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Airline pilot answers common questions

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Seriously, how does my keeping my iPod on affect flights taking off? How safe is it to fly regional jets compared to larger planes? I have been on too many flights to count where our flight path and altitude has the plane flying through clouds for many minutes at a time. I wonder why this happens, and wonder what is involved with a pilot getting permission to alter his/her path or altitude so that this annoyance can be avoided. I remember hearing that landings are completely controlled by… (freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com) More...

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robertmackenzie
<Seriously, how does my keeping my iPod on affect flights taking off?>
It does nothing. The issue is you being able to hear the FAs commands & instructions with 50 Cent blasting through the headphones.
kselbert
kselbert 0
Having electronics on after the door is closed and below 10,000 feet means nothing in terms of actual aircraft performance and safety, despite the constant badgering by the flight attendants. Yes, blasting tunes and not being able to hear instructions is a big reason not to do that, but having your phone or laptop on doesn't hurt a thing.

Pilots can ask ATC for different altitudes but are pretty much at the mercy of the airspace and the controller. While it is nice to be able to go higher and get above the weather it is not always possible. Pilots, like passengers, don't enjoy bouncing along in the clouds either and most always try to avoid it if at all possible. Trust me, we try our best to avoid doing that.

As for the autopilot landings, that is completely false. If an aircraft is equipped with "auto-land" it might be used once in a while for maintaining pilot currency or if the weather minimums require a Cat 3 approach. Otherwise, landings are flown by the pilot.

I will add though that it is unfortunate that many pilots of larger aircraft seem to just throw the airplane at the runway rather than land with smoothness and skill. Not always, but soooo often. Having spent many years up front and riding in the back, I'm a very harsh critic of technique!
MCSchrader
"Throw the airplane at the runway", LOL I have never heard of that before, now I know...and I am a pilot...I may have to borrow that line...
volando2009
volando2009 0
How would my hand held GPS with four 1.5v batteries affect aircraft safety? >>>>>>MartyG
Sinkrate1
Sinkrate1 0
You will be lucky to get a hand-held GPS to work in an airplane. You are going way too fast for the device to lock onto the 3 satellites necessary to triangulate your position. As for cell phones--the only people to hate that are the phone companies because you are only 5 miles away from about 30 cell towers at any one time in flight and when you attempt to make a call you are pinging every one of them. They hate that.

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