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Apple iPhone suspected of interfering with airline equipment in 2011 incident - Page 2

post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

That was true 40 years ago. Compass position and output to the flight system is now output digitally and the electronics and communications could be susceptible to interference.

 

This is correct.  Even a simple charter jet will be using an HSI slaved remotely to a gyro and a flux compass over wires.

 

An airliner will be using a FMS (Flight Management System) that takes info from the VOR/DME radios, Inertial Reference System (if it has one) and/or GPS receiver (if it has one).  The FMS controls the autopilot.  TCAS receivers in the tail give alerts.  All of this is wired together and susceptible to interference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

This has been a top of discussion for like 5 years, extreme discussion for the last 2-3. So how is it that all of a suddenly we are hearing about this allegedly incident

 

Frankly, because reporters are lazy.  Those who are pilots and/or engineers  have long known about ASRS and interference reports.   You can tell from the wording that some of the incidents really shook up the pilots. The problem is, again, that it's so hard to prove and/or prevent.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCMacUser View Post

It would help had the reporter spent sometime doing research, aircraft autopilots aren't guided by compasses even in little single engine planes, let alone airliners. So if it effected the autopilot it would have had to interfered with the internal navigation systems.  

 

Correct.

 

Quote:
And maybe that's possible, but honestly then wouldn't every plane be seeing these issues on take off and landing with tall the Wifi and cell towers surrounding airports??

 

No, bringing up outside interference is a popular misconception,   You see, an airline fuselage is a pretty good Faraday cage.   Except for holes, signals do not get in or out.  Ever try to use a handheld radio or GPS on an airliner?  You have to get very close to a window to get an external signal at all.

 

The bigger danger always comes from inside the aircraft tube.  Which brings up a couple of more common questions which I only have a few seconds to address right now:

 

Q. My device doesn't transmit.  How can it be a problem?  A.  Almost all modern electronic devices are transmitters of some sort, because they have high frequency clocks to drive the CPUs.  Even a toy.

 

Q. Some airplanes have onboard wifi or cell.  How is that possible?  A.  First, each class and type and model of aircraft must be tested individually.  That costs.  Second, it relies on devices following basic rules about transmit power.  E.g. a device should only have to use its lowest power setting to talk to a hotspot inside the aircraft a few dozen feet away.  If there is a software bug (which is not unknown), a device could ramp up to very high power output and cause interference. (That's what happened in the Boeing test case.)  This is also why it's dumb to leave your cell phone on in a plane.. it's going to ramp up power trying to talk to a tower, and use battery like crazy.

 

Regards.

post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


But is that the fault of your MacBook, or perhaps crap wiring in your house

 

Or just a crap UHF signal.

post #43 of 81

I always wonder what new Apple hit-piece is going to come out at any given day. And how mind-numbingly preposterous it's going to be. 

 

First of all, all I see in airports is iPhones. Hundreds of millions of iPhones, or more, have been on many millions of flights around the world. I think if they caused issues with the flight, we'd fucking know it by now. 

 

Secondly, there's nothing magical about the tech inside the iPhone- it uses the exact same wireless technologies as every single other smartphone out there. You'd think they know by now if phones had any effect on flight systems. Cause, you know, it's a big fucking deal. 

 

But hey, "maybe" that iPhone screwed the plane up, right? Makes for a good fear-mongering headline!

 

Oh, and whats the reason for the $14 stock drop so far today? Are there any other horse-shit hit-pieces I missed? Is it cause that woman wants $5 million cause her power button didn't work right? 

post #44 of 81

Oh that's interesting.  The source Bloomberg story was:

 

Quote:

The regional airliner was climbing past 9,000 feet when its compasses went haywire, leading pilots several miles off course until a flight attendant persuaded a passenger in row 9 to switch off an iPhone.

“The timing of the cellphone being turned off coincided with the moment where our heading problem was solved,” the unidentified co-pilot told NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System about the 2011 incident. The plane landed safely.

 

As it happens, I think I have a copy of that particular ASRS report:

 

Quote:
Synopsis
CRJ200 First Officer reports compass system malfunctions during initial climb. When passengers are asked to verify that all electronic devices are turned off the compass system returns to normal.

