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Man ticketed for making call mid-flight, plane doesn't crash

Chris Ziegler

Despite the on-again, off-again worries about in-flight calling interfering with an airliner's many navigational gizmos, we have to admit, there's a part of us that really loves to hear a story about what happens when someone actually has the stones to ignore federal law and breaks out the phone. That's exactly what Texan Joe David Jones did on a flight from Austin to Dallas last week, receiving a message on his cell -- which he'd forgotten to turn off -- about his father's health and felt compelled to return the call immediately. He ignored flight attendants' requests to hang up, spending some 20-odd minutes chatting away, apparently with no ill effect on the plane's ability to fly without exploding, barrel rolling uncontrollably, or falling out of the sky. We'd expected that such a blatant disregard for ignoring crew instructions would result in some jail time, but apparently the gentleman simply got slapped with a disorderly conduct ticket that carries up to $500 in fines. If we'd been in the seat next to him, we'd have probably hogtied him with his seatbelt and thrown his phone down the scary vacuum-powered lavatory toilet, but at least we know exactly what happens now when someone says "screw you" to the in-flight phone ban.

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