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Could your mobile device really bring down the plane?

By Emil ยท 45 replies
Jun 13, 2011
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  1. They should build the cabin with the controls with paneling that wont let the signals from the mobile fones to interfere with the controls and your problem would b solved and u could use ur mobile fone wenever u want.
  2. aj_the_kidd

    aj_the_kidd TS Rookie Posts: 555

    Better to be safe then sorry, IMO, personally i dont think a phone could bring down a plane, mess with controls a little but i hardly think it would bring down a plane, but then again thats my ignorance speaking.
  3. I would have thought that if there is any truth in this, every time there was a stroke of lightening anywhere near the phone it would fall out of the sky. EMF bursts from lightening can be very intense. Also, EMF interference from electric motors would be a problem.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Hell yes !!!

    ...ah, you meant a cellphone (presumeably not gutted and filled with C4)
  5. IMHO, the real reason they don't want you to use a cell phone on a plane is that it would be able to see too many cell sites from that height, and it might jam up the cell network. The cells rely on relative signal strength to handover your communications from one cell to another as you move around. If you have a booming signal into dozens of cells at the same time... the system might not be able to handle that.
  6. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    From what I've heard, only GSM phones can interfere with *semi-analogue* flight equipment. I've heard that (for instance) 3G does squat as for interference.

    Unfortunately, GSM is also the most common type of cellphone :(
  7. Richy2k9

    Richy2k9 TS Enthusiast Posts: 515

    hello ...

    whether it be true or not, i'm not the one who want to challenge this & i feel it's not necessary to have one's head glued to a cellphone.

    there are some risks of interference, not only from mobile phones, but also from other electronic devices, there are also some risk of deviation & a lot some of you already mentioned.

    still when you are up there there is little you can do if proven wrong, so safe side would be not to use temporarily something until safe on ground.

    people can also be killed on land while on the phone & crossing the streets ...

    oh btw, i said i worked for an ISP, well being in telecoms & recently been introduced to the mobile world, there are far better concern about use & misuse of such devices, but most of problems would be a humanware issue.

  8. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    I have to step outside my house to receive a quality signal on my cellphone. If that prerequisite is also applied to flights, I'll gladly keep my phone off.
  9. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +50

    There's obviously no clear 'know-how' on the whole idea. With the aviation of today, they're so quick to jump on potential deadly hazards. Granted, every man and his dog have a mobile phone device nowadays, and the task of stoppng people taking them on planes or just using them on planes would be a nightmare, but if that's what to be done...They'd have to do it.

    I suppose that would only be temporary though, as it would be much easier and safer overall to deal with the planes rather than the people.
  10. NeoFryBoy

    NeoFryBoy TS Rookie Posts: 72

    If your phone could bring down a 747 jet I hope they would have you check it with the hostess, and not just trust that you turned it off.
  11. I work as an aircraft mechanic and here is the deal:

    No the mobile phone can not disturb the airplane system itself. The issue is [which is not even really proved, but only for precaution] that mobile phone works in the same range as some of communication and navigation frequencies which ones could be disturbed.

    On the other side recently noticed that on aircrafts the announcement doesnt exactly say anymore that you have to switch off your phone. It says please switch off all electronic equipment during takeoff and landing. This is for the passengers safety during the 2 most critical phase of flying.
  12. Ever heard of airplane mode???

  13. you've hit the nail on the head. People are rebelious by nature and they want to stand out. I could care less how vaild the study is but if they say using your cell phone is gonna screw things up, why risk it? at 20,000 feet, you can't pull over if you have a problem.
  14. Wow, now flight attendents and pilots are moonlighting as eletrical engineers...
  15. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    Statistically you are much less likely to get into an accident on a plane than in a car. Planes are the safer mode of travel.

    Also, right off the bat I see a possible problem with this survey. 25% of all air traffic? The sample is too large.
  16. If you look at the logic and lets say just for argument that a cell phone is a threat to onboard systems, then the authorities would ban them from the plane in the first place. There is no way they would allow ordinary folk to make decisions about having a mobile device switched on and to endanger a flight by making a call.

    Compared to 100 mls or more of liquid or gel, a knife or a screw driver, these things are not permitted onto a plane and for good reason.

    Bottom line is; if it were really an issue then no one would be able to take a device on the plane in the first place.
  17. it's like saying ok you can take guns on board, but please unload the bullets during take of and landing, ridiculous idea right?

    there is no way they would allow some donut to even have a cell phone if it were a real threat.
  18. belto

    belto TS Rookie

    To use a mobile while in flight is like using the bathroom during the flight. There is proper etiquette while using such devices no matter your location or place, headsets, Bluetooth, silent/vibrate mode. While living in Europe or visiting it is customary for using your mobile for just about anything but one must be civilized and not rude about using it.

    To me using different radio frequencies and bandwidths for the vital instruments, equipments and not sharing the same ones as mobile providers will end this all. i mean you cab be in Boston and use your mobile but emergency services can overrun your signal and you can hear the emergency be broadcasted thru your mobile while in a talk with someone. To me this is a bit scary and yet highly unacceptable. While I was living in the EU you never had this problem and the EU has a rather large mobile users ans providers.

    Set up guidelines ans strict rules as they are in place already. I mean you can use Wi-Fi and view satellite TV while in flight. All these things are working off of sats already.
  19. It WON'T bring down a plane. "Anecdotal"?? hardly evidence. I made a phone call on a bush plane and was in a lot closer proximity to the cockpit area (there wasn't even a door separating the passengers from the pilot or controls!) and NOTHING happened. If there were any interference, the pilot would have said something. In fact, he did not even tell us to turn off our phones! If my phone, being in closer proximity to a much smaller aircraft did not affect it, how much less would it interfere on a much bigger plane that has the cockpit shielded by the passengers...even the 1st row in first class doesn't sit as close to the cockpit as I was in that bush plane!
  20. Yeh, try driving from San Francisco to Hong Kong and back...
  21. Malcolm Telford

    Malcolm Telford TS Rookie

    The whole concept is ri-dic-ulos! If there really was a problem passengers would be forbidden to board their aircraft while in possession with a mobile phone, or ipad or similar electronic transmitting device. You see it has occurred to me that on approach to land and on the departure, aircraft would overfly literally dozens of mobile phone towers transmitting a much stronger signal than any hand held devices. En route it would also fly close to other tv transmitting installations, various microwave repeating stations, the list is endless, not to mention airport radar services which itself is a radio transmitting device. Sorry I do accept that these devices could bring down a plane. So one of two things need to happen. 1. Build planes so their electronics are immune to these devices, or 2. forbid allowing them onboard in the first instance. It would seem then that on the meantime, "its a problem, but its not really a problem".

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