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FCC To FAA: Allow Greater Use Of Devices Inflight  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25436 posts, RR: 49
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6104 times:

The FCC chairman yesterday called on the FAA to allow travelers greater use of use of electronic portable devices during airplane flights as part of input to FAA study group reviewing such policies.

FCC chairman says "This review comes at a time of tremendous innovation, as mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives. They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness."

Back in 2004 the government considered lifting rules that prohibited in-flight use of cellphones and other wireless devices but it abandoned the idea because technical information was insufficient to ensure in-flight use of wireless devices would not cause interferes. Currently the use of non phone devices is limited to phases of flight above 10,000 feet.


Stories:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/07/f...o-allow-more-electronics-aircraft/
and
http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-va...-electronic-devices-during-flights

=


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4993 posts, RR: 43
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6025 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family, and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness.

Interesting how the United States was a world economic leader ... long before smart phones.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12150 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5893 times:

The FCC is jumping a little out of their area of responsibility here. The FAA shouldn't give in to the demand from another government agancy.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25436 posts, RR: 49
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5847 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
The FCC is jumping a little out of their area of responsibility here. The FAA shouldn't give in to the demand from another government agancy.

 

The FAA has a study group on the subject and sought input. So the FCC accordingly provided its opinion along with pledging to support the FAA, airlines and manufacturers on the review.

Seems like quite valuable assistance the FAA could make use of.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinemaxamuus From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5798 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
FAA to allow travelers greater use of use of electronic portable devices

Am i missing something here ? Greater use? The 10 mins. restriction upon take off and landing is hindering us?


User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5629 times:

Quoting maxamuus (Reply 4):
Am i missing something here ? Greater use? The 10 mins. restriction upon take off and landing is hindering us?

It's the "Communication" aspect. They figure that there should be no problem leaving your device 'on' in flight, not just in "Airplane" mode.
FCC figures you should be allowed to use the com part of your device.

Really, there has been a long term experiment underway proving the safety of leaving your cell phone on 'gate to gate'. So far nothing untoward has happened (at least not front page news), yet I think every single one of us here has either left their phone / tablet / etc on at least once by mistake (or otherwise), and for sure many (most/all?) have heard someone's phone ringing in the overhead bin.   

Of course, airlines are offering on board wifi at a price now, so that probably indicates that the wifi and BT links in your device are OK - and so it's not a stretch to imagine that 3G or 4G would be OK too, especially since there are already probably at least 5 or 10 phones left on every flight.



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5406 times:

Quoting BE77 (Reply 5):
So far nothing untoward has happened (at least not front page news)

Nothing untoward happening and not making the front page news are *not* the same thing. The NASA database is full (dozens per year) of EMI reports.

Tom.


User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5201 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):

Nothing untoward happening and not making the front page news are *not* the same thing. The NASA database is full (dozens per year) of EMI reports.

Tom.

But on which generation/age of aircraft.

I readily accept the argument that the older planes in the fleets can have interference problems because no one thought to design for that. I would accuse Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, etc and various sub suppliers of up to criminal negligence if the most modern planes were to have any such problems as part of professional design standards is to design away any current problem that can affect aircraft safety.

Where is the dividing line on where this problem should have been dealt with from a design/modification standpoint; I suspect about 10 years ago - although that could vary somewhat model from model.

Have a great day,


User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
Nothing untoward happening and not making the front page news are *not* the same thing. The NASA database is full (dozens per year) of EMI reports.

I agree with the front page not equalling reality (proven every day, both for stories that make the front page, and those that should be and aren't - which is a subjective call for anyone!!!).

For the NASA (and similar) databases, they are also full of other incident types as well - as they should be. Hopefully the gate-keepers are effective at getting the priorities straight in picking which areas to focus on (overall I think they are actually very good at it - excluding the occasional politically driven initiative). They have done great work o things like runway incursions, CFIT, icing awareness, and other trends that were actively leading to funerals. Hopefully the EMI reports are being analysed by the same people and that real risks are being assessed and mitigated.

Still, if you sit back and think about it - what is really the risk and issues with cell phones and wifi in aviation. What can the risks really be. If a 1 to 3 watt transmitter can cause a real problem, maybe all the affected aviation electronics have to be upgraded 'immediately' (at monstrous expense) because the reality is that it is impossible to eliminate the risk that someone will leave their device on in a non-airplane mode state. Not hard or difficult, but impossible (well, impossible short of confiscating everyone's cell phones with their water bottles...and that would be a more monstrous expense than shielding the radios...and we'd be back to relying on the airport security screening to enforce it...).

