I am running Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition on a Dell Mini 9.
How can I switch on Flight Mode and verify that it's on? Also will it survive being disconnected over a reboot?
Ubuntu does not have a flight mode. I think you mean disconnecting your wireless by simply turning it off? To do that either disable the hardware switch or right click the network icon and click disable wireless.
Correct me if I'm wrong about you wanting to disable the wireless and I'll update my answer.
You can use rfkill to turn off all wireless (e.g. wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, WiMAX, etc.) radios at once:
To leave this "flight mode":
Changes made via this method are not preserved after a reboot.
On a side note, Ubuntu does not include a man page for rfkill by default. If you'd like to be able to