Author Topic: Please switch off all electronic equipment....  (Read 8886 times)

Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« on: December 14, 2011, 01:54:21 pm »
...during take off and landing.

Why?

I don't know much about this sort of stuff, but I cannot believe for one second it could interfer with the aircraft's kit. If it did, they wouldn't just casually ask you to switch off, they wouldn't let you take anything on board in the first place. It's a bit like asking anybody carrying a bomb if they'd kindly refrain from detonating it during the flight.

Today before landing they asked all phones to be switched off even if they were in flight mode. I couldn't be arsed and the plane didn't crash.

They say some things are ok during the flight and to check the inflight magazine to find out what. There's nothing in there telling you. I suppose that's their way of getting you to read it.

I've tried switching my phone on during a flight and there's no signal and no GPS either.

So why? Is it something to do with what might happen in the event of crash?
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 01:59:57 pm »
I think it is more a case of nobody being able to prove that portable electronics *won't* interfere.

Cause a problem at 20 000ft - pilot notices, has a think, makes all passengers switch stuff off.

Cause a problem during take off and landing "Fuck oh fuck, we are all going to die".


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border-rider

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 02:05:59 pm »
handheld radios & phones *can* (very rarely) cause problems with the navigation systems, and with the stuff that monitors how close a plane is to its dock.  That's why it's an issue on takeoff & landing (mostly landing) and taxi-ing. The aircrew can't monitor whether your device is an active transmitter or not (eg some laptops contain a GSM modem) hence the blanket ban.

I think it's less of an issue in level flight.

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 02:10:12 pm »
But they don't come round and check everybody. They just ask you. Seems a bit half arsed, that's all  :-\
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Wascally Weasel

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 02:10:22 pm »
It seems a bit odd to me too but it doesn’t bother me that much (I’m an infrequent flyer mainly because I hate it rather than for green reasons.  It might be more accurate to say that I hate the sort of flying I can afford and would probably enjoy it if I was in the luxury end of the market).

What I find really mystifying are the people who stand up really early before disembarking.  They don’t really get off that much quicker, maybe I’m less busy than other people.

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 02:18:36 pm »
...I couldn't be arsed and the plane didn't crash.

:hand: you know what happen to Awec Bawwin!

Euan Uzami

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 02:19:05 pm »
... If it did, they wouldn't just casually ask you to switch off, they wouldn't let you take anything on board in the first place...
i completely agree, I always wonder this - if there was even a chance it might cause problems I'd rather they check everyone.

Charlotte

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 02:19:56 pm »
My eReader isn't equipped with any kind of wireless tech, so I tend to ignore any requests to turn off electronic equipment during takeoff and landing.  If they insists, I'll tuck it in the seat pocket, but I never turn it off.

Anecdata:  On the occasions I've flown at the champagne-swilling end of the plane, the cabin staff have been much less concerned about my eBook reading activities than when I've flown steerage.
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marcusjb

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2011, 02:21:57 pm »
Via BoingBoing today, here's an article by a pilot on the very matter at hand:

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/13/what_alec_baldwin_doesnt_know_about_air_travel/singleton/

Interesting bit is about laptops, the main reason why you can't use them during takeoff and landing is the worry that, in the event of a problem, they become a pretty heavy projectile flying around the cabin.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

tiermat

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2011, 02:27:18 pm »
Beaten to it by Marcus.

I had a conversation with a commercial pilot a couple of years ago, and the "turn off all electronic items" thing is to stop them becoming fast moving, large mass projectiles rather than them interfering with any onboard systems.  If they could interfere fatally with onboard systems you would have to place them in the hold or not be allowed on board with them, like firearms etc.
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Karla

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm »
Earlier this year, Boeing found that their Honeywell cockpit display screens blanked out during testing prior to installing in-flight Wi-Fi.  Needless to say, installation of the Wi-Fi was put on hold.

This stuff happens.  You're probably okay leaving your phone on, but do you really only want to be probably okay?

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 03:04:31 pm »
Anecdata:  On the occasions I've flown at the champagne-swilling end of the plane, the cabin staff have been much less concerned about my eBook reading activities than when I've flown steerage.
The risk of dreadfulness is tiny and has to be balanced against the larger risk of less dreadful, but not good for the airline, pissing off passengers who then 'defect' to the competition. 'Poo swillers are obviously much more dreadful if they defect.

