MD88Captain
Topic Author
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New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 2:36 am

I know many posters here just do not believe that cell phones and other electronic devices can interfere with cockpit instruments. Here's a link to an interesting article http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2992973.stm. Now if I've screwed up the link, you can find it on the Drudge Report.

 
bobrayner
Posts: 2038
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 2:47 am

There's not much detail, or technical information, in the things I've read so far... any more suggestions?  Smile

For every report like http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2992973.stm there's one like http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/69/30444.html.

(but as long as there's any ambiguity, I'd rather take the cautious approach)
Cunning linguist
 
Samurai 777
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 3:05 am

The dangers of using certain electronic equipment aboard an aircraft while in flight is well known enough already. I've heard of even Game Boys interfering with nav instruments.

However, I wonder if PDAs and other newer electronic equipment such as digital cameras and vidcams can still pose a hazard, particularly farther up in the front of a plane? I once had a guy next to me whip out a digital video camera (looked like one of the newest models out) because he wanted to get a shot of downtown Vancouver and the mountains - as the AC 737-200 was making a landing.
 
Airbus-Insider
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 3:13 am

Just imagine how many people all around the world forget to turn their cell phones off when they board their flight...and have accidents increased over the years???  Nuts
Airbus and Fokker Flyer
 
chepos
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 4:56 am

I forgot to turn off my cell phone on my last flight, and apparently from what I overheard so did the guy next to me.
Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
UN_B732
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 4:59 am

I was on SU, and they let you keep your cell phone on, just they don't let you use it! :P That's crazy.
-Transaero Boeing 737-200
What now?
 
deltairlines
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are

Sat May 03, 2003 5:13 am

I honestly don't see that big of a reason to have the cell phone on during the flight. You can normally wait a few hours until you get to your destination/layover point (since it seems you always have to connect unless you live in a major hub), and if you absolutely have to make a call, AirPhone is available (the catch is $10/minute; wait a minute though, that's about how much Cingular rips me off on all those bloody charges...)

Jeff
 
NZ767
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 5:27 am

Two years ago.....

Air New Zealand B737-200 on final approach ILS rw16 at Wellington (WLG/NZWN).
Aircraft makes sudden diversion from localiser by banking right when a passenger's cellphone rings.
The scary part about this is that if it had banked to the left, the aircraft would've gone straight into a hill.

Now, to those who say that accidents haven't increased due to cellphones being switched on aboard aircraft, shall we wait until it does before doing something about it?
Or shall we ban their use on board until we are absolutely sure of their effects?
 
gigneil
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are

Sat May 03, 2003 5:27 am

And really the best of luck to you getting a good signal at 35,000 ft, and not changing too many cells in too short a time at 600mph.  Laugh out loud

N
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 6:28 pm

There were speculations that the China Airlines A300-600 crash in Taipei's Chiang Kai Shek Int'l was due to a passengers cell phone going off in the final stages of the approach, hence the wild gyrations before slamming into the ground.

However, that crash is still a mystery...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
L-188
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 6:34 pm

You know.

If the pilots where to actually fly
If and when I am able to build that homebuilt I want to, I am seriously thinking about throwing an ADF in there.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
mika
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 9:28 pm

Are there any serious tests being done on this subject? If not, there should be!
 
radarbeam
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 9:39 pm

Here's more evidence, over 200 pages of occurences due to electronics devices reported by pilots http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/report_sets/ped.pdf. If that's not convicing I don't know what is....
 
nycank
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sat May 03, 2003 10:14 pm

Do the A/C avionics use GPS ? Most cell phones would probably be useless since the cell-sites and repeaters are thousands of feet below and would have no signal strength. Dis-orientation of instrumental readings due to no-cell-site-found ?
 
