How Do Cellphones Kill?
MANILA, Philippines -- Cell phones kill; let us count the ways.
Airplane control interrupt- Many airplane passengers ignore the now-standard pre-flight and pre-landing announcements asking that cell phones, blackberries, iPods and so-called "personal electronic devices" (PEDs) be turned off.
ABC News reports on the possibility of serious safety issues related to cell phones and other PEDs.
The International Air Transport Association, a trade group representing more than 230 passenger and cargo airlines worldwide, documents 75 separate incidents, from 2003 to 2009, of possible electronic interference that airline pilots and other crew members believed were linked to mobile phones and other electronic devices. Surveyed by IATA were 125 airlines, covering a quarter of the world's air traffic.
Twenty-six of the incidents in the report affected the flight controls, including the autopilot, autothrust and landing gear. Seventeen affected navigation systems, while 15 affected communication systems. Four out of 10 incidents were suspected to involve cell phones.
The report, which stresses that it is not verifying that the incidents were caused by PEDs, includes a sampling of the narratives provided by pilots and crewmembers who believed they were experiencing electronic interference.
In one event described in the report, a clock spun backwards and a GPS in the cabin read incorrectly while two laptops were being used nearby. During another flight, the altitude control readings changed rapidly until a crew member asked passengers to turn off their electronic devices. The readings returned to normal. "After an hour, changes were noticed again . Purser made a second announcement and the phenomena stopped."
A federal advisory committee that investigated the problem of electronic interference from portable devices, said that PEDs radiate signals that can disrupt highly sensitive electronic sensors hidden in the plane's passenger area, including those for an instrument landing system used in bad weather. …