Officials “lowering expectations” on Flight 370, warn answers may never come

posted at 3:21 pm on April 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Will the families of those lost on Malaysia Air Flight 370 ever get an answer to the big question — what happened? After almost a month of looking for the wreckage and clues to the flight’s disappearance, officials in Malaysia and Australia have begun tempering expectations about the success of the search efforts. We may never know what happened, or find enough of the wreckage to make that determination:

A police investigation may never determine the reason why the Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared, and search planes scouring the India Ocean for any sign of its wreckage aren’t certain to find anything either, officials said Wednesday.

The assessment by Malaysian and Australian officials underscored the lack of knowledge authorities have about what happened on Flight 370. It also points to a scenario that becomes more likely with every passing day – that the fate of the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board might remain a mystery forever. …

Police are investigating the pilots and crew for any evidence suggesting they may have hijacked or sabotaged the plane. The backgrounds of the passengers, two-thirds of whom were Chinese, have been checked by local and international investigators and nothing suspicious has been found.

“Investigations may go on and on and on. We have to clear every little thing,” Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. “At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident.”

That will understandably enrage the survivors of Flight 370, but it raises questions for the airline industry beyond this particular incident. Most people believed that such a disappearance was all but impossible in the modern age of air traffic control and satellite communications. The inability to provide any answers at all — and the inability to quickly determine where the plane actually went — has likely undermined confidence in air travel, Clive Irving wrote earlier this week:

No accident in the history of aviation has so spooked people around the world. It’s like the old Bermuda Triangle phobia but many times worse —how can a large state-of-the-art jet with an impeccable record vanish without trace?

Amazement that this is possible is turning into outrage. The public has realized that there are serious gaps in the technology used to track flights. They are rightly angered to discover that we still have to devote huge resources to finding the airplane’s black box when the same critical data could be in the hands of investigators now but for the failure to adopt live streaming.

It’s also been infuriating to watch the ineptitude—or worse—of the Malaysian authorities as they attempt to manage the grief of the families of those missing and repeatedly build hopes that wreckage has been found and then have to confess that it hasn’t.

Yahoo’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner argues that Flight 370 will change the future of flying — or it had better do so, anyway:

In order to win back some of the confidence that has built up over years of relative safety (consider that nearly 1.3 million people die in car accidents every year) the aviation industry will likely have to adopt some new standards in response to this latest tragedy. Even as they are still unsure what, if any, measures could have prevented it.

In tandem with its positive report on Tuesday, IATA said it is creating a task force to make recommendations on how to improve aircraft tracking by the end of the year. IATA General Director Tony Tyler said, “in a world where our every move seems to be tracked, there is disbelief that an aircraft could simply disappear. Accidents are rare, but the current search for 370 is a reminder that we cannot be complacent on safety,” adding “we cannot let another aircraft simply vanish.” …

Last week, Joe Kolly, the research and engineering director for the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said the group is examining live-streaming some flight data recorders, removing the need to search for a plane’s black box in the event of a crash. According to Kolly, “You’re looking for what is the most important information… We have our staff involved in technical meetings and discussions and working groups on just what type of data you would need… what are the rates at which those data need to be transmitted, [and] what is going to trigger the data download.”

That would be an expensive proposition, and would be too overwhelming for real-time reactions to in-flight incidents. In the US alone, thousands of commercial flights take place every day, with so few incidents as to make this impractical, even if remote intervention would make any difference at all. But it would make recovery of the so-called “black boxes” a moot point after an incident, and might in this case have made the search efforts a lot more accurate from the first moments of awareness of the incident.

The article also notes that a $10 software upgrade would have improved the search effort, but wasn’t mandated, and better passenger screening and international data-sharing should have taken place, too. The latter doesn’t appear to have played a role in the incident (as far as is known now, of course), and Malaysian officials dispute the necessity of the former. All of these propositions are generally applicable to the industry, but until we find out more about what really took place, none of them address the why of Flight 370′s disappearance. We may have to resign ourselves to the fact that this mystery may never be solved at all.


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Comment pages: 1 2

They seem to know less now than when this all started.

VorDaj on April 2, 2014 at 3:23 PM

In other words, it could be in a hangar in Pakistan.

