Ever wondered why just when you set yourself comfortably in your seat, put your seatbelt on and the plane is ready to take off, the chief flight attendant makes this announcement-
“Please set your portable electronic devices, including any mobile phones, to flight mode.”
There has been a lot of hype around why you have to switch your mobile phone either off or to airplane mode the minute you are on a flight. While most of us think of it as one of the rules or procedures we may not necessarily have to adhere to, others happen to believe that mobile phones might interfere with plane’s instrumentation or electrical systems and cause it to crash.
Well, none of the assumptions are completely correct. There has been no such studies which prove that not switching to flight mode can have a perilous effect on a plane’s system and cause malfunction that can lead to a crash. Neither had there been any accidents in the past that hold mobile phone interference as the lead cause of plane malfunction or crash.
So, exactly what is the reason passengers are asked to turn off their mobile phones or put them on airplane mode when on a flight.
There are not many reasons but the following certainly explain what’s put-your-mobile phone-on-airplane-mode all about. Let’s have a glance.
Did you ever notice the unpleasant noise that occasionally comes from an audio system when a mobile phone is around? This is because mobile phones emit radiofrequency energy (radio waves) that cause audible inference.
Now, imagine how much disturbance the same kind of noise can cause on the pilot’s headset and to radio signals being received from air traffic control.
So, for the sake of helping the pilot who is intended to get you to your destination safely, switching your phone off is the least you could do.
The safety concern
As airplanes travel way too fast and are more than 10,000 feet in the air, signals emitting from mobile phones are constantly looking for varied cell towers in an attempt to maintain a connection at all times.
Now, the weaker the signals your mobile phone receives from a tower, the stronger the signals it send out in order to connect. All of this is potentially responsible for jamming the network on the ground and causing audible interference on the aircraft’s radio.
It can’t be as annoying for passengers to switch their mobile phones off for a while as it is for the pilot to incur interference in ground communications due to cell phones. Plus, it can’t be that big a deal to put your phone on flight mode for a few minutes when you know it would only help your pilot do their job right.
So, the next time you here that announcement when on a flight, do the needful.