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After flight MH370 is found, what happens next?

Once any wreckage is found, then begins the slow process of trying to find out how Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ended up where it did. Authorities are still searching for signs of any objects seen about…

An RAAF pilot steers his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for MH370. AAP/Department of Defence, Sergeant Hamish Paterson.

Once any wreckage is found, then begins the slow process of trying to find out how Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ended up where it did.

Authorities are still searching for signs of any objects seen about 2,500km off the coast of Western Australia that may be wreckage from the the flight.

Two objects – one 24 metres in size, the other smaller at five metres – were identified in Australian satellite images. It shows that satellite imagery may be helpful in such a wide area searches, despite the earlier images of debris from a Chinese satellite which proved to be false.

Satellite imagery shows the largest 24 metre size object that may be possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. AAP IMAGE/AMSA

If any wreckage is found by RAAF search aircraft and confirmed to be from flight MH370 it will be a major breakthrough in the hunt for an aircraft which has been missing since it left Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 8 March on its regular flight to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

The hunt for clues

What happens next, if the wreckage is found to have been from MH370, is that search planners will try to extrapolate its journey backwards in time.

Based on best estimates of ocean currents in the area, they will try to estimate where the wreckage might have begun to drift and possible tracks the aircraft may have flown to get to the southern Indian Ocean after radar contact was lost.

If the debris is from flight MH370 the flight recorder beacons should be transmitting, so narrowing the search to the southern Indian Ocean may improve the potential to detect one of those signals.

Whose investigation?

If the debris is found by search aircraft and closer examination proves it to be from the flight, who gets tasked with its recovery might come down to who can get assets out there in a reasonable time frame.

The responsibility for any investigation of the wreckage will still be vested in Malaysia as the country where the aircraft was registered. It is, after all, a Malaysian Airlines aircraft and their passengers and crew. I would expect other countries such as Australia will continue to provide assistance.

It will still be very difficult and time consuming to recover the wreckage once it is located. The depth of water alone will have a significant influence on the recovery options available, the difficulty involved and the time it will take.

The search for the flight recorders will be investigators highest priority. The digital flight data recorder will provide clear evidence of what the aircraft was doing from the time it departed Kuala Lumpur.

Thousands of recorded parameters will give a very accurate picture of the flight, speeds, altitudes, headings, the configuration of hundreds of key aircraft components – a continuous image of what the aircraft actually did.

The cockpit voice recorder should also shed light on what conversations and other noises occurred in the cockpit leading up to and after the last words: “All right, good night.”

The crash site

Investigators will also want to obtain photographs of the wreckage on the sea floor among their first attempts to gather useful information to shed light on just what happened to MH370. Photos of wreckage on the sea floor were also useful in the case of Air France flight 447.

Whether or not there will be any human remains located or whether any bodies may be recovered will also depend on a whole lot of factors, such as the extent to which the aircraft broke up and the time the bodies have spent in the water.

Questions, questions, questions

There are still so many questions about the flight that need to be answered and so very little hard evidence available upon which to begin to form answers with any degree of surety.

A spokesperson for the airline said the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East coast of peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.

If this is true, there’s really no plausible reason why flight crew would take such action in normal flight operations.

How wide is the search?

Since the aircraft disappeared, the search area has gradually widened, from the original area off the coast of Vietnam, to include an area off Western Australia.

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority graphic shows the search areas for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 where “possibly related” objects were seen from satellite imagery. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

The delay in finding anything means wreckage could have drifted quite a bit. The main investigation into potential causes will not really begin until the wreckage and recorders can be found and recovered otherwise we may never know what happened.

In the wake of the MH370 tragedy, questions will be asked about the need for keeping track of passenger aircraft. Already some are questioning how a modern airliner can be allowed to disappear given today’s technology.

Yet thousands are being completed safely ever day and only one has seemingly disappeared. So any intervention to try to reduce the probability of a repeat disappearance will have to meet an extremely demanding cost benefit equation indeed.

