Why You Can’t Use Your iPhone During Take-Off

Why You Can’t Use Your iPhone During Take-Off

Photo by tom cochrane - http://flic.kr/p/6GM1c8

Our opinion of the government has never been lower, and every day there is ample proof why. Take the FAA, for example. Despite the absolute lack of evidence that your iPhone can knock a plane from the sky, passengers are still told to turn off their phones. The reason why such a Luddite-like rule exists without any proof? Because there’s no proof iPhones won’t hurt planes, either. Don’t get whiplash shaking your head in utter amazement.

The New York Times estimates in 2010, 7 million U.S. airline passengers likely left their iPhone or iPad on during takeoff or landing, yet there were no accidents attributed to the technology. The iPhone even has an “Airplane Mode” that turns off wireless signals. Aircraft instruments are impervious from such interference, yet the government continues upon insisting playing “Angry Birds” on your iPad will take down an aircraft as sure as a terrorist’s bomb.

Like someone who refuses to acknowledge reality, FAA spokesman Les Dorr told the Times, “There is no evidence saying these devices can’t interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying they can.” There’s also no proof I can’t be king of the universe, which according to Mr. Dorr’s reasoning, means I still have a chance of getting that crown.

You would think after all the indignities fliers are forced to endure at the hands of government airport screeners, we could at least use our iPhones in flight. No, instead, every other flight is diverted because someone stayed too long in the bathroom or an F-18 is flying wingtip-to-wingtip with my Continental because someone looks wrong. Yep, my iPhone is a danger to the flying public – because it isn’t.

This sort of circular logic only makes me dizzy – where’s my airsickness bag?

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  • Flu Guy

    This is typical government involvement… they have no clue how to fix or streamline anything. All they understand is how it was done in the past and that we should keep on doing it… but add some more paper and loop-hole laws to improve it.

    I love the USA – but our government is getting more corrupt and behind the times.

    And don’t ya just love the dumb-a$$es working for the TSA? That’s one respectable job  :)

  • dlydlrs

    There’s no evidence for nor is there evidence against that this can interfere with airplane equipment. But still…
    You’re not allowed to use it during take off because you’re supposed to pay attention to the safety demonstration. You’re also not allowed to use it during take off or landing for the same reason you need to buckle up, put your seats in the upright position and your tray table locked, it’s because take off and landing is a different ballgame than just flying. So why not during flight? The only valid reason I’ve heard so far has little to do with airplane safety: if hundreds of phones try constantly searching for a signal every time they fly over a telecom antenna, this would hugely disturb the network of the telephone companies.
    Or am I missing something and are you not even allowed to use your phone in airplane mode during American flights?

  • Gene

    This has nothing to do with technology – it is about distraction. People who are using their devices before take off are not paying attention to the safety spiel and other important instructions. The ban on using these devices is about removing those distractions and getting you to listen to the crew. Not that it helps, of course…

  • Haymoose

    Ed, you are king of the universe. Did you ever see the Mythbusters episode where they tested this?
    http://mythbustersresults.com/

  • joewaylo

    It’s because airlines want more money. They prefer you to use their air phones, not yours. Even if a smartphone that’s safe (minus the operating altitude and LTE dangers announced that it messes with GPS), they prefer you to use their air phones. So the feds hold onto that tight policy.

    Even if that’s untrue, airlines are already shielded from interference. Mythbusters already proved that point, however they couldn’t test it in the air as it is federal law.

  • GregsTechBlog

    So…. can we ban distracting babies from crying?

    Really, I think the commenter above you has it right, they’re hoping you use their in flight offerings instead. That, or there’s no conspiracy here, they’re really just that unable to push any changes to policy, even if they make sense.

  • yahoo-352OEBY3Q26NIOELKK4NEU5UFY

    Then logically the airlines/FAA/FCC should ban reading books or newspapers, and force people to halt all conversations, and make everyone watch the stewardess. Why single out what is merely one other way of keeping oneself occupied rather than listening to the same tired spiel the 1,000th time? Reality check: if something goes wrong in the sky, nothing is going to save you anyway. 

  • Tom Rowan

    A mobile phone will typically put out a few milliwatts. No, that’s no going to interfere with aircraft systems. But when there is no signal your phone will search like mad for a base station to talk to… it will up the wattage of it’s output to around 2W. That means a plane full of searching iPhones (and that’s just GSM). 

