Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by MANT!, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Still, it might be another case of a "dry run..."
     
  2. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    OK, I'm confused. News reports are saying that radar indicated the plane may have turned back before disappearing.

    Is radar the only clue we have as to the location of the plane? Don’t commercial airliners have transponders in constant contact with air control? Taxi companies have GPS devices that tell them the location of every car in the fleet in real time; I'd expect airlines to do the same with their planes.
     
  3. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    For long haul flights once at cruise altitude and over water contact with ATC is only as necessary (for example adviser that you're leaving a particular airspace or if there's an action that needs to be taken or position reports).

    And yes they have a transpoder - that's what identifies the aircraft to the radar. If the trasnpoder goes off the air, yes the radar will know something is there but not which aircraft it is.

    The other issue is that radar as a limited range and once outside that range the aircraft can't be tracked (not an issue in this instance as they were only just off shore but was I believe the case with the Air France A330 that went down a couple of years back)
     
  4. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Why is the transponder not updating its position constantly? Seems like a common sense precaution.

    Also, modern airliners have telephones and internet service. Doesn't somebody have to be keeping tabs on their position to maintain that network access?
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The transponder sends out a signal on a specific channel to let ATC and other agencies track the plane. Those places assign the plane the transponder number and fill in the details. Change the transponder code and the tracking equipment on the ground won't know the details of that new code. Further, like any devices on a plane, the transponder can be turned off or damaged.

    As for GPS and other tracking devices, also able to be damaged or turned off.

    As for airphones they're send only, they don't have numbers to call or recieve, Also a rarity these days, doubt they'd be on a new plane.

    I've heard stories that family members have tried calling the phones of loved ones and the calls are connecting, just not being answered. Suggesting personal phones in the plane are still active. If they were off, dead, or destroyed the calls wouldn't connect and go either voicemail or an error message.
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    Because transponders don't work that way. The only worked when the aircraft is probed by the radar.
     
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    If the phones were connecting, they'd be located.
     
  8. RobertVA

    RobertVA Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia USA
    Radar is line of sight, so unless there's a tracking station at sea (an island, ship or one of the tracking planes like those deployed from aircraft carriers) the plane disappears from radar for any period it's beyond the distance where it would be able to see the radar site in clear weather.

    The transponder is designed to identify the aircraft on radar screens. The pilots dial in a four digit code assigned by air traffic control. As each digit is limited to the range of zero to seven the system was apparently designed for compatibility with the octal technology available in the mid twentieth century. Since radar is better for determining direction and range, the transponder is connected to the aircraft's barometric altimeter. The transponder sends the ID number and altitude when it detects the signal from the radar site so the computer can match the ID and altitude to the radar reflection.

    Some airlines maintain communication between computers monitoring the plane's mechanical operation and the airline's maintenance division. Bandwidth limitations associated with long range communications might have a role in restricting the frequency of those reports. Those systems might be manually or automatically shut down in favor of other functions in an emergency (if they aren't already off line from whatever caused the emergency).
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Which is what has the families upset wondering why the airline/authorities aren't doing anything. Though, supposedly, they're looking into that avenue. I don't think those in the investigation are being 100% open.
     
  10. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Why is it taking so long to find?

    Likely scenario, if I'm understanding this right: catastrophic systems failure causes loss of radio, pressure, and navigation. Pilots, unable to communicate, turn the plane back toward Malaysia, as accurately as they can under the circumstances, which may include only a few seconds of useful consciousness. Plane continues to fly for quite some distance with no communications and nobody conscious at the wheel. Not sure of its exact heading, the search area could be enormous.

    Alternatively, they were grabbed by Martians and are currently dining with Amelia Earhart. Or Amelia Pond. Or both.
     
  11. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    At the first sign of preasure loss, the pilots are trained to don their oxygen masks.

    And there's no way that plane could continue to fly hands off if it had suffered such a catastrophic loss of systems.

    A 737 went down a few years back a loss of air pressure causing everyone to black out and flew on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed but they were able to track it.

    If the MAS 777 had suffered something similar it would have still be able to be tracked on radar as long as the transport continued to function.

    The 777 is also a fly-by-wire aircraft so if the computer systems suffered such a fault as speculated about it wouldn't have stayed airborne.
     
  12. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Perhaps "fly" wasn't the right word, but from the linked article:
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Still, they would have gotten some signal from the transponder, GPS and other navigating devices on the plane. Not to mention the locator signals from the "black boxes."
     
  14. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, California
    Not necessarily.

     
  15. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Then I guess we're back to SPECTRE agents armed with knockout gas and some very selective electronic jamming gizmo. :shrug:
     
  16. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, California
    Don't let the death of 239 people stop your one man show or anything. :rolleyes:
     
  17. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Humor is how some people cope. Also, we don't really know they're dead until we KNOW, so until we do, it is more pleasant to think that something bizarre and wonderful has happened rather than something bizarre and terrible. Personally, I'd like for the answer to turn out to be that the plane will somehow make an emergency landing on a sparse section of Interstate 40 in North Carolina at around 3 AM tonight, with all hands and passengers safe and alive. I'm extremely doubtful of that, of course, but I'd certainly take it.
     
  18. Nociod

    Nociod Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    The Malaysian government is downplaying the terrorist angle, as it looks like the two passengers with the fake passports were Iranian nationals, wanting to settle down in Europe.
     
  19. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    in the 10 dimensions of reality
  20. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    At the Piano
    Well, these people don't need that shit. They need real help. Hopefully they're alive and found soon.
     

Share This Page