Join the conversation

66 Comments sorted by

  1. Matt Bennett

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    Unfortunately in view of the great density of garbage in oceans the likelihood any debris is from MH370 is EXTREMELY LOW (obviously).

    I don't think we lack the evidence to start asking some HARD questions, such as Mr Boeing, why is it comm's can be disabled from on-board and in-flight? If they can't provide a succinct and compelling reason quick-smart it is certainly not too early to start suing Boeing in negligence.

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    1. David Pearn

      Follower

      In reply to Matt Bennett

      ICAO sets the rules in all cases.
      The CVR will only record the LAST 2 hrs of the flight which probably be pretty useless as the previous 5 hrs will be speculative.
      ATC procedures will come under close examination as a result of so much wasted time alerting all aviation agencies as part of search and rescue (SAR).
      Within 10 minutes of failure to call Vietnam ATC centre all regional radar and communication centres should have been actively looking and calling.
      The 'press' have demonstrated their ignorance yet again when it comes to 'the sciences'.

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    2. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to David Pearn

      Why on earth record only two hours ? It would be simple to record a period at least as long as the longest possible flight say 13 hours, which is Bangkok to London.
      A terrorist could demand the Acars & beacons be turned off so the switches should give that impression but in reality they remain on but additionally another VHF transmitter be turned on with cockpit voice encyphered so the media cannot hear it.
      I am surprised all that has not been done already. It is only a matter of rewiring the connections and would cost nothing.

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    3. David Pearn

      Follower

      In reply to Barry White

      It always been assumed that 2 hrs was more than enough as almost all accidents are as a result of actions/failures occurring within that time frame.
      I guess that will change now.

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    4. Peter Heffernan

      Chartered Accountant and Employer

      In reply to David Pearn

      I trust it will lead to some change David. The QF32 incident at Singapore provides another example of the inadequacy of the length of cockpit voice and data recordings. In that situation, because of the length of time before the A380's engine shutdown could occur after landing, the critical recordings leading up to and during the incident were overwritten.
      I am sure that aircraft manufacturers are already addressing how to deal with this however it is not a simple task given the redesign and re-installation required in tens of thousands of airliners flying in the world.

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    5. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Matt Bennett

      "....why is it comm's can be disabled from on-board and in-flight?..."

      Matt, firstly it is important that the crew has the ability to shut down any system in the event of a malfunction. What if there was a fire and they needed to isolate electrical power from the area?

      And as far as the reasons for the disappearance, how about we find out what happened before we start blaming people or aircraft manufacturers? The amount of baseless speculation in the media recently has been staggering - its like they are just trying to fill column inches with any old pap (which is what they do I guess). All you have to do is come up with some sort of conspiracy theory and you can get your face on television.

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    6. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Peter Heffernan

      Aside from the physical work of changing over new for old boxes to
      provide some hours of digital voice recording is nothing. Anyone who has a USB stick has plenty of room.

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    7. Peter Heffernan

      Chartered Accountant and Employer

      In reply to Barry White

      You don't get it Barry. Flight data recorder boxes are very carefully designed and engineered boxes secure in the tail sections of aircraft and designed to withstand severe crashes, submersion and fire. USB sticks, if it was that easy, you can be sure aviation engineers would have done it long ago.

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    8. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Peter Heffernan

      Yes all that has been available for years in solid state chips and used for similar environments. I am not saying integrating it into the design of the boxes would not be expensive but once done and tested it would be a workshop job on each box.
      Sometimes inertia develops in any field when things seem to be going well.

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    9. Martha Kinsman

      consultant

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      I can't understand why it is possible to turn of the transponder but the black box cannot be turned off?

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    10. Vicki High

      company director

      In reply to Matt Bennett

      I find it extremely scary that the first comment here can't provide a more useful response than suggesting suing someone...litigation seems to be the first response to anything that we don't like...

