MH370 apology: Technology is so overrated!
Update on 6 August 2015: Part of the aircraft wing found on Reunion Island is from the missing MH370 plane, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has confirmed. Mr Najib said international experts examining the debris in France had “conclusively confirmed” it was from the aircraft. The Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people veered off course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. The debris was found on the remote French Indian Ocean island a week ago. The plane is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean – though no evidence had been found despite a massive search operation.
Update on 30 July 2015: Debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is to be transported to France to find out whether it is from the missing airliner MH370, Malaysia’s prime minister said. Initial reports suggest the two-metre long wreckage is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, Najib Razak said.
Update on 29 January 2015: Malaysia officially declares disappearance of plane in Indian Ocean in March 2014 an accident.
Update on 27 December 2014: A French former airline director has claimed that the US military may have shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and covered it up. Marc Dugain, who headed Proteus Airlines and is an established author, speculated that the Americans may have targeted the aircraft because they feared a September 11-style attack on a military base in the Indian Ocean. The Independent, UK
Update on 23 August 2014: MH370 search faces tough next phase
The next phase of the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 will be very challenging in places. The seabed in some locations in ocean floor west of Australia to be extremely rugged. Two vessels – the Fugro Equator and the Zhu Kezhen – are currently mapping an area covering 60,000 sq km. This is likely to get under way towards the end of September. The Australian authorities have warned that this could take a year to complete. BBC
Update on 26 June 2014: The MH370 search will now shift south to focus on an area 1,800km off the west coast of Australia, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss confirmed. Martin Dolan from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the plane had been on autopilot when it crashed.
Update on 19 May 2014: Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said: “Someone is hiding something.” He suggested the CIA had knowledge of the disappearance of the plane but was not sharing it with Malaysia. He claimed that Boeing, the plane’s maker, and “certain” government agencies, have the ability to remotely take over control of commercial airliners such as the missing Boeing 777. “For some reason, the media will not print anything that involves Boeing or the CIA,” he said.
Read my lament, below, published seven days after the MH370 flight disappeared in March.
In my Aviation Leadership (primarily leadership, not aviation) and Train The Trainer workshops, I teach executives how technology and surveillance is all over our heads and how it can track each individual and machine movement.
I teach them how their smartphone is a tracking device which also lets them make calls! I teach them how drones will be used for book and pizza deliveries. I teach them how wearable computing will record every breath they take and every move they make. I teach them how each Facebook inbox message and every keyboard key they press or website they visit is not deletable. Thanks to massive Google and Facebook servers!
I teach trainers how, using Augmented Reality, they can be at several places at the same time (their holograms, of course!). They wouldn’t need their laptops or tablets or a slide projector. By using motion-sensors with a wearable on their brains, they would just wave to a wall and their visualised PowerPoint texts or images will display on the room wall, which they can then zoom in or out with merely their hand movement.
I teach that city commuters, like everybody else, will own a one- or two-seater plane, with vertical take-off and solar-powered battery or using electrical energy. Using GPS, they will fly from their homes in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Lahore’s DHA or Islamabad’s F-11 and land at their offices in Clifton (KHI), The Mall (LHR) or Constitution Avenue (ISB). They will work at their desks as their plane batteries get ‘refueled’, ready to take them back home. I also teach them that they may not need to travel for work, as there won’t be any office buildings in 2050.
I teach them how space stations, satellites and Google Earth know each stationed and moving object that is between earth and the skies. I teach them how to use 24/7 live flight tracker and weather trackers.
And then Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappears from the radar!
Seven days into the search, we still don’t know where it is. All we know is: speculation. Theory after theory. The latter theory nullifying the earlier theory!
Do you want to know who’s searching?
According to CNN: Nearly 3 million square miles area.
According to BBC: An extensive search of the seas around Malaysia – involving 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft – since the plane disappeared has proved fruitless.
Update 8 April: Over a period of a month: According to CBC, a total of 26 countries have participated in the search for the plane.
The graphic below illustrates the amount of equipment provided by various countries that have helped in the search by sea, air and from space.
Here’s my realisation: How wrong I have been all these years! Technology is so overrated!
With its heat-seeking equipment and capability, the technology can’t trace a Boeing 777-200ER plane with 239 people on board! And with that un-destroyable black box!
Sorry guys, I taught you wrong things.
Barring requests for money-back for the training courses you took with me, I stand corrected.
Technology is just like us human beings: selective!
See also: MH370: Is plane deeper than inverted Burj Khalifa?
By Wali Zahid. Introduction somewhere on this blog.
Also by Wali:
Wali on Pakistan of future
A miracle: Pakistan score in Long Term Orientation goes from Zero to 50
Pakistani culture through 6-D Model
Native languages in Pakistan
How future oriented are we?
How we messed up Pakistan: A series by Wali
Pakistan’s two value crimes no one talks about