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TMCNet:  Aircraft can't vanish in India. Here's why [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]

[March 15, 2014]

Aircraft can't vanish in India. Here's why [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]

(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "Bangalore: Various theories are doing the rounds about what could have happened to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. One of the theories state that the aircraft had been hijacked and as a result, veered of its designated path and flew for hours after it lost contact with the air traffic controllers.

The Wall Street Journal quoted US investigators as saying they suspected the Boeing 777 remained in the air for about four hours after its last confirmed contact, citing data from the plane's engines that are automatically transmitted to the ground as part of a routine maintenance programme.

It raised the possibility that the plane could have flown on for an additional distance of about 3,500 km, potentially reaching Pakistan, the paper said.

But if such an event happened in the Indian airspace, could the flight have been intercepted? The answer is yes. A Bangalore-based institute of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has developed an application that can detect and thwart any such attempts.

A closely guarded IAF unit, the Software Development Institutes (SDI), has developed a programme that not only gives a picture of all civil aircraft movements, but also acts as an early warning system in case an aircraft deviates from its original flight plan.

However, it is not clear if the transponder of the aircraft could be monitored in case of an eventuality like hijack. IAF officials said that if a transponder is intentionally turned off, it indicates that something is wrong and that communication has been deliberately shutdown.

They added that when such a scenario arises, they are at least alerted that the flight has deviated form the path and necessary action can be initiated, unlike in the case of the MH370.

Meanwhile, pilots are baffled from reports that the pilot of the ill fated aircraft could have switched off the transponder while flying.

"It will be suicidal for any pilot to fly without the support of a transponder. No one would do it unless there is some foul play involved," said a commercial pilot.

Another said if the report turns out to be true, no one would want to board an aircraft.""Satellites picked up 'pings' from MH370 Communications satellites picked up faint electronic pulses from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 after it went missing on Saturday, but the signals gave no indication about where the stray jet was heading nor its technical condition, a source close to the investigation said on Thursday. The "pings" equated to an indication that the aircraft's maintenance troubleshooting systems were ready to communicate with satellites if needed, but no links were opened because Malaysia Airlines and others had not subscribed to the full troubleshooting service, the source said India deploys 4 warships Kuala Lumpur/New Delhi: India on Thursday deployed four warships to locate the jetliner missing for six days. India pressed into service six aircraft, including its latest special surveillance P-8I plane and three helicopters under ''Operation Searchlight''. The IAF has also deployed two of its latest C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft from Hindan air base. Four warships have been dispatched from Andaman and Nicobar Command including INS Kumbhir, INS Kesari and INS Saryu from Navy and Coast Guard Ship Kanaklata Baruah to the areas specified by the Malaysian government."" " Credit:dna correspondent (c) 2014 @ 2014 DILIGENT MEDIA CORPORATION LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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