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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 11th Apr 2014, 20:22
  #9781 (permalink)  
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Remains from af447 were pretty well preserved by all accounts due to the depth and the temperature of the ocean.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 20:28
  #9782 (permalink)  
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One lightbulb moment regarding this incident surrounds the cvr and FDR pingers.

It's a shame the pinger does not work for say 10 days, then switch off until it receives an activation ping from a search asset, say submersible. The activation ping could be coded and limited to a set frequency range.

Increased complexity, yes, but problems with pinger battery life would be resolved.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 20:42
  #9783 (permalink)  
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Yes INFLIMBO it is possible and I suppose some consideration will now be given to equipping aircraft with auto G release ELT or EPIRB systems. The CORPAS- SARSAT system is a world wide programme which interfaces with these to offer an international SAR service not only to shipping, aviation but even to mountain climbers and desert walkers. But there again we need to remind ourselves that this "incident" ( as we do not yet know whether it was accidental ) is unprecedented and as such cause and circumstance needs to be established before contemplating action to prevent future recurrence. At the moment the whole thing is looking like the Mary Celeste.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 20:48
  #9784 (permalink)  
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As there is an undercurrent of discussion about "Future Enhanced FDR/CVR Location Capability", I am moved to ask if there is a credible, cost-effective, solution that could be globally imposed as a requirement?

Operating an airline is difficult enough. Is it reasonable, on the basis of this incident (OK, and a very few others) to demand that cost, and technical issues, be introduced?
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 20:51
  #9785 (permalink)  
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Is it reasonable, on the basis of this incident (OK, and a very few others) to demand that cost, and technical issues, be introduced?
No, it's not reasonable. But the chances are that it will be demanded.

Politicians are like that and the modern world wants everything to be managed and available and without doubt. This is (probably) a one-off case - but it will change the future - irrespective of whatever may eventually be found out about the flight.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 20:55
  #9786 (permalink)  
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inflimbo wouldn't it be possible to mount few floatable transmitters.
perhaps even relaying last known position.
Offshore helicopters in the British North Sea have had them for years. The ADELT (Automatically Deployable Emergency Locator Beacon) is mounted externally and can be activated by the crew or it will deploy on immersion in salt water. It's signal can be picked up by any satellite.

Unfortunately it can to be armed or disarmed by the crew; neccessary to avoid accidental discharges on the ground where people are.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 21:10
  #9787 (permalink)  
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One thing which will be changed is the 30-day battery life of the ULBs:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has ordered that all underwater locator beacons manufactured from March 2015 have the ability to transmit for 90 days. By 2020, all 30-day beacons must be replaced, the U.S. regulator said in an e-mail.
“What drove that requirement was Air France 447,” Patel said. While surface debris was found within days of the accident, locating the wreckage required robot submarines and months of searching because the black-box pingers had long since gone dead.
“Malaysia Air 370 makes the second compelling case in recent memory that these 30-day batteries should have been replaced years ago and should be replaced in a more expedited basis,” said former NTSB official Goelz, who is now a senior vice president at Washington-based lobbying and consulting firm O’Neill & Associates.
Beacons Tripling Battery Life Too Late for Plane Search - Bloomberg
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 21:16
  #9788 (permalink)  
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Seems to me that having a simple GPS unit that transmitted the aircraft's position every 10 minutes would go a long way toward finding a missing plane. It would certainly narrow the area in the event of a search.

If you want to improve on that, allow ATC the ability to send a signal to the GPS unit that would cause it immediately to respond with its current location. In the event of a mayday/hijack code/9-11 type incident, the ground would know exactly where the plane was.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 21:18
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But above 40k they would need pressure breathing and I don't believe that is available.
Above 34K, IIRC. Max altitude with pressure breathing depends on somewhat flexible physiological constraints, but B-52 pressure breathing was limited in the Dash-1 to 42K.

And don't overlook the non-hypoxic effects of decompression: having your internal gases suddenly try to triple in volume, for instance, could prove... distracting.
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 21:27
  #9790 (permalink)  
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Airline Safety Solutions from PPRUNE

Despite the sometimes zealous intervention of our esteemed moderators (which I applaud) we the denizens of this clearinghouse of rumour, fact and opinion have collectively provided a roadmap for improved airline safety.

