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Gps In A Commercial Aircraft


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I just returned from a trip on an airliner and thought that it would be fun to track myself across the country with my little handheld device. However, it is forbidden to turn on the thing while in flight according to the list of non-use items. How come? I understand that anything that transmits a signal would be outlawed. But doesn't a GPSr simply receive time coded signals and do some arithmetic? Certainly a lot less activity than a CPU in a laptop and those are OK.

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It varies by airline and sometime individual flight crews. Some allow it, some don't. Someone more techie than me can tell you why, but GPS recievers can transmit (generally) weak signals, as can many electronic devices. Most of them most airlines have no problem allowing. Many airlines do allow GPS when other electronic devices are allowed. I've used mine several times on commercial flights.

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I used mine on my Southwest flight from Albuquerque to Phoenix. I didn't even check the list and no one had a problem with it. Max speed: 445mph.

 

I had mine hooked up to my laptop with nroute so i could see it on the big screen. The 60csx didn't even have to be against the window to get a good signal.

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I have been told to turn mine off before. So I always keep it out of sight to avoid possible problems. Not allowing them never made sense to me either.

 

I have the 60CSX too and have been wondering how it would do on a plane. Did you still have to stay in the window seat for it to work or would it work elsewhere in the cabin?

 

I always change the units on mine to knots when in a plane. Is not that what you use for flying?

 

I used mine on my Southwest flight from Albuquerque to Phoenix. I didn't even check the list and no one had a problem with it. Max speed: 445mph.

 

I had mine hooked up to my laptop with nroute so i could see it on the big screen. The 60csx didn't even have to be against the window to get a good signal.

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Flew American Airlines 2x in last month. Info card clearly says not to use GPS. Asked the flight attendant. She said Captain told them that 9/11 guys used handheld GPS, and if they see anyone using, they should "take it away." Unknown how true.

I have used my Garmin 76S on many Southwest flights, but I also keep it somewhat concealed. I also have an external antenna that fits nicely up between the window and the visor and gives me a great signal!

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Flew American Airlines 2x in last month. Info card clearly says not to use GPS. Asked the flight attendant. She said Captain told them that 9/11 guys used handheld GPS, and if they see anyone using, they should "take it away." Unknown how true.

I have used my Garmin 76S on many Southwest flights, but I also keep it somewhat concealed. I also have an external antenna that fits nicely up between the window and the visor and gives me a great signal!

 

Does anyone know what the hijackers carried? Three planes were disintegrated by impact and thousands of gallons of AV fuel, and one crashed into the ground. Knowing how to read the avionics in the cabin would be all they required, until the structures came into sight.

However, after flying many hours in planes, I suggest to anyone, especially after 911, to do what the Captain wants. Otherwise, you can end up in a small room with a few FBI agents, and that would not be fun. If they don't put you to sleep first out of boredom, they will threaten you with everything and anything. (I say that last sentence in jest, as a person who served over 15 years in another Federal Agency, I have many FBI friends. :blink: I just always thought they were slightly boring, always wearing suits and ties, while we were not required to dress the same.)

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Flew American Airlines 2x in last month. Info card clearly says not to use GPS. Asked the flight attendant. She said Captain told them that 9/11 guys used handheld GPS, and if they see anyone using, they should "take it away." Unknown how true.

I have used my Garmin 76S on many Southwest flights, but I also keep it somewhat concealed. I also have an external antenna that fits nicely up between the window and the visor and gives me a great signal!

 

Does anyone know what the hijackers carried? Three planes were disintegrated by impact and thousands of gallons of AV fuel, and one crashed into the ground. Knowing how to read the avionics in the cabin would be all they required, until the structures came into sight.

However, after flying many hours in planes, I suggest to anyone, especially after 911, to do what the Captain wants. Otherwise, you can end up in a small room with a few FBI agents, and that would not be fun. If they don't put you to sleep first out of boredom, they will threaten you with everything and anything. (I say that last sentence in jest, as a person who served over 15 years in another Federal Agency, I have many FBI friends. :anicute: I just always thought they were slightly boring, always wearing suits and ties, while we were not required to dress the same.)

 

Yeah, before 911, I always just told the captain to bite me. I no longer ever do that. :blink::anicute::wacko:

Edited by Team Cotati
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Use it. Someone once generated a list of airlines that officially allows vs disallow GPS usage. Most of the US majors allows the practice, including UA. The key is to turn it off during take-off and landing. That's all UA asked of me. Otherwise I've had FAs come up to me and get into a GPS discussion. They like passengers who can self-entertain themselves.

