planemaker
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:38 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 42):
And at $2-5 billion per launch to put additional satellites up there, you've added a very significant expense.

Not even close.  
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D L X
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:46 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 50):

Quoting d l x (Reply 42):
And at $2-5 billion per launch to put additional satellites up there, you've added a very significant expense.

Not even close.  

Feel free to provide a source that says otherwise.
 
RedChili
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:47 pm

Also important to remember: Very frequently, it's the final minute or two, or possibly even the final seconds, that are the most important in an air crash investigation. So, if you're gonna replace the black box with sending the information on the net, you basically need a 24-hour live feed of everything including the cockpit voices. That will singificantly increase the need for bandwidth, plus cause potential privacy issues with cockpit crew.

Some crews could become less willing to take the risk of conducting idle chatter (football or whatever), and instead just keep quiet when they don't have anything concrete to say about the job at hand. Result: crew would be more easily bored and possibly fall asleep quicker.

Also, the antenna and all related equipment will need to be "reinforced" so that the equipment can continue working even after some serious event has happened in the airplane, but before the crash itself. Is it really possible to make this equipment as reliable as the black box in the event of an emergency?
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planemaker
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:51 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 51):
Feel free to provide a source that says otherwise.

Nice one. You made the completely unsubstantiated aserrtion of $2 to $5 billion per launch... so you can try to back up your assertion up (and I can tell you right now you can't).  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
DeltaB717
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:30 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 47):
What would streaming MH17's black box data have accomplished?

Well, it would've told us that a catastrophic incident had occurred and the aircraft was no longer communicating with the ground... oh wait, we already knew that. Neither the black boxes nor a live streamed dataset would've told anyone that the plane was shot down, because both would've stopped recording at the same instant as the explosion happened.
 
smokeybandit
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:46 am

How many commercial flights worldwide per day are there? 100k? How many crashes are there per year, 20 or so?

I have no doubt the technology is there to do this. But I'm not sure the ROI would ever be met due to how safe air travel is. It's just not worth the effort.
 
gulfstream650
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:58 am

At the end of the day MH17 isn't an air safety issue at all to the extent that we know that there was nothing wrong with the aircraft so the issue with regards to the black box is irrelevant.

Boeing 777s are not designed with missile attacks in mind.
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spacecadet
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:12 am

This is one accident where the data recorders are for all intents and purposes not relevant. You're not going to see or hear anything on them that's going to add much other than the exact time of the shootdown and the exact position of the airplane at the time. That might help establish where the missile was fired from, but not much else. And we already know pretty much where it was fired from, and probably even the exact unit that fired it. (And the recorders couldn't and wouldn't have told us that.)

And we have the recorders now, so I'm not sure what the problem is. The purpose of an investigation is to get to the truth, not to try to clear the investigation as quickly as possible. This isn't a customer service call center - the point isn't to finish as fast as you can so you can get to the next thing, the point is to take as long as it takes to get the truth. If it takes a while to get the data, that doesn't affect anything at all. You could maybe argue in certain dire circumstances that it might make other flights unsafe without knowing what happened, but even in a case like AF447, investigators were able to fix the technical flaws that did exist before even finding the wreckage. In this case, there's absolutely nothing the data recorders will tell anybody that would affect the safety of any other aircraft. "Don't shoot SAMs at civilian airliners" is a pretty basic safety rule that everybody should already know.

So this is a debate that's not really affected at all by MH17, and the only reason I can even see bringing it up again now is if you're just looking for an excuse to do so.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:17 am

There's a big difference between sending lists of numbers via satellite and streaming songs or video. There really isn't that much chatter in a cockpit and numbers/stats don't take up a lot of bandwidth.

What exactly is the data rate of the voice/data recorders?
What the...?
 
D L X
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:27 am

Quoting planemaker (Reply 53):
Nice one. You made the completely unsubstantiated aserrtion of $2 to $5 billion per launch... so you can try to back up your assertion up (and I can tell you right now you can't).

$ 2.9 BILLION to launch the Iridium system.

http://www.telecompaper.com/news/iri...-satellite-launch-contract--740768

I've cited my sources, so now it's your turn. Like I said, if you have better info, please feel free to share it. Responding with "Not even close" is not helpful. You're not adding anything to the discussion, but rather, it's kind of juvenile. No offense, just being honest.

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 13):
Not to mention that we've got live TV and internet on the aircraft themselves, streaming to multiple devices in the cabin at the same time.

It's very easy to send signals TO a plane, and there's more than enough bandwidth to do it. The issue is bringing a signal back up from a plane to the satellite (or ground). That's where the bandwidth problem is.
 
PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:01 am

Quoting d l x (Reply 42):
$2-5 billion per launch to put additional satellites up there
Quoting d l x (Reply 59):
Quoting planemaker (Reply 53):
Nice one. You made the completely unsubstantiated aserrtion of $2 to $5 billion per launch... so you can try to back up your assertion up (and I can tell you right now you can't).

$ 2.9 BILLION to launch the Iridium system.

So you admit you were wrong. You claimed $2-5 billion per satellite launch. Your own source states $2.9 billion total costs for a system of 66 satellites (Iridium Next) - or about $44 million per satellite, a fraction of what you claimed.

Therefore, even if one were to assume that an entirely new satellite infrastructure had to be set up, the overall cost for such an endeavour would be much less than it cost to build only LHR T5 (£5 billion), for example.

Quoting d l x (Reply 59):
That's where the bandwidth problem is.

As I discussed above, the bandwidth required to send a stream of dozens to a few hundred numerical parameters several times per second is almost negligible (in the single digit kbps range). It seems people are confusing the demands of passenger Internet, with dozens or hundreds of people wanting to stream videos simultaneously, with what would be required for streaming blackbox data.

The bandwidths offered by Iridium Next, for example, in the Mbit/s range, are much larger than what would be required for a basic ongoing transmission of plane parameters.
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PhilBy
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:20 am

Perhaps ac could transmit a simple position/altitude signal every 5 or 10 mins just to make finding the recorders easier. That would keep the bandwidth down.

Quoting Mitico12 (Reply 25):
On the subject of black boxes, can someone tell me IF the rebels or whoever was in control of the boxes could have replaced the data with their own to make it seem as if the airplane was behaving the way they wish to portray it?

It is technically possible. The easiest would be to plug it into a full flight simulator and recreate the flight the way it should have been. The other would be to manually recreate the data. I estimate that it would take Boeing at least 6 months to do this in such a way that the data would be consistent and not obviously tampered with.
 
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autothrust
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:58 am

IMO if the Black Boxes were more sophisticated there wouldn't be need to transmit data.

As this crash has shown again, the ULB from one Black Box has detached again.(AF447) That simply shouldn't be the case.

-Also the Battery should endure a minimum of 120 Days and if possible make the Box floatable and having a GPS built in.

-When floating sending distress call to Inmarsat.

On top of that the ULB should send the signals with a extremly distinctive Signal (maybe encrypted if possible with a unique ID) .

That way the Box could not be mixed up.

-The signal should have more reach.

-Have an internal Battery for Recording if the whole aircraft should be powerless.

[Edited 2014-07-23 02:21:25]
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PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:26 am

Quoting autothrust (Reply 62):
IMO if the Black Boxes were more sophisticated there wouldn't be need to transmit data.

With all due respect, this sounds more complicated AND more expensive than simply transmitting the data in the first place.

If anything, your discussion highlights everything that is wrong with physical black boxes.

A completely indistructible black box which somehow floats to the ocean surface even after a catastrophic crash and transmits pings for months (including GPS data) would certainly be extremely expensive, if at all feasible.

As you said yourself, the (much simpler) black boxes we have now already often fail to work as intended.

All of this obviously also ignores the elephant in the room - namely that with ongoing streaming of data, in certain situations assistance could be provided even before a crash occurs. E.g., technical support from the ground (think AF 447, where a cool analysis from the ground could have helped the pilots to understand what they were doing wrong), or a more accurate assessment of potential hijacking situations (also with enormous implications, e.g., a "shoot down or not" 9/11-type scenario).
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EMAman
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:27 am

Quoting gulfstream650 (Reply 56):
At the end of the day MH17 isn't an air safety issue at all to the extent that we know that there was nothing wrong with the aircraft so the issue with regards to the black box is irrelevant.Boeing 777s are not designed with missile attacks in mind.

Only partly agree. MH17 demonstrates that where planes come down in war zones or territory under the control of unfriendly organisations, there could be difficulties recovering it whatever the cause.
 
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:29 am

Quoting EMAman (Reply 64):

Only partly agree. MH17 demonstrates that where planes come down in war zones or territory under the control of unfriendly organisations, there could be difficulties recovering it whatever the cause.

  
Exactly my point.

And as I said, at least Putin's state media have been strongly implying that even MH17 may also have been a technical fault, silly as that is.
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autothrust
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:57 am

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 63):
With all due respect, this sounds more complicated AND more expensive than simply transmitting the data in the first place.

What if the transmission(antenna /equipment) fails and you don't have any black boxes ?

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 63):
If anything, your discussion highlights everything that is wrong with physical black boxes

I agree, there are many shortcomings. However many of this points are recommendations from the MH370 "Crash" and should be doable.

