MH370 Solved?: Did Antenna Bracket Failure Rip Open Fuselage Hole?

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Did an unfinished FAA/Boeing Air Safety Directive or AD doom MH370? Reinforcement to the fuselage mounting bracket for certain radio antennae on B777 aircraft may have been required by a recent FAA AD. However completion was allowed for an extended period. Metal fatigue and other cracking failure modes common on aluminum cyclically pressurized fuselages could lead to pressure vessel failure in the uncorrected configuration. In the event of a pressure vessel failure through metal rupture, normal pressurization differential by engine bleed air could then exacerbate the rupture further, as could high dynamic pressure from the high speed descent initiated by flight crew members in response to a rapid depressurization. If an antenna was connected to the ships ACARS or the transponder system, loss of the antenna would render the unit nonfunctional in terms of how the ground stations were reading that data.

A second B777 AD relating to  emergency oxygen plumbing, if it had gone unfinished by maintenance could have rendered some oxygen backup systems ineffective. The work completion was not immediate and could have been deferred.

Combining this B777 AD information with the disappearance of MH370 may give investigators and others interested in the fate of this flight something to consider. A loss of comm, a rapid decompression, a divert and emergency descent all seem to fit what we know so far. The transponder and the ACARS might not have been “switched off.” Instead, if either or both of their antennae were rendered inoperative by a metallurgical fatigue or other similar material failure, to the outside observer, these various electrical devices would appear inoperative. Why? Because it is the exchange of their radio signals that we use to determine their operation from the ground. In a like manner, a small fire in baggage area from a stowage of lithium batteries or even a small explosive of a criminal nature might again cause a similar system failure.

 

 

About Paul Miller

Captain Paul Miller has developed a unique approach to aviation safety by forecasting safety hazards. Yes, that is right, forecasting safety hazards. Most people think of safety as a study of what has already gone wrong. But SafetyForecast looks forward in time at factors that will negatively impact your business in the future. Then using this unique and very powerful forecasting tool, you will be able to develop a unique Safety Plan. That is right, a Safety Plan. Your tailored Safety Plan will reduce losses of personnel and property to well below your most extraordinary expectations. That is our guarantee. No other safety consultant uses this method and no method has ever achieved the superior results by driving the mishap rate towards zero in such a short time. SafetyForecast modest consulting fees will be recovered by your business in a short time by the reduction of just the financial and legal losses alone, losses that you do not often think about due to mishaps. No other consultant will provide a unique Safety Plan that will make your company prosper by saving lives and injuries. Additionally your company will prosper by reducing the damage and destruction of property. Try SafetyForecast and you will see for yourself how well the Safety Plan works.
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