23 Mar 2019

Fatal accidents and technological advancements share a close relationship in the aviation industry. When planes collided in air, ACAS (airborne collision avoidance system) was invented and installed on planes. However, mid air collisions were still not avoided. Thus, showing that technology may lead to wonders but it has many flaws at the same time. If technological advancements stagnate, then it’s of no use. This shows our technology needs to be upgraded at each and every step and only fatal incidents pave the path for another advancement in science.

A plane disappears and even after 10 months, nothing is known. Only speculations and non existing theories have been put up. The Malaysian carrier disappeared on 8th March, 2014 but still its whereabouts are unknown to the masses. Despite the availability of radar signals and many tracking instruments, the aircraft lost contact and even after months of hard work and efforts, nothing is known. The reason for the aircraft to disappear from the radar screen is a mystery. It has raised a new challenge of coping with such problems in future. To devise another technological advancement which may actually tell the exact location of an aircraft even after it crashes.

Many theorists argued the plane had crashed in the sea. Search operation also started and the main focus was to find the black boxes which contains the vital Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). In early 1950s, when no black boxes were available, it was not possible to investigate the reasons of the crash. This led to the invention of the black boxes. But alas, technology alone can’t solve all issues. It is so tough to locate the black boxes of aircraft which crash in the sea. To cope with this issue, technology aided the black boxes to emit signals or sounds which can be heard even when the aircraft is submerged in the sea bed. But, here as well, technology has a limitation, these signals can only be emitted for a month by the black boxes. Hence, all the hope of finding MH370 and reasons of the crash sunk deep after one month of the crash.

Our technologies also remind us that they have some flaws and are not 100 percent reliable.The recent crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501 opens up the debate further. If theories are to be believed, the aircraft crashed since it undertook a steep rise which was beyond the A320s limit. This limit shows the flaws in the advancements made in the aircrafts as well. The one month time line is fastly ticking along for the air tragedy of AirAsia flight. The search teams are valiantly trying to locate the aircraft’s fuselage and possibly track the blackbox signals to actually locate the black boxes. Thus, preventing QZ8501 from becoming another MH370.

The year 2014 proved to be a fatal one for the aviation sector. It also has raised many questions about our technological advancements which need to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid more such accidents in future.
O- Tahir Abbas
 Tahir Abbas, writer is young journalist.

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