaaand…from the very next incident in this cite:

( My bolding again )


Yes. Passengers are sometimes real jerk-offs, and even reach the level of true threats to the safety of the people in the passenger cabin. I couldn’t agree more.

Once again, that is not what this thread is about.

Cite ???

Ok. Here we go.

Okey. I have to accept this as a good cite, though quite a few of the “incidents” are purely human-based and only verbally mention a cellular phone without indicating that one was turned on, or interfered with the operation of the craft. In this case, and others I’ve seen, it appears that they do directly interfere.

Live and learn. If I refer back to my own OP, if this is common knowledge, why is a report going to be issued in the future to determine if this happens? It happens already. Right?

Mythbusters tested this one. As I recall, cell phones broadcast on a wide range of frequencies, depending on make and model. They found that while most of these frequencies had no effect at all on avionics, two of them made all the dials go haywire. Most cellphones don’t work on those two frequencies, but enough do that there’s some real risk in letting cellphones be used on flights.

I don’t know how reliable Mythbusters is as a cite, though.