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Friday, January 18, 2013

FAA Proposal: Pilots Can’t Use Phones, Laptops, iPads In Cockpit At Any Time

FAA Proposal: Pilots Can’t Use Phones, Laptops, iPads In Cockpit At Any Time
January 16, 2013 3:52 PM

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) –- The Federal Aviation Administration is pushing for pilots to heed the advice given to passengers every flight: Turn off all wireless devices.

The FAA is prepared to propose an initiative that would prohibit pilots from using personal wireless devices in the cockpit for the entire flight, aiming to cut down on any distractions. The proposed prohibition comes nearly a year after Congress called for it to be implemented as FAA law.

The FAA’s latest push against personal devices in the cockpit comes after several incidents in the past few years happened as a result of pilots using personal devices, such as laptops, in the cockpit during flights. One incident in particular was the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407. In that February 2009 tragedy, the co-pilot sent a text message about five minutes before the plane was cleared for takeoff. Shortly thereafter, the plane crashed, resulting in 50 deaths.

But the new law would not eliminate the use of personal devices when it comes to work purposes.

“The proposed rule does not prohibit the use of personal wireless communications devices or laptop computers if the purpose is directly related to operation of the aircraft,” according to the proposal.

Since 2006, the FAA has said that cellphones in the cockpit needed to be turned off once the plane has left the gate, according to USA Today.

The FAA is expected to collect comments about the proposal during a 60-day period.

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