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pilotaydin
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For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:57 am

well here is another one of my famous cell phone stories, this time it got bad....

Flight TK 459 from ADA-IST - Captain's leg for flight.

The weather at ADA was CAVOK we were using runway 5 for departure and we got to rolling, all systems normal and take off thrust set itself just fine on autothrottle....

then after my V1 call and rotate we took to the air and everything was good too, then the drama starts...

at 400 AGL we are required to select a ROLL mode, i selected Heading for the captain, as we were cleared on runway heading, however it didn't engage, the mcp didn't light up or the FMA or the F/D bars...nothing....so i tried putting on LNAV, same thing.....we continued manual...then at 1000 i tried to engage the A autopilot...that did nothing...B, that did nothing...then at 1500 I tried to reduce to climb power by pressing the N1 button...nothing, tried changing the MCP speed, didn't budge....at this point departure cleared us to MUT vor after 3000, so the captain was flying full manual turning the a/c while the F/D were telling him to continue his heading, started getting confusing....

then passing 7600 feet while climbing to level 260, we asked the Chief F/A to do a cell phone check in the back...she came back with no results....we were slightly shocked....then we were able to put in autopilot A but when it engaged, the VNAV AND LNAV came on all by them selves and the plane dove downwards a little, and then autopilot kicked off.....she started going insane, level change came on by itself, and it pulled the speed back to 171 knots with the flaps up while we were doing 284 so she started climbing at 4500 feet per min, im sure people noticed at the back that something was kinda wrong....i didn't enjoy it....then both EADI flight directors disappeared completely, and the FMA locked on VNAV and LNAV, and the aircraft was telling us to turn in a completely useless direction, the captain kept her in manual, now passing 22,000 feet we were utterly confused, the checklist had nothing, we couldnt use our FMS LNAV and the aircraft was being crazy, then several seconds later i was cross checking the 3 airspeed indicators like MAD because i had no idea which FCC was engaged versus which was we selected and what the damn plane would command us to do....i tried autopilot A again (to reduce the workload so we could problem solve together) it engaged! however, 10 seconds later it kicked off...because...and im glad this didn't happen in IMC...the Captain's EADI flight director was asking for a 20 degree nose dive, and my EADI F/D was commanding a 20 degree nose UP attitude....we just looked at each other....., the altitude warning horn went off at random intervals...and the stress level was a lil higher than usual because we know VERY well flying the -400 that someone's friggin cell phone is on back there, that's the ONLY thing in almost 10 years of TK history that messes up the MCP panel, coming from experienced captains...

so the pre recorded cell phone announcement was played FOUR times, and nothing, then we asked each one of our cabin staff to basically violate people and find the phones.....

guess what.....5 cell phones were on, 2 were text messaging, and one person was playing music and looking for a cell phone tower at altitude to see if it kicked in or not....pax were furious, because we were heading to CAT II airport at the time and we needed these damn instruments for the approach into IST....

once those 5 cell phones were switched off....everything came back to normal, both autopilots came on when we selected each one, all F/D indications came back, the FMS was usuable and nothing went wrong again....

i can't tell you how friggin upset i get, people always pray that we fly safe etc and oh i hope god watches out for you etc...but then they try to use their cell phones...can you believe someone was trying to text message that they were in the plane right as we rotated? don't you just wanna beat these people up?
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:05 am

What happened to the cell phone users? I would of had the police waiting for them.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
113312
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:05 am

Was this an Airbus 320 or a B737? Have you reported it to regulatory authorities? I am a safety volunteer with ALPA in USA and we are very interested in these events. Have you contacted IFALPA?
 
ZRHnerd
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:08 am

Interesting story.

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
don't you just wanna beat these people up?

Yeah. a few years back enroute DXB-ZRH, about 2 hours out of ZRH, some guy's mobile phone wakeup function started to ring loudly and basically woke everybody up in the whole Business class section. The purser got well pissed and told the guy off, who was so embarassed Big grin
 
pilotaydin
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:11 am

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 1):
What happened to the cell phone users? I would of had the police waiting for them

sigh my friend...i wish, some things are unfortunately left alone here...there is no law or procedure in force yet for these things....sad how cheap life can be huh?

Quoting 113312 (Reply 2):
Was this an Airbus 320 or a B737?

this was a 737-400

Quoting 113312 (Reply 2):
Have you contacted IFALPA?

No i don't know where to go or what to do...i tried reporting it here once, i was kinda made fun of and people said how do you know it was the cell phone....i just friggin know i fly like 5 legs a day, all the commanders say the same thing
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
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TK787
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:23 am

It sounds scary. I am glad it all worked out.