Another way to think of it from an outsiders point of view might be that if a modern airliner is at risk from a 1 watt transmitter in 2012 then we have a problem with the airliner, not the transmitter. First there all the cell phones (sometime this year I saw a stat that said there were more ACTIVE cell phone subscriptions than there are people on earth (I have 3). Additionally there are a LOT of powerful transmitters over 50,000 Watts, to say nothing of the effects of solar storms which put out enough power to fry entire power grids...I would hope that airliners designed to fly great circle polar routes include designing to withstand pretty powerful signals across the entire EM spectrum (evidence suggests the must, since there haven't been many issues even during major solar storms).

If there is a trend in EMI disruption (perhaps identified in the NASA data) then mitigation could be as simple as education or redesign of one particular system on board. Overall I think it would be treated the same as every other failure mode for any system - no different than having learned partial panel, don't believe ADF indications near coast lines or T Storms, watch for false ILS captures when intercepting from above, and on and on....



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5000 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 7):
But on which generation/age of aircraft.

All of them.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 7):
I would accuse Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, etc and various sub suppliers of up to criminal negligence if the most modern planes were to have any such problems as part of professional design standards is to design away any current problem that can affect aircraft safety.

Then you should do so. The attempt would fail in court, of course, but if you believe this is really the case then you should try (and you should stop flying).

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 7):
Where is the dividing line on where this problem should have been dealt with from a design/modification standpoint; I suspect about 10 years ago - although that could vary somewhat model from model.

The problem isn't on the aircraft side. By design, aircraft have to pick up and amplify a wide variety of EM radiation...that's how VHF, HF, GPS, ILS, etc. all work. You can't stop them from receiving frequencies in their respective bands and still have a functional system. The problem is on the personal device side...they have *terrible* controls on what they radiate. Nobody has, yet, figured out a way to reliably prevent several hundred uncontrolled devices per flight from screaming across the EM spectrum. Inevitably, by random chance if nothing else, one of them from time to time ends up leaking onto a fequency the aircraft actually has to listen to and then you get interference.

People always seem to think that the cell phone is going to screw up the flight controls or something...those are all shielded and essentially EMI immune for obvious reasons. But those aren't the problem systems. There is no way to shield a GPS receiver and still have it be a GPS receiver.

Tom.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4901 times:

Quoting BE77 (Reply 8):
Still, if you sit back and think about it - what is really the risk and issues with cell phones and wifi in aviation. What can the risks really be.

The primary risk, I suspect, is that a cell phone interferes with VHF (which happens pretty often) at the moment when ATC is telling the pilots to go-around in low viz due to traffic on the runway. The probabilities of that all lining up are pretty tiny, but they're always pretty tiny in aviation.

If we're willing to surrender our nail clippers and scissors due to fear of hijacking (which has a risk of *zero*, post 9/11) then we have absolutely no grounds to be insisting on the cell phone EMI risk as being acceptable.

Tom.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5611 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4850 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
The NASA database is full (dozens per year) of EMI reports.

And how many reports of other things failing and events happening are there? Probably ten times+ more. So apparently we shouldn't be flying at all because EMI isn't the real risk, everything else that can go wrong is. Especially weather and mechanical failure and crew failure or.... EMI is not a real issue more than everything else is a "real" issue. Aircraft fly through so much EMI radiation and encounter it internally now as well. The simple fact is that modern aircraft are relatively "hardened" to EMI as they are to mechanical failure and crew failures. They cause some interference but it is manageable as are the majority of the other problems (or flying would not be a primary mode of transportation and flying wouldn't be as safe as it is and has been for so long).

But I know people here have different beliefs on this and that "no additional risk" at all is acceptable and I will not be able to convince you or anyone else that has this belief to change so I will let it lie here.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4835 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
And how many reports of other things failing and events happening are there? Probably ten times+ more.

Much more than that. I'm just countering the often heard/blatantly-false assertion that there's no evidence of an EMI issue with cell phones on aircraft.

Now, if you want to ask whether cell phone EMI is the most productive avenue to pursue for air safety, that's a whole other question.

Tom.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4817 times:
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Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
Quoting 2175301 (Reply 7):
I would accuse Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, etc and various sub suppliers of up to criminal negligence if the most modern planes were to have any such problems as part of professional design standards is to design away any current problem that can affect aircraft safety.

