Back in April, we had a posting here that was a lively, very interesting Q&A interview with an airline pilot. It was all good, and recommended if you missed it, but the most notable thing he said was --
"Flight attendants everywhere will hate me for this, but ... having your electronic device on below 10,000 feet is not an immediate danger to the flight. How do I know? Pilots are the worst offenders of this rule. Not on purpose, of course, but when we're flying all day, sometimes we forget to turn our phones off. I've received a phone call everywhere from the takeoff roll to 18,000 feet over the Rockies and the airplane has never had an adverse reaction.
"That said, it's still important for you to listen to the flight attendants and follow their instructions to turn off your electrical devices. It is their job to enforce the rules, no matter how dumb..."
If you didn't see the story on Thursday, the FAA put out a press released that announced "airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance."
Because operations differ from airline to airline, the roll-out of this change will not be consistent, but the agency "expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year."
One thing that won't change is that cell phone usage during flights will continue to be prohibited. If you'd like to see the whole press release, you can read it here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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