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Using Gps In Airplane


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Just returned from a trip to El Paso. By holding my 60cx near the window, I was able to get 20' EPE for all of the flight and without using my Gillson antenna. Plane reached 540 MPH and 42000' above sea level. Was neat to be able to tell what towns I was flying over!

 

Even the calculated glide ratio seemed to be pretty correct when descending into the airports (at least until I had to shut it off).

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Just returned from a trip to El Paso. By holding my 60cx near the window, I was able to get 20' EPE for all of the flight and without using my Gillson antenna. Plane reached 540 MPH and 42000' above sea level. Was neat to be able to tell what towns I was flying over!

 

Even the calculated glide ratio seemed to be pretty correct when descending into the airports (at least until I had to shut it off).

wouldnt a GPS fall under the dont use you can screw up our radio signal catagory. i was wondering this becuase i thought it would be cool to try that also on my 16 hour flight. and wow 42000 feet that a long way maybe i dont want to know all the info when im flying

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No 'cause a GPS is a receiver, not a transmitter. You can turn it on when the pilot says you can turn on your radios and such. Of course, the flight attendants may not recognize a GPS and tell you to shut if off, so, then you should abide or risk their wrath. Turning on your GPS on the plane may save you the required practice of telling your GPS of a new location on your satellite screen.

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Early this month I flew with American Airlines and on their pre-flight video, GPS receivers are listed as items which you CANNOT use at any point whilst on the aircraft.

 

I agree that the GPS rx doesn't transmit so there must be another reason why the airlines don't want us using are toys on the plane.

 

David

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All electronic devices can emit RF...GPSr, CD players, laptop computers, etc. It's just up to the individual airlines as to whether they will allow you to use such devices. Some will some won't. However have you ever heard of a aircraft crashing because someone turned on a pager, or a CD player, or a DVD player, or a GPSr? Myth Busters (TV show) had one episode where they TRIED to interfer with the navigation system of an aircraft and couldn't. I think airlines are just being over cautious and in this day and age, maybe that's not such a bad thing. :blink:

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Early this month I flew with American Airlines and on their pre-flight video, GPS receivers are listed as items which you CANNOT use at any point whilst on the aircraft.

 

I agree that the GPS rx doesn't transmit so there must be another reason why the airlines don't want us using are toys on the plane.

 

David

 

I think they're just paranoid. I've used my GPS on a couple AA flights, and aside from the plane taking a strange dip when I first powered it up, everything was fine.

 

(just kidding)

 

But I have actually stealthily turned mine on on an AA flight, and nothing bad happened. I think with AA it's more of a fear that you'll realize you're off course, or flying in big circles for 30 minutes while you're waiting for a runway to clear, or something. In my case, I was flying into San Diego, and we ended up way out over the ocean doing circles for a while. Probably not something they want everyone to know. But technically, a GPS doesn't cause problems with airplanes. If they did, there's no way they'd allow them on any flights anywhere.

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Early this month I flew with American Airlines and on their pre-flight video, GPS receivers are listed as items which you CANNOT use at any point whilst on the aircraft.

 

I agree that the GPS rx doesn't transmit so there must be another reason why the airlines don't want us using are toys on the plane.

 

David

 

First and foremost, whatever the flight crew says, goes. If they want your GPS, computer or iPod OFF, turn it off, for your own safety and that of your fellow travelers. Safety aside, insurance underwriters may be the reason for the restrictions. Ultimately, they dictate policy to the air carriers.

 

That said, I fly corporate jets and have used a variety of portable electronic devices in the cockpit, including Garmin handheld GPSes for backup navigation and a pair of GameBoy's to kill time with my copilot on loooong overwater flights (think "4 hour, straight line, on autopilot"...drudgery).

 

One more point: a Carnegie Mellon study suggested large numbers of cell phones used during critical phases of flight *could* pose a safety hazard. ref.: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006...nes_planes.html

 

I'd be less worried about enroute phases of flight where you're a long way from the ground or other traffic but in the termal phase and especially on landing, precise navigation is critical and tolerances are tight. Leave the gear off, please.

