Quality Progress - May 2014 - (Page 12)

KEEPINGCURRE AVIATION The Search for Answers Q Aircraft's disappearance prompts questions on technology, ways to improve safety Questions about the disappearance of "In a world where our every move seems Cockpit monitoring and security- Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 and theories to be tracked, there is disbelief that an air- Cameras in the cockpit would allow inves- of its demise will linger for months-per- craft could simply disappear," Tyler said. "We tigators to see and hear all that happens in haps years. cannot let another aircraft simply vanish."3 the cockpit and clarify who is at the con- Questions, however, go beyond what Tyler also said he wants "urgent action trols. Some opponents, however, worry this exactly happened to the Boeing 777 car- and careful analysis" to produce worldwide measure would be an invasion of the pilots' rying 239 people that night in March. Are standards intended to help transmit the privacy and may affect how they perform. changes in flight operations and technology position of commercial aircraft regardless needed to improve aviation safety? What of where they fly. The group also wants to 370, Malaysian Airlines increased security can win back the confidence of some air study how to guarantee tracking couldn't be in and around the cockpit. An extra crew travelers dismayed by the mystery? What disabled under any circumstances.4 member is now added to the cockpit steps should be taken to assist in future crash investigations? "Accidents are rare, but the current search for MH370 is a reminder that we Other discussions on changes to flight procedures and technology include: Real-time streaming of flight data- The Canadian company Flyht Aerospace Shortly after the disappearance of Flight when one of the plane's two pilots takes a bathroom break so there are always two officers at the plane's controls. A crew member also must stand guard at the can never be complacent on cockpit door when it is opened to safety," said Tony Tyler, director provide the pilots a meal.6 Better locator beacons-The general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). limited battery life for the under- "It may well [be] a long time water locator beacons hampered before we know exactly what search efforts to find Flight 370 happened on that flight. But it and its flight recorders. The is already clear that we must aircraft's pinging beacon device never let another aircraft go was intended to last about 30 missing in this way."1 days. For years, regulators and the IATA has formed a task force airline industry have undertaken to make recommendations efforts to increase the beacon on how to improve aircraft battery life to 90 days and require tracking by the end of the year. the pingers to be attached to Perhaps a beefed-up satellite- aircraft airframes, making it easier based navigation system can help better Solutions has a device that can automati- to locate wreckage. In addition, a next track airplanes, the Air Line Pilots Associa- cally monitor aircraft-in-flight data such generation of pingers can emit sound that tion said. as location, altitude and performance, and can be heard six to 10 miles away.7 The National Transportation Safety send updates every five to 10 minutes. Improvements in passenger screen- Board already had been researching a new The system-which costs about $100,000 ing-Two passengers on Flight 370 had system that would uplink data about a per installation-can be programmed to boarded with false papers. This initially plane's location, direction, equipment func- recognize when something goes wrong and raised speculation of a possible terrorist tions and about 30 other parameters to begin live-streaming of data. link, but it was later determined the two orbiting satellites, which would beam the "We would know where the aircraft has were asylum seekers bound for Europe. data back to the ground for storage. In the gone, where it is, and we would have infor- "It is important to remember that event of a crash, that data could be easily mation on what had happened in the mean- airlines aren't border guards or police- accessed and analyzed for clues.2 time," said Flyht director Richard Hayden.5 men," Tyler said. "Whether or not there is (continues on p. 14) 12 QP * www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - May 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Catching Fire
Making the Rounds
Plan of Attack
Virtual Voices
Innovation Imperative
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Standards Outlook
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea

Quality Progress - May 2014

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