When you travel by plane, you are always told to turn off your mobile phone and other electronic devices. You can also set it into flight mode. Most people do it without complaining but there are always many people, who neglect this request. The flight attendant is not checking everyone’s phone. This is a matter of your own safety. Is it crucial? Is it really necessary to switch all devices?
The Truth About Mobile Devices
If someone asks you why you switch your phone, you will probably say that they interfere with the pilot’s system. It is a general assumption that the signal can somehow affect navigation system. However, some flight attendants say that it is more a precaution. This idea is backed up by the words of some pilots. For instance, old laptops emit energy that can be hazardous. This increases the risk but does not mean that something will necessarily happen. In fact, interference of cell phones that could be heard by the pilots in the headsets, reminds the sound that you can hear from the radio affected by the phone. Just imagine how much it irritates the pilots, if at least 5 people on the plane do not switch off their phones.
The Federal Aviation Administration takes safety seriously. Safety of the plane and passengers is not where you can try luck and risk. This is the reason why the Administration prohibits usage of the phones. There are a lot of researches conducted to verify whether signals from other devices affects plane’s system. The truth is that there is a huge difference between avionics and constantly evolving industry of consumer electronics. In avionics progress is not quick and more cautious. Consumer electronics is evolving, and sometimes it is hard to keep up with its pace.
Despite uncertainties expressed by the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency believes that e-devices do not present any hazard. The Agency has conducted its own researches to clear the prohibition. In the future, passengers will be allowed to use laptops and cell phones any time when being on the board of the plane.
Nevertheless, experts do not recommend violating the old rule. There are at least two known plane crashes where electronic devices could be the reason of failure. The first one happened in Switzerland in 2001. Some signals interferes with autopilot. The second one was in New Zealand in 2003. As there are no guarantees, it is better to keep switching off e-devices to ensure your own safety.