Sunday, June 29, 2014

Early Loss of Power Clue to MH 370's Flight into Indian Ocean

Minutes after Malaysia Flight 370 disappeared from military radar in the early morning hours of March 8, the airplane experienced a total loss of power but recovered, according to information released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The Boeing 777 last seen by a primary radar return at 2:22am (Malaysia time) headed north west along the Malacca Strait, was still flying in that direction when the power loss occurred.  Three minutes later the airplane sent a log-on request to the inmarsat satellite network, meaning its energy supply was back up and running. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hypoxia "Best Fit" in MH 370 Disaster ATSB Says

Infrastructure chief Warren Truss and ATSB chief Martin Dolan
Writing from Canberra - Despite saying that I don't want to be an "I told you so" I am feeling a bit smug about today's confirmation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that an unresponsive crew/hypoxia event seemed the "best fit" for the available information on the missing Malaysia Flight 370.

The Australians have been asked by the Malaysians to head up the search for the Boeing 777 that went nordo on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8th. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Will Knowing Where MH 370 Ran out of Fuel Help Searchers Find It?

Writing from Canberra -- How many times can investigators slice and dice the electronic back and forth between the missing Malaysia Flight 370 and the inmarsat satellite system and keep coming up with new details about what might have happened? Well every time someone tells me that sponge has been wrung dry, another new fact-let emerges.

A comparison of the seven distinct communication exchanges on March 8th 2014, indicates that MH-370 still had fuel at 8:11am Malaysia time, seven-and-a-half hours from the time the plane took off from Kuala Lumpur.  This is interesting considering that the airplane, loaded with 49,100 kilos or 10,8246.97 pounds of fuel for its flight to Beijing had only an estimated 7.2 hours of flying time.  (And has always made incredible, the claims by some reporters that the plane engaged in high climbs and steep descents and radar evading.) 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pilot and Boss at Ethiopian Cool About Dreamliner Post-Fire

Queen of Sheba at Bole International Airport
The Ethiopian Airlines pilot had no idea that the lady bounding off the bus filling with passengers headed out to board ET Flight 602, was an aviation blogger with plenty of ink both behind and in front of her on the subject of the prone-to-ignite Dreamliner batteries. But, as are many Ethiopians, he was courteous and answered my questions in the 45 seconds I had before being shooed back on the bus by the driver and my fellow passengers.

Pointing across the runway at the plane I thought to be ET-AOP, I had asked him, "Isn't that the airplane that caught fire back at Heathrow last summer?"

ET-AOP taxis to takeoff
He nodded. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Value-Added Airline Offers Palm Trees and Thermal Baths

Last fall to celebrate our anniversary, my husband and I decided to go to Paris. That we chose to fly on Icelandair and stop in Reykjavik rather than non stop, provides an example of the way airlines are coming up with new ways to take on the competition. After all, to fly New York to Paris via Iceland added several hours to our trip and a middle-of-the-night (by our body clocks) change-of-planes to our itinerary. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Data Shows MH 370 May Have Flown for Nine Minutes After Fuel End

The aircraft arriving at LAX in 2013 courtesy Jay Davis
The recent release of communication data from missing Malaysia Flight 370, shows the Boeing 777 probably flew for no longer than nine minutes beyond the point at which the plane ran out of fuel.

Buried in the 47-page report (warning: heavy on numbers and light on text) is the notation that between 8:10 and 8:19 the morning it disappeared on March 8, the plane lost and then regained power. Fuel exhaustion and engine flameout would cut power to the airplane. The only explanation for what caused it to ramp up again is the deployment of the ram air turbine.