The Malasya Airlines Flight 370 missing plane saga has kept the world wondering about the mysterious fate of the crew, passengers and plane. Ariel Coro, tech expert, provided commentary on Univision Network News regarding some of the technology related angles and controversies surrounding the mysterious vanishing of the flight.
The first controversy was surrounding the fact that family members of the victims were allegedly dialing the cell phone numbers of their loved ones and thought they were still ringing days after the disappearance. The explanation is simple. When the world transitioned from analog to digital phone lines and cell phones, carriers had to devise a way to transition and have people get used to the change, commented Coro.
If the phone is off or in airplane mode and you try reaching it, there will be a few seconds of ringing before the call is forwarded to the voicemail mailbox. The rings are generated by the carrier to inform the person making the call that the search for the phone they are dialing is in progress, to wait and not to hang-up, which would be the eventual outcome if a call is placed and the line remains silent for several seconds.
Cell phone networks maintain a record of where the cell phone last “checked in” or reported to a tower. When a cell phone is dialed, the network tries to reach the phone based on its last reported location and then expands to other locations. After a period of time, the network either forwards the calls to voicemail, drops the call or provides a voice prompt saying the call could not be completed. Every carrier and network worldwide has its own nuances and configurations.
The other technical controversy was surrounding the fact that the pilot had a sophisticated Flight Simulator at home, which investigators found that the logs had been erased and were debating whether this could be a lead pointing to possible terrorist involvement, since flight simulators have been involved in such cases in the past.
Many possible leads and angles and a month later we are unfortunately no closer to knowing the whereabouts of the plane, nor the 239 lost souls aboard it. May both they and their families find solace.