Oh my god! He’s got a phone!

If your mobile phone can really crash an airliner, then why the hell are you allowed to bring it on in hand luggage? Tweezers can’t, and they confiscate those…

Do they really expect us to believe that the next hijacking is going to be some guy holding up his phone and threatening to press the call button?

Meanwhile:

In July last year the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ruled that mobiles do not disrupt aircraft navigational equipment if airlines install special technology, paving the way for travellers to be able to make calls and send text messages mid-flight.

The ACMA approved technology that allows an airline-installed, on-board system to relay mobile-phone signals.

If mobile phones that pretty much every passenger carries are such a threat, then why isn’t installing this technology mandatory for all airlines?

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14 responses to “Oh my god! He’s got a phone!

  1. “If mobile phones that pretty much every passenger carries are such a threat, then why isn’t installing this technology mandatory for all airlines?”

    Well they’re not are they really? I guess it’s the old chestnut costs.

    However!

    Well I for one would be happy just to have an aeroplane that was reliable and all with all its engines functioning properly, for a start.

    A cheese cracker that doesn’t leave your mouth needing plastic surgery would be nice too. Also just for once, I would like a beer or soft drink just below the temperature of my bladder. The suggestion to any flight crew reading this is, you are allowed to put more than 3 grains of coffee in a cup, and, leave the tea bag in longer than five seconds.

    I would also like to take a piss, or a shit, with out having to clean up some other bastards body fluids from the seat, the basin or any where else they have pointed their shotgun arses or uncontrollable penis or vagina.

    Lastly they should have signs you can hang around your neck that tells other passengers, NO, I don’t want to talk about the weather, Tony Abbott’s toilet habits, global warming, or the price of sardines.

    And lastly any passenger that comes up with the Christian name of Iain, on the passenger list.Well! Put them in with the cargo underneath.

    My mobile, Yep I can do with out it.

  2. A few years ago I came back from a conference in Sydney with a mobile phone in my bag that I discovered had been on the whole way when I got into Brisbane. Came on by itself I swear, because I remember checking that it was off. I’m probably not the only person this has happened to.

    Plane didn’t crash, and no jack-booted stewardesses or co-pilots came storming down the isles, detector in hand, looking for “the damn fool who left his phone on endangering us all”.

    The radar signal from the control tower is going to be thousands of times stronger than anything a phone can put out. Not to mention local radio and television stations. And the lowest-bidder cheap wiring in the seat-back entertainment units. Planes don’t seem to have a problem handling that EMP bath every time they fly. It’s a crock and always has been.

  3. They only say that cos calling from a mobile on a plane is free….

  4. I can’t speak to the technology involved, but I have left my phone accidentally on in a briefcase and lived to tell the tale.

    However one of the compensating joys of air travel is isolation: I love being briefly unreachable, and the last thing I want to hear is some braying moron in the seat behind me organising some petty business transaction.

  5. I think the regulatory position is that mobile phones DO cause small but measurable interference (particularly to older unsheilded equipment), the cost of an accident would be high in human and monetary terms, and the risk is entirely avoidable.
    I have no problem whatsoever with that way of thinking.

  6. “mobile phones DO cause small but measurable interference (particularly to older unsheilded equipment)”

    But according to the story there’s something they can install that makes it completely safe, so why not make that compulsory?

    “the risk is entirely avoidable.”

    Is it, though? The current policy doesn’t avoid the risk; people regularly forget to turn their phones off.

  7. Simon B thats probably it.

    I don’t even have a mobile phone. The land line shits me enough as it is. They are little Skinner boxes that program people into thinking whatever they are doing right now isn’t important.

  8. “But according to the story there’s something they can install that makes it completely safe, so why not make that compulsory?”

    Cos its cheaper to take the risk and deal with the consequences? (I don’t think that is appropriate btw, but it seems to be the way of modern business practices.)

  9. There’s clearly no problem with the odd one or two mobiles left on (and not being used) but maybe there would be with 50 actively sending & receiving data at once? (I have absolutely no idea about this stuff.)

  10. For a very long time, due solely to my stupidity about mobile phones, I would simply put mine on ‘silent’ wheny flying.

    A helpful colleague eventually pointed out to me that the phone was still on, and receiving data, and that I should probably turn it off completely. I did so . . . and then spent several weeks without a phone as I couldn’t remember the PIN to turn it back on.

    Nowadays I still leave my phone on silent during flights, as I still can’t remember my PIN (honestly, how many PINs is one person expected to remember?). No crashes yet.

  11. I’d be interested to know whether anything even moderately calamitous has happened anywhere, anytime, as a result of someone having their mobile on. I’m not aware of a single verifiable account of anything like that ever having happened.

  12. “I’m not aware of a single verifiable account of anything like that ever having happened.”

    There are some anecdotes in the linked article – but they do beg the question as to how those planes managed to get an air-worthiness certificate. Pervasive EM fields are a fact of modern life – the air safety authorities could easily simulate a full load of passengers all talking on the phone at once and refuse to let unshielded navigational equipment fly. It’s the navigational equipment that is potentially unsafe – not the phones.

  13. “I’d be interested to know whether anything even moderately calamitous has happened anywhere, anytime, as a result of someone having their mobile on. I’m not aware of a single verifiable account of anything like that ever having happened.”

    Erm! My mistress rang me on the plane one time, my wife was sitting next to me at the time. It don’t get any worse than that. I told her it was our daughter wishing us a safe trip. Of course I did.

  14. I think a risk greater than crashing would be the risk to the sanity of some passengers. Imagine an entire plane full of people gabbering on their phones during a flight? it’s bad enough on land-based transport. If fisticuffs did not entail, I’d be utterly amazed.

    It does crack me up how dozens of people scrabble for their phones the nanosecond the plane touches tarmac. Reminds me or smokers disembarking from public transport.

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