Time To Challenge Airline Paranoia On Wireless

from the second-that dept

We've discussed this issue on Techdirt a few times in the past, but here's Guy Kewney taking a stand on something I believe in as well: it's time that the airlines (or regulatory officials) explain to us what exactly is the problem with using wireless devices on a plane. Right now, the best we can get is that there "could be" a problem - but no one seems to have answers to what those problems might be. At the same time, there has yet to be one recorded incident of problems with mobile phones or WiFi devices being used on airplanes. Kewney points out that on almost every flight he's been on lately, at least one mobile phone has started ringing in flight (meaning someone left it on - whether on purpose or not). I was on a flight recently where someone in the seat behind me made three or four phone calls during the flight. I have a friend who routinely leaves his Blackberry device on while on airplanes, so he can check his email. The article says that some pilots even keep their phones on in the cockpit while they're in the air. The other reason (not mentioned in the article) that is often mentioned for banning in-flight phone use is that it messes with carriers' towers - but even that doesn't seem to have much evidence behind it. The only reasonable argument I've heard for banning phones on planes is so that we're not trapped next to someone yakking away for hours on a cross-country flight.
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  1. identicon
    dorpus, 28 Apr 2003 @ 10:17pm

    Re: a couple of data points...

    Yup, resonance is an amazing thing. One time, when I was bounce-juggling 4 rubber balls in a synchronized pattern, the floor of the room (solid concrete with linoleum tile) suddenly sank an inch beneath my feet momentarily. I imagine an analogous phenomenon with electromagnetic waves could produce jolts of disruptive energy.

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