Author Topic: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?  (Read 28579 times)

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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #125 on: February 21, 2020, 04:56:56 pm »
AF 447 hit the water in a full vertical stall (belly down), definitely not a 'soft ditching', yet bits like these survived. Last one is a wing flap.

Anyway, doesn't tell us anything useful, probably.
Why have no other pieces turned up? Let's hope they find some more now.
Soft is comparative. Landing speed or less instead of cruising speed or more. It's a most of a magnitude speed difference which ads up to a lot of energy.

Sorry, much older thread than I realized.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #126 on: February 21, 2020, 05:00:59 pm »
How does that work? You have 2 pilots, and they need to visit the washroom from time to time.  ;)
A flight attendant temporarily takes place in the cockpit. I feel that introduces other risks but that's how it's done.
 

Online coppice

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #127 on: February 21, 2020, 05:11:30 pm »
How does that work? You have 2 pilots, and they need to visit the washroom from time to time.  ;)
A flight attendant temporarily takes place in the cockpit. I feel that introduces other risks but that's how it's done.
Unless they are required to have at least one unusually robust flight attendant on each flight, I can't see that providing any improvement in safety.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #128 on: February 21, 2020, 05:18:05 pm »
How does that work? You have 2 pilots, and they need to visit the washroom from time to time.  ;)
A flight attendant temporarily takes place in the cockpit. I feel that introduces other risks but that's how it's done.

Yeah.

Issue there is that cockpits now have to be locked, and pretty much impossible to unlock (AFAIK) from the outside (for security reasons). So basically pilots can trap themselves in the cockpit. Any extra person in there may only marginally help mitigating the associated risk.

I still have a very mixed opinion on that door locking thing.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #129 on: February 21, 2020, 06:12:12 pm »
Last time I flew there was a small restroom right behind the cockpit and the door between that restroom and the rest of the plane and then the cockpit door could be opened to allow access to the restroom.

Thats why I say put the second off switch back somewhere else that another member of the crew has to turn it off.
Or put it inside the cargo door and the last person to close the cargo door turns it on and the first person to open it after landing turns it off so there isn't access to turn it off from inside the airplane.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #130 on: February 22, 2020, 01:47:31 pm »
Last time I flew there was a small restroom right behind the cockpit and the door between that restroom and the rest of the plane and then the cockpit door could be opened to allow access to the restroom.

Thats why I say put the second off switch back somewhere else that another member of the crew has to turn it off.
Or put it inside the cargo door and the last person to close the cargo door turns it on and the first person to open it after landing turns it off so there isn't access to turn it off from inside the airplane.

A big risk in an airplane is a fire, so every piece of electrical kit has a circuit breaker to isolate it, which the pilots can access. That applies to satellite kit, transponders etc.

Having two pilots or pilot + flight attendant always in the cockpit doesn't necessarily help. Pilots can obtain weapons onboard (there is a fire ax) or smuggle weapons in. In one flight, a pilot attacked the others with the axe. Once you have a crew member hostage, they can be used to persuade other crew ("turn that switch off or I kill the captain!").

Elaborate security procedures to address a relatively tiny risk are impractical, and as we saw with Germanwings may have unintended consequences. Really you have to proceed on the basis that flight crew are trustworthy. Since a pilot has direct control of a plane, he/she can crash a plane at will really, just enter roll and dive...

The only foolproof method might be to have complete autonomous control with no access to the computer by those onboard, even then, it seems everything can get hacked.
Bob
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #131 on: February 22, 2020, 01:51:38 pm »
Last time I flew there was a small restroom right behind the cockpit and the door between that restroom and the rest of the plane and then the cockpit door could be opened to allow access to the restroom.

Thats why I say put the second off switch back somewhere else that another member of the crew has to turn it off.
Or put it inside the cargo door and the last person to close the cargo door turns it on and the first person to open it after landing turns it off so there isn't access to turn it off from inside the airplane.

A big risk in an airplane is a fire, so every piece of electrical kit has a circuit breaker to isolate it, which the pilots can access. That applies to satellite kit, transponders etc.

Having two pilots or pilot + flight attendant always in the cockpit doesn't necessarily help. Pilots can obtain weapons onboard (there is a fire ax) or smuggle weapons in. In one flight, a pilot attacked the others with the axe. Once you have a crew member hostage, they can be used to persuade other crew ("turn that switch off or I kill the captain!").

