Secret airline report probes risk of electronics

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jun 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/l...electronics-110610/20110610/?hub=EdmontonHome

    A confidential airline industry report into the dangers posed by electronic devices should raise alarm bells among passengers who refuse to follow the rules, says one aviation expert.
    The secret industry report obtained by ABC News documents 75 cases where passengers' personal electronic devices (PEDs) were believed to have interfered with a plane's operation.
    The U.S. news agency reported that 26 of the incidents affected the plane's flight controls, such as the autopilot, auto thrust and landing gear.

    Another 17 affected navigation systems while 15 of the incidents documented interference with communication systems and 13 resulted in electronic warnings on the planes.
    The report is believed to comprise some of the first evidence that PEDs such as cellphones -- most often believed to be the culprit in the incidents cited in the report -- as well as laptops, iPads and iPods, can actually interfere with a plane's systems.

    While airlines have long warned of the risk and asked passengers not to use such devices, especially during takeoff and landing, many passengers openly ignore the warnings.
    Airline analyst Vernon Grose said the concerns in the report are legitimate. He told CTV's Canada AM that in the past planes used mechanical pulleys and cables running from the cockpit to the rest of the plane, to control its functions.

    Now, planes use a system called "fly by wire," meaning commands from pilots are converted into digital signals that are sent via wires through the plane, to control various functions. As a result, electronic devices have the potential to interfere with vital communication and navigation signals, he said.
     
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  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Anything that helps keep cell phone use banned in the airplane is a good thing.
     
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  3. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    Although it could ban wireless internet too :(
     
  4. sunseeker
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    sunseeker Silver Member

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    If there is a real hazard, why is the report a secret? Why is a greater effort not made to make all fliers aware the danger is real. I am sometimes non compliant with my Bose headsets and my e-reader.
     
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  5. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I can see the headline now: "Kindle causes Krash" (btw, consider that quote copyrighted by 744) :D
     
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  6. sunseeker
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    sunseeker Silver Member

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    Great alliteration, but mine is a Nook -- you'll need to modify the headline.:D I tried, but found "N" too hard.
     
  7. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    We don't want the terrorists to find out, they'll start bringing cell phones on board and making calls. They're keeping it secret until the TSA deploys their new cell phone confiscation program.
     
  8. DestinationDavid
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    I should probably tell all the pilots I follow on photo applications who take photos from the cockpit that they're risking their lives based on this secret report.... :cool:
     
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  9. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Naughy Nook Nosedive?
     
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  10. wembleygal
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    wembleygal Silver Member

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    While I hate the idea of mobile phones on planes, I really don't believe this report.
     
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  11. Saracen
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    Saracen Silver Member

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    That's the trouble with this whole area: nothing scientifically definitive has ever been put out as the final word. Even this report says the PEDs were believed to have interfered. For all we know, it could have been cosmic rays! With such complex systems, there are so many reasons why things could go wrong, and no doubt there are ways that newer planes could be designed to mitigate the (perhaps minuscule) possibility of such issues. But without some solid science to base this on, it's all conjecture!
     
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  12. DestinationDavid
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    [​IMG]

    I wonder if this flight landed safely, with the obvious use of electronics in the cockpit.... :eek:;)
     
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