Are Cellphones a Flight Danger? They Could Be On These Boeing Jets
Crash threat to some models of Boeing 737 and 777 airplanes
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July 19, 2019 - by Anita Sharpe for bnnbloomberg.ca
U.S. government officials in 2014 revealed an alarming safety issue: Passenger cellphones and other types of radio signals could pose a crash threat to some models of Boeing 737 and 777 airplanes.
More than 1,300 jets registered in the U.S. were equipped with cockpit screens vulnerable to interference from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and even outside frequencies such as weather radar, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which gave airlines until November 2019 to replace the units made by Honeywell International Inc.
Today, potentially hundreds of planes worldwide are still flying with the unsafe systems cited in the FAA report. Flight-critical data including airspeed, altitude and navigation could disappear and "result in loss of airplane control at an altitude insufficient for recovery," the FAA said in the safety bulletin, known as an airworthiness directive.
In just the past three years, mystified pilots flying Boeing NG or 777 jets -- the same models cited in the FAA warning on cellphones -- have reported more than a dozen instances of important flight information disappearing. Calling the situations "critical," the pilots filed their concerns with the Aviation Safety Reporting System, or ASRS, which is administered by NASA.
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