Video shows airline pilot texting during takeoff

Video shows airline pilot texting during takeoff
An airline pilot, who was flying as a passenger aboard a flight from Charlotte to Tampa, was unknowingly videoed texting on his smartphone as the plane was taking off. That happens to be an FAA violation that the pilot should be aware of. The pilot doesn't work for American Airlines, which was operating the August 14th flight. The FAA allows passengers to use their mobile devices on board an aircraft in flight, but only if they are set on Airplane Mode.

The devices cannot be turned on during takeoff and landing, and at no time can these devices activate their internal radios on board the plane. That means that no calling or texting is permitted during takeoff, landing, or while in flight. The FAA is concerned that a radio signal from a mobile phone could interfere with readings used by the pilot to navigate and control the plane. A Charlotte attorney named Chad Tillman said that his smartphone was in Airplane Mode when he recorded the video.

Tillman was so annoyed by what he witnessed that as soon as he disembarked the plane, he wrote a strongly worded letter to American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. In the letter, Tillman said that he was worried that passenger safety was being jeopardized by the pilot's action. American Airlines spokeswomen Andrea Huguely said that the pilot's employer did talk to him about the texting, but did not say whether he was disciplined. Huguely never revealed the name of the airline that employs the texting pilot. The spokeswomen did add that, "If someone is concerned about what another passenger is doing, notify the flight attendant so they can address it when it happens."

source: ClarenceMoore, CharlotteObserver via CNET



1. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Using Your Phone On A Plane Is Just Plan Stupid LOL.

8. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

You mean plane stupid? :d

9. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Yeah I Mixed The Words, Damn I Didn't Even Notice. PUN FAIL LOL.

11. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

Fix your keyboard please. I can't read half of your sentences.

15. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

You Can Read It Just Fine.

17. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 974; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

It's not going to harm anything. The cables and electronics are shielded from interference, so the likelihood of a cellphone interfering with flight controls or avionics is slim to none. The only reason they have such warnings and rules is to reduce liability in the event of a one in a million incident of a cellphone somehow interfering. I don't put mine in airplane mode. If the cellular signal could interfere, then so could the signals being broadcasted from cell towers which bombard every inch of airspace during takeoff.

18. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

You're A Flight Risk Lol.

2. JesseJames

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

Is this really that serious? I mean at any given moment there is going to be a passenger on any given flight who will end up leaving their phone on while not on airplane mode. Besides, has there ever been an aviation incident attributed to cellphone interference with a plane? Don't get me wrong, I am all for safety on planes( I average about 50k miles per year) but you have to be pretty ignorant to believe that every single passenger is going to put their phones in airplane mode every single time.

4. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

You are most probably right , but if more people are made aware of this then more people will stop caring about switching of their phones and putting them in airplane more. Over a period of time the number will be large enough to interfere with plane communications and would probably cause a major aerial mishap. So Hushh :)

3. StuiWooi

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

This is a bit sensationalist, so what if he's a pilot? He wasn't at the controls of the plane! Everyone should know it's fine to use your phone on a plane, especially a pilot... if it's about having something not properly stowed during take-off ( in hands) the person filming is no better

5. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

The person filming the video might have been doing so by keeping his phone in airplane mode and that is fine. Texting / calling in plane is not.

23. StuiWooi

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

Mobile phones interfering with anything on a plane is a myth, pure and simple.

24. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Source Wiki : " ...our research has found that these items can interrupt the normal operation of key cockpit instruments, especially Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, which are increasingly vital to safe landings. Two different studies by NASA further support the idea that passengers' electronic devices dangerously produce interference in a way that reduces the safety margins for critical avionics systems."

6. mambocream

Posts: 29; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

If there was any real chance that cell phones would interfere with the operations of the plane, you would not be allowed to bring them ON the plane in the first place. You would have to put them in your checked bag. As Jesse said above, at any given time there are a lot of people who forgot (or just decided not to) turn off the cellular signal. I travel a lot and sometimes forget to do it myself. This is an unnecessary rule. The only real benefit is that you don't have some idiot next to you all flight talking on their phone. Besides, you can now get gate-to gate wifi on a lot of flights. Who's to say that he was not using this and not his cellular signal. What's App, anyone?

20. aahmed215

Posts: 169; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

You can clearly see that he was using iMessage, not WhatsApp.


Posts: 106; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Typical of someone like Tillman to try to get someone in trouble over nothing, I bet the letter he wrote is a pretext to a prospective lawsuit (like Tillman needs the money). Kind of similar to someone who ratted on my bus driver friend who did him a favor by giving him a short lift while his bus was out of service. (Actually he was smoking on the bus and the passenger reported him for that, and then the bus company realized the bus was out of service)...My point being that I can't stand those without scruples.

10. manojmcn

Posts: 634; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

Pathetic journalism. Heading is disguised to make you feel that the pilot is using phone from cockpit without bothering about the controls.

13. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

It's more than pathetic, it's plain misdirection. If he wasn't flying the plane, he is not the pilot, he's just another passenger no matter what he does for a living.

12. mikeyx

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It's because he's a pilot that he knows what he is doing is perfectly safe. It really is not a safety issue as far as interfering with the planes systems go.

22. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

give this man a cookie!

14. TBomb

Posts: 1714; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

They say you cant have laptops out during take off/landing because they are big and can interfere with directions/cause harm to people if there were an issue in the plane (ie. do the little hug your knees when crashing bit, exit the plane quickly and orderly). They also ask to remove headphones during the instructions about where the exits are located and how to use the seatbelts just so people will be more likely to listen. They even say you can use handheld devices whenever. Wifi is on a lot of planes nowadays and as a pilot, I'm sure he gets special amenities like that for cheap/free. You wouldn't get service at 30k feet anyways.

16. shinywindow unregistered

Just a petty and jealous pos hipocrit. Like he never broke that rule on the plane or texted in a car. No wonder nobody wants to be a pilot.

19. verty

Posts: 132; Member since: May 07, 2012

Sometimes these Americans never cease to amaze me!! The so called lawyer is surely a jobless person with too much time on his hands. Who alerted the media to this and what's his gratification if you get the pilot fired or publicly disciplined. To me it's really terrible and a much a noise about nothing. How many passengers leave their cell phones on. I read he was livid, B.S and adequate joblessness looking for some cheap publicity at another's expense. Wicked and also self centred!!

21. HighOnAndroidFTW

Posts: 185; Member since: Apr 26, 2015

He's a pilot he knows the ACTUAL risk if any that is related in this day and age. I didn't hear him shouting "Allah akbar", so I don't think he was trying to commit suicide by texting so I don't think it's really a big deal.... get my point? If there was any actual danger he wouldn't just be endangering others but himself as well. Which he seemed to have no ill intent. Therefore no harm no foul.

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