    You know what it’s like when your phone ‘chatters’ because you put it near a speaker? Imagine that in the pilot’s earphones. When you’re trying to listen to the ATS and concentrate on a safe take off or landing, you really don’t need anymore confusion. So please, turn them off.

  • Marian Minarik

    Uhm, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather turn my phone off for a few minutes than risk taking a plane down… What’s the big deal, seriously?

  • redasian

    And you make this claim of ‘chatter’ affecting the pilot’s earphones because…. Oh that’s right. You just pulled it out of your behind.

  • Raoul Poolboy

    There have been studies at Boeing and other Aircraft
    manufacturers that does offer some correlation between cell phones and
    aircraft electronic systems.

    http://www.boeing.com/commerci

    you can also see other reports here:

    http://www.businessinsider.com

    Most of the modern jets do take cell signals into account but older
    aircraft still flying (737-100, 737-200, etc) may be susseptible. In
    tests with multiple laptop computers there were no airplane system
    anomalies, but Boeing has observed airplane antenna receiver
    susceptibility from “noisy” systems with levels significantly lower than
    those recorded by the laptop computers used in the tests.
     

  • redasian

    It’s that type of thinking that keeps all these archaic rules around that have no place in our present-day society.

  • Smoked Turkey

    On recent flight when FA said “all devices off” I asked about airplane mode and she said absolutely not! Ok so why not get a couple of test pilots with parachutes on. Fill a plane with cell phones and take them for a ride. That should end the discussion once and for all. Lack of education about airplane mode is pathetic. 

  • Timothy Weaver

    No one said it’s a big deal, just that it’s idiotic. It’s the equivalent of superstition, and should not be the basis for regulations which carry legal penalties. You only think leaving an electronic device on creates (or “might” create) any risk. However, there’s no evidence of it so the persons telling you there is a risk are just making it up. Some of us prefer random decisions shouldn’t become the basis for regulating behavior.

  • Timothy Weaver

    If that really is the basis of the regulation, then that should be the stated basis of the regulation. But it’s not. The stated basis is that electronic devices “could interfere with the plane’s navigation systems”. There’s no evidence of that either.

  • Timothy Weaver

    Sorry, but private entities engage in exactly the same kind of illogical behavior. There isn’t a company on earth that doesn’t retain policies even when they make no sense. While I am continually frustrated as a frequent traveler by inane security and safety policies (which have been roundly rejected by non-US security agencies) I don’t think it’s a damnification of government involvement. Personally, I’ll still continue to appreciate that governments regulate and control many aspects of air travel.

  • ichiroa

    Im so sick of this. WHO CARES! Is it really that big of a deal to put everything away for the 5-10 min during takeoff and landing? The entitlement attitude is getting out of control.

  • SevanGrim

    …remember how tethering was a good idea until people f’ed it up for everyone else by using it as a primary internet connection for EVERYTHING? There will always be a section of people who will f things up for everyone else.
     Yes, there is an Airplane mode that does indeed make your device safe. But you have to turn it on. And while thats easy for lets say 70% of us, 30% will fail to take that action. Your flight will be delayed because that idiot 12 year old or confused 60 year old or middle aged business person is using their ipad like everyone else… but while running location and data and cell services. And THAT jacks up the planes instruments.  Not enough to drop you from the sky, but enough to cause phantom blips and possible interference.

    The reason the airlines dont JUST SAY THIS is because the faulty members of society never think they are the faulty members of society. They are that kid who swears for 20 minutes they dont have to pee, and then soil themselves 5 minutes later on the bus. No matter what they say, no matter how many precautions they take, these people will F up. So to limit this as much as possible, they make it an enforceable rule.

    The easy question is would you rather not be able to use your phone for 15 minutes, or risk an hours delay because some moron is streaming Rio and playing angry Birds?

  • facebook-602274890

    actually no, they don’t think playing angry birds will “take down a plane”. But they do think playing angry birds, or jamming out to ~whatever~ you’re listening to could distract you during what’s known as a “critical phase of flight”.  

    Critical phases of flight are:
    taxi in/out
    take off
    climb out
    initial and final descent
    landing

    During these phases of flight, if something is going to go wrong – these are the phases where it will happen.  The FAA has determined that keeping all passengers prepared during these phases of flight increases the likelihood of your survival.  Keeping your seat up, bags put away and gadgets put away can all contribute to your being able to get up and run (or crawl) for your life should your plane end up in a fiery mess at the end of the runway, in a ditch, a river, etc.

