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The Almighty Buck Transportation Technology

Most Expensive Aviation Search: $53 Million To Find Flight MH370 233

Posted by timothy
from the what's-the-right-amount-to-spend? dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The search and investigation into missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is already the most expensive in aviation history, figures released to Fairfax Media suggest. The snippets of costings provide only a small snapshot but the $US50 million ($54 million) spent on the two-year probe into Air France Flight 447 — the previous record — appears to have been easily surpassed after just four weeks.... The biggest expense in the search has involved ships, satellites, planes and submarines deployed first in the South China Sea and the Malacca Straits, and then in the remote reaches of the southern Indian Ocean."
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Most Expensive Aviation Search: $53 Million To Find Flight MH370

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  • Re:But Terrizm! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Macman408 (1308925) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @01:50AM (#46667739)

    If it's an electrical fire (or if the pilots think it might be), they would turn off all the electrical systems; so ACARS, transponder, and radio are gone. Meanwhile, they're trying to extinguish the fire - it's still under control, they're just unable to communicate for fear that the electrical systems are causing the fire. And before they can either restore partial electrical systems or land, they become incapacitated by smoke.

    Screaming for help is not a top priority. The priority is Aviate, Navigate, Communicate; first, you fly the plane, because that gives you time to do everything else. Then, you figure out where you're going; if you fail at this, you might end up somewhere unexpected, but at least you're alive. Finally, you communicate; if you're alive, it would probably be useful to tell somebody where you are and what's going on. Telling ATC that your plane is on fire and you're about to die of smoke inhalation is useless - FIRST you get the smoke and fire under control, at least long enough for you to navigate to an airport or piece of flat ground. Once that is manageable, THEN you communicate your distress. Even if they had communicated their distress early on, there's nothing that could have been done; there's no way for firefighters to board the plane and extinguish the fire while in midair, obviously.

    If you listen to the "Miracle on the Hudson" ATC recording, the pilot is very brief and succinct; he communicates that he lost both engines and is returning, then that he is unable to return, then asks what the airport is on his right side, and then that he can't make it to that airport either and is heading for the Hudson River. There's lots of dead air when ATC asks him a question and he doesn't have time to respond.

    I think the fire scenario is a pretty reasonable explanation, but it's by no means the only possibility.

  • Re:But Terrizm! (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday April 05, 2014 @05:42AM (#46668313)

    I think the fire scenario is a pretty reasonable explanation, but it's by no means the only possibility.

    The fire scenario has been pretty thoroughly debunked at this point. Radar shows that the plane made multiple turns and changes in altitude, meaning that it was being actively piloted. Here's what we currently do know: the ACARS transmitter was turned off, the plane made a sharp turn to the west and climbed to 45,000 feet. Radar then shows the plane descending to 23,000 feet. The plane turns again and climbs, heading out over the Indian Ocean. At this point, radar contact is lost; however the satellite pings indicate that the plane ended up in the southern Indian Ocean, which means it had to turn again. So after the transmitter is turned off, the plane made at least three turns and changed altitude three times. Someone was definitely at the controls until radar contact was lost.

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