How Does an Airplane Just Disappear?

With the recent plane in Ohio that went missing shortly after takeoff over Lake Erie, it got me thinking about how planes can just go missing. It just seems so odd that my phone can tell me exactly where I am, but huge airplanes just keep disappearing! Let’s be honest, it’s probably aliens or maybe a giant sea monster!

Although aliens or a giant sea monster are very good possibilities, they are probably not the most likely causes for airplane disappearances. There are countless reasons for a plane to go down like a fire, engine loss, and weather, but how do we lose the plane? Where I work, we are constantly tracking planes coming in and out of the airport so how did the Ohio plane go missing only 2 miles into Lake Erie? Although we do not have all of the information yet about how ATC lost communications yet with that airplane, finding the airplane after it crashed in the water will be very challenging because AIRPLANES ARE NOT DESIGNED TO FLOAT. Boats are made to float and airplanes are made to fly. Although it is possible if there is a smooth landing that the plane might float for a while, but with the Ohio plane, the weather was very rough and would make the waves very large and would make it very difficult for a smooth landing.

With most cases the airplanes will go missing over large oceans where GPS strength lacks greatly. Many airplanes have the black box that we have all heard about that is supposed to help find the wreckage, but the signal is very weak unless you are in short range. The Black box also records information leading up to the crash that will help later on while investigating the crash. According to Bloomberg, by 2020, the FAA will require all aircraft to be equipped with an ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast) that will send the airplane’s GPS coordinates to ATC, but they will not be able to transmit during the event of a crash. They also mention that the aviation industry does not want to spend the money in advancing the technology to prevent these losses, although the money is there. From what I understand, we need more advancement in technology to prevent these disasters, although we have come a long way since the Amelia Earhart disappearance!


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