FAA Scolds Passenger For Using iPad To Shoot Video Of Bird Strike

Remember that bird strike in April that forced a Delta flight to make an emergency landing? The actual incident was caught on video by author Grant Cardone, who is now on some FAA “you’re a troublemaker” list because he shot that video when his iPad was supposed to be turned off.

Cardone was on CNN this morning to discuss the letter he’d received from the FAA’s Supervisory Principal Operations Inspector regarding the incident.

Reads the letter:

Your failure to comply with flight attendant instructions during a critical phase of flight and an aircraft emergency could have affected the safe outcome of the flight… We have given consideration to all of the facts. In lieu of legal enforcement action (a civil penalty), we are issuing this letter which will be made a matter of record for a period of two years, after which, the record will be expunged.

“I don’t think I’m above the law or anyone should be,” said Cardone. “I’ve flown over 3 million miles, a million of them with Delta, and to think that a device — a phone or this iPad… to think that any of these devices could take down a plane is ridiculous… “If truly these devices are that dangerous, then the FAA has the responsibility to ban them.”

He didn’t exactly respond to host Soledad O’Brien’s point that, regardless of whether or not phones present a danger to the flight, Cardone did disregard the instructions of the flight attendants. But he did express concern that the FAA letter is overly vague about the implications of having this scolding on file for the next two years

“What I’m concerned about is what watch list am I on… Am I now a terrorist?” Cardone asked. “Am I going to get double-screened? They just need to clarify what the deal is.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. milkcake says:

    Unless your life is in danger, just listen to the damn attendants.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Agreed. If the flight attendant tells you they must insert their finger into your rectum. Then regardless of how pointless this request is, regardless of not being based on any factual data then you must comply.

      • ovalseven says:

        It’s not about the point of the rule, or about factual data. It’s about following the rule and not getting yourself kicked off of a flight or visited by the police after you land.

        I don’t want my flight delayed because you don’t agree with the rules. Just the same, I’m not going to do that to anyone else.

        • spamtasticus says:

          Lucky for the rest of us that don’t like fish and chips your tail between the legs in the prostrate position attitude was not shared by our forefathers.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            From what I can see the majority of people in this country, most especially the ones who claim to share the POV of our founders, seem to not give a damn about liberty until it inconveniences them.

          • Southern says:

            Oh, come on now.. While I’m one of the FIRST people to want to stand up to my rights over stuff that affects only ME (like receipt checking), turning off your Blackberry for 10 minutes because it MIGHT interfere with airplane avionics and could affect hundreds of other people is hardly something to get all Constitutional over.

            • spamtasticus says:

              My point is that draconian rules are often rationalized with crap like “for the children” or “for safety reasons” but have absolutely no basis in fact. If people simple accept this, not quite draconian rule, it encourages others to just accept all that is told to them instead of using their head and defending their autonomy.

      • frodolives35 says:

        It works for TSA. lol

    • vastrightwing says:

      This is all about the FAA not wanting any video which could be embarrassing. The FAA is not about safety as much as it is about keeping its budget intact and the current admin in office. If anything ever came up on video showing there was some problem the FAA could have prevented.. s*** would fly! Literally.

    • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

      One thing that does not matter is putting away electronics.
      They have a right to make rules for safety. They do not have the right to abuse their power and demand you do things just because.
      Everyone knows that no flight system is affected in anyway to our electronics, they never have been. It was a rules someone decided to make and the FAA has yet to admit their mistake and apologize for not letting you use electronics on landing and takeoffs.

      • Southern says:

        This is not a “New Rule” though. Turning off electronic devices has *always* been the rule, and it should not surprise anyone who has ever flown before. This isn’t a “just because” thing, you know way ahead of time that they’re GOING to ask you to do it. Just like buckling your seatbelt for takeoff and landing, and putting your seat and table in the upright position. It’s not like they just made up these rules yesterday.

        • Southern says:


          NASA has 118 documented cases where Cell Phones, Laptops, Tape Players, Electronic Games, Radios, CD Players and more HAVE interfered with airplane avionics.

          The data shows that a wide variety of PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices) are suspected of having caused anomalies with aircraft systems. Although resolving the issue of PEDs interference is a complex task, the data indicates that cell phones and laptops should be prime candidates for evaluation of their part in anomalies. Additionally, the anomalies affected navigation systems 86 percent more often than any other system on the aircraft. If these events were happening at cruise altitudes where a pilot’s workload is lower than for any other flight phase, they might not be cause for concern, but that is not the case. The data clearly indicates that not only were some events judged as having had a critical effect on a system, but they also happened during critical stages &flight specifically landings and takeoffs. Research on single, multiple similar and multiple dissimilar devices and their interaction with their environment may provide useful data on PEDs interference.


          Please forgive me for believing facts over your opinion.

          • legotech says:

            Did you miss that part where it says SUSPECTED of having caused anomalies? You know, as in we’re not really sure what happened, but we’ll blame the electronics that we want to blame anyway.

            • tooluser says:

              So by the FAA’s logic, they should posthumously try and convict the heroes of Flight 93.

              Such sad times in the USA these days.

            • Southern says:

              Did you read the document?

              No, otherwise you would have read that they use the word “Suspected” and “Attributed” interchangeably, and that when anomalies were detected, aircraft systems returned to normal when a general passenger cabin announcement was made requesting all electronic devices be turned off.

              1 or 2 reports might be statistically insignificant and prone to bad data collection, but 118? That pretty much shows a definite correlation.

