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  • Proposed Bill Pushes for iPads to be allowed during Flight Takeoffs


    Remember the days when you would be sitting on a plane listening to music and the ever so kind flight attendant would ask you to turn off your electronic device? Believe it or not, those days are coming to an end as Senator Claire McCaskill is putting together a bill that will take out this restriction. In 2011, the FAA wanted to replace the paper flight manuals on airplanes with iPads and in 2012 the rule was expanded so that pilots were allowed to use their tablets during all stages of flight.

    Statements released via AppleInsider reports:

    Frustrated with the slow process at the FAA, Sen. Claire McCaskill said Thursday she will write legislation to allow passengers to use electronic devices during all aspects of flight.

    The proposed bill would not apply to cellphone use but would dramatically expand the use of iPads, other tablets, music players and other devices before, during and after flight.
    Over the years, many questioned the reasoning behind turning off electronic devices during takeoff and till this day, no reason given has been scientifically proved or supported with proof. It has been said that electronic devices could interrupt an airplane’s necessary flight equipment or navigation because of the devices radio waves- but this theory has been invalidated a long time ago.

    A Rulemaking Committee has been asked to look into it by the FAA and they are expected to share their findings this summer.

    What are your thoughts on this whole ordeal? I know I am sick of having my show or song cut off just because we are about to take off.

    Source: Politico via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Proposed Bill Pushes for iPads to be allowed during Flight Takeoffs started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoV View Post
      I fly all around the world, and one thing I notice is this: Americans don't like following simple rules. That's it. Airports and airplanes are just some of the more public means of display. Especially from those claiming to "fly all the time".

      I too doubt a plane would crash simply because I'm sending a last-minute text or email, or wonder if airlines have ever heard of "airplane mode" that EVERY device seems to come with nowadays, but seriously - 10 damn minutes. Just turn it off for 10 minutes. But no... gotta be difficult. I was on a flight earlier this year (Japan) and a guy across the aisle - young American, not military though - seemed to be going out of his way to give the flight attendant a hard time. Reclined his seat fully, phone and tablet on with headphones, and no seat-belt - THEN tried to make a public scene, almost yelling at the poor girl about how stupid seat-belts on planes are, and how they wouldn't save anything should we fall from the sky. It was gently suggested that he just comply and STFU by myself and two other American passengers.

      Stuck on a tarmac is different. I was stuck out there once for 94 minutes - they encouraged us to get up, stretch, use the bathroom, and use our devices. No biggie.

      If they change the rule, great. If not, oh well. 10 minutes out of your life with no electronics isn't life-altering to me, but maybe it is for some. That's sad in itself. Reading? Sleeping? Yes - put the paper/book away; wake your *** up and be alert for these 10 minutes. This "I do what I want when I fly... such and such in my imaginary extended family is a pilot" stuff is just a microcosm of typical arrogance nowadays.
      I agree with what you're saying all except for this last sentence: "such and such in my imaginary extended family is a pilot" stuff is just a microcosm of typical arrogance nowadays." Extended family could easily be replaced with, "people who claim they fly all around the world." It's funny cause that's the first thing that you mention in your little speech and yet you make a comment about people who claim they fly all the time....Maybe not in those exact words but we all know what you were implying....I think there's nothing wrong with adding some experience to your opinion....even if that includes "extended family" or "people who fly all the time."

      Yes I'm bringing this up because I mentioned that my bro-in-law flies for SW and uses his devices during the flight. The reason I did was to help others realize that even the Pilots use their devices, so there isn't anything to be worried about if the bill passes. Honestly I could care less if I have to turn my iPhone or iPad off for 10 min or so.
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      oh great, our government cant agree on anything, but omg tablets during takeoff lets pass a law. are you kidding me? its none of the governments business why airlines restrict the use of electronic devices, none whatsoever. it doesnt matter what study says what. let the system do the job. i can guarantee you that if enough consumers want it to change, and if they start conveying these feelings to the airlines, it will change! people hated new coke and it was off shelves. people hated the ford tarus being renamed it came back. just like that the big problem is that people dont want to sacrifice anymore to influence change. take the price of oil, 3.75 a gallon is outrageous. we have no supply problem. importing of foreign oil has gone down 40 percent since 2006 yet gas prices are as high as ever. this is insane, but people refuse to make an uproar about it. that should be the number one issue. thats what is really hurting american families, and they wont do anything about it, democrats or republicans. they just want to pass things like this so u can use your precious tablet during takeoff. lol gimme a break. i will say this, i was on a plane a few years ago maybe 3, and the flight attendant asked everyone to turn off our electronic devices. a few minutes passed, and then she announced that the captain had informed her that someone still had an electronic device on, and that we couldnt leave until it was off. 5 minutes passed until the cap called her back and said ok lets go. i dont know what happened, maybe he detected some electronic interference, maybe not, who knows? another thing is the recent decision to allow people to take small pocket knives on airplanes again. i mean this is crazy, during 9/11 the terrorists used box cutters and small pocket knives to hijack those planes, well lets allow the use of them again...great idea guys...
    1. phoenix3200's Avatar
      phoenix3200 -
      There's two components to this: interference, and alertness.

