Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Yflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:42 pm

Did anyone else catch the episode of NOVA last night on PBS about MH370? Thoughts? I hadn't heard about how the satellite communication company had used the timing of the satellite "handshakes" with the plane to track its probable route. That was really an ingenious idea, although I wonder just how accurate it can be.

For anyone who didn't see the episode, it's available to watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/why-planes-vanish.html
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18279
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:55 pm

Quoting Yflyer (Thread starter):

Did anyone else catch the episode of NOVA last night on PBS about MH370? Thoughts?

Watched it last night...was hoping for something new or interesting and didn't catch much of anything I didn't already know, and I haven't been following it that closely.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
Wingtips56
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:58 pm

I saw the episode and did find it interesting ... and summed up the unmanageable number of a.net threads I could no longer keep up with.

The satellite handshakes I guess are all that really show the plane kept flying. However as you saw from the two broad arcs, it's hardly accurate enough to really pinpoint where to look. Interesting, though, how they compensate for a wobbling satellite and it's feedback.

The show didn't really provide much new, though. The only real 'new' information I think we'll ever get is the wreckage finally being found ... somewhere.

I do wholeheartedly agree with the opinion that transponders should not ever be able to be turned off. I don't know when, if ever, Next Gen may happen, but it sounds like the whole system would be totally reliant on the transponders.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5056
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:25 pm

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 2):
I do wholeheartedly agree with the opinion that transponders should not ever be able to be turned off. I don't know when, if ever, Next Gen may happen, but it sounds like the whole system would be totally reliant on the transponders.

And what happens if your transponder starts going off in error? Do you just have it continue in busy airpsace?
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27360
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:39 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 3):
And what happens if your transponder starts going off in error? Do you just have it continue in busy airpsace?


But how often does that scenario happen? Extremely rarely I imagine.

[Edited 2014-10-09 15:40:35]
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5056
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:44 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):
But how often does that scenario happen? Extremely rarely I imagine.

I work for an airline. ELT's go off fairly frequently, and we disable them until we can get it fixed
 
flyorski
Posts: 733
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:23 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:47 pm

I had not paid much attention to the MH370 story for a while. As such I found this program rather refreshing to see. I agree that out current system of searching for the black boxes after a crash with virtually no idea of where the wreckage is located needs to change.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
 
reality
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:01 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:48 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 5):
I work for an airline. ELT's go off fairly frequently, and we disable them until we can get it fixed

Once a week? Once a month? Once a year? Every few years? Just curious.
 
dtw2hyd
Posts: 8605
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:50 pm

One new piece of information(at least new to me), Inmarsat started logging ping times post AF447.
All posts are just opinions.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5056
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:58 pm

Quoting reality (Reply 7):
Once a week? Once a month? Once a year? Every few years? Just curious.

Probably a few times a year. The ELT in our fleet type is notoriously bad. I'm sure newer tails don't have better reliability. But the fact is, there are always a few generations of aircraft types flying at any given time.
 
hz747300
Posts: 2419
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:05 pm

I still don't understand how so much as even a life vest has not washed up on someone's shore. It really is one of those mysteries to me. Knowing it took a 1.5-2 days to find debris floating on the surface in the wake of AF447, I think they just really have no idea where to look for MH370... Sorry, that's a bit low tech.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 5):
I work for an airline. ELT's go off fairly frequently, and we disable them until we can get it fixed

If this is the case, then there should be a separate GPS protocol which is linked not to ATC, but to the airline dispatch or manufacturer which cannot be disabled.

Maybe the plane is in Diego Garcia and the text messages are real.
Keep on truckin'...
 
Wingtips56
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:22 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 9):
Probably a few times a year. The ELT in our fleet type is notoriously bad. I'm sure newer tails don't have better reliability. But the fact is, there are always a few generations of aircraft types flying at any given time.

I assume that's why there are two of them. Are more transponders on each plane the answer? If not, what is? ...the aircraft needs some always-reliable way of identifying itself and where it is if Next Gen or other ATC system becomes totally reliant on the aircraft, rather than unidentified 1940's radar returns.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
User avatar
Acey
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:06 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:20 am

My problem with is when they showed a map of alleged worldwide radar coverage, and showed almost no radar sites in Canada... wildly inaccurate. Cool how they came up here to talk to YUL center, though.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 25007
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:26 am

I watched it and was surprised how it was so focused on the tech and so little on the humans. So much talk about primary versus secondary radar, satellites, transponders, GPSes, ADS-B, etc. So much more of that than talk about the human element given that there's no plausible way the aircraft itself could have done what it did without lots of human intervention!

