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Mobile Phone ringing on Take Off

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Mobile Phone ringing on Take Off

Old 20th Oct 2001, 12:22
  #21 (permalink)  
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AAL, go back and check the fourth post in this string and you'll understand why we are discussing the effects mobile phones may have on an aircraft, yes we may have steered the string in a little different direction than it was going but I don't think any of us are saying it's ok to ignore the crew or their briefing.
Old 20th Oct 2001, 13:08
  #22 (permalink)  
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An interesting discusion, chaps, but I'm a little concerned that most people appear to have missed the humour behind the "roll and dive" posting. Particularly those who wanted to know which systems in a Pa32 would be effected.
As to the origional question:
Roll and dive might be very satisfying, but would probably get you fired.
There seems to be a language problem with your pax. You might try collecting all the mobiles before they board, and return them as they get off, but run that one past your Chief Pilot first.
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Old 20th Oct 2001, 14:44
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Up to now, everything in the avion industry has to be certified free from interference with other onboard systems : it includes avionics from the flight decks, flight controls systems, engine control systems, also in the military all the warheads with various internal seekers and propellors (which are not only for jet fighters but also for big stuff like Nimrod, Orions, Atlantic..) Believe me, it's a long process, very expensive but also quite reliable (what do you think people do for years in the various government or industry test centers?)
So after certification things are rather safe (or one could contempt certification, to replace it with what?)
And even with that, given the life-span of the aircraft of systems, funny things could occur, which are/could be explained (but once again, in aerospace science, you need to be sure that the same causes will entail the same effects, so who is going to pay for the test program?)
Some funny things I heard about in my little career:
Old Jaguar fighters in the 80 shivering when flying close to VLF antennas (the one wich are 1000 ft high, to communicate with submarines)
A safety bolt from the rescue winch of a Lynx helicopter being (allegedly?)triggered (oops..) by a powerful radar system of a new frigate
So coming back to onboard cell phones, with all their different and changing characteristics, to obtain certification with somebody (a/c manufacturer? phone company?)signing (and paying for it) for it... good luck !!
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Old 20th Oct 2001, 14:56
  #24 (permalink)  
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Indeed. Poor HF feeder insulation caused RF breakthrough which was picked up by the yaw damper wiring, fed to the rudders and consequently fed back to the rudder pedals of a VC10 I once flew. Weird to find your feet being shqken in direct proprtion to SSB modulation depth!!

And as for the Tornados that could only take-off from one end of a runway as otherwise they'd get too close to the Radio Free Europe propaganda aerial in Germany.....

I'm sure that an antique 'Prinztronic Micro' (cost 49 guineas in 1972) electronic calculator of mine would have far greater effects on aircraft electronics than my cellphone - it uses 0.5W of power and totally jams MF/LF signals if switched on near a normal domestic radio receiver!
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Old 3rd Nov 2001, 17:55
  #25 (permalink)  
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That Pax again on my plane last week.
This time she did not use on Take off and use after landing.

I will call Airport Police next time to Kick her.......
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Old 3rd Nov 2001, 23:41
  #26 (permalink)  
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[Lack of] electronic interference notwithstanding, it appears that ACTUAL interference with the Captain's duties is a REAL issue in PA-32's airplane (and any other small airplane where the pax are not separated from the Captain). The noise distracted him from his duties at a critical time -- during the takeoff roll. It was enough of a distraction to cause him to take action. It could have distracted him from a warning light or other sign of malfunction, or caused him to miss an ATC transmission.

If I were PA-32, I would have taxied back to the ramp and unloaded that passenger. She IN FACT caused a significant distraction that had an adverse safety impact. That may be the ONLY way to get the message through her thick skull!
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 01:14
  #27 (permalink)  
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If a pax is using the batphone before departure, can it be confiscated permanently? That would be great fun.

Know a BA captain (734) who sometimes calls his wife on the batphone from the taxiway to tell her to look out for him if he's taking off in a certain direction and will be over their house in a few minutes. Class!
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 01:22
  #28 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down

PA32-300, if it distract you that much that a phone rings, perhaps you should consider staying on the ground. Perhaps you should just be happy that anyone cares to fly in your PA32.

Anyway what is the rumours or news in this topic?
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 06:23
  #29 (permalink)  
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Cosmo perhaps the news is: raising the awareness of pax (& poss pilots) to the potential problems caused by cellphones and other electronic equipment. Maybe some people will start to realise that the briefing is not just given because the pilot likes to exert their authority and has nothing better to do.

BIK it looks like you have ample explanations as to why PA32 is entitled to brief this, even though it 'aint no airbus'. It isn't just the old analogue phones that interfere, but the digital ones too. OK, maybe the interference is only a noise over the radio, but as already pointed out this could lead to the potential problem of missing an important R/T instruction.

