Yesterday morning we awoke to the news that an Air France “Heavy” was “missing and presumed lost.”
What I find really strange is the absolute lack of communications from the aircraft to any ATC Center. I am honestly amazed that there are still areas in this world of ours where there is no radar coverage. Less strange but questionable never the less, is that at with an antenna at 35,000 feet (the aircrafts estimated altitude) the missing aircraft did not get any tranmissions out on any of their normal hf frequencies. I can understand being out of range for VHF COMMS but I was under the impression thats when they switched to HF COMMS. In the past I have monitored various ATC Centers talking to flights over the Atlantic Ocean on HF.
With your antenna up at 35,000 feet the groundwave on any frequency should of been rather large…
Until the mystery of this disaster has been solved there will be much discussion/debates on this tragic loss. There is not doubt that the lack of communications will be mentioned many times in this discussion. You, being the amateur radio operator, the expert in all matters that pertain to communications will be expected to know all about the topic of aviation communications systems.
It might be a good idea to do a bit of background reading on the topic. I think most of us have talked to a bored pilot who happened to have his amateur ticket at one time or another but do you really know what frequencies they use (VHF and HF) when they are flying and more importantly how they use them?
The group at the coffee shops, the water coolers all are going to have questions and they will most likely be directed at you because you are the radio/communications expert… At least thats what you told them…
This might be a good time to do a couple of “Google” searches and get some basic information so when the questions start coming you might be able to answer a couple of them.
The only thing worse than no information is the wrong information….
My Prayers go out to the families of the missing…