Researchers Say, Just Trust Us On This One -- Phones and Planes Don't Mix
from the here-comes-the-science! dept
There's been plenty of debate about the real danger of using mobile phones during airplane flights, with various governmental agencies re-examining the current ban. Traditional thinking held that wireless devices and even many common pieces of consumer electronics could interfere with planes' cockpit instruments, but the technical issues looked to be easily overcome (unlike the social issues). Now, though, a group of researchers say that phones and other devices can interfere with aircraft systems "even more so than previously believed".. The researchers can't point to any incident that's definitively been caused by an electronic device, but, in a tribute to specificity, say they're sure something will happen, sometime. The researchers add their studies show that on every commercial flight in the northeast US, an average of one to four cell phone calls are made. Combine this with what must be the huge number of devices accidentally left on by travelers, and it's hard to see reality backing up their prediction. We should stress that it's not just phones they're saying are dangerous, but all sorts of electronic devices. But given the number of computers, MP3 players, video game machines and other devices in use on pretty much every flight -- and the startling lack of problems they've caused -- it's doubtful this research will be taken too seriously.