Monday, December 26, 2011

Leaving your kindle on will not take down the plane.

Tests Cast Doubt on F.A.A. Restrictions on Kindle and iPad -

The Federal Aviation Administration has its reasons for preventing passengers from reading from their Kindles and iPads during takeoff and landing. But they just don’t add up. 


  1. I disagree with this.

    There are two things to consider. The first is simple to understand: some electronics DO interfere with other electronics. If you ever had a cell phone call coming in near a set of speakers, you'll know what I mean. Perhaps only one in a million such minor cases of interference would cause a problem, but millions of flights occur every day. Of those, perhaps only a small, almost insignificant number would affect an airplane's control systems, but again... with millions a day, every few years you might have one instance where a problem is caused by interference. Of these, another small percentage would actually cause a crash or some other less severe, though catastrophic, accident (maybe a sudden dip in altitude that throws objects and people around the cabin). Take-off and landing are the most dangerous time to experience any kind of problem of this nature.

    But the real concern, for me anyway, is that people (specifically passengers as a whole) are too stupid to determine for themselves which electronics would be safe to use. I would bet the farm a Kindle will never bring down an airplane, but someone's iPhone which is being used as an mp3 player or book reader just might, under the most unlucky of circumstances (say, if you got a call). In this instance, the cost (forcing bored passengers who think they can't go 5 minutes without a screen in front of their face to put away all electronic devices) is far outweighed by the (admittedly slim) possibility of killing hundreds of people. If everyone on the plane was given an IQ test and informed of the types of electronics which are least likely to actually cause a problem... then sure, maybe there could be exceptions, but people are dumb and leaving the safety of an airplane to the discretion of the average passenger makes no sense.

    If we're just changing rules for planes, let me carry liquids before we worry about people being able to use electronics on take-off and landing.

  2. It's probably a silly rule.

    But a little time to myself without worrying about connectivity to... everything... is a good thing.

    I see people jogging while talking on the phone, and I think, "What the hell?" I need time without that crap.

    I also agree with Bret Alan (above) about the liquids. I mean, if nothing else, it would be good to have liquids with me so I could pour them over the lap of the guy next to me when his iPad starts interfering with the plane's control system!


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