Feeds

back to article iPad no flight risk says Federal Aviation Authority

Being asked to switch off your electronic devices during the takeoff and landing phases of a flight now looks even more anachronistic, after American Airlines announced it has been given permission to let its pilots use iPads in the cockpit “in all phases of flight”. The airline is chuffed that the Federal Aviation …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Trigger Happy!

The previous ban on mobile devices was to stop Dom Jolly like conversations taking place, much to the annoyance of the rest of the passengers, and not because it posed any threat to the aircraft.

<Nokia Ring Tone> "HELLLOO!!!! CAN YOU HEAR ME???? I'M ON A PLANE!! NO A PLANE!!! NO NOT SPAIN, PLANE!!!!. HUH WHAT'S THAT NOISE? IT'S THE PLANE!!!!!"

18
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Trigger Happy!

Well lately that seems like most flights I've been on recently about five minutes before landing. It seems that tutting isn't enough to get the message across to today's youth.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Trigger Happy!

You're joking, I'm sure, I hope, because mobile phones won't get a signal from the ground at 30-odd thousand feet while doing 500mph anyway. I've left my mobile on by accident in the overhead locker many times before, the plane didn't crash, we didn't lose our way, and when I did retrieve it I didn't have any signal.

4
1

Re: Trigger Happy!

Unfortunately, the 9/11 recordings demonstrated that cell phones on a plane do work. 30000 feet is only 5 miles, usually no objects besides the aeroplanes hull between you and it.

5
2
Silver badge

Re: Trigger Happy!

The planes were considerably lower than 30000 feet on 9/11 when the calls were being made.

4
0

Re: Trigger Happy!

What I don't get is that these people feel that it's their right to use any electronics during the takeoff and landing phase of the flight.

Just the fact that you have not heard of any accidents does not give you the -right- to have this stuff switched on.

You might as well start running red lights (because you don't know anyone that got killed while doing that) or running around naked on a plane (because you don't know anyone that got killed while doing that).

Yes, your justification is that ridiculous.

Currently the rule is that during takeoff and landing this equipment has to be switched off. What's so difficult to understand about that?

If you don't like that, make all efforts to have that rule changed. But don't 'flaunt' it.

But, I guess I'm one of those of a 'dying breed'.

I'll still rat you out when you sit next to me and have that crap switched on. Of course, only while it's still the rule.

7
9

Re: Trigger Happy!

Oh, and let's see how long people last sitting next to me on 'business calls' while I'm humming and singing nursery rhymes. No rules against that, are there?

If I have to listen to their Very Important Input during their meetings, they might as well listen to me improving my singing skills.

10
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Trigger Happy!

Mobile phones most assuredly can get a signal at cruising height/speed. Like you, I'd left my mobile on by accident and after arriving, found a set of telco SMSs welcoming me to France, Germany and Italy!

2
1
Trollface

Re: Trigger Happy!

Like the dolphins who push lost humans to land, we only hear from those passengers in planes that DIDN'T

crash after their mobile phones were left on.

0
0
Joke

Presumably........

The iPad (or other tablet device) given to the pilots will ONLY contain the documentation it's intended to replace?

I mean, you wouldn't want them playing angry birds when they're supposed to be doing the landing check lists!

Also, what's the betting that they still have to take the paperwork along "just in case"?

9
3
Silver badge

Re: Presumably........

I imagine the chance that all the paperwork will be there "just in case" is approaching 100%.

In fact, I would very much prefer it was 100%, because you shouldn't muck about with flight safety.

4
1
Bronze badge
Coat

Re: Presumably........

I can see it now:

"Siri, can you show me emergency landing procedures for Hong Kong airport?!"

"I'm sorry I can only look for businesses, maps, and traffic in the United States".

14
1

Re: Presumably........

iPads don't have Siri, stupid.

0
7
Facepalm

Re: Presumably........

Wow, Just Wow, look, my original post was meant as a joke, some of the follow up's also seemed to me to have humerous intentions so why the outrage and downvotes?

2
2
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Presumably........

What if they're playing the 787 flight simulator on their iPad? Anyone reminiscing about the video of the F1 car being controlled from an iPhone? I am.

1
0

Re: Presumably........

Pilot : 'Siri, you can't be serious?'

Co-pilot : 'I am serious.. and don't call me Siri'...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Presumably........

iPads don't have Siri, YET!

There, fixed that for youse...

0
0

Re: Presumably........

It's unlikely they'll carry paper backups. More likely they'll have two iPads (for redundancy) with the third backup being radio communication with base.

1
0
FAIL

Lower fares?

With 1.2 million flights a year, there is $1 to be divided between all passengers of each flight to lower fares.

