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Passenger doesn't switch his phone to flight mode - gets over $2000 fine

It is something every traveller is familiar with - turning off your phone when a plane is taking off or landing, or at least switching it to flight mode. But one British passenger found out the costly way of ignoring the crew's request. Aaron McWilliam was flying from Amsterdam to Exeter last December on a Flybe jet when he refused to switch his phone to airplane mode before take-off, reports the Daily Mail. ( More...

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DanWardlaw 5
Serves him right! If he doesn't want to obey the rules then he should get dinged!
Allan Bowman 2
Given the speed at which new cell phones and their many built in radio technologies, it would be virtually impossible to test and "certify" phones as producing no harmful EMI. Therefore it is logical that airlines prefer a ban rather than the alternative of testing every unit against different avionics and navigational equipment.
Allan Bowman 2
Errata, should technologies are BROUGHT TO MARKET.
Any Electronic Device which can infringe with the AirCraft Operating System is a Potential Hazard for everyone . Even after repeated requested , if he did not turn it off the flight mode or Switched off the phone , ideally this should be the package .Repeat offenders should not be allowed to board the plane and they should be black listed . Only Strict actions can keep such indiscipline people disciplined
Its a pity that Commercial jets were not fitted with ejector seats for all passengers. That way when the aircrew have an issue with a obnoxious passenger like this , when they reach V2 they can eject them from the plane.
No doubt this person was lacking in the grey matter
Allan Bowman 2
This King of the Universe learned he isn't. Excellent.
I support submission to all rules regardless of opinions of the situations but just to note that until now all the info. collected state that there is no effect of mobiles and electronic devise to safety of airplanes . Also I read here that a lot of pilots don't even adhere to this regulation themselves. Still I agree to obey regulations under all circumstances.
Mike Gillis 2
Actually a colleague of mine has seen cases of EMI from cellular phones in particular:

- radio interference (imagine what effect would be on Datalink / CPDLC if it is audible on voice channels)
- cargo door open indication
- other effects I either can't remember or discuss in a public forum

Quite a nuisance when you're doing an EMI test and someone has left their cellular phone on.

WiFi on the other hand is quite benign.

One other consideration is the fact that while modern aircraft are well protected given requirement to meet HIRF criteria, older airplanes are more susceptible. Also consider that modern refers to certification basis and not age since airplanes like the B737 have a very old certification basis!

ariana suppa 1
Yes! Finally someone who understands how dangerous a phone can be to a plane! i said something like this on youtube and got kicked around for it.
An ejector seat springs to mind.
ariana suppa 1
was that a pun?
Ant Miraa 1
even if the cell phone doesnt interfere with the aircraft, rules are rules. If the cabin crew says put it away etc, then do it. Take off and landing, the passenger should be alert and aware of what is going on around them, I think that is one of the reasons for the rule.
You don't even have to have a mobile! If the Captain decides he doesn't like the look of your face you are off the flight!
I think somehow all your points are valid but I don't think that we should be jumping on this single person for disobeying orders. Maybe he was caught using his mobile at that time, but the question how many of us people do really obey orders when they exist such as in a plane. The question again how many people do shut their mobiles or electronic devices during take off or landing. There are actually no way of finding out for real but I think it is a matter of awareness and respect to live with rules and regulations which are made to serve general public and keep them safe such as traffic regulations. I think we should be more clear about why those rules were put in the first place and make people aware of the safety of all others including yourself. I still approve the rule of punishments since there is always a person who thinks he is above all. Thank you for reading my thoughts
Oh boy, what emotional jibber-jabber.
EMC or electromagnetic compliance or compatibility ensures that no waves can penetrate and disturb aircraft instruments, the avionics.
If this were not the case, planes could not fly as we have ground antennae with 100 times the power output of a portable device.
That's also why airlines have lifted the ban - what remains is the nuisance factor of obnoxious users.
Mobile phones are portable radio transmitters/Receivers and therefore can interfere. Everybody has heard the noise of a nearby or passing mobile if they are listening to a radio or tv. So that at least is interferance with voice radio. Whilst radio requencies are reserved for various functions the airwaves are full and it's easy for a mobile to waver. A fault that would normally go undetected but could compromise aircraft systems.
Everybody has a mobile so if they wre allowed on an aircraft you can imagine the chaos. 3-400 mobiles in close proximity all transmitting together.
For those that must stay connected 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Get a life! You're not going to get a signal halfway across the Pacific!!
jcsjcs 1
Since there are so many people who claim that cell phones cannot interefere with aircraft systems, basically "because that would be awful", I feel it's necessary to give post another angle of view.

Of course cell phones can interfere with aircraft systems. There were a lot of reports of pilots stating that they could clearly hear interference from cell phones in aircraft communications and that they even found out where in the plane to search for cell phones should that happen.

Aircraft systems may have become better since then, but claiming that interference is not possible is quite ignorant and leaves out the possibility of faults developed either in the aircraft system, making them susceptible to cell phone emissions, or faults in cell phones, resulting in much higher emissions.

Also, one should not forget that we're not talking about one cell phone, but about hundreds of cell phones on one plane. One cell phone may have a negligible effect, but multiplied by a few hundred the effect may become detrimental.

Nagib Tajdin 0
We are not talking about one cell phone, we are talking about the lives of hundreds of passengers.

Even if one believe that the cell phone interference is not a proven case, all the safety rules have to be followed, especially in a plane in flight mode.


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