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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Australian Officials ‘Very Close’ to Finding Wreckage

Australian authorities leading the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane reported they may be “very close” to locating the site of the wreckage after the Royal Australian Navy picked up signals that could be coming from the ill-fated aircraft’s flight recorders. During a search Sunday by the naval ship Ocean Shield, two separate and distinct “pinger” signals were detected in an area 1,040 miles (1,680 kilometers) northwest of Perth, which the most recent analysis of satellite data has… ( Mehr...

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Greg Bayard 3
No ELT frequencies transmit through water. Once the plane begins to sink the ELT signal is lost. If you have an emergency over water, manually engage the ELT immediately to begin transmitting. Once you ditch your signal ends.
Martin Haisman 1
Best you research aircraft FDR and CVR units and their properties, and the Honeywell type on 9M-MRO and you will find they do transmit through water up to and over about 6000 meters deep of water, are designed to retain integrity in salt water for up to two years, up to 2000 dg C for over an hour and up to 5000g impact force. In deep water where they have possibly, that's possibly, identified BB pings there can be distortion from the water layers and temperature and - yes the reason they are so expensive is battery does last for 30 plus days.

It only has to transmit a single frequency and think of your tiny personal devices that last for ages and are used constantly before needing a charge, then think about the size of ultra high quality battery able to fit in a FDR unit.
Greg Bayard 1
Satellites can't pick up audio signals in the water yet, so I figured we were discussing the radio frequency transmissions in the 121.5Mhz and 406Mhz VHF bands which would not travel though much water.

VLF is way lower frequency that VHF and can still only penetrate ~20 meters of water.
Victor Engel 1
Well, they can pick up SOME audio signals, but not of this frequency. An example of an audio frequency they picked up is the Fukushima earthquake.
CaptainFreedom 1
OK thanx. Soory for my ignorance.
sparkie624 1
Even if it would transmit through water, it would not last more than a day or 2... To power a VHF Transmitter for this time period, would require a HUGE battery.
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Different media are aptly covering the news from many angles and in many ways .

" MH370 investigators work to confirm signals heard by Australian, Chinese vessels "


" Oz: New pings sound like MH370 black box signals "

They all express some common concerns.

Whether the Chinese ships picked up the 'right' pings which were reportedly very weak ?
And, to confirm the source of the 'pings' before the batteries of the BBs die down !
IMHO, there is absolutely no need to dwell on these two.
Why ?
Any engineer or even physicist with indulgence in Sound having a vee bit of common sense knows and will recall that sound travel in waves in a medium . The signal strength(quality) though reduces over square of distance, but it depends heavily on the quality of medium also. Like in case of light ! If the medium is clean(!) the the signal will be 'clean' and so on. Therefore attaching too much qualitative concerns to 'pings' received by Chinese vessel will be irrelevant.
Now, coming to batteries weakening out or burning out, there is no need to panic.
As on date, we boast a lot about our competence in the word " Nano Technology". And today may be as good a day as any to test it ! Be it to pick up 'new but weak' signals AND/OR to 'enlarge' and analyse the signals received .
Battery strength being zero, notwithstanding !
Good luck to engineer-scientists involved .
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Friends, allow me to augment/supplement my fore going comment by the following
" Electromagnetic absorption by water "

Explaining about the effect of medium(water) on waves(electromagnetic)
Pleasant hunting with knowledge.
Alma arseneau 1
I hope they will found it soon
For the family
CaptainFreedom 1
This isn't relevant to finding the plane now, but I am somewhat concerned with the media's fixation on the voice and data recorders. There has been next to no mention or concern over the lack of an ELT signal. Should the ELT not have begun to transmit on impact, and be picked up rather quickly by a SARSAT satellite? Please excuse my naivety if I am way out to lunch here.
Arthur Dodd 1
Oops, make that 37.5 Kilo Hertz, as in 37,500 Hz.
Arthur Dodd 1
The pinger operates on 37.5 Hz AUDIO, not RF. It's an acoustic signal, not RF. Google it.
panam1971 1
Northwest Orient flight 2501 disappeared over Lake Michigan more than 50 years ago and never has been located. This in an inland lake only a few hundred feet deep. It took us 70 years to find RMS Titanic... and we knew where she sank. Underwater location and salvage is very difficult.
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
There is a three part news item in today's news paper in New Delhi, India
" In race against time, ship hunts for more jet ‘pings’ "

