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Thread: Airlines, The Hidden Danger

  1. #1

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    Airlines, The Hidden Danger

    Most of us who are pilots know that airlines, at least the U S majors have an superb safety record these days, They may be indifferent or even rude,but not unsafe, and safer than driving or flying our own planes.

    But there is a huge risk factor that most pilots dont think about and that we dont have any way of controlling even if we are alerted to it. It's the "not in airplane mode" for cell phones. You have no way of knowing if all the other passengers actually put their phones in "airplane mode" when politely asked to do so by the friendly, personable, patient Flight Attendant. And what if passengers dont instantly comply? That's courting disaster, all manner of malfunctions may occur. Engine failure, smoke in the cabin, part of the gear not retracting and not lowering fully for landing, all nav/com radios going blank.

    Try it yourself, in your own plane, the next time you fly, just leave your cell phone on in normal mode. If you really want to make it an unbiased trial, have a rear seat passenger turn their phone on and off without telling you when. But beware of the consequences, and be prepared to use all your best pilot skills to deal with any emergency.

    Now a few of you may be skeptics, you might even point out that logically if a cell phone could really affect a plane in flight, then terrorist might have an easy time, just board a dozen or so with cell phones.
    But let's not bring logic into the discussion, and using logic with an angry F A is going to be as successful as trying to talk the Pepsi machine into vending you a Coke.

  2. #2
    I tried it. Everything worked fine except I couldn't get the gear to retract on the Citabria.

  3. #3
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
    I tried it. Everything worked fine except I couldn't get the gear to retract on the Citabria.
    Had a major deviation on the Fly Baby's Flight Management System when I tried it....

    Ron "The rubber band broke" Wanttaja

  4. #4

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    I'm with you, Bill. Likely to happen in A/C less than about 20 yrs old. I used to fly the Sikorsky 76. They had all the bells and whistles to tell you when something broke. Including a smoke/fire detection system for the baggage compartment. When it was certified, the technology was the same as a household smoke detector. It was inspected by a tech climbing in with a lighted cigar. About 2005 I was handed the latest model, A S-76 "Charlie plus" and sent off to Flight Safety at KPBI to learn how t fly it. The experts there told us that the new baggage fire detection was different. It could be set off by cell phones. You may NOT operate an aircraft with a RED warning light on and a horn blaring. And you may NOT disable the warning system by pulling the breaker. Most cell phone users were intercepted and at the departure terminal. (I flew out the same facility shown in the movie Deep Water Horizen) Out on the ship, we depended on the deck crew to ensure compliance with the cell restriction. There is always one guy. 100 miles out there is no signal. The phone shifts to high power searching and sets of the alarm. Then it requires a return to the ship (with fire crew alerted). Unload the passengers and baggage until we find the phone. Then resume the flight with thirty minutes less gas.

  5. #5
    gbrasch's Avatar
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    I am surrounded by retired airline pilots at my home base, they all say the same thing, it is bunk to think any of these devices will interfere. Just my, wait, their 2 cents.
    Glenn Brasch
    Tucson, Arizona
    2013 RV-9A / 1952 Piper Tri-Pacer
    Medevac helicopter pilot (Ret)
    EAA member since 1980
    Owner, "Airport Courtesy Cars" website.
    www.airportcourtesycars.com
    www.facebook.com/airportcourtesycars
    Volunteer Mentor www.SoAZTeenAviation.org

  6. #6
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Non-issue. Iíve done it lots of times in my plane, both intentionally and unintentionally, and havenít noticed or experienced any issues. Iím with Glenn on this one. Folks have been flying on airlines with cell phones and laptops for decades now, and for over 10 years with tablets. So Iím thinking that any issue would have manifested itself long ago.
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  7. #7

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    Read the original post again. Any chance it was a tongue in cheek post from Bill after having been admonished about phone/tablet use on an airline flight?

  8. #8
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    Read the original post again. Any chance it was a tongue in cheek post from Bill after having been admonished about phone/tablet use on an airline flight?
    I can never tell with him— just assumed it wasn’t sarcasm,
    Todd Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

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