iPads have quickly replaced gigantic flight manuals in cockpits across the globe, but all that easy access to information, photos and loads of games nearly proved fatal on a recent Jet Airways flight that took an unexpected dip over a busy air route to Europe .
The two Jet Airways pilots were suspended after the plane they were flying from Mumbai to Brussels plunged 5,000 as the pilot dozed off while the co-pilot was busy playing on her iPad.
Wireless interference from an iPhone has been blamed for disrupting the compasses on a regional airliner and sending pilots several miles off course. The incident happened on a 2011 flight as it climbed past 9,000 feet, but the issue was resolved when a flight attendant asked a passenger to turn their iPhone off.
The FAA forces us to turn off our electronics during takeoff and landing. Tell them you want that rule changed.
No one likes turning off their portable electronics on a flight during takeoff and landing, especially if they’re as harmless as an iPod or an e-reader. And the rule if often the subject of debate as we all become more reliant on these devices on a daily basis.
Thankfully, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now ready to reconsider the rule, and it’s asking passengers, flight attendants, airlines, and the makers of electronic devices for their opinion. Tell the FAA you think the rule is silly and you could help towards getting it abolished.
Flying’s a frustrating experience, and I think all of us have been tempted at one point or another to take that frustration out on an obnoxious neighboring child. Perhaps he’s kicking your seat rhythmically and incessantly: not one of us would blame you for turning around, dumping your soda all over his crotch, standing up and then loudly shrieking, “Look! The baby wet himself! Big baby!” over and over again until he burst into tears and the rest of the airplane burst into applause. That’s not vindictiveness… it’s just justice.
We draw the line, however, at actually hitting kids. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what 68-year old Russell Miller did on a recent flight heading to Boise, Idaho, after a neighboring fifteen year old refused to turn off his iPhone (which seems to have been in Airplane mode, and we being used to play games and music, not make calls),
I can just imagine the smart alecky teenager now. “Hey, grampaw, instead of getting angry at me, how about you get on Boeing to frickin’ iPhone-proof their multi-million dollar airplanes, huh? Don’t you think that’s a pretty big vulnerability for airplanes to have after September 11th? Trust me: if Al Qaeda could take down a plane by playing Infinity Blade on their iPhone during takeoff, they would. In conclusion, you’re an idiot.”
Not that the kid probably said that, but he should have. Turning off electronic devices upon takeoff and landing are nonsense procedures that do not impact the safety of a commercial flight in the slightest (as evidenced by the tens of thousands of smartphones, PMPs and handhelds that are accidentally left on each and every day on flights around the world).
In other words, Miller punched a kid for nothing… and was arrested when he landed accordingly. Airplane security actually worked for once.