Headset & FCC


denpau@...
 

Since, like most of you, I use a cell phone, I was intrigued by the
advertising of headsets with cell phone connections.
I had been reading, off and on, about regulations against using a cell in
flight. It would be great to give my brother a call, 20 minutes out, to pick
me up at the airport.
I e-mailed the EAA to get some reliable info. The reply was that the FAA
didn't have any regs against cell use in the air but the FCC says no, no,
definitely NO!

Dennis


FR Jones <seabeevet@...>
 

Shooting from the hip on this, two issues come to mind. First, why would
using a cell phone in a private plane make a difference? Cars, comercial (on
the ground taxi), boats etc. are all okay. Next, who would know if someone
did use their cell from their private ac?
All answers come from how you ask the question. The definitely "no" answer
may have been intended for a passenger on an airliner in flight... that "no"
comes from the disruption of navaids etc.
Just some thought to think about.
Dick

On 10/20/06, denpau@... <denpau@...> wrote:

Since, like most of you, I use a cell phone, I was intrigued by the
advertising of headsets with cell phone connections.
I had been reading, off and on, about regulations against using a cell in
flight. It would be great to give my brother a call, 20 minutes out, to
pick
me up at the airport.
I e-mailed the EAA to get some reliable info. The reply was that the FAA
didn't have any regs against cell use in the air but the FCC says no, no,
definitely NO!

Dennis





rholen8rl <rickhole@...>
 

The cellphone prohibition is an FCC matter. The reason is that cell
phones normally have short range and will communicate with one or
several nearby cell towers. From an airplane, your cell phone can
easily be in contact with dozens or more towers. So your one cell
phone trtansmission impacts channel usage over a large geographic
area. To keep channel usage reasonable, these high altitude
transmissions are prohibited. You will probably find at our lower
altitudes you cell phone will work just fine, though still in
violation of FCC rules. (When your phone is detected on too many
towers you may get an "out of service" indication). To stay legal,
restrict usage to on-the-ground. In an emergency, of course, do what
you have to do.

--- In Q-LIST@..., "FR Jones" <seabeevet@...> wrote:

Shooting from the hip on this, two issues come to mind. First, why
would
using a cell phone in a private plane make a difference? Cars,
comercial (on
the ground taxi), boats etc. are all okay. Next, who would know if
someone
did use their cell from their private ac?
All answers come from how you ask the question. The definitely "no"
answer
may have been intended for a passenger on an airliner in flight...
that "no"
comes from the disruption of navaids etc.
Just some thought to think about.
Dick


BARRY AMANDA STEARNS <stearns2559@...>
 

As the Avionics Manager for a FBO in Nebraska I can help answer this. The FCC regulates this because of the potential for "tower hopping". That is sending/receiving from multiple towers that may cause lockups in the network or even worse...to the cellphone companies....misregistered calls...or what we may call "free ones". As far at the cockpit area I have found that a cell phone can, will, and has wiped the GPS receivers out of several name brand panel mount units. We found out the pilot was using his cell phone in each case and the company lead us in that direction. They also didn't warranty the repair of the unit in question either. Besides this issue, I have seen VOR's pull off 10 degrees with a cell phone in its active state. I had the chance to speak to a pilot who was talking on his cell phone and not watching out his windshield and nearly flew up the butt of a Cessna 182 with his Commanche. This is a fairly major concern since in a car you only wreck (in most cases) in the x and y direction...in an aircraft you have that bad z direction that makes you go SPLAT. He said he will never use his phone in the air again. Also, last note I swear, a headset with cell phone tie in have caused excessive loading of certain makes of audio/intercom panels that have lead to premature failure of the audio amp circuits inside. This has to do with impedance and loading that manufacturers did not plan for. This also leads to the company NOT paying for your repair. My 2 1/2 cents worth.

