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How airplane mode works on a flight

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Many of us think that if we don’t use airplane mode, our phones will drop the airplane. But a flight attendant on TikTok says that’s not why we use it.

As well as ditching your water bottle, buckling up your seat belt, and paying attention to the safety demo (yes, even if you think you’ve seen it before), switching your phone to airplane mode is an integral part. of boarding.

But why? And how do they know? Are they checking? Is it even important?

Now, thanks to the wonders of TikTok, we finally have the answers.

Flight attendant Cierra Mistt shared the reasons for the often misunderstood in-flight demand, in a TikTok video that has since garnered some 1.7 million views.

“There are around 45,000 flights that occur every day, with around 2.9 million passengers on board,” she explains in the video.

“And how does all this theft go successfully?” Believe it or not, pilots are not actually responsible for flying.

IS THE FLIGHT MODE EVEN NECESSARY?

Cierra explains that although the pilot flies the aircraft, it is the communication between the ground and the pilot that is critical.

“From the moment the boarding gate closes until the moment we land, pilots follow specific instructions given to them by a group of people on the ground called Air Traffic Control,” she said. .

It is the role of air traffic controllers (or ATC for short) “to ensure that planes take off and land safely, without colliding”.

What does this have to do with whether or not you press a switch on your phone?

“In order for the pilot to communicate with air traffic control, he uses frequencies,” explains Cierra.

Yes, just like the frequencies we use to send messages, stream videos, and follow our favorite influencers on our phones.

Cierra goes on to explain that sometimes these frequencies collide, causing a complete loss of signal.

“Imagine how bad it would be for a pilot, who takes ATC instructions on the ground and suddenly loses signal and [need to] start flying blindly. All because the frequency of a passenger’s phone intercepted him.

HOW DOES FLIGHT MODE WORK?

Among the comments thanking her for “finally” explaining the reason were a skeptic or two and clarification from experts in the field, especially around the terminology used in the video.

An electrical engineer said the real reason for the flight mode was “unintentional radio waves emitted by phones and other devices” or “intentional radio waves inadvertently picked up by pilot equipment.”

He added that today “our devices no longer emit or accept so many involuntary waves” and questioned whether the flight mode was still “absolutely necessary”, but added: “Out of caution , do it “.

The popular Discovery Channel show MythBusters addressed a similar issue in 2006, investigating the myth that cell phone bans on airplanes were designed to force passengers to use expensive phones in flight.

The show came to similar conclusions to those expressed in the TikTok video: telephone signals – especially those in the 800-900 MHz range – could interfere and did interfere with unshielded cockpit instrumentation.

“Because older aircraft with unshielded cabling can be affected, and because of the possible problems that can arise when many airborne cell phones” see “multiple cell towers, the FCC (via Law Enforcement by the FAA) always considers it best to be wrong. the safe side and prohibit the use of cell phones in flight.

A SIMPLE REQUEST

So why do we use airplane mode? Since it’s such a small and simple thing to do… like, why wouldn’t you do it?

Think about it for a second: all you are really asked to do is flip a switch on your phone.

And given that not doing so has the potential to make the giant metal flying craft that carries you – 5km high at a speed of around 900km / h (while surrounded by other flying craft metal giants doing the exact same thing) – even slightly dangerous… uh, we’re going to err on the side of caution until we say otherwise, okay?

Glad we cleared that up.

This article originally appeared on Delicious and has been reproduced with permission


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