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The FAA just made air travel a lot more fun for photographers

15

We've all had that moment, flying into a picturesque city, watching the sun rise behind skyscrapers. Instinctively, you reach for your camera only to hear the flight attendant come over the speaker asking passengers to prepare for landing, and to please turn off all electronic devices.

Now, the FAA is lifting its rules on in-flight electronics. Instead of having to turn off your phones, cameras and laptops entirely, you just have to make sure they are in airplane mode and safely tucked away during takeoff and landing.

From the official FAA release:

Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled — i.e., no signal bars displayed — and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones.

Yeah, your phone will have to be stowed away because it could become a projectile if you hit some especially bad turbulence at takeoff or landing. But those extra few minutes of not having to power down your device before putting it way could lead to many more interesting in-air snapshots.

Comments

Total comments: 15
fz750
By fz750 (5 months ago)

And I was asking EASA in Europe:

http://easa.europa.eu/communications/press-releases/EASA-press-release.php?id=125

:-)

0 upvotes
qaz111111
By qaz111111 (5 months ago)

No one has ever said anything when I was taking photos during any segment of a flight; including take offs and landings.

2 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (5 months ago)

Me either, and I've done it many times. Tough to get decent pics through those thick windows, though.

1 upvote
springsnow
By springsnow (5 months ago)

"Now, the FAA is lifting its rules on in-flight electronics. Instead of having to turn off your phones, cameras and laptops entirely, you just have to make sure they are in airplane mode and safely tucked away during takeoff and landing."

Wait, do people really truly turn off (literally turning it off, not just in stand-by/sleep) their stuff before? Isn't that the point of airplane mode on phones in the first place?

0 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (5 months ago)

That's the current rule, turn it off completely!

Airplane mode only stops radio transmission not the processor running etc. The (current) point of airplane mode is to use it during the flight and not during takeoff/landing.

I imagine it'll take european authorities at least 10 years to catch up with this... :-(

0 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (5 months ago)

Never had a problem in Europe. Did you fly Ryanair? They'd probably like to charge you extra...

0 upvotes
jeffinvan
By jeffinvan (5 months ago)

Keep calm & shoot on...

0 upvotes
ConanFuji
By ConanFuji (5 months ago)

Google Glass!

0 upvotes
Leandros S
By Leandros S (5 months ago)

You what?

0 upvotes
OpticsEngineer
By OpticsEngineer (5 months ago)

Careful reading of the FAA text indicates that it is okay for an electronic object to be held during takeoff and landing. (The person who wrote the article seemed to miss that point saying that a cell phone has to be stowed)

0 upvotes
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
By Kendall Helmstetter Gelner (5 months ago)

I've always had my cameras in a coat pocket and take them out to shoot if I see something interesting - not once have I ever been asked to turn a camera off. That goes for both takeoff and landing.

It will be a boon for people using the iPhone for shots though, as anything that looks like a phone they would ask to be off.

1 upvote
NOEL 100
By NOEL 100 (5 months ago)

In reality they are only concerned with devices that transmit RF.
Digital camera's being electronic do produce some EMR but it's at extremely low levels. An eyefi cards may be the exception but even these are low power. I've never been asked to turn off my camera and I've never hidden it from view from the staff. The usual request is for mobile phones and computers to be turned off, no problem there.

0 upvotes
padrelar
By padrelar (5 months ago)

I use my OM-1 when I fly. Flight attendants aren't sure what to do about a camera that never needs to be "on" to begin with.

6 upvotes
zevobh
By zevobh (5 months ago)

ever had any problems with the x-ray scanners?

1 upvote
dagobah
By dagobah (5 months ago)

This really is welcome news. I admit to having taken surreptitious photos on takeoff and landing (and I hope Feds don't immediately bust down my door for posting this). But plenty of times I didn't because the flight attendant said something, or I felt their watchful eyes on me.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 15
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