You know you’re obsessed when you go scouring the internet for pictures of Emergency Locator Transmitters; when you can’t even pay attention to the weather or St. Patrick’s Day when you’re supposed to plant peas but you can’t because it snowed again.
Even more obsessed is CNN, understandable because no one watches CNN anymore unless some sort of tragedy has happened. And so last night (yes, last night: turning on the TV in the morning is a level of obsession I have, thankfully, so far not reached) I heard all about the ACARS (Aircraft Communication and Reporting System: we are all learning so much about airplanes!) being turned off before that poetic “All right good night,” and about how significant this was; and about how a plane could have avoided radar if it took that northern path over land toward all those -stan countries Rick Perry has never heard of; and about how all of this would require a level of sophistication that somebody with a flight simulator in his house might have; but, most striking of all, about how there are two Emergency Locator Transmitters on airplanes that are triggered on impact – impact from a crash, but not from a landing – and how unlikely it would be for both to fail and how no signals had been received.
I think it was a pilot saying all this, and I’m not sure how he knew no signals had been received, but I guess if they had been we’d hear about it, except that the Malaysians sure seem to be trying to say as little as possible.
So there you have it.