iPhone Interference Blamed For Sending Airliner Off Course

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by sobore, May 15, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.cultofmac.com/227392/iphone-interference-blamed-for-sending-airliner-off-course/

    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 timing of the cellphone being turned off coincided with the moment where our heading problem was solved,” the unidentified co-pilot told NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System.

    Many have called for the FAA to relax restrictions on electronic devices — such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops — during flights. Several public figures, including U.S. Senator Clair McCaskill, believe existing rules are excessive and ”ridiculous.”

    This has led to the FAA appointing an advisory committee from the airline and technology industries to make recommendations on how it could broaden the use of electronics during flights. Those recommendations are expected this July.

    But pilot reports and scientific studies suggest that today’s restrictions may be necessary, after all. Bloomberg reports “government and airline reporting systems have logged dozens of cases in which passenger electronics were suspected of interfering with navigation, radios and other aviation equipment.”


    Read More: http://www.cultofmac.com/227392/iphone-interference-blamed-for-sending-airliner-off-course/
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I remember back in the day setting electronics to airplane mode was sufficient. now they want it completely off...
     
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  3. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I don't mind shutting everything down for flights (I was impressed when we got internet on planes). If there are documented cases where the signals/devices/etc. have interfered with flight readings as suggested by the link, well, I'd rather arrive safely than miss the landing because one person believes reading an email or checking Facebook is more important than the lives of all the other passengers on board.
    (I don't know anything technical about this, but when they start documenting cases of interference, is it really worth it?)
     
  4. I frankly don't believe that stuff. People leave their phones on just about every flight I take as I hear them ping when the flight gets into range. I think most airlines have built firewalls around their electronics to shield the flight cabin from interference. If a cell phone could take a flight off course imagine what someone from ground level could achieve if that was possible.
     
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  5. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    It's easier to blame someone's phone than it is to accept responsibility for faulty equipment or pilot error.
     
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  6. freebird

    freebird Silver Member

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    I agree with you. I heard that many incompetent and over worked pilots fly express jets.
     
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  7. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Has there been any scientific evidence that cellular phones/signals can interfere with the plane?

    On one flight I was on, a passenger seated next to me said they only require the phones off so in case something goes wrong, passengers can't tell anyone. Hence my disclaimer in my post, I have zero technical knowledge in this area. Anything concrete out there?
     
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  8. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    It would be very sad if something I could buy at Radio Shack could flummox a multi-million dollar aircraft.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Thank you, Toby. ;)
     
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  10. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    it is so awesome that you got that. I am a big west wing fan.
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    If there were documented cases that would be wise. There are not such cases. There are numerous cases in which pilots who have just made a violation of altitude or direction have found it good to make such reports. That such reports come almost always through ASRS (a pilot reporting choice to avoid penalties by self reports) suggests the same. All the studies documented elsewhere are quite clear. Were any consumer device capable of causing such interference the navigation gear absolutely would not be certifiable because it would fail mandatory electromagnetic interference tests. No reputable agency suggests there is a problem with modern gear.
     
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  12. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    There have been some (perhaps questionable) studies showing a possible effect. But the fact is phones are left on all the time, by pilots even. If anything was going to happen seems to me it already would have. Not to mention if they really were a threat, you know, the way a bottle of water is, they would have been banned a log time ago.
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I use that line entirely too often (though not on the plane). :D

    It is also one of the better written and produced TV pilot episodes in a long time.
     
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