John the Libertarian on April 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

We may have to resign ourselves to the fact that this mystery may never be solved at all.

Kind of like Benghazi then.

VorDaj on April 2, 2014 at 3:26 PM

It’s dropped off of the front page now, and it may be months or years before we find out what happened. Or maybe never.

Ward Cleaver on April 2, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Officials “lowering expectations” on Flight 370, warn answers may never come

Officials move into next phase of cover-up on Flight 370, warn that the truth may never be revealed …

Pork-Chop on April 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Black Hole over Pakistan

Case closed.

sentinelrules on April 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Live streaming might be possible, but it will require bandwidth, a new infrastructure (satellites, probably), and new hardware in aircraft, which will take years. And even then, it could still possibly be turned off by the flight crew, either by pulling a circuit breaker in the cockpit, or by entering an electronics bay.

Ward Cleaver on April 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Make it impossible to silence/disable/etc. a transponder, ACARC and the like.

corona79 on April 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM

We may have to resign ourselves to the fact that this mystery may never be solved at all.

… kind of like the egotistical buffoon elected President of the United States … twice

corona79 on April 2, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Slow news day huh?

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Ignorance of what we are ignorant about is a perfectly acceptable answer. But that limited ignorance of ours doesn’t mean that we have to open ourselves to belief in stupid, conspiracy theories like Flight 370 is in a hangar in Pakistan.

thuja on April 2, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I think we should take extremely rare incidents and use them to enact extreme measures that will cost billions, damage the airlines and generally inconvenience every air traveler… just in case the extremely rare incident ever happens again.

mankai on April 2, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Lower? Seriously? How they be any lower?

Galtian on April 2, 2014 at 3:35 PM

*could

Galtian on April 2, 2014 at 3:35 PM

No matter what the event may be… if it is in the news… the vast majority of meetings by officials will be held for PR purposes and to construct spin.

They’re not having discussions about the evidence they don’t have, they’re having discussions on how to manage the news. Period.

mankai on April 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM

..that means CNN can keep running with it?

KOOLAID2 on April 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Streaming of ALL black box data may not be practical, but I’ve said all along that there’s no reason a $300,000,000 plane doesn’t come equipped with an always-on, externall-accessed (i.e. can’t be disabled from inside the plane) GPS transmitted that uplads a serial number and GPS coordinates to a satellite every 1 second or so, 24x7x365, in the air or on the ground.

Once you know where the plane was 1 second before it crashed or exploded, you can narrow the search area down to a baseball field size and find the black box in hours not years.

SoRight on April 2, 2014 at 3:42 PM

please excuse all the typos. new keyboard.

SoRight on April 2, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Okay, just spitballing here.
How about an externally mounted, tough-as-nails (i.e. black box strong) ELT? Make it float, make it robust, and make it let go in a major impact. Keep it charged with aircraft power, but don’t allow any other connection to the aircraft internally. Airlines won’t care much for the extra drag, but we aren’t talking about mega-expense or size here, sans the armour and floatation, these things are $250 and the size of an old fashioned cell phone.

JusDreamin on April 2, 2014 at 3:43 PM

“Authorities said… best leave it… unsolved.” -Nigel Tufnel

Akzed on April 2, 2014 at 3:43 PM

HOTDAM…24/7 365 Flight 370 coverage on MSNBC!!! Bobble-Heads on MSNBC will NEVAH EVAH be without work !!

BigSven on April 2, 2014 at 3:48 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Yeah, just Bing “mh370 transcript released”.

JusDreamin on April 2, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Best keep that at spitballin’.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 3:49 PM

We will see the typical knee-jerk reaction forcing the aviation industry do something to fix a problem when no one really knows what that problem was. Just like they jacked up the hours that copilots had to have logged by 3 times in order to work for the airlines after one accident, even though what they had been doing led to one of the safest forms of travel available. I hate this blame somebody or something world…I really do. Life does not come with any guarantees. Never did, never will.

Deano1952 on April 2, 2014 at 3:49 PM

It’s being loaded with an Iranian Nuke in Pakistan.

Hopefully that’s not prophetic.