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    11. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Martha Kinsman

      Agree Martha, and it should not be too difficult to have a secondary transponder as robust as a black box, one that will be activated immediately there has been some sort of an emergency that has meant shutting down engines/power systems etc., basically what an ELB ( or are they called ERIB sometimes ) does if switched on and so if there was a power fail safe arrangement that allowed a self powered ELB to be activated, that would be great.
      Some theories revolve around a catastrophic explosion or a leaking gas that disabled crew, either possibly preventing an ELB from being switched on.

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    12. David Pearn

      Follower

      In reply to Matt Bennett

      As one who has been directly involved in 'visual' searches at sea, all I can say is pray there are no white caps, that is low wind equals calm seas.
      The hull and wings would be vastly easier to see if they were 'dayglo' orange.

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  2. David R Amies

    Retired

    This entire affair has not been well handled. It appears that the Malaysian authorities have been more concerned about losing face than getting on with the job of finding the plane. The inconsistencies and contradictions in the stories given out by them have been baffling.

    Two men from Iran, getting on a plane using stolen passports, equals terrorism, until shown otherwise. Secondly, if the local passport control officers were slack enough to let it happen - when all they had to do was to interrogate the database of stolen passports - then perhaps they were incompetent and lazy enough to let others or the same men get on board nursing bombs.

    David Amies

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    1. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David R Amies

      "....Two men from Iran, getting on a plane using stolen passports, equals terrorism, until shown otherwise...."

      It has already been shown otherwise.

      This is exactly the reason why there are inconsistencies and contradictions in the stories - people keep making wild and inaccurate speculations about what they think happened, based more on feelings and ideology than a rational assessment of the facts.

      How about we leave it to the aviation safety officials, who are actually pretty good at this sort of thing.

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    2. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to David R Amies

      It is a well known phenomena of emergency operations that after a period those running the show start to get criticisms by bystanders who say the decisions by the emergency controller have been flawed. These criticisms are leveled with hind sight that the controller did not have when he made the decisions.
      This is not a new characteristic of those standing around twiddling their thumbs demanding answers. This is why debriefings are held after the event so all can learn. The main lesson to learn is when no one has a clue as to what has happened or is likely to happen best guesses have to be made and they just on chance will often be wrong.

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    3. Allan Gardiner

      Dr

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The West Australian Coroner didn't think that the aviation safety officials were "actually pretty good at this sort thing." Far from it indeed.

      The putative aviation safety officials *actually found then had followed alongside* [quite unlike Flight MH370] the Beechcraft 200 Super King Air *before* it crashed near Mount Isa on 4 September 2000, yet the coroner was critical of the poor coordination between the ATSB, the Queensland Police and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority [did he perchance…

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    4. David Pearn

      Follower

      In reply to Barry White

      Search and Rescue (SAR) are the most fundamental and basic procedures that are followed by all Air Traffic Controllers whether in a 'procedural' or 'radar' environment.
      They are simply based on time ie....3 min late in calling a 'centre' invokes communication checks and a further 7 min later the full SAR procedures commence.
      These standard procedures are laid down to be followed by ALL ICAO signatory countries in the same way that all controllers speak using English as the international aviation language.
      Hindsight has nothing to do with it.
      If the most fundament procedures had been adhered to it would then raise the question as to why a 'heavy' aircraft travelling at 900 kph showing only on 'primary' radar was not 'squawking' on 'secondary surveillance radar' whilst transiting a military radar screen (Butterworth).
      Have no doubt, this will not escape close attention over the next few months and even potentially years.

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    5. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to David Pearn

      With all due respect air traffic controllers are not responsible for search and rescue and neither are they the SAR controllers. However they are a primary input to the SAR system. After all they should be the ones to raise the initial alarm as David Pearn has pointed out. That the military radar people did not raise an alarm when the aircraft did not identify would I expect normally create considerable interest. However I would not know if all aircraft beacon their ident in Malaysia.
      This what I meant by criticism before debriefings. I will wait for the information to come to light.