Pilotaydin,
What can be done to make sure people get how serious this is?
Could this be a page in the "Safety Cards", in big letters?
How about a similar punishment just like tempering with the smoke detectors?

Did you or your Chief F/A made an announcement after you solved the problem, with a simple explanation, to tell the pax what kind of mess could this create?
Thanks for sharing.
 
David L
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:29 am

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
we asked the Chief F/A to do a cell phone check in the back...she came back with no results



Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
the pre recorded cell phone announcement was played FOUR times, and nothing,

OK, I can live with people thinking their phones are off but...

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
2 were text messaging, and one person was playing music and looking for a cell phone tower at altitude to see if it kicked in or not

 banghead  Unbelievable.
 
qslinger
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:44 am

Isn't it about time they made planes cell phone resistant!!?? or atleast make a device that will cut out cell phone intereference from effecting the planes systems?

I mean come on..I know ppl who fly 5 days a week and unwittingly they do leave their cells on. Instead of chewing out 100 + ppl on a plane, it would be better if they made the planes system more robust.

Specially in this day and age of terrorism, whats to keep 10 terrorist from boarding a plane to disrupt its systems.
Raj Koona
 
aerobalance
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:47 am

Quoting Qslinger (Reply 7):
Isn't it about time they made planes cell phone resistant!!?? or atleast make a device that will cut out cell phone intereference from effecting the planes systems?

Sure, but most legs flown are VOR which is based on radio-signal, yes it is to a certain bandwith, but you can get crosstalk.
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
airfoilsguy
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:52 am

Quoting Qslinger (Reply 7):
I mean come on..I know ppl who fly 5 days a week and unwittingly they do leave their cells on. Instead of chewing out 100 + ppl on a plane, it would be better if they made the planes system more robust.

What do think is easier, spending millions on reconfiguring airplane antennas, or just banning cell phones on planes? If they can do it with liquids they can do it with anything.
It's not a near miss it's a near hit!!
 
9MMAR
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:56 am

I will print this thread and show it to anyone who do this uncivilised act onboard. Being on MH's 734s a lot of times, I can say that sometimes there are still a few violators although MH's FAs are very strict about cellphone usage while onboard.

Being living in Indonesia, the situation here is well... just ask mandala499 or HB-IWC. And the FAs just don't bother to stop them. I guess the FAs know their fellow countrymen very well.  no 

But, one must not forget of how the usage of cellphone while onboard can help in certain conditions, as proven by the cases of airplane highjacking of 9/11 tragedy (where passengers and FAs used it to inform autorities and their families of what was happening to them). RIP.  crying 
 
ForgotMyNick
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:03 am

Quoting Qslinger (Reply 7):
Isn't it about time they made planes cell phone resistant!!?? or atleast make a device that will cut out cell phone intereference from effecting the planes systems?

I believe a few airlines (AF, FR, ...) already announced that this year they will start allowing cell phones usage onboard.
Also, read some articles about studies that were performed and they seem to confirm that there were virtually no interference, not in a dangerous sense at least.
So it must be somehow possible. How come?
 
ssides
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:13 am

Quoting ForgotMyNick (Reply 11):

I believe a few airlines (AF, FR, ...) already announced that this year they will start allowing cell phones usage onboard.
Also, read some articles about studies that were performed and they seem to confirm that there were virtually no interference, not in a dangerous sense at least.
So it must be somehow possible. How come?

The airlines that plan on allowing cell phone use (and I believe EK is the only one thus far) will have a special transmitter on the plane for cell signals, much like the Connexion wireless internet service. It is my hope that, to avoid annoyances, airlines adopt policies where such devices are used for texting only -- no voice calls unless an emergency occurs.

With respect to the studies on cell phone signals, some have been inconclusive, but there are plenty of instances where the signals have interfered. And, the more cell phones that are being used in-flight, the more radio bandwidth is being used -- hence increasing the chance of interference. If they were not banned, more would be in use, and there would be a greater threat.
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ikramerica
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:30 am

Quoting Qslinger (Reply 7):
I mean come on..I know ppl who fly 5 days a week and unwittingly they do leave their cells on.

A phone uses far more transmitting power when actively being used for data or voice. Leaving it on by mistake won't cause much interference (though 150 left on might...). The difference in power is why a phone can last 14 days in standby but 5 hours when talking.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
ForgotMyNick
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:38 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 12):
The airlines that plan on allowing cell phone use (and I believe EK is the only one thus far) will have a special transmitter on the plane for cell signals,

Alright, but its purpose is to make cells work and not to prevent them from interfering with cockpit's navigation and radio devices.

Quote:
It is my hope that, to avoid annoyances, airlines adopt policies where such devices are used for texting only -- no voice calls unless an emergency occurs.