    I’ve personally experienced two flights where the pilots called back to ask us to find the idiot yammering into his cell phone because the pilots could hear him and not the tower.  But don’t take mine or any other Flight Attendant or commercial pilots word for it, and don’t listen to the FAA because it’s part of the gubment.  Just keep right on hiding your iphone under your leg or turning it over when we ask you – for the 5th time – to turn the damned thing off for 5 minutes.  

    Also – Airplane mode is only permitted above 10,000 ft.  Even if airplane mode doesn’t emit any signals, folks – it’s an attention issue.  I realize that being a passenger on a US based flight means it’s going to be boringly safe and we all want that for you.  Please try and understand that your cabin crew is preparing you to crash – and hopefully survive every single time you’re taking off and again when you get ready to land.  Doing things this way is the very reason why we have the very safe and very unbelievable rules that we have.  We just want to get you from point A to point B in one piece, as close to on time as possible.

    If you’re still hell bent on doing what you want, please do yourself and your fellow passengers a favor and sit against a window.  Stay out of the middle seats and aisle seats if you can.  That way, if you decide not to heed the instructions of the flight crew and something goes wrong, you won’t be blocking someone else’s exit.

  • SevanGrim

    there is evidence that broadcasting devices interfere. The turn them off rule is just a blanket rule so they dont have to deal with that one moron who doesnt remember to switch, or who thinks their Gameboy advance isnt transmitting even though it totally is.

  • SevanGrim

    read up on radio frequencies buddy. the cockpit has instruments that talk to towers, act as compasses, gyroscopes, radars… i cant even remember all of the devices in there. but a huge chunk of them are electronic devices that broadcast and receive on different frequencies.
      im not sure what exactly triggers what, but i know that your phone probably bugs out ONE of those instruments when its reaching out for a connection.

  • facebook-602274890

    Welcome to 2011 (almost 2012) who the hell still has airfones in their cabin??

    And wow – Mythbusters? Really? They tested phones on a private jet that was sitting on the ground. That has nothing to do with the real life experiences of flight deck and cabin crews.

  • KateMacVerde

    I refuse to power down my phone on principle. It only makes sense to put it in Airplane mood from before take-off until landing, because the battery will drain while constantly looking for service in the air. 
    Aside from that, I always put my phone on silent. There’s nothing worse than sitting next to someone who forces me to listen to their game’s sound effects.

  • Brad Oliver

    A few years ago I left my phone on and in my flight bag while piloting a small aircraft.  Each time an email or text was delivered, interference (chatter) could be heard over the aircrafts audio system.  After about an hour I climbed into the back to retrieve my phone from my bag and put it into Airplane mode and the interference stopped.

    Not an airliner, but still a data point, and I gladly turn my phone off when asked.

  • Kentucky Jelly

    Well said here. Take offs and landings are a different ballgame, take it from a pilot. Also, I think people commenting are forgetting that it is not just your one cell phone that would be on, it would be up to 380 phones on an Airbus A340 (not even mentioning that some people carry two cell phones, 3G tablets, etc). While I completely agree that cellular voice and data will never be the sole cause of a plane crash, I do not eliminate the mass of other possible problems 380 people using their cellphones might do to the communication equipment of the plane, or even could do to the nerves or effectiveness of the flight attendants trying to do their jobs to accommodate you. Lastly, do the feds really have to spell it out for you smart people? OK, so you are the minority of the population that understands some facts about cell phones and planes, can’t you just sit back and enjoy being smarter than the other people on the plane that might believe the lies? Do the feds really have to do anything with this incomplete set of new information from Mythbusters, or can you just commit to ripping your fingers away from your mobile device for ten minutes of your life?

  • Kentucky Jelly

    Well said here

  • Kentucky Jelly

    Well said, Ray.

  • facebook-602274890

    Actually yes – doing what we ask you to do will save you.  There are mountains of data from the NTSB that shows that when you listen to the flight crew, if the flight was survivable – people do survive.  

    And in every single after crash interview, the surviving passengers always say that they should have listened closer to the instructions because they were confused about where an exit was, or they say something like they just happened to be paying attention that day.

    Crashes are survivable, but you have to want to survive and you have to listen to the people who are telling you how you can survive.

