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rickyd
19th September 2008, 09:46 PM
Hi guys.

Last night I flew up to Sydney from Melbourne, and planned to entertain myself by watching a TV Show on my iPhone.

I get on the plane, switch my iPhone into 'Airplane Mode', and start watching. These two wankers sitting next to me start telling me off because I have it turned on. They said I can't have it on until we are in the sky.

So I bite my tongue and sit there until we eventually get off the ground. I get 30 seconds into my show, and they're at me again, telling me to wait longer until the seatbelt sign is turned off.

Everyone else in the darn cabbin was listening to their iPods and whatnot, and these two bastards start bitching at me.

If I have my phone on 'Airplane Mode' - does that not mean I can use it on an Aeroplane?

Could someone please clarify this?
I don't mind if I am wrong, I am more angry at how these two guys spoke to me.

Ricky.

chrsha01
19th September 2008, 09:50 PM
This should reassure you:

http://img.skitch.com/20080919-fsshmb7h94nhaxy51i7qjhhb4u.preview.jpg (http://skitch.com/chrsha01/scij/iphone-user-guide.pdf-page-26-of-130)
Click for full size (http://skitch.com/chrsha01/scij/iphone-user-guide.pdf-page-26-of-130) - Uploaded with plasq (http://plasq.com)'s Skitch (http://skitch.com)

;)

dolbinau
19th September 2008, 09:50 PM
If people were using their iPods, then you should have been able to. Perhaps they were just nervous about flying and thought you'd kill them by turning it on :rolleyes:.

dev_enter
19th September 2008, 09:51 PM
Most planes will say you can't use any electronic devices until the plane levels out and turns off the seatbelt sign.

Huy
19th September 2008, 09:51 PM
If you turn on airplane mode, the wireless features of iPhone are disabled, and if allowed by the aircraft operator and applicable laws and regulations, you can continue to use the non-wireless features after takeoff.


no cell phone, radio, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth signals are emitted from iPhone.
Using iPhone on an airplane (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1644)

EDIT
Too slow.

jack112006
19th September 2008, 09:51 PM
Your right and their wrong: my uncle's an engineer and basically if they can have a seat-back screen on, then your iPhone w/ Airplane mode on won't harm anything.

decryption
19th September 2008, 09:52 PM
Are these people passengers or airline staff? If they're passengers, ignore them.

rickyd
19th September 2008, 09:57 PM
Are these people passengers or airline staff? If they're passengers, ignore them.

Passengers - that was what infuriated me more.

jeremy_warnock
19th September 2008, 10:00 PM
What you have to remember here is the pilot and aviation committee always have the last say, but having travelled a bit the general rule of thumb is no electronic devices of any kind until the seat-belt sign is off. Again this is up to the airline and their code of practice.

Some airlines wont allow the use of any phone, iphone or not in airplane mode at all. Always pays to have a backup ipod stuffed just incase

mitty
19th September 2008, 10:02 PM
Most planes will say you can't use any electronic devices until the plane levels out and turns off the seatbelt sign.

Correct. NO electronic devices can be used until the plane levels out and the seatbelt sign is switched off. If other people were using ipods then they should also be made to turn them off.

Some airlines now let you use mobiles on the ground until the plane pushes back.

Also obviously you must turn it off when the plane starts to descend.

dolbinau
19th September 2008, 10:02 PM
Can't you easily disguise the iPhone as an iPod Touch, though?

zootman
19th September 2008, 10:08 PM
The safety spiel that the crew go through basically say that all electronic items must be off until the seat belt sign is off. If your device has "airplane mode" then it should be put into that mode before turning off the device. Once the seat belt sign is extinguished, then the device can then be turned on and used (except for the wireless function ie phone, sms etc. as its in the airplan mode) for music and movies. Then when its time to land, then the device must be turned off until the cabin staff say you can turn it on.

Thats my interpretation anyway.

Just because some other passengers are using their ipods during take off and landing doesn't make it right. Oh, and the two wankers who told you off should've spoken to cabin staff, not to you directly. (Thats how I see it).

Cheers.

Rogerthatv2
19th September 2008, 10:10 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but I have flown quite a bit, from my understanding they are correct (they are also tools for bitching like they did about it) you cannot turn your computer, iPod etc on until the plane is in the Air and the seatbelt light has been turned off. The cabin crew will also advise you when they have started their decent to turn off your electronic items.