I wouldn't count on that... Once they allow a small tiny sth, they have to un-ban it all. Do you imagine pax texting but not receiving calls, not using internet etc? And RyanAir's CEO specifically commented that he doesn't mind the noise in the cabins of his a/c's (because suddenly everyone is shouting over the phone), he said sth like "you want piece&quiet, you don't fly Ryan".

Quote:
With respect to the studies on cell phone signals, some have been inconclusive, but there are plenty of instances where the signals have interfered.

My point is that there must already exist something (a new technology?) that makes mobile devices onboard both feasible and safe. And it probably isn't a X-million $$ replacing of all comm systems/antennas in the airplanes.

Otherwise, are they all (AF, FR, EK, ...) a bunch of suiciders?  Wink
 
ltbewr
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:46 am

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
then we asked each one of our cabin staff to basically violate people and find the phones.....

While not playing down the seriousness of the situation and recognizing that English is not your primary language (although it is very good), I find the term you used in the above quote to be quite funny in a way. In English, to 'violate' people would suggest that you wanted them to be assaulted and in the USA the way that term would may used in that situation, that could suggest sexual assault. I am quite sure you didn't mean that, although I could understand under the problems you had in the cockpit, and you wanted the cabin staff to be direct with the passengers and help them locate the offending phones.
Then again, you probably wouldn't have minded the cell phone offenders get a good beating for their stupidity and putting you and others on the a/c at serious risk.
 
pilotaydin
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:01 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 15):

hehe you're right, i meant violate their personal space, as in dive into their bags and look around. You would be amazed at the number of people who say ive turned it off, but get semi violent when you want them to show you...they take it personal lol
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
Analog
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:07 am

Quoting Qslinger (Reply 7):
t
Isn't it about time they made planes cell phone resistant!!?? or atleast make a device that will cut out cell phone intereference from effecting the planes systems?

I mean come on..I know ppl who fly 5 days a week and unwittingly they do leave their cells on. Instead of chewing out 100 + ppl on a plane, it would be better if they made the planes system more robust.

Specially in this day and age of terrorism, whats to keep 10 terrorist from boarding a plane to disrupt its systems.

I agree... quite frankly, IMHO no airline/pilot should ever fly an aircraft that they believe to be vulnerable to interference by cell phones.

Given that there is no way of guaranteeing that all cell phones are off/not x-mitting, the only safe course of action is to assume that cell phones will be used on every flight, irrespective of any ban. If a pilot operates an aircraft that he/she believes to be vulnerable to such devices, he/she should rethink his/her commitment to passenger safety.

BTW: I'm not defending the use of cell phones on aircraft.
 
TheCol
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:38 am

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
5 cell phones were on, 2 were text messaging, and one person was playing music and looking for a cell phone tower at altitude to see if it kicked in or not

They must be the most ridiculous crock of passengers I have ever seen or heard about. Kudos to you and your crew for handling it so well. I couldn't imagine myself NOT screaming at those dumbasses over the horn, or laying the smack down on every one of them.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not an airline pilot. Big grin

Quoting Analog (Reply 17):
I agree... quite frankly, IMHO no airline pilot should ever fly an aircraft that they believe to be vulnerable to interference by cell phones.

There are countless risks involved while flying a plane, cellphone interference is just one of them. It's just like saying pilots should refuse to fly commercial aircraft in or out of an airport with lots of birds flying around, in fear of a bird strike.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
Analog
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:48 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 18):

There are countless risks involved while flying a plane, cellphone interference is just one of them. It's just like saying pilots should refuse to fly commercial aircraft in or out of an airport with lots of birds flying around, in fear of a bird strike.

You are correct. I was thinking about interference to the degree pointed out by the OP, which seemed pretty serious.

In response to your example, if there were a flock of large birds on the runway, I would think that a safety conscious pilot would refuse to takeoff until the birds were gone.
 
ULMFlyer
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:52 am

Dear Pilotaydin,

thanks for the interesting (albeit unnerving) personal account. I was wondering if you or your peers have experienced similar interference with notebooks, especially recently with more wireless features being incorporated into them.
Let's go Pens!
 
siromega
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:53 am

Faraday screen between the cockpit and the pax? Or perhaps on the floor of the pax area? All the antennas and such are on the outside of the plane (right?) so I'd assume a faraday screen isolating the pax wouldn't interfere with proper communications.
 
bongo
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:06 am

Quoting Pilotaydin (Thread starter):
we asked the Chief F/A to do a cell phone check in the back...

