Aircraft Accidents and the Threat to Passenger Safety Part Three

About two years ago I was on a domestic flight; the flight attendant (FA) made the announcement to turn off all electronic devices, e.g. cell phones, and prepare for flight. She walked up and down the aisle to see if all were belted in, tables were stowed and all devices were turned off.
There was a salesman who kept hiding his cell phone during this inspection, smugly concealing it from the FAs intent on passenger safety. He continued to play his game until the moment the jet started to push back.
At that moment an FAA inspector flashed his credentials at the man, warned him that since the flight was now active the FAA inspector now warned the man that if he did not turn off and put away his phone at once, he would be violated per FAA Order 2150.8.
The salesman could not comply fast enough; stuttering and sitting low in his seat for the rest of the trip. There was eager applause from neighboring passengers who were also upset by the disobedient salesman.
How would the FAA inspector make good his threat to fine him? He did not have the authority to detain or arrest the man for identification. However, the flight crew has the ability to call ahead to the arriving airport and have Security detain the man until his identity could be determined. And believe me, flight crews are more than happy to oblige.
One can pull FAA Order 2150.8: The FAA Compliance Bulletin up on any search engine. If you go to Appendix B, page B-28 and B-29 one can see the various violations and their fines, all of which are not only possible, but very likely. The salesman could have easily received three violations: B-3-p (1): Interfering with a Flight Crew (instructions) which is an $11,000 fine; B-3-p (6): Acts in a Manner that Poses Imminent Threat to the Safety of Aircraft (not turning off his phone), which is a $27,500 fine; and B-3-q (6): Operating a Portable Electronic Device, which is an $11,000 fine. That amounts to a $49, 500 phone call. One can even be fined between $550 to $4,400 for refusing to wear a seat belt when instructed.
POINT: the rules are made for the safety and security of ALL passengers. Failure to follow the rules – as in the British Airways engine fire evacuation in McCarran airport – results in death and injury, and rarely to the irresponsible party. The ones who log jammed the evacuation should be heavily fined; it’s the only way to get the point across.

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