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Malaysia Airlines to use real-time global aircraft tracking
18 April 2017

Malaysia Airlines to use real-time global aircraft tracking

Malaysia Airlines will start using satellite-based real-time global aircraft tracking in 2018.

Aircraft tracking, especially over oceanic and remote airspace, has been an industry issue since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data sent by aircraft can be received by ground stations, except for remote airspace were no or insuffient ground stations are available.

Progress has been made in allowing satellites to receive ADS-B data, allowing for real-time position updates globally. Aircraft connectivity company SITAOnAir is using Aireon’s Iridium NEXT satellites to provide global coverage. The first ten satellites were launched in January, 2017. Fifty-six more low-earth-orbit satellites will follow.

By incorporating this data, Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft operations center will receive real-time position updates of its airborne fleet globally.

More information:

 

Finland investigates laptop fire on board aircraft at Helsinki Airport

Lithium battery explosion mid-flight prompts passenger warning

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) reminds passengers using battery-powered devices that take good care of their battery powered devices during flight, following a recent incident.

On a recent flight from Beijing, China to Melbourne, Australia, a passenger was listening to music using a pair of her own battery-operated headphones.
About two hours into the flight while sleeping, the passenger heard a loud explosion. “As I went to turn around I felt burning on my face,” she said. “I just grabbed my face which caused the headphones to go around my neck….I continued to feel burning so I grabbed them off and threw them on the floor. They were sparking and had small amounts of fire. As I went to stamp my foot on them the flight attendants were already there with a bucket of water to pour on them. They put them into the bucket at the rear of the plane.”
The battery and cover were both melted and stuck to the floor of the aircraft.
Flight attendants returned to check on her wellbeing. For the remainder of the flight, passengers endured the smell of melted plastic, burnt electronics and burnt hair.

As the range of products using (lithium) batteries grows, the potential for in-flight issues increases.

The ATSB did not report the exact brand/model of the headphones but issued a more general reminder to passengers using battery-powered devices that:

  • devices should be kept in an approved stowage, unless in use
  • spare batteries must be in your carry-on baggage NOT checked baggage
  • they should locate their devices before moving powered seats
  • if a passenger cannot locate their device, they should refrain from moving their seat and immediately contact a cabin crew member.

More information:

Lithium battery power bank overheats on China Southern flight near Nanning, China

CAA U.K. issues lithium battery guidance videos for aviation personnel

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released three new videos with guidance for aviation personnel concerning the safe carriage of lithium batteries and emergency response actions.

Lithium batteries are used in electronics ranging from camera’s to laptops, smartphones and e-cigarettes. In specific circumstances these batteries can overheat and even burst into flames. Earlier, the U.K CAA warned operators for the fire hazard that electronic devices pose when stuck in aircraft seats.

More information:

 

 

FAA extends security warnings for Kenya and Mali airspaces

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued two new Notams, extending the security warnings for the Kenya and Mali airspaces by another year.

 

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