 

Chris

Edited by af895
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I think they're just paranoid. I've used my GPS on a couple AA flights, and aside from the plane taking a strange dip when I first powered it up, everything was fine.

 

(just kidding)

 

But I have actually stealthily turned mine on on an AA flight, and nothing bad happened. I think with AA it's more of a fear that you'll realize you're off course, or flying in big circles for 30 minutes while you're waiting for a runway to clear, or something. In my case, I was flying into San Diego, and we ended up way out over the ocean doing circles for a while. Probably not something they want everyone to know. But technically, a GPS doesn't cause problems with airplanes. If they did, there's no way they'd allow them on any flights anywhere.

 

DocDitto - I was on a plane many years ago that popped a seal on the rear door. The pilot happened to be talking over the intercom at the time and just as we heard the noise and our ears pooped very hard, he said "Oh Sh--". Then the intercom went dead and the pilot put the plane into a steep dive down to 5000' (from 25000'). The leak was not enough for the oxygen masks to deploy, but it scared the pants off all the passengers. The lady next to me was sayin her Hail Mary's. With probably over 1M miles logged on commercial jets, that was the only scare I ever had. The noise of a jet making a steep dive is very scary.

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How do we know the NSA has not got with the manufacturers to put something in the GPS to help spy on us and classified this information? If they did it with our phone records, why not our GPS? So maybe there is something secret in GPSs that allows the NSA to see where you are at if you disagree with Bush. Maybe that is why they don't want them on.

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How do we know the NSA has not got with the manufacturers to put something in the GPS to help spy on us and classified this information? If they did it with our phone records, why not our GPS? So maybe there is something secret in GPSs that allows the NSA to see where you are at if you disagree with Bush. Maybe that is why they don't want them on.

 

Then they would want us to have them on all the time. And high-gain antennas would be given out free at political rallies. (which wouldn't be so bad)

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Federal Aviation Regulation/Aeronautical Information Manual 2006, otherwise popularly known in the aviation realm as the FAR/AIM....

 

Part 135.144 a-c

 

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 U.S.-registered civil aircraft operating under this part.

 

b. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to--

(1) Portable voice recorders

(2) Hearing aids

(3) Heart pacemakers

(4) Electric Shavers

(5) Any other portable electronic device that the part 119 certicicate holder has determined will not cuase interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.

 

c. The determination required by paragraph b. (5) of this section shall be made by that part 119 certificate holder operating the aircraft on which the particular device is to be used.

 

 

So there you have it. Its up to the operator, it gives you the items to which the FAA has found out does not interfere with communication or navigational equipment all in paragraph b. I HATED MEMORIZING THIS!! LOL

Edited by nocturnalaviator
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I'm sure it's a move by some airlines to prevent fellow passengers from seeing some guy sitting there with an odd piece of electronics close to a window :laughing: I have no idea of the truth of this, but I read that the 9/11 hijackers used handheld GPSr to guide the planes in. Urban myth or not, I don't know.

 

Southwest has it on their list of Approved Devices in their magazine. I used one of my recent trip to Denver. AA lists it as Unapproved.

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This topic has been discussed to death! A simple search on either "airlines" or "airliner" will result in at least 10 different threads all saying the same thing! :laughing:

 

I tried the GPS 60CSx on an airplane this weekend. When I was in the aisle seat I ended up just turning it off because it wasn't picking up any satellites. On my second trip I was by a window and I stuck the antenna right against it. It picked up quite a few satellites and once it was locked I was able to take it away from the window and got 35' accuracy. It was fun to see where we were, especially when flying at night when we were passing cities and I was able to pick out Palm Springs, Riverside, Edwards AFB, etc. However, when the novelty ran out I got bored and turned it off. I figured I'll get to my destination when I get there.

