Mobile phone may have caused air crash

When on a plane many passengers begrudge the request to ‘please make sure all mobile phones are switched off during the flight', however the risks mobiles pose to aircraft interference are very real as highlighted in a recent plane crash investigation. Swiss officials suspect that a mobile phone may have been the reason for the crash of Crossair flight LX 498 – which crashed shortly after take off in Zurich killing 10 people – on January 10 last year. Investigators have asked mobile phone operators to check their records to determine if any calls or messages were made or received during the flight. Meanwhile, a Slovenian plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Ljubljana this week after a mobile triggered off the aircraft's fire alarm.

According to research, mobile phones that are switched on can interfere with aircraft electronic and navigation systems. This risk increases if the mobile is used onboard. Despite the fact that most countries outlaw the use of mobiles on aircraft, many people either forget to turn off their phones or ignore the rules altogether. As recent events have shown, mobile warnings are there for a reason. So next time you're on a plane please make sure you switch off your mobile for the duration of the flight.

‘Mobile phone linked to air crash', The Sydney Morning Herald, 12/01/01, p 8.