LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ideas to better track airliners

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Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 remains missing after nearly a month, but it’s no longer front-page news. I have some ideas to improve the location of missing aircraft in the future.

First, every airliner should have three transponders broadcasting its location and other vital data every 60 seconds on separate frequencies. All planes should have emergency backup power that should not be able to be turned off by the crew in flight. Planes should not be able to take off unless all three transponders are working.

As to crash-locator beacons, there should be five recording the same data as above, hopefully with video and audio of the cockpit and passenger cabin. In a water crash, three of the beacons should detach after sinking 50 feet, and they should float to the surface.

The beacons should then be made to signal the location of the crash and the current location of the beacons, and they should signal this information every minute for up to 90 days.


Commander, Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (retired)


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