And that's without taking into account buying these iPad to begin with. If they buy one for each pilot, we're talking $5M initial outlay in hardware alone. And then there's the installation of brackets in each aircraft to hold the iPad.

Expect a fare increase to pay for it all!

6
2
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Lower fares?

"$5M initial outlay in hardware alone"

AND the fanbois pilots will need the latest model each year!

2
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Lower fares?

+1

Lower fares? Surely you jest!

No doubt they will find a way to add a tablet fee to all the other fees.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Lower fares?

Brackets? Current manuals are kept in a bag, so having the iPad in a sleeve is good enough.

0
1
Boffin

Re: Lower fares?

Negative, ghost rider. Approach plates and other procedures are either taken out of the binder (or the whole binder is used) and put into a clip board as they are needed on either the yoke or one attached to the side.

Trying to fly an instrument approach while holding an iPad in your hand doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me. (Or very safe)

(Yes, I am a pilot.)

1
0

Re: Lower fares?

They are not replacing approach plates with the iPad, only the aircraft operating manual. They will still need paper copies of all of the navigational charts needed for IFR flight including approach plates.

--I'm a pilot too!

0
0
Go

Old News?

From last years Guardian (Aug 20, 2011)I can quote:

Pilots on United and Continental Airlines in the US are replacing their heavy paper flight manuals with iPads loaded with a special aviation navigation application created by Colorado-based Jeppesen, while American and Delta are also testing the technology. Alaska Airlines has already shifted over to iPads.

So the only news seems to be that American Airline switches too now.

1
0

Re: Old News?

No. The news this time is that the FAA has approved its use, in-cockpit, at all stages of flight.

4
0
Coat

Re: Old News?

Of course, you have to remember that American Airlines is in bankruptcy as well... Don't have a lot of extra money to play with, so they'll HAVE to raise rates to buy the iPads.

That's me coat, with the iPad in the pocket...

0
0

Re: Old News?

Ha! "Bankruptcy"... that's a good one.

The airlines have all used "bankruptcy" as a way to reneg on their contractual committments to employee retirement benefits and healthcare.

(I'm the son of a retired AA mechanic who worked there for 35 years. His retirement benefits as promised in his contract were slashed leaving him and my mother struggling to make ends meet.)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Isn't it about attention?

I thought the reason they don't want you using electronics is because they want to get your attention easily in case of any problems.

Personally, I like to take a dead tree format book. I can read right through taxi, take off, landing, everything. Though it's a bit dodgy reading through the safety announcement. If don't pay attention to that, they give you an "I'm going to spit in your in flight meal" look.

2
1

Re: Isn't it about attention?

In theory - but the next time that you fly, check out how many people ignore the safety briefing by reading a newspaper or the inflight magazine.

The was a programme a while back relating to this; they highlighted that in tests, people panicked and completely forgot the briefing that they had received barely 10 minutes before. Several people couldn't work out how to release their seat belts. Most had no idea where the nearest exit was or how they could get to it.

Flying has become too safe; people are just not prepared for anything going wrong. At the end of last year, I was on a flight that has reached the runway and was just starting to take up position when the pilot aborted due to an hydraulics problem. We had to return to the hangar so that a fitter could check out the pipe. People were actually complaining; they really thought that the pilot should have taken off and waited until the destination to get it fixed!

8
0
JDX
Gold badge

Flying has become too safe; people are just not prepared for anything going wrong

If it does go wrong, all those safety drills mean pretty much diddly squat... pulling a little mask over your face as you plunge to the ground at 400kt

1
2
Bronze badge
Alert

Re: Isn't it about attention?

At the end of last year, I was on a flight that has reached the runway and was just starting to take up position when the pilot aborted due to an hydraulics problem. We had to return to the hangar so that a fitter could check out the pipe. People were actually complaining; they really thought that the pilot should have taken off and waited until the destination to get it fixed!

Well, that's what most people do with their cars!

2
0

Re: Flying has become too safe; people are just not prepared for anything going wrong

Billy Connelly made the same comment about having life jackets rather than parachutes.

"Aw hey Jim; ya wanna head fer tha wee puddle there"

Having said that, if you are on the ground and the plane is on fire (happened at Manchester) it would be a good idea if people knew how to get the hell out in a hurry.

1
0

Remember the Hudson

I seem to think that evacuation was a 100% success. Everybody did their job and followed the manuals as far as they could.

Indeed one lesson was that the manuals needed to be updated to get more stuff done in a limited time. Easy if it is in electronic form. More challenging if they have to reprint and re-collate. These things are life and death.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Flying has become too safe; people are just not prepared for anything going wrong

"if you are on the ground and the plane is on fire (happened at Manchester) it would be a good idea if people knew how to get the hell out in a hurry."

