Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Tag: <span>MH370</span>

Aviation Industry: Time for a Black Box Upgrade

Woodland Hills, CA — (ReleaseWire) — 07/07/2016 –No one is saying that aircraft tracking doesn’t need an overhaul. It does. Examination of plane crash events demands it.

Aviation experts have been asking for pinger battery improvements since a month after the crash of Air France 447 on 1 June 2009, when the pinger battery ran down in July. Air France 447 was not recovered from the ocean floor until May 2011, nearly two years after it was lost. Debris from the accident was recovered in the interim, but if the pinger had been louder, or the battery designed to last longer, then there’s a good chance that the plane would have been discovered sooner. One of the outcomes of this terrible event was a determination to design a pinger system with longer lasting batteries. EASA amended requirements for flight recorders and underwater locating devices in its 2013-26 amendment(RMT.0400 & RMT.0401 (OPS.090(A) & OPS.090(B)) — 20.12.2013) but implementing these requirements takes a prohibitively long time.

Aviation experts have been asking for better tracking technology since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in China. Because this plane departed from its planned route, finding where it came down has been a unique challenge. Inmarsat’s satellite communications network concluded that the flight continued until at least 08:19 and flew south into the southern Indian Ocean. Triangulation of Inmarsat’s satellite communications has been the only credible source searchers depend on to develop the search area.

Aviation experts have been suggesting the blackbox be water-activated (or have water-activated duplicates) with flotation of some kind so the blackbox can be found faster. More recently, aviation experts have wondered about EgyptAir Flight 804 which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on 19 May 2016. It was known fairly precisely where it came down, and yet salvage and rescue units were unable to be on the scene in time to help any survivors—if survivors there had been. We will never know because no one was there. And while tracking the location of the blackbox fell within the thirty day battery limit, if the technology had more power, it could have been located sooner. Finding the wreckage sooner means less money spent on the search, and a shorter time for the families agonizing over their losses.

So here is what is new: Inmarsat provides SwiftBroadband service for plane’s inflight Wi-Fi on many aircraft. Immarsat is developing a streaming system described as a “blackbox in the cloud.” This streaming system they are working on will allow crucial data to be streamed off a plane on the occasion of specified trigger events like a course deviation or disappearance from radar.

One only need consider a few factors to realize that a cloud-based system is a crucial development that current technology can easily handle. We need only to look at the cost of the search for a missing plane. According to France and Brazil, those two countries spent more than $40 million over two years to recover the black boxes from Air France Flight 447. Bloomberg reported the recovery cost of Air France 447 was $100 million. According to the South China Post, the cost of the (as yet unfound) MH370 will be as much as ten times more than AF447. Like the expense of MH370’s search, the cost of finding EgyptAir Flight 804 is still ongoing.

Even when Inmarsat’s streaming system will be available, the aviation industry is going to be resistant, mostly because it is going to be costly. Is this a cost that we must afford? I think it is.

Let me know your thoughts on this crucial topic at https://twitter.com/GeorgeHatcher

Australian Scientist Claims Monitoring Cloud Changes Can Help Locate MH370

While the search for missing MH370 continues, an Australian scientist has claimed that cloud microphysics can help in locating the plane.

According to Hydrometeorologist Aron Gingis, the technology is capable of identifying the cloud changes caused by the vapor trails which are left behind by fuel emissions of the plane. He claimed that this technology has been successfully used to track shipwrecks in the Pacific Ocean.

In a formal communication to the Malaysian High Commissioner Eldeen Husaini, Gingis wrote on April 3, “I believe that we have a realistic chance to follow flight path of Malaysian Airline MH370 and follow its flight direction and possibly identifying its landing or crash site…I would be required to fly to KL and to have a detailed briefing with Malaysian search and rescue authorities in order to be able to identify and search for specific satellite availability and all satellite data imagery frames that we can analyse using our cloud microphysics algorithms. The traveling to KL and back to Melbourne and 1 day briefing session will be sufficient to explain to your search and rescue authorities as of our ability to identify the flying trails of MH370…I believe that we will be able to utilize our expertise and identify the flight pass of MH370 and then to direct the search and rescue authorities to save or recover MH370 passengers.”

Gingis offered to provide help for $17500, however, both Malaysian and Australian authorities have rejected his offer.

MH17 Tragedy: US to Support Malaysia’s Resolution in ICAO Council

Malaysia’s Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has visited the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Washington DC on October 24.

