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Samsung halts fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone productionSamsung halts fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone production

FAA, AOPA re-emphasize guidance to turn off, not use device

The importance of leaving any Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device on the ground cannot be overstated, the AOPA Air Safety Institute said after Samsung announced the suspension of global sales of the fire-prone smart phones. 

Samsung Galaxy Note7 image courtesy of Samsung.

Samsung’s sales and marketing halt of the phone includes replacement Note 7s that were distributed to owners who opted to replace their original devices. Both original and replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7s were found to have a manufacturing flaw that resulted in several phones overheating—and in a few cases bursting into flames.

On Oct. 10 Samsung requested that owners power down their Note 7 devices. Samsung subsequently said it would cease manufacturing or marketing the phone, news reports said.

Those developments prompted the FAA to update its guidance to pilots in a notice posted on its website: “In response to an October 10, 2016 statement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and following a recent decision by Samsung to suspend global sales and exchanges of all Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration urges passengers onboard aircraft to power down, and not use, charge, or stow in checked baggage, any Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, including recalled and replacement devices.”

When the dangerous flaw in the Galaxy Note 7 was first disclosed in September, the AOPA Air Safety Institute expressed “grave concern” and joined the FAA in advising aircraft occupants to turn off and refrain from charging Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones during flights.

“Fires on board aircraft are one of the most significant hazards to flight safety,” said Air Safety Institute Senior Vice President George Perry. “Any electronic device that is known to cause a spontaneous fire or explode is cause for grave concern. Based on the widely reported issues with the Samsung Note 7, the Air Safety Institute agrees with the FAA’s recommendations and encourages general aviation pilots to avoid use of this phone in light aircraft as well.”

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Emergency, Flight Planning

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