FAA to pilots: Turn off those electronic devices
updated 4:10 PM EST, Tue January 15, 2013
A new FAA proposal would limit airline pilots' use of personal electronics during a flight.
- Proposed rule would bar use of personal electronics throughout flight
- Plan stems partly from incident involving airline pilots who overflew destination
- Current rules bar use of electronics during takeoff and landing periods
Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. government is aggressively trying to curb distracted driving and is now launching an effort aimed at distracted flying.
Airline pilots would be prohibited from using personal electronics at any time during a flight, except if it directly relates to the operation of the plane, according to a new Federal Aviation Administration proposal.
A longstanding "sterile cockpit" rule currently bars the use of any personal gadgets during critical phases of flight. This usually means operations related to takeoff and landing.
The new plan ordered by Congress last year is a direct result of an infamous 2009 incident involving a Northwest Airlines crew who overflew Minneapolis by 150 miles.
The pilots later said they were distracted as they reviewed a work schedule on a personal computer.
The FAA also cited the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, a commuter plane that slammed into a house near Buffalo, also in 2009. A pilot aboard the ill-fated flight sent a text message on her personal cell phone just before takeoff.
While it was unrelated to the cause of the crash, transportation safety investigators used the example of crew texting in recommending regulators ban all personal electronics during flight.
"These incidents illustrate the potential for such devices to create a hazardous distraction during critical phases of flight," the proposed FAA measure said.
But the new prohibition, if finalized, would represent a near-blanket prohibition of electronic devices.
Pilots would be able to use laptops, tablets and other devices for flying the plane or for safety reasons only.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.