We are in a tech savvy world, but there still are limitations. No matter how much you know and show off using the services, there will be a restriction you’ll face one or the other time. You may have travelled a lot by air and may have been told and warned to switch your smartphone to flight mode or airplane mode. This is been going around since like forever and it is mandatory too, why?
Have you ever wondered why you are asked by the flight attendants on board to switch your devices to airplane mode during transit? Did you ever imagine what would happen if you didn’t put your smartphone on airplane mode when you are up in the air?
Well, you will know that shortly. Most of us may feel it is unnecessary to switch to airplane mode during flight. Some of us even feel that doing so is a waste of time as it achieves nothing as it doesn’t interfere with plane’s electrical and telecommunication systems and is not a matter of life and death, some think it can cause occasional disturbance not leading to a crash for sure.
So, what is the truth? Let’s find out what exactly happens when passengers or crew don’t switch their phones to airplane mode during a flight!
There is no evidence that signals from passengers’ electronic devices have ever caused a plane to malfunction and crash. The reason for prospective safety concerns is due to the fact that when you are more than 10,000 feet in the air, your cell phone signal bounces off multiple towers and sends out a stronger signal. This is something that might congest the networks on the ground. But, there has never been a case of a cell phone causing a plane to crash.
Well, that buzzing sound is natural to irritate the pilots and air traffic controllers while placing any emergency calls. The unpleasant sound may also hamper the transfer of any important information within the preferred time which may fail the authorities from preventing any mishappening. And yes it is not safety critical but annoying for sure. Those problems are something like the noise that can be heard when a smartphone rings near to a speaker: a slow, percussive thumping. But instead of coming out of a speaker it can be heard through the headsets that are worn by pilots.
Of course, there is plenty of attenuation between phones in the cabin and the pilots’ radio. However, if say fifty people on board are inconsiderate enough and can’t be bothered to switch their cell radio off, there will be fifty phones constantly looking for cell towers at maximum power. That is a lot of radio pollution. When inflight cellular service is provided, there is a cell station right beside those phones. They communicate at very low power without causing any disturbance.
Wi-Fi signal is much weaker (100mW) than GSM at its peak, and I’ve never heard of it causing any problems. It is common courtesy. By switching your phone to airplane mode you show your appreciation to the people doing their job to get you where you want to be. So, when you are flying next time, it is advisable to stick to the rules onboard.