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We’re all told to switch our phones to airplane mode when we board a flight – or turn them off completely – but do we really know why!
You might have been told that the signal interferes with the vehicle’s electronics, causing you to have horrible thoughts of the plane falling out of the sky.
While you might have realised this isn’t true if you’ve accidentally left yours off, the real reason behind airplane mode is still important.
According to a pilot’s blog on AirlineUpdates.net , mobile phones do interfere with electronics – just not in the way we think.
They actually cause interference on the aircraft’s radios, which pilots can then hear in their headphones. It’s the same noise you’ll be familiar with if you put your mobile too close to a speaker. Apparently it’s fairly rare, as the pilot added: “I hear it maybe once or twice a month, and I fly about 50 flights every month.”
The pilot wrote: “It is not safety critical, but is annoying for sure.
“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.”
Airplane mode stops this interference from occurring, meaning happy pilots in the cockpit.
So next time you’re on a plane, consider who you might be annoying when you’re told to switch your phone off – and definitely switch it into flight mode.