 

I think it'll be more worthwhile on a longer trip than one that's 2 hours. One note if you're using one with a built in altimeter, mine kept on saying we were between 6000' and 6500'. It wasn't until I went to the satellite screen and saw what altitude the satellites figured we were at that I recalibrated for that particular altitude.

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One note if you're using one with a built in altimeter, mine kept on saying we were between 6000' and 6500'. It wasn't until I went to the satellite screen and saw what altitude the satellites figured we were at that I recalibrated for that particular altitude.

Altimeter units are useless within an aircraft as far as altitude is concerned. This is for the simple fact that most commercial aircrafts are sealed and pressured to a fixed barometer setting. So these air pressure based altimeter will just sense a fixed reading.

 

So just ignore the readings and check for the altitude reading using GPS data.

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Some airlines allow them, some don't. My experience in the last year has been:

 

Delta: Yes

United: Yes

Air Tran: No

Jet Blue: No

 

Check the airline websote before you travel or if you forgot or are unsure ask the attendant. No matter what you must comply with them, even if they tell you to turn it off and the website says it's ok. FAA regs say you must comply with crew members instructions.

 

:laughing:

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This topic has been discussed to death! A simple search on either "airlines" or "airliner" will result in at least 10 different threads all saying the same thing! :laughing:

 

I tried the GPS 60CSx on an airplane this weekend. When I was in the aisle seat I ended up just turning it off because it wasn't picking up any satellites. On my second trip I was by a window and I stuck the antenna right against it. It picked up quite a few satellites and once it was locked I was able to take it away from the window and got 35' accuracy. It was fun to see where we were, especially when flying at night when we were passing cities and I was able to pick out Palm Springs, Riverside, Edwards AFB, etc. However, when the novelty ran out I got bored and turned it off. I figured I'll get to my destination when I get there.

 

I think it'll be more worthwhile on a longer trip than one that's 2 hours. One note if you're using one with a built in altimeter, mine kept on saying we were between 6000' and 6500'. It wasn't until I went to the satellite screen and saw what altitude the satellites figured we were at that I recalibrated for that particular altitude.

 

Gps In A Commercial Aircraft

Gps & Commercial Airplanes, Can you use them?

Gpsr On Airplane, Can GPS go through x-ray

Gps Connect When Airborne?Gpsr -vs- Airport Security, Travleing with GPSr's

Gps On Commercial Airlines

Gps Air Travel, GPS FAA Question

 

This is just ½ of one of the 3 pages that comes up in the search on "airlines" alone.

Whatever you want to know... Whatever you want to say on the topic - it's been said!

Edited by Neo_Geo
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Well, here goes, not on the preferred topic but not off topic.

 

Flying with a GPS is great, it makes navigating a breeze. I had to constantly remind myself "Check the sectional chart" so I wouldn't be lost if it conked out. The amount of workload it relieves is amazing, for a straight in approach, I can line up for landing while still at cruise altitude and miles out. Then it's just watch the CDI graphic, and bring it down easy.

 

I use both the GPS and paper maps, but having the GPS gave me a lot more confidence on my cross country solo flights, knowing everything about my movement in my opinion make things safer, more efficient, and more accurate.

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Sunday, we took a flight from Madrid, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal, by Vueling (a low cost operator). It was an Airbus A320 and we once again used the GPS to check on speed and height. It reached 800km/hour and ~10km.

 

We also used it on April when we went to Barcelona, on a plane operated by TAP-Portugal. The crew asked us if it was a GPS and they said it was ok to used, except on landing and take off.

 

We also used it last December on a flight from NY to London, by British Airways. No problems at all. We reached 1200km/hour and an altitude of 12km! It was a 747-400 with tail wind of almost 300km/hour! What a rush. :blink:

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I used my 60csx recently on a trip to Korea on NWA. I was amazed that I did not have to hold to the window like my old 60cs. Once it locked I was able to set it down and it worked great. Even at 'night' when all the window shades were shut. the speed and calculated altitude were very close to what the plane reported on the screens.