  • facebook-602274890

    lol thanks ;)

  • jaycityatl

    This is so insane…  Anyone who flies knows that the proof is in the fact that hardly anybody actually turns off their devices.  They just aren’t looking at them during takeoff.  If this was actually a serious safety issue, they would have each person display that their device is fully powered off before the plane begins to taxi.  Further, I don’t buy into this idea that its not about the device, but instead making you pay attention during takeoff and landing, b/c nobody stops to wake you up if you’re sleeping during these ‘critical times’.  Yet another irritating and pointless aspect of air travel.  

  • Daniel Durbin

    Theres one reason for turning off electronics during critical phases of flight and thats SAFETY! Your less likely to survive an emergency if your distracted by angry birds or any other electronic equipment. If you can’t detach yourself from your cell phone or tablet for 15 minutes without being utterly lost, then you have other issues. Quit complaining and just follow the rules or DON’T fly!

  • Jonathan Ober

    I have used my iPhone in a small four seater plan and continue to talk to the towers…so…ya…just saying.

  • Dr_CP

    The logic isn’t bad, it’s that rules that are designed to support a particular principle often under protect in some ways and over protect in others.  The point of the rule is safety.  iPhones might be safe, but to enforce an electronics rule with exceptions would be very difficulty.  It’s a lot like the speed limit.  The point is to have people drive safely.  Some people can drive safely at 90 mph and some can’t at 55 mph.  You get a ticket for 90 even if you are driving safely in a highly safe car.  That is you haven’t violated to purpose of the rule.  So, the rule just can’t do all the logical work necessary in perfectly supporting the principle the rule is supposed to support.

  • Mikey

    The problem is that airlines simply don’t have the time or the money to test the latest revision of every cellphone (hardware and software) against every permutation of equipment in every commercial airliner.  So they have to ask people to not use these devices during the critical parts of a flight to minimise any potential risk.

    But there’ll always be someone who thinks they know better and will just leave their device on.

  • MrMLK

    I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. As far as I know, no one has yet done a study showing that’s its safe for the plane to take off if I leave my pants on. Yet the FAA continues to ignore the possible threat and allows me to remain fully dressed. We don’t let pilots drink within 24 hours of a flight, but no one has done a study on the dangers of passengers drinking before a flight. Maybe that’s dangerous too.

    But the real reason you know the rule is baloney is because of its sporadic enforcement. If the NYT number is to be trusted, 78% of flights had an iPhone left on in 2010. You would think if the FAA really thought it was a danger, they would have had some flight attendent walking around with some sort of device to make people turn their iPhones off.

    Lastly, to use your example, imagine if we were having a conversation and I told that 78% of the drivers in the US in 2010 had driven at 90 MPH, and not one of them had had an accident. Would you still be arguing that we just don’t know if it was safe to drive at 90 MPH?

  • MIke Walczak

    Sorry folks, there have been multiple instances where these devices have interfered, although very rare.  There also was an FAA study done years ago that looked into this.  The problem is not so much newer aircraft and newer electronics, but the older stuff.  One case that comes to mind from years ago was a cd player that was repaired where they forgot to put back an emi shield, it interfered with ILS. There are other instances where it interfered with communications.

    The real issue is not if it does or doesn’t, but what if could and caused a crash, and you were on that airplane.  Now that these people who put their convenience  over yours and theirs safety just to save few minutes, is BS.  They or their families would be the first ones suing.  Personally I wish the airlines would enforce the rules more forcefully.  BTW I am high milage flier, and have been 1K for a number of years, so I do speak from experience.
     

  • facebook-602274890

    That’s incorrect. Pilots – depending on the company can drink up to 8 hours prior to departure, with most companies having a 12 hour rule.  That doesn’t mean get shitfaced for 7 hours and then stop at the 8th hour either.

    PAX drinking before a flight is probably one of the leading causes of inflight incidents across all major carriers.

  • MrMLK

    Ok, but I think you are missing the point I am trying to make. Hint: It wasn’t that pilots should be allowed to drink.

  • chris howe

    I operate (fly) a military transport aircraft.  The main issue with leaving your phone on is the noise that comes through the intercom and radio.  Put your phone on a speaker for a day and listen to the dit-de-dit-de-dit.  It’s just annoying and you dont want the chap flying your aircraft being annoyed.  The second is I have seen instances of fire warnings illuminating on the flight deck.  The tend to come along with the dit-de-dit-de-dit and you have a thinks bubble before doing anything.  However I have not seen it interfere with the navigations systems as such.  Turn off you  phone (or put it in aeroplane mode) and don’t annoy the bloke controlling the aluminium tube with your pink body in it.  Always sit at the back – have you ever heard of an aircraft reversing into a mountain?

