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Is there any point turning my phone to ‘flight mode’ on a plane?

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Desperate to check your phone in the air? Think again, radio emissions are thought to impact equipment used on board.

Asked by: Jo Adamson, Bath

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Until recently, concern that electronic emissions from laptops, e-readers and phones could interfere with aircraft systems led to passengers being asked to put such devices into low-emission ‘flight mode’ during take-off and landing.

In recent years, these restrictions have been eased, but they still apply to phones. That’s because the aerospace industry believes that radio emissions from phones still have the potential to cause interference – and are suspected to have sometimes affected headphones used by pilots.


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Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

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