They talked about how key equipment was not operating and discussed a bit about whether or not pilots should be able to turn off transponders, they showed exactly how one gets into the EE bay on the 777 and that the entrance is outside the cockpit, and even mentioned the two people traveling on false documents but seemed to spend NO time on the two humans with the most knowledge about the 777 and the two who had the best ability to turn off ACARS and transponders right at the instant when control was being passed from Malaysia to Vietnam and then successfully put the aircraft on a new course, which of course is the pilot and the co-pilot.

They didn't mention either pilot or co-pilot by name, they didn't explore any motivations they or any other humans on board were known to have that might lead them to disable the key systems and change the flight's course. I kept wondering when they would get to the human aspect, and IMHO it was odd to me that they never did.

Of course, part of me wonders if they weren't afraid of lawyers or politicians...
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Wingtips56
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:41 am

It wouldn't be like PBS/Nova to speculate on the human element, and that's all anybody can do: speculate. Even if the wreckage and black boxes are found, if the cockpit was silent for the last 30 minutes, nobody will ever know what was said in flight.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
daus
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 5:37 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:52 am

The EE bay access on the 777 was surprising to me. The fact that there would be a maintenance terminal in there is concerning... Someone please tell me its at least password protected..  
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 25007
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:05 am

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 14):
It wouldn't be like PBS/Nova to speculate on the human element, and that's all anybody can do: speculate.

Perhaps, but there certainly are facts about the key humans that could have been explored, IMHO.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
lpdal
Posts: 1966
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:49 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:10 am

Are they still looking for the A/C? I thought I read an article that they had given up for the time being. Though I'm sure no government would "give up" on such a deadly disappearance.

I'm sure in a period of time, whether it be months or years, we will find out what happened to it. I remember reading an article in Popular Mechanics stating "the chances of finding AF447's black boxes is virtually nil" in late 2009/early 2010. A year later, they found them, and the mystery was solved.

-LPDAL
TWU represented. All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.
 
User avatar
NWAROOSTER
Posts: 1363
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:29 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:13 am

Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 14):

It wouldn't be like PBS/Nova to speculate on the human element, and that's all anybody can do: speculate. Even if the wreckage and black boxes are found, if the cockpit was silent for the last 30 minutes, nobody will ever know what was said in flight.

The cockpit voice recorders now record more than the last 30 minutes of conversation in the cockpit, unless the Circuit Breaker was pulled. This whole scenario will ultimately force the airlines and manufactures to put something on the aircraft that cannot be disabled that will report their current and previous locations of their current flight to ground locations. It can be enforced by having countries that have a large amount of airspace that the aircraft would need to fly through or by not allowing aircraft that do not have the equipment to report to have landing rights in that country. It could be made retroactive to any aircraft already flying. You would be surprised how fast the airlines would comply to these new regulations. Instalation could be fast tracked.   
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
Wingtips56
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:19 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 18):
unless the Circuit Breaker was pulled.

Hmmm... odds are that this could have happened in line with all the other elements of the crew-participant theories.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27360
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:20 am

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 17):
Are they still looking for the A/C? I thought I read an article that they had given up for the time being.

Yes. A new search program has recently been undertaken in a 350nm swath of ocean based on new models that presume the airplane spiraled into the sea after fuel exhaustion of the right engine, followed by the left.
 
ETinCaribe
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:57 pm

RE: PBS Nova Episode On MH370

Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:45 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):

I watched it and was surprised how it was so focused on the tech and so little on the humans. So much talk about primary versus secondary radar, satellites, transponders, GPSes, ADS-B, etc. So much more of that than talk about the human element given that there's no plausible way the aircraft itself could have done what it did without lots of human intervention!

They talked about how key equipment was not operating and discussed a bit about whether or not pilots should be able to turn off transponders, they showed exactly how one gets into the EE bay on the 777 and that the entrance is outside the cockpit, and even mentioned the two people traveling on false documents but seemed to spend NO time on the two humans with the most knowledge about the 777 and the two who had the best ability to turn off ACARS and transponders right at the instant when control was being passed from Malaysia to Vietnam and then successfully put the aircraft on a new course, which of course is the pilot and the co-pilot.
Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
Quoting Wingtips56 (Reply 14):
It wouldn't be like PBS/Nova to speculate on the human element, and that's all anybody can do: speculate.

Perhaps, but there certainly are facts about the key humans that could have been explored, IMHO.

I tend to agree that they could have at least mentioned who the pilot and co-pilot were, their backgrounds, services with the airline, etc. which would be all facts. One of the guest said you look at facts and let the facts lead you, but the problem here is the lack of data/facts...

I really enjoyed the part about Inmarsat analysis and how they calculated the projected trajectory of the plane based on the RTT of the pings and the relative movement of the unstable geostationary satellite.

In sum, a great episode, like most NOVA programs.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos