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Thinking How Can A Modern Commercial Airliner Simply Disappear In 2014? Here Is The Answer

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In today’s world, where we can all carry around small mobile gadgets with GPS and have complex navigation systems on our cars, how can we lose a 210 foot long passenger airliner? This is what happened when flight MH370 of Malaysian Airlines disappeared along with 239 people onboard more than a week ago.

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Although many of us may think that a commercial airplane’s position is constantly monitored and that pilots are in continuous contact with air traffic control, the truth is far from what we believe. When a plane is 100 to 150 miles away from the shore, radar cannot be used to track where it is because it doesn’t have the coverage. Commercial aircraft then communicate using high frequency radio at predestined reporting points along the flight path, reporting the plane’s position, air speed and altitude.

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In most cases, flying at 35,000 feet is mostly uneventful and there is nothing to report, so pilots maintain radio silence and although planes use GPS for navigation, this only tells the plane where it is. And when in the air, an aircraft generates so much data that no one has figured out how to organize it into a readable manner yet. There is no way of transmitting, receiving and storing that data so that it can be interpreted wirelessly. Disappearances like those of flight MH370 are so rare that no one has gotten around to making it possible yet.

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But it is still surprising that aircraft cannot transmit their own location, even though WiFi services are available on many flights (which can be used to located a plane anywhere on the planet). There is enough bandwidth available for a plane to transmit all the data that flight control would need. A bandwidth of a few hundred kilobits per second would be sufficient to relay the plane’s diagnostics. The only problem is that no one has implemented a system yet (a system that would supposedly cost billions of dollars to implement worldwide).

Of course, there is the disastrous possibility that the plane crashed into the ocean or exploded mid-air, in which case, the debris is hard to find. It is hard to find scattered debris in such a large ocean, especially when you don’t know if the area where you are searching is right or not. Search and rescue teams have had a hard time looking for any parts of the aircraft because it is not confirmed where the plane went down.

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With so many unknown variables in flight MH370’s disappearance, it makes us wonder why we haven’t used our greatest technology to make something safer. Especially something as common as commercial airlines which are used on such a massive scale everyday. Hopefully, the case of flight MH370 will prove to be a learning point for air traffic controllers and aviation officials across the globe. Meanwhile, we can all pray for safe recovery of the passengers and the plane.

2 Important Articles You Should Read On The Missing Malaysian Airlines MH370:

1. Wondering Why Is It So Difficult To Find The Crashed Malaysian Airlines MH370? Here Are The Answers

210 Facts They Didn’t Tell You About Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

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13 Comments to Thinking How Can A Modern Commercial Airliner Simply Disappear In 2014? Here Is The Answer

  1. Philip Mugford

    regarding cell phones that rang for 2 days after the mh370 disappeared, why did the families contact Malaysian Airlines for an explanation? They should have contacted their cell phone service provider and ask which was the last cell tower the signal bounced off of. Knowing which cell tower was sending the ringing tone to the actual cell phone would put them closer to the MH370 location. You do not need a GPS to do this. Of course the official explanation was it could have been a dummy ring tone. But what if it was not a dummy ring but truly was ringing the phone. knowing which tower was doing this would put them within a Kilometer of the MH370 location radius even without any gps service. Has anybody got their cell phone provider to show the roaming list and where it ended up . this info could still be available if users even bothered to ask their cell phone provider. Malaysian Airlines could not provide this, so it was foolish to ask them in the first place. – Phil

  2. ????? ???? ????? UV???

    Something you ought to do to find out about watch before you’re left behind.

  3. My reviewe is that, we shouldn’t criticize one’s religion, but its the universal fact for all kinds of people that if One didn’t give a spirit to fly high in the sky then how can you fly, there is One Think about Him, where’s He?
    How can its possible in this modern age, its unbelieveable story, we should pray 4 that, every country should help the Malaysian govt, thanks

  4. mumtaz mahar

    oh my Allah we request that their families are waiting for them plz safe and sound return to home

  5. mumtaz mahar

    Dear this is shows that the super power is Allah ..not ur science ..this is clear cut msg that super power is ALLAH (God) this is also clear cut msg for atheist peopls always say for existence of God,,they feel each and every thing is science …so plz return to Allah understand and Obey him…who is creator universal ….let us pray for them Allah mercy upon them

    • diego garcia

      Science is the reason people can fly thousands of miles in few hours and conduct their business. If Muslims ruled the world we would still be stuck in dark ages like most Muslim countries.

  6. If safety was a really important concern, our planes were equipped with a parachute for each and every passenger, or some eject mechanism was built in to every seat, not some safety jackets which are quite useless most of the time.

    • Completely agree with Elias , in this technical world our Engineers concern security issue in Every Possible Manner for passengers security but why the don`t bring any parachute or ejection kind of mechanism for every passenger ……………………….

      • This topic is actually talked about on an in-flight magazine. There are several reasons they don’t have parachutes for every customers. First of all, plane crashes is actually pretty rare. We keep hearing about it because when it happens, it will often make headline news. They never report the thousands of flights that have been landed safely.

        In the cases of emergency, when the plane exploded in mid-air, there will be no use for a parachute. Even if the passengers have a chance to use the parachute, some people wouldn’t dare to jump (you are actually very high up in the sky if you think about it), and using a parachute actually requires training, it is not as easy as it seems, there are cases of people die when landing using a parachute. Even on the slight chances that you manage to land safely, there’s a good chance that you land in the middle of jungle or big ocean or somewhere far from civilization, and you still need to survive for hours, days, or perhaps even weeks, before the rescue team arrive (if they manage to find you). There’s also the cost issue. Having a parachute for every customers (not to mention an eject mechanism on every seat), will be very costly.

        • Heru setiawan

          setuju banget pokoke karo pete, ngomong teori tah gampang, prakteke sing angel son!!!

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