Highest Rated Comments

Sneaky__Fox853647 karma

It can cause interference with our radios, both audio and navigational. On rare occasions we'll have a lot of static on the radio, we'll stop and make the announcement to remind everyone their phone needs to be in airplane mode and that if that doesn't solve the problem we'll have to return to the gate for maintenance. Reeeeeaaally quick the interference goes away. Go figure.

You want your phone in airplane mode too. Once we climb above ~5000 feet your phone isn't gonna pick up any cell signal anyways so it's just gonna spend the rest of the flight draining your battery searching for cell service.

Edit: it seems I'm getting a fair amount of hate for this answer. I don't claim to have a telecommunications degree and know how radios are supposed to interact (or not interact). My comments were based on the mythbusters episode someone else referenced and firsthand experience with scratchy radios. The captain said "I know what this is," and made the PA reminder about phones. Within ~20 seconds the static was gone. The flight attendant said it looked like every other passenger was messing with their phones. So entirely possible it could have been more coincidence, seems more cause/effect to me.

Sneaky__Fox852748 karma

Well ahhhhh, you have to pick your spots ahhhh, so that everyone knows you're still speaking ahhhhh while you look for more pointless information to tell everyone like ahhhh the wind speed and direction at the destination.

Sneaky__Fox852617 karma

It depends on the day and the person flying. I generally prefer to hand-fly the airplane up to about 10-15,000 feet before engaging the autopilot. Then you turn it off when you're landing. So on a day when it's nice and you feel like flying, figure 30-40% of the flight is hand flown, the rest is autopilot. Some days you don't feel like working as much and turn it on earlier and off later, but it's always off for takeoff and landing.

Other people turn the autopilot on when you're 600' above the ground (our company standard minimum AP engagement altitude), then snap it off when we're 200' above the ground, so they fly on autopilot for 95% of the flight.

Sneaky__Fox852588 karma

A) Yes, and if I forget they're all labeled so.... hooray cliff notes!
B) No, there are several that never get pressed. In fact my company even has one button, the "High Power Schedule" button that kicks the engines up to their maximum possible thrust rating that we refer to as the "Get Fired" button. Usually the ones that don't get pressed are for emergency use only. Fortunately there are very few real life emergencies.

Sneaky__Fox852585 karma

Yes. It's hidden deep within federal aviation regulations 14 CFR 121.682 and all pilots are briefed on it when they're in their new hire initial training.