Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices
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    Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Why the heck can't we build an airplane that doesn't go haywire from simple electrical devices like an Apple iPod ??

    "...A single Blackberry or iPad can cause the auto pilot to disengage and critical warning lights to come on, testers discovered.
    The instruments which guide pilots in bad weather can also be affected by the electrical signals from such devices - with potentially catastrophic consequences...."




    Southwest Airlines passenger arrested after refusing to turn off cell phone | Mail Online


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Electronic devices aren't likely to to mess up an airplane's communication system; there's virtually no chance that it could happen. But when a pilot has to hear the flight crew perfectly to launch a 40 ton metal rocket into the sky, do you really want to take that chance just so you can listen to the latest Nerdist podcast?

    Why do all Electronics Have to be Turned Off for Takeoff and Landing?


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    I'm pretty sure they aren't screwed up by electronic devices, but I don't know why they would have you turn them off before take off if they weren't.

    And also in before Plane on Treadmill comment.



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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    They don't do anything to the plane.

    When I have had opportunities to fly private for work the crew always tells you that you are welcome to use any electronic devices, this includes cell phones.

    However cell phones don't tend to work very well because you are flying a lot faster then you drive and therefore the phone goes from tower to tower and is always droppng calls. Texting works okay.



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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    I remember seeing something that said standard wiring insulation in a plane will prevent any issues. That being said, airlines don't want to take the risk of having a plane crash because there was wiring that didn't have standard insulation.



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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    They tested this on mythbusters and busted it.

    Annotated Mythbusters: Episode 49: Cellphones on Planes and Helium Raft

    The final explanation is that, even though the airplanes appear to be well-shielded against cellphone interference, there are so many different electronics in a cockpit, as well as so many different cellphones constantly coming out, the FAA doesn't want to do the necessary testing.



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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    I read an IEEE article about this in an electromagnetics class.

    Basically electronics(even ones that don't transmit EM waves via antennas such as cell phones), still radiate very small amounts of energy. The thing about airplanes is that if electronics are placed at certain points inside the aluminum hull, it can cause these extremely small EM waves to resonate, and become very large and potentially harmful to the sensitive antennas and other things located on the outside or cockpit of the plane.

    Basically what I gleaned from the study and experiments is that I don't believe things like cell phones or wireless cards should be allowed to used on planes at ANY time during the flight, due to the sensitive antennas used on aircraft. And small electronics should be allowed to be used only when the plane is at cruising altitude. (i.e. if something is affected at that altitude the pilot will have enough time to detect that it's going on and tell everyone in the plane they must turn their electronics off) Not claiming to be an expert but I feel like that's what IEEE was getting at, and they probably know better than I do :p


    Last edited by digZ; 09-07-2011 at 07:29 PM.

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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    It's a "better safe than sorry" scenario. Cell phones probably don't cause problems as is, but the category of "handheld electronic devices" is a pretty broad one, and there are likely devices out there that could cause problems with the plane's systems. Rather than have flight attendants police every single handheld device to determine if it's okay to be powered on during takeoff and landing, they just issue a blanket statement that all of them have to be turned off. Seems pretty logical to me.


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Just the man trying to get us to put away our iPads and read through the SkyMall magazine.



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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Quote Originally Posted by sdillon500 View Post
    Electronic devices aren't likely to to mess up an airplane's communication system; there's virtually no chance that it could happen. But when a pilot has to hear the flight crew perfectly to launch a 40 ton metal rocket into the sky, do you really want to take that chance just so you can listen to the latest Nerdist podcast?

    Why do all Electronics Have to be Turned Off for Takeoff and Landing?

    Of course not; but it begs the question, why not build airplanes that dont' get screwed up by a simple 3-volt electrical device??

    Not an electrical engineer, but I believe iPods don't send out any wireless signals, and come on, how much EMF can that dinky device generate?


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Shockin View Post
    They don't do anything to the plane.

    When I have had opportunities to fly private for work the crew always tells you that you are welcome to use any electronic devices, this includes cell phones.

    .
    And one would think those smaller planes would be much more susceptible to EMF interference.


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    On and one more gripe; who was the Moron who designed the coach class seat configuration ??


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Quote Originally Posted by Go2Guy View Post
    On and one more gripe; who was the Moron who designed the coach class seat configuration ??
    And what's the deal with airplane food, am I right folks?


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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    I had a flight attendant tell me that even IF it didn't do anything to the plane/avionics the airlines would still want devices off because most emergencies happen during take-off and landing and they wan your full attention and they don't want [extra] debris flying around if something bad happens.



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    Re: Are Airplanes Really Messed Up By Electrical Devices

    Quote Originally Posted by driegner View Post
    I had a flight attendant tell me that even IF it didn't do anything to the plane/avionics the airlines would still want devices off because most emergencies happen during take-off and landing and they wan your full attention and they don't want [extra] debris flying around if something bad happens.
    For those of us who travel on planes frequently and hate cellphone talkers, lets just assume that any stray electronic emanation will greatly increase the chances of a cataclysmic air calamity. That way I just have to stew about the crappy seat partner next to me and not hearing the jerk 5 rows back calling his peeps.



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