Lost Airplane???

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  #1  
Old 03-17-14, 12:49 PM
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Talking Lost Airplane???

Open for discussion.

My Two Cents. Toss In Yours...

In this day and age of advanced technology, why do airplanes still have vital instruments and equipment with manual switches????...

Solution is simple. All vital equipment, including the communication radio, should be "Hard Wired" ON whenever the engines are running. All able to do self testing, with multiple backups and software with constant self checking, etc.

Any malfunctions, not reported by pilot prior to take off or ignored during maintenance of more then one or two start ups, engines cannot be restarted until repairs are made. Period!

Reminder, airplanes are either on the ground in need of engine start up or in the air engines already running. Engine dies during flight, automatically reported multiple times. GPS, radio and satellite auto signals next tracking station or local airport en route, etc.

Convert all existing planes. BAN manual switches......on all new planes. Pilots have NO control anymore...:NO NO NO:...Pilots whom protest loss of control over all presently installed manual switches that are converted to automatic, TOUGH... Don't like it? Get another job....

My Two Cents. What's yours?
 
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Old 03-17-14, 02:01 PM
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And in this day and age of 100+terabit hard drives why are the flight data and voice recorders on a 30 minute loop?

It has been written the radar transponder has a manual off switch so it won't clutter up the radar on the ground when not needed but going back to your thoughts Tom why not make the off switch altitude dependent. Plane is in the air the transponder can't be shut down.

What tracking was done apparently comes from the engines which send periodic bursts of limited data. If that is possible why not more comprehensive data. Maybe the FAA needs to ask the NSA to show the airlines how to monitor much more inclusive data from 100s of planes since the NSA obviously already have the basic tools and techniques.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 03:22 PM
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Transponders need to be turned off for cloaking. Granted not on commercial airliners, but it couldn't be a universal rule. Altitude dependency would work, but at what altitude? I think this guy was flying on the deck anyway. Ray, why do we have to "find" the black box? Why can't it be downloaded with aircraft specific codes from water's depth to mountain terrain, before rescue/removal even begins. The technology we use today is so.....70's.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 03:23 PM
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If you've ever had your arse 5 miles off the ground and something goes wrong you want the ability to fix it or turn it off. The last thing you want is a radio or automatic system malfunctioning, smoldering or burning and you can't kill the power. Imagine being welded into your car and can't get out for two hours no matter what and there is an electrical fire under the dash. Wouldn't you like the ability to turn it off and survive?

Then if there is a power failure you need to shed any non-essential electrical loads. If you fly through an ash cloud or crazy thunderstorm and flame out both engines. You've only got your small batteries to get you through. Shut off everything non-essential and use what power you have to get the auxiliary power unit (APU) started so you can try and restart the engines. In that situation a high powered transponder providing your squak code and altitude is nowhere on the list for immediate survival.

Most/many transponders have squat switches on the landing gear so they do not transmit while on the ground. But like everything else things can malfunction. You don't want to ground a flight and leave 200 people stranded for a $50 switch malfunctioning so you incorporate a manual override so it can be turned on and off. Many systems have automatic and manual modes. On nice sunny days when things go as they should automatic is great.

You may say the transponder is now given "golden" status and must always be on. The Ethiopian Air 787 that burned in England was caused by the emergency locating transmitter (ELT) while the aircraft was on the ground and powered down! Nobody aboard for hours and it caught fire doing major damage. A piece of mandated safety equipment that has never located a downed commercial airliner yet is still required. It has it's own power supply and is supposed to be a great idea for safety and tested the limits to repair to a composite aircraft. Had it caught fire in the air it would have been a major tragedy.

---
After Air France 447 there has been discussion to upload more data to satellites more frequently. The first thing to come to light is that there are thousands of commercial aircraft airborne at any time. That's a lot of useless data. So, the latter thought was to have the aircraft start transmitting when a certain set of parameters has been violated (the aircraft sensing failures). In years past the cost of equipment and monitoring outweighed any benefit. After Air France 447 the idea of increased monitoring is gaining momentum. The latest tragedy may be the tipping point to make it standard in the future. This of course opens the specter that "others" know the exact location and condition of an aircraft. Some might call it targeting data. If that data is compromised it can be used to more easily shoot down aircraft.

Then can you imagine the difficulty of a international agency trusted with knowledge of the exact position of every commercial aircraft? This one was possibly brought down by a bad person. A bad person may also work for the agency monitoring aircraft and use that information for evil. Everyone cries at the government spying and surveillance exposed by Snowden.

