Monday, 1 August 2011


It is interesting that the latest BEA report on AF447 includes in its additional safety recommendations the automatic triggering of data transmissions whenever an emergency situation is encountered. This is an excellent idea but fraught with complexity.

Would it not be easier to install currently available aircraft satellite tracking systems, already quite common on business jets and special operations aircraft (World Food Programme has mandated them)? A single aircraft unit costs less than US$15,000 and the tracking and data management fee is similarly modest. I think I may have suggested this at the time of the accident... It seems bizarre that the owners, lessors and operators of these expensive machines don't want to know exactly where they are and what they are doing all of the time.

If you would like to know more about these systems, contact Gates Aviation on +44 207 4696437 0r e-mail me on

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