"Over the last year, flying with phones and other devices has become increasingly dangerous..."
"...Some of the responsibility falls on the Federal Aviation Administration, for continuing to uphold a rule that is based on the unproven idea that a phone or tablet can interfere with the operation of a plane."
"These conflicts have been going on for several years. In 2010, a 68-year-old man punched a teenager because he didn’t turn off his phone. Lt. Kent Lipple of the Boise Police Department in Idaho, who arrested the puncher, said the man “felt he was protecting the entire plane and its occupants.” And let’s not forget Alec Baldwin, who was kicked off an American Airlines plane in 2011 for playing Words With Friends online while parked at the gate."
"Dealing with the F.A.A. on this topic is like arguing with a stubborn teenager. The agency has no proof that electronic devices can harm a plane’s avionics, but it still perpetuates such claims, spreading irrational fear among millions of fliers.
A year ago, when I first asked Les Dorr, a spokesman for the F.A.A., why the rule existed, he said the agency was being cautious because there was no proof that device use was completely safe. He also said it was because passengers needed to pay attention during takeoff..."
"...Yet a few weeks later, the F.A.A. proudly announced that pilots could now use iPads in the cockpit instead of paper flight manuals."
"The F.A.A. should check out an annual report issued by NASA that compiles cases involving electronic devices on planes. None of those episodes have produced scientific evidence that a device can harm a plane’s operation. Reports of such interference have been purely speculation by pilots about the cause of a problem."
Disruptions: The Real Hazards of E-Devices on Planes
By Nick Bilton