Airplane safety guidelines dictate that you switch off all wireless devices, since this causes interference with the airplane's electronic systems. Many people have questioned the validity of this claim, and even more people refuse to switch off their devices, or put them on airplane mode during the flight. Let's look at some of the consequences of refusing to abide by the rules, and not putting your phone on airplane mode during a flight.
Interference with Communication Systems
Some airlines have reported a static buzz emitting from the communication systems when passengers sitting near the pilot had their phones or other electronic devices on. This can be dangerous, and should be avoided at all costs.
In the majority of cases, the buzz has not been deemed dangerous in a practical sense, however, it can prove to be quite annoying to the pilot, since the buzzing does not stop for as long as the device is on.
Potential for Serious Disturbance and Interruption
In the optimal conditions, if the signals being emitted from a phone or electronic device are too strong, they may be the cause for major interruption with in-flight communications. This is a major issue for phones with stronger signal modules.
A Hazard for Other Passengers
Alright, so the majority of reports that have come in, in relation to pilot hazards, do not really say that electronic hone signals are particularly dangerous. They do report them to be very annoying though, and attention diverting.
They Divert Pilot Attention
Static buzz can be very distracting, and should not be the cause of pilot error. Unfortunately, with continuous buzzing issuing from the speakers, the pilot is likely to get more than a bit annoyed, which can result in an accident.
Increased Chance of Human Error
With disturbance and distraction, comes the chance of human error, which is amplified when you have the static buzz that become prevalent when passengers leave their phones switched on. Thousands of feet up in the air; not ideal for errors.
Flights are not really that long, and in case you have an intercontinental flight, there are dozens of other ways to entertain yourself, or keep yourself busy. There is always in-flight entertainment, so make use of that, instead of phones.
You do not have to switch off your phones either, since all smart phones come equipped with an airplane mode, which is designed for use on an airplane, and should be engaged if you are unwilling to switch off completely.
Function of the Airplane Mode
The airplane mode in phones is designed to shut off the main radio module of the phone, which prevents you from making or receiving calls. This feature basically shuts off the reason for the disturbance in comm systems.
Phones stay Operational
The best part about the airplane mode is that although the mode is engaged, the phones stay operational, except for the inability to make calls and send text messages. The latter can be done through other sources anyway.
Even though the main signal module of the phone shuts off, the phone retains the ability to access a Wi-Fi network while on airplane mode. This is of tremendous advantage for those who have important tasks to do.
Better Safe than Sorry
Doesn't matter if there have not been ay reports of planes going down due to passengers leaving their phones on. It is always better to be safe than in a plane crash that not only hurts you, but others too.
Accessible in All Phones
All modern phones have the airplane mode feature at the forefront. While different manufactures and different operating systems may have them in different places, the function is always present and always the same in all of the commercially available phones.
Companies Offer Free Wi-Fi
The majority of bigger airlines offer free Wi-Fi on their flights. With free Wi-Fi on board, there really is no reason to not put the phones on airplane mode, as all of the phone's functionality can therefore be accessed.
Calls Can be Made over the Internet
Services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to make calls. Skype allows you to make video calls, all on the internet, which can be accessed on the free Wi-Fi. This leaves out any reason to not switch on airplane mode.
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