PA32, as for this annoying pax. It sounds like the only solution is to confiscate the phone until the end of the flight. I sympathise with your problem. I usually find that most people turn their phones off whilst I tell them to do it and at the same time, show them that I am turning my phone off too. This also stops me from forgetting to do just that! Yes, we all make mistakes :o
Unfortunately one pax had the same idea as her and decided, in their infinite wisdom, to turn the phone back on as we landed. This resulted in R/T interference, a missed taxi instruction at a fairly major/busy airport and caused a delay of approx 7mins, while I was forced to hold my position
On disembarkation I apologised about the delay, giving a full explanation as to why.
I can assure you, this pax was suitably embarrassed and did not do it again. Good, lesson learned then
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 10:14
  #30 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down

First post but this topic is right up my street. The national telephone company is Australia wont allow mobiles to be switched on in their call centres as headset users have actually lost eardrums and had permanent damage to their sense of balance due to high pitched tones from the network. These tones are possibly generated by interference from mobiles and if you are in an industry which wears headphones (as you are) you should be very wary of people using mobiles in your vicinity. Imagine spending all the money and time achieving your enviable career only to have it destroyed by someones mobile phone screwing up your sense of balance. It can happen one of my colleagues has to walk up six flights of steps every day because she can't even stand riding in a lift and actually has to be sedated to go on holiday in a plane.

Edited for spelling mistakes

[ 05 November 2001: Message edited by: gunner b 1 2 ]
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 15:24
  #31 (permalink)  
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Recceguy, you've got it spot on! Same problem regaridng approval exists incidentally with mobile radios and vehicles under the EU Automotive Directive. Interesting problem for emergency services......

However, there's a two year old CAA report on the subject:

FWIW, my opinion is that right now, the only electronics that are useable by passengers at all times are pacemakers and hearing aids.
Anything else should be only used at the Captain's discretion. In the longer term, all the aircraft equipment should be suitably hardened - especially with stories like BEagles!
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 16:00
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Isn't the PA32 one of the more popular aircraft for parachute dropping?
If it happens again, merely push the passenger out of the big door at the back.....
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Old 5th Nov 2001, 23:30
  #33 (permalink)  
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An interesting one is that certain cell phones can (and do)set off the cargo smoke detectors in RJ's. Apparently an incoming call to a phone in the last several rows of an RJ will do this. I have heard of more than one instance of the bottles being blown (sorry about your puppy in the cargo hold there Johnny) and the aircraft being evacuated after cargo smoke indications for this very reason.
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 05:08
  #34 (permalink)  
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An electronics engineer I am not. A B767 Captain I am. Despite the passengers being briefed in the terminal before boarding the aircraft and then again on the aircraft before takeoff, we still have the problem of passengers using their mobile phones when in the aircraft.


Why ?

Some of you may have been using a 'normal' (landline) phone when someone close by has switched on their mobile. You will have heard the "click click click click" through your landline phone earpiece.

I have had several occasions now when this "click click....." has blocked out R/T comms.
The last time was in Dubai a few weeks ago. We had just landed and had switched to Ground 118.35 Our taxi instructions were;
"XXX123 turn right onto click click click click click"
Fortunately we were on the ground that time.

Now lets change the time and place to (say) London Heathrow, early morning (busy time), Low Vis (Cat 3B) proceedures, you are on short finals, cleared to land.
Surface Movement Radar now detects a ground vehicle entering the runway (it is heavy fog after all). The A.T.C. immediately transmits a Go Around instruction.

What you hear is;
"XX 123 click click click click click"

RVR is 75m. Touchdown speed is 135 Kts.

Maybe you will be lucky.
Maybe you will be dead.

Small single engine piston, or multi engine wide body jet. What's the difference ? Dead is dead.

You can now go into the realm of a passenger deliberately and willfully disobeying an aircraft commanders lawful instruction regarding safety of flight if you want to. I remember earlier this year a Saudi Arabian newspaper reporting a major in the Saudi Armed Forces being sentenced to a flogging of 70 lashes for refusing to switch off his mobile during an internal flight in Saudi. I think a video of such a flogging should be played in all transit lounges. I'm sure a good flogging along with a message like "You too can have your back mutilated, just use your mobile in flight" would have a remarkable effect on those people who absolutely must use their mobiles on board.

P.S. I'm not really a miserable grouch, I just don't like people trying to kill me.
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 05:24
  #35 (permalink)  
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Always on flights around the gulf you see people using mobiles on take off and landing.
cabin crews requests to switch off are usually ignored. You see the look of arrogance on the man's face when being told this by a young woman.
If mobiles are this dangerous why are they not put in the same class as knives and taken away prior to boarding and collected after landing. Surely flight safety is paramount.
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 15:01
  #36 (permalink)  
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For all of You who think that mobile phones won't do any harm:

I had a flight on an A320 from Moscow to Vienna a few years ago enrouete at FL 350 when suddenly the Primary Flight Display got weird, switching from Flight to "Specific Ground Indications" showing max sidestick deflections and back every second; after half a minute or so we got an additional ECAM warning about an EIU fault, with maybe Reverser deployment inflight.
At this time I made an immediate announcment requesting ALL electronic equipment to be turned off immediately. After 10 seconds all was fine again.