              • kujospam says:

                Not sure if you know this or not, but the sun releases solar flares all the time, sometimes more often then others and that effects equipment in large areas on earth. In fact it effects computer memory also which can attribute to autocorrected memory errors. Thank goodness most servers double check it’s memory.. The word attributed means nothing without numbers which there are none. Did it contribute 20%, 1%, 99%, .000008%, 0%? Is it like how republicans believe how man contributes to gobal warming, or how democrats believe? It was pretty unscientific.

                • Snowblind says:

                  You are not taking into account that the sun is outside the planes skin, which is an effective Faraday cage and protects the electronics inside. Not EMP proof mind you, but the relatively low power of a solar flare will be blocked effectively.

                  The devices are INSIDE the plane and thus bypass the protection from the Faraday cage effect.

              • jimbo831 says:

                To go even further, there was a MythBusters episode that studied this a few years back. They put a small plane’s cockpit in a special room designed to block all outside interference and proceeded to turn electronics on and off. They found zero evidence of any interference caused by the electronics (which I think was a cell phone).

                To date, I have not read of a single scientific test that shows any interference. This tells me one of two things. Either the FAA has never done it and just bases their rules on speculation and rumors, or they have done them and never found any proof, but refuse to go back on their original claims. The article you posted shows nothing. Have you ever heard the term correlation without causation?

                • Southern says:

                  Right, because Mythbusters are *experts*.. Why, they have 30 years of special effects experience! I’ll have to back and rewatch that show though, as i seem to remember them saying that although they couldn’t prove it, there was still like a 1 in a million chance it COULD happen.

                  Don’t get me wrong, I love the show. :) Their testing methodology is frequently subpar, but it’s still good entertainment.

                  Boeing engineers (you know, the ones that actually BUILD the planes) say that PEDs can cause interference. They’ve tested it and proven it in sealed environments. Check out the ABC news article that I posted somewhere else in these threads.. I’ll believe them (and NASA) long before I believe anyone on this forum who insists that “it’s just impossible!”

                  Keep in mind I still think it’s statistically improbable. And even if it did happen, it wouldn’t cause the plane to crash. But to completely just say “It can’t happen!” is a fallacy.

                  But who am I kidding – people here never change their minds about anything. They’ll continue to say “it could never happen to me, I’ve done it a million times!”

                  • jimbo831 says:

                    Sorry, but I can’t watch YouTube at work unfortunately. I have bookmarked it for later. I don’t claim MythBusters to be experts, but simply stated I have not seen the results of any other scientific study. The text article that you posted just mentioned a correlation and was not done in a controlled environment. I will watch that news report and read about the Boeing tests later though, thanks. I will say I would rather see a test done by a neutral party than Boeing, who is obviously paranoid about covering themselves in case something happens.

              • SharkD says:

                I did read the entire document. Between 1986 and 1999, 118 flights experienced communication, navigation and/or flight control anomalies wherein flight crews also noticed coincidental passenger use of personal electronics, including but no limited to, cell phones, laptops, high-frequency radios and *GASP* calculators.

                While I have no doubt that unshielded electronics can produce surprisingly large EM interference, and portable electronics designed to operate on the same frequency bands as aircraft navigation and communication systems (analog mobile phones, HF radios and the like) probably did impact operations of critical systems between 1986 and 1999, there is also insufficient evidence to blame all portable electronics when a VOR needle acts funny or an aircraft system malfunctions.

                Besides, the technology in use in the passenger cabin in 1986 was very different than what you’d find in 1992, which was very different than what you’d find in 1999, which is remarkably different than what you’ll find today.

                Despite the advent of WiFi, bluetooth and modern digital cellular radios, portable electronics, these days probably emit far less EM noise than in the past, simply as a function of the fact that wireless communication is now a critical feature.

                The anomalous experiences reported to NASA in that 2001 report are, at best, anecdotal and based on the observations of flight attendants (the flight deck said something funny happened and that kid in 23B was using his GameBoy (with cables) at the same time!) — even the report says that NASA does not imply a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

                If the FAA, NASA, RTCS, airlines, avionics manufacturers, aircraft builders, etc truly believed that there was a substantial risk to flight control, communication or navigation systems, posed by personal electronic devices, a very simple demonstration of an iPhone, Kindle or GameBoy causing a VOR needle to act funny would do well to quell public discontent with “federal regulations prohibiting the operation of personal, portable electronic devices.”

                Or, they could, you know, shield the miles and miles and miles of wire, onboard modern aircraft, from RF signals.

                • Southern says:

                  I won’t disagree that you raise some good points. However, in 118 documented cases you firmly believe that not even a single ONE of them could have been caused by a PED? Even after an announcement to turn off all electronic devices, then *BING*, problem magically disappears?

                  Also, who knows WHAT could happen if someone were to bring onboard a 20 year old Radio Shack handheld CB Radio with homemade modifications (such as replacing the crystal to give it access to more frequencies?) HAMs do that kinda stuff all the time.

                  Do you believe that a microwave oven can disrupt a life-saving device like a pacemaker? If so, why is it such a stretch to believe that a cell phone (which uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, granted low power) couldn’t interfere with a sensitive piece of aircraft avionics?

                  • SharkD says:

                    Re-read my second paragraph.

                    I’d also suggest you read a much more recent ASRS report, like this one, most recently updated in January 2012:

                    Also, the American Heart Association says that there is “little or no risk” posed by microwave ovens to people with implanted pacemakers, so, no I do not believe that a properly functioning microwave will interfere with the operation of a pacemaker. (source)

                    If your microwave leaks EM/RF, you need a new microwave.

