Why Do We Have to Turn Off Our Phones for Takeoff and Landing?

Before takeoff and shortly before landing, flight attendants ask passengers to switch their electronic devices to flight mode. However, far from everyone complies because we just don’t understand how our small smartphones can interfere with the operation of a high-tech aircraft.

Bright Side suggests we figure out why this is so important together.

In flight mode, your gadget disables all data services (Wi-Fi, GSM, Bluetooth, etc). Simply put, your phone or tablet ceases to function as a radio receiver. If your smartphone has not been switched to flight mode, then the signals emanating from it may interfere with the highly sensitive electronic devices of the aircraft.

When a smartphone is simply locked and you're not using it, it is still searching for a network, and its frequency may overlap with the frequency of aircraft devices. Even if you think a "sleeping" gadget does not pose a threat, switch it to flight mode.

If your device doesn’t have this functionality, just turn it off.

As you know, takeoff and landing are the most difficult stages of the flight, during which pilots need to coordinate their actions with the flight control center on the ground. All this is done using the aircraft's navigation system. The signal of your gadget can cause interference in the radio communication, and the pilot will not hear information transmitted by the traffic controller. This might lead to an emergency situation.

  • Throughout the flight, you may use any devices which don’t exchange data through GSM, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. For instance, electronic watches (but not smartwatches), cameras, video cameras, voice recorders, hearing aids, pacemakers, etc.
  • Devices with this data exchange functionality may also be used at all stages of flight, but in flight mode. These include smartphones and smartwatches, tablets, e-books, digital audio/video players, etc. You may also use a laptop. If it doesn’t have a flight mode, simply turning off Wi-Fi works just as well.
  • You may turn off flight mode only during the flight stage (usually a few minutes after takeoff) and only after a message from the flight crew. But then again, you won’t be able to do much in regular mode anyway, right?

These lists and rules may vary depending on the airline. Please check the official website before flying.

A couple of working phones won’t crash a plane. But if everyone onboard actively uses their gadgets, the interference will be noticeable.

Let's appreciate the work of others and not create unnecessary difficulties for pilots. After all, it only takes a couple of seconds to switch your phone to flight mode. Enjoy the ride!

Preview photo credit depositphotos
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