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Use it. Someone once generated a list of airlines that officially allows vs disallow GPS usage. Most of the US majors allows the practice, including UA. The key is to turn it off during take-off and landing. That's all UA asked of me. Otherwise I've had FAs come up to me and get into a GPS discussion. They like passengers who can self-entertain themselves.

THE LIST of approving airlines has grown considerably over the last year or so. It used to be about half and half, but now there's just a handfull of disapproving airlines. I only fly on airlines which approve, even if it means spending an extra $100 for a ticket!

Edited by Neo_Geo
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Check the airlines’ policies regarding electronic devices. It’s usually posted somewhere on their website. I flew Delta last month and their policy is laptops and navigational devices at cruise altitude. Cell phones only when at the gate and doors open. The FA even mentioned “navigational devices” during the safety demo. Had my eTrex Vista on that trip and had to hold it up against the window to get any kind of reception. Haven’t had the chance to try my new 60CSx yet.

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I use mine on american and southwest all the time and I have never had a problem.

Never looked on the list to see if it was okay.

Never had a flight attendent say not to use it.

I fly at least twice a month.

 

It specifically states in American's magazine that they are not allowed. You do what you want. I will follow what they say as I do not want to get taken down by an air marshal!

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I use mine on american and southwest all the time and I have never had a problem.

Never looked on the list to see if it was okay.

Never had a flight attendent say not to use it.

I fly at least twice a month.

 

It specifically states in American's magazine that they are not allowed. You do what you want. I will follow what they say as I do not want to get taken down by an air marshal!

 

Why would an air marshal 'take you down' for such a silly transgression as turning on a gpsr? :lol::):)

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Who knows what those air marshalls would do, especially if you dress differently at the same time. ;)

 

Differently compared to what? Yeah, I agree, even though I did see somewhere that someone suggested that an air marahal would 'take you down' if you turned on your GPSr unit. So I guess that it is possible that they might take you down. I suppose that they also might ask the captain to desend to 10,000' so that they could open a door and throw you and your GPSr out together. Hard to imagine what one of them dudes might do......if you dress differently at the same time. :D:):(

Edited by Team Cotati
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A GPSr does emit a broad spectrum of radio signals, albeit quite weak ones. They indeed can interfere with the navigation and communications systems on aircraft, although they probably will not.

 

The problem is that if they do, particularly during the critical times during take-off or landing, you and a few hundred others may die.

 

Do you want to take that chance?

 

If the airline says not to use it, you are being very foolish in doing so and concealing the fact. Concealing it acknowledges that you know you are wrong.

 

I am a pilot and radio engineer with a stack of FCC-issued licenses, so I know what I'm talking about. I say that only to obviate comments such as, "Well, I have a CB radio and . . . ."

 

I don't want to sound strident about this, but disobeying what the airline or the Captain says is playing with fire.

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A GPSr does emit a broad spectrum of radio signals, albeit quite weak ones. They indeed can interfere with the navigation and communications systems on aircraft, although they probably will not.

 

The problem is that if they do, particularly during the critical times during take-off or landing, you and a few hundred others may die.

 

Setting aside the quoted myths above, different airlines have different rules. While what is listed in the in-flight magazine says one thing, the pilot may choose to override it and has that right (captain of his ship and all that).

 

After checking the policy in possible print, You can go by two schools of thought;

 

- Ask up front.

 

- Ask forgiveness, not permission.

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I use mine on american and southwest all the time and I have never had a problem.

Never looked on the list to see if it was okay.

Never had a flight attendent say not to use it.

I fly at least twice a month.

 

It specifically states in American's magazine that they are not allowed. You do what you want. I will follow what they say as I do not want to get taken down by an air marshal!

 

Believe me, you won't be taken down by an Air Marshal; however, if you disregard the directive of any of the airline staff, while flying, you will be arrested and detained upon arrival. In this day-and-age, don't even get in an argument with a flight attendant about your seat, or your drink. Not worth it in the long run.

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In this day-and-age, don't even get in an argument with a flight attendant about your seat, or your drink. Not worth it in the long run.

Yes, most unfortunate in some ways. It perpetuates the already horrible service attitude of some FAs. As some of them would say, their only duty onboard is to ensure the safety of the passengers. As for comfort, that's you own problem. And don't you even try asking for a cup of water when I need to chat with my colleagues!

 

:D:(:)

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In this day-and-age, don't even get in an argument with a flight attendant about your seat, or your drink. Not worth it in the long run.

Yes, most unfortunate in some ways. It perpetuates the already horrible service attitude of some FAs. As some of them would say, their only duty onboard is to ensure the safety of the passengers. As for comfort, that's you own problem. And don't you even try asking for a cup of water when I need to chat with my colleagues!