Narrative

After departing, climbing through ~ 9,000 feet we received an EFIS COMP MON caution msg. Flight Manual directs pilots to slew compass to reliable side. It was apparent neither side was correct with the Captain's, Mag Compass, and First Officer's headings all different. 

... snip ...

In the past I have had similar events with speculation that cellphones left on may contribute to the heading problems. I made a PA asking our passengers to check their cellphones and make sure that they are off. Short of flying with both headings in DG (*) we attempted to slew the compasses together again, and the EFIS COMP MON was cleared with no further messages. 

Our Flight Attendant called and asked if that had helped, I said yes, what did you do? He stated he walked through the cabin and spoke to each of the 12 passengers. A passenger in Row 9 had an iPhone in the standby mode, not airplane mode or off. He showed the passenger how to turn the phone off fully.

The flight continued to destination with no further problems. In my opinion and past experience the cellphone being on and trying to reconnect to towers on the ground, along with the location of row 9 to the instrumentation in the wing caused our heading to wander. The timing of the cellphone being turned off coincided with the moment where our heading problem was solved. Eight other flights in the same aircraft in two days span completed without a similar event.

 

I'll see if I can post others later on.

 

(*) DG mode means using only the gyros, which become inaccurate after a while.

post #45 of 81
Electronic devices, even malfunctioning ones, have never caused a plane crash, and likely never will.
 
It's simple.  Those that actually know something about electrical engineering, know that any electronic device can cause EMI, but also know that aircraft are shielded to reject such interference.  If an EMI spewing device affects an aircraft, then it has a serious shielding problem that needs to be fixed asap.
 
Airlines are now replacing books with iPads in the cockpit.  It should now be obvious to even the most lay person, that electronic devices are not a problem.
 
It's time for honesty.  The real reasons they want you to stow your devices at take-off and landing, and not use cellular service at any time, are:
 
1. In an emergency situation, loose articles can become projectiles, or simply be an obstruction.
 
2. They want you to pay attention to flight attendant announcements.
 
3. The cellular companies don't want you to use cell service while in the air because it causes switching problems with their cell towers.
 
FAA/Airlines - tell the truth.  You'll get much better 'mileage', cooperation, and credibility when you just tell it like it is and stop blaming interference.
post #46 of 81
This is a perfect example of someone seeing two temporally close events that are unrelated, and incorrectly assuming a direct causal link. I've seen even very intelligent people reach for an absurd explanation when another event happens to coincide with a phenomena they don't understand.

Relevant wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
post #47 of 81
Quote:

That said, it's the lithium batteries that worry me nowadays.  There are ASRS reports of baggage catching fire while being loaded.   If that happened in mid-air, it could be disastrous.

 

(To those who do not know.  ASRS allows pilots to submit confidential incident reports without fear of reprisal.  This has allowed NASA to collect a lot of info that would otherwise never be known about.)

 

Agreed.  Batteries in devices in checked luggage are a very serious, and a real concern.  Especially with laptops that frequently fail to go to sleep when the lid is closed, and are shoved into a suitcase with a bunch of clothing.  The fire risks in checked luggage are high, and getting higher all the time.  People really need to be educated to not check luggage that contains anything with a battery.

post #48 of 81
Here's another one about false collision alerts.  There are more of these in the files.
 
Note that several times the pilots get a false RA (Resolution Advisory) -  CLIMB! or DESCEND!  from the Collision Avoidance system.  It got so bad that they start to ignore it.  In the meantime, wonder what what the passengers thought with the plane climbing or descending rapidly at times.
 
As the pilot pointed out, a false RA at low altitude with max weight could be dangerous, as the aircraft cannot perform as well in that case. 
 

 

Quote:
FLT XXX, A B737-800 ZZZ-ZZZ1. AFTER TAKEOFF NEAR MAX GROSS WT, PRIOR TO FLAP RETRACTION RECEIVED A RESOLUTION ADVISORY 'MAINTAIN VERTICAL SPEEDWITH RED AREA NOT TO DECREASE TO 1500 FPM OR LESS RATE OF CLIMB. 
 
DELAYED THRUST REDUCTION AND FLAP RETRACTION TO COMPLY WITH RA AND SCANNED FOR TRAFFIC.  TCAS INDICATED A CO-ALTITUDE TARGET (RED CIRCLE) LESS THAN .01 BEHIND US. THIS OCCURRED AT 1000 FT MSL, AND CLEARED UP APPROX 30 SECONDS LATER.
 
