December 14, 2014
By: John E. Fiorentino
After all the fussing and fuming about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has died down, many of those who have allowed the intoxicating effects of modern aviation's greatest mystery to cloud their better judgment will again seek a return to reality. The question is, will they ever really be able to return to the comfort of the past?
Over and over the precepts of proper journalism have been abandoned by some among us who apparently see the MH370 tragedy as their opportunity to write the perfect sci-fi novel.
Theories about the fate of the doomed airliner are whipped into a lather with seeming wild abandon. In many cases, proper fact checking and vetting are simply thrown out the window in the hasty efforts to be the “first on the street” with the latest wild speculation. Formerly reasonably respectable internet forums dedicated to discussions of the plane's disappearance are now rife with absurd theories and fantastical scenarios. Interspersed between the flood of Twilight Zone episodes is the occasional legitimate research question or factual presentation. All of which simply adds to the surreal nature of things reminiscent of a battle field inhabited by soldiers from widely different eras in history.
What is it that stokes the gullets of those who have become inflamed with the infection of tomfoolery? Perhaps it is simple naivete. Then again, perhaps it is something quite different.
Is it the realization or belief that it doesn't much matter what one says about MH370 at this point? It certainly could be.
The fact is, the news isn't good any way you slice or dice it. There is a very good possibility that even if the aircraft is located and the black boxes are recovered, they will prove to be of little or no use in explaining what happened, or why. Many people are under the mistaken impression that the aircraft's two electronic recording devices are indestructible – they are not.
Even though both the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) must meet very rigorous survivability standards, the effects of time and extreme deep sea ocean pressures can take their toll. For instance, while both the CVR and FDR must be able to operate at ocean depths of 20,000 ft. parts of the ocean off of the Australian coast have a maximum depth of 26,400 ft. It should also be noted that while the FDR has a maximum data record time of 25 hrs., the CVR is only good for 2 hrs. Both recorders over-write data after reaching their maximum record times. There is also the possibility that in this case the recorders were simply disabled.
While the search grinds on in the Southern Indian Ocean (SIO), the Joint Agency Coordination Centre has stated that they could finish scouring the priority search zone by May, 2015, more than a year after the Boeing 777 vanished with 239 souls on board. As the curtain begins to close on the official investigation, the truth of the matter is we have a very poor understanding of where the plane may be.
All of this adds up to a degree of security for the Pied Pipers of lunacy who will certainly desire to regain at least an air of respectability. Of course for some, true respectability was elusive before MH370 and will probably remain so in the future.
Copyright 2014 – J. E. Fiorentino – All Rights Reserved
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