Please Turn Off All Electronic Devices During Takeoff and Landing

March 1, 2006

cellphoneAs it turns out, the use of electronic equipment while in flight may actually disrupt components critical to in-flight navigation and landing. A group at Carnegie Melon University studied emissions from electronic equipment while on board commercial aircraft.

Researchers noted that there is no definitive instance of an electronic device used by a passenger causing an accident. However, they said their data support the conclusion that use of devices like cell phones “will, in all likelihood, someday cause an accident by interfering with critical cockpit instruments such as GPS receivers.”

And here’s an interesting statistic:

… despite the ban on cell phone use during flights, the researchers discovered that on average one to four cell phone calls are made from every commercial flight in the northeast United States

And those laptops and portable gaming systems?

In the past, the FAA has found nothing to indicate that the use of passive devices like laptops or game-playing electronics poses a threat to the aircraft.

However, the CMU study concluded otherwise. While the researchers looked primarily at cell phone use, they also discovered that emissions from other portable devices proved “problematic.”

“We found that the risk posed by these portable devices is higher than previously believed,” researcher Bill Strauss said in a release announcing the findings.

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