Thursday, 11 June 2015

Mathematician's May Have Solved MH370 Mystery

THE mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has sparked numerous conspiracy theories.

Now a team of mathematicians claims the Boeing 777 vanished without a trace because it plunged into the Indian Ocean at a 90-degree angle.

The perfect nosedive kept the aircraft intact and explains why no debris or oil has been found since the plane disappeared in March last year with 239 people on board, the researchers say.

The study comes as Emirates airline president Tim Clark said it’s likely the Australian government will call off its search, which he likened to a “goose chase”.

“I think it is only a question of time before the search is abandoned,”

“Do we have solutions? Do we have explanations? Cause? Reasons? No. It has sent us down a goose chase. It will be an Amelia Earhart repetition.”

Earhart vanished in 1937 while attempting a solo round-the-world flight. Her aircraft has never been found.
Supplied Editorial mh370 chen nosedive

While aviation experts have little hope MH370 will ever be discovered, researchers are trying to determine what happened to the doomed aircraft.

“The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until some day when its black box is finally recovered and decoded,” Chen, who led the forensic computer simulations, said.

“But forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.”
The researchers used applied mathematics to test five different landing scenarios.

These included gliding water entry, a skilful manoeuvre performed by Captain Chesley Sullenberger when he landed a US Airways flight on the Hudson River in New York in 2009.

However this scenario was discounted with MH370 because “ditching a large airplane on the open Indian Ocean generally would involve waves of height several metres or more, easily causing breakup and the leak of debris.”
Underwater search map ... GO Phoenix scoured the ocean for the ill-fated MH370. Picture:
Underwater search map ... GO Phoenix scoured the ocean for the ill-fated MH370. Picture: Australian Government/Australian Transport Safety Bureau 
Mission ... an underwater map used by GO Phoenix during its search for MH370. Picture: Au
Mission ... an underwater map used by GO Phoenix during its search for MH370. Picture: Australian Government/Australian Transport Safety Bureau Source: Supplied
According to researchers’ fluid dynamics simulations, a vertical water entry would have caused the least resistance.

Chen said the wings would have snapped off instantly on impact but the rest of MH370 would have remained intact. All the heavy debris would have then sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

Chen, who has worked in Texas A&M University’s maths department since 1987, led the team of researchers from Texas A&M, Penn State, Virginia Tech, MIT and the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute.

The research was published in the April 2015 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society.
Difficult search ... the search for missing Malaysian Airline MH370 covered more than 48,
Difficult search ... the search for missing Malaysian Airline MH370 covered more than 48,000 square kilometres of the sea floor. Picture: AFP/Australian Government/Hydrospheric Solutions Inc/Ryan Galloway and Joshua Phillips Source: AFP
MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

The search for the ill-fated aircraft has covered more than 48,000 square kilometres of the sea floor, Subsea World News reported.

At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia has accepted responsibility for the search, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau leading the underwater mission.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Singapore Airlines A330 In Twin Engine Failure

A Singapore Airlines Airbus with 182 passengers and 12 crew on board reportedly fell 13,000 feet when it lost power to both engines en route to Shanghai.

The airline has confirmed the loss of power and is looking into the incident.

The Airbus A330-300 flight on May 23 “encountered bad weather at 39,000 feet about three and a half hours after departure” from Singapore, the airline said in a statement.

“Both engines experienced a temporary loss of power and the pilots followed operational procedures to restore normal operation of the engines.

“The flight continued to Shanghai and touched down uneventfully.”

It added that the Airbus A330-300 plane’s two Rolls-Royce engines “were thoroughly inspected and tested upon arrival in Shanghai with no anomalies detected”.

“We are reviewing the incident with Rolls-Royce and Airbus,” Singapore Airlines said.

In a Twitter post late Tuesday, industry portal Flightradar24 said the flight, codenamed SQ836, “lost power on both engines & 13,000 feet before power returned”.

In a subsequent post, it said the plane “lost both engines during the cruise” while flying through a “huge storm”, pinpointing an area in the South China Sea off China’s southern coast where the incident occurred.

SIA, Asia’s third largest carrier by market value, currently has 29 Airbus A330-300s in its passenger fleet.

It also has a fleet of 19 Airbus A380-800 superjumbos.

The airline, along with its subsidiaries SilkAir, Scoot, and Tiger Airways, flies to 119 destinations across 35 countries.

Last week, Airbus warned of a technical bug potentially affecting the engines of its A400M military planes that was discovered during an internal test after one crashed in Spain.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

QANTAS and China Eastern Alliance Receives Australian Government Support

The federal government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has called on Australia’s competition regulator to reverse course and give Qantas’s proposed alliance with China Eastern the green light.

In March, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it a draft determination it intended to knock back the tie-up, arguing the partnership would give Qantas and China Eastern “an increased ability and incentive to limit capacity and/or increase airfares” on the Sydney-Shanghai route.

However, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said in a submission to the ACCC following the draft ruling, the proposed agreement was “positive for the Australian economy and is consistent with the Australian Government’s aviation policy settings”.

“The department sees no reason to deny the proposed coordination agreement,” the general manager for the Department’s aviation industry policy branch Stephen Borthwick said in the submission dated April 8.

“The benefits that will flow to Australia’s aviation industry, Australian consumers, the Australian tourism industry, and the Australian economy as a whole are exactly the benefits the Australian Government’s aviation policy is designed to support.”

In its draft determination, the ACCC expressed concerns that Qantas and China Eastern combined currently operated about 83 per cent of all seats between Sydney and Shanghai.

While Air China also flew between Sydney and Shanghai with a three times a week service, the ACCC said it did not believe the Star Alliance member would be an effective competitor against a combined China Eastern-Qantas entity and noted it had reduced its presence on the route over the past five years.

“The ACCC does not consider that Air China will sufficiently constrain Qantas and China Eastern in the event they decide to reduce or limit growth in capacity to increase airfares if the Proposed Conduct is authorised,” the ACCC said in its draft determination.

“The ACCC considers that the lessening of competition on this route that will arise as a result of the Proposed Conduct is likely to outweigh any of the public benefits likely to arise.”

In response, the Department said the ACCC’s draft ruling was “too narrowly focused on the Sydney-Shanghai route rather than the operations of the wider Australia-China market.”

It argued it was a “commercial reality” that in any given market a hub airline would have a significant market share on routes to or from that hub.

“This should not in itself prevent the formation of immunised alliances with the other carriers when consumer benefits can be showed to outweigh competitive impacts,” the Department’s submission said.

“The department also contends the ACCC has overstated the impacts on the Sydney-Shanghai route, particularly when considered in the context of the existing competition on the route and the availability of one-stop services in the broader Australia-China market.”

Meanwhile, the National Tourism Alliance argued in its post-draft determination submission the alliance would allow both Australian and Chinese markets to “better and more efficiently serve secondary cities in China through a domestic Chinese hub”.

“The draft determination constrains the ability of Australian airlines to develop a strategic hub in China,” the Alliance’s April 8 submission said.

“The Australia-China market is highly competitive in terms of both direct traffic and indirect options through other Asian hub cities.

“We are concerned that the draft determination cements a competitive advantage for other carriers and these hubs, through the existing liberal air services agreements that China has with them, in addition to the arrangements that Australia has with these third countries.”

Qantas planned to relocate its operations Shanghai Pudong Airport to Terminal One, which is where China Eastern is based, as part of the alliance to improve transit times and share facilities, among other benefits.