The myth is that you need to switch to airplane mode because your phone’s signal could interfere with the plane’s navigational system – it’s false.
The very fact that we have airplane mode features on our phones promotes the myth that says that navigation will fail if cellular reception is on, and maybe even cause a crash. The truth however, is far less dramatic.
Before the airplane mode, passengers had to turn their phones off completely during flight. But as the technology in both phones and planes advanced, travelers are now asked to simply turn off their phones’ signals.
According to history, there might have been an actual fear of mobile phones interfering with a plane’s electronics, but such an incident has never happened.
The real reason you are asked to turn off your phone’s signal is that it interferes with the cockpit’s radio signal, leading to disturbance on the communication line between the pilots and air traffic control.
This is not a big secret, but most people just never took the time to investigate the matter and chose to believe in the myth. When a person tries to use a mobile phone in the sky, its signal causes audible interference on the plane’s radio in the form of skips and blips.
However, this doesn’t mean that your cellular reception can’t disturb a plane’s electronics, including its navigational system. Despite never having happened, it could happen in theory, and it’s a risk no airliner is willing to take.