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Congress and Laptops

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Well-known member
Nov 2, 2004
Seems that Congress has been "surprised" a lot lately.
By Joan Lowy, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are moving to ban the use of computer laptops and other personal electronic devices in airline cockpits to prevent another incident like the Northwest Airlines plane that overshot Minneapolis by 150 miles.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, chairman of the aviation subcommittee, said in an interview that his staff is working on a bill that he expects to introduce in about a week. He said he was surprised to learn after the Oct. 21 incident that the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't specifically prohibit pilots from using laptops, DVD players, MP3 players and other devices during flight except below 10,000 feet while the plane is taking off or landing.
The two pilots of Northwest Flight 188 told National Transportation Safety Board investigators that they didn't notice repeated attempts by air traffic controllers and airline dispatchers to contact them because they were working on a new crew scheduling program on their laptops. The plane carrying 144 passengers was out of communication with anyone on the ground for 91 minutes, prompting the military to ready fighter jets for launch and the White House situation room to alert senior White House officials.
The plane zoomed past its Minneapolis destination before the pilots were alerted to their situation by a flight attendant. By that time, the plane over Wisconsin.
"We now understand from this flight at least that this can happen and there ought to be a more clear understanding by everyone in the cockpit that there is a national standard that would prohibit this and that they need to take it seriously," said Dorgan, D-N.D.
Delta Air Lines, which acquired Northwest last year, has a policy prohibiting the use of personal laptops by pilots during flight. The airline has suspended the two pilots — Timothy Cheney of Gig Harbor, Wash., the captain, and Richard Cole of Salem, Ore., the first officer — pending an investigation. The FAA has revoked the pilots' licenses, and the NTSB is investigating the cause of the incident.
Dorgan said he expects his proposal to eventually be wrapped into a larger aviation bill pending before the Senate. He also said he doesn't anticipate any opposition to the measure.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has also said he wants to introduce legislation to prohibit pilots from using laptops and other personal devices during flight, and several other senators expressed support for a ban at a hearing last week.
Dorgan said his bill will make an exception for "electronic flight bags" — laptops containing navigational tools issued to pilots by some airlines.
I can't wait until CVR data is released showing a frigging 90 minute frigging NAP.

I sent a note to Dorgan and my own senator.
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There's a link on another thread that has a photo of two Senators playing solitaire on there computers while a bill is being debated. I think THAT should be the lead in news story. Do as I say not as I do!:erm:
Then using their logic, we should revoke all the driver's licenses from Senators and Representatives and Congress people.

The record is clear, going back to T. Kennedy and Chapaquidick to the present, there have been mutiple times when our elected politicians have been caught driving while intoxicated and sometimes people get killed. Using the logic that they are using regarding laptops, when one Senator does it we can safely assume they will all do it.

Since we can't regulate alcohol nearly as easily as obtain one's driver's license our course of action is clear, no Senator should be allowed to drive a car nor have any driving privileges while in office.

It is all about public safety you know, not courting voters. They took away the cell phones from the train engineers didn't they (after the S. California crash)? Or did they?
Sure glad we elected all these "pro labor", "airline pilot friendly" Democrats:rolleyes:....More crap from Washington DC...

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