Then you should do so. The attempt would fail in court, of course, but if you believe this is really the case then you should try (and you should stop flying).

Obviously he'd lose now because he'd have no standing, but let's say an airliner did crash because of RF interference from some cell phones that were not turned off. I see two huge problems for the manufacturers (and the operators) - they can't claim unawareness of the problem (it's announced at the beginning of every flight), and they have clearly failed to take inexpensive and simple (and obvious!) measures to mitigate the problem. You could, for example, buy an RF detector that will pick up all common consumer-device RF frequencies for well under $1000 (which would still be a pittance compared to the cost of an aircraft, even after the usual aviation price markup). And such a thing would be easy to refit to existing vulnerable aircraft as well.

FWIW, that approach didn’t work all that well for Ford with the Pinto…


User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4753 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 12):
Now, if you want to ask whether cell phone EMI is the most productive avenue to pursue for air safety, that's a whole other question.
Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
Probably ten times+ more
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 12):
Much more than that. I'm just countering the often heard/blatantly-false assertion that there's no evidence of an EMI issue with cell phones on aircraft

Before we throw the other guys phone under the drink trolley here...we're probably all pretty close to agreement here.

There is an EMI issue - but the existence of an issue and the risk it imposes are two different things as we agree - I know I mitigate the VHF interference (the clickclcikclick) by moving my 3G cell phone about 6 inches from my own comm and the click it goes away...the weird part is it's 6 inches further from the comm radio on the panel it has to be about 18 inches from the comm, but that puts it 6 inches closer to the antennae (about 6 feet away). But, the click goes away so it is what it is - then again, my comm was designed and built about 20 minutes after Orville and Wilbur did their thing. My phone doesn't seem to affect my 3 year old handheld transceiver that I use as backup for the antique in my panel. My IPad and BBerry with 3G on don't affect either comm...go figure.

Anyway - risk mitigated, and I can go about my business using my blue tooth enabled headset my cell phone and getting weather over 3G on the Ipad while doodling along at 100kts (which is also saving me time and money on trips longer than efficient in my truck, but to places not efficient to travel to by airlines...some of my personal flying is at the very bottom end of the entire GA value argument, which makes me a believer in the entire segment).

So in my experience (and based on very real reports and studies), there certainly can be an effect - but it seems small and non-significant, and we haven't seen things like the cheap detector option. And of course every airline flight in the last 10+ years has had at least one device turned on the whole time....and more and more every day - including a lot in the cockpit I imagine - not just in GA.

One last random relative risk assessment based on empircal analyis of accident / incident investigations - it seems to be safer to have the phone or tablet on in the cabin than off in the hold!



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4670 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 13):
they have clearly failed to take inexpensive and simple (and obvious!) measures to mitigate the problem.

How is that inexpensive or simple? You want to be able to run it in flight, which means it's certified, which means it's not inexpensive. And, if your RF receiver tells you something is radiating, you have *NOT* mitigated the problem, you've just confirmed that you have one (which you knew already)...now you actually need to find and turn off the device. That is not simple at all.

I think people are forgetting how fault trees work; the current system assumes that airlines give the "turn them off" order and that there is some level of non-compliance. Current reporting shows that the non-compliance is high enough to continue causing EMI issues but hasn't ever resulting in an actual event, yet. If you stop having people turn them off then everyone's going to leave them on and you "turn up" one of the probabilities in the fault tree by a factor of about 100.

Tom.


User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4644 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 7):
I would accuse Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, etc and various sub suppliers of up to criminal negligence if the most modern planes were to have any such problems as part of professional design standards is to design away any current problem that can affect aircraft safety.
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
Then you should do so. The attempt would fail in court, of course, but if you believe this is really the case then you should try (and you should stop flying).

Actually, this is just about as close to a "slam dunk" court case of negligence against the Mfr's if there is an incident as you can get in the USA.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 13):
Obviously he'd lose now because he'd have no standing, but let's say an airliner did crash because of RF interference from some cell phones that were not turned off. I see two huge problems for the manufacturers (and the operators) - they can't claim unawareness of the problem

Bingo.

I don't work in the Airline Industry. But I am a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) - and no major structure or system that could impact safety of the public gets built without a PE. or equivalent, approval of the design. The PE Stamp (or equivalent) is really a stamp that all known and obvious safety issues have been adequately addressed in the design.

Part of my Professional Job is to keep abreast of the various legal liabilities out there related to misdesign and events.