Seriously… How could Boeing NOT have some type or satellite transponder installed on a craft like this?

hoakie on April 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

That will understandably enrage the survivors of Flight 370

There were survivors? “Next-of-kin” would be a better word in this case.

As to finding out – probably would have been able to find something out… if the Malaysians weren’t so insistent on not losing face and crap. Cover-up from the get-go on this (remember it took FOUR DAYS for the military radar track to be brought forward).

GWB on April 2, 2014 at 3:52 PM

The industry and the security agencies hate this case because there is nothing they can do to address it. Normally after an accident or terrorist action, they institute new measures, like making us take off our shoes and ditching our shampoo.

But if it was the pilot that did this, there is nothing they can institute to prevent a future occurrence. And pilot can fly his plane over the ocean where there is no radar and crash into the sea, and nothing can ever be done to address that.

And that is what bothers the authorities. They hate not having a “solution” to a problem.

HugoDrax on April 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Hard to tell how the airline industry will change.

This case, and in general… don’t put so much trust into the front people. It’s an illusion that they fly the planes. More and more they don’t, and rely way too much on the instruments.

It’s a dang shame that so many so-called pilots don’t even know how to land the planes, without the auto-everything, any more.

Also, a lot of scum are hired, while good former Navy and other pilots are out of work.

Also, the airports where small planes should fly are pretty devoid of young people. obama is intentionally, or not, destroying the private base, in the name of global-AlGore-enrichment and lots of bullcrap. Most who still fly privately are older geezers and the others are mostly Indians, not Native Americans, in the US legally, or not.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I don’t think it’s going to be solved. This has been the most incompetent investigation ever. I also believe there is a lot more to this story that we likely will never know.

cat_owner on April 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

How will this change the airline industry?

Umm…probably not at all. A million flights a year, or so. One plane blinks out of existence, probably due to a…troubled pilot.
I’ll take those odds, thanks. More dangerous to shop for an hour in a randomly elected Walmart.

As they say in my field: “**** happens.”
Probably, they use the same technical phrase in your field, as well.

orangemtl on April 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

I never believed the “All right, goodnight”. It would have been the first one. Identification is one of the first drills.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Scum of the Earth

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 3:57 PM

JusDreamin on April 2, 2014 at 3:43 PM

You obviously no little about getting a device approved for aviation purposes. Things that cost 500 dollars for the typical consumer can run into the tens of thousands in order be approved for the airlines. That’s just the way it is.

Deano1952 on April 2, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Starlink on April 2, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Get used to disappointment when you grow up.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

52% of Malaysian Airlines is gov’t owned and it’s the 6th worst airline in the world on making money. It’s also pretty dead now.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

6th worst airline in the world on making losing money

…more accurate now

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Bush’s fault, obviously.

Xanatos90 on April 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing is accurate.

blink on April 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I don’t know about that.

I’ll stick with Inmarsat’s conclusions.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Seriously… How could Boeing NOT have some type or satellite transponder installed on a craft like this?

hoakie on April 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Because 777s aren’t like a naughty dog who digs under the fence and chases cars. They generally are owned by corporations that have LOTS of money invested in them, and have a vested interest in them not disappearing. You don’t walk out to the airport ramp and say, “Dude! I could have sworn I parked it right here!”

GWB on April 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM

I’ll take those odds, thanks. More dangerous to shop for an hour in a randomly (s)elected Walmart.

orangemtl on April 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Or on the drive to the airport.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Seriously… How could Boeing NOT have some type or satellite transponder installed on a craft like this?

hoakie on April 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

It’s up to the airlines to order what gets installed and tracked. It all costs money and is made to order.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 4:04 PM

I was always skeptical of it, but how on earth would/could someone screw that up so badly (on purpose or via incompetence) knowing that the actual transcript would be released at some point?

There really are no words.

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

The Malaysian communications guy admitted two days ago that he only communicates what his gov’t allows him to.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

The Malaysian communications guy admitted two days ago that he only communicates what his gov’t allows him to.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

This was when he was asked your question.

Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

I am *so* not taking that bait. :D

GWB on April 2, 2014 at 4:07 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Garbled translation. Have you ever tried to read assembly instructions from anything made in that part of the world.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 4:07 PM

No accident in the history of aviation has so spooked people around the world. It’s like the old Bermuda Triangle phobia but many times worse — how can a large state-of-the-art jet with an impeccable record vanish without trace?


Hmmmmmmmmm …
Let’s pose some BIG factors in the form of questions …

Have the country it originated from delay announcing it until TWO hours after it was scheduled to arrive but SIX hours after they knew it had turned back?

There was plenty of time for Malaysian authorities to put out a general warning the aircraft had gone off its flight plan and to ask other countries to track it.

The Inmarsat data and calculation methods are being treated as “closely held” information despite repeated calls for it to be made available to a much larger group of experts who, if nothing else, would either be able to validate Inmarsat’s work or come up with new insights. Why haven’t the BIG players pressed to make this happen given the complete lack of results from the EXPENSIVE searches to date? How long before finding absolutely nothing becomes the validating reason to stop searching?

Interesting thought – aside from Inmarsat’s saying, “The aircraft could not possibly have avoided land based radars.” – there isn’t another DATA based reason NOT to search along the Northern arc. Thailand has its OWN political troubles right now … and the rest of the countries along the Northern arc make Thailand look like a beacon of stability by comparison. Stealing a $ 300 million aircraft for ransom if you are a “disgruntled” pilot makes a LOT more sense than “I’ll steal the plane and fly it till it runs out of gas” as a SILENT suicide statement.

Note to those sneering about “conspiracy theories” – you are sneering at individuals doing the SAME THING the people in charge of the investigation are doing – making BROAD speculative guesses about what COULD have happened.

Given the Malaysian governments track record … I am a LOT more comfortable with “crowd sourcing” than letting Malaysia control the investigation.

Interesting data point: They had a gentleman on CNN last week who has been covering the aviation industry for 20+ years. He stated that “starting in 2003, Boeing was using as an inside the industry selling point – their latest hardware/software upgrade to the 777 would allow Boeing to remotely take control of the plane away from hijackers (it’s fly-by-wire, if you control the computers, you control the plane), completely cut the cockpit off from the controls as a means of preventing another 9/11 attack using a 777. They marketed this capability for years but have refused to return my calls asking specifically about this capability in the past week.”

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Many of the Southwest planes I’ve flown in recently, have WiFi. If I can stream a movie at 30k feet, they ought to be able to stream data and cockpit audio.

jnelchef on April 2, 2014 at 4:10 PM

The erratic path eventually to nowhere, the sudden turnaround, the climb and dive all tend to support the former pilot’s theory about the fire.

The flight was transporting lithium batteries which, if improperly packaged, can ignite into a fast-burning fire giving off clouds of toxic smoke. In a fire, oxygen isn’t deployed since it tends to explode. So unless the cockpit was equipped with smoke hoods – which themselves only offer a couple of minutes of protection – the pilots would have been overwhelmed very quickly. Their final act may have been to set the autopilot to send the plane away from land and populations, making them the heroes, not villains.

I dismissed the theory when it was first brought up but I must admit that it now fits better than any other I’ve seen advanced.

Adjoran on April 2, 2014 at 4:11 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 3:49 PM

And since we have no idea what happened, all the efforts would be put into better black boxes (or similar). Nobody can fix willful pilot error (and very little about accidental pilot error).

It would be a very expensive “feel good” fix.

mankai on April 2, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I bet we find it next September 11th…

Tim Zank on April 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

You obviously no little about getting a device approved for aviation purposes. Things that cost 500 dollars for the typical consumer can run into the tens of thousands in order be approved for the airlines. That’s just the way it is.

Deano1952 on April 2, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Good point. Even seemingly simple items for GA, add a digit, at least!

JusDreamin on April 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Look at the bright side:

Somewhere out there is a budding “Robert Ballard” type getting all kinds of ideas. Some day he will get a secret contract from some nation’s navy and use the left over time to find MH370.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Live streaming might be possible, but it will require bandwidth, a new infrastructure (satellites, probably), and new hardware in aircraft, which will take years. And even then, it could still possibly be turned off by the flight crew, either by pulling a circuit breaker in the cockpit, or by entering an electronics bay.

