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Old 05-01-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
stephen_s
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Default inFact: Cell Phones on Airplanes

Interesting program on whether cell phones on airplanes are really dangerous.

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Old 05-01-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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Arrow

In my opinion Mr. Dunning is a good side show barker who doesn't know what he's talking about and has taken a position which is popular to be popular rather than look more than surface deep at the issue.

The Aviation Safety Reporting System through 2001 reported 45 instances where pilots reported that signals from electronics were interfering with communications and navigations equipment. In every case, after passengers were asked to turn off their electronics, the interference disappeared. In one particular instance, as a test, the airline crew turned electronic devices back on, and the readings were thrown off again.

OK, that was a decade ago you say.

In 2006, Jay Apt, a professor of electrical engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, was part of another study. In his study members of his test team boarded flights carrying FAA-certified devices that record activity on radio frequencies emitted by cell phones. On the 37 flights on which they flew, they collected 50 hours of data which documented several cases of people using cell phones after being told to turn them off. They concluded that the cellphones emitted signals strong enough to interfere with the airplane's GPS signal receiving equipment.

There's little doubt that many devices don't pose a problem. Several airlines are adopting the latest iPad for use by pilots in the cockpit to provide them with essential data. That wouldn't be happening if those iPads were dangerous to the plane.

The problem is, the FAA can't test every phone model and decide which could potentially be a problem on planes, nor is there time for flight attendants to check every cellphone and tablet to see if they're on an okay to use list. Not only that, some phones might not conform to their specifications.

In my opinion, the use of cellphones for transmitting and receiving data and voice via a cellular signal should continue to be banned, and Mr. Dunning ought to go back to the drawing boards before he continues to pontificate on this subject.
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