---
FDR's with 30 minutes recording? You really showed your age there. The current standard since 2002 records for data from the preceding 15-25 hours of flight on a minimum of 88 controls and flight parameters. They are one piece of equipment who's value has never been seriously doubted.

You've just got to find the darn things to retrieve their data. If you've never sailed out of the sight of land or flown for hour after hour at 500 mph and never seen anything it can be difficult to understand how hard it can be to find something even it it has a pinger attached. Air France 447's location was pretty well known when it went down and it still took years to find the wreckage and FDRs.

---
This latest disappearance has all the makings of a real life James Bond movie. Was it Thunderball? Mole pilot kills other crew, flies plane to mysterious location and ditches in the ocean to steal the nuclear bombs.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 05:00 PM
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FDR's with 30 minutes recording? You really showed your age there.
Yes, but so was the NBC reporter a couple of days ago which is when I last herd the time limit mentioned.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 06:17 PM
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I don't understand all of the technical aspects of that missing airliner but the consensus of opinions out there now is that some tampering of some kind was done to the plane. I have to agree with that opinion Boeing 777's have numerous pieces of backup equipment most of which is usually on all of the time but can be switched off and should be switched off if it malfunctions. From everything I have heard though they now believe the plane was taken off course and they received some information from automatic systems on the plane.

How it went off course though is up for speculation some say it was the pilots and some say the 777's have a vulnerability in that they have USB ports at the seats presumably to charge equipment. Some have alleged that these USB ports are connected to the planes computer. Who though really knows for sure unless they are an engineer at Boeing. When I was a boy I used to look through airplane magazines but it was over my head and I lost interest quickly and that was about much smaller planes not anything like a Boeing 777.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 06:27 PM
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Some have alleged that these USB ports are connected to the planes computer.
I find that EXTREMELY hard to believe. If that's true then they are looking for problems.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 06:52 PM
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I really like this show, and this thread made me think of this segment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIUp7NvHHRo
 
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Old 03-17-14, 07:36 PM
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PJmax (peter) I find it hard to believe to but maybe it is true. I found a link from another airlines in that same part of the world that talks about USB connectivity. It is supposed to be used to view pictures on personal devices only but maybe it can be exploited. Here is the link http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/fl.../connectivity/ . I was only listening half way at the time and wasn't listening too closely.

If true then they certainly need to make changes to these planes so that they either no longer have USB ports or that they are isolated from critical systems. Seems to me that all of those things just make planes more vulnerable and to me anyway are unnecessary things to have on a plane.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 07:46 PM
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Thanks for that link. It certainly looks like they have a lot going on around the USB port.

A personal in-seat telephone allows you to make calls to virtually anywhere in the world via a global satellite network. It also allows you to make seat-to-seat calls free of charge.
This is priceless..... for those of you needing to call your wife or child in the next seat.
 
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Old 03-17-14, 08:05 PM
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It also allows you to make seat-to-seat calls free of charge.
That one made me laugh too if I had someone next to me I wanted to talk to I would just tap them on the shoulder.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 04:55 AM
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Mostly same old info being dressed up daily as "news". Nothing really new in about a week now.

The lead article in today's local paper really had me scratching my head.

This is in an AP story:

"Officials revealed...the final voice transmission...may have occurred before any of its communications systems were disabled..."

No kidding? Be pretty hard for it to have occurred after they were shut off.

Of course I understand what they mean is that it occurred while 100% of the comm equipment was on rather than while some had already been turned off, but it really sounds funny.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 06:01 AM
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In flight hacking is not such a far fetched concern. There is concern in the industry over hacking as planes go to more electronic, networked systems. Previously the entertainment/passenger systems like in flight entertainment, WiFi and in seat phones were completely separated from the other systems except for their power supply. To save weight, offer more features and to make diagnostics easier these systems are being integrated more and more, most notably in the 787 and I assume the 777x will be as well.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 09:13 AM
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And in this day and age of 100+terabit hard drives why are the flight data and voice recorders on a 30 minute loop?
The current standard since 2002 records for data from the preceding 15-25 hours of flight on a minimum of 88 controls and flight parameters.

From what I heard, the VOICE recorder is on a 2 hour loop. So, if they flew for 7 hours after the turn, we wouldn't hear why they made the turn.

To me this is most fascinating. Where the heck did they go and why?
 
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Old 03-18-14, 05:09 PM
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The plane in question was made in the 90's. Would the black box have been upgraded to the newer standard?

