Akiestar
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 6:51 am

How Effective Is Flight Mode?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:02 pm

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?
 
nomadd22
Posts: 1566
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:42 pm

RE: How Effective Is Flight Mode?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:48 pm

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.
Anon
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: How Effective Is Flight Mode?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:00 pm

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.
 
planejamie
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:41 pm

RE: How Effective Is Flight Mode?

Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:12 pm

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.
 
Akiestar
Topic Author
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 6:51 am

RE: How Effective Is Flight Mode?

Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:12 am

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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