AirDrop responsible for plane's emergency landing

AirDrop responsible for plane's emergency landing
Apple's AirDrop feature uses short-range communication technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to find people nearby with an iPhone and shares files with them. Bluetooth Low Energy is used to find compatible handsets open to receiving files from other iPhone users and Wi-Fi is used to transmit them. Android users have a similar feature on their phones called Nearby Share.

You might recall that last September someone on a Southwest Airlines plane was using AirDrop to send explicit images to other passengers with an iPhone onboard the aircraft. The pilot, though, wasn't having any of it and threatened to turn the airplane around if the rogue passenger continued to disseminate photos of naked people. As far as we know, the plane did make it to Cabo so we assume that the NSFW images stopped being broadcast on AirDrop.

The kind of people who would use AirDrop to disrupt a flight are unfortunately still around and they have raised the stakes. According to the New York Post, a Southwest Airlines flight last Monday that was heading to Hawaii from Las Vegas had to be diverted and made an unscheduled landing in Oakland, California. The reason why Flight 3316 was forced to land in Oakland was because some passengers received an image via AirDrop suggesting that there was a bomb on the plane.

@miss.valerie808 Wtf??? Who would do something like this #flight3316♬ original sound - Bthechange

Due to the short-range capabilities of AirDrop, the culprit had to be on the aircraft when the messages were sent. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office said that an unidentified passenger was using AirDrop to send troubling images to others on the plane. After the aircraft landed in Oakland, bomb sniffing dogs inspected the jet and the luggage, and no explosives were discovered.

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The image that forced the plane to divert to Oakland reportedly showed a picture of the plane with comments from people claiming that they were "going to blow this bitch up." After a six-hour delay, the plane took off for Hawaii and landed without incident. The Alameda County Sheriff's Office says that the investigation is still active and no arrests have been made at this time.

To change the settings on AirDrop, go to Settings > General > AirDrop and you can set your iPhone to receive AirDrop from your Contacts only, anyone for 10 minutes (after which it reverts to Contacts only), or you can block AirDrops sent from anyone.

We are just curious to know what it is about Southwest that attracts iPhone users who are willing to use AirDrop on their devices to disrupt a flight.

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