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Katharine McPhee -- Mile High Lawbreaker

11/24/2010 4:54 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

"American Idol" alum Katharine McPhee just broke a cardinal rule in the sky --  turning on her cell phone at 36,000 feet ... and even worse, she bragged about it afterward!

1124_katherine_mcphee_EXD_TMZ_twitter

McPhee caught a flight yesterday ... and after the plane took off, she tweeted, "I love illegally turning on my phone when I'm still in the air ... makes me feel powerful! A tweet from the sky. Hello Atlanta!"

It's a big FCC no-no to turn on your phone after take off -- the penalties include a hefty fine and suspension of her cellular service.

UPDATE: McPhee's rep tells us, "She posted when we landed in Atlanta. She was trying to be funny but obviously some people missed the humor."

Joking about airplane safety -- always a good laugh ...



98 COMMENTS

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46.

The Truth    

The time stamp on her Tweet is the same as her being in mid flight. So her claim she it it when she landed is false.

The FCC hands out large fines for this. So everyone who does this and gets fined. Challenge your fine based upon MC-stupid not getting fined or charged. The FCC cannot charge one person and not the other when they have 100% proof she did it.

So everyone thank her and the FCC is now screwed.

The Truth

1325 days ago
47.

Throwback kid    

This washed up D lister is still in the news?

1325 days ago
48.

ninatrans    

Yes, you can get cell service at higher altitudes. For the record: it is not a safety issue that the made FCC rule against cell phones while you are flying.

The real reason is that you are going at such a high speed (sometimes 600 mph and higher) you would be bouncing between cell towers faster than they were designed to handle. You could be tying up multiple cell towers with just one phone because you would be switching from cell tower to cell tower before the tower's software could release your phone. In other words, the potential to overload the cell communications network could be high. But no one knows because neither the FCC or FAA has ever tested it.

Did all of you who want her proscecuted know that the FAA grants pilots the right to allow cellphone usage during flights? Why? Because avionics are shielded from other frequencies and plane to tower communications are no where near the frequency band of cell phones.

I know taking the time to gain a little knowledge is a pain, but people really... Try to know what you are talking about before you start spouting off!!!

1325 days ago
49.

lorenzo420    

YOUR 15 MINUTES ARE UP

1325 days ago
50.

Marilyn Monroe    

Katherine needs to kick herself in the azz with her Mc-Feet

1325 days ago
51.

debby    

What an ignorant, stupid, spoled brat attitude. And #8, are YOU a pilot? My mother in law is a flight attendant and your so called information is not totally accurate. So stop trying to make it sound like you have all the facts when you have limited facts. It's all or nothing when you try to "coinvince" the world of something or you have NO credibiliby. So, you have no creditibility with your limited information.

1325 days ago
52.

biggoal    

Correct. She tweeted while on the flight look at the time.

McPhee is nothing but a big liar. Just more proves the fact that she made up the false alligations against me. If anything I should be the one suing Kat.

1325 days ago
53.

Cravin Morehead    

PR Rep is code for big liar!

1325 days ago
54.

FlamingoNut    

What a stupid twit. It doesn't really matter if the "myth" is true or not, a rule is a rule and she broke it. Pay the price Princess...

1325 days ago
55.

biggoal    

How does Kat like the karma now! I might not be able to run for public office because of the publicity kat gave me two years ago.

1325 days ago
56.

Steve Y    

It is impossible to get a cellphone signal at 36K feet. The only way to Tweet is to use the Android WI-FI which is perfectly legal and safe in mid air. She wasn't breaking any laws or rules and didn't know it.

1325 days ago
57.

donna    

Wow if that makes her feel powerful, she must really be feeling POWERLESS in many aspects of her life. Katherine, look within...what's going on?

1325 days ago
58.

Raejean    

Note to McPhee's rep: If she gets fined or jailed, we hope you will see the humor in the Feds' little prank, too!

1325 days ago
59.

SaraBellum    

If I were a manager or publicist for a celebrity, I would first make them sign a contract that banned them from having and/or using a Twitter account, or even Facebook for that matter!

1325 days ago
60.

katrina    

what a ****ing idiot.. why does tmz even follow some of these people???

1325 days ago
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