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Technofreak
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  #1012416 25-Mar-2014 13:24
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hairy1:
KiwiNZ: I wonder if the Black boxes can be changed so they not only record data they upload the data. 


This already happens for some parameters. It goes via..... you guessed it... ACARS...

ACARS via sat is expensive and as everyone wants a cheap flight these days this data gathering is an expensive way to get ACMS off the aircraft.


Yep, ACARS does a lot of this now. As I understand it ACARS will use a one of the VHF radios as first choice, the HF radios as second choice and then satellite as the third choice.  It doesn't rely on one medium to transmit the signal.




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mattwnz
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  #1012485 25-Mar-2014 13:56
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hairy1: It will certainly be interesting to see what implications this has for the world wide aircraft fleet. Pretty much anything on an aircraft can be turned off (with a switch and a circuit breaker) due to fire risk. A continuous tracking device inaccessible from the flight deck would create some implementation headaches. 


They really need a system that can track the aircraft, which is totally independent of the electrical system in a plane.  It is really only luck that they could track the pings of the aircraft, as that isn't something most people were aware of. If that hadn't existed, then we wouldn't have any idea where it is at all. If the airline had subscribed to that $10 service which sends information back to land, they possibly would have probably known the location a lot earlier, which could have meant that search teams could have been dispatched to that area to look for survivors. Because it is two weeks down the track, no one could survive in the sea for that long. It is possibly a question people now need to ask of their airline when booking overseas travel, whether they subscribe to that service.

Technofreak
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  #1012497 25-Mar-2014 14:08
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mattwnz:
hairy1: It will certainly be interesting to see what implications this has for the world wide aircraft fleet. Pretty much anything on an aircraft can be turned off (with a switch and a circuit breaker) due to fire risk. A continuous tracking device inaccessible from the flight deck would create some implementation headaches. 


They really need a system that can track the aircraft, which is totally independent of the electrical system in a plane.  It is really only luck that they could track the pings of the aircraft, as that isn't something most people were aware of. If that hadn't existed, then we wouldn't have any idea where it is at all. If the airline had subscribed to that $10 service which sends information back to land, they possibly would have probably known the location a lot earlier, which could have meant that search teams could have been dispatched to that area to look for survivors. Because it is two weeks down the track, no one could survive in the sea for that long. It is possibly a question people now need to ask of their airline when booking overseas travel, whether they subscribe to that service.


They did know a whole lot earlier, as I mentioned in an earlier post.  They chose to ignore that information, they should have been looking in the Indian Ocean to the south west of Australia two weeks ago.

There's far more important stuff to worry about than the $10 service fee you mention.




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MikeB4
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  #1012501 25-Mar-2014 14:09
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Technofreak:
hairy1:
KiwiNZ: I wonder if the Black boxes can be changed so they not only record data they upload the data. 


This already happens for some parameters. It goes via..... you guessed it... ACARS...

ACARS via sat is expensive and as everyone wants a cheap flight these days this data gathering is an expensive way to get ACMS off the aircraft.


Yep, ACARS does a lot of this now. As I understand it ACARS will use a one of the VHF radios as first choice, the HF radios as second choice and then satellite as the third choice.  It doesn't rely on one medium to transmit the signal.


Is ACARS independent of the pilot? is it safe from intervention or tampering? am I right in thinking that it does not have it's own power supply like the Blackbox?

Sounddude
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  #1012504 25-Mar-2014 14:17
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Technofreak:
It's locked now from take off actually before take off.  There's the possibility that the crew could be incapacitated and there is no way of anyone getting into the cockpit to resolve the situation, the aircraft just flies until it runs out of fuel, this could even be the case in the MH370 incident.


Before 9/11 you could actually kick the door panels of the cockpit door in. For SAR purposes.

After 9/11 any planes flying into USA airspace had to be reinforced.



Technofreak
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  #1012750 25-Mar-2014 21:17
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Interesting article in the NZ Herald from the weekend.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11224111

I wonder if we will ever know why it took so long to change the focus of the search




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sonyxperiageek
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  #1012762 25-Mar-2014 21:30
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There's still no actual concrete proof!




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frankv
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  #1012922 26-Mar-2014 09:37
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mattwnz:
They really need a system that can track the aircraft, which is totally independent of the electrical system in a plane.


This is already available (Google "Spidertracks"). But not for commercial aircraft. However, if you're suggesting that it wouldn't be able for the pilots to turn it off then it needs to be guaranteed 100% safe under *all* circumstances. That in turn means a bazillion dollars and several years worth of testing. For example, the black boxes are of the order of $100K each. If the pilots could turn it off, then I suspect that it wouldn't have helped in the MH370 case.

FWIW, I think the "$10 per flight" cost of ACARS is a red herring. Spidertracks is affordable for private pilots... its cost, and the cost of ACARS, would be negligible in the context of an airliner.  Trucking companies have been using this kind of technology for many years.... if it is economic to track a $1million truck, then it's surely economic to track a $100m airliner. A continuous data link would remove the need for those expensive black boxes. Probably even more affordable would be to include the aircraft tracking datalink in the aircraft's Internet connection, as provided by many airlines (not MAS) nowadays.

However, also, the commercial aviation industry is extremely conservative, and extremely bureaucratic. (The standing joke is that a new aircraft is not allowed to take flight until it is outweighed by its paperwork). It takes decades for a new technology to be officially accepted e.g. GPS has been available to Joe Public for 20+ years, and (unless you have an aviation certified device which has had a bazillion dollars worth of testing and documentation and consequently costs $10K) it is still not legal to use it for aerial navigation. Unfortunately, this conservatism is often counter-productive in terms of safety.... whilst it guarantees that any aviation-certified device is safe, it also guarantees that the device will be expensive, and not available for many years.


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  #1013035 26-Mar-2014 11:27
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Apparently back to Pilot Suicide, but I can't see it somehow. To kill yourself you would just get to say 10K feet and point the nose at the ground, it's over. Secondly, not many people would kill themselves at the expense of 238 other peoples lives. Seems insufficient motive to my mind.

frankv
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  #1013087 26-Mar-2014 12:14
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If the aircraft did track back westward across Malaysia and then turned south, it means someone was in control of it not only at the time the transponder was turned off, but also half an hour or so later. That in turn seems to preclude pilot incapacitation by fire or decompression.

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  #1013089 26-Mar-2014 12:16
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Unless it was all in the FMC already.




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frankv
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  #1013094 26-Mar-2014 12:26
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True.

But I think that whether the FMC was programmed, or whether it was flown manually, still leads to the same conclusion... the intent was to destroy the aircraft.

gzt

gzt
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  #1013107 26-Mar-2014 12:39
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I find the crazy pilot theory plausible, but murder of a couple of hundred people before taking a joyride is still breathtaking

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  #1013129 26-Mar-2014 12:57
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Well due to non response of the Thai Malay and Indonesian airforce we will probably never know why




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


Technofreak
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  #1013333 26-Mar-2014 18:06
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networkn: Apparently back to Pilot Suicide, but I can't see it somehow. To kill yourself you would just get to say 10K feet and point the nose at the ground, it's over. Secondly, not many people would kill themselves at the expense of 238 other peoples lives. Seems insufficient motive to my mind.


I tend to agree with you.  If it was suicide the only reason I can see for flying to the the presumed crash location could be to make it hard to prove suicide, as finding the wreckage and CVR and FDR would be difficult




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