The Professional Engineering Liability Literature has been full of discussions about designing consumer goods and commercial equipment to prevent RFI interference from cell phones, WIFI, etc for at least the last decade (and likely longer).

So if there is a safety incident in a modern airline due to interference from common modern communication devices, the legal liability is actually very clear (and while some states may have wiggle room in their state laws, the applicable sections of the federal laws I am familiar with do not). I doubt it would ever actually go to trial as its a virtually certain loss case with the potential of triple damages depending on the particulars.

The other thing is that the designers who certified the design of the systems and the plane will probably never be able to work again in the field as they will likely permanently loose their "Professional" certifications.

Have a great day,


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 16):
The other thing is that the designers who certified the design of the systems and the plane will probably never be able to work again in the field as they will likely permanently loose their "Professional" certifications.

Let me get this straight...the designer of the equipment clearly instructs the operator on the proper use of the equipment, the operator clearly instructs the users, the users disobey, and you're calling that the *designer's* fault? By that logic, if a terrorist successfully bombs the aircraft (considerably more likely than a safety-EMI event), the OEM is liable for not making the product resistant to bombing.

Also, a astonishingly small number of aeronautical engineers are PEs. The chance that anyone involved with detailed design of any system on any airliner has a PE, let alone the exposure to lose it, is virtually nil.

Tom.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5611 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4493 times:

Quoting BE77 (Reply 14):
the weird part is it's 6 inches further from the comm radio on the panel it has to be about 18 inches from the comm, but that puts it 6 inches closer to the antennae (about 6 feet away). But, the click goes away

An antenna is really designed (attenuated) to only pick up specific frequencies. From the antenna to the radio there is a shielded RF cable. So that does not surprise me.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 17):
Let me get this straight...the designer of the equipment clearly instructs the operator on the proper use of the equipment, the operator clearly instructs the users, the users disobey, and you're calling that the *designer's* fault? By that logic, if a terrorist successfully bombs the aircraft (considerably more likely than a safety-EMI event), the OEM is liable for not making the product resistant to bombing.

The issue is when it is a common and known (expected) "threat". And then throw in if the "users" environment is well know to not be able to easily fully controlled....

So yes, if bombs going off on a plane is a well known and common threat and a designer does not design for the normal, well known, and common threat and yet presents their craft and safe for flying in (in this "normal" environment), then yes, they would have fault. Probably not sole responsibility but certainly a good piece of it.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4372 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 17):

Let me get this straight...the designer of the equipment clearly instructs the operator on the proper use of the equipment, the operator clearly instructs the users, the users disobey, and you're calling that the *designer's* fault? By that logic, if a terrorist successfully bombs the aircraft (considerably more likely than a safety-EMI event), the OEM is liable for not making the product resistant to bombing.

Also, a astonishingly small number of aeronautical engineers are PEs. The chance that anyone involved with detailed design of any system on any airliner has a PE, let alone the exposure to lose it, is virtually nil.

The courts have consistently ruled that you cannot escape liability by just providing instruction on how to avoid a danger - especially when it comes to ordinary consumers; who are not trained professionals. But even trained professionals cannot be dependent on their safety just by instructions.

This is why modern machinery from stamping mills to lawnmowers now have all kinds of automatic kill switches and other safety features that did not used to exist. It was not enough to tell people (even with obvious labels) to not clear the grass chute on a lawnmower. In order to prevent liability (and loosing more lawsuits) they had to put kill switches on the lawnmowers so that the engine has to shut down (or disengage a clutch) if you let go of the handle (to say reach down and clear the grass chute).

Terrorist bombing would be excluded by the courts as something beyond normal expectations.

But, you cannot expect the general public to just follow instructions on electronic device use as your defense from improper design for electronic interference. That argument is essentially dead on arrival - with a very long case history all across the US.

I will agree that the number of PEs, or equivalents, are small. Typically only about 10% of Engineers get a PE. But they also tend to be the overall design project managers who are directing the design (and build) process.

Have a great day,


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19734 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4300 times:

I think the system is fine as it is. In-flight WiFi needs improvement, but I don't see that anything else has to be done. Voice calls should never be allowed in-flight because it disturbs surrounding passengers, not because of any technical reason.

In-flight WiFi can be made faster and have broader geographic coverage, but the basic service should be sufficient.

And, frankly, the 10,000 ft. rule is a good one. It means that passengers aren't distracted by devices during the two phases of flight where emergencies are most likely to happen.


