Ipods don't ever really turn off, so why put them to "sleep" on airplanes?

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torchedlh

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I flew back from hawaii last nite and had a thought when they announced "please turn off all electronic devices" at the take off and landing times: Does it make a difference if you leave the ipod on instead of in sleep mode?
 

profingersk8er

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also, does "please turn off all electronic devices" only apply to take-off/landing or the whole flight..? everytime when im on the plane i felt bored, but i was afread to turn on my player cauz i dont want to crash the plane :D
 

torchedlh

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it's only during those times. they usually tell you as they taxi to the runway to turn em off until 10 mins after take off... then as they descend they tell you to turn em off until the seat belt sign dissapears (as soon as it does, i sprint as fast as i can towards the door and see how far i can get before some bozo tries to unload 5 carry-ons from the overhead bins :mad: :rolleyes: )
 

mintcake

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Airlines have no clue and no sense of humour when it comes to portable electronic devices. I was recently on a flight using my Gameboy Advance, I was asked (scratch that, "ordered" would work better) to switch it off immediately. I did so, but asked for clarification as to why this was felt necessary, given that the guy next to me was using a laptop *with* DVD drive. The flight attendant said she'd ask the captain, a few seconds later the captain comes on over the intercom and says "I understand a passenger refuses to switch off his gameboy, if he doesn't do so immediately we will contact the police and he will be arrested on arrival."

WTF??? Note: the GBA is entirely solid-state, has an LCD screen and an ARM processor much the same as you'd find in any PDA, for example the PDA which I immediately started using to compose a letter of complaint to the airline's head office...

Anyone been hauled off to Camp X-Ray yet for using an iPod? Surely only a matter of time...
 

aMb

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Pretty much any electronic device has the capability to become an emitter of electrical interference. This isn't just restricted to "transmitters" like cell phones.

Although I think once you're above 10,000' you can use the majority of handheld electronic devices.
 

scabmettler

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I'm flying tomorrow, and I expect that they'll be giving my iPod the old once-over. It's also a short flight on a prop plane from New York to Boston, so I wouldn't be surprised if they burned all electronics and duct-taped us to our (lawn-chair) seats before take-off.

All of this security and terrorism and war makes people jumpy and irrational. o_O
 

BigIzz

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While on the subject of flying, whats the best way to bring the iPod onto the plane? Will going through the metal dectetor or x-ray machine damage it or cause data loss?
 

Bob

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X-ray machines will not harm your iPod - keep it in your cabin baggage.
I have used my iPod on every flight I have been on since owning it. No problems. The restriction on turning off all electronic equipment is to prevent essential flight instruments being affected by any spurious transmissions during the most risky part of the flight - take off and landing. (This topic was covered over on the old forum with answers from well versed people inc. a pilot)
Flying is becoming more of a bind - latest measures implemented in US airports will be the physical checking of all CD Players, laptops, MP3 players, telephones and all other consumer type electronic gadget. Merely passing it through the X-ray machines may not be enough.
 

SunByrne

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What MadPict said--modern aircraft avionics are pretty sensitive, so it's a good idea to make sure things are off (or in the iPod case, sleeping) below 10,000 feet.

And I, too, have taken my iPod on every flight I've been on since I got it, and it's terrific for flying... No problem with X-rays whatsoever.
 

ToddW

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Oh my gosh, the last flight I was one I had to pull out very single electronic device and turn them on. Let's see I was carrying a Labtop, PDA, iPod, Cellphone. I had to turn all of them on and then told showed them how they worked. This happened at every single flight I took towards on the trip. I got all these funky looks.

I asked the head of security who was giving me a bad look, why all was all this necessary, the extensive examination of my personal things. I wasn't complaining just curious. They guy went on to say that any male between the ages of 21 to 28 where to be stopped and searched.

so, there you go, if you are ages 21 to 28 be sure and get to the airport way ahead of time.
 

torchedlh

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SunByrne said:
What MadPict said--modern aircraft avionics are pretty sensitive, so it's a good idea to make sure things are off (or in the iPod case, sleeping) below 10,000 feet.
that's the thing, do you really think ipods pose less of a risk when they're "asleep"? i mean just because the screen is off and hard drive isn't spinning, doesn't mean other parts aren't "on".
 

