FAA safety alert for cockpit – please turn off your cell phones

“Please switch of all wireless equipment as these interfere with our navigation and safety systems”. All of us have this mantra down pat. But incredulous or hilarious as this may sound, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was forced to issue a Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) 9003, to remind flight crew to have their mobile phones turned off while on duty.

During a routine inspection, a loud warbling sound was heard within the cockpit during take-off just before V1 (decision speed), which distracted both the flight crew. Even though in this instance the take-off was continued, the sound could have prompted the crew to unnecessarily reject the take-off, that too at high speed.

It was later determined that the warbling sound came from the first officer’s mobile phone!!!,

The FAA rates the incident as potentially serious hazard. (No kidding!!!!!)

To top this off, the operator did not have procedures in their standard operating procedures and manuals requiring the flight crew to turn-off their mobile phones or preventing them from turning on the phones while operating a flight.

The FAA requires, that mobile phones must be turned off and stowed properly away while the airplane is being taxied for departure after departure from the gate.

Read the SAFO here.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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