A book closer home..
It's been just over a month since Flight MH370 mysteriously vanished with 239 people on board, on March 8, less than an hour en route to Beijing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), but a book has already been written on the mystery of Flight MH370.
The book, listed on the UK Book Depository website, as Flight MH370, The Truth is written by fiction writer and journalist Nigel Cawthorne. It's in paperback form with 288 pages and slated for release on May 15. The book was spotted at the current London Book Fair and news of it is making its rounds on social networks.
The latest update is that the hunt for more black box "pings" from missing Malaysian airliner MH370 was narrowing Thursday to a specific patch of remote ocean after two more signals were detected.
The head of the Australian-led search, Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), Angus Houston raised hopes Wednesday that wreckage will be found within days even as the black box batteries start to expire.
Experts believe the signals to be consistent with the specification and description of a flight data recorder.
A large number of objects were spotted on the surface on Wednesday, JACC said, "but only a small number were able to be recovered. "None of the recovered items were believed to be associated with MH370."
"I don't think that time is very far away," he said.
Up to 10 military aircraft, four civil planes and 13 ships would take part in the search on Thursday, JACC said.
Houston: "I believe we are searching in the right area but we need to visually identify the aircraft before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370."
Houston, however, again urged caution for the sake of the families of those aboard the flight, which mysteriously vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, and said the search for more signals would go on.
Read more on The Star: MH370 search: Hunt for black box zeroes in on final resting place
From The Star, Some questions on the missing aircraft answered by experts:
Q: Are the ‘pings’ from MH370?
That remains to be determined, but Australia’s search chief said one of the country’s naval ships had twice detected signals “consistent” with aircraft black boxes, the strongest indication yet that the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was on the right trail.
Q: If they are from MH370, what happens next?
If the pings are confirmed, authorities would deploy a submersible device to scan the seabed for debris. If found, the difficult task of reaching and recovering the black box in ocean depths ranging from 4,000m-5,000m would begin.
Seafloor-mapping and recovery is “a very intense and time-consuming process”, said Anthony Brickhouse, an assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States.
But lessons were learnt during the two-year search for the data recorders from the 2009 crash of Air France flight 447, which contributed greatly to today’s body of knowledge, he said.
Q: If the pings are not from MH370, might the plane never be found?
If the pings are confirmed not to be from MH370, the search is back to square one, raising the daunting spectre of an open-ended surface search for floating debris or painstaking seafloor-mapping. But Air France showed that success is still possible.
Q: Did MH370 become a ‘ghost plane’?
This idea gained traction after Malaysia announced on March 15 – a week after MH370’s disappearance – that the plane apparently flew for nearly seven hours after vanishing from radar.
“Ghost planes” – in which the crew is incapacitated, leaving the plane to fly on aimlessly – have occurred before.
In 2005, a Greek Helios Airways plane with 121 aboard flew for hours after a sudden lack of oxygen incapacitated the cockpit crew.
It crashed, killing all aboard.
Some believe MH370’s pilots diverted the plane due to such an event – possibly attempting to return to Kuala Lumpur airport – but were subsequently incapacitated, leaving the plane to fly on autopilot.
The shutting off of communications systems may have been an attempt to stem a fire cause by faulty electrical circuits.
Q: What aviation changes might arise from MH370?
The aviation industry has a history of learning from disasters and implementing safeguards, making air travel one of the world’s safest modes of transport.
However, unless MH370’s black box or some wreckage can be recovered, that learning process cannot begin.
But MH370 has already sparked new discussion of implementing real-time satellite tracking of airliners to stop them going missing, and possibly reassessing the pilot’s ability to turn off communications systems. — AFP
This case of the missing jet has baffled aviation experts and frustrated the families of those on board, two-thirds of whom were Chinese. Whatever the outcome, families of passengers just want to know what actually happened and see evidence of whatever conclusion. Let's hope it will be soon..
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