        • Southern says:

          Just found out that there were another report back in 2011 where 75 cases were also documented where consumer devices (including Blackberrys and IPad) interfered with airplane avionics, including Fly By Wire and the GPS systems.. and it’s been confirmed by Boeing engineers.

          (ABC News Report)

          I still agree that it’s statistically improbable, but not something I’m willing to risk my life over.

          And I know we’re not talking about planes crashing or falling out of the sky, but just minor crap where the plane might show it’s at 10,000 feet when it’s actually at 9,995 or something.. But then, with the new completely automated landing systems these days, that COULD mean the difference between life and death..

          I still won’t risk it. :)

      • aerodawg says:

        As someone who works in the airworthiness field, I can categorically tell you that no in fact we don’t know that these electronic devices won’t endanger the airplane.

        Because nobody has actually tested the vast majority of them, the best we can say is “We don’t know” and when the answer to “What will happen” is “I don’t know” you don’t get to do it. Sorry you don’t like it but it’s a fundamental tenet of airworthiness that you don’t do anything you don’t know what the effects will be in the course of normal operations.

        • liam_cos says:

          So there is no way for you to know if something isn’t safe without testing it?

          Science, common sense, engineering would all disagree.

          /works in flight test

          • aerodawg says:

            Since you put your FTE hat on, I guess I’ll put my airworthiness Sys E hat on. You sound like most FTEs, great at performing tests, but blissfully unaware of what airworthiness actually means and how to attain it. Hell, I’m in the process of dealing with an FTE who wants to fly a DeHaviland -8 @ 30,000 ft (5k above it’s certified limit) with the flaps down and can’t understand why the guys in airworthiness oversight have an issue with that.

            An no, I didn’t say anything about alternate methods of compliance. Excuse me for using terminology I thought the public at large could easily understand. I really didn’t think it was necessary to dig into the deep details of qualification by analysis, qual by similiarity or any of the other dozen ways you can certify something.

            Typically alternate methods of compliance are proposed on a case by case basis by the entity seeking certification and are approved by the FAA on a case by case basis. Thus far, I am completely unaware of any entity seeking alternate methods of compliance with the relevant regulations and standards to allow passengers to use PEDs below 10k feet.

            The airlines do not have the resources to seek to certify every single device that a passenger might bring on and don’t want to anyway. The individual device manufactures simply don’t care that you can’t use their devices on airplanes so they’re not seeking it either.

            And in the strictest sense, you have to certify each device individually because qualification is done by configuration and each device is different. The American Airlines pilots who get to use iPads as an electronic flight bag (EFB) don’t get to go use an Android tablet even though they’re roughly the same for that very reason.

            • smo0 says:

              If it’s that big of a potential threat.. then maybe they SHOULD devote the resources and time to test them.


              Thanks for paving the way for an argument.

    • doctor.mike says:

      Actually, his life was in danger. The plane had a bird strike and the captain decided to declare and emergency and land. Fortunately aircraft and passengers landed safely.

      We could consider Mr. Cardone a hero, attempting to record the incident, in case he did not survive. Any video or photo or an aviation incident, can be useful to investigators.

      The memory card from the ipad might be recovered from the wreckage. Oh, wait…

    • nocturnaljames says:

      Not if they are being unreasonable. You aren’t a slave just because you get on a plane.

      • aerodawg says:

        Actually you are. Non-compliance with any reasonable flight crew instructions can get you charged with a federal crime. They can’t tell you to strip naked and do the hokey pokey but things like sit up staight and turn off your electronics are fair game….

      • tjthayer says:

        The plane is the property of the airline, and you are on their property. You have the right to choose another airline, but they’ll tell you the same thing.

        There’s always buses and trains for the people that can’t handle the rules of flying.

    • Audiyoda28 says:

      What he’s really saying is that normal people are incapable of following the simplest of rules (ie…turning off electronic devices) and need to have their hands held throughout all phases of a flight.

  2. dolemite says:

    “Alright mister….since you went public with this, you are on the list permanently. No, no…you can’t see the list or know how it works or fight the list. It’s for your own safety or something. If we let you know what your rights are, the terrorist win.”

    • aerodawg says:

      He’s not on any permanent super secret list. This is the FAAs equivalent of a cop writing a warning for speeding. Behave for a while and it disappears into the beuaracratic ether. Get caught again and they’re going to throw the book at you….

  3. HomerSimpson says:

    “Just wait until the TSA people get through with you!”

  4. WhenPigsFly says:

    This guy’s gonna be Public Enemy #1 for TSA watch list. Can’t wait until what happens the next time he flys.

  5. El_Fez says:

    Look, jackass – turn off the damn electronic device. The rules apply to everyone, including you.

    And no, one ipad will not crash a plane. FIFTY ipads, on the other hand. . . .

    • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

      … WILL NOT CRASH A PLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • spamtasticus says:

      Please enlighten us obi wan. What will fifty iPads do?

      • BK88 says:

        Become 50 blunt objects flying through the bain at over 100 mph during a crash!

        • Cerne says:

          If objects in your plane are suddenly accelerated to 100 mph you have bigger problems than an iPod flying around.

          Or do electronics in your world some how obey different physics than books, water bottles, etc.?

        • thezone says:

          If objects in the cabin are accelerating at that rate that means that the plane has decelerated at that rate and you had to let go. Of course that also means you’re most likely dead since all of your organs are going to be crushed by your seat belt, your head is going to run into the seat in front of you near 100 mph and your heart will most likely be damaged in your chest causing massive bleeding. In fact maybe your iPad instantly crushing your skull would be better.