First part , mainly on
' ... . Once the beacons blink off, locating the black boxes in such deep water would be an immensely difficult, if not impossible, task.
If, by that point, the US navy listening equipment being towed behind the Ocean Shield has failed to pick up any signals, a submarine will be deployed to try to chart out any debris on the seafloor. ..... '

The second part , about the sonar ping locator torpedo ! The one that can go to depths of 4500 metre and run on a 20 hour mission !

The third part is a bit hurting type , " Cost of MH370 search reaches $44m " .
Though, prima facie, an informative piece, but the style of presentation seems annoying in as much as that to question the costs involved in this recovery mission !
I have been asking myself time and again a familiar question. What cost of inventions and discoveries ? And what cost benefit ratios, be it the short run or the long run ?
I doubt if such an analysis can be made validly for any new creation or discovery. Benefit of such inventions or discoveries can never never be fathomed instantaneously, in most cases.
Space research ? Moon to beyond the Solar system travel ? Why ? To what end gain ?
Difficult to gauge today. But gradually and indirectly we find uses of the development of tools and technology !
Same can be true in this case.
After all what will be gained by locating the BB ?
Causes of the crash ?
Yes but that's not all. We will be able to prepare a blue print to prevent similar happening for all time to come for each and every flight, be it commercial or private or even military application .
Let us wish the search teams well.
Kevin Pinto 1
scheduled airlines are not required to have ELT installed ( 121.50, 243,00, 406,00 ) only GA aircraft. Scheduled airlines have their own movement control and flight watch so they should know where the aircraft is.
mh 370 had no ELT, the pings would come from the FDR and CVR
To clarify my previous post, data received by a base station owned/controlled by the operator could be erased automatically, say, 24 hours after the aircraft had landed safely so storage isn't an issue.
If tracking an aircraft's flight profile is being done in real time, it should be possible to build in automatic alerts if this moved outside normal limits i.e. excessively rapid descents, or speeds. On this basis the operator would be aware of a major issue even before the aircraft hit the ground and, certainly, have a very good idea where geographically it occurred.
From what we have been told it seems to me the people involved accomplished exactly what they wanted to. The search area is now in water about 15,000 feet deep instead of 200 to 300 feet. Everybody is scurrying around spending millions and if the searchers are right it will still take years and more millions to get to.
Paul Kronfield 1
I am an oceanographer. Over 30 years ago we attached pingers to our devices, such as current meters, so that we could locate them more easily. These pingers had no batteries. They could ping for a year. They were powered by the electrolosis-produced current from a sacrificial anode. I have often questioned why our aviation black boxes need to have a battery with a limited life?
sparkie624 1
To help answer your question on that is that the industry is incredibly slow to approve anything... they want to make sure all the research is completely done and everything is safe and airworthy. No knowing the nature of the particular pinger you are referring to, but there may be some properties that does not make it a viable option, or the FAA may be looking at it...

There are other things that could be done... Prior to the crash have the FDR & CVR ejected from the a/c, have a flotation device to keep it a float, and a GPS Signal transmitted to satellites and or ground search vehicles...

