A PILOT has revealed the real reason why passengers aren’t permitted to use laptops while a plane is landing and taking off.
Passengers are able to use phones, bluetooth earbuds and other electronic items at the start and end of their journeys, but laptops have to be kept stowed away.
Some people think that’s because of electronic interference, but that’s not entirely accurate.
Instead, it’s done as a safety precaution, in case anything goes wrong during take off or landing, typically the most dangerous parts of any journey.
Speaking to Stuff.co.nz pilot and safety consultant John Nance explained that personal computers have to be stowed so they don’t get in the way of passengers if they have to evacuate the aircraft.
He said: “[They have to be stowed] so as not to present a hazard in the event of severe turbulence, crash forces, or emergency egress.
“If there’s an emergency, larger and heavier items such as standard laptops could impede evacuation of the airplane.
“The basic idea is get all the clutter out of the way. Don’t have a laptop on your lap, because you’re going to have to do something with it as you try to scramble out of the airplane in 90 seconds.”
Electronic items can pose other risks on flights, with flight attendants now required to tell passengers that if they lose their phone, they have to alert the cabin crew.
A flight attendant explained to Sun Online Travel exactly why that is the case.
They said: “Any passenger who drops or loses their phones in the seats must inform the cabin crew, instead of looking for it themselves.
“This sounds a bit ridiculous, but it’s for a very good reason.
“Electronic devices like phones have lithium ion batteries, which are very flammable.
“All it takes is a crack in the wrong place on the phone and you’ve got flammable solvents exposed to the cabin, which can spark a fire.
“We know how the seats move and can be gentle with them while poking around in the crevices.
“Passengers aren’t likely to be as accustomed to the seats as we are and it creates more of a risk if they’re messing with the seat mechanisms while trying to recover their phones.”
There are also less serious risks to having your laptop out on a plane, as one passenger found out the hard way.
They were left fuming when their Apple MacBook Pro was destroyed during a flight – after the person in front reclined their seat.
Pat Cassidy was flying with Delta from Austin to Los Angeles when his computer was crushed by the seat going back onto it.
He wrote on Twitter: “@Delta small note for the suggestion box, maybe have a little warning sign or someway to prevent my laptop from being destroyed when the person in front of me reclines their seat.”
A picture of his laptop shows the screen no longer working, with half of it black and the rest of it broken and blurred.
Meanwhile, this is why you need to keep your phone on plane mode during a flight.
And this is why you should always have your phone charged when you board flights.
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