Passenger Scolded by FAA for iPad Video of Bird Strike

FAA goes after passenger who records take-off with an iPad | Commercial Aviation and Airline Newse News | Photo by Korea Tourism Organization

FAA sends Delta Passenger Warning Letter

A Delta Air Lines passenger who filmed take-off and captured a bird strike with his iPad received a nastygram from the FAA.

On April 19th, Delta Air Lines flight 1063 from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to Los Angeles International (LAX) encountered a bird strike on take-off.  The Boeing 757-200 operating as Delta 1063 ingested a bird into the right engine, which required the engine to be shut-down and the aircraft to return to New York’s JFK airport. A replacement aircraft was located to complete the flight to Los Angeles.

Several passengers seated on the right side of the plane reported seeing a flock of birds and then hearing noises – described as several bangs – followed by what was described as streaks of flames from the engine.

However, one passenger captured the entire episode on camera using his iPad – in fact, the same iPad pilots are starting to use for electronic flight books which contain navigation charts.  The passenger, Grant Cardone, is now in hot water with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for “failure to comply with crew member instructions.”

According to CNN (television) this morning, May 2, 2012, Grant Cardone received a formal letter from the FAA warning him about alleged failure to comply with crew member instructions.  While the FAA did not fine him, Cardone is now allegedly on a FAA “watch list” and the warning will reportedly stay on his file for two years.

The letter reportedly ends stating, “We expect your compliance with future travels.”

CNN Employee Ali Velshi was also on the flight and the video went viral after being aired by CNN.  The video was posted to YouTube along with countless others that contain videos of take-off and landings in airports around the world.

This begs the question, has the FAA started a witch hunt to track down those who have posted such videos to YouTube or is this a one-off event?

What about passengers who photograph still images under 10,000 feet?  There’s thousands of such pictures on any photo sharing site, mostly from small point and shoot digital camera’s and phones which take photographs, such as the iPhone.

While regulations do prohibit the use of electronic devices under 10,000 feet, is use of such devices dangerous?  This has been an on-going debate for years and the general conclusion is they don’t pose a hazard.  One of the big concerns when drafting the rules was cellular phones – the FCC was concerned the phones would tie up multiple cell towers.  Today’s smartphones now have an airplane mode where the cellular signal is disconnected.

Many airlines also have WiFi services available in-flight, including Delta.  In fact, Delta has WiFi installed on their entire domestic mainline fleet for use above 10,000 feet.

The video in question on YouTube, with thanks to Grant Cardone, as well as CNN for their reporting this morning.


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5 Responses

05.02.12

Really folks – its not that hard to COMPLY WITH CREW MEMBERS INSTRUCTIONS! Until the FAA says otherwise, it’s the law so FOLLOW IT. We don’t care if you’re a million miler or you watched MythBusters when they tested airplanes and electronic devices – TURN IT OFF when told the first time. It’s not rocket science to follow simple instructions. Passengers think we (flight attendants) are grumpy – but we get tired of having to repeat ourselves over and over – turn OFF all electronic devices, seats and tray tables upright and seat belts fastened. Follow instructions the first time and everyone is happy.

05.02.12

While it was interesting to watch the video and there are some other neat videos on YouTube, short of the rules changing, following crewmember instructions is the law.

I think the FAA went after him because the video went viral, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the FAA chases down others from YouTube with current executive administration.

An iPad, while not small like a phone or small camera, could also become a projectile in the event of an emergency. Say aircraft is just shy of V1, engine fails, take-off is aborted and plane overruns the runway or encounters contimination such as snow/ice on the runway and slides off – that iPad can then become a flying projectile, along with anything not properly stowed or secured for take-off.

On the electronics side, it seems most studies done indicate they’re safe to use.

Interestingly, I don’t believe The MythBusters are even proper scientists from an educational and scientific standpoint. The show exists to entertain, IMHO.

It seems to me that this is ridiculous. If flight attendants want to be a bit grumpy, that’s fine, but issuing a formal repremand from the FAA and putting this guy on a “watch list” for two years is a “witch hunt”. If I don’t have my seatbelt securely fastened am I going to be put on a watch list at some point?

While I think that turning off electronic devices is a good idea, I cannot find a single study that shows that ANY consumer electronics device has ever interfered with the operation of an aircraft. If there were, why aren’t they banned from aircraft. I can personally speak to a number of instances where cellphones and other electronic devices have been left on but muted from takeoff through landing. Unless the FAA, TSA or flight attendants want to frisk all passengers immediately prior to takeoff and landing, there is no way for this regulation to be inforced.

To call this one gentleman out is absured. Perhaps we should all have our ipads and cell phones on silent during flights and tell flight attendants that they are in compliance just to show the absolute insanity of the regulation. I think that air safety is, and rightly should be, of paramont importance. I do NOT think it should be used as an exuse for outright stupidity.

My correct name and email address were included on the “Leave a Reply” form. The FAA is welcome to place me in a watch list or list of terrorist suspects if it deems me a threat to American society for the radical thoughts I posted in this comment.

It seems to me that this is ridiculous. If flight attendants want to be a bit grumpy, that’s fine, but issuing a formal reprimand from the FAA and putting this guy on a “watch list” for two years is a “witch hunt”. If I don’t have my seatbelt securely fastened am I going to be put on a watch list at some point?

While I think that turning off electronic devices is a good idea, I cannot find a single study that shows that ANY consumer electronics device has ever interfered with the operation of an aircraft. If there were, why aren’t they banned from aircraft. I can personally speak to a number of instances where cellphones and other electronic devices have been left on but muted from takeoff through landing. Unless the FAA, TSA or flight attendants want to frisk all passengers immediately prior to takeoff and landing, there is no way for this regulation to be enforced.

To call this one gentleman out is absurd. Perhaps we should all have our ipads and cell phones on silent during flights and tell flight attendants that they are in compliance just to show the absolute insanity of the regulation. I think that air safety is, and rightly should be, of paramount importance. I do NOT think it should be used as an excuse for outright stupidity.

My correct name and email address were included on the “Leave a Reply” form. The FAA is welcome to place me in a watch list or list of terrorist suspects if it deems me a threat to American society for the radical thoughts I posted in this comment.

Don – the issue is not so much about causing interference, its about having a secure cabin during critical phases of flight. The last thing you want is an ipad flying around the cabin during a crash. Secondly, you don’t want passengers distracted during an emergency – you want them as best prepared as possible to respond, not fiddling around with their ipad.

I think Miguel and Cabin Queen are spot on – the law is the law. And as this went viral it’s a good place for the FAA to take action an set an example.

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