In a statement released after the meeting, Liow thanked the US Government for supporting Malaysia in the aftermath of MH370 and MH17 tragedies. He announced that the US has promised to support a resolution to be put forward by Malaysia to the ICAO Council in the wake of MH17 disaster.

“Specifically the ICAO Resolution strongly reaffirms the need for all states to comply with international law that prohibits acts of violence that pose a threat to the safety of international civil aviation and stresses the importance of all states assisting with the continuation and finalisation of a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident…In light of these tragedies, it is clear that the international community must collaborate closely and take greater steps towards improving safety and security in civil aviation,” he said.

Liow will be attending the 203rd Session of the ICAO Council early next week in Montreal, Canada. Regarding the inputs to the ICAO Council, he said, “Malaysia intends to present its views and input to the ICAO Council, with a view towards seeking consensus on this matter…Among the matters I will put forward to the ICAO Council include the need to improve aircraft tracking by implementing real-time tracking as well as the need for sharing of information pertaining to flight risks.”

Global Aviation Facing Critical Issues; Conclude Panelists at 20th World Routes Development Forum

Renowned panelists in the first panel discussion at the 20th World Routes Development Forum, which was held in Chicago on September 21, concluded that the global aviation industry is currently facing 5 critical challenges.

As per the results of live polling moderated by BBC World News presenter, Aaron Heslehurst, the delegates regarded infrastructure as the most critical challenge, with aviation profitability, safety/security, taxation and oil price stability being the other 4.

At the start of the session, the issue of safety and security was discussed, particularly in context of the recent incidents of MH17 and MH370. Managing director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Datuk Badlisham Ghazali appreciated the actions taken by the ICAO and other bodies in order to improve aviation safety, however, he emphasized on the need of enhanced visibility from global aviation bodies regarding the industrial developments aimed at increasing safety. Referring to MH17 tragedy, he said, “The industry needs to move forward in more visible way. Response has not been as visible as what I had hoped for.”

The issue of aircrafts flying over conflict area in eastern Ukraine was also brought up during the discussion. Thomas Windmuller, SVP airports, passenger and cargo services at IATA, asked why some airlines had the vital information not to fly while the others were not aware.

Profitability was another point of discussion in the forum and according to Windmuller, “We are in a period of sustained growth in volume, but not necessarily profitability. The number of airlines that recover their capital cost is very small… The problem is not just airlines, it is aviation. There are very few parts and components that are making big money. These include airports, and air navigation services, who do not make a profit, and do not cover their long-term capital costs.”

The delegate voting regarded Infrastructure challenges as the most serious issue being faced by the aviation industry today. The current investment in aviation infrastructure development projects vary a great deal from country to country. In some countries like China, big investments are being made for infrastructure development while in some other countries this trend is non-existent.

Trey Urbahn, the chief strategy officer of Azul Brazilian Airlines, said that the most pressing issue being faced by Brazilian aviation industry today is taxation. Giving example of Azul Brazilian Airlines, he said that 36% of the company’s profit go on taxes and that the company is working with the government to address this serious issue. He suggested that the taxation garnered should be re-invested for infrastructure development.

Malaysia Air Asia Runway Excursion, Plane Skids off Runway

Selfie posted online, excursion in background
Selfie posted online, excursion in background
An Air Asia Airbus A320 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Brunei International Airport, Brunei suffered a runway excursion on landing.

The airplane touched down and went off the side of the runway, and stopped in soft turf.

Passengers disembarked via emergency slides directly on to the runway.

The landing occurred under wet conditions.


Tracking Down #MH370 or Physics of an Air Space Game of Marco Polo

The guessing/math triangulating the path of Inmarsat’s pings was the only thing experts seemed to agree on regarding to pinning down the location of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Yet at the location, at least, the location according to the data laying out the path according to Inmarsat’s analysis, nothing was found in the recent search of the ocean floor off the coast of Australia. The engineers and mathematicians involved may have done their best but the guess seems to have been faulty or otherwise off somehow. If you will pardon the circular reasoning, if only we knew how it was off, we would know how it was off.

Investigators have come up with two maps that can be drawn based on the ping data, based on the speed. The variation is due to considerations of the pings which do not indicate the speed or direction the plane was moving, but only the probable distance between plane and satellite. See Inmarsat’s global representation …


However, there is opposition to the Inmarsat calculations which is presented by * Michael Exner (founder of the American Mobile Satellite Corporation) **Duncan Steel(physicist and visiting scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center) and satellite technology consultant ***Tim Farrar which presents other data that should be considered. See the Dopplar shift jpg…


My pragmatic response to these experts is a major simplification: just that the plane did not disappear into a textbook, under textbook conditions. The pings occurred in a real atmosphere, with atmospheric variations that were not and possibly could not have been taken into account. Not only are the speed, direction and height of the aircraft factors that must be taken into account, but also the quality of the atmosphere, density, weather, etc, plus factors that a non-mathmatical, non-scientist like myself would not even know how to bring into the picture. In this search at least, the untested math used is as vulnerable as statistics is to presenting a defective or imprecise representation, or a representation which would only be true under certain conditions.

