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iPhone killing a GPS?

We fly a Turbo Commander with two Garmin GNS 530s on separate electrical busses and have experienced "mystery flame-outs" (dead-reckoning messages) on both units simultaneously, three or four times in the last month or so. Sometimes for up to 10 minutes at a time, but in level cruise on each occasion.

It's driven our avionics people crazy, to say the least. First Garmin told them it couldn't happen, then yesterday they came up with the most interesting feedback: "Have any of your passengers been using the latest iPhone in flight?"

Have you or anyone else heard of this fairly recent phenomenon?

Brett Zachary

Fort Wayne, Ind.


We asked our contacts at Garmin and they said they'd never heard of an iPhone of any kind causing a GPS signal loss. But they admit it may be possible for there to be interference from something onboard the aircraft if the GPSs have poorly wired antennas. We've seen substandard antenna connections cause all sorts of weird problems.

We often fly with an iPhone 4 still on and all we've ever seen (or heard, really) are periodic buzzes on older audio systems and intercoms.

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Title Annotation:READBACK
Author:Zachary, Brett
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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