Travels

Is it really dangerous to use a mobile phone on an airplane?

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Notice to turn off electronic equipment (AirEuropa from Palma to Ibiza) (c) Avistu

There is no confirmed accident in the history of aviation due to the use of mobile phones or other electronic devices of passengers during the flight. More clearly, it cannot be said and, however, before each of the 80 annual commercial flights takes off, anywhere in the world by public address system they will ask us to turn off our mobiles and electronic devices.

And do not see you on board personnel who do not respect that rule. During a flight between Dublin and Madrid when the flight attendant looked at my headphones and, although the “buckle up” light was off, he indicated that I should disconnect the phone. I kindly told him that my Nokia 5310 (it was the year 2008) was in flight mode but he didn't care, he took out the magazine from the airline from the compartment, looked for the right page and with a triumphant finger he indicated the sacred printed letter, “the mobiles they must remain off during the flight. ”

"So, why the hell is there a flight mode on my mobile" I thought.

Do mobile phones interfere with the instruments of an airplane? (c) Avistu

It seems that in this respect the three players of this game (the aircraft manufacturers, their operators and the aviation agencies) do not agree with the mobile manufacturers. In fact, the coordination shines so much for its absence that there are airlines that do not allow mobile phones to be turned on since the doors are closed while others authorize it to be done if they are in flight mode.

In the United States, for example, the ban emanates from both the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) which is responsible for air safety issues, and the FCC (the Federal Communications Commission), which regulates telephone issues , radio and television, among others. Why is this? Because communications can be affected every time the 300 passengers of a commercial plane pass near a telephone tower with their mobile phones, tablets and computers turned on at 1 foot altitude.

The main theory behind "do not turn on your mobile phones" and other electronic devices (laptops, MP3 players, DVDs and portable televisions, etc.) is that the electromagnetic emissions that occur during operation could interfere with the aircraft instruments. The phenomenon can be assimilated to what happens when you approach a mobile phone to a loudspeaker and its cables act as antennas, causing that annoying noise that we have all suffered.

The aircraft equipment is basically radios (emitters and / or receivers in some band of the electromagnetic spectrum), and they are used to communicate with the control tower, to send position data, meteorological and navigation radars, etc. If someone turns on a mobile (which can generate a power of up to 3 w) could interfere with them and alter communications, voice and data.

If there were any improperly isolated areas in the wiring of the device, the data could be received - due to interference - erroneous data. And as a switched on phone exchanges information with the telephone antennas around it regularly, whether it is used by its owner or not, all of this could cause an air accident if passengers are allowed to use electronic devices on board.

However, there are several factors that cast doubt on that statement.

Do mobile phones of passengers at an airport not affect flight instruments? (c) Avistu

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