</slightly cynical but still not wanting to crash>
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border-rider

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 03:10:26 pm »
Earlier this year, Boeing found that their Honeywell cockpit display screens blanked out during testing prior to installing in-flight Wi-Fi.  Needless to say, installation of the Wi-Fi was put on hold.

This stuff happens.  You're probably okay leaving your phone on, but do you really only want to be probably okay?

+1, plus for every n hundred phones there'll be something that is a much nastier interference source. I'm not sure I'd  much want to be on a plane with a TETRA handset shouting at its base station.


Jaded

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2011, 04:24:35 pm »
I'd be astonished if there weren't live phones on most flights. People don't give a shit about rules and being told what to do, people who have no idea how to turn a phone off and people who forget that they actually have a phone with them (in the stress of boarding etc.)
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2011, 04:25:36 pm »
Cant be that dangerous

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/faa-approves-ipads-in-the-cockpit-american-airlines-to-start-friday/11865
iPads will be ok, because they are crap at interfacing with anything. No chance of them interfering with nav stuff.  ;D
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2011, 04:38:36 pm »
If planes were really this vulnerable to electronic equipment wouldn't terrorists have twigged to this?

It's a heck of a lot easier to get a couple of phones on board rather than several pounds of explosives.
It didn't look at all like that in the photographs

robgul

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2011, 05:09:13 pm »
.
snip

I've tried switching my phone on during a flight and there's no signal and no GPS either.

So why? Is it something to do with what might happen in the event of crash?

My brother left a GPS switched on (inadvertently) during a flight and it recorded every inch of the journey - including reversing off the gate, the flight and driving around on the tarmac at both ends ...  the ascent stats were "interesting" !

Rob

border-rider

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2011, 05:20:51 pm »
If planes were really this vulnerable to electronic equipment wouldn't terrorists have twigged to this?

It's a heck of a lot easier to get a couple of phones on board rather than several pounds of explosives.

but, on statistical basis, pretty unlikely to achieve the desired end. Which doesn't mean it won't, just that it's not likely.

Jaded

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2011, 05:36:25 pm »
Yes, there is definitely a GPS signal up there. I did the same and here are the tracks from the device. It includes a bit of driving at both ends - the runways weren't that rough!!



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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2011, 05:49:22 pm »
My mentor always leaves his laptop on hibernate when he gets on & off planes cos he CBA waiting for it to boot up everytime.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2011, 05:51:35 pm »
If planes were really this vulnerable to electronic equipment wouldn't terrorists have twigged to this?

It's a heck of a lot easier to get a couple of phones on board rather than several pounds of explosives.

Oh, I don't know - I got a huge amount of interest at security when I was carrying a dozen phones in my carry-on earlier this year !

Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2011, 06:00:33 pm »
But they don't come round and check everybody. They just ask you. Seems a bit half arsed, that's all  :-\

They have on the last few flights I've been on- maybe that's just a difference between flying in the US and flying in other countries.
What I find really mystifying are the people who stand up really early before disembarking.  They don’t really get off that much quicker, maybe I’m less busy than other people.


I stand up early because I'm sick and tired of sitting for so long, and the sooner I get off the plane the happier I am. I suspect that mild claustrophobia might be a factor.

Jaded

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Re: Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2011, 06:19:35 pm »
someone stood up when we were still taxiing on Friday. Stewardess very firmly told him to sit down, and the pilot jammed the brakes on. Bloke falls forward into seats in front.

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Wonky

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Please switch off all electronic equipment....
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2011, 06:20:17 pm »
As an Aircraft Engineer, I have seen phone interference on the flight deck. This was several years ago, in the analogue days.

It would manifest as spurious readings and warning flags on the integrated displays. It would only happen with a crap phone in certain locations of the aircraft. Our belief is that whilst "normal" phones and electronic gadgets are sufficiently shielded, meeting the FCC regs, some faulty devices can emit the wrong type of interference.

Incorrect data is the last thing that your pilots need in high stress situations like takeoff and landing, especially if something is not going to plan.

So please, for this and all the other reasons explained earlier in the thread, turn off your gadgets when told to. Its only for a few minutes.