Ward Cleaver on April 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The way I see it, you’ve got SQL-style data in the form of avionics info (the data recorder), and then you have the voice recorder. Add in compression, both for the data, and the voice (hell, one could even use g711 uncompressed for the voice) — You’re looking at about 80kbps for the voice, and depending on how up-to-the-minute you want to be (once a second, once a minute, whatever), maybe 1mbps total worth of bandwidth for data and voice.

When you consider SouthWest’s shitty GoGo Wifi already provides 3mbps aircraft-wide… I fail to see the technical problem in providing such a streaming service today.

nullrouted on April 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

“enough debris”? They haven’t found any debris. I have 2 theories. Either it crashed in Malaysia and they don’t want to admit it or it’s in Pakistan or someplace like that as some actual experts believe.

crankyoldlady on April 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I dismissed the theory when it was first brought up but I must admit that it now fits better than any other I’ve seen advanced.

Adjoran on April 2, 2014 at 4:11 PM

.
I’ve been fighting off an upper respiratory infection for the last 10 days. I’ve commented much less on here (not clear headed) but have idled waking hours reading the PPRuNe.net “MH370 thread”.

The people on there who are long time members validated as pilots have tried to stomp out the “fire on the plane” line of reasoning over and over again. The moderators are literally EXCISING a couple of pages worth of comments every few hours as a means of trying to stop the constant rehashing “new members” bring up – and then get all bent if someone tells them to go back and read from the beginning BEFORE commenting.

Quick summary of the problems with the “fire on the plane” nonsense:

The 777 has a fire suppression system in place in the hold that works three times longer than the required 30 minutes.

The 777 has triple redundancy with automatic “fail over” in ALL systems.

Every single 777 experienced pilot over there has said the same thing, “If you had ANY major problem, you are going to get on the radio and report it. You want EVERYONE’S immediate attention and priority over EVERYTHING ELSE. Plus, there’s no way to find survivors/wreckage if you are being silent”.

The latest idle speculation is “ALL the electronics were wiped out except for the engines which are on their own wiring harness” (not true) – which again ignores what the PILOTS have said, “NO ELECTRONICS means NO AUTOPILOT which means the plane falls out of the sky RIGHT THEN – not 7 hours later.”

All the pilots agree on ONE thing – someone was at the controls in one form or another.

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

best way to make sure this example doesn’t happen again is to make sure the crew is reliable.
and unless you want to see reports of a/c going poof in the sky the crew MUST have the ability to disable systems.
and yes, that may include the system that would show where the a/c is.

dmacleo on April 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

I bet we find it next September 11th…

Tim Zank on April 2, 2014 at 4:18 PM

.
… I think you mean IT finds us next September 11th?

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

We will see the typical knee-jerk reaction forcing the aviation industry do something to fix a problem when no one really knows what that problem was.

Deano1952 on April 2, 2014 at 3:49 PM

While we are at it, we might as well order rear-view cameras for all planes as well.

slickwillie2001 on April 2, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Just gives the Alex Jones nutters more crap to spew conspiracy with.

The Pilot committed suicide (and murder). Case closed.

The Notorious G.O.P on April 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

In other words, it could be in a hangar in Pakistan.

John the Libertarian on April 2, 2014 at 3:25 PM

TWA800 redux.

And that lead to some great, grand ol’ times.

I bought the Indian Ocean story after the Aussie PM mentioned it, because they’re on top of their shite. Then once they started saying the sat images were from us and four days old, I was out.

We and the Chinee know what the deal is, and I got a funky feeling it has to do with the cargo or passengers if the Texas semi-conductor/plane stealth articles were accurate.

I also found the raid timing on the Lybian tanker very out-of-nowhere. We know Spec Ops uses replicas like towns and trains to practice maneuvers.

budfox on April 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Most who still fly privately are older geezers
Schadenfreude on April 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

So true. But, give this old geezer some credit as when I ride my bike to the airport, I arrive on a BMW looking like a red neck from the ’60s while ever other old geezer has a Harley and is wearing brand new leather chaps. True and funny!

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

CNN has it figured out.

JetBlast on April 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

What’s the geographic coverage and reliability of Southwest’s system?

