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March 25th, 2014
01:39 PM ET

MH370: Technical failure or human act?

Two experts debate why they believe Flight 370 veered so far off course, a mechanical issue or an intentional human act.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. sylevine

    MH-370 Type Tragedies and Most Fatal Crashes Can Be Prevented By Proactive Use of the DFDR

    The bandwidth of military satellite communication systems are over ten times that the ACARS commercial system (ACARS is not a high bandwidth Sat. Com. System). The GPS system of satellites was put up by the military and resisted by the FAA & ICARO which were pushing Omega (100 times less accurate than GPS). Luckily for all involved. the Air Force was able to get GPS system funded and operational as a precision bombing system without the FAA or ICARO help. Those AF ATC 1946 veterans using radar dramatically stopped air crashes and we can update the ATC system to a 21st century Air Traffic Control System (21CATCS) that is global in capability.

    China has the technology and capability to put an end to this political problem and fix the system. The US, due to the influence of the Airlines, Aircraft Manufacturers and Pilot Associations, won't fix the dark-age killing system, because of fear of liability. They have successfully lobbied to keep the flight recorder data private. This fear has kept the safety critical Digital Flight Data Recorder, DFDR, data from being used in real-time proactively to prevent crashes. Similar to the US, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) hasn’t called for or allowed the DFDR data to be used in real-time also out of the fear of liability to its members. The only hope lies with China in making the DFDR public and used in real-time to proactively prevent crashes. Because of the Aviation industry influence on the NTSB, and the industry slapping the data as private, the NTSB has never put the Remote Flight Data Recorder on its most wanted list for aviation safety (the list has been published and posted since 1999 – this contributed to 9/11). Using the DFDR data in rea-time would allow the world to know an aircraft’s position, velocity and heading every second. Always remember that the remote flight recorder, data streaming black box, can be used in the present autopsy mode of post-crash analysis (which is important) in order to get to crash sites quickly and to insure the integrity and availability of data (stored on the ground).

    But more importantly, used proactively it can be used to prevent fatal crashes (see: the web site Safelander with its 9/11 simulation). Proactive use of the DFDR can prevent the majority of fatal crashes (see: NTSB, 1999, International Symposium Transportation Recorders paper – “The Remote Flight Recorder and Advisory System Telemetry System and Its Ability to Reduce Fatal Accidents by 78% – Note: If we had proactively fixed the problem in 2000, the 9/11 disaster wouldn’t have occurred). Thus, the proactive use of the DFDR data will save lives, make nations more secure and reduce the cost of air travel. China can emerge as the leading supplier of ATC and Management systems.

    We owe the fixing of the safety system to all those who have died in needless crashes that could have been prevented by proactively using the digital flight recorder information in real-time.

    Sy Levine (Prof. Eng.) was formerly Chief Engineer of Northorp's Electronic Division and holds fifteen patents, ranging from inertial navigation through holography. One early patent was for the first commercial inertial navigation system, INS, which was put aboard Pan American aircraft. It dramatically changed commercial aircraft navigation and safety. The INS is presently used on all large commercial aircraft. He was also the chief scientist aboard the USS Ethan Allen submarine – the one used in “The Hunt for Red October”- during its maiden voyage. Mr.Levine has been a guest lecturer for the Institute of Navigation (ION), has authored numerous papers, and won numerous awards in aviation safety. In 1999 he presented a paper on Remote Aircraft Flight Recorder and Its Ability to Reduce Fatal Air Accidents by 78% at the NTSB International Conference on Transportation Recorders. His work in this area is the result of sending a friend and PhD Software Engineer on a work assignment who died in the USAir, Flt 427, Aliquippa crash.

    April 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
  2. josehabreu

    Dear Sir.
    In my opinion the airplane mh370 was hijacked by a small group of pirates, that have forced the pilots to flown around Indonesia, on direction to Christmas Island. But possibly some kind of revolt on board did decide Hijackers to commit collective suicide, diping steeply the airplane in ocean.
    sincerely yours, Jose Abreu (Portugal)

    April 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm |

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