All issues can be tecnically solved, the penalty would come in additional weight and size for the aircraft.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 63):
A completely indistructible black box which somehow floats to the ocean surface even after a catastrophic crash and transmits pings for months (including GPS data) would certainly be extremely expensive, if at all feasible.

Black Boxes are already very tough, there is no need to make them tougher. Built in a floatable device like Airbag, a Inmarsat equipment and a bigger battery/ integrate the ULB.(instead of externally attached)
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hz747300
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:30 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 4):
I would like to see a parallel system. But due to costs, it would be limited data (GPS coordinates, altitude, engine thrust, alert codes, and not much else).

I think this might be enough. It should be mandatory and retrofitted. Why in the hell have we not found a 777 in the year 2014?!

And like another reader suggested, maybe other data could be bursted at managed waypoints to enhance security.
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r2rho
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:12 am

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 61):
Perhaps ac could transmit a simple position/altitude signal every 5 or 10 mins just to make finding the recorders easier. That would keep the bandwidth down.

I agree, such a system would be sufficient. After all, the only problem being complained about here is the difficulty in finding the wreckage. Once you've found it, you have all the info you need in the FDR's anyway.
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 62):
-Also the Battery should endure a minimum of 120 Days and if possible make the Box floatable and having a GPS built in.

It is very unlikely black boxes in the tail cone will ever detach and float. That requires major structural re-engineering. As one member put is any structural component designed to depart will depart even in non-crash scenarios. No one like a plane with missing tail cone.

Simple would be external mounted detachable/floable locator beacons pods mounted around fuselage. In case of water crash, these should detach, float and transmit location. There is enough capability to recover the black box once location is known.

Data transfer at regular interval helps when plane goes down in hostile territory.

Going back to cost. Solid State Data Voice Recorders write at 3 kilo "bits" per second to capture 16 params. That data rate is negligible comparing how much band width planes are using to provide in-flight WiFi and/or Live TV.

High cost is because of near monopoly of Inmarsat. Iridium's past is not that great, future is unknown at best. Apparently they need several $Billion dollars investment in near future. There are national/regional initiative to provide cheaper satellite data services but none at Global level. Probably Thuraya may try to provide these services, but I doubt any airline on western hemisphere will subscribe to it.

Until then we nod our heads to high-cost theory and learn to live with it.

BTW, this was discussed on an MH370 sideline threads.
 
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Asturias
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:08 pm

Quoting hivue (Reply 36):
That's fine with me. You were the one assuming $6.50/min.

No, I assumed it was *less* than 6.50/min, if as you would have realized had you actually read my post, comprehended it and then replied.

Quoting hivue (Reply 36):
OK. And knock that down to $1.00/min for a commercial customer. that's $60.00/hr. There are about 10,000,000 scheduled commercial flights per year in the US alone

60 USD/hour is manageble and would be included in the ticket price I'm sure. An extra 60 cents per hour in an average flight of 100 people. I don't see the hullaballoo.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 40):
Iridium systems for airplanes exist, costs are the main issue here...

If you'd have read my post, comprehended and then replied, then you'd have noticed that's exactly what I wrote.
Tonight we fly
 
D L X
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 60):
So you admit you were wrong. You claimed $2-5 billion per satellite launch.

Not at all. You'll need a lot more than one satellite. Unless you want to base your argument solely on semantics.
And again, if you want to argue numbers, provide better ones.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 60):
Therefore, even if one were to assume that an entirely new satellite infrastructure had to be set up, the overall cost for such an endeavour would be much less than it cost to build only LHR T5 (£5 billion), for example.

Now the question is why would you compare something that would be useful once every 10 years or so to something like LHR T5 that's used by thousands of passengers every day. That is a poor cost benefit analysis.

Quoting dtw2hyd (Reply 69):
BTW, this was discussed on an MH370 sideline threads.

I've posted those threads a couple times now. I don't expect people to actually read them, but not surprisingly, they're saying the same things.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 60):
As I discussed above, the bandwidth required to send a stream of dozens to a few hundred numerical parameters several times per second is almost negligible (in the single digit kbps range). It seems people are confusing the demands of passenger Internet, with dozens or hundreds of people wanting to stream videos simultaneously, with what would be required for streaming blackbox data.

The bandwidths offered by Iridium Next, for example, in the Mbit/s range, are much larger than what would be required for a basic ongoing transmission of plane parameters.

Have you read these threads you've duplicated?
MH370 - Lessons Learned, Changes In Civil Aviation (by tortugamon Mar 9 2014 in Civil Aviation)
MH370 - Lessons Learned, Changes In Civil Aviation - Part 2 (by LipeGIG Apr 6 2014 in Civil Aviation)

A couple kbps UPLOAD is about the limit of the satellite system. (I again stress UPLOAD because that is a completely different animal than the DOWNLOAD scenarios you argue with. It is pretty close to irrelevant how fast passengers download on a plane -- download is easy. Upload is hard.)

