In-flight entertainment systems worry some
Mar 23,2009 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON -- The installation of more and more electronic entertainment gear in airliners could pose safety hazards, U.S. advocates say.

With TV screens and personal video systems at each passenger seat armrest in some planes, in-flight entertainment systems are becoming more sophisticated, but are also generating more heat and possible wiring problems, leading some safety advocates to say danger from the systems is returning, USA Today reported Monday.

The newspaper said nearly 400 reports of problems with entertainment systems have been filed with the Federal Aviation Administration in past 10 years, with smoke from the systems in some cases forcing pilots to make emergency landings. Some are worried about a "deja vu" experience with the crash of a Swissair jet 11 years ago that investigators blamed on an electrical wiring problem.

"Any time more wiring is added to an aircraft, there is more chance for something to go wrong," Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, told USA Today.

But the airlines say there's little to worry about -- the in-flight entertainment systems are safe and not all the reported incidents posed safety hazards, they contend.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.