A passenger who video recorded a flock of birds flying into an airliner’s engine last month, forcing it to make an emergency landing is being scolded by the Federal Aviation Administration for not turning off his electronic device after take-off.
Obviously, the FAA is still clinging to the myth that failing to do so would wreak all kinds of havoc on the airline.
Grant Cardone, a motivational speaker and author who frequently travels, apparently turned off his camera as soon the birds made impact (note to PINAC readers: never turn the camera off). He then turned it back on after the plane was making an emergency landing.
According to Inside Edition:
Now, Cardone is being targeted by the federal government for endangering the other passengers by recording the bird-strike on his iPad during take-off.
“I absolutely feel like I’m being treated like a terrorist,” said Cardone.
Grant Cardone just received a letter from the FAA telling him:
“Your failure to comply with flight attendant instructions during a critical phase of flight… Could have affected the safe outcome.”
“We expect your compliance with the regulations in the future,” stated the letter.
It goes on to warn Cardone that the letter “will be a matter of record for a period of two years.”
“This is so Big Brother. There was no interview, there was no phone call, there was no ‘Hey, let’s sit down and talk to him,’ was I in airplane-mode or not—they know nothing about the situation,” said Cardone.
The fact is, electronic devices are not any more dangerous than nail clippers. And even they are being allowed on-board these days.
According to a November 2011 New York Times article questioning the policy:
(Les Dorr, a spokesman for the F.A.A.) cited a 2006 study by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, a nonprofit group that tests and reports on technical travel and communications issues. The group was asked by the F.A.A. to test the effects of cellphones, Wi-Fi and portable electronic devices on planes.
Its finding? “Insufficient information to support changing the policies,” Mr. Dorr said. “There was no evidence saying these devices can’t interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying that they can.” I’m not arguing that passengers should be allowed to make phone calls while the plane zooms up into the sky. But, why can’t I read my Kindle or iPad during takeoff and landing? E-readers and cellphones can be easily put into “Airplane Mode” which disables the device’s radio signals.
The government might be causing more unnecessary interference on planes by asking people to shut their devices down for take-off and landing and then giving them permission to restart all at the same time. According to electrical engineers, when the electronic device starts, electric current passes through every part of the gadget, including GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular radio and microprocessor.
It’s the equivalent of waking someone up with a dozen people yelling into bullhorns.
As more people become dependent on their electronic devices, more altercations are increasing between passengers and flight attendants, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But despite the warning letter to Cardone, the FAA is apparently taking steps to eliminate this unnecessary rule, according to a USA Today article last month.
But not all electronic devices.
“”The government is taking a tentative step toward making it easier for airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices such as tablets, e-readers and music players during takeoffs and landings.”
Mobile phones and smartphone devices will not be part of the agency’s re-think on the issue.
Cardone was using an iPad, so perhaps the real reason he is being scolded is that he exposed just how vulnerable airplanes are to a flock of angry birds.
UPDATE: A reader submitted the following video which gives a very thorough explanation on the myth behind the “safety issue” of using electronic devices upon take-off.
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
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