January 31, 2010

Not Designed by Women

And so the search for that unfortunate flight 409 is still going on. They’re looking for both plane and two black boxes; one in the rear of the plane that contains all the flight information, and one in the front that recorded the conversation not only between Beirut Airport and pilot (which is recorded by Beirut Airport as well), but also between pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit. This one may explain the erratic flying pattern the plane displayed in its very last moments.
The Lebanese Army being briefed by the search team
But this search is not as simple as it seems. The flight recorder in the rear has a beacon which gives off a ‘ping ping’ once it hits the water. Sounds travels very far in water. It took them some days before they were even able to pick up the beacon sound. But apparently it does not have a device (like you see in police movies) that can zoom into the location of the device on a computer screen and identify its location to the nearest meter. Uhuh, they sort of have to follow the sound. An added problem is that there is an underwater cliff nearby. Anyone standing in between high rise buildings in Beirut should know that this can be very tricky; you can hear the plane, but you can’t really tell whether it’s flying by on your right or on your left; the sound bounces off the buildings. On top of that, they hear the ‘ping ping’ in an area that somehow does not coincide with the last radar position of the plane. This could be due to a number of reasons, all very technical.
The screens they are looking at (picture above)
You wonder why they haven’t developed flight recorders that do send out their location. The Air France plane that went down over the Pacific Ocean some months ago had the same problem. The pilots can figure out their location with a GPS, but an outside source cannot. And so they never could locate the black box, because that one went down in an area of lots of underwater cliffs and valleys. Unless you’re right above it, there’s no way of picking it up any time soon. And the thing only seems to work for about a month before it runs out of batteries.
An ROV operated by Oddysey Marine Exploration Inc.
On top of that, not every search ship seems to be equipped with a similar set of search equipment. One ship can search to this depth, the other to that depth, this one has a side-scan sonar, the other one has something different, this ship can lift things up to a depth of 100 meters, that ship up to 3,000 meters, and so you’ve got to get them all working together in order to get only one job done; locate and salvage a plane. Right now there are 3 ships on the job; 2 of which assist a third one, the Ocean Alert of Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. On board the Ocean Alert
And all of that makes me wonder; why not just build in a simple location devise in every plane? And every car, for that matter, so you can find it if it get’s stolen. And why not implant it in your children as well. That should be able to track down a kidnapped child in a jiffy. Aha, I hear some women think; let’s implant it in our husbands as well. Well, all this stuff is most obviously not designed by women.


Ms. Tee said...

Thanks! Best information on the search I have found yet.

Delirious said...

"let’s implant it in our husbands as well"

:D :D :D

Anonymous said...
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mas said...

Why doesn't the thing just start transmitting all of its stored information?! You wouldn't even need to physically retrieve it!

Thanks! For this post and the whole blog...

Anonymous said...


This stolen car retrieval system has been around for a long time...Works with the police departments.


poshlemon said...

lol my mom would love to implant this in me and I'm 26! ;)