While many people are sceptical over the fact that their mobile or MP3 player can affect aircraft systems, many pilots and airplane staff have been complaining, stating that over the past half decade that there have been many instances of autopilot, autothrust and landing gear issues thanks to passengers refusing to turn off their electronic devices.
There have also been many events recorded over the past few years, between 2003 and 2009 there were 26 incidents of autopilot and more being affected, 15 incidents of communication problems and 13 occasions that caused “engine indications.”
An IATA report about this incidences says that they can’t confirm whether it was electronic devices that caused these issues, but it does take into consideration of the flight staff, many who feel they do cause problems. There is even one instance of the autopilot switching off at 4,500 ft.
According to flight staff experience, mobile phones are the worst suspects, with laptops and tablets blamed for other occasions.