User currently onlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4206 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 16):


So if there is a safety incident in a modern airline due to interference from common modern communication devices, the legal liability is actually very clear (and while some states may have wiggle room in their state laws, the applicable sections of the federal laws I am familiar with do not).

I don't think liability is that clear, actually. Since there's not likely to be a PE stamp involved, (given the interstate commerce issues WRT aerospace engineering), I would think liability in such a case would default back to the operator, but also potentially even to the owner of the "offending" device; being that the warning at the begining of the flight could render such an occurrence as "foreseeable."


I postulate that since interstate commerce related disciplines in engineering are essentially unregulated.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 17):

Also, a astonishingly small number of aeronautical engineers are PEs. The chance that anyone involved with detailed design of any system on any airliner has a PE, let alone the exposure to lose it, is virtually nil.

Are those PEs there mainly for non-aeronautical disciplines that are tangentially related? I've always assumed that there were a sizable amount of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers involved in this field. But maybe it's not so sizable after all...



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinejfidler From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4159 times:

If the risks were that high, wouldn't a group of people with evil intentions just board the plane with 20 cellphones each, and threaten to turn them on if the crew didn't meet their demands?

User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4138 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 19):
Terrorist bombing would be excluded by the courts as something beyond normal expectations.

Then what on earth is the basis for the TSA? It's pretty hard to argue that something is beyond normal expectations yet spend billions of dollars screening every passenger to try and prevent it.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 19):
But, you cannot expect the general public to just follow instructions on electronic device use as your defense from improper design for electronic interference.

It's not an improper design issue (at least on the aircraft side). It's physically impossible to design an antenna that doesn't pick up RF...that's what antennas are for. It *is* improper design to build a consumer electronics device that radiates on the wrong frequencies but there is insufficient controls on consumer electronics to make sure that individual devices don't do that.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 19):
Typically only about 10% of Engineers get a PE. But they also tend to be the overall design project managers who are directing the design (and build) process.

I know one OEM that has *one* PE of record, for the entire company. In my years within the industry he's the only one I've ever met who both has a PE and uses it within his job capacity. In aerospace, you're far more likely to find a PE in the facilities department than you are anywhere near the design process.

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 21):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 17):
Also, a astonishingly small number of aeronautical engineers are PEs. The chance that anyone involved with detailed design of any system on any airliner has a PE, let alone the exposure to lose it, is virtually nil.

Are those PEs there mainly for non-aeronautical disciplines that are tangentially related? I've always assumed that there were a sizable amount of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers involved in this field. But maybe it's not so sizable after all...

There are a huge number of electrical and mechanical engineers in aerospace, but most of them went straight into the industry so they never got their PE because there's no requirement for it. Aerospace engineering drawings aren't signed off by individual PEs. I would assume the guys designing the buildings and monument tooling probably do have PEs within their ranks but they don't design the airplanes.

Quoting jfidler (Reply 22):
If the risks were that high, wouldn't a group of people with evil intentions just board the plane with 20 cellphones each, and threaten to turn them on if the crew didn't meet their demands?

This is a misunderstanding of the risk involved. No aircraft system that is necessary for safe flight and landing is vulnerable to EMI. That's designed in. The only way this would be an effective terrorist strategy would be to try it over and over and over and over, hoping to get the magical confluence of interference, a critical ATC communication, and the right operational situation to prevent the crew from realizing the problem. That would be an incredibly expensive attack vector with very low probability of success and very high probability of eventual capture. It would also have terrible PR value since it wouldn't be a credible attack after the fact.

Tom.


User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4095 times:

Guys,

Isn't whether or not the device can be used solely up to the FAA, airlines, and PIC?

The FCC has no say on whether it can used in an aircraft. The FCC restriction was because of the disruption cellphone usage could cause to the ground networks.

I think some may be misunderstanding what the FCC is saying here.

" it abandoned the proceeding a few years later because the technical information the agency received in response to the proposal "was insufficient to determine whether in-flight use of wireless devices" would interfere with wireless networks on the ground, the FCC said. "

Quoting BE77 (Reply 5):
It's the "Communication" aspect. They figure that there should be no problem leaving your device 'on' in flight, not just in "Airplane" mode.
FCC figures you should be allowed to use the com part of your device.

But the FCC is not saying that this in regards to interference with the aircraft, just their networks.

