2014 FlightAware Map

Six Months of Torturous Waiting | Missing GPS = Missing Jetliner

Airliners have yet to equip their fleet with GPS tracking devices which could prevent difficulties in locating a crashed airplane like MH370.

It can strain one’s credulity that a huge passenger jet airplane could be put on the market without a commonly available piece of technology: a GPS tracking system. To be sure, it would be somewhat more sophisticated than the one on your smart cell phone, but the technology has been around for a long time for satellite tracking systems. In fact, those systems are more accurate than the one in your pocket. Yet, that is precisely what has been done, leading to the incredible fact that we just passed the six month anniversary of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It has been known for many years that every airplane needs to have a system aboard that can locate it in the event of a mishap. Yet, technology has long surpassed the outdated “black box” pinging away for only 30 days or so.

Airplane manufacturers, as well as airlines, must bear the responsibility of failing to properly equip commercial passenger airliners with this vital locating system, one that is not dependent on batteries, or finding a box amid a wreck or deep in the ocean. If the airplane is on the ground, a GPS satellite system would report its location, and all the rumors and speculation that fuel more grief and sorrow would have been avoided. Who will step up to accept responsibility for what the lack of a GPS system has done to the families of the missing passengers?

This is not just an academic discussion. There are hundreds of people out there unable to grieve, unable to give up hope, unable to know what has truly happened to their loved ones. This uncertainty is torturous. One only needs to look into the eyes of those who are in this horrible situation to see the suffering. Steps need to be taken immediately to remedy this terrible defect in the required equipment aboard commercial airplanes.


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