FutureFO
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 12:10 am

The use of cellphones and leaving them on during flite does not affect the instruments on the flight deck. I even have a 2 way pager that I send messages from during flight and no effect on the airplanes performance. I also use a video camera, Digital Camer and PDA on flights and no effect with those either. So there is no real evidence that Cell phones effect the instruments up front. Also as a pilot I use my cell phone in flight when I am renting airplanes.
I Don't know where I am anymore
 
delta-flyer
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 1:55 am

Every electrical and electronic equipment installed into an aircraft must be certified to meet specific EMI (electromagnetic interference) requirements. These include both emission and susceptibility levels.

Each component is designed to limit emissions to a maximum level, and similarly, designed to tolerate emissions at least as great as those being generated. The location on the aicrfat is also a considertaion in the allowable levels. Now, when people bring equipment on board that has not been tested, the integrity of the EMI specification is out the window. It may or may not cause any harm, but since it has not been certified, no one knows. If a passenger happens to use his equipment near a cable bundle, then the emissions radiated from the equipment may be conducted throughout the aircraft's avionics system by the wiring.

Designing for EMI is one of the most challenging engineering tasks, and it seems rather foolish to defeat its integrity by allowing untested equipment to be placed randomly on board.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
jhooper
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 2:14 am

FutureFO,

You're comparing apples to oranges. Large jets could be subject to different kinds of interference than the planes you rent. MD88Captain, the original poster of this thread, is a pilot for Delta, so I'll tend to lend more credibility to him in this instance. I agree that further study on this subject should be done. Will a cell phone cause interference? Maybe, Maybe not. It depends on a number of things, a large number of things that we don't completely understand. I've read that a cell phone at seat 18A may not do anything, while a cell phone in seat 25C might be disasterous. Yes, I've used cell phones on board a Cessna, but I was in a position to determine that it had no safety impact on my flight. I've even used a cell phone on short final or on the taxiway before in a jet (I know, I'm a bad boy), but certainly not in IMC where my life depends on the operation of the navigational equipment.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
777236ER
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 2:30 am

FutureFO, pilot or not there's no way you can make such sweeping statements. There's evidence to suggest interference from mobile phones IS a potential problem. Just because your plane hasn't crashed yet doesn't mean it's safe.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
FutureFO
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 4:17 am

JHoopoer,


I have used them on board a 777 and a 744 once even while I was jumpseating. So I do have back up to what I am saying.
I Don't know where I am anymore
 
delta-flyer
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 4:28 am

FutureFO...."I have used them on board a 777 and a 744 once even while I was jumpseating. So I do have back up to what I am saying."

That does not prove they are harmless....please read my post above. Maybe your particular brand meets the EMI requirements, maybe its emissions are in a harmless frequency in that particular location, etc. Unless an electronic equipment is certified for a particular location on a particular aircraft type, it should not be used.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
MD88Captain
Topic Author
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 4:36 am

FutureFO. You really have no idea of the problem. Nobody is saying that using a cell phone or other electronic device will effect an aircraft every single time. You may be able to use your cellphone on a 777 1000X and never effect its instruments. But on the 1001st time you may be sitting within 18inches on the wire bundle that sends signals from a glideslope antenna. And that input may lead the pilot flying into chasing a bad indication into the ground. Thats the point. Aviation is too unforgiving to allow such interference.

And as I've posted before, I have seen such interference first hand.
 
FutureFO
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 5:03 am

MD88Captain,

I see where you are coming from and understand that the odds of it affecting the bundle are pretty weird but I have not experienced on any of the flights and even in GA aircraft I have never seen it happen. although I know there are companies offering Air-Cell phones. I have had someone put a GPS antenna on the surface above my panel and it has effected my compass and my other instruments. Fortunately I was able to recognize it and and ask them to remove the antenna from the panel.
I Don't know where I am anymore
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 10:45 am

Well...there's no evdience that the cell phones on the airplane are bad. Last time, when we approached to Hobart on a Qantaslink B717-200, we heard the engines roaring very loud and my mum could not hear her cell phone rings. After our aircraft touched down on the Hobart Airport runway and the engines shut down shortly. After a few second, SUDDENLY, my mum's cell phone has rung for long time!! I was sooo shocked and suprised and my mum was very embrassed!!!