      • CPENinja says:

        The FCC requires all electronic devices to undergo some pretty rigorous tests in regards to electronic emissions. However, the FCC does not perform tests for multiple devices. Now, I don’t have an EMF detector anymore, so I can’t check an iPad for its interference range. If, however, they produce noticeable fields beyond more than a few feet, multiple devices of the same type will provide additional interference.

        Again – without actual tests, this is just a theory.

        What really… REALLY is important is the chance that an electronic device is MALFUNCTIONING. This happens fairly often – and often has no effect on the overall operation of the device. But a single resistor, capacitor, screen, speaker, etc. could be producing unwanted interference – just ask the Toshiba plasma TV owner back in the early 2000’s who got a visit from the US Army because his TV was producing a signal in the high-gigahertz range that happened to be similar to an Army emergency signal.

        Hint: he wasn’t allowed to keep his TV. Toshiba did replace it, though.

        Long story short – the FAA regulations aren’t for your working device. They’re for the multiple maybe-not-operating devices.

      • mikedt says:

        Fifty ipads to not put out 50 times more rf interference than 1 ipad.


    • bluline says:

      I’ve accidentally left my cell phone on numerous times throughout entire flights, and I would wager big money that many others have as well, whether deliberately or by accident (and I see a lot of phones that seem to power up instantly the moment the wheels touch the runway, so my guess is that they were on long before landing). Whatever. I’m not too worried about cell phones and iPads causing problems for a modern aircraft.

    • thezone says:

      Seriously, you’re an idiot. If you don’t think there are 50 devices on when the plane takes off you have never looked around on the plane the minute the captain says electronic devices can be turned back on. In that moment everyone takes their device out and starts playing it. This rule is not based in any fact.

    • CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

      You could have 1000 ipad and it would do nothing to the planes electronics.
      Flight attendants have a right to direct you for safety and efficiency.
      Everyone already knows that electrics cause 0 interference to planes systems.
      They dont have a right to abuse their power and demand you do things for no reason.

      • Southern says:

        *citation needed.

        (A lack of data does not indicate a conclusion. Please post where there is a scientific study that shows, without a doubt, that [b]no electronic device[/b] can interfere with avionics).

        Otherwise it’s an opinion.

        • SabreDC says:

          B-b-b-but it was on Mythbusters!

          • Southern says:

            I know, I’ve seen ’em all. :) And believe me, I do agree that it’s STATISTICALLY IMPROBABLE.

            But IMPOSSIBLE? Especially when NASA has so many documented cases of it? It’s just not something that people should be willing to risk their lives over, especially when it’s so damn easy to just turn it off for 10-15 minutes.

      • Southern says:

        P.S., please see my post to your reply above, NASA published a study back in 2001 where they have 118 documented cases of Personal Electronic Devices interfering with aircraft avionics.

      • Ivory Bill says:

        I can understand how an active device radio (wifi, cell, lte, whatever) might possibly cause RF interference that “might could” affect navigation systems. I cannot wrap my head around how a device with the radio off could cause such an issue. Any device in “airplane mode” is basically a glorified camera. And I have never been told to put my camera away by any airline personnel.

      • tjthayer says:

        Masturbating in my seat won’t bring down the plane, but they don’t allow that either.

        (Or so I’ve heard… From a friend…)

      • Jawaka says:

        Um, you’re a guest in their plane. They can ask you do do whatever the wish.

    • Jawaka says:

      I love how he begins by explaining how he’s not above the law. He then goes on about how ridiculous he feels the rule is and he clearly ignored it.

      Someone needs a reality check.

  6. weave says:

    Good. I hope he gets extra screening. I don’t think the things are harmful either, but I do what I’m instructed to do on a flight.

    • spamtasticus says:

      At what point in your life did you loose your free will and became an unquestioning follower? I say this with the utmost softness and used no derogatory terms because I think you need to take a second to realize you are a thinking adult and no longer someone’s child and a such you should strive to think for yourself and not allow others to string you along for no reason what so ever.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        He did think for himself and realized, as an adult, that NOT following the instructions of the flight crew will likely get you kicked off the plane. How exactly is THAT being an adult?

        • spamtasticus says:

          Although I am not equating this event with the one in the following metaphor based on gravitas and historical significance I hope you can somehow get the point. Rosa Parks could have just moved to the back of the bus. Now please read the preceding sentence before someone gets all “how on earth are you going to compare blah blah blah” on me. Not as important by any stretch but a very good example of not being another one of the sheep and not trading your free will for convenience or expediency. Since I know where the argument will go to from here I will add the following; having to turn off your game of angry birds is certainly not a major issue in the grand scheme of things but when people systematically tuck tail and do everything that is told to them without question and without any consideration to logic then we become a more malleable populace and that serves nobody except those exploiting the ignorant. If you want an example, take a time machine back in time and ask the first passengers that allowed their fourth amendment right to not be searched if they would be as accommodating if they knew that the end result of them smiling and letting people search their bags would be full body naked radiation scans and sexual assault waiting for them at the bottom of that slippery slope.

          • Such an Interesting Monster says:

            So why don’t you lead the revolt? What’s that? Too busy?

            • spamtasticus says:

              I always speak up when I think something is unjust or a scam. I never allow convenience or expediency interfere with my principles. If the need is strong enough I organize boycotts or demonstrations to enact actual change. I never click “like” and consider it a meaningful contribution. How about you?