 

:):):P

 

Hopefully you in actuality do see the difference between asking and arguing. I'd hate to think that we needed air marshals to enforce basic civility. :(:D;)

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Sigh.

 

I’m sure that “baloo&bd” meant well, but in his/her ignorance of the facts, made some errors. The “myths” attributed to me are facts of the physical world. Those with formal education, experience, and expertise in electronics know these things. “baloo&bd” may choose to attempt to trump my credentials. (BTW, I will add that I did not assert that a GPSr will cause a problem; I even said that it probably will not.)

 

Since s/he disregards facts of electronics, I will now present the law. Maybe “baloo&bd” is a lawyer and can point out where I am misunderstanding this section of the CFR, too. For validation, please see http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-....4.11&idno=14):

 

--Quote--

 

§ 91.21 Portable electronic devices.

 

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any of the following U.S.-registered civil aircraft:

 

(1) Aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate; or

 

(2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR.

 

(B) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to—

 

(1) Portable voice recorders;

 

(2) Hearing aids;

 

(3) Heart pacemakers;

 

(4) Electric shavers; or

 

(5) Any other portable electronic device that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.

 

( c) In the case of an aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate, the determination required by paragraph (B)(5) of this section shall be made by that operator of the aircraft on which the particular device is to be used. In the case of other aircraft, the determination may be made by the pilot in command or other operator of the aircraft.

 

--End quote--

 

What that means, in English, for those flying on a U.S. commercial aircraft, is: You are NOT permitted to operate ANY portable electronic device EXCEPT those listed in (B)(1) through (5).

 

Paragraph (B)(5) allows devices that the airline (“operator”) permits. Contrary to what “baloo&bd” says, the Captain may NOT grant exceptions.

 

There’s no room for fudging here, folks.

 

Why not just obey the rules? If a panel of attorneys and engineers explained all this to you, and told you what the rules are, would you then tell them that you just don't believe them and are going to do what you want anyway? Why is it that some people, in their ignorance, feel compelled to assert that they know more than the “experts?”

 

(So you won't think that I'm being insulting: Ignorant: lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified)

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Two points:

 

1) You are in error when you say this is a "law." It is a Federal Regulation, that is why it is in the Code of Federal Regulations. Laws are in the United States Code (USC) and are passed by Congress. Regulations are promugulated by agencies (and many times courts throw them out).

 

2) While the regulations you quote are not real clear, I think it says the pilot can authorize its use. While operator is not defined, the context appears to mean the person flying (operating) the aircraft. Perhaps I am wrong, but section c makes no sense if operator is referring to the airline. Anyway would not the pilot be the representative of the airline? So I think this says the pilot can allow its use.

 

Sigh.

 

I’m sure that “baloo&bd” meant well, but in his/her ignorance of the facts, made some errors. The “myths” attributed to me are facts of the physical world. Those with formal education, experience, and expertise in electronics know these things. “baloo&bd” may choose to attempt to trump my credentials. (BTW, I will add that I did not assert that a GPSr will cause a problem; I even said that it probably will not.)

 

Since s/he disregards facts of electronics, I will now present the law. Maybe “baloo&bd” is a lawyer and can point out where I am misunderstanding this section of the CFR, too. For validation, please see http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-....4.11&idno=14):

 

--Quote--

 

§ 91.21 Portable electronic devices.

 

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (:D of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any of the following U.S.-registered civil aircraft:

 

(1) Aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate; or

 

(2) Any other aircraft while it is operated under IFR.

 

(:drama: Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to—

 

(1) Portable voice recorders;

 

(2) Hearing aids;

 

(3) Heart pacemakers;

 

(4) Electric shavers; or

 

(5) Any other portable electronic device that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.

 

( c) In the case of an aircraft operated by a holder of an air carrier operating certificate or an operating certificate, the determination required by paragraph (:ninja:(5) of this section shall be made by that operator of the aircraft on which the particular device is to be used. In the case of other aircraft, the determination may be made by the pilot in command or other operator of the aircraft.

 

--End quote--

 

What that means, in English, for those flying on a U.S. commercial aircraft, is: You are NOT permitted to operate ANY portable electronic device EXCEPT those listed in (:ninja:(1) through (5).

 

Paragraph (:)(5) allows devices that the airline (“operator”) permits. Contrary to what “baloo&bd” says, the Captain may NOT grant exceptions.

 

There’s no room for fudging here, folks.

 

Why not just obey the rules? If a panel of attorneys and engineers explained all this to you, and told you what the rules are, would you then tell them that you just don't believe them and are going to do what you want anyway? Why is it that some people, in their ignorance, feel compelled to assert that they know more than the “experts?”