In fact, Iridium is capped at 2400 baud for upload. You'll need a lot more than that! And you'll need it times 48000, the number of commercial jets that fly in a day around the world. Which of course means you're going to have to get all that data back down from the satellite as well. Where's it going to go? What facility is going to be receiving the real-time CVR/FDR parameters?

As for Iridium Next having bandwidth in the Mbps range, that is for download only. Upload will still be in the kbps range. Your old modem is faster.
 
gulfstream650
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:49 pm

Quoting EMAman (Reply 64):
territory under the control of unfriendly organisations, there could be difficulties recovering it whatever the cause.

Agreed.
I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe
 
mandala499
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:58 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 70):
If you'd have read my post, comprehended and then replied, then you'd have noticed that's exactly what I wrote.

I was actually adding to what you said with the examples of Iridium systems used for flight following and some other flight operational support features would cost.

And correction is required.
If I remember correctly, 40 hours of flying and on the ground, costs us about $100-300 a month excluding the service fee ($20-40) on the Iridium system for a position report every 2 minutes.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 45):
Those numbers still do not seem to make the basic idea infeasible to me. Transmitting 50 parameters 2x per second (at 4 bytes per parameter), even without any sort of compression or similar, yields approx. 3.2 kb/s. This corresponds to 1.37 MB per flight hour - approx. $2 per hour according to your figures.

It depends on the satcom system you want to use.
The Iridium SBD, is one-way only, there's no way to check if it's received on the other end... this one's pretty cheap (refer to my quote towards Asturias in my previous reply, with the correction on the number above at the beginning of this reply).
This is certainly feasible.
If you want IP data connection, then you'd go with Inmarsat's Swiftbroadband... which gives you:
Less than $80k USD for the satcom systems for the LGA with bandwidth costing about $9-15/mb. The newer ELGA for about the same price is about $7-12/mb. Both at about 190kbps max.
Go to $150k system and you get $6-9/mb... at about 300kbps
Go to $300k system, and you get $5-8/mb.. at about 400kbps.
These get you global coverage.

If you don't like those usage fees, then you go with Ku-band... let's say with Viasat.
A $250k system gets you about $1-2 per mb, at about 500kbps to 1mbps, but not a global coverage.
More expensive systems are available...

The thing with Ku/Ka, it's coverage isn't as global as Inmarsat SBB, but the Inmarsat GX Ka is going to provide the same coverage with much higher bandwidth... BUT, the antenna and satcom systems cost for the aircraft is goingt o be huge.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 45):
Bandwidths in the mbps range quoted by you are somewhat overengineered for this purpose, unless you plan to constantly transmit 1000s of parameters 100s of times per second.

Those are what's available out there today, with the satcom systems approved for airborne use (and non-safety services). Once you go into safety services, the fees would shoot up, for the same kind of bandwidths.

The lower bandwidth system such as the Iridium, is the most numerous in aviation (loads of general aviation, due to the costs). But the thing is, what do we want to achieve here?
To forego the high bandwidth and pipeline reliability issues, one goes for the limited bandwidth with limited capability and does not replace the blackboxes (which gives the answer "no" to the question in the topic title)...

If we want to replace the blackboxes, or even provide realtime data to the same level of the blackboxes... is going to be costly, especially if you want the CVR too!

(I know you know this, but I just want to emphasize for the others who don't).

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 45):
I would assume that prices for antennas and costs per MB would drop sharply if such systems became mandatory, due to competition, economies of scale, and government support.

That already happened in the Iridium market... but is it what we want? (Yes for me)... Is it the answer to this topic? (definite no).

The High Gain Antennas of the L-Band Inmarsat is produced in the hundreds if not thousands, and no, the prices haven't come down. Discussions with one of the largest vendors of these antennas, making it mandatory would not make it cheaper, it would put the price through the roof for a few years, and thereafter return to today's levels. That's them saying it, not me.

The problem in the industry is that it's split between those who believe satcom can assist through tracking, and parameter exceedence reporting to allow for a faster response (prevents AOGs, better aircraft health monitoring, better flight following, etc) because it is a very cost effective way to significantly improve safety and reliability... and those who believe we should go to the higher bandwidth systems that are currently hideously expensive (and unlikely to go get cheaper) to buy so we can monitor it and its content as if it's on land (bandwidth-wise).
You can tell which side I'm on.

