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Powering Down in the Air

March 27, 2012

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Spring has arrived and with it comes a heavy travel period for college students and families looking to escape the cold winter months (which haven’t been so cold of late).

While airline passengers may be tempted to use their iPhones, iPads and other electronic devices once the cabin door is closed, it is important for everyone’s safety that these devices be turned off until the cabin crew instructs that they are safe to use. There is not enough scientific data to establish whether certain electronic devices will interfere with an airplane’s navigational and communication devices; and, until relevant tests and studies rule out the possibility of such interference, the last thing any passenger would want is for their device to cause an airplane crash.

The FAA just announced that it will conduct testing in controlled settings to determine whether the ban can be lifted. This news was greeted with great hope by the traveling public, especially by those warriors who spend a significant part of their work lives on airplanes.  Until the FAA has given the airlines the green light to allow passengers to use their Kindles, iPads, and other electronic devices at all times once in their seats, for now the wisest thing to do during take-off might be something old fashioned, like reading a magazine or newspaper.

But whatever you do, please don’t forget to turn off your cell phones. Thankfully, there are no studies being conducted which could potentially allow the use of these. Nothing is worse than listening to someone else’s complaints, accomplishments, or escapades during an airplane flight.  Just as Maxwell Smart and the Chief would say, we need a cone of silence!

Authored by: Aviation Trial Attorney Jamie R. Lebovitz

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