Even if Mr. Niki Lauda publicly announced that there can't be any influence by phones becaues he left two of them on in the cockpit (during landing !!!!), he doesn't convince me. Especially if You know that he has a contract with a mobile phone network that pays him US$ 290,000.- per year for ads.
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 16:39
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maxmobil, i agree there is a good reason to be concerned, it just frustrates me to see these d---heads who still insist on using mobiles on aircraft, surely they can be classed as a dangerous implement and taken off passengers prior to boarding.
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Old 7th Nov 2001, 17:41
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As stated in previous posts it’s not only the pax who are guilty. I phoned a friends mobile a few months ago to get to hear.. “Err Can I phone you back in a couple of mins, just turning on to the localiser at xxx” Apart from the interference, & legal implications with Single pilot ops (as in this case) the distraction factor has got to be a major issue. When we spoke later he jovially admitted he never turned it off in flight. I shall be forwarding a link of this thread to him and he already now knows my opinion! Whatever type, whatever the conditions & whatever the circumstances MOBILES SHOULD BE SWITCHED OFF PRIOR TO BOARDING and have the battery removed in case the Alarm function, which switches some phones on, is enabled. This should be an internationally agreed legal requirement. Referring to Maxmobil’s post had the offending electronic gizmo been in the hold the implications are horrendous. Is it such a hard ship to be incommunicado for the period of a flight?

Just my opinion!

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Old 8th Nov 2001, 16:30
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An extract from the JAA Guidance Leaflet No. 29 dealing with cellphones. TGL 29 has been published by the JAA on behalf of its 33 member European authorities and sets the policy for airlines operating under JAA regulations.

Cellphones are both non-intentional and intentional transmitting PEDs, operating on spot channel frequencies in the bands of approximately 415 MHz, 900 MHz or 1800 MHz. (Some regions of the world use slightly different bands). Most use digital modulation but analogue types are still in use. Their maximum transmitted power is in the range of typically 1 to 5 watts. The actual power transmitted at a particular time is controlled by the cellular network and may vary from 20mW to maximum rated power of the cellphone depending on quality of the link between the cellphone and the network. Even in standby mode, a cellphone transmits periodically to register and re-register with the cellular network and to maintain contact with a base station.

The transmitted power and precise radio frequency of an operating cellphone is dependent on the traffic on the network, the distance of the cellphone from the nearest base station, and any obstacles or attenuation in the signal path. An aircraft on the ground at an airport is likely to be in close proximity to a base station resulting in a strong link between that station and an onboard cellphone. Under these circumstances, the cellphone would seek a free channel in the assigned communication band and its output power would be set by the network to a low level sufficient to maintain the link. Interference levels would, as a result, be low and probably harmless but this cannot be guaranteed. Closing of the aircraft doors increases attenuation in the signal path, and as the aircraft increases its distance from the base station, the output power setting of the cellphone is increased, eventually to its maximum rating. The risk of interference is then at its greatest. At altitude, the cellphone will transmit periodically attempting to register with the cellular network. The quality of the link is likely to be poor and the cellphone will radiate maximum power in these circumstances. Furthermore, since it is likely to be in line-of-sight range of multiple base stations, some degradation of the network operation may result and actual communication may not be possible.

The effect of this type of functioning is that, when the aircraft is on the ground near a base station, the interference risk can be low but not negligible, and it will increase as the aircraft taxies and then climbs away from the network base stations.

The simultaneous use in an aircraft of several cellphones will result in transmissions at different radio frequencies leading to a more complex interference environment.

Reports of interference are increasing but it has been difficult to positively confirm in all cases that a PED has been the actual cause of a problem. This is due to the difficulty in replicating the conditions that existed at the time of the occurrence due to the multiple factors involved (e.g. geographical location of the aircraft, system operating modes, interference frequency and intensity, source location in the aircraft, and path attenuation). Cellphones have been positively identified as the cause of degraded communications and of false baggage compartment smoke warnings. Cellphones have been strongly implicated in other spurious cockpit warnings, corrupted instrument displays, and pressurisation system malfunctions.

Although the total number of reports is relatively low considering the aircraft flight hours involved, the potential severity of the effects of interference means that the problem cannot be ignored.

JAA documents are available from Information Handling Services (IHS). Information on prices, where and how to order, is available on the JAA web site (http://www.jaa.nl) and on the IHS web sites http://www.global.ihs.com and http://www.avdataworks.com.

End quote
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Old 8th Nov 2001, 18:21
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What about radio-pagers.

The briefing deals with mobiles, but doesn't mention pagers, presumably they also send and receive signals?
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