SECOND RA OCCURRED NEAR 12000 FT MSL. SAME TARGET INDICATION, A RED CIRCLE CO-ALT LESS THAN .01 BEHIND US. NOW THE RA ADVISED 'DESCEND, DESCEND, DESCEND.'   WE STARTED THE DESCENT, ADVISING ATC OF THE RA AND SCANNING FOR TFC. ATC ADVISED US THERE WAS NOTHING IN OUR VICINITY, AND TCAS WAS CLEAN OF TARGETS FOR NEARLY 10 MILES. 
 
BEGAN TO SUSPECT EMI FROM CABIN. STARTED TO CLIMB AGAIN -- IGNORING THE TCAS RA COMMANDS. THE BOX WAS QUIET. RECYCLED THE TRANSPONDER POWER. AT 14000 FT, WE GOT A THIRD TCAS RA. SAME DISPLAY AND DESCEND CALLOUTS.   WE IGNORED THEM.
 
CALLED CABIN FOR A CHK OF EQUIP THAT MAY HAVE CAUSED INTERFERENCE. FOUND PAX SEATED IN FIRST CLASS WITH LAPTOP ON. MODEL HP 6220 WITH WIRELESS FUNCTION ENABLED.. ONCE HE DISABLED THE WIRELESS FUNCTION, ALL OK.
 
IS THE TCAS ANTENNA CABLE SHIELDED FROM INTERNAL (CABIN COMPUTERS) EMI? I HAVE NOT SEEN AN EVENT LIKE THIS BEFORE.
 
WHAT MAKES IT HAZARDOUS -- IS THE RATE OF CLIMB AT DEPARTURE, PRIOR TO ACCELERATION AND FLAP RETRACTION AND THE 1500 FPM OR GREATER RATE OF CLIMB. (TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHT NEAR MAX TAKEOFF WT.)
 
WITH THE PROLIFERATION OF WIRELESS COMPUTERS, I AM SURE WE WILL BE SEEING THIS MORE OFTEN. 

 

post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

The kick is the variability in testing.  For example:

http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-6602_7-291-2.html

Each of these phones has a different level and, not only that, different frequencies.  Aircraft are tested under specific flight conditions and any issues are known and pretty darn well understood under those specific conditions. Likewise, behavior on the ground can be markedly different than at 30,000 feet (for example radiation flux is much higher and EMI levels are higher at high altitude and also depend heavily on latitude) so system level ground testing is not always an option.

It is easy to say "Just test it" when you don't understand the parameters that need tested. What cell phones do you use? What mix of cell phone models, LTE, HSPA? HSPA+, 2G and/or 3G frequency bands do you test against?

And yes, I do this specific system and software interaction/debugging for a living.  I take all my electronic equipment to either OFF or Airplane Mode when I fly.

The parameters seem pretty clear in this case. Put an iPhone in row 9 of the same aircraft at the same point in the same flight path and turn it on. This is not definitive, but could at least be added to the accumulating evidence instead of accumulating anecdote.
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post #50 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinpublic View Post

To me, it seems like it should be simple. Figure out however many radios there are, figure out how many different types of planes there are, test each plane with each radio. It'll take time of course. Also, don't worry about future proofing the regulations until after the whole country knows whether or not they can use their devices. They're showing how slow they're departments really are.

Uh huh. Thousands of different phone types. Many hundreds of different planes (when you consider the different versions). Then, you need to test each combination under a wide range of conditions because any problem, if it occurs at all, might be dependent on what the aircraft or phone is doing at the time. You might get a problem when the aircraft is headed north, but not headed south. Or maybe it's dependent on altitude (as in the distance between the phone and cell tower). Or it could be dependent on which band is being used by the phone at any given time.

Testing every phone with every plane under every possible set of conditions is ridiculous. Many millions of tests would be required.
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post #51 of 81

There's at least one phone, tablet, or some other random device turned on on every single flight. Some people forget they're on. Some don't think the rules apply to them. Some just think it's a silly rule that shouldn't apply to anybody. Also as more and more portable devices are being put in the hands on people the airlines are going through a very impressive safety streak. It's probably safe to infer that the portable devices have little to no affect on the planes electronics

post #52 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



Testing every phone with every plane under every possible set of conditions is ridiculous. Many millions of tests would be required.

