Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is under fire after a co-pilot said an iPhone interfered with equipment on their aircraft. Bloomberg reports that the crew claims compasses inside the aircraft “went haywire” and caused pilots to fly off course—until a passenger in row 9 turned off his or her iPhone.
The crew made a report to the Aviation Safety Reporting System run by NASA about the incident, which happened in 2011. The co-pilot told NASA that the timing of the iPhone being turned off matched up with the moment when their directional problem was corrected.
Other Cases Of Cell Phone Interference
A number of well-known people like Alec Baldwin and even some lawmakers have complained at airline rules about using smartphones and other computing devices on flights. However, there are dozens of cases in which flight crews have noted navigation, radio and aviation equipment problems because of devices like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone.
Nonetheless, Delta Air Lines are in support of relaxing rules regarding the use of mobile devices in cases where the plan is lower than 10,000 feet. Also the Federal Aviation Administration is considering relaxing the rules for planes that are lower than 10,000 feet as well.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s “Airplane Mode”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does include a feature known as “airplane mode” on its iPhones, and the feature basically shuts down the wireless radios in the device. However, other device makers also include similar features on their mobile devices, and there is no definition for that term which stretches across all brands. “Airplane mode” can mean different things, depending on the particular device you’re referring to, according to Apple Insider.