05/04/2020by Steve Kadas

Why Can’t You Use Phones on Planes?

Why Can’t You Use Phones on Planes?



Why Can’t You Use Phones on Planes?

Angry passengers create turbulence for the airlines. What happens when you don’t put your phone on airplane mode on an airplane? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Nikita Schmidt, private pilot, on Quora:

If you don’t put your phone on airplane mode during a flight, your phone will probably annoy a few pilots and air traffic controllers. But, most likely, not badly enough for them to take action against you, if that’s what you want to know.

You may have heard that unpleasant noise from an audio system that occasionally happens when a mobile phone is nearby (read this post for more information). A phone’s radio emissions can be very strong, up to 8W; they cause this noise due to parasitic demodulation.

actually heard such noise on the radio while flying. It is not safety critical, but is annoying for sure.

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.