"Too Much Missing Jet Coverage"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, March 31, 2014

Breaking News! That was the lead on every news broadcast since it was announced Flight MH 370 was missing on March 8. The same headline was broadcast along with “News Alert” continuously for almost three weeks.

Last Tuesday, all news stations announced the Malaysian prime minister along with the airlines CEO made an announcement to the Malaysian parliament. The prime minister said current satellite data analysis showed Flight 370 had crashed in a remote area of the Indian Ocean. The airline’s CEO told them it was beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone survived, all souls were lost.

This announcement was heartbreaking news for the families of the 227 passengers and 12 crew. For many, it seemed to mark an ending to the urgency of the tragic event. The news broadcasts, however, continued unrelenting; they tore apart the statements and questioned how the announcement could have been made without solid proof.

During the weeks of searching, the media introduced experts in the aviation and undersea recovery field. Each gave scenarios and their opinions of what may have occurred. This may sound trite but I feel as though I could fly a 777 after spending a good deal of time in the simulators with the professionals. Although the airline representative had explained “all lives are lost,” the news coverage continued. They speculated on a number of possible causes with the introduction of yet additional experts who admittedly could do no more than guess.

Debris spottings were reported during the search time from multiple sources and aircraft and ships were dispatched to investigate each sighting. Satellite reports, from various countries including the U.S., are still being evaluated.

Many of them took days to assimilate and the lost time allowed debris, in the sea conditions reported, to drift unknown distances.

I have a question regarding the sightings taken from satellites. It is claimed we can stop, re-direct or even intercept missiles in flight via the use of satellites. How long will it be before we are warned of impending disaster — or will it be over while the reports are being reviewed?

It will undoubtedly take very highly qualified persons and equipment to totally investigate and calculate the possible cause of the aircraft’s entry into the ocean and a probable position to begin an underwater search.

As I see it, the media provided “over-coverage” of the disaster. I felt the constant video and interviews of loved ones waiting to hear news was almost unconscionable. People around the world were given the opportunity to witness the sorrow of those in such pain.

As I write this column, my heart, as that of many others, is saddened and my sympathy and prayers go out to those who still wait for news of their loved ones.

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