      • ovalseven says:

        I have to ask… What would you do if the attendant approached you and asked you and everyone else to turn off your phones?

    • tooluser says:

      Oooh, you’re such a good little boy.

      What other fear-based rules do you follow unquestionably?

  7. Guppy06 says:

    “I don’t think I’m above the law or anyone should be,”

    When you’re airborne, the airplane crew is the law. Moral and technological debates are for dry land.

    • thezone says:

      Well guess what. That’s BS. I’m all for following any rule that is based on science. This is not so I will not follow it. It’s funny. The FAA is now considering allowing these devices to be used at anytime. It mostly because the pilots are already using them. But hey if you want to blindly follow bad law be my guest.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        Then don’t ever fly and you won’t have to worry about it. I mean, this is pretty basic stuff. If you choose to get on a plane you’re expected to follow THEIR rules. If you don’t like it then don’t fly.

      • Southern says:

        Then feel free to stand up for your rights and be the next Alec Baldwin. Except since you’re not a celebrity, they’ll just throw you in jail, and force you to hire a lawyer.

        After all, if you don’t stand up for your rights, who will?

      • huadpe says:

        When he says the aircraft crew is the law, for a limited purpose that’s actually the truth. An airplane pilot or ship captain has legal power to command crew and passengers for the safety of their fellows and the craft.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Can I make crap up too?

  8. GenXCub says:

    He’s going to hate his Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound he gets on his next flight.

  9. Lyn Torden says:

    If these devices can take down a plane, then we need to get some very aggressive TSA officers to search people and baggage for these terrorism tools and seize them and arrest the offenders who tried to take them aboard.

    Message to FAA: how about safer airplanes

  10. consumed says:

    From the video it didn’t look like the engine was damaged. Why did they have to make an emergency landing?

    • iesika says:

      Possibly just-in-case. Would you rather be on the plane that landed and had the engine checked, or the plane that fell out of the sky half an hour later?

    • Cal says:

      From network video, the outer edge of the turbine blades and the inner cowl was damaged. This means the airflow into the engine has been compromised and standard procedure is to shut the engine down to prevent further damage. The aircraft is designed to fly for a designated time on one engine, but it is prudent to get back on the ground ASAP.

  11. BK88 says:

    The reason for the rule…

    Keeping objects from being projectiles during a crash, and to keep your hands and seat area clear of objects for an emergency evacuation not involving a crash.

    That’s the mystery… Its’ solved!

    • spamtasticus says:

      That is a complete BS explanation because you can keep your phone in your hand and they will tell you nothing and conversely they will make you turn off a iPod that is in the seat pocket. Both scenarios have happened to me hundreds of times.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yes. You’re not only supposed to turn them off, but STOW them. It’s the STOW part that is difficult for anyone who is playing Angry Birds.

    • Cerne says:

      And if that was the rule your comment would make sense, as it is…

    • VintageLydia says:

      Then why are books OK? Or small toys for kids? Or anything that is handheld and not electronic?

  12. Coffee says:

    One has to ask why, exactly, Cardone had his ipad on at just this moment…I propose that he used a bird-summoning app to cause events to unfold just so, then reap the publicity. Kudos to the FAA for taking this seriously. The man is clearly a terrorist, or at the least a bird murderer.

  13. Southern says:

    Hope he pulls this in New York or New Jersey soon.. They’re (thinking) about starting to fine people “up to tens of thousands of dollars” that refuse to turn off their electronic devices. (Depending on if their refusal delays the flight, like Alec Baldwin’s did).

    • thezone says:

      Why should the passengers turn their devices off when the flight crew have iPads on? Plus this guy obviously didn’t delay the plane at all. The entire thing is bull. These weak electronic devices will not take down anything. If they had the ability to you would see an increase in crashes. This is just stupidity.

      • Southern says:

        And of course you’re willing to bet your life, and the lives of 500 other people, on your belief.

        While I may agree with you, and I understand that there’s no documented cases of a device interfering with airplane avionics (at least not that I know of), I’m NOT willing to risk my life over not turning off my damn iPad for 10 minutes.

        • thezone says:


          Once again, the FAA believes they are safe enough to be within inches of the electronics in the cockpit. Also, you’re part of the minority of people who turn off their devices. Most people just put them in their pocket on airplane mode. So yes, I’m willing to risk it. And most of the people on the plane are risking it too.

          • Southern says:

            And what happens if there’s a problem with either the avionics shielding, or the device itself, making it more susceptible to inteference?

            Also, studies have shown that iPods (not iPads, but iPods) can cause pacemakers to stop functioning when held within 18 inches of the device.

            Electromagnetic interference is real. As I said, I may agree with you, but I’m not willing to risk my life over it.

            • spamtasticus says:

              Do you leave the house with a bullet proof vest? It would be safer than going out without one. This would be a valid argument using your risk assessment thresholds.

  14. KyBash says:

    Normally, consumer electronics don’t affect anything because the critical systems are shielded. The usual precautions against using such devices during take-offs and landings are because that’s when there’s the greatest danger in case the shielding is somehow compromised.

    A bird tearing a hole in the plane could certainly compromise the shielding, and it’s a time when the flight crew really, really needs to be able to trust their instruments.

    He’s a self-important jerk who put people’s lives in danger.

    The guy should be banned from all flights for life!

    • thezone says:

      You do realize that the flight crew have iPads right? And a bird hitting an engine will not remove the shielding to any of their instruments. Planes are not affected by iPads or cell phones or any of our common electronics.

