There is a myth that a cell phone can cause a jetliner to crash, and that myth has it’s basis in pure fact. The reason why cell phone use is prohibited on airplanes is that they can not only interfere with avionics systems, but they are popularly used by terrorists as detonation devices for bombs. Therefore, excluding cell phone use within the confines of an airplane while in flight could counter an attack much like 9/11, Lockerbie, Vancouver or other related plane crashes caused by maliciousness and nefarious people. When the cell phone attached to the bomb rings, the bomb explodes, and the plane comes crashing back down to earth.
With airport screening still in a relative logjam as far as properly searching all stowed baggage is concerned, sneaking high-tech bombs made with specialized explosives that could get by the sniffer dogs and other screening methods for finding bombs and otherincendiary devices on planes. Of course, the most susceptible areas to structural damage on a plane are in the belly, the fuel tanks and cockpit. Keeping cell phones, smart phones and PDAs off of planes is a great start in eliminating the threat of cell phone detonated bombs on airplanes. However, as soon as technology can beat the latest threat, there is a new latest threat, and that taxes the government agencies tasked with eliminating such threats.
Can cell phones cause airplanes to crash wihout setting off a bomb? Yes, it is possible, as possible as your cell phone turning off, or changing the settings of a patient’s life-saving machinery in a hospital’s intensive care unit. Even though the chances of it happening are so infintesimal that you would win the lottery two weeks in a row before it happened, cell phones do pose an infinestinal threat to airline safety, and are therefore disallowed during the flight.
Cell phones causing enough radiation to interfere with aeronautical equipment is merely a myth, and unfounded by scientific and aeronautical engineers. However, crucial flight navigational and flight systems can be interfered with through the interference that cell and smart phones emit, and one of the more susceptible flight systems for this anomaly is the fire suppression system, which could be activated by the wrong signal being emitted by the cell or smart phone, or could even be suppressed when needed.
Of course, cell phones can also be used to arrange an attack on a flight by other comrades on the ground, using SAMs (surface to air missiles) and other reactionary weaponry. Arrangements can be made with cohorts on the same plane, or as we learned on that fateful day in the Fall of 2001, contact passengers on other flights to coordinate attacks.
Now, you may be wondering about in-flight phones; the kind that you swipe your credit card through before making a call. These calls are on a completely different bandwidth than cell and smart phones, and do not interfere with any of the plane’s systems.
Until the FCA comes up with a specialized and encrypted bandwidth for inter-plane, plane-to-plane, plane to ground (and vice versa), and tower to plane communications (other than the plane’s telecommunications systems), cell phones will most likely be banned fromairplanes during flight.
Fly safe. Fly informed.