Forgotten to set flight mode – it’s really that dangerous?

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As soon as they board the plane, many people turn off their cell phones or turn on airplane mode. But what happens if you forget to do that?

Before takeoff, anyone on an airplane hears, “Please make sure all electronic devices, such as smartphones or tablets, are turned off or in flight mode.” But why?

At one time, cell phones were said to be able to emit signals in the same frequency band as the aircraft’s communications and navigation systems. In other words, electromagnetic interference occurs, and the plane can crash in the worst case.

Nowadays, however, the situation is not quite so dramatic. Technology has advanced a lot, and navigation and communication in aviation are only rarely but still disturbed by cell phones.

These interfering signals are exceptionally inconvenient during the takeoff and landing of the aircraft. That’s because these phases are each considered critical. But according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, using electronic equipment that transmits on the same frequency band is not problematic during the non-critical phase. The non-critical phase is considered to be the entire flight – except for takeoff and landing.

Nevertheless, not all devices in the cockpit go wild during such an electromagnetic disturbance. The worst that can happen is that noises are heard on the pilot’s radios, such as a crackling or hissing sound. But that is the extreme case. It should always be avoided. Because noise on the line can, in the worst case, make it difficult to hear radio instructions.

A flight captain explained to “Travelbook”: “As a rule, however, these noises don’t reach the pilot at all nowadays.” But especially on approach, he said, there is a high risk of triggering interference noise through cell phone use. This happens when all passengers switch on their cell phones simultaneously – and these then connect to the respective providers.

So using flight mode is now more critical for oneself. Because if a cell phone is set to receive mode, it tries to connect to cell phone towers repeatedly, even above the clouds. This costs the battery and can lead to an explosion in roaming costs. And no one wants to start or end their vacation with such a surprise.

  • source: heute.ar/picture: pixabay.com
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