      • KyBash says:

        You do realize that there are electronics on the engines, right?
        You do realize that a bird strike can rip the shielding off of cables, right?
        You do realize that stray signals can interfere with exposed electronics, right?
        You do realize that a modern airliner can’t be safely flown without a host of electronic equipment, right?

        This is precisely the scenario where interference can be fatal.

        • spamtasticus says:

          Do you realize that if it is a genuine threat the ones putting our lives in extreme danger are the airlines and not the uppity reporter? If there is a genuine threat then why on earth are they letting people like you and that reporter decide my fate? Either they are safe or they are not. They take my damn toe nail clippers away from me but let me bring on 5 cabin death devices? Give me a freaking break.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Yeah, they have iPads. Which are probably pre-set up to be in airplane mode and have the wifi turned off(yes, as I discovered, you can be in airplane mode and still have wifi on).

        • dpeters11 says:

          Yes, but during take off and landing they want them completely off. Flight attendants will even make you turn off your Kindle, even though it only ever uses power at all when turning pages if the antenna is off.

          I’m all for completely banning voice calls just to prevent the annoyance, but not everything else. How many people keep their phone on but in their pocket or bag? I’m sure quite a few.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      It’s not the shielding. It’s the parts that AREN’T shielded because they can’t be. You can’t shield an antenna or a sensor, because they need to receive/send signals.

  15. Tim says:

    Man Flabbergasted At Getting Scolded For Breaking Rules.

  16. donjumpsuit says:

    Better yet, Let’s put it this way. Everyone has a cellphone, and 50% of people have Tablet’s/Laptops. If in fact a plane can be brought down by any of these items, it’s best that the plane be redesigned so as to not be brought down by an item that can be found in the possession of about 100% of the population flying. That is all. If you want to know what group I am in, it’s the iPad/iPhone on but in sleep mode group with the Airport setting on.

  17. dush says:

    If it was in airplane mode then how is that different than using any regular camera?
    Is the FAA becoming the TSA?

    • Rachacha says:

      It isn’t, and a regular digital camera, or even a very basic film camera (except probably a disposable film camera, or one of the old cameras from 1970s or earlier that you had to advance the film by hand) are all considered an electronic device and are therefore supposed to be turned off.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        I have a camera that you can’t turn off. It had manual zoom and focus… What now? It takes batteries because it has a light sensor.

      • spamtasticus says:

        So what you and the FAA are saying is that my life and your life are being decided by some toll booth operator that thinks that clicking the sleep button on the top of an iPhone actually turns it off?

      • dush says:

        So a camera can crash a plane but we’re allowed to bring them into the cabin?

  18. Gravitational Eddy says:

    Wait, this just in….”Think of the children!!”
    I had to say this.
    Another government branch that needs to be trimmed all the way back to bare minimums.
    Our government is now so large, that when Obama said he created 50,000 new jobs, he wasn’t telling us the whole truth. Those jobs were actually in the government. Private employers cannot even come close to those numbers.
    I think some people should prep for leaner times, and none too soon.
    I’m looking at you, lapdog of the airlines….

    • thezone says:

      Uhhhhhh….you realize that ALL of the net job growth in this economy has been from the private sector right? Net government employment is down since Obama became president.

      • iesika says:

        Shhh… don’t get your facts up in his politics.

      • spamtasticus says:

        please direct us to the data that supports this claim. Something more believable then an infographic please.

        • Southern says:

          He’s incorrect.

          Year Total Fed Employees
          2000 4,129,000
          2001 4,132,000
          2002 4,152,000
          2003 4,210,000
          2004 4,187,000
          2005 4,138,000
          2006 4,133,000
          2007 4,127,000
          2008 4,206,000
          2009 4,430,000
          2010 4,443,000

          Looks like in 2009 we took a JUMP of about 230,000.

          Data obtained from U.S. Office of Personnel Management @ http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/TotalGovernmentSince1962.asp

          • Boiled for your sins says:

            You forgot to include the footnote which specifies that the 2010 number includes temporary employees for the decennial census. 564,000 according to the BLS (http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2011/03/art3exc.htm)

            • Southern says:

              Depends on how you crunch the data I suppose.

              FEDERAL Government employment is up (you can see the chart at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2011/03/art3exc.htm which even shows that HUGE spike for the census workers, but even overall Federal employment is up from January 2009 to March 2012 by about 36,000), but state, local and postal employment IS down around 500,000.

              I don’t think he (President Obama) has any control over those, does he? (State, local, postal).

              I guess it’s just all in how you spin it.

              • Southern says:

                Ack! Wrong link! My apologies. :)

                Correct link here (which does the census employment spike and the overall increase from 1/2009 to 3/2012):


                Like I said, I guess it just depends on how you spin it, which honestly isn’t surprising for *anything* that comes out of D.C. from EITHER party. :)

  19. GoldVRod says:

    This guy was clearly playing an augmented-reality version of Angry Birds.

  20. Sad Sam says:

    What about the pilots who are using the iPad in the cockpit? Are they now on a list? Come on FAA if pilots are routinely using iPads to get their flight instructions while flying the pad how do you expect the flying public to respect this edict?

  21. Cerne says:

    You know I’ve always thought that the technical explanation for forcing us to turn off electronics was BS, now I realize I was wrong. Obviously these devices are bird attractors.

  22. Geekybiker says:

    I would scold him too. Use something that can record descent video!