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Point taken blink, but there are systems on trans-atlantic (and I assume trans-pacific) flights too, and yes, they do work up near the north pole (or at least off the coast of Greenland, based on my last trip to Germany flying Lufthansa).

It wouldn’t necessarily have to be ‘streaming’ either, even snippets every few minutes would be vastly superior to what we have now.

nullrouted on April 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:42 PM

From what I have read, they compared similar tracks of other aircraft along the northern track and were able to use other sources to determine the plane didn’t fly north.

The Australians turned their search effort to the Indian ocean days before any mention was made and the US stopped searching any areas not associated with the southern track.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 4:49 PM

“NO ELECTRONICS means NO AUTOPILOT which means the plane falls out of the sky RIGHT THEN – not 7 hours later.”

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Have you ever trimmed up a plane and then just let go of the flight controls for a while? In my experience they don’t fall out of the sky right then.

DarkCurrent on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Buy a product made in SE Asia and try to decipher the assembly instructions.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

And the reliability issue?

blink on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

What’s your point? Because it might not be 100% reliable it’s not worth doing? Isn’t some data better than no data at all?

nullrouted on April 2, 2014 at 5:05 PM

“…..enrage survivors of Flight…”

WHAT survivors? good grief, read what you are writing!

herm2416 on April 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Have you ever trimmed up a plane and then just let go of the flight controls for a while? In my experience they don’t fall out of the sky right then.

DarkCurrent on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

When I teach my commercial pilots steep turns in a DA-42; they learn at 30 degrees of bank to add a bunch of up trim (nose up trim to better explain) as they roll into a 45 degree coordinated turn. Of course there are other steps like adding power from straight and level, but my posts are way to long so don’t nit-pick and make me haul out my PTS and explain in detail!

They learn steep turns correctly by never touching the stick from the time they enter the steep turn till they roll out.

Thus DarkCurrent is 100% correct in his statement. If you want I will explain stability and discuss the difference between neutral, negative, and positive…..Just for starters.

Then I will yammer on about positive static longitudinal stability…negative dynamic stability. Chuckle!

To be serious I still like to teach ground school.

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Have you ever trimmed up a plane and then just let go of the flight controls for a while? In my experience they don’t fall out of the sky right then.

DarkCurrent on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

.
Fly-by-wire planes are dependent on the electronics. The folks proposing a situation that destroys triply redundant electronic systems ignore the damage such a “deus ex machina” would inflict.

FYI, some of the USAF’s fly-by-wire planes are inherently unstable by design.

Like I said, the pilots aren’t buying the “ghost plane” with no one at the controls because it doesn’t fit the known facts.

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

So true. But, give this old geezer some credit as when I ride my bike to the airport, I arrive on a BMW looking like a red neck from the ’60s while ever other old geezer has a Harley and is wearing brand new leather chaps. True and funny!

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

S1000RR right? :)

nullrouted on April 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Dude, aerodynamic apples to no wing over engined oranges.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

IIRC, Dark Current and HonestLib are pilots.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Before you chop me into little bitty internet bytes….I was talking about a training situation with the bird flying correctly. The DA-42 is only fly-by-wire with the FADEC “system”. Flight controls are not fly-by-wire. Sheesh….this internet stuff is cumbersome for us old guys. Chuckle!!

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Have you ever trimmed up a plane and then just let go of the flight controls for a while? In my experience they don’t fall out of the sky right then.

DarkCurrent on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

ATR-42/72 already full trimmed by the AP due to ice (ATR deice issues caused it) will when AP disconnects. AMR/Eagle pilots found this out the hard way.
but thats not really the same scenario. And in a large AC like this the responses are so slow it could fly for a long time. hell iirc most of the flight is actually done through trim corrections anyways, trying to avoid large control surface movements is the goal. We had an EMB135 rudder pca rod break right after takeoff here (KGBR) and crew used trim controls to return. safely. wild ride I was told.
I processed a lot of paperwork on that one..

dmacleo on April 2, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Dude, aerodynamic apples to no wing over engined oranges.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

.
While I think I know what you’re saying …

… I’ll leave it at this …

If you want to argue the flight characteristics of a Boeing 777, head on over to the PPRuNe.net thread and make your comments …

… but don’t be surprised if the thread moderators decide to delete what they consider “endless rehash” by non-experts of what they members in long standing with 777 experience have already answered. The thread is currently over 9,000 replies and 458 pages … but the page number can drop when the mods “clean up”.

