Your Cockpit And Your Cellphone...

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AOPA Fights To Legalize Use

There's a whole world of information available to pilots via their cellphones and AOPA says it's time it became legal to place that call. Everything from weather to airport information is available by cell but the Federal Communications Commission still outlaws the use of the phones in light aircraft. The FCC is now considering changing the rules and AOPA says the sooner the better. "Cellphones and other wireless technologies are invaluable tools for obtaining updated weather and other information in flight," said AOPA spokesman Randy Kenagy. "And the risk of interference with aircraft avionics for the typical general aviation flight is very slight." AOPA checked with cellphone companies and none place any restrictions on in-flight cellphone use. Besides, on the slim chance that the phone does bother the aircraft's electronics, it can simply be switched off. "The pilot isn't isolated from the passengers and has the immediate ability and responsibility to terminate the use of any device at any time if it is interfering with flight-critical electronics," Kenagy said.