Elaborate security procedures to address a relatively tiny risk are impractical, and as we saw with Germanwings may have unintended consequences. Really you have to proceed on the basis that flight crew are trustworthy. Since a pilot has direct control of a plane, he/she can crash a plane at will really, just enter roll and dive...

The only foolproof method might be to have complete autonomous control with no access to the computer by those onboard, even then, it seems everything can get hacked.

It has been suggested in the industry but the pilots pushed back as you'd expect and the airlines have the cost of training pilots so it's a bit of sticking point.
 

Offline Theboel

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #132 on: February 22, 2020, 02:21:26 pm »
Hi,

Sorry if its sound stupid.
Any body have any idea how long black box and cockpit voice recorder can survive in sea water ?
 
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #133 on: February 22, 2020, 02:22:53 pm »
A big risk in an airplane is a fire, so every piece of electrical kit has a circuit breaker to isolate it, which the pilots can access. That applies to satellite kit, transponders etc.

Having two pilots or pilot + flight attendant always in the cockpit doesn't necessarily help. Pilots can obtain weapons onboard (there is a fire ax) or smuggle weapons in. In one flight, a pilot attacked the others with the axe. Once you have a crew member hostage, they can be used to persuade other crew ("turn that switch off or I kill the captain!").

Elaborate security procedures to address a relatively tiny risk are impractical, and as we saw with Germanwings may have unintended consequences. Really you have to proceed on the basis that flight crew are trustworthy. Since a pilot has direct control of a plane, he/she can crash a plane at will really, just enter roll and dive...

The only foolproof method might be to have complete autonomous control with no access to the computer by those onboard, even then, it seems everything can get hacked.

Agree with all that. By deciding to lock cockpit doors (for anti-terrorism reasons I think?), sure that mitigated a risk: any passenger entering the cockpit and getting control of the plane, but introduced a whole range of new risks that didn't exist before.

The Germanwings affair was "interesting" in that regard, because not only did it show how this could go bad, but it also showed that choosing to fully trust the fight crew - which is the whole idea behind locking cockpits - is also flawed. AFAIR, the pilot had had mental health problems for a long time, and it didn't seem to have affected his position much. You may say that it was an isolated case - I'm not sure at all. Even if it's not for obvious health problems, almost anyone - no matter how good your psychological tests are - can be corrupted.

As you said, even autonomous control could be hacked, and it's impossible to automate it as far as having absolutely NO way of disabling it, even from outside, in case anything goes wrong. And as long as there is a way to circumvent it - this way will be used.

If an entire plane with hundreds of passengers is taken hostage in an autonomous plane, obviously first thing the bad guys would do is ask control towers to disable the autonomous mode (as I said above, there ought to be a procedure for that IMO.) Even if control towers themselves become fully autonomous without any human control - will we, as a society, accept the possibility that the machines will favor potential death of all passengers of a flight rather than giving them at least a small chance of surviving? That's actually a question that is raised with any form of fully autonomous systems - how they will/should handle safety when human lives are involved. This is such a can of worms that just beginning to think of this is scary, and anyone thinking they have found an easy solution to this has usually just not thought very much.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 02:30:09 pm by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #134 on: February 22, 2020, 02:35:38 pm »
Hi,

Sorry if its sound stupid.
Any body have any idea how long black box and cockpit voice recorder can survive in sea water ?
 

When this story broke, I remember the news hounds saying that the black box needs to be recovered in 2 - 3 weeks. There are a few youtube vids where people teardown flight recorders of various vintages. Watch some of those. Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Online janoc

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #135 on: February 22, 2020, 03:05:31 pm »
It has been suggested in the industry but the pilots pushed back as you'd expect and the airlines have the cost of training pilots so it's a bit of sticking point.

That's nonsense. If airlines could get rid of the pilots they would do it faster than you can blink an eye, because pilots are extremely expensive - both in terms of salaries and in terms of training. Even worse, there is a world-wide shortage of them because it takes years to train an airline pilot and the license is very easy to lose, e.g. on medical grounds as you age.

The regulations don't specify that planes above 19 passengers must always have two pilots on board because the regulators want to ensure jobs for pilots but because it is necessary for safety. The pilot is the last level of redundancy should anything go wrong, regardless of how much automation you have.

There is no computer system in the world today that can fly the plane from point A to point B fully autonomously, in adverse weather and with a bunch of malfunctions, either on board or on the ground (e.g. ILS out of service). At best it can do some parts of it (e.g. auto landing or following waypoints) when nothing goes wrong. The moment something is out of whack, the automation disconnects and drops the mess in the lap of the human that is hopefully still awake and sitting there in front.

