Have A Safe Flight. Turn Off Your Cell Phone!

Passenger Electronic devices can make air travel unsafe.How many of us tend to ignore those routine announcements during airplane flights to turn off our cell phones, our blackberries, iPods…I mean really, what difference is one cell phone going to make!   Well a recent report from Brian Ross, ABC News’ Chief Investigative Correspondent, reveals why passenger electronic devices can make air travel unsafe!

A confidential industry study obtained by ABC News revealed some 75 instances over the last six years in which airline pilots and engineers connected cell phones with serious safety issues.  One example was a 747 at 4500 feet where the autopilot disengaged by itself.  Flight attendants were sent throughout the cabin and found four passengers operating electronic devices.  When the passengers did finally turned them off the aircraft proceeded without further incident.

David Carson, Technical Associate at Boeing, explained that there is wireless equipment installed overhead and throughout the aircraft and the emission from just one electronic device can throw off this sensitive equipment if that cell phone emission goes to the right place at the right time.

Boeing engineers are especially concerned about planes landing in low visibility conditions and having to depend on their instrument landing systems.  Cell phone signals may cause their instruments to give them a false reading such as indicating you are to the left of the runway when you are in fact to the right. Or may just completely wipe out the signal altogether, giving no indication as to where you are coming in.

At Boeing’s electronic testing lab in Seattle engineers showed ABC News how some devices can throw off signals that are greater than what Boeing says are acceptable limits. A Blackberry, an IPhone, and an IPad showed clock circuitry emitting several spikes over the limit.

Brian reported that newer aircraft are being designed to be better shielded from the electronic device interference but aviation experts say that there are still many, many aircraft on the ground and in the air that are not completely shielded and it will be years before any change in the rules can be considered.

So please folks, Don’t Take Chances With Our Lives. Turn Off Your Electronic Devices When Requested!

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