12 Responses

  1. Trevor
    Trevor at |

    Valid points… Come down to the cost/benefit curve. Of course, government and regulators ignore that all the time – just look at Airport Security in many western countries.

  2. Lack
    Lack at |

    You’re right about missing the crucial 5 min for example. But also, if it’s only 5 min times before the plane pings the base with some info, you can pin point that 5 min window to figure out the location for example, greatly decreasing the time and cost of potential search and rescue mission.

  3. LTL
    LTL at |

    What are we talking about in terms of cost? Harvard Law School tells me this might cost half a million dollars per aircraft. http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2014/03/10/why-dont-we-have-streaming-data-from-the-missing-b777/ A bit of google tells me that this is about one tenth of one percent of the cost of a new B777. http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/prices/ Amortized over the life of the aircraft, this seems like a pittance, especially when you consider that the aircraft is lost once it crashes. If we had real time data on AF447, someone would have told the cockpit, “push down on the stick,” and they’d all be here today.

  4. LTL
    LTL at |

    Sorry — one-fifth of one percent. But still.

  5. Sice
    Sice at |

    With so many onboard systems currently all that would be needed to transmit data in a more dire situation is just a little code. If x, y, or z happens then transmit more frequently. The plane can stay in charge of when that happens, but if health decreases or if anything outside the ‘normal’ function of flight happens then transmit the heck out of everything onboard. And all that polling of systems would happen onboard. I would think that some kind of forward thinking airline could start doing this on its own and earn INCREDIBLE loyalty from customers. Imagine if American/United/Delta just decided to do this and how it would change aviation across the globe. Yes it would be an investment but I have to think a lot of passengers would push their dollars that direction rather than somewhere else.

    And I agree, just remove the ability to turn off critical positioning systems like these.

    1. Trevor
      Trevor at |

      @ Sice — wouldn’t that kind’ve be like the discussion of a great warranty vs. a great product? “If your flight goes down, anywhere, anytime, your loved ones will know where you went down.” … just sayin’…

      1. Sice
        Sice at |

        That’s what this whole discussion is about, and how a plane has been missing this long when it shouldn’t have been. Simple changes could avoid that. And think if the plane went down in a controlled, gradual descent, it’s possible that people could have survived and been floating in the ocean; if they knew where the flight went those people could have been saved. So yes, I agree that better product is a more marketable angle but if I can choose an airline that takes safety seriously enough to invest in something like this you better believe I want it. And there’s no reason an airline shouldn’t offer that kind of service if I expect it from the new car I buy. Peace of mind can be a big seller.

  6. Glenn (The Military Frequent Flyer)
    Glenn (The Military Frequent Flyer) at |

    @ Seth – To those who simply think that there should be no way for the pilot to disable the transponder, what would you do in the event of an overloaded circuit? You have a breaker on every one of the electrical circuits in your home/ apt. in order to prevent a fire; wouldn’t you want the same thing on an airplane?

  7. Alan
    Alan at |

    I agree it’s surprising the transponder can still be disabled however my understanding from reports was that there are still radar blackspots where even having it switched on would make no difference. They said that MH370 was due to enter one of those so it was only when it didn’t come out the other end that the problem became apparent. Thus why there’s the suggestion of making more use of air to satellite rather than relying on ground to air which is patchy in places. I’d also argue a higher output beacon on the black box would be sensible even at an increase in size/weight (and this field costs) that this would bring.

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