EDIT: Corrected direction of the flight — which was headed FROM Rio De Janeiro to Paris.
They’re going to take us down. They’re taking us down. They’re going to take us down. Say the Lord’s prayer. Say the Lord’s prayer.A hitherto unnamed JetBlue captain • Comments made during a flight from New York City to Las Vegas earlier today. The plane and its passengers, thankfully, are all fine, and were never in any danger – “they” were never trying to take down the flight. Rather, the captain stormed out of the cockpit, seemingly in the grip of some manner of mental episode, causing his disoriented and hysterical claims of an impending terrorist incident. Said one passenger, Gabriel Schonzeit: “He started screaming about al-Qaida and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down.” The captain, now at a medical facility in Amarillo, Texas, was tackled and held by four passengers until the flight was diverted safely. Authorities interviewed all passengers as they left the plane, and the FBI is reportedly coordinating an investigation with the FAA. source (via • follow)
» But there’s a major downside: Because the FAA is so entwined with the kind of red tape only a complicated government organization could invent, if things are decided a certain way, it could force some crazy rules before an airline could allow such devices. For example — just for the right to allow the iPad on their plane, the current standards would force each airline to test each version of a device in a plane by itself (i.e. no passengers) to make sure everything was OK. If that sounds like an insane waste of money, that’s basically how the airlines feel.
nhaler asks: The most persuasive argument I've read for banning the use of cell-phones—and NOT electronic devices in general—derived not from the airline industry, but from cellular carriers. When a pod of 300 people is loaded with cell-phone users, and you have anywhere from a handful to dozens of these pods overhead, they zoom tower-to-tower with great speed and with great impact on the cellular networks' attempts to keep up with the huge clots of connector-disconnectors overhead.
» SFB says: So in other words, cell phone carriers couldn’t handle the infrastructure issues caused by hundreds of people flying in tightly-packed quarters thousands of feet overhead at high speeds. Hm, interesting take. — Ernie @ SFB