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    6. David R Amies

      Retired

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Who showed it? How did they reach their conclusions?

      As to feelings and ideology, in case you have not noticed, most - but not all - terrorist activities in the past couple of decades have been carried out by young male Muslims. Is it not reasonable to be worried, in a case of this sort, that the two Iranians travelling on stolen passports might be up to no good. Investigators cannot possibly rule out all possibilities and have to start somewhere. In the case of the missing plane, the pair with…

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    7. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to David R Amies

      It will have to be an IATA rule that a boarding pass is not issued and in fact could not even be printed unless the passport is reported valid. I would not be surprised to learn that the Iranians came across from Indonesia after the boats to Australia were stopped.

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David R Amies

      David, I'd suggest it has been less about losing face than there being a mixture of information to be assessed and non of it able to be ascertained as being pertaining to the aircraft other than the constant messaging from the engines that has been referred to, it disappointing if this information was not referenced ASAP as aircraft operators should have known that was possible.
      And then your terrorism jump is not so great.

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    9. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David R Amies

      ".... that the two Iranians travelling on stolen passports might be up to no good...."

      They were up to no good - they were attempting to illegally immigrate.

      "....As soon as it can be shown that they are pure as the driven snow, consider other agencies...."

      They have already done so David - that is exactly my point.

      "....My point about incompetence of the Malysian Border guards still stands!...."

      That's great David, but do you have anything of relevance to add to this debate about the missing aircraft?

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  3. John McKerrall Lambert

    Owner of John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd at John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd

    Given the position the objects could be remnants of an iceberg - there was a report of around 100 icebergs only 260 km from NZ in 2006.
    However the range of a Boeing 777 200 is 9700 km so it could have flown north then west then south to that location.
    Question is, given that the flight movements seem deliberate, why would anyone point a plane south into the Indian ocean and let it fly till it ran out of fuel. Makes absolutely no sense to me. Much more likely they would have headed for a remote airfield.

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    1. Blair Donaldson
      Blair Donaldson is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher & Skeptic

      In reply to John McKerrall Lambert

      I just hope it's not a partially submerged container that has been sighted.

      As for why somebody would fly a plane into the middle of the ocean, presumably the person in control was not exactly of sound mind? I was wondering if he was aiming for the Maldives but somehow screwed up the navigation.

      Anyway, if the flight data recorders don't hold information covering the initial hijacking/flight direction change, there is going to be a lot of speculation and precious little fact which I suspect will not help the victims families very much.

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    2. David Pearn

      Follower

      In reply to Blair Donaldson

      I can't recall ever seeing a white container.
      They all seem to be a very dark colour which would make it almost impossible to detect visually.

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    3. John McKerrall Lambert

      Owner of John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd at John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd

      In reply to David Pearn

      Containers can be any colour - just Google container park photos.
      Whilst some have claimed that up to 10,000 containers are lost at sea every year, a World Shipping Council Survey (they are responsible for most container shipping) suggests the number is more like 350 per annum.
      But as the majority of containers are 6m or 12 metre and they are never connected end to end I still think that at that latitude its more likely to be remnant iceberg

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    4. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to David Pearn

      Containers are all sorts of colours, depends who owns them. Sit on a station and watch the trains go by, they are multiple colours.
      A 40 ft container is roughly 12 metres so it would be only half the length of what has been seen

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    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John McKerrall Lambert

      " why would anyone point a plane south into the Indian ocean and let it fly till it ran out of fuel. Makes absolutely no sense to me. "
      True John as far as making sense and then we do not know the mindset of those in the cockpit or those that may have got in there and yet if how far and what directions the aircraft took other than for what engine transmitters have revealed.

