Thursday, March 29, 2012

Please turn off your electronic devices until the Captain says it’s okay…

Notes taken by: Theresa Payton, Fortalice, LLC.  Content also featured in WBTV's segment, Protecting Your Cyberturf, featuring Kristen Miranda and Theresa Payton.

For those of you that travel a lot, there is probably nothing more annoying then having to turn off that cell phone in the middle of an important call to home or work.  Some of you are on your tablet or e-reader right in the middle of a complex plot line when you get the word to turn it off.  People often wonder if cell phones really impact the safety of the flight.  Well, the good news is, your voice has been heard and the government is reviewing whether or not they may let you use your digital devices such as tablets, e-readers and music players during takeoffs and landings.  

Flight attendants in a recent study said the number one cause of flight disputes was -- passengers not turning off their devices.  We have all seen the person that continues talking or texting or sneaking a last few seconds with their device well after the flight attendant gives the warning.  So, how bad is it to keep that device on?  Many of the rules today were reinforced during as study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University who tested out the, “T-PEDS” or transmitting personal electronic devices, and the theory of whether or not digital devices could cause a problem and the bad news is, they did find evidence of issues.  Cyber expert, Theresa Payton, explains the issues and also a ray of hope that a new approach may be on the way.

Carnegie Mellon rode over 35 flights and did find that if enough cell phone and other digital devices are turned on during take off and landing that the emissions could interfere with plane GPS satellite systems.  A non profit group called RTCA Inc. who conducts studies for the FAA did a separate review and issued a report of concerns about cell phones and T-PEDS interfering with airline equipment.

1.  You can get kicked off the plane.  Flight attendants can have you kicked off the flight and NY airports are considering levying fines for passengers who delay flights because they ignored the directions to turn off their device.
2.  One device accidentally left on may not be the issue but a whole plane of non compliant passengers could create a risk for the plane’s navigation system - do you really want to chance it?

1.  Devices:  The FAA is studying alternatives that let you keep devices on -- however, it’s possible the cell phone might still have to be turned off
2.  Pilots and iPads:  The FAA is allowing some pilots at American Airlines to use iPads in the cockpits as their electronic source for flight information like navigation charts and operating manuals
3.  How it would work:  They are exploring an on board technology that would allow devices to connect to the onboard antenna.  By controlling what devices talk to, they believe it might reduce emissions enough for you to stay connected just a little longer...

A play on the word “documents” or “Docx”, it’s a term used by hackers to refer to how they find information about individuals on the internet.  They might be collecting information such as your birthday, hometown, email address, passwords, photos, social security number.  Anything that could be used to identify you to either impersonate you or trick you.

The FAA fact sheet on cell phones, Wi-Fi, and digital devices:

The FAA’s policy - AC 91.21-1B - Use of Portable Electronic Devices Aboard Aircraft:

Carnegie Mellon’s press release about how cell phones could interfere with plane operations:


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  2. This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 
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