Skip to comments.Missing MH370: Enthusiasm in Vietnam Wanes as Search for Plane Moves Elsewhere
Posted on 03/13/2014 10:42:56 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Standing before a bust of Ho Chi Minh and holding a microphone gingerly, Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation vice-director general Doan Huu Gia rattled off on Thursday what the waiting group of journalists at Phu Quoc island already knew: It could not find any traces of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 that went missing on Saturday.
Asked to comment about a report that suggested the plane had flown past the South China Sea where Vietnamese forces had been combing through, he said: You should ask Malaysia.
Shortly after, the press conference ended, leaving reporters wondering if Vietnam would scale down the hunt as the multinational search party was being redirected far from Vietnamese waters, into the Indian Ocean.
Already, the energy has waned at Phu Quoc, an island off the coast of southern Vietnam. It is where flight MH370 with 239 people was earlier thought to be last detected on radar before it disappeared on Saturday morning.
Earlier in the week, hordes of foreign media had descended on its gleaming new airport where the Vietnamese government had set up a coordination centre for a multinational air and sea search taking place in the nearby South China Sea.
Unaccustomed to the attention, local media turned the spotlight on foreign media, filing reports on their arrival and how the Vietnamese government was doing its best to facilitate their entry.
It was an opportunity for Vietnam to show its humanitarian side to the world after recent bad press about its harsh control of online dissent.
Deputy prime minister Hoang Trung Hai ordered a round-the-clock search. Other top officials turned up at the mountainous Phu Quoc, known for its piquant fish sauce and ambitious infrastructure projects to increase its tourist appeal.
Deputy transport minister Pham Quy Tieu and deputy air force commander Do Minh Tuan as well as deputy navy commander Le Minh Thanh took turns to brief the media against a wall bearing South China Sea maps and a banner declaring Long live the communist party.
On Wednesday, there was a near stampede as over 50 journalists rushed into the briefing room to claim the best vantage point. And the cameras rolled each time a helicopter or sea plane took off from the nearby runway.
But the enthusiasm faded as each day of searching drew a blank. The Vietnamese search time at one point expanded their aerial survey inland, to the forests covering the two southern provinces of Ca Mau and Kien Giang.
On Thursday, it was left to Mr Gia to hold the fort in Phu Quoc after most of local media had shipped out, leaving a large Chinese contingent as well as international media.
Asked how much the search was costing Vietnam, he said with little emotion: We will have to bear a certain cost, but we will do this for humanitarian reasons.
I have no doubt that this aircraft was equipped with a system known as FADEC (Full-Authority Digital Engine Control). It’s part of the avionics system associated with the engines. FADEC system manufacturers include Honeywell, Liberty Aerospace and UTC Aerospace Systems.
Flight MH370’s FADEC system is probably what revealed the aircraft’s continued hours of flight after losing its transponder system communications capabilities. However, I could be wrong but since reports of MH370’s engine system data being accessible have surfaced, I think the FADEC system was what provided that data.
India Searches Uninhabited Islands for Missing MH370
My question has always been how much data does it send? Even some rudimentary engine performance data can give the plane’s altitude within a few thousand feet but most important is how the engines stopped.
...”but most important is how the engines stopped.”
Would FADEC data portray catastrophic engine shutdown (e.g. bird strike) the same as it might for a non-catastrophic abnormal shutdown?