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09-Feb-2018 23:15

The plane wasn’t being tracked because the communications equipment was dead.

We can and perhaps should argue whether some sort of fail-safe, independently powered locator signal ought to be installed aboard transoceanic aircraft, able to transmit latitude and longitude position, but in normal operations the existing equipment works quite well, and is a lot more sophisticated than people are being led to believe. The comments of retired pilot Robert Hilb were especially frustrating.

JUST A FEW THOUGHTS on Matt Wald’s tracked over the ocean, even in remote, non-radar areas.

This is something the media hasn’t been good at explaining. to Consider Ways to Track Planes Over Seas,” and similar phrasings, which have been rampant, give people the impression that once a plane hits oceanic airspace, it effectively disappears until making landfall on the other side.

See the Helios Airways accident in 2005, for an example.Once the engines quit, the plane would have stayed stable for a certain amount of time, then eventually would have stalled and/or plummeted and crashed. It’d somewhat depend on which modes of the autopilot had been engaged, as well as the plane’s altitude and speed.