I have been told this is nothing to do with electronic interference but to have your attention during the take off / landing times but they use this as the excuse as to not create a panic. Alot of people will also sit there with earphones in but the unit off until this time, I do this.

A few weeks back whilst taxing into Heathrow Airport we passed the Concorde so I got out my camera and took a photo of it, some twit in front had a bitch about it to his wife, could have slapped him so I know how you feel when you have a tool have a go at you about it.

grorr76
19th September 2008, 10:25 PM
yeah your both rite ,your not allowed electronic gear of any sort until the plane has levelled out . No use when descending either.

dangelovich
19th September 2008, 10:39 PM
Your right and their wrong: my uncle's an engineer and basically if they can have a seat-back screen on, then your iPhone w/ Airplane mode on won't harm anything.

I always thought the rule is so people aren't distracted/oblivious/blocking the way if there is some kind of emergency during takeoff/landing, not because it supposedly interfered with the various aircraft systems.

mallo
19th September 2008, 11:35 PM
everyone is saying he's not allowed it until the seatbelt light is out...

but I have flown before and used an iPod with the seat belt on, I've also been told to turn it off.

I'd love to know what the difference between the interference when the seat belt light is on, as opposed to the interference it can cause when the light is off.

Having said that, the tools telling him off where fellow passengers, and not airline staff, so what they had to say was irrelevant, and should of backed off and mind their own business, and if they really had an issue, spoken to a airline staff member, who would then of either told him to turn it off, or informed the people that it was legit to have it on.

Lumus
19th September 2008, 11:49 PM
I disagree that if an airliner has in-seat entertainment that any other electronic device is ok to use. Aircraft units are specifically designed to prevent any kind of interference, iPhones (or anything else for that matter) may still cause issues. That's why the policies exist in the first place.

While I disagree with the fact other passengers were telling you what to do, they have every right to be concerned and should have just voiced the concerns to the F/A's on the plane.

Jaali
20th September 2008, 12:38 AM
I'd love to know what the difference between the interference when the seat belt light is on, as opposed to the interference it can cause when the light is off.


It's not about when the light is on or off. The physical electrics of the seatbelt sign have nothing to do with it.

It's that fact that the main electronic systems used to fly the plane are used on take-off and landing. This just happens to be when the seatbelt sign is on!

The problem is with the mobiles is that one or two mobiles switched on is going to do jack all, however, if all 400 passengers on a plane have their mobiles on, then this will create interference. Its to avoid this situation.

gareth
20th September 2008, 12:40 AM
you should put your phone into airplane/flight mode and turn it off. This is what jetstar say :)

Jaali
20th September 2008, 01:47 AM
you should put your phone into airplane/flight mode and turn it off. This is what jetstar say :)

That's so when you switch it back on mid-flight, it is already in airplane mode, and not sending out any nasty signals! :)

johnq
20th September 2008, 07:23 AM
If planes are so poorly designed that even 400 mobiles could cause them issues we should all stop flying now! The airlines should ensure that their equipment is properly designed and that no amount of mobiles could impact them. Heck a terrorist could bring down a plane by have a few hundred mobiles switched on in their luggage? I hope not!

The "rules" are somewhat arbitrary - for example Qantas now allows you to use your phone whilst the plane is on the ground and Virgin does not. Generally the rule is NO electronic devices during take-off and landing, and that is usually denoted by the seatbelt sign being illuminated. If the sign is ON and you are moving up or down from your cruising altitude the normal rule is ALL devices off.

Regards

John

dolbinau
20th September 2008, 07:35 AM
I always thought the rule is so people aren't distracted/oblivious/blocking the way if there is some kind of emergency during takeoff/landing, not because it supposedly interfered with the various aircraft systems.

Yes. This 'interference' is becoming an urban legend, I think.

DomDom
20th September 2008, 07:41 AM
Didn't Mythbusters bust that one?

Venom71
20th September 2008, 07:49 AM
There's not a lot of hard data about the effect mobile phones have on aircraft systems. Suffice to say there are significant incidents that are thought to have occurred through the use of personal electronic devices (PED's) on aircraft however attempts to later replicate the incident have failed. In two cases I just read online, Boeing purchased a passengers laptop that was "proven" on one flight to have been involved in an incident and flew it on the same flight and in the same once again without anything untoward occurring. A second case involved a hearing aid.