That's why they now have lights in the floor showing the way to the exit, so you can find your way out whilst crawling to avoid the smoke.

1
0
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Isn't it about attention?

I have often heard cabin staff say to people that they must remove thier earphones during the landing phase because of this idea of being able to hear announcements.

But I have never ever seen them wake up a sleeping passenger at the same point in the flight.

<- some of them are not bright, of course

0
2
Happy

Re: Isn't it about attention?

I remember one flight attendant start off with "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now that I have your attention, please listen to this important safety information." It worked with a a lot of the passengers grinning and made for rather a nice atmosphere on the flight!

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Isn't it about attention?

Not only have I seen them wake up passengers, I've been awoken for landings myself.

YMMV, but I don't want to fly with an airline where it isn't policy.

It's very much abount attention. Landing is THE most dangerous part of any flight, closely trailed by takeoffs - and sleepy passengers are corpses waiting for an accident.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Flying has become too safe; people are just not prepared for anything going wrong

"If it does go wrong, all those safety drills mean pretty much diddly squat"

Those *very basic* drills that you are shown are intended to actually improve your and your fellow passenger's chance of survival should a mishap occur. Please do not try to second-guess the intentions of those who designed them.

I sometimes wish the demonstrations and videos were a bit more realistic, showing the pax the sheer violence and confusion of, e.g., an explosive decompression or an aborted take-off. I'm sure it would put quite a few people off from flying, but at least it would get the attention of all the others.

1
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Please spare me

In theory - but the next time that you fly, check out how many people ignore the safety briefing by reading a newspaper or the inflight magazine.

So what? It's always the same information, anyone who has flown more than a handful of times already knows how to fasten the seat belt, where the exits are, how to put on your oxygen mask if they drop down, the procedure for opening the emergency exit door, and so on.

If they were teaching me how to land the damn plane in the event that both pilots died and it was left up to me, then I'll listen intently each and every time because those would be some very complicated instructions, as well as being different on different planes. But the instructions they provide at the start of every flight are simple enough I could have followed them when I was five years old, so please forgive me for not giving it my rapt attention when they are repeated for the umpteenth time!

Think about this. Which is more likely to cost lives, people flying who have never heard the instructions provided before the flight, or people driving a car who have never been given instructions for what to do in case their car becomes submerged in water, stalls on a deserted road with below zero temperatures, has a flat tire on a freeway in a construction zone with nowhere to pull over, etc? No, this isn't an invitation for some nanny state solution of having a two minute safety presentation in my car every time I turn the ignition before I'm allowed to put it in gear...

1
0

Re: Please spare me

True. The probability of an evacuation is so astronomically low that preparing for it is like waking up every morning and practicing the Heimlich manouver just in case you have to save a choking person that day.

On the other hand, you're just sitting there not doing anything anyway and repetition does improve retention!

0
0

Re: Remember the Hudson

If I remember, the manual really needed to be updated to close vents earlier - they were left at the end of the checklist, and the plane filled and sank in the water. That the pilot realized that he could land next to a terminal filled with lots of ferries is what led to the success of the evacuation.

0
0
Bronze badge
Flame

Tablets are fine and it just goes to prove that passengers have been right all along about interference to inflight electronics.On the other hand if they get damaged or go flat are the airlines going to stop the pilot taking the next flight up or even land early at another destination because he has an equipment failure?..........

1
2
Silver badge

I wonder if they will be specific about the model. I.e. 3g? wifi? flight mode only?

1
0
Joke

Yes they will be fussy about the models. American Airlines say iPads are ok, but definitely won't be allowed Samsung tablets

6
0

Why would the tablets go flat, the cockpit must have a cigarette lighter or usb port to allow charging in flight.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Charging

For the amount of time iPads are used, they can last for 4+ days. Flight manuals are there for reference, so the iPad would be on standby most of the time. Charging them in the crew lounge is generally sufficient.

1
0

pax were right!?

I'm sorry - had to reread this a couple of times.

The passengers were right all along that there was no interference.

I'm sure that if you asked one of the stoopids who was not switching the electronic device off when asked, he replied 'I'm testing my theory'.

I know, 'flame' icon. Next time use the 'get my coat' icon. Except when you need to evacuate the plane.

1
0

... because the Samsung Galaxy tablets are reserved for use by Business Class passengers on 767s.

(True: on AA, that is what they hand out, loaded with movies and stuff).

1
0
Joke

Judge Koh's Karma

Pilot of Judge Koh's Airplane: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a serious problem that I can only fix by opening up the manual on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. Unfortunately Judge Koh sitting in seat 3D has banned them."

Judge Koh (being beaten): "Mmmfff, patent rights, ooph, protecting innovation, arrgh, are you on crack?"

2
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.