How do you do/did this?
MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
 
Mikebg
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:28 am

I made a skeptical remark to a friend about cellphones not really interfering with aircraft systems, but didn't realise that he worked for British Airways as a senior electronics engineer. He proceeded to explain as follows:

When a cellphone is switched on it will always look for a signal. It starts at a low power and gradually increases the power until it finds a signal. If it fails to find a signal at the highest power level it will pause a while and retry. Now imagine such a thing happening on an aircraft, with multiple cellphones all broadcasting at their highest power levels and never finding a signal, and it is clear that some interference may (and does) happen. What the airlines who plan to allow cellphones are doing is to have a small, low-power transmitter aboard the aircraft. That way the cellphones will find their signal even at their lowest power, and not cause interference.

I wonder whether the same technology could be used to 'neutralise' cellphones, by having a low-power transmitter aboard the aircraft which did not allow any further connections. It would prevent cellphones from going to their highest power levels and thus eliminate the risk of their interfering with the aircraft's electronic systems.
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:33 am

Quoting Mikebg (Reply 23):
I wonder whether the same technology could be used to 'neutralise' cellphones, by having a low-power transmitter aboard the aircraft which did not allow any further connections. It would prevent cellphones from going to their highest power levels and thus eliminate the risk of their interfering with the aircraft's electronic systems

Great idea. How much would it cost? (Honest question!)
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
albird87
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:35 am

god dam i hate cell phones!!!

Was on a KX flight in december and it was full of cubans from MIA and the couple beside me, the woman was chatting as we were at the gate, which as much as i dont mind, was bloody loud and just spanish mumbo jumbo!! she then was told once to turn it off my a flight stewardess and she said ok and then continued on chating!! Then they came around again and told her to get off the phone now as we were no 3 for takeoff and then she waited for them to leave then still chatting to the person!! I mean i wanted to rip that phone off her and go and chuck it out the door!!
It just amazes me how rude and ignorant she was to the staff and the saftey of all of us and this was on a 732 so she was more likely to effect the controls!!
she finally finished her call but then kept the phone on!!
I was at the end of my fuse with her and i think i could of made the local news for being disruptive but kept my head on!! (just  Wink)
 
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OA260
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:49 am

People are very stupid and selfish these days!! When the A/C doors close then switch the phone off and when the A/C doors open turn it on. Anyone abusing this $10,000 auto fine or jail time. It would work believe me!!! If caught they should be put on an international black list and banned. I dont think airlines know enough about cell phone interference to start allowing use in flight.

Do GPS hand helds interfere with A/C??? Just wondering I was on a CA B747 from BJS to LHR and there was this idiot from The Netherlands who thought he knew everything about aviation and was annoying everyone. Anyway he had this GPS on on talke off and then an hour into the flight he was still doing it. Anyway the pilot came on and said they were having problems with the navigation systems and we had to return to BJS. We made it ok and the crew confiscated the guys GPS hand held but I dont know if they ever confirmed it was him that was causing it. Maybe its best I didnt know otherwise I would have put him in hospital!!!
 
Analog
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:25 am

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 25):
It just amazes me how rude and ignorant she was to the staff and the saftey of all of us and this was on a 732 so she was more likely to effect the controls!!

The 732 is not fly-by-wire, so its controls are less likely to be affected by cell phones than other (FBW) aircraft (right?). That being said, I hate loud cell-phone talkers as much as anyone.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 26):
Do GPS hand helds interfere with A/C???

Doubtful. This guy was probably a convenient scapegoat for an equipment (or other) failure.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 26):
here was this idiot from The Netherlands who thought he knew everything about aviation and was annoying everyone

Maybe the FAs just couldn't take any more of him and asked the pilot to land. Big grin
 
prebennorholm
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:32 am

What scares me most is in fact that the flight crew chose to continue a flight on such a malfunctioning plane, and didn't get back to terra firma asap.

Quoting Analog (Reply 17):
IMHO no airline/pilot should ever fly an aircraft that they believe to be vulnerable to interference by cell phones.

 checkmark 
What use is it to make security checks on pax if a plane can be almost shot down with a cell phone?

Quoting ForgotMyNick (Reply 11):
I believe a few airlines (AF, FR, ...) already announced that this year they will start allowing cell phones usage onboard.

Yes. That's involves that the aircraft shall be configured as one, separate phone cell roaming with a relevant phone company on the ground. The system already works fine on many passenger ships for instance on the North Sea. As a phone operator you only notice a strange, numeric code in the phone display instead of the connected phone company name. Whether on a ship or on a plane it must work on a few GSM frequencies which are unused by ground cells, so it doesn't disturb nearby ground cells.

Otherwise those cell phones must be shut off. If not for other reason, then because at altitude a cell phone may foul up the cell phone system on the ground because it can reach several ground cell repeater stations on the same frequency. It must also be shut down when you fly an old wood and fabric glider with no electronics on board.

I simply don't believe in this incident.