Yeah. People don't seem to understand how hard it is to find something in the ocean. The Coast Guard don't have an easy time finding fisherman in the water after their boat sinks and thats when they are given coordinates and can trace an EPIRB.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 05:28 PM
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Seemed obvious enough at first, particularly if they were somehow erroneously off course; some deep water out there, and I have doubts of the signal from a black box overcoming the depths. But no slicks, no debris, and conflicting reports make for a cold winter's night novel. Barring the option of total disintegration of a splash from from that altitude, I'm betting on China going for their largest yet opportunity to cloan free world engineering, or Iran having gotten their hands on the ultimate nuke platform.

Would also be interesting to know what information the U.S., Russia, or maybe someone else is hodling back, simply due to the fact that it is from military surveilance, and they are not willing to show that card.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 05:47 PM
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Thailand just broke news they had contact with an unidentifiable aircraft about the time it should have passed there. It never entered their air space, so they weren't alarmed about it. Another island's inhabitants recall seeing a very large low flying aircraft at the time it would have passed their location. It's on the ground somewhere, being armed for a suicide run, IMO.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 06:05 PM
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I think the muslims took it and are going to use it against someone.
 
  #19  
Old 03-18-14, 11:20 PM
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I was looking over the latest news about the plane that I found doing a Google search and was watching a pilot who said that perhaps the plane had a fire on board. Certainly a possibility for sure as there are a great deal of areas on commercial airliners where wires can fray. Some of those air planes are so automated that is is very hard to fly them manually. Certainly much harder with a fire on the air plane. Of course you might say wouldn't there be an explosion? Maybe and maybe not.

Maybe the planes engines started losing power at the same time the transponder went out and maybe the radio was on the same circuit. This plane though is huge and you would think that somebody would have seen such a huge plane dive into the ocean.

It may be like with Amelia Earhart whose airplane was lost so many years ago that they may never figure out what happened to the plane. Her airplane I think was lost not far from where that plane was lost. I used to have transcripts from the Coast Guard cutter that was tracking her. Even after all of those years parts were blacked out from the transcript. Probably some governments in the area are keeping secret some of what they know about the plane including our government too.
 
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Old 03-18-14, 11:45 PM
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What Muslims? (The word needs to be capitalized.) Islam is the second largest religion in the world with an estimated 1.6 billion followers. Most of them are hard-working, peace loving people just trying to make a living or maintain their family.
 
  #21  
Old 03-19-14, 04:55 AM
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I am now angered how the news media is going crazy reporting that someone very knowledgeable, probably the flight crew, programmed the FMS to make "the turn" because it was such a good turn??? Since when did humans loose the ability to fly a nice turn? And, why is the media blowing up trivial speculation into something almost factual? Are they falling prey to their own hype? Major story, nothing to report, must say something...
 
  #22  
Old 03-19-14, 07:32 AM
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Airlines travel to set destinations and due so repeatedly. So why would a pilot have to manually data enter the destination in for each flight plan every time??? Baffles my mind. (???) Process shown on CNN news yesterday as well as on several other news stations. Old technology seems to me.

Destinations should already be pre-programmed into the computer. Pilot then only needs to select destination(s) and all the rest is automatically set. No deviations allowed unless there is some type of in flight emergency once airborne. And then the choices are very limited. Pilot can then only be able to select nearest airport able to handle the landing and emergency. Ships seek safety too. Ever hear "Any Port In A Storm."... Any nearby airport in an emergency!

Once emergency is dealt with, plane returns to runway, takes off and pilot then can only select the continuation flight plan using ONE button. (RESUME)... Thought here is less manual data entry, less chances for errors and less or no long distance deviations from original flight plans.

Wondering what the freight or cargo was??? Not passenger luggage...:NO NO NO:...Maybe something in the cargo the world would be better off not knowing about???...

Oh I Know!!!
>>>Aliens abducted the plane????<<< GOOD GRIEF<<<.......

 
  #23  
Old 03-19-14, 08:07 AM
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The FMS in the airplane is a stand alone computer in most cases. Unlike some fighter aircraft you don't walk out to the plane with a memory cartridge carrying your mission plan. Crews manually enter in the flight's destination and waypoints. Also flight plans usually change so new data usually has to be entered while in flight.

The air traffic control system is quite antiquated, dynamic and a very mixed bag. Controllers in one area often have little to no communication with another. As a aircraft leaves one area they may get new instructions minutes later when entering a new area. One controller may say fly direct to your destination then hand you off. The next controller may send you off in a different direction or routing depending on conditions, restrictions and policies in their area. If you've ever been on a flight and noticed the plane turning during the middle of the trip... sometimes it can seem like they are sending you off on a wild goose chase and occasionally you even have to remind them of your destination or that they need to let you down so you can land there.

