Re: Can't use GPS on Alaska Airlines

From:         Robert Nicholson <>
Organization: Direct Connection
Date:         12 Oct 96 22:13:12 
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6
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Boyd Roberts wrote:
> I flew with American Airlines from Paris to New York and back in the last
> two weeks and was surprised to see that they post the flight waypoints
> (or some such aproximation) on maps stuck on galley external walls,
> tagged with the flight time.  When I saw this I programmed them into my
> GPS and created a route.  Reading the doc I saw that they allowed some
> electronic devices to be used but prohibited _VHF_ radios and thought
> to myself 'hah, GPS is _UHF_'.

The VHF broadcast band  (88mhz-108mhz) is right next door to the
V.O.R./I.L.S. aircraft guidance frequencies (108.05mhz-117.95mhz) and any
interference could be very nasty in bad weather particularly on approach
and landing. The MLS system may avoid problems but as an avionics engineer
I would ban COMPLETELY all passenger operated electronic apparatus as
being the only foolproof system. Even pilots are not au fait with the
possibilities of interference problems.  Curiously, it is satellite
technology(GPS etc) that has stymied development of the microwave landing
system(MLS). Avionics is like computers, you invest in equipment and 2
years later it's a collectors item.