I could accept that a cell phone may make some noise on an unshielded PA speaker connection on an old airliner. If a cell phone typically emitting one watt could foul up an airliner the way described in this thread, then imagine what a terrorist could do with a ten kilowatt transmitter near an airport. Or what overflying a legal 100 kilowatt transmitter would mean. Or what about getting within fifty miles distance of an airport radar? !!!

I could be wrong? Some day somebody might convince me that this incident is real? If that happens, then for sure you will never see me again on board a 737 classic again. And I would ask my local CAA to prohibit any 737 classic from overflying my country. It could easily hit Innocent people on the ground.

Any aircraft, which can be made even the slightest unsafe by a cell phone, should nerver ever be allowed to leave the ground. Anyway, do shut off those phone on the plane unless when in the future you are on a plane which is configured for cell phone operation. It is embarrasing that so many people can't learn that.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Tod
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:51 am

Quoting Mikebg (Reply 23):
wonder whether the same technology could be used to 'neutralise' cellphones, by having a low-power transmitter aboard the aircraft which did not allow any further connections. It would prevent cellphones from going to their highest power levels and thus eliminate the risk of their interfering with the aircraft's electronic systems.

And even better, send back a text message:

TURN OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE

Tod
 
ULMFlyer
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:57 am

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 28):
I could be wrong?

I'm not sure anybody can prove you wrong, but if you do some research on NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System Database, I believe you will find compelling evidence that pax electronics do interfere with aircraft equipment. Granted it's still anecdotal evidence, but it comes from pilots such as Pilotaydin, flying many different aircraft. I must say my opinion on the issue was changed by those reports.

Moreover, IIRC from an IEEE Spectrum article, things might get dicier as more modern planes are introduced and airlines switch from ILS to GPS approaches. This is because cell phone frequencies (and their harmonics) are much closer to those used by GPS than to ILS frequencies.
Let's go Pens!
 
trojanAE
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:03 am

Quoting ForgotMyNick (Reply 11):
I believe a few airlines (AF, FR, ...) already announced that this year they will start allowing cell phones usage onboard.

Airlines I, and I am sure a few others, shall from that point try to avoid. Nothing bothers me more than a loud, obnoxious person in the cabin, babbling away on their cellphone. Airline travel is the last real mode of transportation (I am not including cruise ships or luxury train suites) where one can be at peace from countless people with their annoying ringtones and mindless chatter. Make no mistake, I have a cellphone myself and use it quite often, however being stranded on a thin metal tube next to someone blabbing away is my vision of a personal hell.

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 28):
Any aircraft, which can be made even the slightest unsafe by a cell phone, should nerver ever be allowed to leave the ground.

Hmmmmm, guess we should ground most airlines' fleets all over the world.
 Yeah sure
Most airliners can be made "slightly" unsafe by various electronic noise and interference. It's a question of risk. The risk of a few people having their cellphones on bringing down an aircraft, or severely compromising it's airworthiness, is extremely remote, especially under the supervision of competent pilots, such as Pilotaydin. I don't believe there has ever been an accident due to cell phone interference. If it has worked so well so far, I believe the ban on cell phone use should be more than sufficient in most cases.
"My soul is in the sky." -William Shakespeare
 
prebennorholm
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting Mikebg (Reply 23):
When a cellphone is switched on it will always look for a signal. It starts at a low power and gradually increases the power until it finds a signal. If it fails to find a signal at the highest power level it will pause a while and retry. Now imagine such a thing happening on an aircraft, with multiple cellphones all broadcasting at their highest power levels and never finding a signal, and it is clear that some interference may (and does) happen. What the airlines who plan to allow cellphones are doing is to have a small, low-power transmitter aboard the aircraft. That way the cellphones will find their signal even at their lowest power, and not cause interference.

Dear Mikebg, that is entirely correct. You will even notice it when making long car drives in rural, hilly areas. The cell phone battery will fade out much faster than when constantly connected in urban areas or along highways.

Phone will start trying to connect transmitting a few milliwatt and end up with up to around one watt. Some old phones even go to two watt on the 900 MHz band. Still that's thousands of times weaker than a TV tower or airport radar.

On a future plane configured for cell phone operation the cell phone will stay at minimum power unless something happens to the phone or the cell system on the plane. Or if the phone company has limited the phone to "own company connection", which is the case with most prepaid card phones For those reasons it really changes nothing.

Quoting Mikebg (Reply 23):
I wonder whether the same technology could be used to 'neutralise' cellphones, by having a low-power transmitter aboard the aircraft which did not allow any further connections. It would prevent cellphones from going to their highest power levels and thus eliminate the risk of their interfering with the aircraft's electronic systems.

It could be done for most phones. But then again, above mentioned limited use card phone would still go crazy and try to connect to the ground station.