And then... we still got the issue of "how to ensure the transmission can be made as the aircraft goes into a spiral dive with moments of inverted flight into its death", and the more ridiculous (I kid not, someone has asked for this) "how to ensure it can transmit even if the airplane fuselage is broken up into 3 even pieces in the air"... *shakes head in disbelief*
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:17 pm

Rehashing the band width discussion, most recommend transmitting 4 params. 16 params take 3kbps. There are data de-duplication/compression techniques to reduce 3kbps even further. Encryption has overhead. Even if data de-dup/compression is a wash(*) with encryption, still 3kbps is negligible to transmit 16 params, and less 0.75 kbps to transmit 4 params real-time.

*Most argue benefits of data de-dup/compression far more than compression overhead.
 
hivue
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:54 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 70):
60 USD/hour is manageble and would be included in the ticket price I'm sure.

I'll refer back to my original post in this thread (16): If it ain't broke don't fix it. (More particularly, if it ain't broke don't charge me money to fix it.)
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
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Asturias
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:20 pm

In the end this is just a question of cost. And the cost is falling, every year. I don't know when the tipping point will come, but it is pretty evident that the writing is on the wall, that there will be a constant data uplink that complements the FDR and CVR.

What's all the hemming and hawing about? This is going to happen.
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PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:20 pm

Quoting hivue (Reply 79):
I'll refer back to my original post in this thread (16): If it ain't broke don't fix it. (More particularly, if it ain't broke don't charge me money to fix it.)

In light of AF 447, MH 370 - and yes, also MH 17 - as well as numerous other similar instances, how do you not come to the conclusion that traditional black boxes are "broke"?

A modern airliner with hundreds of people onboard disappearing without a trace, possibly forever, is the system working as intended?

It cost untold tens (hundreds?) of millions and almost took 2 years to find the FDR of AF 447. Is this the system working as intended.

In the case of DHI574, it took three weeks.

The list goes on and on and on....
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D L X
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:34 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 82):
In light of AF 447, MH 370 - and yes, also MH 17 - as well as numerous other similar instances, how do you not come to the conclusion that traditional black boxes are "broke"?

I'm having a hard time seeing how MH17 fits in this comparison. MH17 didn't go missing, and the black boxes are in possession being analyzed as we speak.

As for not being instantaneous, why the rush? Honestly, what did we lose by waiting two years to find out that gross incompetence felled AF447?
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:38 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 83):
MH17 didn't go missing, and the black boxes are in possession being analyzed as we speak.

And the black boxes are going to tell us nothing we don't already know. Plane was downed by a missile. I'm amazed at the public desire to get the black boxes back. They are, basically, worthless in this situation.

-DiamondFlyer
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planemaker
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:39 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 81):
In the end this is just a question of cost. And the cost is falling, every year.

And could drop very, very quickly in a couple of years if Sapce X pulls off a first stage landing on land. They've had two successful re-entries and touchdowns in the Atlantic. They will go for a third ocean touchdown on the next Falcon 9 launch and then switch to land touchdowns.  
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hivue
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:41 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 81):
there will be a constant data uplink that complements the FDR and CVR.

What's all the hemming and hawing about? This is going to happen.

Complements the DFDR and CVR? I'll agree with that.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 82):
how do you not come to the conclusion that traditional black boxes are "broke"?

How do you come to the conclusion that the DFDRs and CVRs on AF447 and MH17 were broken? AF447s was pristine after sitting in 12,000 ft of water for 2 years. And if/when they find MH370s it likely will be shown that it worked as designed as well.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:10 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 80):
Honestly, what did we lose by waiting two years to find out that gross incompetence felled AF447?

With all due respect, but you cannot possibly be serious.

Quoting hivue (Reply 83):
How do you come to the conclusion that the DFDRs and CVRs on AF447 and MH17 were broken?

I never said that those specific black boxes were physically broken, but that these cases exposed the fundamental flaws in the black box system.
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Asturias
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:26 pm

Quoting hivue (Reply 83):
Complements the DFDR and CVR? I'll agree with that.

Indeed, as it is now and in the foreseeable future, the FDR and CVR cannot and should not be replaced, but complemented.

Adding a digital uplink is a good complement and getting cheaper and easier to do with every passing month. With it are real practical benefits, that are becoming less and less costly.

It will probably take a decade at least, knowing how things are implemented in the industry, but it will happen.
Tonight we fly
 
D L X
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:31 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 84):

Quoting d l x (Reply 80):
Honestly, what did we lose by waiting two years to find out that gross incompetence felled AF447?
With all due respect, but you cannot possibly be serious.

I'm as serious as cancer.

I don't think we lost anything by having to wait. I think we have this insatiable, yet unnecessary desire to know the answer _right_ _now_, but knowing the answer right now does not often give us any tangible benefits.

