Every time a plane lands or takes off, all passengers are asked to shut off all electronic devices – laptops, cel phones, iPods, GPS tracking devices, DVD players. If you don’t put your electronic devices away, then technically you’re breaking an FAA law. The FAA created the electronic devices rule many years ago in order to rule out risks involving interference with the aircraft’s navigation GPS system. But many people question whether the law is really necessary. After all, can an iPod or iPhone really interfere with an airplane’s navigation GPS system?
I’ve seen many people ignore this law and continue to use their cel phone or iPod during landings and take off. Chances are using an electronic device will not do anything. Therefore, no your iPod will not do any damage. But, it is a federal law to make sure your devices are shut off. The theory is that they COULD do something to make the aircraft’s electronics go haywire.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, Bill Strauss, an engineer who’s studied the effects of electronic devices on planes, says “people should not ignore the FAA law, even though it would take a perfect storm for a personal electronic device to actually cause a plane crash. There is an extremely small possibility it could do something. Why risk it? It is better to be safe than sorry.”
Personal electronic devices don’t always interfere with a plane’s electronics — but sometimes they do, or can, cause problems. There is an old episode of Mythbusters where they were trying to test what could happen if a cel phone interfered with a plane’s navigation GPS system. They tried several crazy scenarios that were highly unlikely to occur in real-life. I think they finally got the airplane’s navigation instruments to get whacked out of control – becoming completely useless – which would be a real nightmare for a commercial jet pilot.
For more information, please go to Yahoo News.