Missing planes and sorry radar

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The airliner has been missing over a month now.  A big plane has just disappeared.  The big question is how can something that big just vanish?  Actually, no one has seen or had contact with the pilots since the transponder was cut off. 
Many people are in disbelief that all the radar sites couldn’t track the wayward airliner.  This had led to all sorts of speculative ideas as to what really happened.
 The simple fact of the matter is that we are not quite as smart as we think.
The reason that aircraft have transponders is to identify the aircraft on radar screens.  Without these transponders, aircraft are hard to identify by seeing a primary return on radar.  You just can’t see the aircraft with any certainty.
We think we can do anything with technology.  We can’t.  In the 70s and 80s, smugglers brought in massive amounts of marijuana by airplane.  The interesting thing about all this smuggling was that the smuggling aircraft merely cut off their transponders and headed for the United States.  Day and night the smugglers headed out from Colombia, South America, Jamaica, the Bahamas or Mexico. 
On the other side of this secret operation was civilian radar, military radar, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Customs, Navy, Coast Guard, jets and helicopters from all branches of the service and balloon mounted radar all looking for these lawbreaking aircraft.  Even with all this, planes would come into this country to deliver illegal drugs.  That should be proof that we can’t really watch everything.
It’s almost like believing that if we put an extra highway patrolman in Foreston,  all the speeding in Clarendon and Williamsburg counties would be stopped. 
Now we have to face the fact that sometimes there are strange occurrences without a good explanation.  Even with full-time watching, things can move secretly.  A law enforcement officer told me he had been on a detail to watch a pasture that was supposedly a landing strip for a smuggling operation.  They staked out the pasture for a month.  Somebody watches the pasture 24 hours a day for a month. 
A year of overtime pay was wasted in that month.  Finally, they stopped watching the pasture.  Two months later a plane landed at the pasture with a load of drugs. 
The smugglers left the stolen plane and got away with the drugs.  The law enforcement had been expecting this but still couldn’t detect the smugglers.
This just means that we are not going to find this missing airliner any time soon.  With all the talk by experts, if we could have channeled all that hot air into the ocean the missing airliner could be floated out by now.  If only.
I don’t have any theories about where the plane went.  I just know many things are lost and misplaced on a daily basis.  We can lose things with out any help.  Even things we lock up can be stolen, lost or misplaced.  Many things go missing from museums, sheriffs’ evidence rooms and even the junk drawer at your house.   
Now there is talk of putting monitoring equipment on things like airliners, trucks, ships and even personal cars.  Who is going to watch all this? 
We don’t have the time to watch all this.  Even with all the modern stuff we think will help us, we will continue to lose things in the sky and in the ocean.  Every year ships are lost at sea.  They aren’t found either.
Aviation on the other hand has a perfect record.  They’ve never left a plane up there.

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