Why not begin with testing the particular phone in the particular row of the particular plane? Something like not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?
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post #53 of 81

Rather than test the actual phones, a testing device could be constructed that can be tuned to broadcast anywhere in the spectrum used by phones, at the upper limit of allowed power for such devices. The device should simulate the worst-case interference that's possible. The data from these tests should be used to harden planes against such interference.

post #54 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Uh huh. Thousands of different phone types. Many hundreds of different planes (when you consider the different versions). Then, you need to test each combination under a wide range of conditions because any problem, if it occurs at all, might be dependent on what the aircraft or phone is doing at the time. You might get a problem when the aircraft is headed north, but not headed south. Or maybe it's dependent on altitude (as in the distance between the phone and cell tower). Or it could be dependent on which band is being used by the phone at any given time.

Testing every phone with every plane under every possible set of conditions is ridiculous. Many millions of tests would be required.

Funny because how many "walking through a airport the other day all I saw were iPhones and iPads" have I read on here and now all of a sudden it's hundreds of device types. So which one is it?
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post #55 of 81
A simple application of Occam's Razor:

Among millions of flights, one had a problem with the compass which resolved when a single iPhone was turned off. This was on a plane full of electronic devices, many of which were probably left turned on while stowed in overhead bins. Which is more likely: That the single iPhone far back in the plane was causing the interference or that it was random chance that the iPhone was turned off at the same time as the interference stopped? What of the smart bits of electronics much closer to the cockpit, perhaps even an iPad or iPhone in the possession of one of the pilots?
post #56 of 81
Does anyone here really believe that all hypotheses or theories are proven or disproven by one single perfectly designed and definitive experiment or test? In most cases, you publish your theory and over a number of years it is eventually supported or denigrated by many small tests that take parts of it, not a single grand definitive one. Why not start by testing the most common suspects (an iPhone for instance) in the most common plane, under the most common circumstances? Then let others go from there?
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post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

It is easy to say "Just test it" when you don't understand the parameters that need tested. What cell phones do you use? What mix of cell phone models, LTE, HSPA? HSPA+, 2G and/or 3G frequency bands do you test against?

It's not that hard to test every possible variation of iPhone in row 9 of the plane. It will take more than a few minutes, but not more than a day or two.

 

Obviously you cannot test every phone in every location in the plane, so you cannot prove it will NEVER cause a problem, however you can easily disprove the silly anecdotal cases that keep popping up. If you find one that it real, then you focus on that.


Edited by liuping - 5/15/13 at 10:22am
post #58 of 81
This reminds me of the warnings by gas pumps to keep your cell phone in your car when fueling. Presumably a fire was caused by static electricity when someone went in their car to get their phone and this turned into the cell phone caused the explosion.

As mentioned above, conduct a test with real engineers not bureaucrats and find out if this interference is even possible.
post #59 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

On the face of it, this claim is impossible.  We don't know the details of course, but an aircraft's compass is typically of the "bowl" variety and uses solid bar magnets.  The only thing that could affect it would be a very strong electromagnetic field or the presence of other bar magnets (very) nearby.  

It's also worrying how a co-pilot "... suggested it was likely the iPhone caused interference with the plane's systems, as the timing of the phone being turned off coincided with when the navigational issues were resolved."  


Whomever this person is, they certainly don't understand science, causality, statistics etc. I didn't think co-pilots were that dumb.  


It's almost (literally!) more likely that a UFO happened to pass by the window at the same time.  

Maybe airplanes should use iPhones. iPhones have compasses that are immune to its own interference. 1wink.gif

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post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


The parameters seem pretty clear in this case. Put an iPhone in row 9 of the same aircraft at the same point in the same flight path and turn it on. This is not definitive, but could at least be added to the accumulating evidence instead of accumulating anecdote.

What other PED equipment was in the aircraft turned on at the same time?

 

What was the current sunspot number?

 

Same exact time of day.

 

Same latitude and longitude.

 

Same day of the year.

 

Have you heard the phase "The Straw that Broke the Camels Back"?

 

It is easy to just say "test it once and that is 'science' and be done with it". Nothing could be farther from the truth or science.

post #61 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

And let's not forget Apple's assassination of JFK.

