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Phones Off?

Old 25th Jan 2020, 08:06
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Phones Off?

Hi all

SLF here. On a recent flight to Luxembourg flying in an (I think) A320, we were asked to put our phones, tablets etc into flight mode when we took off from Gatwick. At top of descent, there was an announcement saying that because visibility at Luxembourg was so low, we were asked to make sure that everything was actually switched off (not just put into flight mode; they were very emphatic about that).

Can I ask what the reason for the request might have been? If there was a genuine worry about interference, why would flight mode not have dealt with it?

I'd be grateful for any insights.

Kulu
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 08:52
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In one of my previous companies we had the same policy. Flight mode was sufficient except for LVO, where devices had to be powered off completely. I think there is no real scientific reason behind, but the rationale is to avoid any disturbance in the ILS signals during Autoland.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 09:11
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In my experience on the 320 Family or any other aircraft I flew I never heard such things before.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 09:38
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Originally Posted by Flo121142 View Post
In one of my previous companies we had the same policy. Flight mode was sufficient except for LVO, where devices had to be powered off completely. I think there is no real scientific reason behind, but the rationale is to avoid any disturbance in the ILS signals during Autoland.
Thanks, that makes sense.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 09:38
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PED off in LVO standard procedure with us

Best

OR
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 09:50
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Had that once (LX ZRH-HAM, A320 HB-IJH) and crew came by several times to announce switching everything off (of course not everybody obeyed)
due to autoland procedures.

Flightmode doesn't disable WiFi, Bluetooth.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 09:55
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Originally Posted by PAXfips View Post
Had that once (LX ZRH-HAM, A320 HB-IJH) and crew came by several times to announce switching everything off (of course not everybody obeyed)
due to autoland procedures.

Flightmode doesn't disable WiFi, Bluetooth.
Thanks; I thought flight mode shut off everything.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 10:06
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Originally Posted by PAXfips View Post

Flightmode doesn't disable WiFi, Bluetooth.
This is not correct.
Just tested it, just to be sure, on our different Android phones.
Everything is switched off in flight mode including WiFi. But you can re enable Bluetooth separately.
As I'm allergic to Apple, I don't know about iPhones.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 10:13
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Originally Posted by PAXfips View Post
Had that once (LX ZRH-HAM, A320 HB-IJH) and crew came by several times to announce switching everything off (of course not everybody obeyed)
due to autoland procedures.

Flightmode doesn't disable WiFi, Bluetooth.
It disables both wifi and Bluetooth on my iPhone and iPad.

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Old 25th Jan 2020, 10:39
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Originally Posted by OvertHawk View Post
It disables both wifi and Bluetooth on my iPhone and iPad.
Yes indeed, I've also found this with Amazon Kindles and a Samsung tablet I have also.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 10:58
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Originally Posted by OvertHawk View Post
It disables both wifi and Bluetooth on my iPhone and iPad.
You can still turn Bluetooth and WiFi on and off in flight mode. If Iím listening on my Bluetooth headphones and turn on flight mode then the Bluetooth stays connected.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 11:28
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So how does this affect the use of iPads as EFB on the flight deck ? If this is really an issue will paper charts have to be carried for use in LVOs ?
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 11:51
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Originally Posted by excrab View Post
So how does this affect the use of iPads as EFB on the flight deck ? If this is really an issue will paper charts have to be carried for use in LVOs ?
​​​​​​I'm pretty sure part of the EFB certification process involves testing this. We keep ours on. The guys in the back could have a hundred different devices which haven't been tested.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 12:15
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True. As far as I know, there is no evidence of interference from the devices such as mobiles and tablets. Otherwise you can be sure that airlines would be very strict on the compliance to this rule.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 13:16
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I often get communication interference in my headset if the phone or ipad is not in airplane mode.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 13:46
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Yeah... One phone is unlikely to cause interference with avionics. But 300 phones?
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 14:07
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Originally Posted by OsborneReynolds View Post
PED off in LVO standard procedure with us

Best

OR
Is this SOP only relevant to European ops? I've never experienced that in US.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 14:40
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Most of us punter don't know how to turn off or on flight mode. Turning off the whole thing solves that for us, if we can reach it in the overhead or under a seat or even listen to the announcements
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 14:47
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Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
Is this SOP only relevant to European ops? I've never experienced that in US.
Would not be allowed in the US. The crew would make an announcement that they needed the devices turned off and offer some explanation. That explanation would interpreted as the crew can not see, the instruments were not working and life in the cockpit was in a crisis more.

Then some on board club house lawyer would leap up and claim it was discriminatory, it was against their rights, they had an important call to make or mail to send . Others would cry out about their stress and anxiety levels, how they feared they were going to die and had written loved ones their final letters.
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Old 25th Jan 2020, 17:22
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EASA regulation AMC1 CAT.GEN.MPA.140 requires that all electronic devices must be be off for low visibility approach operations hence the announcement being given that all devices must be off. As mentioned previously, some devices allow bluetooth and wifi to be turned on even in flight safe mode.
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