I’ve finally managed to squeeze some time to make a blog post again. (And to think I’m still busy with many datelines in work and family time) Late last night, I was reading and watching news which an airplane just disappears into thin air. Then my sister came in my room and the first thing she asked was: “why you look so sad?” I think I will never ever be able to understand the grief that passengers’ family have to go through now. It is beyond my imagination. If I understand correctly the news said, there were two passengers that boarded the airplane with fake passports. The said two passengers in the airplane using stolen Italian and Austrian passports purchased the tickets online at the same time so having consecutive e-ticket numbers. Both passports stolen in Phuket, Thailand. If this really true, they got half naked at security and the gate in the airport but they let these people to fly with fake passports?
Airplane appeared to turn back before disappearing … was the airplane hijacked, went dark, and landed somewhere? the mystery deepens. As of the moment, still no wreckage found, both the oil slick and strange object turned out to be false alarms. The most recent similar incident is the Air France Jet that disappeared in the Atlantic flying from Brazil to Paris, no distress call from the pilots. The suspected cause was air speed sensors that froze up and fed wrong information to the flight computer causing some sort of catastrophic failure. The air France operations center just received automated messages from the airplane that systems were failing, which i suspect Malaysian Airlines may be in possession of but has not disclosed yet.
I’m just thinking about this if we have GPS on our smart phone or in our tablet, how come an aircraft can be equipped a technology like that? So, I’m forced to conclude that my question is very technical to answer it. I’ve spoken to a schoolmate friend through viber who happened to be knowledgeable in technology and asked him about this incident in this day and age do planes still just vanish? Considering that today we have sophisticated GPS and radar/ satellite technologies, I am confused is that the physical plane has not been recovered yet? There’s is something they are not telling the public.
According to him : “ the smartphone doesn’t have a GPS transmitter or receiver in it, it actually has a RF transmitter and receiver in it so you can not only receive and transmit across GPRS, 3 and 4G networks, but also across 801.xx networks. (i.e. WiFi) This is actually a really important differentiator; let me prove to you how and why. When you next go into a public place and find the deepest and furthest spot away from where you can visibly see the sky…..now turn on your compass. Notice how your smartphone and tablet device will not only work, but will also give you the long. and latitude of your location.
The reason for this is that they are actually measuring from the closest GSM base stations and EVERY wifi router that is radiating any RF signal and then triangulating your position with reference to these. It is actually a pretty simple algorithm (4th year high school Physics), but, it is actually VERY accurate. Reason being is that none of the other signals are actually moving and they themselves have all been geography located over time, including the exact same principal. In fact, the more dense the electronic population, the more accurate they will tell you your location. Try it next time your deep underground in difference situations……..like the tunnel in greenbelt 5 mall in Makati.
However, from all reports, this only really accounts for about 1% of failures (and a number of friends who have been QF Captains for over 20 years haven’t had GPS failures of any sorts, other than power supply to the GPS transponders). With that being said, besides solar flares and issues of Strat/Ionosphere interference and diffraction, and cloud cover (which apparently have been ruled out now), there shouldn’t as far as I can tell (not that this means much BTW ;-)), from everything I have read over the past 40 hours, there really is nothing technically should have interrupted the GPS transponder feed info other than influence by a human element.
I’m sure you know (and everyone as well) that there were two alleged stolen passports used with passengers and authorities are now looking into this as well. I’ll be honest with you; I have developed a fear of flying over the past 6 months, due to the high frequency of taking flights and encountering turbulence. Hoping and praying everyone will be save, and restore my faith in flight. “
I WAS thinking and racking my brain over this incident it is strange, where did a large plane disappeared to? Whether it crashed, disintegrated or even got hijack, it’s strange no sight or signals could be found. But for relatives, without confirmation and closure, it’s agony that there is no discovery of any sort. If superheroes do exist in the world, there is no better time than now to show yourself. Humanity needs you. My thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew, and families of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. This is a VERY strange and potentially devastating happening in aviation industry.