 

One interesting thing about Korea that I cannot explain, the accuracy was +/- 12 ft but the circle around my position was +-50ft. Do they have different degradation for other regions? Korea has a US base so would that cause they to show less accurate? Interestingly enough my tracks were on top of each other for visiting the same location on different days so the accuracy was there.

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One interesting thing about Korea that I cannot explain, the accuracy was +/- 12 ft but the circle around my position was +-50ft.

 

The Garmin 'accuracy circle' drawn around the position cursor reflects both the measurement accuracy of the GPS receiver *and* the accuracy of the map data. So it'll always be larger than the measurement accuracy alone and will depend on the maps being used. The circle is bigger with the basemap than with the more accurate downloaded maps.

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Frequently, the flight crew don't know what they are talking about. Rare enough, I was told on a Cimber Air flight that I couldn't use the GPS in my PDA. I asked the flight attendant why. She obviously didn't know, but said "I know how it works, since I have a Qtek myself. You can use it in flight mode only." Which in her Qtek probably is with GPS off.

 

Since my PDA in this case was Garmin's iQue 3600a, which is also a flight GPS, I showed her the unit's settings, and said "On this particular unit, it's not called flight mode, but Aviation mode. As you can see here, it's now in Aviation mode. Is it all right if I continue to use it like that?"

"Yes, then it's no problem", she said, and I continued to have a little fun, during an otherwise dull flight, by checking our whereabouts.

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All electronic devices can emit RF...GPSr, CD players, laptop computers, etc. It's just up to the individual airlines as to whether they will allow you to use such devices. Some will some won't. However have you ever heard of a aircraft crashing because someone turned on a pager, or a CD player, or a DVD player, or a GPSr? Myth Busters (TV show) had one episode where they TRIED to interfer with the navigation system of an aircraft and couldn't. I think airlines are just being over cautious and in this day and age, maybe that's not such a bad thing. :)

 

Yes, Mythbusters did a good job showing cell phones don't interfer with with navigation. I think they just want to keep people off the phones. I'd hate to listen to someone next to me on the phone during my trip.

 

I tried to use my GPS on recent plane ride to Key West... Not much success with a signal. I don't think I have a very good GPS.

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One reason it's a good thing that general policy is "no cell phones on airplanes" is that cell phones use a band which is of interest to radio astronomers, and a plane with an active cell phone flying through a part o the sky an astronomer is observing in would be a source of considerable interference.

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One interesting thing about Korea that I cannot explain, the accuracy was +/- 12 ft but the circle around my position was +-50ft.

 

The Garmin 'accuracy circle' drawn around the position cursor reflects both the measurement accuracy of the GPS receiver *and* the accuracy of the map data. So it'll always be larger than the measurement accuracy alone and will depend on the maps being used. The circle is bigger with the basemap than with the more accurate downloaded maps.

 

Thanks for the explanation. My conspiracy theory sounds much better. :huh:

 

I did only have the Korean base make so I am sure that was the reason for the inaccuracy.

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When flying Delta they tell you to look in the back of their SKY magazine for approved devices. If you look it up you will find that Delta's policy is that a GPS is never allowed to be turned on in a Delta airplane. I have even asked the pilot for permission and received the same answer. Since I don't wish to be thrown off the plane I have never challenged the point.

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When flying Delta they tell you to look in the back of their SKY magazine for approved devices. If you look it up you will find that Delta's policy is that a GPS is never allowed to be turned on in a Delta airplane. I have even asked the pilot for permission and received the same answer. Since I don't wish to be thrown off the plane I have never challenged the point.

DELTA???

 

They're on the list of approving airlines. I flew with them a little over a year ago and they definitely approved then. In fact, I'm on six flights with them on September! :anicute:

 

A link to Delta's Web site:

Delta's List of Portable Electronic Devices Devices You Can Sometimes Use

...and I quote:

 

You can use these while the plane is at the gate with the doors open, after the plane has taken off and reached its cruising altitude and before it begins to descend for landing, and after the plane has landed and is taxiing to the gate.

