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Why They Make You Turn Off Your Phone On An Airplane

(get down@Flickr)

It’s pretty routine and we don’t like it, but every time a plane is about ready to leave the gate – the flight attendants come around and make you turn off your cell phone or any other electronic device you have. The theory is that radio interference can cause the plane to crash. We accept it, but that’s about as far from fact as you can get.

The FAA has been testing all kinds of electronic devices for more than 25 years, some with 100 times the RF interference levels of a cell phone and it’s never caused a problem.

The FAA says there’s no proof that low powered electronic devices have any effect on the operation of an airplane and they simply leave it to the airlines to set their own policy.

Most airlines don’t want you to be using an electronic device during takeoff or landing because you’d probably be distracted from instructions they’d be giving during an emergency. But there are some airlines that are allowing phones to be used during flight.

Just this past Monday the FAA said they’d be looking into the issue again whether phones and other electronic devices really do need to be turned off during takeoff and landing.

I think the whole issue is pretty obvious. If there was any evidence a phone or any other electronic item could bring down a plane – you’d never be allowed to get on the plane with them in the first place. Don’t you think a terrorist would have figured out a way to use one in that way by now?


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