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Electronics in the Sky

The talk of zero tolerance in Wednesday’s post (below) made me remember an incident when we were flying home from Florida a few weeks ago.

Calfgrit4 (turned 5 yesterday) was sitting next to me on the plane, and I got out his Leapster (hand-held video game) for him to occupy himself. This was while we were still on the tarmac, a couple minutes before we were to take off. (Calfgrit4 called it “blasting off.”)

A flight attendant, walking the aisle, looked over at us and told me we couldn’t use electronic devices during take off. I said, “OK,” and had CG4 turn it off. I commented to my mom, who was sitting on the other side of me, that rule of absolutely no electronics was ridiculous.

Mom said, “It’s so they don’t have to make a judgment call.”

I understand that, and I can appreciate the position having to make a judgment call would put the flight attendants in. But really, my problem with it is:

The airplane electronics should be shielded well enough that nothing in the passenger compartment could possibly interfere with them. What kind of rinky-dink set up do airplanes use that someone checking their voice mail at the back of the plane could potentially turn the craft into a lawn dart? I should be able to check my voice mail while nuking a breakfast burrito in a 2,000-watt microwave and running a World of Warcraft LAN party on half a dozen laptops without the pilots up front noticing any problems with their multi-million-dollar systems.


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