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Blair Donaldson

      " I just hope it's not a partially submerged container that has been sighted. "
      That may yet be a great find Blair if we do eventually find the plane has secretly been landed somewhere else as difficult as that may be.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Pearn

      " I can't recall ever seeing a white container. "
      Lots of reddish brown or blue one true David but then I've never gone jumping up to see how the top has been painted.
      I may be mistaken but I think some tele shows have shown a white top with a black ID.
      We'll all have to take more notice of tele shows!

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    8. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John McKerrall Lambert

      "....why would anyone point a plane south into the Indian ocean and let it fly till it ran out of fuel...."

      Its happened on numerous occasions John. There may have been an emergency on board such as a fire or loss of pressurisation. The pilots attempted to divert to an emergency airfield but were overcome and the plane kept on flying.

      But that's just speculation. Let's leave it until we find out the facts and leave the conspiracy theories etc for the media so they can fill in space.

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    9. John McKerrall Lambert

      Owner of John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd at John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Hi Mike
      i'm aware of the number of occasions where pilots have become incapacitated and planes have continued in a straight line till they ran out of fuel. What's different in this case is that the planes communication devices were successively switched off over around 15 minutes, and the plane turned west for some time and then turned south - that makes it very different

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    10. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John McKerrall Lambert

      Not necessarily John.

      It could have been that there was a fire or similar on board. The pilots turned off equipment to contain the fire then tried to divert to an emergency field but became incapacitated and the flight continued until it ran out of fuel.

      But as I keep saying, this is all speculation. How about we wait and see what really happened first. All the crap filling up space in the media smacks more of conspiracy theories and sensationalist garbage. The truth is far more likely to be something boring and prozaic - but let's wait and see shall we.

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  4. Michael Phillip Kivinen

    Security investigator

    Security on the ground and in and on aircraft is a joke, if you want to hijack an aircraft you can, if you want to blow-up an aircraft you can, but their are ways to secure, but the truth is that Government's don't really care at the moment, nor have they implemented real security at all, except for a super fiscal looking security, and as for the public air carriers they simply don't want to pay for the extra security safety of its passengers.

    That's why leaders have their own planes for security…

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    1. John McKerrall Lambert

      Owner of John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd at John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd

      In reply to Michael Phillip Kivinen

      Michael
      You have a very negative view of the world.
      The real issue is that governments and anti-terrorist agencies act as though terrorists don't have intelligence. "9/11" was the obsolute proof that they are highly intelligent and highly strategic and prepared to undertake long term planning and action. So we have the stupidity in Australia (which has had one terrorist attack - the 1978 Hilton bombing) of causing delays related to arrivals at airports (now on average 45 minutes versus 25 minutes…

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    2. Allan Gardiner

      Dr

      In reply to Michael Phillip Kivinen

      Michael, whilst I've seen plenty of superficial looking security in my time, and of course I've met quite a few procurators fiscal to boot, I believe I'm yet to meet any "super fiscal" looking security. Notwithstanding the possibility that you may be given to wax malapropistic now and then, perhaps you'd like to explain the difference between the two?

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  5. John McKerrall Lambert

    Owner of John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd at John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd

    Re my comment "why would anyone point a plane south into the Indian ocean and let it fly till it ran out of fuel" I ask that in relation to what possible gain would there be other than to make finding the plane difficult. Terrorists usually want public events that they can claim responsibility for - there have been no such claims. And if it was a protest then the "content" of the protest needs to be communicated - there has been no such communication. And if suicide was behind it, often suicide is a form of protest - so refer to previous comment. And if it was suicide not related to some form of protest, mostly they are spur of the moment actions, so to to set in train a 4 hour or more process would mean oplenty of opportunity to reflect and possibly change one's mind. Very puzzling

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    1. Allan Gardiner

      Dr

      In reply to John McKerrall Lambert

      John, need I remind you that the greatest fear known to man is the unknown? What is known is that fear and terror are one and the very same thing.