So, if I may, I'll ask the question differently: what would we have gained by learning immediately that gross incompetence felled AF447? Secondly, can you put a dollar amount on the value of learning that information in 2009 instead of 2012?
 
mildaiv
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:41 pm

Quoting JimJupiter (Reply 12):
In the middle of an ocean, those costs aren't marginal any more

Of course, but in the middle of the ocean you don't need send too much data. Typicaly you compress your data to send only changes. And if you are flying on autopilot there's very little to send. You can easily end in sending comparable amount of data like not used GSM phone. Your data will go up when something is happening. As that is not often, it will not ruine aircraft industry as some sugests. You will send much more data in areas where is heavy trafic and especially near airports. You will send them anyway in future to inform all around about what you are doing.
 
PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:21 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 86):
So, if I may, I'll ask the question differently: what would we have gained by learning immediately that gross incompetence felled AF447? Secondly, can you put a dollar amount on the value of learning that information in 2009 instead of 2012?

Well I can tell you that the underwater search in the case of AF 447 alone cost about 35 million euros (ca. 47 million USD):
http://www.isasi.org/documents/isasi...2011-paper-bea-phoenix-whoi-a4.pdf

That search would likely not have been necessary at all with black box data streaming.

Also, think of the two years of uncertainty whether anything was fundamentally wrong with one of the most widespread widebody types. And the questions the families of the victims were (rightly) asking.

In the end, quite a bit of luck was involved that the black boxes were found at all. What if they hadn't?

If you think all of this is "no big deal", why even carry black boxes in the first place?

Interestingly, in the context of that accident, the head of the NTSB said the following:
“It’s ridiculous,” Peter Goelz says. “There is absolutely no reason not to have live-streaming data.” As managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board in the late 1990s, Goelz saw his share of accidents, but the disappearance of Flight 447 got under his skin.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/ma...08Plane-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This is coming from a real aviation accident investigation professional.

It is also worth reading the above article in full to recall the uncertainty surrounding AF 447 at the time. It is very easy to look back at these cases years later and claim that it was all no big deal.

Just think of MH 370 now, one of the great modern mysteries, which you conveniently omit in all of your arguments.
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hivue
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:40 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 84):
but that these cases exposed the fundamental flaws in the black box system.

What flaws? AF447, which crashed in thousands of meters of water in the dead center of the Atlantic Ocean, became arguably the most well-documented accident in the history of aviation once the wreckage was found and the DFDR and CVR recovered.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 88):
That search would likely not have been necessary at all with black box data streaming

I doubt you will find a professional accident investigator who will say they're happy with no physical wreckage just so long as they have the data.

[Edited 2014-07-23 14:43:18]
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
D L X
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:18 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 88):
Just think of MH 370 now, one of the great modern mysteries, which you conveniently omit in all of your arguments.

I'm not leaving MH370 out. It wasn't relevant to my point because it is ongoing. AF447 is a complete story: crash, salvage, and investigation have all been complete. So, we can talk about it as a full story -- we can't do that with MH370 yet.

(And besides that, as I've pointed out at least 3 times, we had an extended thread about this very topic on MH370. I was an active contributor in those two threads, so my comments here on 370 are really just repeating myself.)

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 88):
Well I can tell you that the underwater search in the case of AF 447 alone cost about 35 million euros (ca. 47 million USD):

Taking that figure at your word (your article suggests less), do you think that we would not have searched for and resurfaced AF447 had its flight data been streamed? If we would have salvaged the wreck anyway (as I believe we would have) then we would not have saved any money by streaming the data.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 88):
Also, think of the two years of uncertainty whether anything was fundamentally wrong with one of the most widespread widebody types. And the questions the families of the victims were (rightly) asking.

We basically knew what happened once we found the plane. It stalled at altitude in weather after loss of speed data. ACARS and the wreckage itself told us that.

This article is from 2010, before we found the boxes. It pretty much states that: http://www.spiegel.de/international/...ir-france-flight-447-a-679980.html

Also, consider that we had AF447 pretty much figured out long before we figured out TW800 (4 years) and the two 737 rudder crashes (5 years).

So the question would then remain, what do you gain from getting the black box in 2009 versus in 2012? To put it succinctly, air accident investigations do not act in a rush, nor need they. Indeed, MH17 is a rare event where we know almost exactly what happened (aviationwise) really within a week. And we were pretty sure within one hour!

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 88):
In the end, quite a bit of luck was involved that the black boxes were found at all. What if they hadn't?

According to Honeywell, the maker of the black boxes, before MH370, no black boxes have ever not been found. MH370 will be found as well, and if it's not, it's not because of anything that can be fixed by streaming.
 
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:03 am

I really don't see the cost/benefit ratio favoring streaming. It would only aid the investigation of very few crashes, which makes it more toy than tool. I'm not saying it wouldn't help, just at too great a cost when you figure in retrofitting all commercial aircraft.
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:54 am

Quoting dtw2hyd (Reply 69):
It is very unlikely black boxes in the tail cone will ever detach and float

It's not that unlikely, as seen with AF447 it happened and this was a pretty flat crash at low speed.