      Interference isn't really even an FAA issue, it's a FCC issue. Or more exactly, it's a cell tower issue. Your devices are not tested to be broadcasting signals high above the earth's surface. When you do, you cloud others' signals. There have been stories of cell towers going down because someone's cell phone was communicating with multiple towers simultaneously.

      The second issue - alertness - is very critical. A plane poses almost no danger to its passengers unless it is moving at or near the ground. So do without your book or iPad for ten minutes and pay attention to what's happening around you.

      P.S. I am a pilot. But i'm nowhere close to an airline pilot.
    1. ChicagoV's Avatar
      ChicagoV -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      I agree with what you're saying all except for this last sentence: "such and such in my imaginary extended family is a pilot" stuff is just a microcosm of typical arrogance nowadays." Extended family could easily be replaced with, "people who claim they fly all around the world." It's funny cause that's the first thing that you mention in your little speech and yet you make a comment about people who claim they fly all the time....Maybe not in those exact words but we all know what you were implying....I think there's nothing wrong with adding some experience to your opinion....even if that includes "extended family" or "people who fly all the time."

      Yes I'm bringing this up because I mentioned that my bro-in-law flies for SW and uses his devices during the flight. The reason I did was to help others realize that even the Pilots use their devices, so there isn't anything to be worried about if the bill passes. Honestly I could care less if I have to turn my iPhone or iPad off for 10 min or so.
      I posted this on CNET, actually... and copied/pasted here, so no I didn't see your comment. Go read the comments there and you'll get a better understanding. My point remains: your pilot brother using his tablet during flight has what to do with the passengers following suit, exactly? I'm pretty sure he knows his aircraft backwards and forwards, vs. some passengers taking minutes to locate both ends of their seat belts.
    1. flash66's Avatar
      flash66 -
      News today: a jumbo jet carrying 212 passengers smashed into the side of a mountain in Peru. Luckily, all of the passengers were wearing their seat belts!
    1. ThatOneProfile's Avatar
      ThatOneProfile -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoV View Post
      I fly all around the world, and one thing I notice is this: Americans don't like following simple rules. That's it. Airports and airplanes are just some of the more public means of display. Especially from those claiming to "fly all the time".

      I too doubt a plane would crash simply because I'm sending a last-minute text or email, or wonder if airlines have ever heard of "airplane mode" that EVERY device seems to come with nowadays, but seriously - 10 damn minutes. Just turn it off for 10 minutes. But no... gotta be difficult. I was on a flight earlier this year (Japan) and a guy across the aisle - young American, not military though - seemed to be going out of his way to give the flight attendant a hard time. Reclined his seat fully, phone and tablet on with headphones, and no seat-belt - THEN tried to make a public scene, almost yelling at the poor girl about how stupid seat-belts on planes are, and how they wouldn't save anything should we fall from the sky. It was gently suggested that he just comply and STFU by myself and two other American passengers.

      Stuck on a tarmac is different. I was stuck out there once for 94 minutes - they encouraged us to get up, stretch, use the bathroom, and use our devices. No biggie.

      If they change the rule, great. If not, oh well. 10 minutes out of your life with no electronics isn't life-altering to me, but maybe it is for some. That's sad in itself. Reading? Sleeping? Yes - put the paper/book away; wake your *** up and be alert for these 10 minutes. This "I do what I want when I fly... such and such in my imaginary extended family is a pilot" stuff is just a microcosm of typical arrogance nowadays.
      What's arrogant is you stereotyping Americans. Your statement is false. I totally agree that if pilots etc. use them, what's the problem if the public uses it? It's great they're pushing this through being technology is progressing more and more.
    1. ChicagoV's Avatar
      ChicagoV -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneProfile View Post
      What's arrogant is you stereotyping Americans. Your statement is false. I totally agree that if pilots etc. use them, what's the problem if the public uses it? It's great they're pushing this through being technology is progressing more and more.
      You obviously didn't read what I typed, probably already having your mind made up over the American comments. It's okay - I stand by what I said. We are arrogant - especially when it comes to rules and which ones we deem "necessary" to follow. I work in a hospital - you'd be surprised at how many people there are unable (unwilling?) to comprehend simple regs concerning their precious cell phones and where they can use them.

      Anyway, my issue (again) isn't about a phone/tablet crashing a jumbo jet; it's about paying attention and being alert for those 10-15 when the plane is actually under the pilot's control, and any bit of change in the weather, or birds, etc. can seriously alter that takeoff/landing. I guarantee those pilots aren't even on theirs during that time. If they're like our pilots, the iPads have replaced about 40lbs+ of flight manuals and docs. That's it.

