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Old April 3 2014, 11:47 AM   #346
Starkers
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

You have to wonder if this isn't going to end up an unsolved mystery. Although I've heard it mentioned that if the black box has dropped into colder water this might extend the battery life of the pinger, given they still don't seem sure exactly where the plane went down this may not help very much
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Old April 3 2014, 12:47 PM   #347
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Starkers wrote: View Post
You have to wonder if this isn't going to end up an unsolved mystery. Although I've heard it mentioned that if the black box has dropped into colder water this might extend the battery life of the pinger, given they still don't seem sure exactly where the plane went down this may not help very much
I believe it will be solved, but not necessarily quickly.
I mean it took almost two years to find the main wreck(and the black boxes) of Air France flight 447, even if they had bodies plus floating pieces found before. Its been barely a month with this search, so the whole thing has really just begun.
I would hope speedy result though, for the sake of the families and so on.
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Old April 3 2014, 01:17 PM   #348
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

With the Air France flight they at least knew roughly where the plane had gone down though and the area wasn't as inhospitable. I guess the trouble is, even if they find the wreckage and the black box it won't neccesarily explain what happened.
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Old April 3 2014, 07:56 PM   #349
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

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I think it is about time all aircraft were fitted with the 90 day batteries.

A friend also asked me if it was possible to make black boxes float as she said it would make them easier to find and recover. My agument against this was that it would mean that black boxes might no longer be near the rest of the wreckage.
I would think any system that would make them float might compromise the level of near indestructibility they have. They'd have to find a way to to get both without compromising either. If it floated it would still, largely, stay near the wreckage just based on how ocean currents and such work. It'd also be easy to find since I suspect its transmissions would be easier to detect.

Which, you'd think, that it'd be possible for the signals from the things to be more detectable from satellites even if the boxes are at the bottom of the ocean. But that, again, goes back to any such system maybe compromising the heartiness of the devices.
I've heard ideas about the plane ejecting a pinging buoy upon hitting the water, or about to. The actual data recorders don't need to float.

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Old April 4 2014, 12:59 AM   #350
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Mr Awe wrote: View Post
I've heard ideas about the plane ejecting a pinging buoy upon hitting the water, or about to.
In the case of MH370, if the plane had been equipped with such a system it would not have made a difference because it would surely have been disabled. But it would have sped up the search for Air France 447.
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Old April 4 2014, 01:30 AM   #351
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Captrek wrote: View Post
Mr Awe wrote: View Post
I've heard ideas about the plane ejecting a pinging buoy upon hitting the water, or about to.
In the case of MH370, if the plane had been equipped with such a system it would not have made a difference because it would surely have been disabled. But it would have sped up the search for Air France 447.
I think the "idea" is it'd be part of a recovery system for the flight recorders that could not be turned off.
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Old April 4 2014, 03:26 AM   #352
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post
Mr Awe wrote: View Post
I've heard ideas about the plane ejecting a pinging buoy upon hitting the water, or about to.
In the case of MH370, if the plane had been equipped with such a system it would not have made a difference because it would surely have been disabled. But it would have sped up the search for Air France 447.
I think the "idea" is it'd be part of a recovery system for the flight recorders that could not be turned off.
I'm not sure how feasible it would be to engineer it so that it cannot be disabled. Assuming it can be done, what will we do with it? Go back in time and install it on Flight 370? When do you think this situation is going to come up again?

(I feel kind of uneasy saying that, because it could happen again tomorrow. AFAIK, no measures have been implemented in the past few weeks that will prevent an immediate recurrence. But we're not talking about an immediate solution.)
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Old April 4 2014, 04:34 AM   #353
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

I'm not sure how feasible it would be to engineer it so that it cannot be disabled.
Um, it'd be pretty easy. You just don't put an "on/off" switch between the device and the power-source. The only way to deactivate it would be to mess with the fuses/breakers which wouldn't be easy or even always possible to do.

And, no, it wouldn't help in this situation but why if something isn't going to retroactively solve a problem a reason to not do it? The idea to prevent this from happening again as there's been a handful of time planes have crashed and searched for the flight recorders have stretched on for very long times when certainly means exist to make them more traceable.
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Old April 4 2014, 12:27 PM   #354
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
I'm not sure how feasible it would be to engineer it so that it cannot be disabled.
Um, it'd be pretty easy. You just don't put an "on/off" switch between the device and the power-source. The only way to deactivate it would be to mess with the fuses/breakers which wouldn't be easy or even always possible to do.
Yeah, it wouldn't be hard at all. Perhaps the best way to do it to make it so, and to protect it from being damaged by the crash is to mount it externally on the plane somewhere and make it fully self contained. I'm picturing something on the tail that employs the same technology found in airbag systems in cars. It would have some sort of sensor to detect high g force or impact and the same explosive system found in airbags. It would be powered by a battery and have no connection whatsoever to any of the plane's systems.
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Old April 4 2014, 01:23 PM   #355
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

^ And put it somewhere it could only be accessed from the outside of the plane...and hard wire it into the power system so no fuses could be pulled, except from the unit itself, which would be inaccessible.

And make the flight recorder do more than 2 hours, but the entire flight. Like was mentioned earlier, there's no reason to limit it anymore. Digital is the way to go.

And maybe have a tamper resistant video recording system in the cockpit, to go along with the voice recorder.
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Old April 4 2014, 03:04 PM   #356
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Captrek wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Captrek wrote: View Post

In the case of MH370, if the plane had been equipped with such a system it would not have made a difference because it would surely have been disabled. But it would have sped up the search for Air France 447.
I think the "idea" is it'd be part of a recovery system for the flight recorders that could not be turned off.
I'm not sure how feasible it would be to engineer it so that it cannot be disabled. Assuming it can be done, what will we do with it? Go back in time and install it on Flight 370? When do you think this situation is going to come up again?

(I feel kind of uneasy saying that, because it could happen again tomorrow. AFAIK, no measures have been implemented in the past few weeks that will prevent an immediate recurrence. But we're not talking about an immediate solution.)
Really, no planes will crash over water again? Plane crashes in general are 1 in a million, but we still have data and voice recorders.

It's clear they need some improvements to this system. Easier to find underwater and harder/impossible to disable yet addresses safety concerns of not being able to switch off.

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Old April 4 2014, 07:39 PM   #357
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post
^ And put it somewhere it could only be accessed from the outside of the plane...and hard wire it into the power system so no fuses could be pulled, except from the unit itself, which would be inaccessible.
You can't have something in your aircraft's power system without a fuse or a breaker, unless you want to run the risk of a fire in that circuit burning your plane up.
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Old April 4 2014, 08:07 PM   #358
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Mr Awe wrote: View Post
Really, no planes will crash over water again?
The subject under discussion is the necessity of designing a locator buoy so that it cannot be disabled. That's not necessary for typical crashes over water. It's only necessary when a plane that has been lost is deliberately crashed into water by a pilot who is trying to prevent the plane from being found.

This has happened I think twice in history. The holes in the system will presumably be addressed, hopefully with reasonable alacrity, so that it won't be so easy for a malicious pilot to disappear in the first place. (For example, a simple solution may be having the ACARS frequently update its position.) So this is an extremely rare event that might never happen again.
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Old April 5 2014, 01:06 PM   #359
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

BBC is reporting that a Chinese ship, taking part in the search, has found a signal. But nothing definite yet.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26902127
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Old April 5 2014, 05:53 PM   #360
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Re: Malaysian airliner feared lost..

China's Liberation Daily reported that three people on board had heard the signals, which were not recorded as they came suddenly.
And then stopped as suddenly?
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