Barry Stearns

----- Original Message -----
From: FR Jones<mailto:seabeevet@...>
To: Q-LIST@...<mailto:Q-LIST@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 7:23 PM
Subject: Re: [Q-LIST] Headset & FCC


Shooting from the hip on this, two issues come to mind. First, why would
using a cell phone in a private plane make a difference? Cars, comercial (on
the ground taxi), boats etc. are all okay. Next, who would know if someone
did use their cell from their private ac?
All answers come from how you ask the question. The definitely "no" answer
may have been intended for a passenger on an airliner in flight... that "no"
comes from the disruption of navaids etc.
Just some thought to think about.
Dick

On 10/20/06, denpau@...<mailto:denpau@...> <denpau@...<mailto:denpau@...>> wrote:
>
> Since, like most of you, I use a cell phone, I was intrigued by the
> advertising of headsets with cell phone connections.
> I had been reading, off and on, about regulations against using a cell in
> flight. It would be great to give my brother a call, 20 minutes out, to
> pick
> me up at the airport.
> I e-mailed the EAA to get some reliable info. The reply was that the FAA
> didn't have any regs against cell use in the air but the FCC says no, no,
> definitely NO!
>
> Dennis
>
>
>
>
>


craig@...
 

Quoting FR Jones <seabeevet@...>:

Shooting from the hip on this, two issues come to mind. First, why would
using a cell phone in a private plane make a difference?
As has already been pointed out here:

The core prohibition is from the FCC, because it would cause your phone to claim
an active channel on dozens of towers at once, rather than one or two as is the
design.

The Mythbusters show on the discovery channel tried this Myth out (on the
ground; they weren't allowed to in the air). They built a device that
broadcast broad-band signal on cell frequencies. They couldn't get a certified
aircraft to react at all.

However, they also built a mock-up of a cockpit with just some surplus
instruments. The digital cell phone signal (1.8 GHz or so) didn't produce any
results. However, analog cell signals (900 MHz range) made the VOR go haywire.

SO...I think that depending on shielding, in a homebuilt particularly, an active
analog cell phone on board could very easily cause the VORs to lose their lock. This would be particularly true in a fiberglass airplane, which doesn't have the
natural conductive shielding of a metal airplane.

I've always assumed that the cell phone jack on aviation headsets was to call
flight service to activate or close your flight plan while taxiing, or to call
other people while you're on the ground and the engine is running.

Craig Steffen


wesisberg <wes@...>
 

I agree with others (no, no, no), but I do know a CFI who lost comm
under IFR conditions, spoke to tower on his cell phone, and got in
safely and without repercussions for phone use. (That was his
argument for carrying a directory with tower numbers.)

If you were under IFR or perhaps VFR flight following, your brother
might be able to track your progress himself, e.g.,

http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KLVK

Wes

--- In Q-LIST@..., denpau@... wrote:

Since, like most of you, I use a cell phone, I was intrigued by the
advertising of headsets with cell phone connections.
I had been reading, off and on, about regulations against using a
cell in
flight. It would be great to give my brother a call, 20 minutes out,
to pick
me up at the airport.
I e-mailed the EAA to get some reliable info. The reply was that the
FAA
didn't have any regs against cell use in the air but the FCC says
no, no,
definitely NO!

Dennis








Mike Perry <dmperry1012@...>
 

Several comments re cell phones:

1) My first flight instructor always carried a cell phone and said she had
used it exactly once to land in controlled airspace with radios out. I
don't remember the details.

2) "cell phones" include both analog and digital; digital includes at
least a couple of protocols. The protocol Verizon uses is called CDMA; in
this system every tower sends out a brief time signal several times per
second; the cell phone decides which signal is best and sends out a signal
each second "this is who I want to talk to." The system routers then
decide which signals to ignore. The problem with signals hitting too many
towers is system overload: the system knows which signals to pay attention
to and which to ignore but you still have to filter out the extraneous
signals. However, this is far easier with digital than analog signals.

