Has anyone tried to use a cell phone on a airplane during a

Has anyone tried to use a cell phone on a airplane during a

Postby caira111 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:17 pm

Has anyone tried to use a cell phone on a airplane during a flight? I have flown several times since 9/11. Twice going to and from New York and Oregon and several flights to Arizona to Oregon and back. In each flight I would turn on my cell phone to see if I could get a connection. I always got no service available to apear on my sceen.
About a year ago I read on the internet that in order for people to use cell phones on flying aircraft the airplanes would need to have a special antenna installed. This has not begun to happen yet.
So my question would be. If you can not get service on your cell phone while flying in an airplane. On 9/11 how did the people on board those doomed aicraft manage to use their cell phone to call out to their loved ones? I'm not counting the people who used the available at great cost aircraft phones just the ones who are said to have used their cell phones.
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Postby jkisha » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:12 pm

I would guess it is just like on land--reception depends on how close you are to a tower. Maybe they were flying low and close to a cell tower?

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Postby Artemis » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:09 am

I have on a few occasions realized that by mistake my phone turned on during a commercial flight. When I went to turn it off it has had reception. This happens most often during approach for landing so I suspect that it's as JK says - the closer to land, the closer to a tower.

I also fly for fun (as a pilot of small aircraft at low altitudes) and the phone works fine there, although I don't use as it does ocassionally interfere with radio. Kinda like if you stick your blackberry near a speaker and you get that buzzing feedback noise.

I believe that the stories about people using their phones during 9/11 were all when they were at low altitudes...so perhaps that explains it.
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Postby Sail Man » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:51 am

I havent flown since 91. I hear they have made real advances in the experience since then, something akin to a spa experience whilst you luxuriate from point a to point b. :P

And no, I didnt have a cell phone then :(
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