fourstripe
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:58 pm

Radio Scanner

Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:56 pm

Hello All!

I was wondering if it is ok to use a handheld scanner in-flight on the U.S. major airlines. I know many airlines have an audio channel that is connected to the aircraft's radio but others (like AA) do not. Is it legal to use a scanner while in flight? Also, does anyone know where you can buy some good and inexpensive scanners online.

-David
“Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” - Edward Vernon Rickenbacker
 
RareBear
Posts: 540
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RE: Radio Scanner

Mon Feb 02, 2004 2:13 pm

I don't think a scanner is legal to use airborne. I'm not 100% sure, but you could check with the airline. There's a list of equipment that is allowed in the in-flight magazine, but since I don't use a scanner, I didn't particularly notice if they were on the list or not.

Walt
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
FLAIRPORT
Posts: 3863
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RE: Radio Scanner

Mon Feb 02, 2004 2:27 pm

you cannot use radios of any kind... it "may destrupt the navigational systems"  Nuts

So, I think no
NEXT FLIGHT: FLL-ATL-HPN on FL
 
aerlingusa330
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2000 6:40 am

RE: Radio Scanner

Mon Feb 02, 2004 2:29 pm

Hey David-

I have a handheld scanner and I once asked an aviation guru at IAD and he said that it could only be used in the terminal and not in the aircraft. I wouldn't bet all my money on his answer and I'd check with someone else. (Personally I don't think they harm anything if used in the air-except maybe physically hitting the f/a) The scanner that I have has an engraving in the back of it on a piece of metal that says that it cannot interfere with any radio signals and cannot transmit anything (like a regular handheld radio/walkie-talkie). Sporty's Pilot Shop has a fair amount of scanners, but I think the cheaper priced one - the JD-100 that I have has been discontinued. www.sportys.com/pilotshop
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jhooper
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 2:52 am

I used a scanner onboard one time; it didn't really work that well.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
rockyracoon
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:34 am

Although I've never tried it, I easily pull off using my maycom 108 onboard a flight. It can fit in my pocket and has an earpiece.  Smile



peace
 
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KaiGywer
Crew
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:44 am

Rockyracoon, I was just gonna say that when I read yours. Even if your scanner isn't the smallest, just put it in your lap under a newspaper or something, and then put on headphones  Smile
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:46 am

where/how can one purchase these scanners?
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:48 am

www.scannerworld.com

or go to your local Radio Shack  Smile
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
NWAirlinkFO
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 11:45 am

Although certain types of electronics are prohibited from use during flight by the FAA....EX: Cell phones, AM/FM radios, TV's ect, scanners are not one of the prohibited items listed...officially. As long as you do not have the type of scanner that includes a transmitter as with what is caller a transceiver it will not harm digital avionics equipment. The closer you sit to the magnetically sensitive AHRS units...the more harmful transmitters/radios ect will be. Although they probably don't pose much of a risk to any modern airliner all you should have to do is ask one of the pilots (through the FA) and I'm sure they would be more than happy to let you use it. Keep in mind it would be extremely difficult to find the actual frequency that your flight-crew is currently using, as they are always being handed off. I suppose it would be possible though if you had a good freq book  Smile Happy listening!!
 
2912n
Posts: 1978
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 12:04 pm

Without an external antenae you would have a tough time picking up anything at all while in the airplane.
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 12:17 pm

hey, before pouring out $100 for your scanner look at this

MR-318A

I have this scanner, or should I say AM/FM/Air band receiver. It costs something less than $40. I bought it in http://www.mypilotstore.com
(or to see the product directly http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/1322)

Yes, it's made in China (but then again, what isn't?  Nuts ), runs on 2 AA batteries, and has a 3V DC and earphone jack. It doesn't have squelch, but, so what? It's the best priced radio I've seen out there and I've had it for one year, and it works beautifully!!! If you are going to use it in your home, I highly recommend getting a universal DC adapter for this radio, save your batteries for when your hidden near a runway threshold spying on the ATC. Acting devilish

Oh, and whether you can use it or not in the plane:

Use it, when has the NTSB blamed a RECEIVER for crashing a plane? This thing is pocket sized, just use earphones in such a way so that a mean, nasty i-hate-radio-scanner looking F/A won't notice. Otherwise, just ask the F/A if you can use it with a sad big-eyed puppy look. Crying

hope this helps, have fun!!!!! Big thumbs up


 
NWAirlinkFO
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 12:38 pm

fly2hmo:
Good point....but if you were on that plane you might care if it caused an accident. The NTSB is re-active....meaning it acts AFTER an accident to see what caused it. They do not issue regulations before hand. But I agree with you that it shouldn't cause a problem, just let the flight crew know and they won't care!
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:09 pm

Here's the official word from the FAA .... (FAR 91.21)
---------------------------------------------
§ 91.21 Portable electronic devices.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any of the following U.S.-registered civil aircraft:

(1) Aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate; or

(2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to -

(1) Portable voice recorders;

(2) Hearing aids;

(3) Heart pacemakers;

(4) Electric shavers; or

(5) Any other portable electronic device that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.
--------------------------------------------------------

The clincher, of course, is (b)(5), and every airline has its own list. Advisory Circular AC91.21-1A (dated 10/02/00) provides guidance on how an operator can determine what is allowable and what is not. It also rules out any device that is intentionally designed to transmit - including cell phones, CB radios and remote control devices.

Individual airline web sites provide more specific information on what is allowable and what is not. For example, CO specifically prohibits the use of cameras below 10,000 feet, while DL does not. For the first time in my life, last Friday, an FA told me to put away my camera on a CO plane while taxiing because she said it is "prohibited by the FAA".

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:11 pm

well, I think as long as nobody turns on a transmitter, there shouldn't be any obvious hazard. And yes, before any scientists blast me, I am conscious that every electronic device produces electromagnetic waves. I only think an airplane does more harm to people with pacemakers than does a cdplayer does harm to a plane.
 
delta-flyer
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Radio Scanner

Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:36 pm

...an airplane does more harm to people with pacemakers...
I would be interested in seeing some references to support that.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
captjetblast
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 5:59 am

RE: Radio Scanner

Wed Feb 04, 2004 3:17 am

"... For the first time in my life, last Friday, an FA told me to put away my camera on a CO plane while taxiing because she said it is "prohibited by the FAA..."

As for cameras, they don't pose a threat to navigation at all, maybe they (FA) are instructed not to let you record something you shouldn't. Let's say something happens, from an incident to an accident, which must be further probed. Your movie could be an invaluable clue to investigations, ... or perhaps something no common people should ever know...


 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Radio Scanner

Wed Feb 04, 2004 3:57 am

Capt ... in the Advisory Circular I mentioned above, there is some language about prohibiting the use of certain electronic devices during the safety instruction because it distracts people. I guess that refers mostly to CD/tape players, as they have earphones that would prevent people from hearing instructions. The CO website specifically prohibits camera use under 10,000 feet under their "portable electronic devices" section.

As I said, DL does not prohibit camera use.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
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RE: Radio Scanner

Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:10 am

I haven't seen references supporting any case of a passenger's receiver messing up with an airplane's NAV antennas either....  Innocent
 
Douglas DC-9
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2001 2:39 am

RE: Radio Scanner

Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:18 am

That's like when you are on approach or taxiing, the crew asks you not to use an MP3 player or a Gameboy or anything I don't put it away. I mean I don't play Gameboy or anything but like my iPod, I don't put it away and the F/A's really don't seem to care or even bother to say anything.


DC-9-32