Apr 032014

“It is a very difficult search — the most difficult in human history.” — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo Courtesy of Steve Richardson, Aviation Analyst at FlyersPulse.com, is sunset overlooking the remote hidden mystique of the Indian Ocean at Tanah Lot, Indonesia.

 Before the world became captivated with what is now a four-week mystery surrounding a missing Boeing 777-200 jet, there was no need to have such prolonged discussions about the Indian Ocean and the challenges this imposing body of water presented to those who would descend upon it. With the search effort concentrated so heavily on this vast oceanic corridor, we now ponder what lies beneath the surface into the two-mile depth of the Indian Ocean – a depth as considerable as the widest point of Manhattan Island.

We are likewise learning first-hand about this mountainous, voluminous, and remote oceanic flight path. The Indian Ocean challenges our technological capabilities, our ingenuity, and our yearning to yet again explore another daunting place in search of answers.

It is a very difficult search — the most difficult in human history.” — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Science and technology has come to the forefront as a result of the ongoing ‘search for a cause’ of MH370. We are now plunged into exploring the depths of the Indian Ocean, in some ways very analogous to the world’s modern enchantment with traveling in space or man’s early fascination with navigating the seas.

This time we are desperately searching for the slowly fading ping of a ‘black-box’ believed to be entombed deep beneath the sea. Locating and bringing the ‘black-box’ to the surface would unearth and unfold the mystery of the last moments of Malaysia Flight 370. This could answer our many scientific and technological questions surrounding the precise human events shaping this compelling mystery.

In captivating the world’s attention, science and technology in the digital age of international air travel is not just limited to either the science or the technology. Rather, it is the emotions of people engaging rational science and technology that unites our humanity to the machines that surround our daily lives.

We Have Remarkably Drawn the Public’s Interest in Science and Technology.

Advances in science and technology are happening at a rapid pace and impacting our daily lives in significant ways. We have evolved to a point where science and technology fundamentally drives government, businesses, schools, and daily family life. This is a significant paradigm shift from not too many years ago, when technology simply supported or enabled life.

While some of the most visible examples of informational sciences and technology in action are tied to the internet as a delivery platform, there are many other advances that are not as widely known. Technology is all around us – whether it is the use of robotics in manufacturing or healthcare, forecasting weather or earthquake activity, or using the self-checkout lane at the grocery store. We now live in a society where advances in technology have fundamentally changed how we communicate ideas, how we are entertained, how we travel, how we work, how we learn, how we shop, how we manage our money, and how we live our lives.

… It is now time for all citizens to become more ‘technically-literate.’ Science and Technology topics now must be included as a significant part of our regular news and information consumption.”

In the past ten years, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Netflix, Emails, “Selfies,” and apps, etc., have all impacted our lives. At the same time, consider how cyber-security has now impacted shopping at Neiman Marcus, Target, eBay, and Amazon.

If we are to keep up with this rapid pace of change and remain a competitive nation working across a competitively-escalated world, it is now time for all citizens to become more ‘technically-literate.’ Science and Technology topics now must be included as a significant part of our regular news and information consumption. Especially, if we are to inspire today’s young people to become tomorrow’s inventors as well as learned stewards of society’s institutions – that is, families, churches, schools, universities, governments, corporations, and philanthropy.

“Our most compelling mystery in aviation safety and security history remains an ongoing and essential approach to discussing advanced aviation technology and education, as well as, considering the public understanding of science and technology, and most of all, facilitating the diverse cultural participation among aviation safety and security global workforce experts working through the aftermath investigation of an airplane crash,” as I have offered in “Boeing 777 airplanes do not vanish or fall out of the sky.”

Missing MH370 Mystery is the Circumnavigation Exploration of Aviation History.

Moving people, ideas, and things makes aeronautics — which is aviation and global navigation (or ‘circumnavigation’) — an integral part of travel and business communications shaping our lives today.

Between 1519-1522 two Spanish maritime circumnavigators, Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano, first launched the ship “Victoria” from Seville, Spain, on a transatlantic voyage around the southern tip of South America. Upon continuing northward along their long transpacific journey, eventually discovering along their way, Guam and the Philippines, Elcano proceeded across the Southern Indian Ocean with 18 men (after Magellan’s death in the Philippines in 1521). Thereafter, Elcano traveled around the southern tip of Africa, passing the Cape of Good Hope. Elcano then headed back north in his transatlantic expedition along Africa back around to Spain in 1522.

The Magellan-Elcano voyage generally commemorates the world’s first global maritime circumnavigation, followed by the English vice admiral, Sir Francis Drake’s maritime transatlantic and transpacific circumnavigation, including the Indian Ocean at 1577-1580 during the Elizabethan age.

Notably, the world’s first aerial circumnavigation is marked by the United States Army Air Service in 1924, traveling 27,560 miles (44,360 kilometers). More recently, the fastest aerial circumnavigation known in history was established by Steve Fossett, flying in 2005 a Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, non-stop with no refueling for 67 hours and 22,900 miles (37,000 kilometers).