Then there is the flight crew who are the final word on the flight's safety. Ground controllers are not responsible for providing weather information or for routing aircraft around severe weather. Air crews and their companies flight centers are left to pick the best routs for fuel burn, time and safety which especially on long flights can change during the flight.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 09:23 AM
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I don't typically buy into conspiracy theories but with the information currently available it looks obvious to me this was no accident. It's an "inside job" and I'm sure various countries and security agencies know a heck of a lot more than what we're being spoon-fed by the media. We may never know the truth of what happened on this flight.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 02:46 PM
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Air crews and their companies flight centers are left to pick the best routes. Also flight plans usually change so new data usually has to be entered while in flight.
Very interesting points. Then how can a pilot enter in the flight plan incorrectly or alter/modify the plan during initial entry prior to take off. ??? Wouldn't the company see the errors and/or changes live screen at their locations and raise or ask questions as to WHY are you (Pilot) changing the initial plans when plane is still at the airport and not yet even on the runway???? Or anytime prior to landing at the next destination without stating why or obtaining permissions or by mutual agreements based upon changing circumstances, with us at flight control center etc.?????

KNOCK KNOCK... Somebody sleeping on the job over there at flight control center??? Anybody paying ATTENTION over there at the companies flight centers!!!??? A really difficult aspect for me to accept. Get my head around??? Knock knock. Hello NASA. We got a problem!!!

Using the current systems method, pilots manually entering flight plan without oversight? No wonder why errors can be made, without live on remote screen observations and oversight... No body watching???? No prior authority required to alter a flight plan initially nor during almost anytime???? GOOD GRIEF......!!!!

Which could mean I buy at non stop ticket from CA. to NY and windup in Florida???? Pilot error? OH MY!!! Oh Well. Guess if it happened I would take a tourists SINK HOLE tour and a visit to an alligator swamp....HA HA....

Some humor added in my posts granted but learning and also understanding how errors can be made is interesting and appreciated.... Let the discussion continue... We all learn from it. OH YEA! Remind me to check the pilots data entry for errors and/or deviations before I remain on-board to my Plans destination....LOL!

 
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Old 03-19-14, 03:16 PM
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Interesting question raised by one of the talking heads on TV to one of the self proclaimed aviation experts. Why don't the flight attendants have their own emergency radio outside of the flight deck so if they noticed something wrong on the flight deck they could radio it. All agreed it made since but no answer as to why it isn't done. They didn't ask about air marshals but it sure seems like they are left without communication too if something happens on the flight deck.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 03:41 PM
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As mentioned, at 1 AM you have a skeleton crew to handle the owly bird flights and they are not the A-Team, by any means. Nothing ever happens. Everyone knows that. Traffic is light and almost non existent, so there isn't much to do. Not to say it SHOULDN'T be noticed, but after an "alright, good night", the ATC goes back to sleep, assuming it is in Vietnam's airspace, being handed off to them.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 03:48 PM
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There is no control of aircraft from a ground location. Corporate/airline flight centers do not program the FMS of aircraft. They plan/advise/command and give that information to the flight crew who enter it into the aircraft. Errors are made, most are caught before anyone ever notices but occasionally accidents do happen.

Why not have more supervision on the ground? One answer is money. The number of crew on the airplane in mandated and cannot be changed. Money can be saved by fewer people in the office. Another is technology. If there were a system where the ground office could see what the flight crew had programmed in would the aircraft be allowed to fly if that system were innoperative? How would you feel if you missed your cruise because your flight could not depart because the data link to corporate was not working?

---
Do flight crews make mistakes? Yes, and it sometimes makes the news. Thankfully, it usually does not. I once drempt of a hypothetical flight on an American airline into CDG (Paris Charles DeGaulle). Rainy, foggy weather and the wrong runway was entered into the FMS. Controllers said L and R was accidentally selected. The aircraft broke through the clouds and the crew immediately realized the mistake and got the plane onto the correct runway. Would a corporate home office been able to notice the mistake and correct it in time? Probably not. The landing runway was changed only minutes before.

Until we are ready to let Skynet control everything I'm a firm believer in the people with forward facing windows.

