Last month, we brought you the story of a bird strike filmed by a passenger mid-flight and the reactions of those aboard. They described how it felt when the birds zoomed into the engine, forcing the pilot to land as a precautionary measure. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration is issuing a warning to the man who, by chance, caught footage of the birds while he was using his iPad to film out the window.
CNN (via The Consumerist) reports Grant Cardone was sent a letter from the FAA after it had conducted an investigation and found Cardone had been using his device just minutes after takeoff during a time when all electronic devices were supposed to be powered down and stowed. Here's a portion of what the letter said:
"We have given consideration to all of the facts. In lieu of legal enforcement action (a civil penalty), we are issuing this letter which will be made a matter of record for a period of two years, after which, the record will be expunged," James Giles, FAA supervisory principal operations inspector, wrote in a letter to Cardone.
The FAA told Cardone, "Your failure to comply during a critical phase of flight and an aircraft emergency could have affected the safe outcome of the flight."
Cardone appeared on CNN Wednesday to share his thoughts on his new two-year record with the FAA:
On the show, Cardone expressed concern over what this "record" means. "What I'm concerned about is what watch list am I on? Am I now a terrorist for the FAA? Am I going to get double-screened? They just need to clarify what the deal is," he said.
Even though use of electronic devices is banned during certain phases of flight, some -- including Cardone -- question the effect of their usage on aircrafts. In March, Nick Bilton wrote on the New York Times BITS blog that he had recently contacted the FAA to "pester" them about the need to update this regulation and received a comment that shows the agency is considering it. He writes:
When I called the F.A.A. last week to pester them about this regulation — citing experts and research that says these devices could not harm a plane — the F.A.A. responded differently than it usually does. Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs for the F.A.A., said that the agency has decided to take a “fresh look” at the use of personal electronics on planes.
As Ms. Brown said: “With the advent of new and evolving electronic technology, and because the airlines have not conducted the testing necessary to approve the use of new devices, the FAA is taking a fresh look at the use of personal electronic devices, other than cellphones, on aircraft.”
But with the FAA regulation remaining intact for now, do you think Cardone has a right to be upset over his warning letter? Or since "rules are rules" should Cardone -- and everyone else griping about powering down on planes -- remain understanding as the FAA continues to take a "fresh look" at the regulation? Let us know in the comments section.
This story has been updated.