      "If they can do it, I should be able to, too..." - what are y'all, 12? lol
    1. ThatOneProfile's Avatar
      ThatOneProfile -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoV View Post
      You obviously didn't read what I typed, probably already having your mind made up over the American comments. It's okay - I stand by what I said. We are arrogant - especially when it comes to rules and which ones we deem "necessary" to follow. I work in a hospital - you'd be surprised at how many people there are unable (unwilling?) to comprehend simple regs concerning their precious cell phones and where they can use them.

      Anyway, my issue (again) isn't about a phone/tablet crashing a jumbo jet; it's about paying attention and being alert for those 10-15 when the plane is actually under the pilot's control, and any bit of change in the weather, or birds, etc. can seriously alter that takeoff/landing. I guarantee those pilots aren't even on theirs during that time. If they're like our pilots, the iPads have replaced about 40lbs+ of flight manuals and docs. That's it.

      "If they can do it, I should be able to, too..." - what are y'all, 12? lol
      So while they allow books on takeoff, we can't "distract" ourselves with iPads? This isn't making sense.

      How about this. Instead of putting the blame on Americans, look at the facts. Since 9/11 security has obviously been increased but has technology grown? Yes. Might there be other legitimate reasons to include electronics while takeoff, yes. And if you didn't know, Chicago is part of America.
    1. ChicagoV's Avatar
      ChicagoV -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneProfile View Post
      So while they allow books on takeoff, we can't "distract" ourselves with iPads? This isn't making sense.

      How about this. Instead of putting the blame on Americans, look at the facts. Since 9/11 security has obviously been increased but has technology grown? Yes. Might there be other legitimate reasons to include electronics while takeoff, yes. And if you didn't know, Chicago is part of America.
      Again, I also said that yes, books and magazines - and sleeping passengers - need to change during these times.

      Putting blame on Americans? Your sensitivity aside, I'm not "blaming" us for the need (real or not) for these rules. You seem intent on trying to believe that's my point, which is fine. If they change the rules, then it's whatever. But until then, just follow the rules. My comments were toward the segment (in the original article I commented on over at CNET and AI) that said (in a nutshell) "They can't tell me what to do. That rule's stupid. I don't follow it." The "more" people fly, the more I expect them to know and adhere to these SIMPLE rules. Leave the devices off until cleared. Leave your seat upright until the ok is given. Fasten your safety belt - who CARES if it won't protect you in the event you fly into a mountain. Know the stuff you're allowed to have in your carry-ons, or how big your carry-on can be in the first place. Don't hold up the line and give the TSA a hard time because you "fly all the time" but choose to keep keys and pens and change in your pockets at the security checkpoints. That type of stuff.

      Whether it hurts your feelings or not is irrelevant, but the fact remains that what I witness while flying is that this attitude (and toward 'rules' in general) is decidedly more American.

      I don't get the Chicago comment...

      Before anyone mentions it, I DO see the bit of irony in being annoyed by some's blatant disregard of simple regulations, while being a longtime member of the jailbreak community... lol There IS a big difference - if that has to be explained, I'll laugh louder.
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      He IS right about this being a more American issue. And I'm American. We are arrogant when it comes to what's a 'followable' rule.
    1. Perceptum's Avatar
      Perceptum -
      I can't believe how people are hyper-ventilating over the government relaxing rules for device that do not pose a threat in the first place.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by phoenix3200 View Post
      There have been stories of cell towers going down because someone's cell phone was communicating with multiple towers simultaneously.
      I just want to point out that it's actually normal and typical behavior for a cell-phone to communicate with multiple towers simultaneously. This happens as you're moving, as cell towers are usually positioned so there is some overlap between them, so I'm not sure how that could have crippled a cellular network.
    1. Villebilly's Avatar
      Villebilly -
      Since its clearly NOT a safety issue I'm not sure what the point of maintaining the current rule is. Some people's only argument is to say learn to wait 10 minutes - with no rebuttal for being stuck on the Tarmac for hours. If heightened awareness was so important during take-off, as some have suggested, why don't the same people answer as to why people are allowed to sleep during take-off (I do it)?

      An airline like SW is never gonna just start allowing it "because the customers demanded it" because its not their rule its an FAA rule that they must abide. Hence lawmakers must get involved to protect our rights (and for once use common sense). Remember if it was up to the FAA everyone would get a rectal exam during security screening and it would be fine if left on the Tarmac for hours (regardless of bathroom conditions). Someone has to step in because customers have no leverage with FAA.

      Some of you remind me of when car phones were first introduced. Many panicked and thought the roads would suddenly be too dangerous to drive. Maybe some have used it wrongly but for the most part technology has aided us greatly.