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Tests Cast Doubt on F.A.A. Restrictions on Kindle and iPad

by Volker Weber

The Federal Aviation Administration has its reasons for preventing passengers from reading from their Kindles and iPads during takeoff and landing. But they just don’t add up.

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Comments

The comments are interesting. It seems a lot of serious electrical engineers have enough doubts that a "better safe than sorry" policy makes some sense.

What worries me more is that the policies seem to be relatively ignored these days... a few weeks ago, the guy next to me turned on his phone once we were cleared for landing, a good 3-5 minutes out but clearly below 10,000 feet at a point when his email would start flowing. It seems like landing is the time I am personally most worried about electronic interference doing something that might throw the plane's navigation off.

Enforcement also comes into play here. Who is really going to be willing to turn in a passenger who does what the guy next to me did? to whom? when? with what consequence? It becomes easier to MYOB.

Ed Brill, 2011-12-26

Ed you are right. Better safe then sorry.
BTW when you use the phone in flight, you may also block the phone net on the ground, because several cells are in reach and the hand over between them is too slow.

Christian Tillmanns, 2011-12-26

I've ranted on this several times in the past, so I won't go into a full blown frothing a the mouth fury.

I have worked in Flatpack, Hybrid, and SMU design and production for Commercial, Space, and DoD markets -I'm not just some script-kiddie talking shit.

The chances of your modern digital (older high-power analog or satellite phones excluded) or WiFi device interfering with an aircraft's control systems are somewhere between zero an null.

This is about crowd control, period. Please do not misunderstand me, I'm not advocating "rebel against authority" -especially on a commercial airliner. Knowing the reason for the rules is a good thing; but it doesn't give us the right or the moral authority to violate them. Don't be a Baldwin. Turn off your damn electronics when asked.

Now sit back and enjoy your flight.

Devin Olson, 2011-12-27

When I'm flying my plane I ask people to turn their phones off, for the fact they interfere with the headset. You can here when someone is about to receive a text message for example. You may be familiar with the sound, you often hear it on speakerphones in offices, or if you've ever presented with a PA system, you will often hear it if someone in the crowd still has their phone on.

The noise as far as I can tell is not interfering with the systems in the plane, but it is interfering with my thought process, so I ask for them to be turned off.

Personally I have no issue turning my cell phone or other electrical device off in airplanes when traveling. If researching this further means additional cost to me with more expensive tickets then I say keep devices turned off, I don't care, I'm an adult I have enough self composure to control myself without need of a distraction for the time they are turned off, but I don't want to keep seeing tickets that have more taxes than the cost of the ticket.

Surely we should be complaining about leg room on flights and not the fact that you can't play angry birds for 15 minutes. Airlines must be loving the distraction from the fact that most airlines have gone to shit.

Carl Tyler, 2011-12-28

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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