The problem with ejecting these things is that if you are over land, and you are close by, the word Duck may come too late. But then while we are redesigning the whole thing, why not add a automatic deploying parachute to the box as well. As you can see, there are ups and downs to every improvement... I certainly would not want to be on the receiving end of one of these things being ejected from an airliner... To say the least, it would leave a mark... :)
Paul Kronfield 1
The electrolosis pinger operates only in salt water. It would not work in a fresh water lake or river. The electrolosis action of salt water on a zinc sacrificial anode sets up an electrical current strong enough to power an acoustic pinger/transmitter. I used this device numerous times in the Gulf of Suez, Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. Trawlers would pull my moorings some distance from where they were originally set, and I could easily find their location and recover them using a pinger locater. The pinger locater was directional, that is, once you pick up the ping, you can point the locater around the azimuth and home in on the location of the ping. This is not rocket science, like I said, we used these in the '70's.
Jared Smith 1
The flight data recorders also have a radio transmitter, as they are not always called to found in the ocean. That said, your suggestion has significant merit. This solution likely has not been implemented due to the lack of oceanographer experience in the aerospace field and aerospace's historical NIH tendencies. Consider contacting L-3 with technical data. They might be more receptive to outside solutions at this time.
sparkie624 1
Since when has FDR's had transmitters installed, I think that you are thinking of an ELT?? I have never seen an FDR or CVR that had a transmitter... Not mounted on a plane at any rate...
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Paul Kronfield, electrolysis ! Clever. But, of what ?
If water derived from sea, the same action for space will be a different ball game .
Views solicited.
Are present day FDRs and CVRs getting past their sell by dates? I hold a general aviation pilots licence, not an ATPL, so maybe I am being naive on this subject, but data transmission technology has come a long way since installation of FDRs and CVRs became standard.
Engine manufacturers already receive real time transmissions from an aircraft's powerplants, so why not flight data and voice recordings transmitted to operators?
Sure, nobody is set up for this yet and establishing the capability at airlines' home bases and in their aircraft would not be a cheap, or quick solution, but finding a downed airliner, let alone the FDR and CVR in an ocean is extraordinarily expensive and has no guarantees of success.
Just how much data are we talking about being generated on an average international flight? In a disaster situation, the data would be instantly available for analysis, not dependent on a lengthy search and recovery operation. Readily available data might give operational benefits quite outside of accident investigation.

Am I missing something here?
Jeff Pinder 0
They need to look in one of the hangars at Diego Garcia. It may be in there with the "twin" aircraft that is within two serial numbers. Painted the same and has been sitting in Tel Aviv for the past few months.
Martin Haisman -5
Usual stupid headline. If it is the BB signals its still a major task "mowing the lawn" with sonar and cameras at a huge depth looking for the aeroplane. That's if the signals are not whale farts.
btweston 2
I'm guessing "distinctive 'pinger' signals" are not whale farts. And they're a hell of a lot closer than they have been. Hey, at least this article presents some information. I was getting tired of retarded conspiracy theories.
Martin Haisman 1
That's true. Its still an aeroplane that for whatever reason stopped broadcasting its transponder code, contact efforts were unsuccessful, emergency response procedures were initiated, after a long time the UK devised and tracked the aeroplane to somewhere in the Indian ocean. That it full stop.

Zero else has been confirmed. As per my other comments they still have to mow the lawn with sonar and cameras and hopefully can find it.

The only indication beyond all the media crapola and misinformation is the movements of the aeroplane indicate deliberate control. And that is only gauging information I have been able to gain from the internet.
I saw on TV that you can put anything on the internet that is not true...even more so on News sites.
Walt Leuci 1
believe half of what you hear & none of what you read.
sparkie624 1
WOW... I would have never guessed that.. thanks for the heads up.. LOL... :)
sparkie624 -5
LOL.. What a joke... they will be lucky to find the plane in 10 years.
Find it? Heck, they are only now trying to get it into the right size pieces to try to make it more plausible. Heck, maybe they will find the remains of Osama Bin Laden somewhere down there...I till cant figure out how any and all posts on Flight Aware about the plane landing in China the night it disappeared - disappeared.
sparkie624 1
They probably have a better chance of find BinLadin... LOL, at least someone knows where they dropped him in the water... This one, no one has more than a semi decent idea of a guess.


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