I have confessed to tell you that I did use a digital video camera on a Canadian B737-200 and film the view of LAX while the plane approached and touched down on the runway in 1997. As far as I know that the B737-200 have lots of gague on the instrument panels I mean no computers! I think it was safe!
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 11:13 am

I have personally used cell phones on aircraft numerous times (I was a Flight Mechanic at the time and was calling Maintenance Control to advise them of an in-flight emergency) without any negative impact on the flight / navigation / systems. The only thing I noticed is, above 10,000 feet, the reception sucks and the service is spotty at best.

Now that being said, when the flight crew says phones "Off", it's phones "Off", period, end of report!

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
 
Samurai 777
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 11:41 am

I must ask this - can handheld PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) such as the Palm m130 or a Sony Clie for example, interfere with instrumental readings in the cockpit in the same way as a cell phone can in a passenger aircraft?
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 12:45 pm

Samurai777, I've personally used my Palm IIIc for an entire flight from TOL-STL-SAN R/T, throughout the flight regimes, while sitting in the aft cockpit jumpseat of a B-727-200, without so much as a peep from the crew about interference of any kind. I also flew TOL-MCI-PHX R/T with similar results.

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
 
Ejazz
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 1:08 pm

I cannot count the number of times a cell phone left on or used on the aircraft has blocked out our radio transmissions. The interference is the same as you'll hear when a cell rings whilst using a normal cable phone.

Inflight I've lost both flight directors and LNAV/VNAV soon after take-off on a B777 due a passenger making a quick call. I've had a B747-400 decide it would like to make an orbit when it should've have been going straight and again the cause was determined to be a cell phone. How many other unexplained curious incidents are attributable to cell phones I can't say but without doubt they do have an effect and should never be left on or even worse used.

Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
 
cloudy
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 1:16 pm


cell phones anywhere are BAD. Whoever invented the cell phone ought to hung, drawn and quartered and the body flogged for good measure  Smile.

 
delta-flyer
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Sun May 04, 2003 11:09 pm

Cloudy says......."Whoever invented the cell phone ought to hung, drawn and quartered and the body flogged for good measure"

I reply....Amen!!  Smile
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
zanadou
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Tue May 06, 2003 12:34 pm

Here's another link on this report:

http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?201465

--->Zanadou!  Big thumbs up
 
mandala499
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Wed May 07, 2003 4:30 am

To the "No Cellphones in Aircrafts" Nazis and the "Cellphones in Aircrafts are OK" Nazis... Just kidding... to all on both sides...

1. Rules are rules. You do not not follow it, you get penalized. You don't agree with it, change it! You don't like this airline's cellphone rules, fly someone else.

2. I know pilots of various ratings who have their cellphones ON in the cockpit, however, they switch it off in cruise because it just wastes their batteries. These pilots however, enforce a strict No Cellphones ON rule when flying into remote areas. Once case they spent 30 minutes looking for an airport because the GPS and ADF was erroneous because someone's cellphone was on (it was confiscated)... This was on a Fokker28.

3. I have a friend from the ICAO, and he said, there are no rules regarding cellphones. However, they are transmitting devices, so he says, play it safe! It's not a mortal sin to have it on while flying, but, there will be days where it could make a difference between landing on an airport or into a mountain/building.

I personally do NOT believe that it is as dangerous as some research has suggested because I do not know who funded those research. I do not know if the results are pure of if it's skewed to favour a particular side (cellphone makers, or Satphone providers or whoever)... But, I do know it CAN affect electronics, and I respect the rules and regulations of the land where the aircraft and airline is registered and the law of the land on which the aircraft was standing on... if someone tells me what it is that is... it's different from country to country, airline to airline...

To me whether it is dangerous or not, it is irrelevant... it's like whether a passenger should have a gun onboard or not. It's not the gun, it's how the holder will use it... on a cellphone, it's how the owner will use it too and whether he/she understands the risks... Other than that it's about the applicable rules and regulations...