3) One problem with digital cell phones is that they will revert to analog
under some conditions. This "feature" allows you to get some signal in
areas that only have analog service (eg: some resort areas here in
California have a single analog cell tower just for the town or
resort). See Craig Steffen's comments below re analog cell phones in the
cockpit.

My son once worked on a software project for a cell phone system; I picked
up bits and pieces of info on the protocols.

Mike Perry

At 08:55 AM 11/2/2006 -0600, you wrote:

Quoting FR Jones <<mailto:seabeevet%40gmail.com>seabeevet@...>:

Shooting from the hip on this, two issues come to mind. First, why would
using a cell phone in a private plane make a difference?
As has already been pointed out here:

The core prohibition is from the FCC, because it would cause your phone
to claim
an active channel on dozens of towers at once, rather than one or two
as is the
design.

The Mythbusters show on the discovery channel tried this Myth out (on the
ground; they weren't allowed to in the air). They built a device that
broadcast broad-band signal on cell frequencies. They couldn't get a
certified
aircraft to react at all.

However, they also built a mock-up of a cockpit with just some surplus
instruments. The digital cell phone signal (1.8 GHz or so) didn't produce any
results. However, analog cell signals (900 MHz range) made the VOR go
haywire.

SO...I think that depending on shielding, in a homebuilt particularly,
an active
analog cell phone on board could very easily cause the VORs to lose
their lock. This would be particularly true in a fiberglass airplane,
which doesn't have the
natural conductive shielding of a metal airplane.

I've always assumed that the cell phone jack on aviation headsets was to call
flight service to activate or close your flight plan while taxiing, or to call
other people while you're on the ground and the engine is running.

Craig Steffen


Patrick Panzera <panzera@...>
 

This is directly off the FCC (not FAA) website:

"FCC rules currently ban cell phone use after a plane has taken off
because of potential interference to cellular phone networks on the
ground."

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cellonplanes.html

But they do plan to change the rule.

I almost always carry one but always turn it off before preflight. In an
emergency I would certainly turn it on, but currently it's illegal to
use one in flight.

Pat

Several comments re cell phones:

1) My first flight instructor always carried a cell phone and said
she
had
used it exactly once to land in controlled airspace with radios out.
I
don't remember the details.


Chick Masoner <chick@...>
 

Pipeline pilots would be lost without there cell phones to call in the leaks
especially in the production fields. But, I don't know if flying below 300'
AGL counts.



_____


Chick Masoner <chick@...>
 

Pipeline pilots would be lost without there cell phones to call in the leaks
especially in the production fields. But, I don't know if flying below 300'
AGL counts.



_____


FR Jones <seabeevet@...>
 

rholen8rl, thanks for the enlightening! No more shooting from the hip!

On 11/1/06, rholen8rl <rickhole@...> wrote:

The cellphone prohibition is an FCC matter. The reason is that cell
phones normally have short range and will communicate with one or
several nearby cell towers. From an airplane, your cell phone can
easily be in contact with dozens or more towers. So your one cell
phone trtansmission impacts channel usage over a large geographic
area. To keep channel usage reasonable, these high altitude
transmissions are prohibited. You will probably find at our lower
altitudes you cell phone will work just fine, though still in
violation of FCC rules. (When your phone is detected on too many
towers you may get an "out of service" indication). To stay legal,
restrict usage to on-the-ground. In an emergency, of course, do what
you have to do.

--- In Q-LIST@... <Q-LIST%40yahoogroups.com>, "FR Jones"
<seabeevet@...> wrote:

Shooting from the hip on this, two issues come to mind. First, why
would
using a cell phone in a private plane make a difference? Cars,
comercial (on
the ground taxi), boats etc. are all okay. Next, who would know if
someone
did use their cell from their private ac?
All answers come from how you ask the question. The definitely "no"
answer
may have been intended for a passenger on an airliner in flight...
that "no"
comes from the disruption of navaids etc.
Just some thought to think about.
Dick