Trainee pilot clears up truth about passengers' phones being on aeroplane mode

Mansoor Wamala, who is training to be a pilot
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

A pilot has explained why you should always turn on your phone’s aeroplane mode while you're on a flight.

Mansoor Wamala, 21, who lives in Liverpool city centre, is currently training to be a pilot. He was inspired to be a pilot as a child, and started off with a stint in the RAF air cadets.

Mansoor has shared his experiences online of what it’s like to train in the profession. So far, he has racked up several hours flying light aircrafts through his aerospace engineering degree at the University of Liverpool and via an Air League scholarship based at the Liverpool Flying School in Speke.

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Speaking to the ECHO, Mansoor insisted flying a plane wasn’t as hard as you might think. He said: “There’s not much difficulty in flying a plane. It's more being comfortable in your environment.

“With the past 20 instructors I've had, the first things they say is calm your nerves, these preparations have been researched a million times.

“Firstly listen to your instructor, enjoy being in that position and don't panic. It's like playing football. If you keep playing, you’ll feel calmer in games and perform better.”

Mansoor, who is originally from London, wants to be a commercial airline pilot, but he has to work his way up first. He said: “You start off with light aircraft, then with larger aircraft, then you go into further studies.

“You have to take a minimum of 1000 hours training to be allowed to fly a commercial plane.”

When you get on a plane, you’re always told to either switch your phone off or put it in flight mode. Some are sceptical about whether this is needed, but Mansoor argued you should always disconnect your phone from Wi-Fi and mobile data before your flight takes off.

“It is true. Obviously you have electronic equipment in the plane. Having your phone on could interfere with the electromagnetic waves in the plane. A plane needs these waves to position itself.

“It's really important not to use your phone. It’s not massive but it helps prevent accidents. The fact you learn it from day one when you’re training shows how important it is.”

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