Friday, April 4, 2014

We have to do Better.


Flight MH 370 just disappears in one of the two most intensively monitored air spaces in the world.

I agree with the Herald lead article that it should never happen again.

When Aus PM Abbott announced the track into the Southern Indian Ocean was the most likely end of that flight my first thought was the Americans "know" and their close ally is releasing what they possibly knew as the real time scenario and the release was tempered with major security constraints

Nothing since has diminished that belief.

Military capability and the valid reasons to protect just where such ability currently rests, leave China, America, India all having to know where airborne objects that could be a threat are but not wanting others to know what they know prevented and will continue to prevent divulging of information that reveals such capability.

Some random thoughts;

Why does the Black (orange )box recording the telemetry have to be onboard the plane.
Likewise the CVR.
With modern digital transmission and recording systems have the capability onboard as a second system but transmit the two streams to recording capability in secure land based facilities.

Why has it never advanced to allow the onboard recorders to be ejected on impact deploying large easily trackable footprint for recovery.

I understand why the transponder may needs to be able to be "turned off when the plane is maneuvering in and around the airport for radar interference reasons but it is a mystery why it can be disabled while flying.

Not having any public available information on the fate of MH 370 is well beyond frustrating and an impediment for those directly mourning the 270 presumed dead but the very seriously expensive search mission must be coming to a level where continuing becomes problematical and that is a further potential for sadness and regret.

Not knowing is not prurient or seeking to revel in the misery of others, as a world that flies without feathers the dearth of information is debilitating.
First born has just flown to Europe and the relief when the email confirmed safe arrival was so much more than welcome, we really do need to do better.

5 comments:

Watcher said...

"First born has just flown to Europe and the relief when the email confirmed safe arrival was so much more than welcome."

Do yah do that every time he/she completes a car journey?

Best time to fly is immediately after a safety concern.

gravedodger said...

On ya Watcher, one of the parents has a progressive degenerative neurological condition and one of the less desirable outcomes from that is a greatly magnified paranoia, apparently unable to be reduced with treatment.

You could not have known that so no offence taken but as a family, reporting in has been a coping mechanism from the time it all began with children starting school, cellphones and puters have simplified the process considerably.

Kinda like looking out for each other I guess.

Your last bit resonates I flew from Hamilton to CHC on the first scheduled ANZ DC10 flight after Erebus not that plane integrity, security or safety was any part of that event.

The Veteran said...

GD ... good post. I would be interested in some expert comment regarding the practicality of having the data from the CVR and the FDR automatically transmitted via satellite to airline's home base.

Re the transponder. The Squalk Code will be advised by ATC prior to departure. As with any aircraft electrical system there has to be a way to isolate it in the event of fire. That can be done either by turning off or by pulling a circuit breaker ... the option has to be available.

I have only experienced smoke in the cockpit once in my flying career. It's a character building experience. IA is to land and land fast. Fortunately I was close to a road minus traffic.

Anonymous said...

Why can the transponder be switched off?.........like all independent electrical systems it has to have an off switch in case of malfunction or a wisp of smoke/ The transponder box on a 777 is about the size of a hardback book right in the dash, so to to speak.

Anonymous said...

Why can the transponder be switched off?.........like all independent electrical systems it has to have an off switch in case of malfunction or a wisp of smoke/ The transponder box on a 777 is about the size of a hardback book right in the dash, so to to speak.