Re: Can't use GPS on Alaska Airlines

From:         Dewayne Matthews <dewayne@wiche.edu>
Organization: University of Colorado at Boulder
Date:         13 Sep 96 03:03:33 
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In article <airliners.1996.1750@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
> Dave Benjamin  <dbenj@slip.net> wrote:
>It seems incomprehensible that aircraft avionics that MUST frequently
>fly over high-powered radio transmitters could be so suceptible to stray
>onboard RF.  My understanding is that the restrictions on in-flight use
>of electronic devices is based entirely on unsubstantiated anecdotal
>evidence.

Well, here's some anecdotal evidence. About 3 years ago, I was in seat
1D on a Delta MD88 flying at cruise altitude over NE New Mexico on a
clear summer afternoon.  A flight attendant came out of the cockpit
(fightdeck?) and with a clear sense of urgency made a PA announcement to
turn off all portable electronic devices and instructed the other FAs to
check all the passengers.  They quickly reported that the only device in
use was a laptop in seat 2C (right behind me) and this guy was having
trouble saving his file so he hadn't turned it off yet. The first FA
said "I'm sorry sir, but you have to turn it off NOW!" He did. She went
back into the cockpit, and came out about two minutes later. She went
over to the guy in 2B, apologized, and said that when the captain called
her into the cockpit the first time (this is an exact quote) "All the
gauges were black." (The MD88 has a "glass" cockpit.)  She said that
they were just now coming back on. She then said (I'm not making this
up) "The captain wants to know if you have a Compaq computer." He said,
with surprise, "Why, yes, it IS a Compaq." It was a older one with an
external mouse. I told them that I had read somewhere that external mice
greatly exacerbated the problem. I then had another cup of coffee.

It made a true believer out of me.

Dewayne Matthews