Flight attendants and pilots are always reminding travelers to put their phones on “flight mode” when flying. But they don't specify why. In fact, what can happen on board if you do not turn off your mobile phone can shock tourists. The details were shared by the pilots and, in particular, the stewardess Sierra Mistt on the Reddit forum.
“The reason might actually shock you and make you think twice before trying to cheat and leave your phone running normally. From the moment the door closes at point A to the moment they land at point B, pilots follow specific instructions given to them by a group of people on the ground called Air Traffic Control – ATC. Their job is to make sure planes take off and land safely without colliding with each other. In fact, mobile phone frequencies can interfere with radio communications between pilots and ATC. In order for pilots to communicate with ATC, they use the frequencies we use on our phones. Now imagine how bad it would be for a pilot who is receiving instructions from ATC on the ground, suddenly loses signal and is forced to fly blind, all because of the frequency of the passenger’s phone who intervened, ”explained the flight attendant.
The commercial pilot, who wished to remain anonymous on the same forum, agreed with the colleague's explanation and added that the flight mode “is necessary to reduce any possible interference with the aircraft's sensitive systems.” As an aviation expert explained, radio signals are the same frequencies used by cell phones and tablets: “Radios for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, voice calls, 3G, 4G and 5G data use different parts of the radio spectrum.”
The planes are capable of performing automatic landings, where the autopilot system lands the plane without control from the pilots, he said. This feature is used when visibility is poor, in which case pilots “should have valid radio altimeter information”.
“There is concern that if a passenger's 5G-enabled device is not in flight mode, this could result in a false signal being picked up by the aircraft's radio altimeter antenna. This may result in an erroneous indication of the aircraft's height above the runway. As you can imagine, this can have frightening consequences,” he warned.
Mobile phones can be dangerous not only because the frequencies they emit can interfere with aircraft systems, but also because the very device may pose a security risk. A strict airport rule that many tourists simply don't know about could result in their cell phones being banned from flying.
For example, experts at International Citizens Insurance explained it this way: “If you can't turn on your devices when asked by security personnel, they can take them away from you, endangering your holiday shots.”
Custom checks can conducted at the airport, where passengers may be asked to turn on their mobile phones. If they are unable to turn on an electrical device at the request of border control, airport personnel, or flight attendants, the item may be considered a security risk and confiscated.
A number of government websites state the following: “Before you travel, make sure your electronic devices are charged. If your device does not turn on when requested, you will not be allowed to take it on board the aircraft.”
Tuprom previously wrote that “People pee on the floor all the time: the flight attendant explained how to go to the toilet on board.”
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