  23. gman863 says:

    Out of curiosity, did the family of the deceased birds also get a beat-down letter reminding them to stay the fuck away from commercial airliners?

  24. sveyden says:

    He is wrong on at least 2 counts. He states that “90% of all people in America now have an iphone on them” (at about 1:14). I am sure that is not true.

    • ECA says:

      if you look up the numbers…its Less then 20%..
      but if yo count all the Computer type devices from Pads/cellphones..its still less then 50%..I think its under 40%.

  25. ECA says:

    If I wanted to Force the plane to crash. All I would need to do is to send a HIGH gain signal at your plane??
    Do terrorists know this??

    For all the radio signals being used around the USA, from cellphones, towers, AM/FM, Satellite, TV, 3g, 4g, Broadcast TV in analog/digital/Sat, walkie/talkie with ranges of 18 miles, UHF radios, police radio channels, Short wave/long wave radios…(not a complete list)..

    You are telling me that your FLY BY WIRE(wireless control system) is not protected?? Isnt fully protected?? HAS FAULTS in it?? And the only persons that can use a wireless device is the Pilots getting TXT messages?? while we are LANDING?? Sitting NEAR the control surfaces??

    • spamtasticus says:

      SHHHHHH. Don’t let the terrorists know that all they need to do to bring a commercial airliner down is remove the shielding from their blackberry and play whatever cheap version of angry birds is available in the sad sad dying platform.

  26. Press1forDialTone says:

    Listen up people. I’m only going to say this for the 1,000,000th time:


    Delta should ban him from flying their airline for a period of not less than
    1 year and if he does it again, for life.

    What is it with these techno-hipsters that think they are above
    everyone else’s safety. Off with their heads!

  27. Hoss says:

    I didn’t know who Grant Cardone was prior to the video. Now I know he’s an annoying jackass

  28. 2 Replies says:

    Question is, was the device in AIRPLANE mode? (Where the offending radios are deactivated.)
    Because there’s nothing about recording a video that means the device was actively transmitting.
    Had it been in airplane mode it CAN’T cause the interference that they’re afraid of.

    • Southern says:

      Actually, just by being powered on, it would still generate electromagnetic interference. Everything that uses electricity does.

    • spamtasticus says:

      And since only about 1 in 10000 people actually know how to turn their cell off instead of just putting it to sleep then we are all doomed to plummet to the ground in a fiery ball of technological entertainment….. or this is all BS. you decide…..

  29. Churba says:

    Your iPad isn’t going to crash the plane – or at least, is ludicrously unlikely to do so – but frankly, the rules are still the rules, stupid or not, I’m sad to say.

    So, basically, he’s bitching because he’s broken the rules that he knew about before he ever stepped on the plane, and disregarded the lawful instructions of the cabin crew – a minor felony, no joke – and now he’s bitching because this managed to get him put on a watchlist?

    Yeah, Kinda brought that one on yourself, mate.

  30. MyTQuinn says:

    Quoting Toby Ziegler (a character on the TV series The West Wing): We’re flying in a Lockheed Eagle series L1011. It came off the line 20 months ago. It carries a Sim-5 Transponder tracking system. Are you telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

  31. CarlS says:

    Wireless IPAD, IPODS, or whatevertthehell you use can not crash planes or interfere with electromechanical controls . . . unless . . . passenger planes are now using wireless controls (even the military calls it ‘fly-by-WIRE’ ). Mayhap our commercial airlines are using devices built in China that they know are susceptible. If that’s the case, then pray for us all, since wireless transmissions, by definiton already permeate the atmosphere. Now, if the real worry is that someone might find tech manuals that provide the data necessary to devise an app that allows takeover, or perhaps the detonation of devices that the TSA is unable to find, well then, maybe we just need to fire the incompetent bureaucrats that have failed to harden airplane controls.

  32. Rachacha says:

    The guy in the video essentially says that using an iPad does not present a threat to bringing down a plane, however, while he was using an iPad before authorized, the plane was hit by a bird and almost brought down the plane. So the question is, was the bird strike coincidence, or dud the unauthorized use of an electronic device somehow lure a flock of birds towards the plane? Hmm…Has there ever been an instance when someone has recorded a bird strike when their phone/camera was powered off?

  33. hammond egger says:

    Put him whatever list you want. Grant Cardone has enough money to buy his own plane.

  34. Mackinstyle1 says:

    Anyone have their GSM phone cause speakers to buzz and crack when getting a text message? I just assume they fear that interfering with communications between the pilots and the ground.

  35. vliam says:

    Any half intelligent group of people would use the video to learn something about the incident.

    I’m not surprised that the FAA doesn’t operate that way.

  36. Carlee says:

    Normally, I would say listen to the flight attendants and turn off your stinkin’ electronics. In an emergency (though I’m not sure if a bird strike and emergency landing is equivalent to something like a hijacking), all bets are off. Haven’t people used cell phones to document emergency situations on planes? Shouldn’t they not be using their consumer electronics either?

    It just seems a little silly for the FAA to spend time and money to send out this letter. Sure, the flight attendants should or could have (at the time) lectured him, but this?

  37. human_shield says:

    I totally didn’t put my seat into a fully upright position on landing…I’m going to get a letter too!!

  38. TK says:

    If these videos are valuable to FAA/NTSB investigation and they don’t want you to using a device to record them, why don’t they just put the friggin’ cameras outside of every plane?

  39. Razor512 says:

    Before a electronic device is sold in the US, it it tested by the FCC who will fail your product if it poses any risk to airplanes.

