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ObfuscatedAnswers t1_ixqyyhb wrote

If a cellphone could cause a plane to crash I'd be seriously worried about the design.


clickwir t1_ixqzn6j wrote

That's not why the rule is there.

In the US, the rule comes from the FCC, not the FAA.

It's not about the plane. It's about having hundreds of devices rapidly switching towers as a plane takes off or lands. Causing lots of needless work for the cell system, waste of resources and loads of interference and congestion on the RF spectrum.

Has nothing to do with the plane.


newtosf2016 t1_ixr3rgq wrote

True, but airlines for years lied their asses off and claimed this anyway. And they wonder why we don’t trust them.


matjoeman t1_ixric3z wrote

Didn't the rule used to be "No electronic devices on at all during takeoff and landing"?


tooclosetocall82 t1_ixs7a83 wrote

Yeah this person doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I remember having to be discreet with my mp3 player back when those were common so the flight attendant didn’t yell at me.


APeacefulWarrior t1_ixtj5ga wrote

I remember in the 90s being told I had to turn off my Gameboy during takeoff/landing, which was ridiculous on every conceivable level.


LastPlaceStar t1_ixtk1yj wrote

I think that was because it was too hard to determine what electronic devices had any sort of radio communication in them for the flight attendants, so they just made everyone turn everything off.


tire-fire t1_ixry3oe wrote

Yeah, if I remember right the FAA had a regulation that below 10,000 ft personal electronics had to be off (so during take off and landing) until that got changed a number of years back.


zap_p25 t1_ixr7j12 wrote

Aside from the issues having a 25,000+ foot elevation difference in terms of line of sight caused with roaming back when roaming was a big deal with carriers.


BusbyBusby t1_ixsv5ce wrote

Why was roaming a big deal with carriers?


zap_p25 t1_ixtbkt0 wrote

Charge you money for roaming outside of you standard coverage plan. If you can beat the roaming charges by maintaining an in-area tower longer...they feel cheated.


BusbyBusby t1_ixtlbk4 wrote

That's ridiculous. You should be able to go from one of their towers to the next from one end of the country to the other.


zap_p25 t1_ixxf6q4 wrote

That's how it is today. It's not how it is used to be though. For example, in the early 2000's Verizon, Cingular (pre-merger with AT&T) and AT&T all used to offer varying coverage plans...local, statewide and nationwide. If you roamed outside of your coverage would incur roaming fees. Today though, the coverage is simply assumed at the national level.


9-11GaveMe5G t1_ixtngnb wrote

Much like data caps of now, they were an invented problem and they charged for the "solution". In reality when you went on someone else's network "roaming" the telecoms charged each other less than your carrier charged you for borrowing that usage.


japanb t1_ixrvdux wrote

Yes it did have to do with the plane. They didn't know what would happen with radio interference at the time. Heck even the 777-200 was grounded because of on the ground signals not even in the aircraft

LAX, Jeju Korea grounded the 777-200. Recently after putting a fence under the flight path to stop instagram-ers at Jeju airport, they then re-allowed the 777-200 to fly here again


trentgibbo t1_ixsj8t2 wrote

That sounds like BS. How is it any different when everyone suddenly turns their phones back on after landing?

Spoiler: it's not


idkwthtotypehere t1_ixrd0w6 wrote

That feels like a hella weak argument…


mihirmusprime t1_ixrya3e wrote

Right? I feel like that aspect should have been accounted for as part of the cell network design...


simple_mech t1_ixrkmh6 wrote

Where does the “seat up, tray up, everything put away” rule come from? I could understand the last 5 minutes, but my last flight in June they did it like 30-40 mins in advance. Still mad I didn’t get to finish my movie!


liftingline27 t1_ixrnq99 wrote

That’s an egress thing. Takeoff and landing is the most dangerous part of the flight. Want to make sure there isn’t shit blocking people from getting out or projectiles flying around.

If your flight crew didn’t get landing clearance as early as they thought they would or had a particularly long approach you could end up with an extended period of that.


ugohome t1_ixt1gvo wrote

Yup. "We'll be landing in 45 minutes, so, welcome to BOREDOM"


whyNadorp t1_ixsphgm wrote

so now cell phones don’t do this anymore? doesn’t make much sense.


mitsuhachi t1_ixtizqk wrote

Interesting. I love learning about this stuff; I was definitely told as a kid it would mess with the plane’s systems and cause problems. I wonder where that myth got started?


smogop t1_ixtnqyb wrote

Really ? I though it was jamming serval approach and takeoff systems which not only do not operate on the same frequency but are also now digital.

