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Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

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    #76
    I think either Boeing or Airbus should take the plunge and fit such equipment as standard on new planes, the other is then bound to follow suit. But getting all the airlines to agree to fit such equipment to their current fleets might not be so easy, unless of course some miracle happened and all the authorities agreed to make it mandatory. But like you say, that's a lot of bureaucracy to overcome, and even more red tape after that.
    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

    Comment


      #77
      Things are happening very fast for the aviation industry. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is working on implementable aircraft locating and tracking schemes and hopes to have something drawn up in September. One idea on the table is the ability to remotely activate an aircrafts 406mhz EPIRB radio beacon. These beacons already have their own, independent power source and are monitored by satellites already in orbit. Within 5 minutes of activation the aircraft's location should be known within 100 feet (30 meters). If an aircraft disappears or deviates from it's flight path "someone" can activate the EPIRB. This idea also would add a set of parameters or alarm inputs on the aircraft that would automatically activate the EPIRB while in flight. Other ideas are also being considered but this scheme sounds like it could be implemented fastest and offer a lot of benefit for the cost since the satellites and ground based monitoring are already in place.

      Comment


      • Steve.B
        Steve.B commented
        Editing a comment
        Not before time really, the technology's been there for a while. With regards to another set of parameters that would set off the EPIRB, i think something along the lines of lack of pilot input over a set amount of time would be a good idea. Something along the lines of a warning from the auto-pilot that sounds at set intervals which would require the flight crew to cancel within a given amount of time. failure of the flight crew to react would result in the EPIRB automatically activating. Railways have similar systems that apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to automatic warning systems that are tripped when the train goes over magnets placed on the track. The radar system on the boat i used to work on also had a similar system, i could set an alarm that would go off at set intervals, if i did not respond and cancel it within a set time, it would sound the general alarm.

        I would have thought it would not be too difficult to update a planes auto-pilot software so that it incorporates something similar.

        MH370 certainly makes you think what we could do with today's technology. The fly-by-wire systems on modern jets could in theory be used remotely from the plane. Then, if a flight crew do fall unconscious for whatever reason, i guess it may well be possible for a plane to be landed safely by remote operators. This idea makes me think of the current controversy concerning remotely operated quadcopters, anyone can now buy a quadcopter equipped with an onboard camera, which you then control remotely whilst wearing a special headset from which you can see through the onboard camera in real time. The military have been controlling drones remotely for years, i really do not think it will be long before that sort of technology can be used with a modern jet. Just think of it, a flight crew on a commercial airliner fall unconscious for whatever reason, they then fail to cancel the alarm that was set to go off at set intervals, this activates the emergency beacon, which in turn causes air traffic controllers to try to make voice contact with the plane. If they get no reply the situation could be stepped up a notch, at which time a ground based flight crew could take control of the aircraft.

        I am not saying that a similar system will be adopted by the aviation industry, i am just saying that i think the tech is there to make it possible. But, any such system would need to be ultra secure, otherwise you would be getting people trying to hijack planes remotely.

      #78
      The search go on and some "new information" may change the time and place where MH 370 turned south: http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel...-1227040215199
      For some reason, which may be commercial, the search area is not changed or narrowed because of this.

      Comment


        #79
        I find it amazing how a tragedy can force scientists to really dig deep within a technology that already exists to glean any available information.

        Comment


          #80
          The current, most likely theory revolve around some action taken intentionally by a member of the crew. It seems that most mechanical or accidental possibilities have been ruled out at least unofficially.

          The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) continues to push and airlines are quickly moving to be able to know where their aircraft are. Initially tracking will rely on existing technology and equipment which means it can be turned off by the crew. Developing a system that cannot be turned off in flight will take longer and more money.

          Comment


          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't buy that theory. First question; WHY??? Nothing in the background of the two Pilots to indicate they had any reason to do so and not indication of suicidal tendencies or mental problems. I.e. no motif.