I think there is some mis-reading here guys ... the FCC did NOT say it was OK to use cellphones because they no longer think they are a risk to the aircraft ... that is , and always will be an FAA/Airline decision.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
25 tugger : Ummm... ts, I am sorry but if I understand what you are meaning, I think you are wrong on this. Yes, antennas pick up RF, as you say it is what they
26 bond007 : You can optimize antennas and design them specifically to receive certain frequencies, but a 6" piece of wire can and will pick up any and all kinds
27 tdscanuck : I don't think you got my meaning...yes, good RF systems will pick up only what they're designed to pick up. The problem isn't on the receiver side, i
28 rwessel : All things are relative. We're talking a small, and fairly simple, device. Portable (handy for actually locating an emitter) devices manufactured to
29 spink : If the equipment on board an airplane is so susceptible that a handheld FCC certified transmitter can cause potentially life threatening situations t
30 spink : This is only true to omnidirectional antennas with no signal discrimination. Designing any antenna for a multimillion dollar vehicle that is omnidire
31 tdscanuck : Then all airplanes should be grounded and scrapped. It's that simple. That's a very hard thing to do when the satellites move and your aircraft moves
32 ckfred : My wife used to work for a company that did, among other things, billing for cellular communication providers. So, she would ask questions of her cont
33 futureatp : I read a while back that one of the biggest concerns about letting people have these devices out during takeoff/landing is that they may become projec
34 Post contains images LAXintl : If this is so unsafe or taboo what about all the foreign airlines that offer inflight cell phone use ? Emirates, Thai, Qantas, Malaysian, Turkish, Qat
35 tdscanuck : They still restrict at low altitude, which is the only time possible EMI could realistically cause anything bad to happen. Tom.
36 LAXintl : I just flew Turkish. Had gate to gate Wi-Fi which I used on a tablet. Did not seem to be an issue with the crew. Many passengers were tinkering with
37 B727FA : To see people who "sneak" and "argue" about it, one would think so.
38 DocLightning : Probably more to do with the fact that the cell antennas are pointed laterally, not up. But I will say it again: under no circumstances do I want to
39 LAXintl : Would this truly be a problem? If you listen to Emirates they claim they have only received a handful of complaints about the 650,000 occasions of in
40 Roseflyer : The FAA is one of the slowest changing industries out there. The regulations are extremely slow to change and be updated unless to address a safety co
41 DocLightning : It is different because 1) You can only hear one side of the coversation, which is unnerving and always will be. 2) People tend to talk much more lou
42 gsoflyer : This is all well and good for USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, South Korea and European equipment. Items made for those markets have to fit into str
43 spink : It can be done with 3 antennas reasonably. 1 top, 2 side slanted. Then there is even more reason that any critical communication/location system used
44 gigneil : What? I'm sorry I have nothing more to ask. A)The FCC is clearly the one of the two with the expertise here. B) We know for an absolute fact that the
45 gigneil : There is no evidence, whatsoever, period end of story, of an EMI issue with cell phones on an aircraft. NS
46 gigneil : Can you link us to those? I'm an electrical engineer, and I'm not aware of a single one that is a proven EMI incident involving a handheld cellphone.
47 gigneil : Pay more for your ticket, then. Sit in first. Otherwise its no different than him talking to his coworker in the next seat. NS
48 Post contains links tdscanuck : This is what is technically referred to as "a lie." In addition to numerous documented evidence (note that evidence is not the same thing as proof),
49 bond007 : I guess you didn't read many posts from this thread then, or the NASA database. Do you mean you specifically didn't read anything?? ...as opposed to
50 DarkSnowyNight : Which is made worse by how much louder they'll talk to be heard over cabin noise. It's really not the same as a conversation being overheard across t
51 tdscanuck : That's my stance as well. The evidence that cell phones can interfere with airplane systems is absolutely rock solid and very well documented. Whethe
52 Post contains images B727FA : You don't think they'll be at least as annoying up front?
53 Post contains links LAXintl : Now Congress is getting involved prodding the FAA to relax device usage rules. US Senator Claire McCaskill who is on the Aviation Operations, Safety,
54 mrocktor : Let's just say that there is no cell phone use restriction on any of the systems test rigs for any aircraft I have ever worked on. An the equipment is
55 tdscanuck : Let's just say that there was an absolute cell phone restriction on all of the full test birds for any aircraft I have ever worked on. How many of yo
56 Post contains links LAXintl : FCC is out today with new regulatory guidelines meant to make it easier and speed up process in getting technical approvals for inflight internet hard
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