  • MrMLK

    I’m not 100% why you think your time sitting in a passenger seat in an airplane makes you more qualified to have an opinion about how flight systems work. 

    And just so you know, as a society we constantly put someone’s convenience over someone else’s safety. That’s why the speed limit is 55 instead of 20, the drinking limit is 0.08% instead of  0%, and smoking isn’t completely banned.

  • facebook-602274890

    Your “point” is invalid.  You – as a passenger are complaining about a set of rules that are designed to keep you alive and guard against potential and yes – occasional interference. 

    It happens.  I’ve experienced it, as have other posters.  You’ll survive for about 5 to 10 minutes without your digital pacifier.  Promise. 

  • Jeffrey Gee

    Leaving your phone on during an entire plane trip doesn’t do anything cause I’ve accidentally done it.  I got on a flight and fell asleep immediately cause I was exhausted from traveling.  I was awaken by my phone ringing right as the first wheel touched the ground during landing and I remember being surprised that it was still on, but that it also didn’t cause an issue.

  • yahoo-352OEBY3Q26NIOELKK4NEU5UFY

    “if the flight was survivable” – that is the operative phrase in your entire reply. I’m saying that when you’re flying at 35,000 feet, and fall out of the sky, nothing the flight crew told you will help you survive. And none of that has anything to do with the irrational singling out of mobile phones for this kind of disparate treatment. Otherwise, airlines would require everyone to wake up, look straight ahead, and listen, which they don’t. It’s not a nanny flight – people can choose to listen or not. 

  • Bassem Iskander

    I am a radio frequency engineer, I design and optimize cell networks and can tell you that even if the phone had a bad radio chip inside it (which means you wouldn’t be able to get your carriers – or any others signals), it is still not strong enough to interfere with a plane’s communications. Other high powered electronic devices may be able to if they were designed that way, but consumer cell phones simply can not from where the passengers are. In the cockpit, it may be a different story.

    Under the FCC’s own rules, carriers are required to report and correct inference issues from there towers, but if the tower is over 10 meter(33 ft) high, the power levels out of near field propagations are so low that no EMF studies are required. And we are talking about equipment on cell sites here not cell phones themselves.

  • Max Corwin

    i hate that all government laws are behind present technology

  • facebook-602274890

    You watch too many hollywood movies.  Planes don’t fall out of the sky, especially from 35,000ft.

    You are required to raise your seat back and put your bags away. If you fall back asleep that’s your business, but you don’t get to stay reclined during landing / take off – asleep or not.  

  • nthnm

    So what is the reasoning behind not allowing any electronics to be turned on during takeoff and landing? Is a Gameboy gonna bring the plane down as well?

  • redasian

    Make a rule that punishes everybody for the one moron? This is the kind of uninformed “rule” that people like to push for their own selfish and personal gratification.

  • redasian

    Make a rule that punishes everybody for the one moron? This is the kind of uninformed “rule” that people like to push for their own selfish and personal gratification.

  • redasian

    I’m more than happy to put my phone on airplane mode. No need to text anyways while I’m up there.

  • redasian

    You say all that mumbo-jumbo without an ounce of comprehension. ;-)

  • MrMLK

    Nope, you’ve missed my point again.

    My point is that saying that the rule is protecting me doesn’t mean that the rule is actually protecting me. If the iPhone was actually a source of danger, you would expect to have heard about some accidents last year in the 7 million flights where an iphone was left on. 

    If the FAA really believed that the iPhone was a danger, they would do more to insure that 78% of flights in the US didn’t have an iPhone left on.

    Those were the points I was trying to make.

    And, while I appreciate your desire to give me life advice about my choice of digital pacifiers (Cmon, who doesn’t enjoy sarcastic and obnoxious device from complete strangers?) your advice also misses the point. If the airlines and flight attendants and the FAA are busy worrying about imaginary dangers, they are probably spending less time dealing with real ones.

  • facebook-602274890

    We’ve actually already covered when the phone is disruptive (transmitting / receiving causes interference with pilot communications) and when it’s a distraction (playing with it during critical phases of flight).

