If you are a frequent flyer, you must have heard the announcement: “Please turn off all electronic devices during take-off and landing.” However, passengers will be allowed to use wireless applications on their gadgets, but only when the plane has reached 10,000 feet and that too by turning on Airplane mode. Mind you! There are flights that still comply with the ‘power down’ rule.
Airplane Mode is a useful feature available on many portable electronic devices as it disables the wireless features of your cellphone, laptop, or tablet to comply with airline regulations.
But the question that arises is what happens when you don’t put your mobile phone on Airplane Mode while you are flying high in the sky? Well, there are several theories associated with this.
Theoretically, electronic devices, including phones, computers, and radio receivers emit electromagnetic wave that could interfere with the plane’s navigation and safety system. According to a post on Quora, a phone that has not been switched to Airplance mode makes highly annoying “bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzt-bzzt noise. Now, imagine that noise in the pilot’s headphones, while he is receiving some navigation signal that was sent so as to avoid a collision with another plane.” If you have switched you Airplane Mode, this setting prevents the devices from transmitting on the cellular network.
Secondly, if you haven’t switched to Airplane Mode, your phone’s battery will get drained at a much faster pace as it frantically tries to hop from tower to tower and fails to maintain a connection because there are no cell towers at 30,000 feet above ground level. Shefali Yogendra, a retired USAF aircraft mechanic, said, “I have experienced it twice by accident and it is not helpful to arrive at the destination with a phone one cannot use for any purpose.”
Apart from this, a NASA publication details the fifty most recent reports to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) regarding “avionics problems that may result from the influence of passenger electronic devices.” According to one entry in the ASRS showcases a clear link where a passenger’s DVD player induced a 30 degree error in the display of the aircraft’s heading, each time the player was switched on. However, this report dates back to 1999 and involves an old type of aircraft that is no longer in use by airlines today.
Many airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi for passengers. By enabling the Airplane mode, you can access the Wi-Fi service, but cellular signals, Bluetooth and GPS will be blocked. Also, one could click pictures, play games, watch movies, listen to songs, and can do many more things, if they have switch to Airplane Mode. Therefore, it means that Airplane Mode also saves you from the boredom that one experiences on long flights!
It is worth noting that in real life, there has not been any experiment or concrete proof to say that using of mobile device is the sole culprit for crashing the plane. Another Quora user Douglas Cret revealed that “in China, you will not be allowed to even use your phone and it must be off while in flight. This is because of the amazing number of knock-off phones. The government in China believes you cannot trust that flight mode actually works, so they will prohibit you from even switching on the phone until you are at the gate.”
we recommend you to switch your mobile phone to Airplane mode (or switch it off completely) as you can’t make any phone call at the height of 30,000 feets above ground anyway. Also imagine, if one crying baby can annoy half of the travellers on a plane, a bunch of people talking extra loud would surely lead fistfights.