Thursday, March 13, 2014

Online Aircraft Tracking and Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 MAS370

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines  flight  MH370 is as I write an unsolved tragedy and I had thought mystery.

As a result I have done some analysis on how it is possible that a Boeing 777 or any commercial aeroplane was NOT continuously reporting its position to the ground.

"Malaysia Airlines has not revealed if it has learned anything from ACARS data, or if it has any," it said, referring to the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which automatically collates and files four technical reports during every flight so that engineers can spot problems.
These reports are sent via VHF radio or satellite at take-off, during the climb, at some point while cruising, and on landing.

Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADSB)
ADS-B, which consists of two different services, "ADS-B Out" and "ADS-B In", will be replacing radar as the primary surveillance method for controlling aircraft worldwide. In the United States, ADS-B is an integral component of the NextGen national airspace strategy for upgrading or enhancing aviation infrastructure and operations. The ADS-B system can also provide traffic and government generated graphical weather information through TIS-B and FIS-B applications.[6] ADS-B enhances safety by making an aircraft visible, realtime, to ATC and to other appropriately equipped ADS-B aircraft with position and velocity data transmitted every second. ADS-B data can be recorded and downloaded for post-flight analysis. ADS-B also provides the data infrastructure for inexpensive flight tracking, planning, and dispatch.[6]

FlightRadar24, another real-time flight tracking app, immediately sought to analyse its data following the plane’s disappearance. The site appears to have slightly more data, tracking flight 370 for another 15 or so minutes. Yet it, too, could not track the plane completely.
“Between [1:19 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. Malaysian time] the aircraft was changing heading from 25 to 40 degrees, which is probably completely according to flight plan as MH370 on both 4 March and 8 March did the same at the same position,” explains a post on the company’s Facebook page. “Last two signals are both showing that the aircraft is heading in direction 40 degrees.”
Then the company lost track of the plane. It did not receive any emergency “squawk” alerts.
That data comes from the ADS-B transponder on the plane -- the so called black box -- which transmits a plane’s location twice per second. Roughly 60 percent of all passenger aircraft are equipped with transponders that beam out such data, the company said.

There is various press coverage of what I regard as deeply insulting behaviours

Witch Doctor Prayers

An Ocean of Prayers

Are people praying that the God that allowed this tragedy to happen in the first place would suddenly [as a result of prayer] have a change of heart and make everything good.

By all means let's have solidarity and compassion for the relations and loved ones of the missing.  Let's support the staff who are trying to search and find the plane.  These matters are not prayer related.

And so to summarise.  YES I am quite critical of  the airlines & Government:

  1. The ADS-B service or equivalent should be installed on aircraft right now.  It provides a sub second plane position, altitude and velocity data transmission.

    Governments MUST allow collection of this data at all times, with if necessary rules to allow the confidential holding of this data and its timely disposal as necessary.

    It seems here that ADS-B information was not collected because Governments have forbidden its collection in certain areas
  2. Internet communicators and mobile phone communications should be allowed on planes.   Carriers continued preposterous claims that such devices interfere with a planes electronics is beyond insulting.
Had on-board Internet connections been present on this plane, every passenger with a smartphone and a gmail or equivalent account would have been periodically broadcasting their position. With >200 passengers, we would likely have had a significant tracklog dataset.

Normally have time to communicate
Real time flight tracking
Spidertracks tracking
Example online tracking
MAS370 track log from flightaware
ADS-B Explained
FlightRadar24 data