Many of the most novel ideas have been deleted. So someone needs to summarize because I am sure AAIB are looking for ideas.

Pilots, Cabin Crew and Mechanics and others with access to aircraft
= Full dossier from all police and security agency files including NSA taps
= Complete review of all social media used by these suspicious people
= Analysis of all purchases in the last year with focus on flight simulation
= Excessive web usage viewing pages like PPRUNE
= Excessive perusal of NTSB, AAIB and other agency accident reports
= Records of those who have experience marital discord or divorce
= Records of any mortgage defaults or other financial blemishes
= Set up hot line for anonymous reports on any of these scary people
= Better checking in security for any weirdo maps
= Check for reading habits, particularly Dummy's Guides to Big Jet Ditching
= Watch for warning signs such as library checkout of DeMille's "MAYDAY"
= Carefully check crew carry-on for suspicious item such as
Wilderness Survival items: tents, energy blankets, energy bars
Complete set of LOST and DVD player
Parachute Waypoint lists in crayon with jerky penmanship
Gold bullion or large amounts of currency.... strange currency

Preflight Procedures
= Preflight psychological exam and counseling for all flight and cabin crew
= Check cargo for potential rotting fruit that could emit toxic fumes
= Remove Lithium batteries from all carry-on goods
= Send any late arriving passengers back to the start of the line
= Arrest any crew member who looks at the closed circuit cameras
= End waiting area announcements that creep me out such as:
"We hope you will take XYZ airways to your final destination"
= Bar any passengers that look funny or have strange accents
= Bar any passengers that have religious symbols - might be fanatics
= Carefully review any passenger carry on reading material
How to Fly Big Jets by Davies... and no CPL - kick them off
Stick and Rudder by Langewiesche - enhanced security interrogation
Survival at Sea... kick them off

Flight Documentation and SAR Features
= Full time secure data link to satellites with all relevant data
= Direct feed of all data to servers accessible by PPRUNE members
= At least 4 external indestructible ULBs with 2 year battery life
= At least 6 internal indestructible ULBs inside the cabin
= At least 2 ULBs in cabin to be in custody of trusted vetted travelers
= Link and support systems in titanium pilot / crew resistant case
No circuit breaker, carefully filtered AC source, battery to last 20 hrs
Explosion proof, maybe get the weight under 100 kg!
= Star Trek Captain's log, >10 of them. Cabin crew can eject in fright
= At least 20 sealable canisters in cabin with check off notes... floating
= All insulating and floating materials to have orange day glow coating
= Large ferrous strips in fuselage to allow effective magnetometer search
= ULB with acoustic controlled release to float to service upon call
= Large parachutes to save - or stop the aircraft if something fishy occurs

Cabin Monitoring
= For smaller aircraft one skilled monitor with flying and psych experience
= Larger: 2 monitors on flight deck, one tie breaker in the cabin
= Separate GPS and monitor for passengers (each with Alert Pinger to Sat)

Pilot Performance Monitoring and Approval Link
= Basic inflight EEG monitoring with real-time analysis
On detection of subversive thoughts, instant zap, and call for alternate
= Two way link to the UN Flight Input Monitoring and Control Centre
= All waypoint entries review by UNFIMCC before engine start
= Any waypoint changes get a similar review and carbon tax recalculation
= Any sudden thrust lever movement by prior approval of ground monitor
= Same for extension of flaps, slats etc

Flight Deck Security
= Total seal from cabin air - ditto on cargo flights
But only fair to have at least 16 hour cabin oxygen for all
And of course, must provide for pressure breathing above FL250
= Improve access security - at all times
= Flight deck occupants food and drink tested and certified
= Before takeoff: Flight deck sealed, to be opened at destination airport
= Improved DVDR with separate implanted mics for all including cabin crew
= Increase record time of DFDR to one year and have 3 per aircraft

Improved Back Up Systems
= At least 40 gallon reserve tank for the APU that cabin crew can turn on
= Three RATs for any long range flights
= Replace at least 20% of the wing fuel tanks with flotation material

I am sorry if I missed some of the best ideas. PM me if I need to add some.

