US Senator fights for the right to use the iPad from takeoff to landing

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by RaduTyrsina, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. RaduTyrsina

    RaduTyrsina News Team

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    jetstar_inFlight_ipads.jpg
    We have all been there, eager to check our electronic devices but unable to do so when we’re on a plane, so we have to wait to land, in order to see if we received that important message or email. After such a particularly unsatisfactory experience, Missouri Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill, wrote a letter to the FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, in which she mentioned her concern related to the “lack of engagement†directed to the problem of prolonging the use of electronic devices while flying. She claimed that the current rule of passengers being prohibited to use even their iPods while the jet is in motion is absolutely “preposterousâ€.

    Of course, if the FAA accepts to change rules, they will not apply this to smartphones or cell phones in generally, but to tablets such as the iPad, music players and other non harmful devices. Some might wonder what a Senator might know about air travel safety, but she assured everyone saying that neither members of the public nor lawmakers consider that the FAA regulations are about safety anymore.

    McCaskill started tackling the issue back in December when she highlighted the “intransigence†of the FAA regarding electronic devices, especially since flight crews will be allowed to use “electronic flight bags†on board while the plane is in motion.

    The response of the FAA was pretty vague, stating that they too share the McCaskill’s intent of “taking a fresh look at the issuesâ€. However, the response was not to McCaskill’s liking. She still maintains:

    “Simply put, electronic devices that are currently allowed above 10,000 feet should be allowed for use during all phases of flight. It is preposterous to think that an e-reader in a passenger’s hands during takeoff is any more a threat to other passengers or crew members than a hardback book.â€

    Source: Politico
     
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  2. Good karma

    Good karma iPad Addict

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  3. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    People are ignoring the rules and using all sorts of electronic devices on planes during takeoff and landing. Well, everyone expect me. :)
     
  4. thewitt

    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    The FAA tests were never actually done by the FAA to begin with...

    They were performed in a lab environment in the UK.

    The radio frequencies used to interfere with the avionics were transmitted at power levels far exceeding what can be achieved with a cell phone.

    There are no technical reasons why portable electronics are not allowed during all stages of flight.
     
  5. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A cell phone? What about when there are 300 cell phones?
     
  6. s2mikey

    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I blame it on this day and age of people not being able to put down their gadget for more than five seconds. My goodness. Take a chill pill, people. How did the world ever sustain itself prior to instant communication feedback? Geesh....
     
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  7. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to agree with you on this....whether there is potential for bringing the plane down or not (very probably not), people ought to get a grip and follow the rules until they can be changed. If a plane went down due to interference due to radiating gadgets, everyone would be ready to sue.
     
  8. cwinter

    cwinter iPF Novice

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    I'm glad our politicians are tackling the most pressing issues the country faces, such as not being able to use ones iPad at all stages of the flight; an issue affecting the vast majority of the people and causing incomprehensible grief and anguish. I feel my tax dollars are being spent wisely.
     
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  9. Sonicrobby

    Sonicrobby iPad Junkie

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    I don't understand why people just can't wait 5 minutes until they are in the air. My opinion is people are too addicted to their electronics nowadays... Here's an idea, have a conversation with the person next to you, make new friends instead of staring into a screen like its your soul :p
     
  10. iJamesH

    iJamesH iPad Junkie

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    Wait until Sen McCaskill's plane goes down because she had to play Angry Birds!
     
  11. miket5au

    miket5au iPad Fan

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    There is zero chance of emissions from mobile devices affecting an aircraft. However it is obvious from the responses here that a lot of people still believe it is. We all watch too many Movies. There are lots of shows that show what really happens. Mythbusters does a fairly good job most of the time - big exception is the Lie Detector episode (the Lie detector machine is bogus - the operator is the one deciding if you are lying).

    One reason that you are not supposed to use an iPod (and it was walkmen before that) before takeoff is that they want you to pay attention to the warning / instructional videos and air safety announcements. Originally the emissions from mobile devices were feared to interfere with communications but that has been proven long ago to be a baseless fear.

    Do you think 300 mobile phones in an aircraft which is on the ground, then taxi-ing for takeoff, then taking off and so on are emitting as much interference as the signals from the mobile towers and all the other sources of radiation and radio waves that are outside the aircraft? How about all the TV screen and entertainment systems in modern aircraft? Your mobile / tablet / MP3 player will not even register a blip. I bet less than half the people on a plane even put their phones into aircraft mode (or even know how to).
     
  12. AQ_OC

    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Boy....Mythbusters is the best you can do? :)

    Mobile phones on aircraft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Not all electronics emit energy at the same frequencies, so you cannot compare TV and entertainment systems (which are off during take off anyway) to phones or other devices that use wifi, cellular and bluetooth radios.

    The field of unintentional upset of electronic devices and systems is an area of active research. It's a hard thing to get a grasp on because the conditions will may result in upset may not always exist at any given time. And just because people don't know how to use airplane mode is no reason to set policy. Nor it is a reason to ignore it. You are not asked to put your phone in airplane mode, you are asked to turn if off during takeoff and landing.
     
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  13. fb si

    fb si iPF Novice

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    Romney was cracking a joke. The media just ran with it and made it look like he was being serious.
     
  14. cwinter

    cwinter iPF Novice

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    Boy, stop watching Mythbusters. They're not professionals, you know?

    The FCC mandated maximum transmission power of mobiles phones is restricted to 200 mW. This corresponds to 23 dBm. Every doubling of the user-base will raise the dBm maximum emissions by 3 dB. Hence, for 1 user it is 23 dBm, 2 users 26, 4 users 29 and so on. 256 users corresponds a maximum possible emission of 47 dBM which is equal to 50 Watts! That is very well one target to the maximum output power a cellular tower can provide. However, cell phones are certainly not always transmitting at full power, it depends on the radio characteristics of the environment they are in and what they are doing.

    As AQ_OC points out, the shared frequency is really the issue here, not so much the transmit power. In addition to that, passive intermodulation would have to be taken into account. That is, many mobiles on a different frequency can cause harmonics in another frequency that might cause interference. Turn your dang phone off when they tell you to, because they do have good reasons. Not all are based on possible interference but some are.
     
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  15. Mesqueunclub

    Mesqueunclub iPad Junkie

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    My own view is that there are far more important issues to address than the use of iPads and other electronic devices during take off and landing. Surely it is not much to ask that passengers obey the rules (big ask). Soon we will be asking to light up during take off and landing! I know this is probably an unpopular view with 'the freedom for use of electronic devices on aircraft and the like' but what is the big deal, seriously? AQ is spot on with his comments.
     
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