            Second question; If to commit suicide, why fly south for 6 hours? (If one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide this way he would presumably have to disable the other to accomplish this)

            Third question; If the crew and passengers were conscious during the flight, why didn't anybody manage to send messages while over land? (The theory being that the plane flew low over Peninsular Malaysia for at least 1/2 an hour)

            Fourth question; If one of the pilots disabled the other to deliberately turned off communication and depressurized the aircraft to kill the passengers and crew, how did he survived for more than one hour to make the reported course and altitude changes? How long does the oxygen supply in the c*ckpit last?

            Fifth question; If the Pilot had deliberately depressurized the cabin, why would he take the plane down to 5000 ft., where oxygen is not needed?

            NO, I stick to my previous theory!!!

          #81
          So, there is a new development in the disappearance of MH370....

          According to an article in Nowegian media ( http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/he...70/a/23362542/ ), it is now believed that the aircraft was shot down by the US in order to protect their military base at Diego Garcia. This could explain why there are no large fragments, nor any wreckage found as of yet. In another article I read that if the plane ran out of fuel, it would have experienced a much "softer" landing somewhere in the ocean, and large pieces of the aircraft would float for months and years (luggage, personal effects, seats, aircraft parts etc). It is specualted why there haven't been one single piece of wreckage found anywhere as of now.

          The article originates in French here: http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Inter...l-MH370-671972
          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

          Comment


          • nari
            nari commented
            Editing a comment
            I would first suspect that this could be the inevitable conspiracy propaganda which goes off like a bomb after any unnatural disaster.

            Nari

          • pilotdane
            pilotdane commented
            Editing a comment
            Both the US and Soviet Union have shot down passenger aircraft over water. Neither incident was a secret for even a second and the wreckage was easy to find so I don't know how anyone over the age of 30 could even consider that theory.

          #82
          I recently read that the search for Malaysian MH370 has officially been ended, and by that, declared as an "unsolved accident".

          Is it just me, or is this unprecedented?

          Will this mean that we will NEVER get to know what actually happened to the aircraft, the people on board and why it ended like this?

          I have a nagging feeling someone knows more than they publicly say.
          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

          Comment


          #83
          It is not unprecedented. SilkAir 185 was determined by outside (largely the US NTSB) investigations to have been a deliberate act most likely by the captain. The Indonesian investigative agency declared that the cause could not be determined due to inconclusive evidence... thus avoiding a very embarrassing situation. Plausible deniability???

          I think this somewhat mirrors their approach to the cokcpit environment. If you look into the history of accidents of Asian carriers cultural issues are a common thread. Their high level of training and maintenance have brought them up to safety levels of Aviation in the 1980's. Other regions/cultures have looked seriously at the interaction between the crew (pilot and co-pilot) and made significant changes in how communication and tasks are handled in the cokcpit. Asian carriers are extremely proficient and professional but the next level of safety requires a different crew interaction between ranks or ages. I would say most airlines had this culture 30 years ago. North American and many European carriers were the first to seriously address the issue and make meaningful changes in their crew training. Today I would say many Asian carriers and Latin American carriers have work to do in this area.

          Comment


          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            SilkAir is owned by Singapore Airline and the A319 involved was registered in Singapore. Besides Indonesia and US, both Singaporean and French were involved in the investigation,
            The conclusion by NTSB was -and is- not universally accepted and no conclusive proof that the Pilot deliberately ditch the plane has been found by other agencies. Singapore Police found no evidence that he was suicidal: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tv...nt/693590.html

          #84
          Pressure mounts on MH370 search

          http://www.ihsmaritime360.com/articl...n-mh370-search


          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

          Comment


            #85
            It has been one full year since MH 370 disappeared without a trace and the anniversary has brought it back in world news.
            Malaysia has released a complete report of what is known about the plane and the intended flight to Beijing, the military radar records and whatever else they have of information they have gathered from domestic and foreign sources. None of this is likely to satisfy the conspiracy theorist, or reduce the speculations. Neither will it bring closure for the relatives of those 239 persons who are still regarded as "missing". The search goes on in the Southern Indian Ocean, but the question of whether they are searching in the right place is raised by more and more people, incl. some of the experts who has had access to the details now released for months.

