How important is the flight-mode on your Smartphone?

With the holiday season nearly over, many of us will have been jetting off across the world this summer and I’m sure we all remember that last minute panic before the flight takes off… “Have you turned yours off?!”

As we climb aboard the airplane and sit in our seats, we find ourselves eager to switch our smartphones to ‘flight-mode’ more urgently than fastening our seatbelts!

The question is, how important is flight-mode? Would the plane fall out of the sky if you turned on your iPhone to tweet ‘in a plane #lol’ or stream a football game during a 9 hour flight?

Nah. In fact, the warning that it will ‘interfere with the plane equipment’ is one that sounds worse than it is.

The radiation from a phone signal cannot interfere with the plane’s operating system to the extent that it will cause the whole thing to spontaneously combust or loose contact with air traffic control, no matter how much data you were using.

But not putting your phone in to flight-mode does mean that you could give the pilot one hell of a headache.

Here’s what the Independent reported one pilot from Quora said could happen (rarely) when a phone is left on:

“You may have heard that unpleasant noise from an audio system that occasionally happens when a mobile phone is nearby? I actually hear such noise on the radio while flying. It is not safety critical, but is annoying for sure.

“It makes a bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzzt-bzzt-bzzt – now imagine that noise in the pilot’s headphones, while [he or she] is receiving a critical bit of information from ground control!”

So when you’re on a flight, although your phone may not bring the plane down – turn your smartphone to flight-mode, not for security or safety but for courtesy of the pilot taking you to your holiday destination!


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