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August 13, 2012

The JetHead Blog

Have questions you want to ask an airline pilot but don’t have one handy? Or you notice that they’re busy with pre-flight duties (thanks for noticing and for not interfering) so you don’t say anything?

Here are the questions I get asked most often, with the best answers I can come up with:

1. Do personal electronic devices interfere with aircraft systems?

Answer: Here’s what you have remember about aircraft systems and electronic devices. First, many handheld or personal devices create an electronic signal, particularly if they have a cord of some type. Aircraft systems are constantly seeking out specific electronic signals from everything from Global Positioning Satellites to ground-based antennae for communications and navigation.

Further, even within the aircraft, there are electronics creating and transmitting electronic signals between systems for both navigation and control of other aircraft systems–including flight controls. It’s important that only the required signals are received…

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