Unforgivable!

Yes, but it was Samsung that was responsible for Bobby!

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post #62 of 81
The FAA is a joke
post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by liuping View Post

It's not that hard to test every possible variation of iPhone in row 9 of the plane. It will take more than a few minutes, but not more than a day or two.

 

Obviously you cannot test every phone in every location in the plane, so you cannot prove it will NEVER cause a problem, however you can easily disprove the silly anecdotal cases that keep popping up. If you find one that it real, then you focus on that.

You don't even begin to understand testing.  Sorry to put it harshly but there is no light easy way to put it.

 

"It will take more than a few minutes but not more than a day or two"??????

 

Really?  Really? And yes, you have to replicate every other's passengers PED conditions as well. People are being silly and going at this backward: because there has been no problem, then there is no problem. The avionics industry is about risk mitigation: Just because there has been no accident does not mean one can't happen.

 

You look at the data (and I have seen some data that points to more processor failures when the cabin is full VS empty. Perhaps. Maybe. It looks that way.) and you look to minimize the risk factors.  PED's on (as in radios ON or radios OFF with screen ON) is a slight (very slight) additional risk fact.  Little bumps at cruise altitude are much less risky than little bumps at take off and landing. The mitigation of this risk is simple. Put the thing in Aircraft mode and shut off the screen and analog IO (as in music playback) for a short period of your life. Devices in this standby state are very very quiet.

 

Risk mitigation. Doing 1 1 day test will prove nothing really. Do it 1000+ times in slightly different configurations and you might be on to something.

 

For example, we will power-cycle a sub-system 100,000+ times (aggregate number of cycles) to make sure it powers up perfectly every time.

post #64 of 81

Pigeon superstition, causality is inferred by two events being temporally adjacent.  It changed, so something I did must have caused it to change.  That's not an airplane, its a huge skinner box!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uPmeWiFTIw

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post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacekid View Post

This reminds me of the warnings by gas pumps to keep your cell phone in your car when fueling. Presumably a fire was caused by static electricity when someone went in their car to get their phone and this turned into the cell phone caused the explosion.

As mentioned above, conduct a test with real engineers not bureaucrats and find out if this interference is even possible.

 

Unfortunately, with bureaucrats, politicians, and the public in general, the moronic aphorism of "better safe than sorry" carries great sway.  It's the same thinking that generates billions in profit to the vitamin pill industry.

post #66 of 81
What an absolute load of garbage. And what really saddens me is that there are so many of you conspiracy theorists who actually believe this trash. One tiny little iPhone is affecting the instruments of an airplane?!?!?!?!?!?! I don't think so.

All of those cellular signals are flying through the air anyway. Having one or 1000 iPhones on a plane doesn't change that in the slightest.

It's like the conspiracy theorists who convinced gas stations to post little signs about turning off cell phones as they might start a fire?!?!?!?!?! I don't think so. That's the second-dumbest thing I ever heard. The dumbest is that an iPhone can bring down an airplane. Wake up and smell the coffee, people!
post #67 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

The kick is the variability in testing.  For example:

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-6602_7-291-2.html

 

Each of these phones has a different level and, not only that, different frequencies.  Aircraft are tested under specific flight conditions and any issues are known and pretty darn well understood under those specific conditions. Likewise, behavior on the ground can be markedly different than at 30,000 feet (for example radiation flux is much higher and EMI levels are higher at high altitude and also depend heavily on latitude) so system level ground testing is not always an option.

 

It is easy to say "Just test it" when you don't understand the parameters that need tested. What cell phones do you use? What mix of cell phone models, LTE, HSPA? HSPA+, 2G and/or 3G frequency bands do you test against?

 

And yes, I do this specific system and software interaction/debugging for a living.  I take all my electronic equipment to either OFF or Airplane Mode when I fly.

Yes. Just test it. It's call science. It means understanding the parameters, and setting up the experimental design to determine the combinations of parameters that cause interference. Are the behavior on the ground different than at 30,000 feet? Okay. Sounds like those are parameters that need to be tested. 

 

Sounds like the issue is not that the tests cannot be run, but that people like you don't want to do the work. I'm sorry if the job takes knowledge and effort. I'm sure McDonalds is looking! 

post #68 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

What other PED equipment was in the aircraft turned on at the same time?