            Even the Malaysian Government now says that; if nothing is found by May they may have to re-think and look at other possibilities. I totally agree, but why not start to look now, while the search in the south is still ongoing?

            The fact that no debris has been found after all this time is the biggest mystery of all. That there would be nothing floating on the surface after a plane crash is unbelievable.
            No matter where it came down there should be something identifiable showing up on beaches, or being spotted by vessels passing in the area.

            I don't believe in all the conspiracy theories, a few of which is presented here: http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/...issing-plane-3

            I also don't think that data from the Military Radar in Malaysia is all that reliable. They only came to light several days after the incident and then from recordings, not from direct observation in real time. If, as said, the plane had come down to 5000 ft. and flown low across the Malayan Peninsula in the boarded region with Thailand, why wasn't an unknown plane spotted in real time and an alarm raised immediately? There are military airports on both sides of the boarder, but nobody scrambled fighter jets to intercept and inspect. (???)
            If, as the conspiracy theories go, the plane was flying low to avoid radar, how did they find recorded radar data a week later?

            The plane is supposed to have flown low and close to Penang International Airport and Butterworth Air Force Base. Why was it not detected, neither by Air Traffic Control for the area or visually by anybody in Penang?

            It is then supposed to have turned to a NW'ly heading and eventually disappeared from military radar somewhere to the north of Sabang, North Sumatra, which was recorded as the last known position of the plane. This position was given to Inmarsat as a starting point for their investigations, which resulted in a Northern and Southern possible corridor of flight.
            This is based on an estimated distance between the satellite position and the source of the short "pings" from the plane, analyzing the Doppler effect, among other criteria.
            Since the signals are omni-directional, nothing can be determined about the bearing between the two, thus whether the plane continued NW, or turned and took a SE'ly heading.
            The distance from the radar scanner to the position where it went below radar horizon should give a clear indication of the altitude it was flying at, which would impact the speed and thus the distance it would be able to fly before running out of fuel, but not the time. If we assume that the plane was flying on autopilot, with nobody alive at the controls, it is hardly likely that it made a sharp turn, or any turn at all. It would keep on flying on a rumbline, not in an arch.

            So what is logical here?? That there were a mechanical or electronic fault that caused the plane to loose communication. (Or possibly a fire?)

            I believe that they lost pressurization due to the communication dome being faulty, thus also loosing coms.
            The SOP for this is; get down below 10,000 ft a.s.a.p., then head for the nearest airport where the plane can be safely landed. (In this case Penang or KLIA)
            Oxygen masks would have dropped in the cabin and the Coc*kpit, with enough oxygen to allow this maneuver to be performed safely. (As far as I know the oxygen supply is sufficient for 10 min. at least) If this was the case, this would have been a minor incident, not a major mystery.

            If, however, the Pilots forgot/ignored to put on their masks immediately, they would become disoriented within a very short time, pass out within 2-3 min. and die within 4 min.
            The plane would continue to fly at whatever course and altitude that was dialed into Autopilot, until it runs out of fuel. This has happened before.
            If they were heading for Penang, which would be logical, and if the sighting of a low flying plane over the Maldives is correct, the plane would have come down somewhere North or NW of the Seychelles, if they headed for KLIA the present search position is possible, but again, that depends on the altitude, and thus speed the plane was flying at during the uncontrolled flight.

            Sorry to say, but that the plane was somehow hijacked by Putin, Al-Qaeda, or by the Americans and landed safely somewhere safely is not very likely.
            It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, if any, to ensure that a similar case of total disappearance cannot happen again.