      Given the fact that no-one [apart from those who may have caused it] yet knows for certain what happened to MH370, we really now need to be taking every precaution to ensure that any suchlike events never occur again. If we concentrate too much in trying to find MH370 we may leave open the opportunity for terrorists [if they were the cause] to do the exact same thing again, but perhaps several times over at once next time.

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  6. Peter davies

    Retired Engineer

    I note that this article claims the objects "were identified in Australian satellite images" yet the the image shown is copyrighted to Digitalglobe .
    On its website Digitalglobe states:-
    "We can confirm that DigitalGlobe has provided imagery to search officials in Australia, and we have been informed by an Australian government official that it was our imagery Prime Minister Abbott referred to in his recent comments," a spokesman for the company said. "
    ???

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    1. John McKerrall Lambert

      Owner of John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd at John Lambert & Associates Pty Ltd

      In reply to Peter davies

      Peter
      A retired engineer who is still an idealist! It's all about spin

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    2. Allan Gardiner

      Dr

      In reply to Peter davies

      One possible reason that that the imagery was incorrectly termed as being Australian could simply be because the images in question were resolved at Pine Gap which, although it belongs to the US, sits on Australian soil.

      DigitalGlobe may be only one of several organizations providing images to Prime Minister Abbott which then gives him the choice to select which images [and of course provided by whom] the watching world needs know about.

      The satellite imagery provided to PM Abbott may have in fact been first given to DigitalGlobe by those working at Pine Gap with the instruction that DigitalGlobe put their own logo on all of it. The US is not obligated to provide Australia with "all" [which could mean none at "all"] information gathered at Pine Gap.

      Ever since the Lend Lease Agreement the US has learnt that "sometimes the longest way round is the quickest way there".

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Blair Donaldson

      I doubt that Geoffrey would really know answers to your questions Blair without some research and at a guess, I would say that all ocean going ships will have up to the date radio equipment and could receive signals and likewise the aircraft, especially the specialist Orion ones set up for surveillance. First off however is whether in fact signals are being transmitted in the area they are in, that also bringing into play the depth you mention.
      The Air France plane that disappeared over the Alantic…

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    2. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Greg North

      Ships will not necessarily have radios setup for aviation frequencies, and additionally aviation still uses AM whereas Marine VHF uses FM.
      One device that could be installed would be an epirb that could be released when an aircraft hits water especially, fitted with a GPS receiver which would receive and store its lat long and transmit the original lat long no matter how far it drifted.
      There are lots of ideas that can be incorporated for surprisingly little money.

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  7. Colin MacGillivray

    Architect, retired, Sarawak

    Could someone please tell me again, I'm sure it has been discussed-
    Why don't Flight data recorder boxes (which can't be turned off), continually broadcast, via satellites to data bases, all the information they gather? Then finding them after a crash would not be required.
    Technology has changed hugely since black boxes were first invented.

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    1. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      In a word; bandwidth. Such an intense stream of data from thousands of aircraft on say the New York to London route plus all the other routes would require very large amount of spectrum and as the aircraft can not hear each other transmission collisions would occupy most of the time. There are techniques to handle this where each aircraft would be told "Your Turn" in turn but it would take ages to get around them all and remember you would be working with much weaker signals and the antenna is wobbling about.
      It would be a nightmare.

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    2. Colin MacGillivray

      Architect, retired, Sarawak

      In reply to Barry White

      Thanks for that. My guess is that after this event the industry will review location and feedback of information systems. There must be very important stuff that could be distilled and transmitted to reduce bandwidth demand. The information that indicates how the plane was lost and where obviously is key. The resources being spent on MH370 is huge even if such an event is very rare.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Colin MacGillivray

      In addition to what Barry says Colin, it could also be due to the inherent BB survival design in that they are built to be virtually indestructible and though obviously being connected to the aircraft information systems for recording, the more that they are connected, the less indestructible they might be.

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    4. Colin MacGillivray

      Architect, retired, Sarawak

      In reply to Greg North

      The airline industry is great at learning from mistakes, every other industry should learn how they approach them. For sure this event will spark a review of what a plane should report, how and for how long. Probably the French Atlantic plane loss did that.

