Mobile Phones on Airplanes

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danielh

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http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,15448091%5E2702,00.html

Thought I'd mention the change that came in on Tuesday 7 June 2005.

The only reason why I even noticed this change was because on my Monday morning flight to Sydney the air fight attendant looked at my Treo 600 PDA (which was was happily playing Holdem Poker) and asked if that was a mobile phone. I told her it was a PDA with a mobile phone but I had flight mode turned on so it was not transmitting anything.

She then asked me to turn it off and distracted me with mentioning the change in rule was going to allow me to use the phone from tuesday onwards.

Looking at the actual article I don't think she knew what she was talking about but since I was losing my $$$ I decided to comply and get a quick 30 min nap before landing.

Regards
Daniel
 

tatty

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Do 802.11b/g wireless cards or bluetooth have any affect on the aircraft? I bet very few people remember to disable their cards before switching on the laptop. Perhaps the 2.4Ghz frequency doesn't affect anything.

As for the mobile phones. QF always said you had to wait until well inside the terminal building due to refuelling taking place. I watched Myth Busters try to light a sealed area of fuel vapour with a mobile phone without any result.
 

dajop

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Can only use at cruise altitudes, or upon commencement of taxiing after landing. Any chance of getting phone reception at 33,000 ft anyway, away from climb/descent, and therefore away from population centres.
 

danielh

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Well the announcement tonight when we landed said we can now turn on all mobile phone devices.

Basically their announcements upon takeoff and landing have changed with this rule.

Hard to miss now. :)

Daniel
 

Warks

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I flew SYD - MEL on Tuesday (7/6) and we weren't allowed to have them switched on in SYD but when we landed in MEL we could if we wanted to. Returning on Wed we could switch on when we landed in SYD. I recall a couple of years ago we could do this on City Flyer for a short while but then it disappeared. The old refuelling excuse was used. Now it's back - to be honest it's rare that I care enough to switch on. I usually call when I'm leaving the airport as I know I won't be waiting any longer - one can give a reasonable estimate of arrival then.

Hope the day doesn't come too soon when Mr Obnoxious in the seat next to me can yap at full volume all the way to Perth!
 

BlacKnox

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Adds nothing to the discussion but I choose to not own a cell phone. :D
 

serfty

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Landed in BNE Thursday evening. After the aircraft had landed and while taxiing on came the announcement:
Welcome to BNE where the time is 5:08pm. If you can reach you mobile telephone, you may turn it on. ...
Mine was off in my pocket, so I did.

I guess the "If you can reach it..." bit is to discourage PAX from jumping from there seats and grabbing their 'phone out of the overhead lockers while the seatbelt signs are still lit.
 

markis10

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There have been more than 100 incidents reported to CASA regarding interference from electronic devices inlight in the past 10 years, I dont think we will see mobile phones being permtted in flight anytime in the near future. If you think it is a myth - checkout: www.casa.gov.au/fsa/2003/sep/sept-oct03.pdf

Dont forget you are sitting on top of kilometres of wiring that acts as a big antenna!
 

NM

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tatty said:
Do 802.11b/g wireless cards or bluetooth have any affect on the aircraft? I bet very few people remember to disable their cards before switching on the laptop. Perhaps the 2.4Ghz frequency doesn't affect anything.
Anything that transmits radio frequency is not permitted in flight. On most devices its easy to turn off the radios. However, these are most unlikely to cause any interference issues on an aircraft and I think one day we will see 802.11b offered in-flight for internet access - but not for a while.

On a recent flight, the Captain made an announcement that someone in the cabin was using a WiFi device and could they please disable the radio. He specifically mentioned the device ID that was being transmitted. So to find that out, he must have had a laptop or PPC and done a scan looking for available SSIDs.
tatty said:
As for the mobile phones. QF always said you had to wait until well inside the terminal building due to refuelling taking place. I watched Myth Busters try to light a sealed area of fuel vapour with a mobile phone without any result.
One of the main reasons they don't like phone being used inside the plane is that they can cause interference with the radio communications and intercom systems in the aircraft. Try sitting your GSM mobile phone next to a regular land-line telephone or near an AM/FM radio and call it. Many times you will hear a loud "da-da-da-da" sound on the landline phone or radio receiver. This can also happen on to the aircraft's intercom and external radio receivers depending on just how close the mobile phone is to the aircraft's systems. Such interference could cause an important communication to be disrupted or missed.

I believe the risk of a mobile phone causing the aircraft flight control systems to malfunction is very minimal. But the risk of a mobile phone interfering with the internal or external communication systems and hence the flight crew missing an important instruction from ATC does exist. Hence by leaving them off until the seatbelt sign is extinguished, that risk is decreased.

I don't believe bluetooth poses any such risk.

However, in all this it is important to remember one thing. It makes no difference at all if your device is harmless. It is a legal requirement that all passengers must obey an instruction give by a Flight Attendent on an aircraft. Failing to abide by an FA's instruction is an offence. So if the FA says to turn it off, then off it must go - no arguements. Even if the FA has no clue about what type of device you have and whether it is even capable of transmitting and causing interference.
 

jonesy

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Why can we use mobile phones upon landing in Sydney on a Qantas domestic flight but not on an international flights :?:
 
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jonesy said:
Why can we use mobile phones upon landing in Sydney on a Qantas domestic flight but not on an international flights :?:

You are not allowed to use a mobile phone (apparently) before "enterring Australia". I've been told off a few times for being on the phone in BNE and SYD intl when presenting my immigration docs...

Some airports, especially LAX T4, mobile phones don't even work until you get past immigration!
 

danielh

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d00t said:
You are not allowed to use a mobile phone (apparently) before "enterring Australia". I've been told off a few times for being on the phone in BNE and SYD intl when presenting my immigration docs...

Some airports, especially LAX T4, mobile phones don't even work until you get past immigration!

You never know. It might be to prevent a spotter going ahead to see if there are any police waiting for drug mules to arrive and to let them know to dump the goods before they 'arrive' to the checkin. :)

Regards
Daniel
 
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Mal

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Using a mobile phone inside the immigration/customs areas is a security risk (or so the signs imply)

That would be why the phone is not allowed to be switched on when the plane lands.
 
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