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
prebennorholm
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Wed May 07, 2003 6:32 am

If cell phones really could cause some risk on an aircraft, then they should of course be more illegal to even hold in shut off condition than guns and bombs.

And if a 1 watt cell phone could disturb an aircraft, then every aircraft would be shot down by any airport radar.

And if... then I would never dare to board an airplane. Because at least twenty thousand times each day a passenger "forgets" to shut off his phone.

When did you last time approach a destination airport and at least 3 or 4 cell phones did not beep indicating a new SMS message? (Especially when crossing the borders to east European countries your phone is always loaded down with SMS adverts for hotels, car hire companies and such, and bags all way along the overhead bins are singing when descending through 10,000 feet).

That said, cell phones do not belong to airliners.
- on old planes they may make noice on a poorly shielded PA system - just like they do on your car stereo.
- at high altitude they disrupt the ground based phone network.
- on a noisy plane you may tend to shout on the phone - not pleasant to fellow pax with whom you are rubbing shoulders.
- etc.

So please shut off those phones when you board a plane, thank you.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Greg
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Fri May 09, 2003 12:23 am

I don't beleive any of this bunk.
I leave mine on all the time..with the ringer off (not that it would work anyway).
As I said in another post..if you leave it on...your waiting messages are there almost immediately once you connect with your local cell carrier at your destination.

If you turn it off...it can take up to twenty minutes to get all your pages and well as text and voice messages.

So far...haven't landed at the wrong airport....so i don't think it's any kind of nav hazard.

Half my business is conducted over my phone...it's the most important business tool I have. To those of you who hate them....sorry...too bad...they are not going away.
 
ben
Posts: 1369
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 1999 9:27 pm

RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Fri May 09, 2003 2:01 am

The UK CAA recently published this report:

http://www.caa.co.uk/publications/publicationdetails.asp?id=751

..which doesnt agree with your conclusion about it being a load of 'bunk'. They are not a tabloid newspaper or a trashy news channel. They are THE Authority (over here, at least).

You can disagree with their report all you want, but if you are on an aircraft while I am the legal commander of it, you will be expected to turn your phone off - No matter how much work you have to use it for.

The captain has a duty of care for the aircraft and its occupants. His/Her word is final. No matter what you might think about this issue, you might be correct or not, but it doesnt matter to me. Mobile phones OFF. You dont have to fly if you dont want to.

Did you read what Ejazz said above?
 
Greg
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Fri May 09, 2003 5:09 am

Unless you go bag to bag...it's gonna be difficult to find out who leaves them on.

Tricky at best...particularly if you try to actually search someone.

Captains words are not 'final' here in the United States...there are still governed by a multitude of local, state, Federal, and other jurisdicational law depending where you are. This is just a clarification of your statement, not an invitation for debate.

At 21, you seem to have developed quite a God Complex!
 Smile
But I see your point.

 
CanadianNorth
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are

Fri May 09, 2003 5:40 am

this post is just sad. It really doesnt matter if cell phones are safe or not aboard planes, If the captain sais turn it off, then turn it off. besides, all you people who get enouf calls to make it worth leaving your cell phone on could use a break. I personally cant stand cell phones. As I always say...
"I have a phone sitting at home. If I am there to answer it, great. If I am not, too bad, you will have to call back later."
I used to have a cell phone, then one day it rang while I was out snowmobiling enjoying a day off, now its making the long jurney down the Yukon River. Thats right, it rang when I was out on my snowmobile to get away from it all for a few hours, so I threw it in the river and carryed on. Hurray for me.
If I ever meat the guy who invented the cell phone, well, lets just say it wouldnt be a pleseant sight to see.

CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
Greg
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RE: New Evidence That Cell Phones On Airplanes Are BAD

Fri May 09, 2003 5:58 am

Of course you don't see the need for a cell phone.
You're a child.

Once you actually have a job..they are indispensable.

Annoying, but indispensable.

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