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  8. Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B.

    Constitutionalist

    In my view usage of mobile phone communication towers could and should have been used to establish where mobile phones on board were, etc. Some mobile phones give out GPS even if the mobile is not used. It might be critical to understand now if passengers were last using their mobile phones and the route it took over Indonesia, etc. My correspondences regarding MH370 published on my blog at www.scribd.com/inspectorrikati shows that within 48 hours of the plane going missing I urged Mr Tony Abbott and the Department of Aviation of Malaysia to widen its search area to the radius of the remaining estimated fuel left in the plane. Had they done so then valuable information could have been earlier obtained, such as the Malaysian military. Finding the plane may be an issue but we do not know if the passengers and crew and cargo was already offloaded before it was crashed in the ocean, this is if it was crashed at all.

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  9. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    "an extremely demanding cost benefit equation". I wonder how most of us would react, if our ticket purchase offered an optional upgrade price to purchase the switching on of a tracking system for our flight? A ticket on a tracked aircraft may cost more in dollars and cents, but the human cost of MH370 cannot be measured in those terms.
    Surely, though, if we can fit automatic transmitters to whales and dolphins, for tracking by satellites, we could do the same for an aircraft at minimal cost? For an allegedly advanced civilisation, we do get some stuff badly wrong!

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    1. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      The cost would be almost zero to ensure the beacon was not turned off. Just a matter of changing the wiring to make it look like it was turned off. The terrorists could listen for the beacon with their own hand held radio but they would know then that the crew could not turn it off. So no matter what, let the terrorists know that the beacon cannot be turned off and remove the off switch from the console and that may discourage them a bit more.
      It would be a cheap zero cost and effective way of ever again having to face the situation they now face .

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  10. Matt Bennett

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    Consensus seem to suggest airline industry IS INDEED GROSSLY AND OBSCENELY NEGLIGENT. "Dereliction of duty" springs to mind.

    I'd be filing suits left, right and centre Monday morning, were I an aggrieved relative. Starting with the "regulatory authorities".

    Then the imbeciles who design and build the shit-heaps. I'd no sooner choose to fly in an American plane than say, buy an AMERICAN CAMERA.

    For God's sake people, "American" has been synonymous with poor quality for many decades now

    And only thirdly sue MAS.

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  11. Joe Smith Kyintersonski

    logged in via email @rcpt.at

    I have a few questions that I've not seen the media address.

    1. Why doesn't the Air Force of every nation monitor in real time every civilian flight (at least large aircraft) that is within it's airspace? If this was the practice, then as soon as a flight went off the communications network and/or deviated substantially from the flight path, then air force jets could be sent up to intercept the aircraft.

    2. If the above would be too expensive, that is, monitoring every large aircraft, then why could not the civilian air traffic control alert the air force as soon as communication/ radar tracking etc is lost?

    3. Why don't "black boxes" have a floatation device attached to them that could keep them on the surface of water?

    4. Why don't aircraft have transponders that cannot be switched off by pilots?

    It seems to me that a tragedy like 911 or MH370 could easily occur again almost anywhere in the world.

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    1. David Pearn

      Follower

      In reply to Joe Smith Kyintersonski

      It's hard enough to get a recorder to survive the impact and pressurised immersion as it is.
      SAR actions should alert ALL adjacent centres if 'declared' promptly.

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    2. Barry White

      Retired

      In reply to Joe Smith Kyintersonski

      I agree that it should not be possible for the pilot to turn off ACARS and the beacon. Perhaps the enquirey will recommend that. Asking for an aircraft to be scrambled would probably be redundant as the military radar would know where the aircraft was anyway. They probably have different displays but they could be merged into one display.
      Ejectible epirbs would be one solution and I thought they were already available. They could obtain the current GPS data and transmit that no matter how far they drifted.

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