You could "overpower" them in an intelligent way and that way prevent them from working. But that deliberate overpower would potentially disturb the plane even worse than a hundred phones at full power. Anyway, that's exactly what they do on ground vehicles in Iraq and such places to avoid cell phone operated road side bombs.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
FedExFalcon
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:18 am

Well I've decided to break down and finally write my first post on A.net after being only a reader for a while!

Cell phones and MP3 players are probably the more widely used electronic devices, but I'd always heard that any electronic devices have the potential to interefere with aircraft systems, not just cell phones. Most of the time when I fly the FA's always ask everyone to switch all portable electronic devices off, and when we reach cruise altitude they give permission to turn them on with the exception of cell phones.

I know there have been many studies on this. Somewhere I saw a joke about a "Murphy's Law" of research that says something like, "Enough research will always tend to support your theory". So it all depends on what you're looking for and how the research is conducted.
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." - Albert Einstein
 
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tomascubero
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:25 am

Very interesting, what I always do is during a flight, is switch my phone to "Flight Mode" where it simply blocks off any comms and allows me to keep using my Pocket PC. It would be great though some system which could silently block signals from cell phones or like Tod said, sent all active cell phones that message and hopefully every 5 minutes so it would annoy the user and make it turn it off! Big grin
 
coerj
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:35 am

I can admit that sometimes I forget to turn off my mobile during take off, but usually when the anouncement is made during mid-flight or approach, I check and turn it off. Knowingly leaving your phone on is not acceptable, yet unfortunately very little can be done, and banning cellphones on board would outrage passengers. If only they could create a system that jams the cell phone frequency without interfering with the flight controls.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:43 am

Quoting ULMFlyer (Reply 30):
...things might get dicier as more modern planes are introduced and airlines switch from ILS to GPS approaches.

If that is the case, then aircraft designers have something to learn. My cell phone and my cheap $500 GPS navigator are spaced by about five inches in my car and working absolutely flawlessly in common. Both on internal antennas only.

And remember that the radio signal strength weakens with the square of the the distance. Meaning that at fifty inches distance my phone would disturb my GPS unit a hundred times less than at five inches.

Also the ground based TMC system works perfectly well on the GPS during phone calls.

I do hear a little "cell phone noise" on the car stereo when a call or SMS is approaching. But only on the right hand side speakers. It must be induction on totally unshilded speaker cables running inside the dashboard maybe just one or two inches behind the phone seat.

When I happen to forget the phone in the pocket of my jacket, then distance is 20-25 inches and there is no noise on the car stereo speakers.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
XXXX10
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:50 am

[quote=Analog,reply=27]The 732 is not fly-by-wire, so its controls are less likely to be affected by cell phones than other (FBW) aircraft (right?). [/quote

Not sure that this is the case. IIRC an A320 was tested by being bombarded with electrical signals before EIS and there was no effect on the FBW-although other systems may be effected (NAV radios auto pilot FMGS) at least you can turn these off.

I must confess to using my phone on a/c in -flight mode-primarily to use the MP3 player I presume this is ok as there is no transmission.
 
wing
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:52 am

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 28):
Quoting Analog (Reply 17):
IMHO no airline/pilot should ever fly an aircraft that they believe to be vulnerable to interference by cell phones.


So we should stop all the airline airplanes to ever fly again and also we should stop riding buses,trains,new generation cars and every other technological device since there is always a risk of cell phone interpherence.

The biggest problem lies here is with the cultural foundations of the people we generally carry on our airline and the lack of consistent policy against these sort of violations on behalf of the law enforcers and company officials.

As the LCC introduced in the Turkish skies,many bus passengers are now able to buyairline tickets and in a huge country like Turkey its a big revolution,which is very good.On the other hand most of these people have never been on an airplane before,causing big troubles nowadays.(I announced that we will be landing 5 minutes earlier than the schedule time in my PA and one passenger wrote a complaint letter about how we maybe endangering their lives by overspeeding the speed limits(as there are on the highways you know) He was only comparing it with the bus travel.
I wrote this to help you imagine the level of the thinking among some passengers.


Many times the violators handed to police at the arrival,leaves the airport faster than the other passengers and the crew as they ride directly to the police station right out of the airport and the prosecutor on duty lets him to leave in 5 minutes if none of the airplane's passengers or the crew come to complain about the person.

If you insist to complaint,the legal procedure is so long and painfull you give up at some place that you are only wasting your very valuable resting time.

There should be "ban" against the repetative violators among all the Turkey's airlines,once you're in the black list no one should sell you tickets but thats really hard in this country,since someones banned passenger is the bonus of the other company.



Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 28):
I could accept that a cell phone may make some noise on an unshielded PA speaker connection on an old airliner. If a cell phone typically emitting one watt could foul up an airliner the way described in this thread, then imagine what a terrorist could do with a ten kilowatt transmitter near an airport. Or what overflying a legal 100 kilowatt transmitter would mean. Or what about getting within fifty miles distance of an airport radar? !!!

The airport radar is compleately different than the interpherence of a cellphone trying to connect to the nearest station.Pilots are not making this up,there are many very credible publications of "potential" hazards of mobile phones to flight safety inclding the Airplane manufacturars,ALPA's.Unless otherwise published and accepted by the airline's own SOP's cell phones considered a HAZARD.(period)

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 28):
What scares me most is in fact that the flight crew chose to continue a flight on such a malfunctioning plane, and didn't get back to terra firma asap.

Airplanes are operated by series of procedures.These are first published by the manufacturar(Boeing in this case) adopted by the relevant Aviation authorities and finally company SOP's.If it is not changed recently,-my 2500 hours experienced memory of the 737- recalls an autopilot mulfunction as in this case doesn't require an immediate landing back to departure airport.

But if my explanation doesnt comfort you,and still scared ,you can always write it to the Boeing customer relations branch,to change the procedure,if they find your suggestion serious,and turns into a procedure,in the future pilots will return back immediately after a suspected mobile phone interpherence.Until then,what these guys did is not wrong  Wink
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Electech6299
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:57 am

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 28):
What scares me most is in fact that the flight crew chose to continue a flight on such a malfunctioning plane, and didn't get back to terra firma asap.

I guess you think every in-flight incident means a pilot should land- which is a very bad procedure. The appropriate response is to run checklists and diagnose the problem.

How would you like trying to land an airliner without ILS or NAV systems operational? But by your procedure, you would do just that, rather than trying to restore the systems to operation.

The plane isn't going to hit anything during cruise, as long as the pilots can maintain their assigned heading and ATC has them on radar. Trying to land is a different story. I'd rather they diagnose the problem in the air so the landing can be safer.

As to malfunctioning, I bet the mx crew didn't find anything wrong with that aircraft. The avionics were doing exactly what they were told to do (by the interfering signals, anyway).
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
Analog
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:15 am

Quoting Wing (Reply 38):

So we should stop all the airline airplanes to ever fly again and also we should stop riding buses,trains,new generation cars and every other technological device since there is always a risk of cell phone interpherence.

I sounded a bit more extreme than I meant to, but in respect to the OP, if the pilot of an aircraft specifically believes that safety of flight related systems were seriously impacted by cell phones, then he should not operate that aircraft again (carrying pax) until he no longer believes the aircraft's safety-of-flight related systems to be vulnerable in such a significant way.

I certainly would not argue that a potential or theoretical vulnerability could justify not flying, but if a pilot truely believes that cell phones caused such serious failures, he/she should at least insist on additional investigations to resolve the issue.

Otherwise the pax and luggage should be fully searched for cell phones to make sure that they are off (yes, this is absurd).

I am not saying that I believe that cell phones caused such failures; I am not an expert and my beliefs do not matter. It is what the pilot in command believes that is important (plus the regs and procedures, of course).
 
gh123
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:21 am

Do you know for sure that the phones were the reasons for the trouble?

I fly private often and I am able to use my phone all the time - in a much closer distance from the cockpit - never had a problem. Sanctioned by the pilot also.

To add pilots use their phones all the time - not to mention the phones in bags which people actually thought that they had turned off but were actually on.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:23 am

Quoting COERJ (Reply 35):
If only they could create a system that jams the cell phone frequency without interfering with the flight controls.

Those systems exist. Many thousand such systems are in use every day these days. And, dear COERJ, you paid for most of them on your very own tax receipt.

But they will never be legal for anything but military wartime use.

On an airliner they would have two adverse effects:

1. It would only create more unwanted radio noise on the plane, while the purpose should be the opposite.

2. It would jam also cell phones outside the plane. During take-off and landing maybe in the terminal building. But certainly for people outside the airport near the runway ends.

Every military vehicle in Iraq and Afghanistan has that jamming system. And they jam a lot more than just cell phones. Exactly what they do is of course classified. And they are made to automatically erase the software when attemp is made to "open the box".

One can only guess that common radio controlled models bands as well as CB- and HAM bands are also well covered. But sure it doesn't end there.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Electech6299
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:35 am

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 36):
If that is the case, then aircraft designers have something to learn. My cell phone and my cheap $500 GPS navigator are spaced by about five inches in my car and working absolutely flawlessly in common. Both on internal antennas only....I do hear a little "cell phone noise" on the car stereo when a call or SMS is approaching. But only on the right hand side speakers. It must be induction on totally unshilded speaker cables running inside the dashboard maybe just one or two inches behind the phone seat....When I happen to forget the phone in the pocket of my jacket, then distance is 20-25 inches and there is no noise on the car stereo speakers.