---
As a group pilots are extremely responsible and well trained in spite of the slave like treatment when flying for the regionals. I place more trust in the person who's arse is in the aircraft with me and not some person in a office cubicle on the ground. Both ground managers and pilots are responsible people but I still place more trust in the pilot who's arse is also kept alive by properly maintained equipment and jet A.

When fuel prices were at their peak flight departments were dictating to the flight crews how much fuel they could carry. Pilots err on the side of safety. Fuel costs money and carrying fuel you don't use is considered a waste so the people in an office dictated minimal fuel loads. The fuel loads were technically legal under the FARs but most pilots felt that it was not enough for safety. Twice I (passenger) had flights that had minor delays at the destination airport and we very quickly had to divert to take on fuel.
 
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Old 03-19-14, 04:02 PM
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Excellent Point.

The last thing you want is a radio or automatic system malfunctioning, smoldering or burning and you can't kill the power.
Which begs the question then where are the electrical safety devices? Inside the devices and also in the wirings, etc. Over heating safety devices, thermal fuses, fuse-able links and any other electrical safety devices or systems? Automatically shutting off power or shutting down (OFF) equipment? Not built into the planes wiring? Not in the devices? Could it be a cost cutting method to exclude such? If so, then the plane manufacturer is at fault, IMO! Or due we need more government rules and regulations requiring such and oversight? Hopefully not.

Soon maybe cell phone calls will be allowed??? GOOD GRIEF! Imagine having several BOZO'S (which come in both genders) around you all chewing the FAT!!! Ever realize how loud a voice is? Ask for some courtesy hoping to get a lower voice volume or end of call only to be ignored or confronted???... Ever a circumstance to SMACK somebody senseless, that would the situation.... The future of air travel???? On board in flight cell phone calls and confrontations. A happening soon to arrive.......GI2...



Be my luck on my next flight to have two BOZO's, one on each side of me, both jaw boning and chewing the FAT on the cells phones while I am trying to sit there quietly on board reading my GUNS & AMMO magazine...
 
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Old 03-19-14, 06:35 PM
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I think the last thing an airplane needs is bureaucracy to operate. Let the experts (the flight crew) fly the plane.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
Until we are ready to let Skynet control everything I'm a firm believer in the people with forward facing windows.
Is there a "Best Of" section in DIY forum? This gets my vote.

 
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Old 03-20-14, 01:18 PM
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There are electrical safety devices and circuit breakers somewhat similar to your home. The trouble is that something can overheat or cause a fire within the amp rating of a circuit breaker. So, if the crew smells smoke they still need the ability to manually turn things off.

Some electrical items can also fail in the on position and the only way to turn them off is to "pull the breaker". Runaway trim is one that really comes to mind where if it runs away (sticks on) it must be killed ASAP.

---
When talking about wanting to rely more on automatic systems you have to look at the Ethiopian Air 787 at burned at Heathrow. The aircraft was parked with nobody aboard. One of the two emergency locating transmitters (ELT) malfunctioned and caught fire.

The ELT is designed to automatically send out a distress radio beacon in case of a crash. An automatic system whos malfunction caused a major fire. Had it occurred in the air it would have been a major tragedy. Add to that that I don't think an ELT has ever aided in locating a downed passenger jet.
 
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Old 03-20-14, 02:16 PM
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Interesting points. And all correct best as I can recall. Todays radio report claims the manufacturers (Air Bus) CEO said it's time for some upgrades/updates to the systems. I agree. About time and just to bad it takes a tragedy like this one to effect changes and upgrades. Just what changes will be made??? Remains to be determined and when they will be made???? New planes and retrofits to existing?


Maybe Black Boxes that are built into or somehow rapped up in a flotation device. If we already have life jackets, vests and such with auto inflation when wet, seems it could work for Black Boxes too. Either it inflates as a result of water or can still signal semi rapped up or built into a case and remain dry. Best of all worlds??? Break a way auto inflation??? Boggles the mind why they are even allowed to sink to the bottom of the sea and not be tractable. (???)

Hopefully, the airplane and black boxes will soon be located. And the reason(s) for loss determined.

Until then we all can do is wait it out while downing a BREW or TWO...

 
  #34  
Old 03-20-14, 05:09 PM
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Sharp Advice I think you have the makings of a good idea about the black box and hopefully one that will be forwarded to the FAA or whoever will get changes made. How about something added to that though in case of emergency where there is no other option an emergency beacon is launched.

Something by the way that is very old going way back to the original Star Trek and was to be launched in an absolute emergency and would contain ships logs and what was going on inside of the ship at the time of the emergency with video and audio. If a plane went too far off its original course without radio acknowledgement then the device would be automatically launched without a way to stop it.
 