And my sincere apologies if I have offended anyone with this bit of levity related to a situation that is very serious and has brought a lot of sorrow.

Moderators: Thanks for the great job on a huge pile of submissions. Your call on this one...
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 22:31
  #9791 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by hamster3null
25 meg per hour is 7 kilobytes per second (56 Kbps) per aircraft. Existing satellite internet networks can absorb that without breaking a sweat.

Also, most of this stuff is highly optional and it's stored mainly because it can be. 20 years ago standard FDRs on aircraft like the 777 had the capacity to record 64 or 128 words per second (0.77 or 1.54 Kbps). After the expansion of the list of required parameter groups in 2002, Boeing started installing FDRs capable of 3 Kbps.
Perhaps, but will it be Robust and Sustainable to be Fit For Purpose?
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Old 11th Apr 2014, 22:41
  #9792 (permalink)  
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IF the GSF Explorer is enroute, it is what is underneath that counts...

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Old 11th Apr 2014, 23:22
  #9793 (permalink)  
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IF the GSF Explorer is enroute, it is what is underneath that counts...
What is your source? All the tracking sites show her in India as of 4/4.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 00:02
  #9794 (permalink)  
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Looks like the Ocean Shield just made a pass over one of the older ping-heard locations.

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Old 12th Apr 2014, 00:03
  #9795 (permalink)  
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CVR/FDR dumps

Real-time data streaming for all flights seems a bit ott. The question, then, is when to stream? High priority ecam messages, distress squawks and manual triggers (stand-alone and linked to actions such as arming fire bottles) would be possible trigger points. Probably as good as any, really. Like any other system, it has to be possible to power down the satcom in case of fire or fault, and a well-read hijacker would know to do this, but it would be potentially life-saving if engineering people at home or at Boeing could see just what was happening.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 00:05
  #9796 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by underfire
IF the GSF Explorer is enroute, it is what is underneath that counts...

It may not have the original equipment for the task since it got refitted for drilling in 1997 according to wikipedia
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 00:43
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Perhaps I was not clear enough. There is no need to transmit all this data all the time. The idea is not to replace black box, but to regularly transmit only very small subset of its data, so that the plane can at least be found. Basically, it should transmit only what is necessary, and only when it become necessary. Intelligent device must periodically send just GPS position and basic flight information in small and highly compressed single packet, using cheap, low bandwidth link. Having all relevant data at its input, it would always be aware of severity of any fault status or warning, and it would only then transmit more data, if necessary opening more expensive higher capacity link. In most dangerous situations, it would open emergency, reserved, highest capacity satellite link, and in a very short time upload every single bit of highly compressed data at its disposal. That could be much more than any current black box could hold. On average it would require, for example, just 1 KB of data by lowest capacity link every 10 minutes, so extra price would be very small, and we would still immediately have all the content of black boxes in all detectable emergencies. Traditional black boxes would still be there in case of communication problems.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 00:55
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On demand would be better, an aircraft goes missing dial into the box via satcom and retrieve the data or listen/watch live.

Of course this wont work if all systems are disabled.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 01:01
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Originally Posted by toaddy
Looks like the Ocean Shield just made a pass over one of the older ping-heard locations.

that central area where OS is in the diagram & north, and HMAS Echo ran a parallel sweep, must be the area of greatest interest. That was where the strongest signals were detected.
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Old 12th Apr 2014, 01:46
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It seems like a system that mirrors Amateur radio's packet networks might be beneficial in transmitting airliner's positional information without the need for satellites. Over most of the globe an airliner in flight is at least line of sight with another airliner that can act as a digital repeater of sorts, transmitting positional data to another airliner, or to a ground station if nearby.


Although its not the fastest way to go about this task, it is dependable. If installed in every airliner the system would be nearly flawless, as each plane's position would be present on several other aircraft's memories, local to it.

There is no logical reason why this task must be relegated to the mainframe/dumb terminal way of thinking.
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