I have been seeing a lot of news reports lately about celebrities who do not want to abide by the regulations and requests that are set forth on airlines. The most common infraction is the request to turn off all electronic devices.
Being a “Pilot’s Wife”, this is one of my biggest pet peeves; people on planes thinking they are above following the rules. They will state “My cell phone or computer won’t interfere with the instruments on the plane that is just a myth!” Well, the fact is personal electronic devices, especially cell phones and laptop computers with wi-fi connections functioning do emit signals while they operate.
Conventional wisdom says these signals are unlikely to affect the systems of modern aircraft during takeoff and landing — but unlikely and impossible are not one and the same.
Takeoff and landing are the most critical phases of a flight. Crashes and crises rarely happen when an aircraft is at cruising altitude. If a crisis is going to happen, it will most likely happen during takeoff and landing. The maneuvers required during takeoff and landing require the crew’s complete and total attention. Communication with the tower so they know where to take off from and when to avoid other aircraft on the area is critical. Their instruments must be working correctly to safely land or takeoff, particularly at a busy airport.
Another point I would like to make is this… If there would happen to be a crisis, don’t you think you should be paying attention to your in-flight crew and surroundings, not your cell phone or other electronic devices so you know what to do, or where to exit the plane safely?
Most jets can reach 10,000 feet within 5-10, depending on whether or not they have an unrestricted climb. So, my question to you is this, have we as a society become so dependent on technology that is has become unreasonable to ask passengers to turn off personal electronic devices during the first 20 minutes and last 10 minutes of a flight to ensure the safety of everyone on board the aircraft, and of those in the surrounding skies. Rules are set in place for the safety, not the annoyance of everyone.