AFAIK one black box of MH17 was found separated from the tail with missin ULB.

The tail cone is fragile compared to the box.

Quoting dtw2hyd (Reply 69):
Simple would be external mounted detachable/floable locator beacons pods mounted around fuselage. In case of water crash, these should detach, float and transmit location.

That is a good idea but there is one problem, if the plane is in the middle of pacific ocean until SAR arrives the locator beacons would not longer be at the same position where the crash happened and the black boxes lie.
Flown on: DC-9, MD-80, Fokker 100, Bae 146 Avro, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 747-200, 747-300,747-400, 787-9, Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330-200,A330-300, A340-313, A380, Bombardier CSeries 100/300, CRJ700ER/CRJ900, Embraer 190.
 
PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:49 am

Oh, yeah, another plane just disappeared without a trace several hours ago:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...geria-flight-idUSKBN0FT0YK20140724

But I know, sooner or later it will be found anyway. So who cares?

In the meantime, scr*w the families.
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PlaneInsomniac
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:37 am

Quoting d l x (Reply 88):
I'm not leaving MH370 out. It wasn't relevant to my point because it is ongoing. AF447 is a complete story: crash, salvage, and investigation have all been complete. So, we can talk about it as a full story -- we can't do that with MH370 yet.

Well, that's comfortable. MH 370 "doesn't count" because the black boxes haven't been found yet.

And once they are found, it "doesn't count" because then, well, somehow the system has "worked".

In reality, even if and when MH 370's black boxes are found, the dozens (or hundreds) of millions of search and recovery costs, let alone the immeasurable pain and uncertainty of the families, will not magically disappear.

Quoting d l x (Reply 88):
Taking that figure at your word (your article suggests less), do you think that we would not have searched for and resurfaced AF447 had its flight data been streamed? If we would have salvaged the wreck anyway (as I believe we would have) then we would not have saved any money by streaming the data.

The points is: With streaming data, the search would almost certainly have been almost two years shorter. Don't you think this would have translated into some savings?

Once again, your logic is entirely backwards.

Quoting d l x (Reply 88):
We basically knew what happened once we found the plane. It stalled at altitude in weather after loss of speed data.

That level of accuracy is enough for you? No word anymore about pilot error, which you yourself have brought up before in this very thread, and which we would NEVER have found out without the black boxes.

Quoting d l x (Reply 88):
ACARS and the wreckage itself told us that.

Now finally you are only contradicting yourself. Black box data streaming is unneccessary because we HAPPENED to have the incomplete, non-mandatory ACARS transmissions? Wouldn't these be superfluous in the first place by your own logic?

And concerning the wreckage: That, too, would have been found much earlier if we had had black box data streaming.

Quoting d l x (Reply 88):
This article is from 2010, before we found the boxes. It pretty much states that: http://www.spiegel.de/international/....html

That article doesn't come close to explaining the sequence of events, in particular the "massive incompetence" on behalf of the pilots, as you yourself put it before. It speculates that the flight computer crashed at the first sign of trouble and the plane became uncontrollable immediately, without any chance that the pilots could have saved it.

Quoting d l x (Reply 71):
Not at all. You'll need a lot more than one satellite. Unless you want to base your argument solely on semantics.
And again, if you want to argue numbers, provide better ones.

That's why I pointed out to you that YOUR OWN QUOTED FIGURE REFERS TO 66 SATELLITES INSTEAD OF ONE:

Seriously, you have to stop misrepresenting people's opinions here by claiming that they made statements which they never made. It is honestly getting a little childish. To jog your memory, here is what you said yourself:

Quoting d l x (Reply 42):
And at $2-5 billion per launch to put additional satellites up there, you've added a very significant expense.
Quoting d l x (Reply 59):
$ 2.9 BILLION to launch the Iridium system.

Here is what I replied:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 60):
So you admit you were wrong. You claimed $2-5 billion per satellite launch. Your own source states $2.9 billion total costs for a system of 66 satellites (Iridium Next) - or about $44 million per satellite, a fraction of what you claimed.

Do you honestly not understand the difference between the number "1" and the number "66"? This is "just semantics" for you?

So here are the number you asked me to "provide".

- 1

- 66

Which one is greater?
Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
 
mandala499
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:00 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 76):
And the cost is falling, every year.

Try and tell that to the users who pay the bandwidth... On Inmarsat and Iridium that is...

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 77):
In the case of DHI574, it took three weeks.

