Most of us have been there. You are flying cross-country, and you want to use your iPad or Nintendo 3DS, maybe a Kindle. Unfortunately, you can’t for a good 40 minutes of the flight. Why? Because you’ll be arrested.
Normally, the first 20 minutes or so after takeoff, and those last 20 minutes before landing are excruciating. You can’t use your gadgets, because they think it’s going to crash the plane, or something like that. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wrote a letter to FAA director Michael Huerta telling him that electronic devices should be allowed during the entire duration of the flight.
This has been an ongoing debate for some time now. The FAA argues that they want to test these devices in-flight. However, many flight crews are allowed to use electronic devices for the takeoff and landing as well. There is fear that such devices will interfere with the electronics or communications systems on the plane. There is no real evidence suggesting that, from what we’ve seen.
That said, I am curious if they can test this with multiple electronic devices of many types. It may not be a big deal if a few people leave their iPads on, but I don’t know if having 30 or 40 iPads, 30 or 50 iPhones and 20 handheld game systems would make a difference. I don’t think so, but it’s worth some quick tests.