    There are certain frequencies that your product is not allowed to flood with any noise and they are specifically related to emergency services and air travel.

    A cellphone cannot harm a plane especially since just by flying through the air at like 300MPH, the air passing around the plane is generating like well over 100 watts of static (while the average phone may pump out around 10-20mw if you forget to turn on airplane mode

    airplane mode is not designed for airplane safety, instead it is designed for power savings by turning off components that will be pretty useless on a plane

    Also if smartphones were so dangerous, then why are some airlines now installing wifi access points in the planes, and further more, why are they using biquad antennas for the access points that are aimed in the general direction of the cockpit?

    anyway, planes are designed around not being impacted by radio waves. The most you could do is jam communications, but none of the actual components needed to keep the plane in the air will be effected and pilots are trained to deal with situations where communications may go down, (furthermore a device that run on the frequencies needed to do that will be highly illegal and thus you cant buy one, and the transmit power needed will make it pretty unportable if someone actually made one)

    All in all, the FAA is just a group of mentally challenged people who who view computers as a large metal box with magic on the inside, and see them as the work of the devil.

    • spamtasticus says:

      Too bad this is not /. or I would rate the hell out of your post up the flag pole.

  40. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    The one thing I don’t see mentioned here is that, whether or not you think these rules are ridiculous, you agree to them when you buy your ticket. If you signed your mortgage papers, then decided the terms were ridiculous, would you just stop paying your mortgage? Airplanes aren’t public transit like buses, that everyone has a right to use. They’re a convenience you pay for, and buying your ticket is signing a contract.

    I’m just surprised at all the Consumerists that have argued that people that defaulted on their mortgages are terrible people, because they failed to keep up their end of a contract, but feel that this contract they entered into is meaningless.

    • Crackpot says:

      Really? My company books my travel. I didn’t sign or agree to anything. The only “rules” that I have to follow are the FAA’s regs and the airline’s contract of carriage.

  41. ThinkingBrian says:

    I understand that everyone wants to capture the moment on video or at least have a picture of it. I know that when I see something cool, I sometimes take a photo or video tape of it if I can. But you have to be respectful of the rules and in this case if you have flown millions of miles in the air, then you know you have to leave your electronic device off when the flight attendants say so. I would say that this OP made a mistake and should just say he is sorry and that he will follow the rules. But the OP is wrong to treat this as a joke because this is about air travel safety, so do what they say or don’t fly. It’s not worth it just for a piece of video, let’s see what the next two years bring…

  42. hmburgers says:

    “If truly these devices are that dangerous, then the FAA has the responsibility to ban them.”

    …and thus we begin the slippery slope.

    A knife is dangerous… forget the fact that if you comply with regulations that you do not stick it into a fellow passenger, no one will be hurt… so they must ban knives.

    The point is personal responsibility. If we are so panicked that someone might decide to “go rouge” / terrorist on a plane, then why don’t we all just agree to be put into individual cages and drugged while we’re on the plane?

    How long until these bans caused by no faith in personal responsibility and civility extend to other areas of our lives in even sharper and more drastic ways?

    It’s not about banning a truly dangerous device, it’s about you complying with their directions.

  43. balderdashed says:

    He says he doesn’t think he’s above the law — yet obviously he does, apparently believing he should follow the law only if the FAA’s justification for the law makes sense to him. By that logic, if he was caught going 60 in 45 mile-per-hour zone, he’d apparently feel a speeding ticket was justified only if going 60 on that stretch of roadway was truly “that dangerous.” And he’d probably not “exactly respond” to the point that, regardless of whether or not his excessive speed was dangerous, he did disregard the law. Because there is no response that justifies his contradictory argument.

  44. wildbill says:

    Until you have stood in an EMI lab (Electro Magnetic Interference) lab you have not idea what a screaming piece of crap these devices are.

    I stood there with our avionics device (you know the thing that tells the pilot where he is and which way he is going) and the first time we turned on the noise it went bonkers.

    This was a military grade avionics device already designed to be protected against the most extreme interference and it still had to go through several more redesigns. (One of them even survived a live fire test where they blew up the tank it was installed in. It had a hole in the side of the case, but still turned on and aligned).

    The cabling, which BTW runs through the cabin, is the most susceptible to electronics and then you turn on a cabin full of devices all trying desperately to get wifi or cell signal and you have more than enough interference to cause trouble.

    So unless you work in the EMI field and know a bit about this kind of thing STFU

  45. LanMan04 says:

    Oh fuck off. I leave my phone on in my pocket every time I fly.

    Dear FAA:

    No one cares.


  46. moore850 says:

    Maybe you could have got a better look from the cockpit, better go up there, I mean after all, you paid for a ticket, why shouldn’t you be able to do whatever you want?

  47. xamarshahx says:

    my buddy works for the FAA, when they do testing they always fly with a bunch of laptops that are taking in data, he said this whole concept of computers and iPads taking down a plane is just nonsense. the FAA has even authorized pilots to know use iPads for maps!!

  48. DanKelley98 says:

    the letter will become “a matter of record”…..what does that mean? Where can one view their FAA “record”????

  49. DragonThermo says:

    Sounds like some special snowflake thinks he is above us unwashed masses because they are a frequent flier.

  50. warlord170 says:

    hmmm , with TSA groping people, and the stupid rules on air planes these days, I’m glad I choose not to fly….. Ironically if anyone has ever flown in buisness class, they’ll see that people are using computers, net books, and phones, without any thing being said, So why is it that the rest of the passengers on the plane are not allowed?