  #35  
Old 03-21-14, 05:27 AM
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The idea of intentionally letting any part of an aircraft go or launching something is a "non starter". There are far too many technical, safety and legal issues. Dumping fuel, though once more common, is becoming a thing of the past largely for legal and environmental reasons.

There is however a plan that aircraft, when sensing a problem, would upload important data to satellites. There are too many aircraft and too much data for all to continuously upload useless info but if only done during emergencies or when problems arise then it becomes much more workable. We got a taste of that with Air France 447 where even the little bit of automated maintenance data was very helpful.

You've still got the problem though that someone knowledgeable can turn the system off. Aircraft have and will have for the foreseeable future a way of turning things off. There are many incidents that have not become accidents because the flight crew have been able to do what it takes in an emergency. Any data upload system will need a connection to much of the aircraft's systems and a power source both of which are potential sources of trouble that may need to be cut in an emergency.
 
  #36  
Old 03-21-14, 02:07 PM
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You are right I agree with you Pilot Dane what might work in outer space and on a science fiction show certainly wouldn't work here. Speaking of space though and your idea of a satellite why not have many dedicated satellites designed with international cooperation hovering above. Just listening for any danger to a plane and if spotted could send a signal out that the plane might be in trouble.

I still think such a device has to be made so it can't be tampered with as you certainly wouldn't want terrorists to get their hands on such a device and then destroy it.
 
  #37  
Old 03-21-14, 04:01 PM
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As usual a lot comes down to money. And honestly I'm not sure it's the best way to spend money on safety.
It is still not required that children ride in their own seat with a seat belt.
Passenger airbags are only in premium class cabins on some carriers.
Fuel tank inerting is very slowly being phased in.
Regional airline flight crew fly very fatiguing (dangerous) schedules for little pay.
Advanced air traffic control consistently suffers every time there is a budget problem.
Air cargo crews are exempted from many regulations (who says lobbying doesn't pay off).
Passenger seats & their mounts are still too weak and consistently fail in accidents.

I'm reluctant to spend billions of dollars to locate an aircraft that has already crashed. Yes there is great benefit but it's an extreme amount of money that I guess would be vitally important in maybe one crash every ten years. I would much rather see the money go something more meat & potatoes to protect lives.
 
  #38  
Old 03-21-14, 04:49 PM
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Wow. I didn't realize there were airbags on planes at all. Must be nice to be rich.

Look at what had to happen to get locks on the cockpit door.
 
  #39  
Old 03-22-14, 04:51 AM
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The air bags are in the seat belts. They are a pack a bit wider than the seat belt webbing and about an inch thick.
 
  #40  
Old 03-22-14, 10:07 AM
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Maybe Black Boxes that are built into or somehow rapped up in a flotation device. If we already have life jackets, vests and such with auto inflation when wet, seems it could work for Black Boxes too. Either it inflates as a result of water or can still signal semi rapped up or built into a case and remain dry. Best of all worlds??? Break a way auto inflation??? Boggles the mind why they are even allowed to sink to the bottom of the sea and not be tractable. (???)
The idea of intentionally letting any part of an aircraft go or launching something is a "non starter". There are far too many technical, safety and legal issues. Dumping fuel, though once more common, is becoming a thing of the past largely for legal and environmental reasons.
In my worded paragraph above pertaining to Black Boxes, I never intended to imply that device leaves the airplane while still in the air nor anytime during flight. :NO NO NO: As worded I can see how that could be implied. My error for incorrectly wording the above and leaving that window of thought open.

>>>Not until after impact.<<< AND Regardless of how the wreckage comes to rest on the sea bottom. The black box must somehow be able to escape the confines of the fuselage shortly after impact on water or sometime not long after impact on water. Inflate and float to the surface or close enough to the surface and above wreckage so the signal can be more easily located. Maybe remain attached via a cord or some type of lanyard cord method(s) so it gets located quickly after impact and also allows wreckage to be located at the same time. (???)

There will always be some whom have opposition. Excuses and or illogical reason(s) as to why the above and many other improvements/changes cannot occur. If we allow ourselves to hold in our minds our own roadblocks and obstacles why we can't due something or have an unwillingness (resistance) to even slight changes or modifications, we would never have advanced or improved upon anything we have now.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't function until it is open! YES we can. Not no we can't. There is a way or method. No we Won't change??? :NO NO NO: Thankfully NASA understands it takes an OPEN mind or we would never had landed on the Moon or Mars!...
 
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