What was the current sunspot number?

Same exact time of day.

Same latitude and longitude.

Same day of the year.

Have you heard the phase "The Straw that Broke the Camels Back"?

It is easy to just say "test it once and that is 'science' and be done with it". Nothing could be farther from the truth or science.

By your line of logic, there can never be an answer to anything in field testing. You can always throw up more variables (no matter how unlikely or specious) that would supposedly invalidate the results. A controlled experiment in a lab would eliminate that, but at some point any phenomenon that testing demonstrated would have to replicated in the field.
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post #69 of 81
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Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Sounds like the issue is not that the tests cannot be run, but that people like you don't want to do the work. I'm sorry if the job takes knowledge and effort. I'm sure McDonalds is looking! 

It's to the point that he just wants to win the argument. He says it can't be done and that's the end of it.
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post #70 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Yes. Just test it. It's call science. It means understanding the parameters, and setting up the experimental design to determine the combinations of parameters that cause interference. Are the behavior on the ground different than at 30,000 feet? Okay. Sounds like those are parameters that need to be tested. 

 

Sounds like the issue is not that the tests cannot be run, but that people like you don't want to do the work. I'm sorry if the job takes knowledge and effort. I'm sure McDonalds is looking! 

Are you willing to pay an additional $400 to $1000 per ticket to fund this testing? Flight testing is rather expensive and I know of no EMI chamber large enough to put an entire 777 or 787 or A380 into.

 

The real issue is people that are highly uneducated, like you, are making assumptions about things you know absolutely nothing about. These people also lack the skill sets needed to take their devices to Airplane mode and lack the will to stop listening to music for a small amount of their life.

 

I would love to have a $45 million dollar aircraft to do 1000's of hours of testing on but I don't think people are willing to pay the sudden jump in ticket costs to fund this effort. So lots of data is collected over time and analyzed and patterns are looked for. I have seen a small, but statistically significant, jump in some types of errors based on (what we think by timing) cabin occupancy rates. I am 100% sure of increased EMI related failures based on specific location placement within some aircraft. In time, this testing will be completed (Boeing is doing ground testing on this matter at this point in time).

post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


It's to the point that he just wants to win the argument. He says it can't be done and that's the end of it.

I never once said it CAN'T be done. Just that it is very very expensive.

post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

IDK about the iPhones but I know for certain that whenever I plug my Macbook into its power adapter, enough RF interference is generated that I lose my (over-the-air broadcast) TV reception.  Very annoying.
Well problems with it are you might need it in a new location!😀
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinpublic View Post

To me, it seems like it should be simple. Figure out however many radios there are, figure out how many different types of planes there are, test each plane with each radio. It'll take time of course. Also, don't worry about future proofing the regulations until after the whole country knows whether or not they can use their devices. They're showing how slow they're departments really are.
I am wondering why they have not tested airplane equipment with a average device yet instead of them saying, I wonder?
post #73 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by liuping View Post

It's not that hard to test every possible variation of iPhone in row 9 of the plane. It will take more than a few minutes, but not more than a day or two.

 

Obviously you cannot test every phone in every location in the plane, so you cannot prove it will NEVER cause a problem, however you can easily disprove the silly anecdotal cases that keep popping up. If you find one that it real, then you focus on that.

It's not necessary to test every configuration or device. All one needs is a super EMF/RF generator and hammer away at the aircraft electronic and electrical system to force the effects that are said to be caused by iPhone interference. If the EMF/RF generator has to crank out 10 watts of power to cause effects to aircraft navigation electronics, you know with certainty that no iphone alone will be capable to doing so. 

post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinpublic View Post

To me, it seems like it should be simple. Figure out however many radios there are, figure out how many different types of planes there are, test each plane with each radio. It'll take time of course. Also, don't worry about future proofing the regulations until after the whole country knows whether or not they can use their devices. They're showing how slow they're departments really are.

 

With Fed being tight on budget (even some of the air traffic controllers were on furlough), I don't think they have the resource(money) to do any tests.  Money spent on these kind of tests is wasteful of our tax money.

post #75 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

[...] I fail to understand why all the cabling and systems in something like a passenger jet weren't just shielded long long ago.  If all the wires and terminals were properly shielded, it wouldn't matter if there was a working cyclotron onboard.  

