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Mobile phones bring down aircraft

PUBLISHED: 11:28 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 14:04 10 October 2012

Shortly after take-off from Sarajevo, a Slovenian Adria Airways Canadair Regional Jet was forced to return to the airport for an emergency landing by a fire warning alarm in the cockpit.

Shortly after take-off from Sarajevo, a Slovenian Adria Airways Canadair Regional Jet was forced to return to the airport for an emergency landing by a fire warning alarm in the cockpit. Investigation revealed that the warning had been triggered by corruption of the electronic fire safety system when a mobile telephone stowed inside the luggage compartment had begun to ring.

In another incident, reported in GASIL, a mobile phone caused the pilot of a Eurocopter EC 120 considerable problems, albeit in an entirely different way. This phone apparently fell off the rear seat of the helicopter, slid into the under-floor area and ended up in a position where it was jamming the anti-torque pedals. This made flight below forty knots impossible and the pilot had to burn off fuel to lighten the aircraft and was forced to end the flight by making a run-on landing at a military base. Although the helicopter skidded after touchdown, no injuries or damage occurred.

According to a report in the Saudi Al-Madina daily paper, a Saudi citizen was arrested by police at Tabuk airport on his arrival from Riyadh on an internal flight. His crime? He had, in the course of the flight, answered an incoming call on a mobile telephone, in contravention of civil aviation laws. And his punishment? Judge Nasir Al-Amri said that using a mobile phone on board an aircraft was a major violation, which required deterrent punishment, so the passenger was sentenced to twenty lashes.

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