For further study on this, * Michael Exner, the Atlantic Official Explanation article, input from physicist **Duncan Steele (who calculates “a uniform ring radius based on the aircraft-satellite range given the elevation angle and the satellite’s altitude, and the latitude of the sub-satellite point, the aircraft being taken to be at the same latitude in this simplified geometry; and satellite consultant***Tim Farrar.

Indian Airlines to Employ Real-Time Plane Tracking; Orders DGCA

The civil aviation regulator of India has issued a directive, ordering the airlines to use real-time tracking for locating the planes.

In the directive, the Director General Prabhat Kumar has obligated the airlines to track all of their aircrafts with the on-board Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) or Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B). In areas where these two systems do not have coverage, the airlines will be required to devise other mechanisms to ensure real-time tracking. Operators will also need to ensure that the real-time tracking systems are in working condition before the flight.

The order has been issued in context of the preliminary report released by Malaysian authorities, which revealed that the flight 370 could not be located because the aircraft did not transmit its coordinates in real-time.

According to the statement released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), “While commercial air transport aircrafts spend considerable amount of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no international requirement for real time tracking of the aircraft. This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner.”

Sara Bajc on MH370, plus some thoughts on conspiracy theories

Sara Bajc, partner of Philip Wood, a passenger who is presumed lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, does not believe believe that #MH370 crashed and is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. She believes the plane is intact because there have been no bodies, no wreckage, no black boxes found and published in the media.

This isn’t news. It is one woman’s opinion. Probably the opinion of many family members of those aboard the plane. And why not? If I had someone lost aboard a missing plane, I too would probably support any kind of theory that kept hope of their survival alive. Can’t put a price on hope.


What if there were a cockpit fire that emitted toxic smoke and destroyed electronics?

What if someone shot down the plane?

What if someone used some new Sci-Fi-like weapon?

What if Malaysia did track the plane on March 8 as this tabloid says?

What if the UK firm Inmarsat tracking is wrong? What if it is right?

I’ve written enough fiction (and lived in spitting distance of Hollywood’s crazy cereal of fruits, nuts and flakes) to know that the marriage of “what if” and a couple of rational-sounding factoids can birth everything from a practically real-life scenario to wildly impossible science-fiction-fantasy voodoo whacko-crazy delights. So there you have it.

You know what I believe? No one has the answers. Until someone is standing in front of me with proof, in my not-so-secret heart of hearts published in full naked glory out here on the internet, I will believe that anyone who says they think they know…is paranoid.

Now…how can I fit all of this into a tweet?

Malaysia Search Update

Examination of salvage floating off the coast of Australia revealed riveted sheet-metal that is not believed to be part of the missing plane, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has said.

The matter was found 6 miles east of Augusta. The search has been ongoing since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s disappearance on March 8, guided by data, hampered by bad weather.

The search is continuing based on analysis of the location of the pings that were detected before the black boxes’ pinger battery ran out. It had been expected to last 30 days. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing had been en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing and veered far off course for unknown reasons, leaving a puzzle perplexing international authorities.

Read more:

New Malaysian MH370 Investigation Team Appointed by Government

#MH370 Statement by Orion Captain regarding #Search Status

MH370: One Ping Does Not A Discovery Make. Or Does it?

Prime Minister Endorses Australian-based search

Malaysia Airlines MH370 Where Are You? Can Satellites Tell Us

Stolen Passports aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

No Mayday, then Gone

Malaysia Airlines Flight Update

Malaysia Airlines Flight Missing

New Malaysian MH370 Investigation Team Appointed by Government

In order “…to evaluate, investigate and determine the actual cause of the accident so similar accidents could be avoided in the future” an international team has been appointed by the government of Malaysia to investigate MH370.

Australia reports debris washing ashore that may be connected to the crash. If the debris proves to be from the plane, ocean patterns may be studied to help establish positioning. If the debris is related, it will be the first hard evidence found.

The current search focuses in a 10-kilometer radius of the area of pings sourced, it is believed, from MH370’s black boxes before the ping batteries ran out.

