Friday, August 16, 2013

Why Can't You Use Phones on Planes?

Below given video is so funny, that I actually had to show you:

But seriously, why can't we use our phones or any electronic devices in the plane?

Usually people/passengers think that it might affect the communication between the pilot and ATC Towers (Air Traffic Control Towers). But let me tell you it's not just that. Affecting the communication is the least an electronic device can do.

Cell phones or any other electronic devices can interfere with aircraft navigation sensors. You see all the aircraft has lot of sensors like Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, Gyro, Instrument Landing System(ILS) etc. They have a safety margin line for electronic signals. Most of the electronic device operate and produce electromagnetic signals less than the safety line. But there are times when the signals spike.

Take this for example, if a passenger is trying to make a call in air 10,000ft above ground, that cell phone has access to many cell towers below. The signal will bounce-off multiple towers instead of one. Now if in the same plane another person is trying to make a call; there are multiple signals now bouncing-off multiple  cell towers. What if ten people in the plane try to call at once? How much signals their cell phones produce? So with right timing and activities, there can be a major spike in the signal level and can seriously damage the aircraft equipment to work properly.

There were many incidents in the past, like wrong readings in instruments, which when investigated led to the use of cell phones. Since aircraft have two-set of reading (redundancy), no flight ended in crash.

Understand and realize the fact that when you travel, you travel with hundred others. You are either a team inside or doomed individual alone. You can only lead by example.

Also it is an aviation rule not to use cell phones inside a flight. Internation Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) and Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) comply this.

That being said, aircraft that are capable of Wi-Fi and telephone capabilities have extra shields specially designed to resist electromagnetic signals from common electronic devices. It is all about safety after all. As I have told before, Safety is the first priority in Civil Aviation Industry.

Pilots now use ipads for flight plans and to know meteorological data.

So be the greater he/she to switch-off your mobile while flying.

Live Long.

And your comments are appreciated.


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