Our current Magellan-like quasi-circumnavigation search has been eerily marked in “Malaysia 370 Lesson Learned: It’s Time to Secure ‘The Black-Box in ‘The Cloud’ “, on LinkedIn.com. “The search for Malaysia Flight 370 and its possible recovery has moved from the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca to the northern and southern corridor identified by satellite. The world’s largest deployment of assets comprises: 18 ships, 29 aircraft, and 6 ship-borne helicopters, altogether deployed between the northern and southern corridors …

“Altogether, this international aviation search is the largest in aviation history. As each new day arrives, the “search for a cause” of the “Missing Malaysia 370 Mystery” continues to intensify, as people from all walks of life wait in suspense and anticipation of breaking news the missing Boeing 777-200 aircraft has been located.”

Murkiness under the Mystifying Indian Ocean continues.

After confirmations from satellite that MH370 flew into the southern corridor, the search areas in the mysterious Indian Ocean keep changing, as do the alleged final words from Malaysia Flight 370. Malaysian authorities previously said the final words from Malaysia 370 were, “Alright, good night.” With the release of the air traffic control transcript by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the final words said were, “Good night Malaysian Three Seven Zero.” It is not known who said these final words from the flight-deck of MH370. Although, such flight-deck communications are indeed however more in-line with routine air traffic control conversations.

… We have the satellite capability to find a snake on a rock, but we can’t find an airplane in the ocean?”

Over the past four weeks, our Magellan-like quasi-circumnavigation search has been like a great paper chase across the South China Sea to the Straits of Malacca, onward to the Andaman Sea, then the Northern and Southern Corridors, and currently, the Indian Ocean.

Now that we are exploring the Indian Ocean, the search area continues to change. On March 29, the search area shifted nearly a thousand miles northeast of the original search area in the southern Indian Ocean. According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, new information released about the aircraft traveling faster caused this shift in the search to the north.

The new search location, closer to land, is about eleven hundred miles off Perth, Western Australia. However, this area has come up dry and the area to be searched in the coming days is further to the east.

While significant assets have been deployed involving numerous ships and aircraft, the only thing found to date has been sea trash and jellyfish.

Are we securing accident investigation and forensic integrity, or is it ‘hit or miss?’

An array of satellite images reveals many hidden secrets of the Indian Ocean, far away from any compelling MH370 Boeing 777-200 chain of evidence. Confusing the open-ended ‘search for a cause’ of the missing flight MH370, regrettably, is a wide debris spread of the ocean’s trash washing up from maritime and aerial circumnavigations across transatlantic and transpacific remote areas, which includes recent images of varied unrelated objects found in the southern Indiana Ocean.

… Potential debris evidence should be stored in ocean salt water for proper preservation and forensics.”

Any international search investigation team gathering any chains of alleged evidence of the MH370 Boeing 777-200 should be properly tagging it. Moreover, potential debris evidence should be stored in ocean salt water for proper preservation and forensics. When pieces of MH370 are found, suitable protection of evidence and debris custody are vital for aircraft accident investigation and forensic analysis. Possible MH370 evidence must not be touched by human hand. Just as important, any alleged evidence definitely should not be left alone to dry out.

Awkwardly, the worldwide attention to the MH370 mystery has created an urgency of widespread gathering of any aspects of sea trash, as a possible sighting of the location of the missing Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Equally as vital, alleged evidence of possible aircraft debris are not being collected properly and tagged appropriately to exactly pinpoint the Global Positioning System coordinates of where any suspected MH370 debris may be found.

Man against Nature, Man against Time.

With all of the scientific-based advances in technology available at our disposal, we find ourselves unable to solve this mystery. Just as irrefutable, we have found the Indian Ocean to be a formidable challenge.

Have we underestimated the task at hand? Are we even looking in the right place at any given time?

What is baffling to us in answering these questions is that we have the satellite capability to find a snake on a rock, but we can’t find an airplane in the ocean?

As time goes on and day after day, our hopes are raised with reports of yet another “sighting of something,” only to find out later that the objects found are simply more ocean debris. We remain caught in a cycle of hope and dismay.

Inside Reuters, Fox News, and The Telegraph (U.K.), “calls for streaming the crucial ‘black-box’ data in ‘the cloud’ continue.” Beyond the 30-day conventional ‘black-box’ limitations, the search for the MH370 ‘black-box’ becomes increasingly fruitless in regards to time and access to critical cockpit discussions, aircraft flight conditions, and engine performance data lost. More aviation and aeronautics experts will begin to make similar calls for compulsory ‘black-box’ data management backup-systems in international digital-age aviation. Such aviation backup-systems will enmesh ‘the cloud’, ‘big data’, wireless-mobile, and social media-based communication.

“Pray for MH370”

At this point most of us have resigned ourselves to the conclusion that MH370 may have crashed. But, it is only human nature to somehow cling to the remote possibility that maybe MH370 ended up someplace else, intact.

It goes without saying that the prolonged and uncertain nature of this search operation does very little to ease what must be profound anguish felt by the families and friends of the 239 passengers and crew lost aboard Malaysia Flight 370. One can only imagine the enormous sense of loss, uncertainty, and grief, which have consumed these families’ and friends’ lives, since March 8, 2014.

After adversity, life is about the ‘courage of a comeback.’

King James scripture bestows now in the season of Lent, “… The Lord gave, and The Lord hath taken away,” (Job 1:21) for he truly gave to Job, but he never took a single thing.

The MH370 mystery is not measured by the pieces of debris we find in the ocean, but by the moments that cast fresh light on the human secrets underneath this incredibly human story.

So, from the depth of the oceans, we all rise again.

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