Two weeks ago, I asked, “Live Black Boxes…Need or Want?” This question followed what seemed to be a media frenzy over live black boxes while they searched for something to report about MH370. Since then, thousands of man hours have been expended looking for the Boeing 777. Flight crews have taken risks flying low underneath the weather. Ships are making their way through difficult seas to support the search. Satellites have been redirected to new orbits.
Definition of insanity…
The Guardian, citing @AviationSafety, reports over 100 flights have gone missing since 1948. Most notable here is Air France 447 because of the calls for live black boxes following the disappearance of the Airbus 330.
…Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
According to what I’ve read several places, the major pushback on implementation of live black boxes has been from the airlines over the cost of connectivity and data storage.
Stop the madness!
@SimpleFlight posed a question via a Twitter during their March 23 Simple Flight Radio broadcast about whether or not live black boxes would become a requirement. My discussion with them basically covered:
- Yes, new mandates will come because of concern for survivors of any given crash and the resources being expended in the current search effort.
- ACARS is a more likely platform than ADS-B due to bandwidth and international coverage.
@RunwayGirl appeared on CBS to discuss possibilities for providing in fight position and, possibly, other data. She offered several options, including a short term solution to allow a more comprehensive system to develop.
Given the enormous effort being put forth to find MH370, I don’t think the airline industry can get away with, “It costs too much.” any more. In fact, I submit, their best move right now is to propose a plan before any regulatory or law-making body does. At a minimum, this plan should include transmission of position, altitude, airspeed, heading, and any abnormal conditions no less often than every 5 minutes for transport category aircraft operating over areas without primary radar coverage. The timeline should be 3 to 5 years for full implementation.
Is this too much to ask or not enough?