A good headline does a lot for an article and sometimes it can be attractive to make things look bigger than they are. Titles like “Did an UFO steal my milk?” just work better than “Milk missing from doorstep”. We all understand that and use it to our advantage. Just like I just did with this article title.
But maybe ZDNet went a bit too far when they titled a post “Did Wi-Fi interference cause Boeing 777 crash?“. A questionable source, Nina Anderson, author of ‘Worse Than Global Warming — Wave Technology’ speculates that “interference from rogue radio frequencies could have influenced the aircraft’s “brain”, causing one or more of its electronically-controlled systems — such as the auto-pilot, auto-throttle and power management — to fail”.
ZDNet explains that “The recent BA038 crash-landing at Heathrow airport may have been caused by interference from wireless networks, which affected the aircraft’s electronically controlled power and automated flight systems.”. In other words: don’t you EVER use Wi-Fi because you might crash a plane!
in reality, and explained later in the article, no such thing could happen. All wiring in these aircrafts is heavily shielded against radiation, radio signals and stray currents that might interfere. So there is actually no need to worry about your Wi-Fi usage in airplanes.
Fortunately there is a more interesting conspiracy theory offered in the comments by Joe Ralph:
The plane allegedly flew over or very close to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s car as it came into the airport. It’s certainly not beyond question that his convoy was using ‘electronic jamming’ equipment (to block remote detonation of roadside bombs etc) and that would be far stronger than any wifi signal.
Now THAT is a juicy developing story!