Your extremely limited example is riddled with flaws. You are making a comparison of one cell phone in one mode of operation in one orientation to one rather limited GPS unit. The digital interference you hear on your analog speakers is an indication that the cell phone can and does emit RF interference. Your limited observation that you don't hear interference when the cell phone is in your pocket is practically useless. At what level of interference would you audibly hear the interference from your phone on your car stereo? How does that compare to the literally thousands of phones on the hundreds of aircraft systems that operate with digital signals?

Quoting Analog (Reply 40):
Otherwise the pax and luggage should be fully searched for cell phones to make sure that they are off (yes, this is absurd).

Not absurd at all. I am an avid supporter of collecting cell phone batteries at boarding and returning them as the aircraft rolls to the gate. You don't need your phone in flight. If you want to use an MP3 player, they can be had for $30- or use the IFE, that's what it's there for.

If you're too busy to go without your phone for a flight of a few hours, then you're too busy to fly. Take a train instead- you'll get a lot more done.
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
cjbmibe
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:37 am

Quoting XXXX10 (Reply 37):
I must confess to using my phone on a/c in -flight mode-primarily to use the MP3 player I presume this is ok as there is no transmission

It depends on how you access the MP3 player, on Sony Ericsson phones there is an option at startup to use the full phone or the walkman feature, and most new Nokia's have an "Offline" mode at the bottom of the Off Button menu.
If the phone is Offline or Walkman Only then its fine, otherwise it may interfere a little.

It doesnt surprise me that people are using phones inflight, the general public see reports about EK & FR allowing phones onboard and AFAIK TP, AF & BD are trialing the systems. So Joe Public sees the report and doesnt make the distinction that the trial has not been approved or gone live yet so they just use the phone as normal without seeking assistance or actually listening to the announcements to turn off the electrical goods.

Can someone answer me this, why do plain & simple MP3 players, portable DVD players and portable game consoles get bundled with phones in the announcements and need to be turned off when they don't transmit? "Please ensure all blah blah ... turned off as they may interfere with the aircraft systems"

[Edited 2007-01-12 01:49:11]
How can I soar like an Eagle when I have to work with these turkeys?
 
YYZatcboy
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:44 am

because they want you to be paying attention to what is going on around you, so if you crash they can get you out (A La AF A340 overrun in YYZ)
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prebennorholm
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:19 am

Dear Wing, I appreciate your very detailed reply #38.

And I should of course not give you advice about how to handle fault procedures in your front office, my bad.

But let's look at the facts:

I'm not flying as an airline pax every day, not even every week, but sometimes several times a week. When the plane is descending from altitude, then I do not always hear an SMS come in on a nearby seat. But I do hear exactly that more often than not.

Only in Europe there are some 25,000 airliner operations each day. My statistics tell me that more than half of those planes take of and land with at least one cell phone switched on all way.

If that was a safety issue, then why does it not have an entirely different priority?

Many thousand of those 25,000 ops are in terrible weather, in darkness, inside clouds, fog, snow and rain. Often in terrible turbulence as well, if not created by God, then at least at busy airports by the plane in front. Everything totally dependent upon electronic gadgets in the plane.

I just don't get it if planes, which have a safety issue with cell phones, can be allowed to fly.

Here in little Denmark, in 2005 our local CAA received 3,855 "flight safety reports", down from 4,202 the previous year, 90% from commercial aviation. It was everything from a bird strike, a faulty number on a load sheet, a TCAS activation, a low oil pressure reading, or an avionics malfunction. Endless pages on their web site analyse those data. But cell phones are not mentioned at all !!!

How come? I just don't get it.

It cannot be only because 737 classics have practically disappeared from the Danish aircraft register.  Wink
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Analog
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phon

Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:25 am

Quoting Gh123 (Reply 41):
Do you know for sure that the phones were the reasons for the trouble?

If the PIC believes they were, then it's his/her job to address the problem so that the safety-of-flight related issue is resolved to his/her satisfaction.
 
dampfnudel
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:38 am

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 45):
because they want you to be paying attention to what is going on around you, so if you crash they can get you out (A La AF A340 overrun in YYZ)

That's one reason. Another reason is they also don't want your gadgets flying through the cabin if the "you know what" hits the fan.
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Analog
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RE: For God's Sake, Switch Off Your Damn Cell Phones..

Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:52 am

Quoting Dampfnudel (Reply 48):
That's one reason. Another reason is they also don't want your gadgets flying through the cabin if the "you know what" hits the fan.

That's why books and babies must be put away during takeoff and landing, right?  Wink

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