 

Personal digital assistants

Personal computer games

GPS (global positioning satellite) systems

 

Oh - my mistake... I do not have an entire "system" - just a receiver... :anicute:

Edited by Neo_Geo
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Yes, Mythbusters did a good job showing cell phones don't interfer with with navigation. I think they just want to keep people off the phones. I'd hate to listen to someone next to me on the phone during my trip.

 

What's interesting is that it's almost impossible to get a phone call or make a phone call when you're higher than 4000 feet in the air, let alone 35,000. So I don't think people would be making many successful calls while up there anyway. If it was so easy then why was there a successful test of a new system to allow cellphone calls to be made from the airlines just last year? http://www.physics911.net/projectachilles.htm

 

For something that makes a person say hmmm, Flight 93 on 9/11 the guy supposedly made a phone call to his mom from the airplane. If cellphones didn't work then how did he make a call? Also, why did he say his full name to his mom? "You do believe me, right?"

Edited by nathantw
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Does anyone know if America West (seems to forward to US Airways on the website) allows the use of GPS? I'm flying with them on a long flight in a week and I'd like to use my GPS but I can't find anywhere if they allow them. Anyone know?

 

America West was the airline I took on my recent trip. The back of the magazine didn't even mention GPS usage or non-usage. Since it was sitting on my son's table and the flight attendant stared right at it and didn't say anything I'm assuming it was okay.

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Yes, Mythbusters did a good job showing cell phones don't interfer with with navigation. I think they just want to keep people off the phones. I'd hate to listen to someone next to me on the phone during my trip.

 

What's interesting is that it's almost impossible to get a phone call or make a phone call when you're higher than 4000 feet in the air, let alone 35,000. So I don't think people would be making many successful calls while up there anyway. If it was so easy then why was there a successful test of a new system to allow cellphone calls to be made from the airlines just last year?

 

For something that makes a person say hmmm, Flight 93 on 9/11 the guy supposedly made a phone call to his mom from the airplane. If cellphones didn't work then how did he make a call? Also, why did he say his full name to his mom? "You do believe me, right?"

 

What was the aircraft's altitude when the calls were made? I believe that you must be within range of a cell antenna in order to make a call. Perhaps the signal propagates better UP than OUT due to less obstructions. Other wise, it sems to me that you would be limited to the same distance restrictions that exist on terra firma. Is there something that explains how cell signals would travel 35,000' aka 6 miles+ or more UP but much less OUT? Or is the normal range of a cell site over 6 miles, I didn't thint that it was, who knows? :P:lol::lol:

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Yes, Mythbusters did a good job showing cell phones don't interfer with with navigation. I think they just want to keep people off the phones. I'd hate to listen to someone next to me on the phone during my trip.

 

What's interesting is that it's almost impossible to get a phone call or make a phone call when you're higher than 4000 feet in the air, let alone 35,000. So I don't think people would be making many successful calls while up there anyway. If it was so easy then why was there a successful test of a new system to allow cellphone calls to be made from the airlines just last year?

 

For something that makes a person say hmmm, Flight 93 on 9/11 the guy supposedly made a phone call to his mom from the airplane. If cellphones didn't work then how did he make a call? Also, why did he say his full name to his mom? "You do believe me, right?"

 

What was the aircraft's altitude when the calls were made? I believe that you must be within range of a cell antenna in order to make a call. Perhaps the signal propagates better UP than OUT due to less obstructions. Other wise, it sems to me that you would be limited to the same distance restrictions that exist on terra firma. Is there something that explains how cell signals would travel 35,000' aka 6 miles+ or more UP but much less OUT? Or is the normal range of a cell site over 6 miles, I didn't thint that it was, who knows? :P:lol::lol:

 

It's my understanding (which is to say it's probably wrong) that radio signals, such as those employed by cell phones travel in a straight line and continue going until something stops them. I was told one time that every radio signal ever sent is floating out in space somewhere (albeit it weekly, I'm sure). This means of you could catch up with it (and you can't) you could watch old broadcasts of Ed Sullivan as they aired.