Poor weather conditions have curtailed air searches, although ships have continued.

The position of Malaysian authorities is that the plane was deliberately diverted, but mechanical failure has not been ruled out.

#MH370 Statement by Orion Captain regarding #Search Status

In a public statement, after the April 8 day’s search for #MH370, RAAF P3 Orion captain Flt Lt glasssaid that he was optimistic about the wreckage being found.

Unlike the AF447 search at a parallel point in the search timeline one month in, there has been no visual confirmation of any wreckage or debris, possibly due to tropical storms in the Indian Ocean. The official statement is that the pings have been narrowed down to a twelve mile radius, but searchers are still trying to narrow this area.

Once the area has been narrowed down, an autonomous underwater vehicle will be deployed in a grid (so-called Mowing Lawn pattern) until wreckage has been located.

If the wreckage is found soon, it will have taken twenty-three months less than the search for Air France 447. So one should be perhaps less optimistic about the search, and more determined.

Most recently, Australia announced the search area down to 75,000 sq km. Searchers plan to keep using the Ocean Shield, because it searches more area faster. Once the area is pinned down, they plan to deploy the AUV.

MH370: One Ping Does Not A Discovery Make. Or Does it?

An underwater locator beacon (ULB) such as the one on the black boxes (CVR) Cockpit Voice Recorder and FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on 37.5 kHz for about 30 days at 4°C temperature. They run on lithium-ion batteries, and “mileage” may vary; 30 days is the minimum expectation. This is all relevant to today’s news because the Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 which is one of the ships equipped with a pinger locator, has heard a ping in the South Indian Ocean.

The particular frequency was selected because it is not one that occurs in nature.

Although Malaysia Airlines told the public that “This battery is not replaceable,” the ULB batteries had been scheduled for battery replacement in 2012, but were not replaced by Dukane Seacom, the original equipment manufacturer of the beacons. (Dukane Seacom either replaces the entire pinger or installed new batteries.) If replacement was not performed by toe OEM or other parties, the actual ping time may be less than 30 days.

One ping in an ocean does not a discovery make. The wreckage has not been located, nor the ping confirmed. But we can still hope this is a step in the right direction.

Latest Video Coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search

Videos below not visible on the front page
Readers and subscribers, please feel free to tweet @georgehatcher if you have more current MH370 news.

AL Jazeera says Chinese ire over MH370 is hurting Malaysia ties.
Chinese protests put a face on the lost passengers. China officials feel public pressure from the grief and anger of the Chinese people.

The search for debris from #MH370 has been moved north based on alternative estimates of speed.

The zone of focus, 1100 kilometers away is outside of the “roaring forties” air zone, taking the search out of bad weather.

New computation of location is based on faster speeds, faster usage of fuel based on Kuala Lumpar data. Termed the most credible lead.

Pencarian beralih, pesawat bergerak lebih pantas

Families wish the information was coming faster and staged a walk-out after a disappointing press conference. Hopes are high in some areas that debris will be found on Saturday’s search.

Malaysia Moves Ahead with Formula One Race In Spite of MH370 Crash

Formula one racing in Malaysia will be organized as planned, despite the Prime Minister’s confirmation about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 crashing and killing all on board.

However, the organizers have decided to scale down the planned activities considering the somber atmosphere after the MH370 tragedy. The weekend concerts have been cancelled as “a sign of respect to the families and next-of-kin of the crew and passengers of flight MH370.” The concerts featured pop star Christina Aguilera.

Britain’s Mirror newspaper reported that Mercedes had planned to run “Come Home MH370” signage on all its W05 cars during the Grand Prix weekend. However, DPA news agency reports that Mercedes will now run the words “Tribute to MH370” on the cars at Sepang.

Sepang circuit boss Razlan Razali said that the F1 race was planned a long time ago, and it cannot be cancelled, despite pressure from various sides.

Arclight Films Halts the Preproduction of ‘Deep Water’ After MH370 tragedy

Malaysian airlines
While the real life mystery of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappearance hit the headlines, Australian film producer Alister Grierson revealed that this real life event is eerily similar to the story line of his upcoming action horror film ‘Deep water’.

Considering the sensitivity of scenario, Arclight Films on Monday announced that they have decided to pause the work on Deep water. The film company’s managing director Gary Hamilton said ‘Out of sensitivity to the Malaysia flight situation, we’ve decided to put it on pause for now’.

The film is based on the story of plane crash survivors who have to face and fight hungry sharks.

The post is an update of “Alister Grierson Says Malaysian Plane Incident Resembles the Plot of “Deep Water

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