DHI574, we knew exactly where it went down, the radar plot showed it. The problem was the interference (same as MH370) that forced the authorities to look elsewhere (and the airline, in the case of DHI574) didn't want it to be found. It took 3 weeks to finally trick someone to enable the search to get to where it was. And then no one wanted to pay for it... because the gross violations of the airlines (buried under heaps of corruption), put a lot of us to the mindset of "the airline should pay for it".
The funny thing was, the airline finally agreed, put up a budget for... 1 week of search... in the hope of "sorry it's not there... case unsolved but closed."
The measures taken to keep the known location under wraps were quite extensive... so when they put the ROV down, it was right there.

And, like AF447, DHI574 was not a case of mechanical failure that brought the plane down... DHI574 was the gross lack in training that caused the demise.

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 82):
I never said that those specific black boxes were physically broken, but that these cases exposed the fundamental flaws in the black box system.

Seriously, what would streaming blackboxes help in MH17?
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
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Asturias
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:35 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 93):
Try and tell that to the users who pay the bandwidth... On Inmarsat and Iridium that is...

OK. Listen up Inmarsat and Iridium users: cost is falling every year.
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mandala499
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:54 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 94):
OK. Listen up Inmarsat and Iridium users: cost is falling every year.

But my bills using them keeps going up... For the same usage.
The prices Inmarsat gave us for the I-4 and Iridium services didn't go down up to about 3 months ago, and some of the unit prices went up. I went to the Iridium reseller here, and no, their SBD prices haven't gone down either...

The prices of flight tracking systems with Iridium SBD haven't gone down either... not the portable ones of course.
The prices of the SBB HGA and IGA systems haven't gone down. The new ELGA is about the same as the old LGA in terms of prices...

Is it your assumption or is it based on the price list given to you by service providers?
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:05 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 95):
But my bills using them keeps going up... For the same usage.

Probably you are correct. For I3 users, Inmarsat will say it is getting expensive to keeps the birds afloat, so we have to increase. On the other end, I5 is latest and greatest technology, so you have to pay more.

Can you switch from Inmarsat to Iridium without equipment change?
 
mandala499
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:15 pm

Quoting dtw2hyd (Reply 96):
For I3 users, Inmarsat will say it is getting expensive to keeps the birds afloat, so we have to increase. On the other end, I5 is latest and greatest technology, so you have to pay more.

Can you switch from Inmarsat to Iridium without equipment change?

Some of the I3 services have moved to I4 (eg: AeroH+), but newer systems will move to I4's SBSS (SwiftBroadband Safety Service). The SB Non-SS part of the service, haven't gone down over the past few years. The SS part will be decided later.
I5 the equipment is expensive, but that's new stuff.

No, you can't switch from I3 or I4 to Iridium without equipment change.
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
art
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:08 pm

Is MH17 the last blow to the black box? I don't think so - MH17 crashed over land and the black boxes were retrieved without difficulty. If your point is that after a crash the powers that be may try to hinder the data being retrieved, I get your point.

As an observation I would say that the last place one wants to store historic flight data - data that will be lost if an aircraft cannot be located after crashing - is in a device onboard the aircraft itself.
 
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RE: MH17 - The Last Blow To The Black Box?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:04 pm

Quoting d l x (Reply 78):
As for not being instantaneous, why the rush? Honestly, what did we lose by waiting two years to find out that gross incompetence felled AF447?

In the case of AF447, nothing was lost because there were no other crashes due to the same cause in these two years. But there could have been.

I think the issue is that crashes have become such rare events that it is absolutely critical that we do not lose any information from any crash, and that is why there is such concern. The issue with AF447 and MH370 is physically retrieving the wreckage (and the black boxes), while the issue with MH17 is the possibility that the black boxes might be not turned over unmolested. Both of these speak to the desirability of streaming the data, and seeing how that both Boeing and Airbus have considerable capability for maintenance information to be streamed on an optional basis, I cannot believe that streaming black box data would be prohibitively expensive. I do recognize the objections that the pilots may have to having their every words streamed, but, hey, live with it. But at the very least I think the position information should be streamed, and streamed in a way that the pilot cannot turn it off in flight. This, had it been implemented previously, would have greatly aided in the recovery of AF447 and would almost certainly have enabled MH370 to be found by now.

One further point about MH17. I agree with those who have questioned how much useful information will be retrieved from the black boxes, but I am not an expert, and it is still good to have them. But airliners are defenseless against SAM's, and the issue is why the civil authorities allowed them to fly through an active war zone when it was known that poorly trained troops were in possession of those missiles. Ultimately the troops who fired the missile are most to blame, with anyone who sponsored them and/or gave them the missiles next in line; but surely the civil authorities who raised the minimum altitude to 32,000 ft (admitting that there was a danger) but did not close the airspace share the blame.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler

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