 

(So you won't think that I'm being insulting: Ignorant: lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified)

Edited by myotis
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Keep in mind that those results are with another (older) model and and under normal use while properly operational. It would be nice to know if there is any significant difference in the output of a 60CSx. Also, if certain circuits failed (for whatever reason), it could cause the unit to emit a much stronger level.

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I used mine for the first time in flight recently. It was really neat flying across the country while my GPS was hooked up to the laptop and seeing the little red arrow move across the map marking our flight path, and allowing us to identify the lights we would see on the ground miles below.

 

That, along with altitude and speed readings were very cool to watch unfold in real time on the screen...almost like being in the cockpit!

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I used mine for the first time in flight recently. It was really neat flying across the country while my GPS was hooked up to the laptop and seeing the little red arrow move across the map marking our flight path, and allowing us to identify the lights we would see on the ground miles below.

 

That, along with altitude and speed readings were very cool to watch unfold in real time on the screen...almost like being in the cockpit!

 

It really is fun, isn't it? And provides endless hours of 'entertainment' too. A wonderful conversation starter. I'll be heading out to Denver soon and will be using my unit most of the way. I usually bring along a AAA paper road map, works great and don't need to mess with the laptop in cramped quarters. More like 'real' navigation too as you track the flight. You might be surprised how accurate you can be in predicting arrival over specific land references. Sweet, eh? lol

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One thing I do before going on a flight is check FlightAware. They do realtime flight tracking in a variety of ways. For instance, you can check for all of the flights from one particular airport to another. Each flight will have its planned/filed route shown using airway numbers and navaid names. So, I will check previous flights' histories (preferably the same airline I'll be flying). Then, using the high altitude charts the pilots use, I can then create the planned route in my GPSr (as I have the navaids and airway intersections as custom POIs in my 60CSx).

 

The problem is that due to weather conditions, planes often change their routes. Also, air traffic controllers can clear a flight to fly from any given location direct to another location if conditions permit. So planes almost never fly their entire flights as planned. I still plan the routes anyway just to see where, when and how we're deviating.

 

United Airlines's audio programming allows you to listen to the air traffic control conversations throughout the flight on channel 9. So I was able to hear things like, "United 1324 cleared direct to Belaire VOR," before reaching the preceding navaid. Then I noticed the plane gently bank in the direction of that navaid. It sure beats just looking out the window and wondering where the #&!! you are, and tends to make the flight go by quicker.

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Along with the question as to how newer gps' might grade out from faster processors and more complex electronics, what would the effect be if everybody on a plane were operating a device such as a gps. Would that propagate the effects of the electronic rf and em?

 

Hopefully the folks that design aircraft and their electronic components along with the regulators and inspectors have taken such possibilities into account. If they haven't then there is a possibility that we are all gonna get killed in an aircraft accident caused by same. I wouldn't worry too much about it though. With the amount and history behind the use of laptops and music recording/playback and gaming devices, the 'special' status that we seem to desire for a GPSr seems a bit unwarranted. <_<:D:o

Edited by Team Cotati
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Along with the question as to how newer gps' might grade out from faster processors and more complex electronics, what would the effect be if everybody on a plane were operating a device such as a gps. Would that propagate the effects of the electronic rf and em?

 

Hopefully the folks that design aircraft and their electronic components along with the regulators and inspectors have taken such possibilities into account. If they haven't then there is a possibility that we are all gonna get killed in an aircraft accident caused by same. I wouldn't worry too much about it though. With the amount and history behind the use of laptops and music recording/playback and gaming devices, the 'special' status that we seem to desire for a GPSr seems a bit unwarranted. <_<:D:o

 

The pilots would just have to carry GPSrs that emit a much stonger signal than all the others.

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Along with the question as to how newer gps' might grade out from faster processors and more complex electronics, what would the effect be if everybody on a plane were operating a device such as a gps. Would that propagate the effects of the electronic rf and em?

 

Hopefully the folks that design aircraft and their electronic components along with the regulators and inspectors have taken such possibilities into account. If they haven't then there is a possibility that we are all gonna get killed in an aircraft accident caused by same. I wouldn't worry too much about it though. With the amount and history behind the use of laptops and music recording/playback and gaming devices, the 'special' status that we seem to desire for a GPSr seems a bit unwarranted. <_<:o:angry:

 

The pilots would just have to carry GPSrs that emit a much stonger signal than all the others.

 

Where do you get those? And wouldn't it just be easier if they cranked up their gameboy's and fired up a little mel tillis on the boom box? :angry::angry::D

Edited by Team Cotati
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