EgyptAir Flight From Paris to Cairo Crashes in Sea: The Science Behind It

EgyptAir Flight MS 804 bound to Cairo from the CDP airport, carrying a total of 69 people, from Paris went missing at 02:45 Am Egypt time. Latest reports suggest the aircraft crashed into the sea.

A plane going off grid randomly does ring some bells. In 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 went off the grid and was never to be found (not even the black box). So there is no way to find out what exactly happened there.

Before the advent of wireless tracking, the Aviation Safety Network depended on manual transmissions and radio signals for the tracking of flights.

In 1944, when commercial flights were a luxury, a total of 24 planes had gone missing. There has been no explanation, yet, as to what happened to them. It is easier and more common for private planes and small planes carrying few people to go off the radar.

Usually, when a large airliner like goes missing, its debris or the flight is found within a couple of days. This the reason why the fact that MH 370 went missing is so strange even for the leading investigators.

Teams from more than 20 nations scoured an area stretching from the Indian Ocean near Australia to Central Asia, looking for signs of the flight that went missing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

In this age, planes are equipped with Emergency Locator Transmitter, which allows the pilot to send signals/messages to a satellite. Flights in US and Malaysia are not required to have an ELT, but MH370 did have it.

As far as locating the black box is concerned, if the plane did not crash land into the Indian Ocean or ended up in some remote unchartered area of the world, the investigators have only three weeks to find it, because that is approximately how long the batteries last.

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The probability of finding it after that reduces significantly. It could be worse than looking for a pin in a haystack.

Such disappearances hardly fail to remind one of Amelia Earhart. Theories about her disappearance while attempting to fly across the globe in 1937, still raise eyebrows.

A Canadian company FLYHT Aerospace claims to have developed a black box that streams data constantly. But it is debatable if the bandwidth available is enough to allow 2-3,000 flights across the globe to stream simultaneously. Such a technology can go leaps and bounds in preventing such instances from recurring.

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