 

Weight? Cost? Relative effectiveness (shielding isn't perfect)? Absence of effective grounding (for obvious reasons)?

post #76 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

Don't buy it. You're telling me that a plane is so fragile electronically that a measly bluetooth/wifi/3G/4G signal interferes with it? Nope, all phones are FCC certified and do not spit out spurious harmonics all over the spectrum so as to create a beat frequency into the cockpit. Where's the antenna? - In coach mounted on the seats? And, do you realize the phone would have to be physically touching the compass before it would be screwed up. A compass is an electro mechanical device. For someone sitting in row 9, everyone on the plane would be fried from that much radiation.

 

According to Seven N. who has posted elsewhere in this thread, the effects of EMI are cumulative, so while you're right that there's no way a phone could generate enough signal strength to cause interference effects, it's possible that two or three hundred at once might. I don't know enough about field effects to discuss that, but he says he works in that field so, while I remain open-minded and suitably skeptical, I'll take his word for it unless/until I come across evidence to the contrary.

 

There is also some disagreement over whether or not most compasses are electro-mechanical or digital now. The latter would be susceptible to interference. I use some of the best digital wireless microphones in the world and just one nearby cellphone is enough to render them useless.

post #77 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Among millions of flights, one had a problem with the compass which resolved when a single iPhone was turned off. 

 

False premise.  It was not just one flight.  There have been many reports of PED interference.

 

(And many reports of batteries and chargers catching fire.  As I said, those really worry me.  A fire at altitude has brought down more than one airliner.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post

It's probably safe to infer that the portable devices have little to no affect on the planes electronics

 

Another false premise. We really have no idea what problems that pilots have had to often work around, and never filed a report on.  For example, GSM buzz can make it difficult to hear ATC, but pilots would not file on such a common thing.   ASRS reports are usually the tip of the iceberg.  That's why they exist:  to give a heads up on potentially widespread problems.

 

For better or worse, most non-pilots seem unaware of how little it takes to cause a accident.  An unheard ATC command, a false anti-collision command, an unnoticed navigational error, are all easily fatal things.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftoRama View Post

All of those cellular signals are flying through the air anyway. Having one or 1000 iPhones on a plane doesn't change that in the slightest.

 

Outside signals do not affect the wiring and instruments because they're behind the plane's fuselage, which acts as a shield.  It also acts like an echo chamber for signals trapped inside.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

There is also some disagreement over whether or not most compasses are electro-mechanical or digital now. The latter would be susceptible to interference.

 

There is no disagreement.  There were only some mistaken comments by non-pilots.  I've already explained in detail in Post #41 what airliners use for directional guidance. 

 

In short:  they do not use the simple whiskey compass except in emergencies.  They use directional gyros and autopilots that use input from fluxgate compasses, radios, inertial reference systems and sometimes GPS.  All of these communicate via wires.


Edited by KDarling - 5/16/13 at 5:52pm
post #78 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

[...] I'm sure McDonalds is looking! 

 

Every so often we are visited by someone who is not bigoted, opinionated, moronic or an asshole. Please do not insult them just because you don't believe they know what they're talking about. Doing that drives them away and leaves only those who ARE bigoted, opinionated, moronic or an asshole (or some combination of the above -- I tend towards a weighted 3 with a touch of 4).

 

You can disagree or challenge without being insulting.

post #79 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Maybe airplanes should use iPhones. iPhones have compasses that are immune to its own interference. 1wink.gif

 

Yeah, but they only seem to correctly identify North at about a rate that may be considered a statistical likelihood of coincidence. Kinda like how even a broken clock is right twice a day.

 

Mine is constantly pointing in some random direction. Must be my magnetic personality.

post #80 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

A simple application of Occam's Razor:

Among millions of flights, one had a problem with the compass which resolved when a single iPhone was turned off. This was on a plane full of electronic devices, many of which were probably left turned on while stowed in overhead bins. Which is more likely: That the single iPhone far back in the plane was causing the interference or that it was random chance that the iPhone was turned off at the same time as the interference stopped? What of the smart bits of electronics much closer to the cockpit, perhaps even an iPad or iPhone in the possession of one of the pilots?

Twelve rows of seats sounds like a very small plane.

Now imagine if a terrorist spent a couple of thousand bucks on a hundred burners and scattered them through a plane...
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
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