Anyone on here have flight hours in a 777 or fly-by-wire aircraft?

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

PPRuNe.net thread and make your comments …

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

No thanks. I have other links for pilot talks (where I know who many of them are). Or, I just go talk to folks I know who are real pilots.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Some really great posts! I, for one, never believed that the plane was in the Indian Ocean. I do believe:
1. The plane was hijacked either by the captain, or both the captain and co-pilot. Unfortunately, the passengers and the rest of the aircrew are dead. This can be fairly easily done (though I don’t like thinking about it) by just de-pressurizing the cabin while the pilot(s) wear oxygen masks.
2. I maintain that the plane is in some remote airfield being repainted and fitted with a WMD. The target being either Israel or the US. I figure Iran is behind it, as I believe that they already have nukes in which one was tested a few years back in North Korea. I remember hearing that the nuke tested had a different signature than previous nukes they tested. What Iran does not have is the delivery system. What good is nuke without transportation?
3. We will find the plane when it flies over Tel Aviv or the US, when it is too late.
4. One other thing. While I may sound like I need to get fitted for a tinfoil hat; what people do not understand is that while the oceans cover three-fifths of the surface of the planet, there are a lot of microphones and seismic detectors in the oceans. I believe that at least the US is capable of actually hearing the plane crash into the ocean. They simply triangulate the position.
About changes to systems:
The weak link in all the reporting systems is the circuit breaker. Period. Every captain and co-pilot will know where the circuit breakers are for every system in the plane, and they need to be able to do it by feel in case they are blinded by smoke in the cockpit. They simply pull the breaker and the system is defeated. Every aircraft has to have a breaker protecting every circuit. Otherwise is a short develops in flight, no matter how small, and become catastrophic.

JimmyGee on April 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

IIRC, Dark Current and HonestLib are pilots.

cozmo on April 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

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I know … people HERE may have issue with what I am reading there so I’ve invited them to head over THERE.

Before you chop me into little bitty internet bytes….I was talking about a training situation with the bird flying correctly. The DA-42 is only fly-by-wire with the FADEC “system”. Flight controls are not fly-by-wire. Sheesh….this internet stuff is cumbersome for us old guys. Chuckle!!

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 5:18 PM

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I have no interest in chopping you “into little bitty internet bytes” because, for my money, you live up to your moniker.

There are a fair amount of “low post/previous years join date” currently debating the nitty gritty details of the Inmarsat “ping” calculations.

And you pick up the occasional ‘nugget’ – member ‘CodyBlade’ since Nov 2007 based in Hong Kong posted a few hours ago that Singapore has a “G5 eye in the sky 24/7″ – is that accurate? IDK. My information is Singapore has the BEST money can buy and is VERY sensitive to airspace instrusions (i.e. no 9/11 for them) which coincides with what I’ve heard when I was in Singapore.

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:34 PM

FYI, some of the USAF’s fly-by-wire planes are inherently unstable by design.

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Unstable by design is a way to understand stability in an airplane, but is not technically correct as stability is defined as being positive, neutral, negative and so on. But, I get what you are saying. Many planes can only be flown with computers due to their stability characteristics at various stages of flight. You could have full electrical power, but if you lost your “computers” which interpret flight control movements by the pilot within predetermined flight characteristics…..the pilot could not make the many corrections needed in real time to fly the plane.

Geez…..I am terrible at explaining this stuff sometimes. Trust me I do use the term unstable when teaching as it conveys a thought easily grasped.

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

debating the nitty gritty details of the Inmarsat “ping” calculations.

PolAgnostic on April 2, 2014 at 5:34 PM

If you have noticed, I have yet to comment on that subject, as the in the weeds working of that stuff is way out of my league. Have learned quite a bit from many posts here I will happily admit.

Thanks for the nice response.

HonestLib on April 2, 2014 at 5:42 PM

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