SunByrne

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Yes, they pose less of a risk when asleep. The component most likely to cause intereference is the analog amplifier, which is off when the iPod sleeps.
 

mintcake

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MadPict said:
The restriction on turning off all electronic equipment is to prevent essential flight instruments being affected by any spurious transmissions during the most risky part of the flight - take off and landing. (This topic was covered over on the old forum with answers from well versed people inc. a pilot)
If airlines were at least consistent and courteous in applying the rules, I'd have no problem. But saying one little handheld games machine is going to interfere with crucial flight instruments when a fully-fledged laptop (and an all-but-identical PDA) isn't, well, it's just unreasonable. Especially when this same airline didn't bat an eyelid on the same flight on the same route the previous week. Note that I'm talking about use while cruising, not during take-off/landing.

Sorry I know this is turning into my personal whinge, but I think the issue has wider implications for users of mp3 players too. The industry and airlines need to get together to make a consistent and reasonable set of rules, and then stick to them.
 

scabmettler

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"The industry and airlines need to get together to make a consistent and reasonable set of rules"

Admirable, but in my pessimistic opinion, highly unlikely. What you're asking is that the airlines, airports, U.S. government, and private security companies all agree on what needs to be checked, how it is to be checked, and how often. Those are some pretty big bureaucracies which, while related, are all separate agencies. I completely understand your frustration, though.

Personally, I'm happy to just do what they say, irrational or not, as long as my civil liberties are not being violated. Turn off the iPod even though Joe Schmoe has his laptop on? Okay, fine. Submit to a strip search cuz I'm 26 and might look Middle Eastern? Hell no, not without better proof than that!
 

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Mintcake: Maybe a passanger complained about all your furious button mashing, grunting, groaning, cheering & jeering, and all the little "bleep" noises coming from your GBA. ;)
 

noryen

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I've never seen someone get away with using a laptop while in take-off/landing (and I take bi-weekly business fights from Los Angeles to San Francisco).

If the flight attendant asked you to turn off your ipod but did not ask someone to turn off a laptop, then I'd be willing to bet that the flight attendant did not see that other person using a laptop.


As for why we should shut off our ipods? Well it's simply a matter of courtesy. It's obvious that our ipods will not affect the electronics of an airplane, but that's not to say that some other electronic device could not affect the airplane; and you know how it goes, if one person starts to use an electronics device, then everyone else will want to as well.... The airlines can't make a list of exemptions for all "acceptable" electronics, as this list will grow and grow each year... and who will test all the new electronics?

It's easier to just say that all electronics need to be off or in sleep mode when landing or taking off.
 
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SlackMuffin

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scabmettler said:
"The industry and airlines need to get together to make a consistent and reasonable set of rules"

Admirable, but in my pessimistic opinion, highly unlikely. What you're asking is that the airlines, airports, U.S. government, and private security companies all agree on what needs to be checked, how it is to be checked, and how often. Those are some pretty big bureaucracies which, while related, are all separate agencies. I completely understand your frustration, though.
Yes, if the airlines were to be demanded of to set some solid rules, they'd probably say that "Everything that uses an electric current is to be turned off during the entire flight", explaining the harshness of this rule with something like "it would be too time consuming for the flight attendants to have to have to memorize what sort of electronic equipment poses a risk and what doesn't". They are in their full right to do so, too, so it's best just to leave it at what it is today and just hope to be lucky enough to get to listen to ones iPod from time to time.

As for the guy having to turn on each piece of electronic equipment he was bringing along, I can, to a certain degree, understand the airline company's reason for worry. In the worst case, someone might have stripped all the internal parts out of, say, a cellphone, and have added a decent amount of C4 or other sorts of explosive into it. The part about only checking male persons between ages 21-28 might have been because they are doing random routine controls every day, and instead of just randomly selecting people, risking to get accused of racism each time they randomly select someone middle-eastern-looking, they just decide that "today is 'females, ages 40-50'-day!", or "today is males, ages 30-38".
 

mintcake

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scabmettler said:
Admirable, but in my pessimistic opinion, highly unlikely. What you're asking is that the airlines, airports, U.S. government, and private security companies all agree on what needs to be checked, how it is to be checked, and how often. Those are some pretty big bureaucracies which, while related, are all separate agencies. I completely understand your frustration, though.
Actually, it's not at all unlikely, the ICAO exists specifically to handle issues such as this. You put your finger on it though when you mention the US government. Of course, there are many, many governments involved other than the US government, but the (current) US administration has a pretty bad track record of imposing unilateral aviation security rules instead of going via ICAO. Result = fragmented airline market, with one major player playing by its own private rules.

ICAO = International Civil Aviation Authority
 
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