Something to remember the next that you are on your cell phone and the airline stewardess tells you to turn it off

So what is the cost from people having to cut short what can sometimes be important calls or responding to important emails? Here is a pretty strongly worded article from ABC News:

As far as having any basis whatsoever in fact or science (that the electronic signals from all your equipment might interfere with anything on the aircraft's systems), the answer is a resounding NO.

Confused? So is the FAA, which has essentially refused to undertake the appropriate research on this issue since cell phones popped up in the mid-80's.

Back then, when handheld cell phones were as big as a brick and put out a whopping five watts of analog power, the FAA turned to the Federal Communications Commission and asked whether such devices were safe. "Does it look like we have wings?" was the unofficial response of one FCC staffer at the time -- an individual who helped draft the letter back to FAA pointing out none too delicately that things that flew were the FAA's responsibility, not the FCC's.

The FAA disagreed, of course, and after more than a quarter century, both federal agencies are still in a standoff with neither willing to put forth the funds and the time to determine once and for all whether passenger electronics have any scientifically-proven potential of disrupting an airliner's equipment to the degree of compromising safety. . . .

In fact, despite thousands of pages written on the subject, there has never been a single U.S. incident of interference investigated and scientifically confirmed beyond question. Not one.

On every commercial flight, every hour of every day, there is at least one cell phone still on during takeoff and landing. People forget, they refuse or they just don't know how to turn the things off. How do we know? The devices ring!

There are 32,000 commercial flights per day over the U.S. alone. That means we test the hypothesis that personal electronics can interfere with aircraft systems 32,000 times per day just over the U.S., and yet we have not a single, solitary confirmed instance.

But here's the outrageous part: If there was even a slight chance that personal electronics could be dangerous -- and knowing that people don't turn all of them off in flight -- why would any sane regulator or airline allow even one device aboard with the battery attached?



Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Government idiocy at it's finest.

Let us suppose for a moment that very small gadgets, that operate as transcievers really could impart an electrical current into another device to the point of actually disrupting, or disabling said device. If this were true, we would have seen such a capability used against many targets. Why use explosives, when a cell phone will do just fine?

In reality, there are only two ways that I can think of that will achieve a disruption of an electrical device to the point of inoperabilty, or destruction: Nuclear Weapon, or an EMP bomb.

Nukes are somewhat tough to get a hold, or so I am told. An EMP device is possible, but that requires a knowledge of explosives, and electrical theory at a College graduate level.

Even if one constructed an EMP device, the range would be limited, as the propagation of the EMP is determined by the strength of the EM field, and the detonation rate of the explosive that has to be perfect so as not to destroy the EMP via the plasma travel rate (detonation speed) being so fast that it destroys the EMP, or too slow that it does not 'push' the EMP.

Either way, such a device would be rather bulky, and easy to detect.

Years ago, folks made fun of Soviet Military Aircraft, because they utilized vaccum tubes, instead of transistors. Nukes were the reason why they did this, because vaccum tubes are resistant to EMP's.

Yes, I realize that we do not employ vaccum tubes in airliners, but has it ever occured to anyone that lightning strikes on aircaft occur on a regular basis, yet even at that extreme level of voltage, airplanes are not affected?

On the lighter side of things, one buddy told me that the only way the Detroit Lions could win eleven games this season, would be if every teams airplane fell out of the sky all at once.

Hmmmm, where did I put my cell phone?

12/28/2011 11:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home