 

Don't know if this is fact...also doesn't mean that the signal would be usable at such a distance. This of course could be completely wrong and someone should tell me that so I don't continue the lie.

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What was the aircraft's altitude when the calls were made? I believe that you must be within range of a cell antenna in order to make a call. Perhaps the signal propagates better UP than OUT due to less obstructions. Other wise, it sems to me that you would be limited to the same distance restrictions that exist on terra firma. Is there something that explains how cell signals would travel 35,000' aka 6 miles+ or more UP but much less OUT? Or is the normal range of a cell site over 6 miles, I didn't thint that it was, who knows? :P:lol::lol:

 

I modified my last message to include a link from a test that someone did just to see if they could get a cellphone signale from an airplane. http://www.physics911.net/projectachilles.htm

 

I have no idea what altitude they made the call, but supposedly he made the call at the normal altitude of 35,000 feet or so, then when they tried to storm the cockpit the guy pushed the stick forward and they crashed. Apparently the coronor who went to the site said that he stopped being a coronor after 30 minutes when he realized there wasn't anything to look at. The people on the site said it didn't look like an airplane crash but just someone who came by, dug a hole in the ground and dumped some stuff on the field. Very, very strange.

 

Maybe someone turned on their GPS unit right before the airplane came out of the sky?

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What was the aircraft's altitude when the calls were made? I believe that you must be within range of a cell antenna in order to make a call. Perhaps the signal propagates better UP than OUT due to less obstructions. Other wise, it sems to me that you would be limited to the same distance restrictions that exist on terra firma. Is there something that explains how cell signals would travel 35,000' aka 6 miles+ or more UP but much less OUT? Or is the normal range of a cell site over 6 miles, I didn't thint that it was, who knows? :lol::lol:B)

 

I modified my last message to include a link from a test that someone did just to see if they could get a cellphone signale from an airplane. http://www.physics911.net/projectachilles.htm

 

I have no idea what altitude they made the call, but supposedly he made the call at the normal altitude of 35,000 feet or so, then when they tried to storm the cockpit the guy pushed the stick forward and they crashed. Apparently the coronor who went to the site said that he stopped being a coronor after 30 minutes when he realized there wasn't anything to look at. The people on the site said it didn't look like an airplane crash but just someone who came by, dug a hole in the ground and dumped some stuff on the field. Very, very strange.

 

Maybe someone turned on their GPS unit right before the airplane came out of the sky?

 

Then obviously the range of a cell antenna is approximately 6.6 miles more or less approximately when you are flying over the place in Pennsylvania where flight 93 crashed. Otherwise it most likely would not have been possible to make a cell phone call at 35,000' if there was no cell signal being recieved at 35,000' over the spot in Pennslyvania where flight 93 went down. Unless someone had turned their GPSr on, then everything changes and the plane crashes. :P:huh::P

Edited by Team Cotati
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You can indeed use a regular cellphone from an aircraft. The distance is no problem, since it's just through air. No hills, trees or buildings in the way.

 

The problem with cell phones in a plane is that you can reach far too many base stations. Thus you occupy more channels than you should, and the roaming algorithms get confused, since they can find you phone in many more places in the network than is normal.

You are also quickly moving from one "best" station to the next, which further complicates making the call.

 

But it can be done.

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You can indeed use a regular cellphone from an aircraft. The distance is no problem, since it's just through air. No hills, trees or buildings in the way.

 

The problem with cell phones in a plane is that you can reach far too many base stations. Thus you occupy more channels than you should, and the roaming algorithms get confused, since they can find you phone in many more places in the network than is normal.

You are also quickly moving from one "best" station to the next, which further complicates making the call.

 

But it can be done.

I heard that the problem mentioned above is a problem with older analog phones and that today's digital phones have overcome the problem. I think the airlines are still restricting cell phone use because some cellular carriers still support the old analog technology.

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