Even remote control won't help you if there is e.g. an electrical or radio problem on board. That is way more likely than someone hacking something (there are multiple fighter jet scrambles because of lost comms every day), even though it would be a juicy target for attackers - who needs missiles when you can make a plane blow up by remote control ...

This isn't a military drone where should anything go wrong the thing just makes a smoking crater somewhere and you write it off, at taxpayer's expense. E.g. look at how well are the US military drones performing:

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/aaaa/2018/04/25/these-two-drones-are-leaders-in-accident-rates-how-is-the-us-army-responding/

If a passenger plane had such abysmal reliability and crash statistics (one crash every ~1500 flight hours), it would be banned from the skies and the manufacturer bankrupted by lawsuits ... Oh and the drones were apparently jammed and hacked too already:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/17/skygrabber-american-drones-hacked

And all that ignores the fact that passengers may have a big problem with getting stuffed and locked up in a metal tube with no pilot on board.
 
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Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #136 on: February 22, 2020, 03:10:55 pm »
It has been suggested in the industry but the pilots pushed back as you'd expect and the airlines have the cost of training pilots so it's a bit of sticking point.

That's nonsense. If airlines could get rid of the pilots they would do it faster than you can blink an eye, because pilots are extremely expensive - both in terms of salaries and in terms of training. Even worse, there is a world-wide shortage of them because it takes years to train an airline pilot and the license is very easy to lose, e.g. on medical grounds as you age.



And all that ignores the fact that passengers may have a big problem with getting stuffed and locked up in a metal tube with no pilot on board.

I'm with you. I was alluding to the threat of another pilots strike here. I agree. Try as they might, pilots aren't going anywhere.
 

Online janoc

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #137 on: February 22, 2020, 04:06:13 pm »
I'm with you. I was alluding to the threat of another pilots strike here. I agree. Try as they might, pilots aren't going anywhere.

But the trouble isn't them striking - if the tech was there they could strike as much as they wanted and they would be still out of work. Companies like Ryanair would be all over the idea because it would save them a huge chunk of money (btw, Ryanair runs their own flight school/training program).

Here is an actual airline captain explaining the level where these systems are today and what the issues are:

On Boeing single-pilot system for airliners:


Garmin Autoland for general aviation planes:


Automatic takeoff on A350:


Pilots vs robots:


He has probably a few more touching on this subject but you can easily find them yourself on his channel.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 04:07:57 pm by janoc »
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #138 on: February 22, 2020, 04:59:05 pm »
When this story broke, I remember the news hounds saying that the black box needs to be recovered in 2 - 3 weeks. There are a few youtube vids where people teardown flight recorders of various vintages. Watch some of those. Your guess is as good as mine.
Those three weeks stem from the signal battery running out making it much harder and probably nearly impossible to find the black box after. If it initially survives the dept it's at it can likely survive for a fairly long time.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #139 on: February 22, 2020, 05:01:19 pm »
Unless they are required to have at least one unusually robust flight attendant on each flight, I can't see that providing any improvement in safety.
Having a "robust" flight attendant in the sealed cockpit with a pilot focused on flying an aircraft doesn't sound like a risk in itself at all.
 

Online coppice

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #140 on: February 22, 2020, 05:05:30 pm »
Unless they are required to have at least one unusually robust flight attendant on each flight, I can't see that providing any improvement in safety.
Having a "robust" flight attendant in the sealed cockpit with a pilot focused on flying an aircraft doesn't sound like a risk in itself at all.
That's the thing with security. Its never binary.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #141 on: February 22, 2020, 05:07:06 pm »
It has been suggested in the industry but the pilots pushed back as you'd expect and the airlines have the cost of training pilots so it's a bit of sticking point.
While pilots pose a risk their presence is also a huge improvement to safety. They're trained to the level they are not because they need to fly an airplane but because they need the skills and aptitude to quickly and effectively identify and mitigate potentially catastrophic issues. That's how they earn their keep and why they're not just bus drivers. Flying an aircraft can reliably be done by computers but the human flexibility is beyond computers for now and the foreseeable future.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #142 on: February 22, 2020, 05:11:19 pm »
That's the thing with security. Its never binary.
Part of the issue is wanting to eliminate every risk there is. You need to make choices and guard against the likely or catastrophic scenarios while accepting the exceptions. That's why aircraft aren't fitted with some systems that may save lives. They would very rarely be used and the added complexity from both a technological and training point of view would introduce other risks.
 

