March 13th, 2014
10:30 PM ET

U.S. Navy Commander searching for Flight 370: "If something was in the Gulf of Thailand we would have found it"

U.S. Navy ships and aircraft searching for Flight 370 are heading towards the Indian Ocean. That is hundreds of miles in the opposite direction the plane was heading when its transponder went dark. U.S. Navy Commander William Marks is on board the USS Blue Ridge and tells Anderson "I, like most of the world, have seen nothing like this before."

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Filed under: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. dkossuber

    Could it be possible that the Boeing Uninterruptible Auto Pilot was activated from the ground by rouge elements? It's my understanding that once activated a plane can be flown from a remote console just like a drone.
    "once activated, takes control of the airplane away from the pilots and flies it to a predtermined landing position."
    "New technology can be activated by the pilots, government agencies, even on-board sensors; not even a tortured pilot can give up control; dedicated electrical circuits ensure the system’s total independence"

    March 17, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
  2. mdmccray

    Below is a request that was sent to a number of vendors of ELT equipment. It is our belief that if International flights were all equipped with a standardized version of what is described below, the chaos that has occurred this past week would have been largely avoided. In this case an attached PDF file illustrates how such a product might appear.

    The answers of having streaming video and or audio from the flight deck is opposed by most pilots unions for privacy reasons. As dubious as this is, it is something that really doesn’t solve this issue. If there is ill intent involved, systems such as those can be defeated.

    What we would like to see is a device that is independent of the Flight Deck, which is always transmitting data via Cospas-Sarsat system. And is automatically deployable reverting to a long life, floating ELT. There is really little reason that anyone should object to this relatively simple system. Variations of the systems are already on some military and selected commercial aircraft, such as oil industry transport helicopters supporting off shore oil platforms.

    (here is an example of a feasibility request to a vendor)


    My name is Michael McCray, I am a senior Captain at a major US Airline, and I have over thirty years with my airline and over twenty-five years of international long haul flight experience. I do not represent my particular Airline nor any Pilots Union. What I am is a member of very concerned advocates of products such as your 503-16 Series CPI Beacon, adapted for use in commercial aviation.

    Given the situation with Malaysia Flt 370, the time is ripe to push for international requirements for a system such as yours with enhancements on all international/overwater flights.

    The very least we would like to see is a system:
    1) That is flush mounted to the exterior of the aircraft
    2) That is automatically deployable in the event of a catastrophic incident.
    3) That is manually deployable but not disarm-able from the Flight Deck. Perhaps wired to a hot battery bus to maintain a constant charge.
    4) That is tied in to the GPS/FMC/INS to be able to transmit accurate position information.
    5) That once deployed, will be impact resistant and will float indefinitely in any kind of water.
    7) That once deployed, will be able to transmit a distress signal for at least 200 hours.

    Ideally I would also like to see the following additional capabilities:
    1) That once the aircraft is airborne, the system will transmit a "position flash" periodically in normal flight. This flash would be able to be received by some variation of the Cospas-Sarsat system and stored in an accessible central
    Database, not only for use in search and rescue, but to supplement ATC and company position reporting functions.
    2) That the unit be able to have a capability of flashing periodic snapshots of most, if not all, of the Flight Data Recorder readings. And have that uploaded to a similar database onshore.
    3) Have an onboard memory of the last hour or so of the same FDR readings.

    I am part of a growing group of aviation professionals that are in the process of forming an advocacy association, that wants to push hard for something like this through whatever channels it will take. Like I mentioned earlier the time is ripe, unfortunately the history of aviation regulation is littered with rules that are a result of this kind of tombstone legislation.

    The reason I am sending this email to you is just to ask if this is actually available (off the shelf) now. If not, in your opinion as a supplier of similar equipment, how feasible are some of these projected capabilities.

    Thank You for whatever assistance you can provide.

    Michael McCray
    965 Westwind Shore Dr.
    Howell, MI 48843
    cell/text 517-304-1047

    March 13, 2014 at 11:45 pm |

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