Re: Plane crashes and other accidents

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 14:37:24 -0400

ChuckKuecker wrote:

> At 03:21 PM 4/16/98 EDT, you wrote:
> >
> >Ive read that many airplane accidents (mostly electrical malfunctions,
> >sometimes causing accidents) are linked to wave bursts from the sun (I cant
> >remember what they're called).
> >
> >danny
> Solar flares? These can disrupt radio communications, but is there enough
> energy to actually addle the avionics?
> One thing that troubles me is how blasted sensitive they are to outside
> interference. There is no reason that there should be a restriction on the
> use of computers, etc. on board aircraft unless the avionics are just so
> badly designed and shielded that they can't reject out of band interference..

This regulation is because the slightest perturbation in the aircrafts own
magnetic field can change the orientation of the magnetic compass, as well as the
RFI output of the electronics of a laptop or radio is contained within the
faraday cage of the aircraft body, which is focused in the nose section. A lot of
electronics and wiring is sheilded on aircraft nowadays, but this remains a hold
over to pre-satellite navigation days...