Yahoo News via Time Magazine via ABC News is reporting the “evidence” that electronic devices may cause problems with airline navigation and control systems. However, the headline is not even remotely supported by the “evidence.” Here are some excerpts from the article [in italics] with pertinent sections underlined.
In 75 instances between 2003 and 2009, electronic interference was cited as a possible cause of airplane dysfunction, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
But the IATA report, obtained by ABC News, provides some evidence that heeding that last rule [turn off all electronic devices], about electronic devices, would be to everyone's benefit.
According to the confidential study, in a survey spanning six years with respondents from 125 airlines, there were 75 documented incidents in which airline pilots and crew believed that possible electronic interference affected flight controls and navigation systems. A survey* was done. How many people were questioned? There are some 850,000 flights per month in the US alone.The IATA report covers 6 years. That’s 61,200,000 flights. And all they can come up with is 75 instances of possible electronic interference?
The report, according to ABC News, stresses that no direct correlation is being made between electronic interference from personal electronic devices and plane malfunctions.
Finally in the last paragraph: Some experts argue that these anecdotes are not enough to draw conclusions about how electronic devices affect planes.
The amount of misleading information and equivocation in this article makes me wonder if it was written by a radiologist.
The “evidence” is pretty weak. What do you think?
*See my recent blog on surveys.