            Comment


            • ombugge
              ombugge commented
              Editing a comment
              The report also found that the battery powering the underwater locator beacon on the plane's flight data recorder was due to expire in December 2012. However, the battery on the plane's ****pit voice recorder was replaced and functioning.
              It noted that while batteries can still operate past their official expiry, they may lose effectiveness, calling it an "oversight."
              The batteries on equivalent locators on ships has an expiry time of 3 - 5 year from manufacture date, with +/- 3 months allowed for replacement.
              That an expiry date was "overlooked" for well over a year doesn't mean that the battery was not functioning, but it shows a lack of record keeping and inspection routine instructions on the part of whoever did the maintenance, and of the certifying authorities.

              Nothing else of new info appears to have been revealed. Time to look at the old data with new eyes and take nothing as gospel.

            • ombugge
              ombugge commented
              Editing a comment
              Anybody with the time to read the full report??: http://mh370.mot.gov.my/download/FactualInformation.pdf

              FYI the relevant info re: the flight recorders and expired ULB battery is found on page 76-78.

            • pilotdane
              pilotdane commented
              Editing a comment
              So much hangs on finding the aircraft and so much has been exposed by the accident. Militaries are embarrassed by lacking technology and poor readiness. Governments are embarrassed by the lack of transparency. Airlines fear for their future existence as disappearing and shot down planes drive passengers away. Boeing is certainly doing all they can to try and blame the accident on something other than a failure of the 777. Hundreds of families are left not knowing how their loved ones died... So many reasons to find that aircraft.

            #86
            Skandi Protector ex Ocean Protector of MH 370 fame is returned to normal service in the Offshore Industy: http://gcaptain.com/skandi-protector...content=261222

            Comment


              #87
              Interesting - hopefully you can all read it:

              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

              Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
              Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

              Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

              Comment


                #88
                I've heard a lot of odd stores about this tragedy. Some families hiring private investigators. Others hiring "experts" to hypothesize (guess) as to a cause. In the end there are many families and friends left in limbo not knowing for certain what happened to their loved ones.

                I know there are some national security fears. States not wanting to divulge the capability of their radar and tracking systems or fearful of letting foreign powers operate in their waters and airspace. Unfortunately this lack of transparency, especially at the beginning has been very harmful. Some may have tried to hide or destroy evidence at the worst or more benignly the withholding of information has caused a lot of mistrust in addition to slowing down the investigation. I can't hold the countries in the region solely to blame however. I would like to think that if we (The United States) had a secret spy plane or satellite observing the area that the information would have been released or at least leaked in a timely manner but who knows? Maybe some agency decided that keeping their surveillance capability a secret is more important than locating a aircraft that is already down and will likely be found eventually anyhow. See... I'm even running away with secret spy plane theories...

                Comment


                  #89
                  Not to fuel up on any conspiracy theories but WHY isn't these apparent facts looked into further?

                  http://www.dagbladet.no/2015/04/06/n...ykke/38555515/

                  Basically, this article in Norwegian is stating that Swedish tourists on the Maldive islands found large amounts of shoes (thought to be at least 50 pairs) washing up on the shores of the island shortly after the disappearance of the aircraft (a week), in addition to a lot of locals observing a large aircraft flying at low altitude with what best could be described as Malaysian colors in the livery of the aircraft.

                  hmmmm.... I still have that feeling we are not being told everything the various governments know about the disappearance of the aircraft.
                  With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                  Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                  Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                  Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                  Comment


                  • nari
                    nari commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, I had that feeling especially when a low flying aircraft was over the Maldives with no intent to land, that we know of and it could not have landed anyway. (Runway too short?)

                    Had not heard about the shoes - why would they be separated from feet???
                    Since the Germanwings event, probably more people are aware that pilots can reach a point of no return as any stressed person is of risk of doing.

                  #90
                  A MH flight had to return to Melbourne because of a false fire alarm: http://www.reuters.com/video/2015/06...Channel=118169

                  Would this minor incident have been world news if it happened to any other airline??

                  Comment


                  • nari
                    nari commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No. An already troubled airline is in for more investigation by the sound of it, even if this time it is mechanical.
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