McDonnell Douglas warns against carry-on electronic devices

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Date:         05 Jan 93 00:24:06 PST
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It'd be interesting to learn how MDC came to its very specific conclusion 
about the bank incident... :-)

Robert Dorsett


>From AIRLINE PILOT, December 1992, p. 40:

"McDonnell Douglas Corporation has warned all operators of DC-8, DC-9,
DC-10, MD-11, and MD-80 aircraft about reported interference to
avionics from passenger carry-on electronic equipment.  The
manufacturer further recommends that operators of its aircraft
prohibit onboard use of 'any passenger-operated carry-on electronic
radio transmitting device which intentionally radiates' electromagnetic

"The reason for the warning, said McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company,
is that a DC-10 recently '...abruptly banked to the right twice during
climb to a cruising altitude.  The suspected cause of these incidents
was...  a passenger operating a small audio [compact disc] player.'

"In 1983, at the request of airlines, the Radio Technical Commission
for Aeronautics began investigating the effects that carry-on
electrical and electronic devices can have on the operations of
aircraft systems.

"RTCA compiled and analyzed data on the emission characteristics of
various carry-on electronic devices and the effectiveness of aircraft
cabin shielding in protecting aircraft radio navigation and
communication systems.

"Douglas continues to support these RTCA conclusions and
recommendations but warns that 'many advances in technology...  have
greatly increased the number and variety of portable electronic devices
that passengers may wish to operate onboard an aircraft.'

"These devices, says the company, 'include, but are not limited to,'
citizen-band radios, cellular telephones, transmitters that remotely
control devices such as toys, and portable compact disc players.

"Douglas also recommends that 'non-transmitting carry-on electronic
devices not be used during takeoff and landing, or whenever directed by
a crewmember.'  The manufacturer suggests that these devices may be
used at other times, 'provided that the operator of the aircraft has
given permission for their use.'

"Examples of these nontransmitting devices are audio and video
recorders and playback devices, electronic games, computers and
peripheral devices, calculators, FM receivers, televisions, and
electric shavers.

"In light of rapidly changing technology, FAA has again asked RTCA to
study and make recommendations concerning portable electronic devices.
As a result, a new RTCA special committee will be formed."