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How Effective Is Flight Mode?  
User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 786 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 14 hours ago) and read 3696 times:

Having read through two threads about technology in-flight, I was reminded of a very peculiar practice on PR: all electronic devices must be turned off and not be used during the flight. Seems normal, right?

But there's more: they must be turned off and not be used during the flight...even in flight mode. As far as I know, PR is the only airline that does this, and to this day I still don't know why. (Curiously, they don't enforce it, but they do sometimes: I was asked to turn my mobile phone off, but I responded that it was in flight mode, and the F/A said "even in flight mode".)

So this thread's question is pretty simple: how effective is flight mode in reducing and/or preventing interference during a flight, and do devices that have flight mode enabled still pose an interference threat to in-aircraft systems?

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 3637 times:

Flight mode is very effective. The leakage from rf LOs, video signals and such from a device is tiny compared to the output from a phone, wi-fi or bluetooth transmitter.
The problem is, few people have any idea what flight mode is or what it does. And you can't expect flight attendants to understand the rf characteristics of 12,000 different electronics devices. Everybody does understand what an on/off switch is.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 8 hours ago) and read 3521 times:

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
how effective is flight mode in reducing and/or preventing interference during a flight

Very. Not 100%, but pretty darn good.

Quoting Akiestar (Thread starter):
do devices that have flight mode enabled still pose an interference threat to in-aircraft systems?

Yes. It's just a much much smaller threat.

Tom.


User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 3485 times:

Essentially flight mode switches off (at least on my phone) completely the mobile antenna (so no signal at all and it doesn't go out looking for it), the GPS/Location services (though I'm not sure if the GPS antenna is turned off might just be due to lack of a data connection that maps doesn't work), WiFi & Bluetooth. However, I can manually switch back on the WiFi and Bluetooth whilst in flightmode. I use this often when flying (both commercially and for my PPL) and I've never had any issues. I don't use my phone however whilst flying, except commercially once the seatbelt sign is off to listen to music.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
Everybody does understand what an on/off switch is.

Sadly, these days many people think that hitting the lock/blank-screen button on their iDevice is "off" or good enough to get away with it. I feel that on the safety video they should show a smart phone being turned completely off and put a cross through someone just turning off the screen, not the phone. One thing people don't realise is that (at least in the UK) it is a regulation by the CAA (from what I've heard) that you must have mobile phones off whenever the engines are running except on aircraft with mobile services (e.g. the BA A318s from LCY) and electronic devices off until above 10 000ft.

Before people start posting "it's a myth you need them off, they don't do anything etc" - if they didn't do anything, why does every airline try and enforce it?

Flightmode shouldn't be an issue as long as it wasn't during take-off/landing.


User currently offlineAkiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 786 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 3 hours ago) and read 3406 times:

Quoting planejamie (Reply 3):
I feel that on the safety video they should show a smart phone being turned completely off

TK does this now with their new safety video: they demonstrate this using an iPhone which they put into flight mode, and then shut down.


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