Offline McBryce

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #143 on: February 22, 2020, 05:54:13 pm »
Hi,

Sorry if its sound stupid.
Any body have any idea how long black box and cockpit voice recorder can survive in sea water ?
 

The time limits often referred to are only the time that the becon signal is being transmitted. So as soon as the transmission stops they are more or less impossible to find in a situation like this. The box itself could survive years, even in deep saltwater.

McBryce.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #144 on: February 22, 2020, 06:22:06 pm »
Here is an actual airline captain explaining the level where these systems are today and what the issues are:

On Boeing single-pilot system for airliners:

Airline pilot says we still need pilots... he would say that, wouldn't he?

But yes, we still need pilots. Someone has to feed the dog  ;)
Bob
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Online janoc

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #145 on: February 22, 2020, 07:07:54 pm »
Here is an actual airline captain explaining the level where these systems are today and what the issues are:

On Boeing single-pilot system for airliners:

Airline pilot says we still need pilots... he would say that, wouldn't he?

But yes, we still need pilots. Someone has to feed the dog  ;)

You didn't watch the videos, did you? But feel free to make dumb comments.

I wonder who else do you want to hear about this from except the people who are actually trained and required to know both the regulations and how those machines operate.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 07:09:38 pm by janoc »
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #146 on: February 22, 2020, 08:17:51 pm »
Airline pilot says we still need pilots... he would say that, wouldn't he?

But yes, we still need pilots. Someone has to feed the dog  ;)
Aerospace engineers or regulation specialists should have valuable opinions.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #147 on: February 23, 2020, 10:38:02 am »
Here is an actual airline captain explaining the level where these systems are today and what the issues are:

On Boeing single-pilot system for airliners:

Airline pilot says we still need pilots... he would say that, wouldn't he?

But yes, we still need pilots. Someone has to feed the dog  ;)

You didn't watch the videos, did you? But feel free to make dumb comments.

I wonder who else do you want to hear about this from except the people who are actually trained and required to know both the regulations and how those machines operate.

You don't have to be a pilot to know the regulations and how the machines operate, but you will only ever get one answer from the pilots.
You would have to be pretty dumb to think a professional pilot will ever say "yeah, we don't really need pilots".   :-DD

But hey, if a guy on TV/youtube says something, then it must be true, right?  We don't need to think about it further. :palm:

In the real world, manufacturers are automating as much as possible, and airlines are eager to buy planes which requires less training, and cheaper pilots.
Bob
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #148 on: February 23, 2020, 10:47:24 am »
It has been suggested in the industry but the pilots pushed back as you'd expect and the airlines have the cost of training pilots so it's a bit of sticking point.
While pilots pose a risk their presence is also a huge improvement to safety. They're trained to the level they are not because they need to fly an airplane but because they need the skills and aptitude to quickly and effectively identify and mitigate potentially catastrophic issues. That's how they earn their keep and why they're not just bus drivers. Flying an aircraft can reliably be done by computers but the human flexibility is beyond computers for now and the foreseeable future.

Add in the fact that people simply will not accept flying in a plane without a pilot at the controls.
Heck, even astronauts and the space agencies won't fly in an automated rocket and space ship without a trained pilot on board.

 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Wreckage of MH370 washing up on Reunion Island?
« Reply #149 on: February 23, 2020, 03:47:13 pm »
In the real world, manufacturers are automating as much as possible, and airlines are eager to buy planes which requires less training, and cheaper pilots.

Given the typical cost of a flight (except maybe for the very short connections?), the cost of the pilots themselves per flight seems pretty negligible to me, even when they are very well paid, so I don't know what it brings to the table, except for the obsession of cutting costs even when that doesn't matter (And I know some companies do obsess over that, but I'm not sure I get the point). To illustrate this, please just take a look at the average full operating cost of a given flight, and estimate how much of this is to pay two pilots. Uh huh. Compare it to even just the cost of the kerosene.

Cost considerations aside, two main points are making this problematic: first, acceptance, as several have said above. Second, responsibility. Human pilots take full responsibility (at least the main pilot in the cockpit) for the whole flight and its safety. If there is no human involved, who is going to be responsible? That's the same issue with autonomous vehicles, this is a very basic problem and is IMO completely unanswered to this day. Machines can't be held responsible for anything strictly speaking, and then the chain of responsibility becomes MUCH more complex and diluted than it seems. Almost intractable.

 


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