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Prestigious award slips from GRIPS
- Air safety expert hints at sudden catastrophe of missing Malaysia plane

City boy Mirza Faizan’s Ground Reality Information Processing System (GRIPS) — one of the global technologies shortlisted in the runway safety and efficiency category — missed the prestigious IHS Jane’s ATC Award 2014 by a whisker.

GRIPS — a system aimed at preventing any collision hazard because of the presence of unauthorised objects on the runway — was among the 40 entries from across the globe for the prestigious award ceremony held in Madrid on March 3. Midwest ATC for its “Kandahar runway efficiency” system bagged the award.

Faizan claimed GRIPS was among the top three technologies in the runway safety and efficiency category. “The others were developed either by established airport authorities, including Airports Authority of India, or big multi-billion firms,” he said.

GRIPS is being evaluated by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — the national aviation authority of the United States of America — at present. If selected, the technology might be used at the US airports.

Faizan, an air-crash investigator with specialisation on black box data analysis, shared his views with The Telegraph on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on the basis of his experience in investigating a similar mishap of Air France’s AF447 over the equatorial Atlantic in 2009:

Same-to-same

Both MH370 and AF447 vanished over the sea

Both were travelling in radar blackout zone — MH370 over South China sea and AF447 over the Atlantic

Both aircraft were twin-aisle jumbo jets — AF447, an Airbus A330, and MH 370, a Boeing 777

Both were flying at mid-cruise phase when they disappeared

Wednesday is the fifth day since MH 370 disappeared. AF447 was found after five days

Dissimilarity

AF 447 had sent 24 alert messages through Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) before disappearing but MH 370 did not send a single message. This means catastrophe might have struck the Malaysian Airline aircraft very quickly

Probabilities

The Malaysia Airline flight might have deviated because of a system malfunction and entered into a stall — a situation where it might have fallen vertically because of lack of speed

It might have deviated over landmass and could have hit a small mountain on numerous islands in vicinity

Structure failure — a situation where the body of an aircraft explodes because of high cabin pressure owing to crack in the body

Why traceless

If the flight actually deviated and flew for an hour thereafter, it must have gone 700-800km away from its scheduled route and search and rescue operations might not have reached there

Debris doubts

In case of a crash at an average speed of 900-1000kmph during the cruise phase, an aircraft can disintegrate into tiny pieces within a few seconds

If an aircraft hits water body on a high speed, the impact is equal to ramming into a concrete surface and can disintegrate into pieces