It appears, from what I've just read, that PED's may have a higher probability of causing interference on older aircraft more readily than on newer aircraft, although this is supposition. No-one has yet conducted serious, rigourous tests with mobile phones of any kind.

As for Virgin / QANTAS policy differences - this is easily explained. Half the Virgin passengers exit via the rear doors, onto the tarmac and thence to the arrivals gate. Mobile phones aren't permitted to be used near an aircraft that is refuelling. So its a simple matter of Virgin's policy reflecting the gravity of electronic devices on a tarmac.

viz
20th September 2008, 08:25 AM
As a pilot myself (since 1983)..:

Studies have been done to try and "prove" (read "duplicate") that transmitting devices inside airplanes interfere with electronic navigation equipment - it seems that there is no scientific evidence to support this (especially if you watch Mythbusters...)

However there is enough *anecdotal* evidence around to make a lot of airline safety people wary, and pilots in particular. So if the man (or woman) up front says turn 'em off during take off and landing, turn 'em off. Electronic navigation, especially in cloud, is utterly and crucially important and there have been some documented incidences where the use of a mobile phone probably has upset the equipment.

Descent and landing is pretty much obvious and you will be reminded. Take off and climb - a little bit harder to judge - but use your noggin. If the plane is climbing and maneuvering (by use of electronic navigation no less...) don't use ANY electronic devices. By the time the pilot has worked out that there is a navigation instrument giving a false reading or a crucial radio call that failed to transmit, it may be too late - we are taught to trust our instruments and he/she might be about to run into some terra very firma.

From personal experience: I have used mobile phones while piloting aircraft - and have been asked to turn it ON by air traffic controllers when my radios were failing in one incident (they phoned me). Never had any problems with the instruments. However on one very memorable occasion I was doing a practice instrument approach with an examiner and two observers. During the approach I had to talk to various controllers (as you do), switching frequencies as required. Suddenly as I pressed the talk button the primary navigation instrument for the approach (HSI for the pilots reading this) went to full deflection (that's outside tolerance for the approach - half scale is maximum allowed, anything over requires a go-around). I released the PTT button and the HSI centered itself. I repeated it a couple of times. Hmmm that IS strange I said to myself and glanced at the examiner to see if he had seen it. From the corner of my eye I saw the two observers talking on their mobiles - I yelled at them TURN OFF YOUR MOBILES ***NOW***. To say they jumped was an understatement - phones were turned off and the HSI returned to normal operation.

Gotta remember a coupla things - there are all sorts of aerials and associated wiring on top and under the aircraft for comm and nav purposes, and you can be quite close to one with your phone. Now the boffins say that there should not be any interference, but I am thinking that combinations of phones, aerials, wiring, any number of phones all transmitting at once - all can have a bearing on what happens up front.

Early in the piece when this legislation was being formed (yes it is law somewhere) a Telstra senior manager was using her mobile phone while flying on a Qantas flight (from memory into Newcastle/Williamtown). Plane was on approach, Telstra manager pulls out her phone and calls her contact on the ground that she will be there shortly. Plane goes around. Comes in again - she calls up again. Plane goes around. Third time - again! Finally the plane lands - pilot is really really interested as to what caused his instruments to malfunction at eksackerly the same place on the approach - until someone points out to him the Telstra manager with the phone. Coupla questions later - with her replying "I am a Telstra senior manager and these phones will not interfere with aircraft instruments". Or something to that effect.

I think she had some serious explaining to do to very unhumerous people who like to give very large fines...

Trouble is that there are so many variables that to duplicate these incidents are very difficult. What works one day, will not work the next. And combinations of transmitters in a confined space next to aerials and receivers of all sorts have very unpredictable results.

Just think of it this way - dark rainy night in a car, you are the passenger, on a slippery windy road. The driver is a highly skilled and well trained driver - and you reach over and put a blindfold on him. Skill, training or no - he is about to become very very busy - and may actually crash...

viz

Venom71
20th September 2008, 08:45 AM
As a pilot myself (since 1983)..: viz

And me since 1963