    And since we’re missing points ~ you continue to miss ours.  The danger isn’t imaginary, a few posters including myself have illustrated why.  

    Now then – hide your phone like a petulant 5 year old and bring it back out again when you think I’ve walked past you.  For good measure, slowly look over your shoulder to see if I’m gone. 

    And,  no – really – you’ll survive that 5 to 10 minutes.  I know, I know.. It probably feels like drowning.  You’ll make it!  I promise!  :)

  • Adachi

    Its not the electronic interference , dummies – its the projectile that such devices will become if the aircraft has to suddenly deaccelerate. STOW AWAY PERSONAL BELONGINGS AND ANY LUGGAGE.

    Morons.

  • Alan Darbin

    if you dont trust your own government and this is such a big deal for you ever think of google?

    http://europa.eu/legislation_s
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/733

    just a thought.

  • Eddis

    I have a first-generation iPod nano. The only thing it can transmit to is tennis shoes, a function I’ve turned off (obviously). I still get told to put it away by flight attendants.

    Luckily, I have really thick/long/curly hair, so I just conceal the headphones beneath it. But I still get treated like some kind of anarchist by my parents (I’m 17). So that’s fun.

    Is it too much to ask that after being sexually harassed by X-ray cameras (dismiss it if you like, but the fact remains that the process leaves me near tears), stuck in a food court for two hours being ogled by creepy Chinese men, etc, I be allowed to set the takeoff to an indie-rock soundtrack of my choosing?

  • itsme nyc

    I’m sorry but you are full of it.

    As other people have said, many people do not turn off their devices and yet there have been no accidents.

    I fly extensively around the world and I find it really surprising that you’ve been on two flights where the pilot is hearing someone on their cell phone. I’ve been on flights where the flight attendants were the ones on their phone during takeoff and landing.

    The proof is in the pudding: millions of miles flown and NO accidents due to cell phones or other devices, period.

  • facebook-602274890

    I’m not really interested in your platinum aluminum foil status.  And really?  The FA’s were on their cell phones during take off and landing?  Yea that’s likely.  

    Obvious troll is obvious. :)

  • LucasMendes

    I can’t believe how many people here are futile and so ignorant on science and technology, beginning with the author of this post! If there is no evidence of harm using cell phones (or any other RF emitting gadget) during take off and landing, it IS NOT THE SAME as saying IT IS flight safe! To make air travelling as safe as possible (today one of the most safe way of travel), every piece of equipment, from the floating seats to the oven that heats your sandwich, to the radar and lights aboard is severely tested under rigorous standards to make sure that it is as flight safe as our best knowledge and technology allows! Generations of engineers, physicists, and other specialists created the methods and procedures for testing – not the government. Really, you morons think that this is a government conspiracy? Sure, there is a government agent whose job is to create annoyance just for you: “- HAHA, today I’ll create a law that force people to turn their iPOD 10 minutes a day, HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Don’t be ridiculous. Yes, gov people use to be very stupid, and laws are dull. But these precautions are based on SAFETY procedures developed by aviation engineers using knowledge, science and good sense (not dummy common sense as of yours).

  • Chris Levesque

    Although it isn’t related to potential RF interference, there is evidence that WiFi does cause blanking of the screens on Honeywell instruments installed in Boeing 737NG aircraft.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/ne

    For landings, use of electronic devices are restricted due to concerns that terrorists might use onboard WiFi to coordinate attacks on the aircraft during landing or on approach to landmarks in urban areas.

  • OEB

     FAA spokesman Les Dorr told the Times, “There is no evidence saying these devices can’t interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying they can.” 
    …And yet YOU, contrary to the FAA spokesman’s announcement, have “…personally experienced two flights where the pilots called back to ask us to find the idiot yammering into his cell phone because the pilots could hear him and not the tower.”

    So the FAA with all of its analysts, contractors, pilots, crews, airline supervisors, resources, various other employees, strengthened with budget in the billions of dollars come to the above conclusion…

    Yet YOU happened to be on that one flight where it interfered.  YOU happened to experience the very thing that the FAA has said that there is no evidence for (or against).

    I think I am going to go with the FAA’s explanation on this one.  

    FAIL.

  • facebook-602274890

    - “Or against”

    You can go with whatever you like.  Honestly, I’m not emotionally connected to people on a tech site believing me or not believing me – or anyone else that posted here.
    Besides our experiences, the attention issue remains.  You’re free to take a bus, or hire a private plane, but ranting on cultofmac and calling me a liar won’t really change the rules now will it?