Unless you are landing at an old airport like Miegs Field, which literally no longer exists, you don’t need to worry about being jammed.


IsildursBane20 t1_ixu7kli wrote

Yeah because millions of drivers don’t cause the same thing…


wewbull t1_ixu5qw0 wrote

Had a pan-european flight recently where I'd left my phone in my bag and forgot to enable flight mode.

At the end of the flight I checked my phone and had 5 or 6 "Welcome to Romania/ Hungary/ Austria/ Germany / etc." messages as my phone had registered with the various networks from 30,000 ft.


bdsee t1_ixxwiyv wrote

/r/confidentlyincorrect and so many upvotes


bihari_baller t1_ixra12k wrote

Yeah, I learned about this in my 400-level Engineering Electromagnetics class. Cool stuff.


tommygunz007 t1_ixryrxc wrote

I was led to believe that the reason we have people in airplane mode was there was a fear of detonating devices remotely with a cell phone after someone rigged a bomb to get this, a cell phone. Also people live-streaming on Facebook with their terrorist activities onboard.

-Flight attendant


OB1_error t1_ixsqz1d wrote

If they’re already going to blow up a plane, asking them politely to turn off their phone isn’t going to stop them. After all, it’s all on the honor system anyway.


[deleted] t1_ixrsmte wrote



Splatter1842 t1_ixs0wel wrote

It's not one cellphone they're worried about, its the 400+ from all the passengers on the one 747 taking off.


[deleted] t1_ixsepjo wrote



kinky-proton t1_ixshe9h wrote

And in the same spot not changing towers at the same time


ShameNap t1_ixt3uku wrote

Cars on highways change towers all the time, and last I checked, there’s a lot more than 400 cars on a very short span of freeway.


captainloverman t1_ixtnlx0 wrote

Analogue cellphones would interfere with the ILS back in the day. Planes are complicated. No one could guarantee that any kind of radio transmotting device would 100% not interfere. So out of an abundance of caution it was banned for a longtime.

There is an actual air ambulance accident in North Carolina where the flight nurse turned on the cell to contact the ground ambulance on short final in nasty weather. The radar track showthe aircraftveering off at the moment the cell was turned on and hitting a hangar next to the runway. Probably caused by cell unterference making the ILS needles veer off.

Digital cell phones with narrow band transmitters and airplane mode have mostly eliminated that threat, but the FCC still has rules.

However the new 5G cell towers interfere. This is because manufacturers of avionics were lazy, and didnt make their recievers discrete enough, so they get intereference from frequency bands adjacent to the ones use by 5G towers. As a result we have to comply with reduced minima at a lot of airports with 5G towers nearby.

This is all greatly simplified. Here are some links.

Ill tryto find the crash report for the one, but Its the only actual crash I know of and it was a speculative cause as there were no flight data recorders.

Aviation regulation moves slow because of safety implications.


mikemacman t1_ixu3eay wrote

What crash? I’m not finding it on google.


captainloverman t1_ixw3pay wrote

Its not on google, you need to dig through all the NTSB accident reports for air ambulances in the carolinas. I read it years ago. Its there, its just obscure. Im still looking for it too.


mikemacman t1_ixwdak7 wrote

I find that hard to believe. If that happened, it would be all over click-bait news stories. "Cell phone crashes plane!!!"


captainloverman t1_ixwvxtf wrote

Only if its an airliner full of people, little planes crash every day and no one gives a shit.

This happened more than 15 years ago too. I was reading NTSB accident reports for a project for an airline I worked at when I ran across the report. That was 15 years ago, and the accident happened even further back in time than that.


One-Appointment-3107 t1_ixup0zx wrote

Yeah. I was picking my mother up from the airport when she texted me ahead of schedule. The message said, I’ll be landing in 5 minutes. Lol. I chewed her out a little. Her cellphone could have interfered with messages from the tower but I doubt it’s risky mid flight when they’re not in a high stress situation and need to hear last minute messages from traffic control