Why shouldn't you use your cell phone on the plane?

Most vulnerable to interference are older aircraft, and if we add to this the accelerated growth of electronic devices, the likelihood of an accident increases.

Why shouldn't you use your cell phone on the plane?
What is the reason for not using a cell phone in the airplane? Photo by Omar Prestwich / Unsplash

All those who have traveled by plane know the prohibition that airlines have implemented: not to use the cell phone; they even demand to turn it off once you cross the boarding gate of the airport. Despite this rule, some travelers do not respect this instruction and even make calls or send messages when taking off or landing the plane.

Currently, cell phone users can use them before the plane takes off and after landing, according to a provision issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which prohibits their use once the plane has taken off, due to the potential interference in the plane's systems. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations support this measure, because although it has not been proven, they state that it is better not to take any risk.

Frequent flyers should know that the least opportune time for interference to occur is during takeoff and especially when the plane is approaching the runway; the worst-case scenario would be that a cell phone call or message interferes with the altimeter that indicates the meters remaining to touch down, causing erroneous readings and most likely a crash.

Cell phones are not the only devices that can pose a hazard in the operation of electronic equipment in the aircraft, but also other electronic devices, such as laptops, video game consoles, and any device that generates or emits waves, such as GPS or WiFi cameras.

The aircraft most vulnerable to interference are the older ones, and if we add to this the accelerated growth of electronic devices, the probability of an accident increases.

There are reports made by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and published reports on-air incidents in which there were problems due to interference and cell phones were the main suspects.

Although no air catastrophes have been attributed to these mobile devices, the risk of using them during the flight is greater than previously thought. Therefore, before any restriction on the use of electronic devices on airplanes, it is best to abide by safety regulations.