So Let Me Get This Straight...

...The FAA says it is "dangerous" to photograph birds from the back of the plane...

But it is OK to photograph the on-board radar in the cockpit...where the instruments are located. With a digital (electronic) camera.

The above photo was taken by a pilot. I've zoomed in the photo to protect the identity of the pilot.

I was seated next to an airline captain on my flight from Indianapolis to Charlotte two weeks ago. He confirms what we all know: There is no threat to the safety of an aircraft posted by phones and cameras. As he points out, his airline has them using the same computers and iPads in the cockpit that we want to use.

Between the airlines, the TSA, and the FAA flying gets less and less desirable.


  1. Mike,

    I go one step further, if these systems are as sensitive to RF energy as the airlines and FAA maintain, then they are not air worthy. Any avionic system that can be disabled by FCC Part 15 regulated devices (electronic devices that use a clock speed greater than 9kHz) would be falling out of the sky whenever they flew past a tower control RADAR. All it would take for a terror organization to crash a plane would be to place a broadband radio transmitter in the checked luggage. It could appear as a radio with an antenna, and poof, one aircraft loosing control and an unexplained accident. However, these events do not occur, and even loss of control events at altitude with the electronic devices operating have not been reported.

    The real purpose of the ban is to protect the phone service already in the aircraft. This is crony regulation pure and simple. Why would a passenger pay $5.00 per minute when they could use their own phone? So the FAA protects the Airline's monopoly. The only way to call them out on this madness, is to demand that these systems be grounded if they are so sensitive to interference. Any person wanting to cause an accident would easily be able to affect this type of system failure. This is a primary flight control and safety issue. If it is real then let's ground the planes, ban all electronic devices, and go back to manual flight control systems. Given the history and facts, we know that this is not the problem they state it is, and some serious backtracking would occur.

  2. Other nations' regulations in this regard are not as strict as those in the U.S. and their planes are not falling out of the sky.


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