  • P Raestant

    Finished whining? Okay, you ignorant person, do you say the same thing about why you’re told to put away your tray table? No one’s crashed a plane for a tray table being out. No plane has gone out of control because someone was wandering around during taxi, take-off or landing. No accidents because a seatback wasn’t put back to its full upright position. Hey, it’s a matter of SAFETY!! The possibility of interfering with flight systems is only part of the issue. If you’re told to just stick your phone in your pocket, it’s going to come out again as soon as your little brain has thought “Wait, I could be playing Angry Birds or something” (as if that’s a thought). Turning it off makes it far less likely you’ll pull it out (and no, you’re not permitted to pull out anything else in flight so keep it zipped) and in the event of an emergency they’ll have your immediate, undivided attention. “We’re evacuating now!! MOVE IT!!!” says the flight attendant while you sit there and try to get to the next level. What’s wrong with your tiny brain? Your safety may mean nothing to you but safety is important to everyone else on the plane, put your toy away for 15 minutes, you child, you’ll live without it, don’t make anyone else die because you’re so bloody selfish. Grow up. I bet Baby Eddie got caught and got a spankin’! Naughty naughty Eddie! (There’s also the possibility of a hand-held item becoming a projectile — like when the teacher threw chalkboard erasers at you for being a jerk in class, Eddie — not to mention if it hits something and causes a spark, you’re riding around with tens of thousands of gallons of flammable liquid, the issues are so many, and your whining, Ed, is so feeble I’m just tired of writing at your laughable immaturity.)

  • CharliK

    The reasoning if so you aren’t distracted. Takeoff and landing are the most common times for crashes etc. They don’t want anyone on headphones, zoned out etc during those times in case they are giving safety instructions

  • Andrew John

    Well actually there is. Mythbusters did just this some time ago and found no evidence of EMR interference form cell phones. http://www.google.com.au/url?s

  • itsme nyc

    You clearly have never debated. Your only response to the statements I made is a pathetic comment about how much I fly and saying that I lied and am a troll? Sorry but what I said was true (unlike your fabricated stories) and nothing changes the fact that millions of people do not actually turn off their phones and tablets and no airplane as a result has crashed.

  • facebook-602274890

    I was debating on the intarwebs when your grandfather was still in diapers! 

    You do realize that you expect your audience to believe that FA’s were on their phones during takeoff – right?  And what’s to debate?  That’s the rule.  The rule is in place because of the attention issues and because it can cause interference.  If it weren’t an attention issue, if there was no way it could cause interference – it wouldn’t be a rule.  But it is, sooo you have some choices:

    stop crying and get on a plane
    take a bus
    drive
    charter your own plane
    miracle yourself wherever you’d like to go (think: clicking your heels together)

    BuhBye! :)

  • itsme nyc

    Wow… 

    You have no idea how old I am in relation to you. And you’re too dim to understand that I was referring to real debating, not you shooting your mouth off about things you know nothing about online.

    I told you what I saw and you are calling me a liar. Why? Because there are rules that say FAs can’t be on their phone? Oh I guess that’s because no one has ever broken a rule before. Sorry you fail again. I saw him on the phone. You only say that because of your made up stories about the pilots telling some people to turn off their phones.

    Your deduction:” The rule is in place … it wouldn’t be a rule” is an irrational circular argument and means nothing. Just because there is a rule doesn’t prove that there should be one. That’s beyond imbecilic.

    Again you refuse to acknowledge the fact that there have been zero accidents due to phone or tablet interference.

    And yes buhbye, I would never associate myself with someone of your caliber in real life so consider yourself lucky that you got this much of my time.

  • facebook-602274890

    I,,, don’t care how old you are.  Was I supposed to?  

    You’re insisting that what you saw actually happened, and you refuse to believe what I saw actually happened.  Ok – but that’s a smidge selfish isn’t it?  Sorry – you fail again, I saw that passenger on the phone.  I had the captain call me and tell me to find the idiot on the phone because the captain could hear him.  See how easy that is? 

    The rule is in place ~ because it is.  I don’t make the rules, and I’m not personally butt hurt because those rules exist.  They exist because they’re an attention issue at the least and an interference issue at the worst.

    Also – you mad bro? :)

  • David Stewart

    Hey Ray… thanks. At least that is a rational explanation.

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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