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Home > Air Crash > Ethiopian Plane Crash: Why did the radar lose contact with the aircraft after the crash?
Ethiopian Plane Crash: Why did the radar lose contact with the aircraft after the crash?
Aviation - Air Crash
Monday, 25 January 2010 18:02

Dear Capt Lim,

Why the loss of radar contact always happen before the crash? What I mean to say is that, why can’t the radar keep contact of the plane even after the failure (just before crashing)?

I am Ethiopian and today, our plane has crashed.

I need to know about the possible causes of the crash, if you can tell me.

Biniyam Teka.

Dear Teka,

I am sorry to hear about the crash.

The radar is used to aid the air traffic controllers to locate the position of the plane in the air. In order for the radar to work, it must have an object to reflect the signal of the radio wave from the transmitter on the ground. The radar contact with the plane will be lost due to at least two reasons. Firstly, it may be too low for the radio wave to pick up any reflective signals. Secondly, as soon as it crashes into the sea, the situation is even worse because there is no physical object (the body of the plane) for the signal to bounce back at all and nothing would be shown on the screen. That is why it is often reported that the plane "just disappeared from the radar screen."

I do not know the cause of the crash until the air crash investigation is completed but as you can hear from the YouTube news report below, bad weather could be one of the contributing causes.


Ethiopian Plane Crash


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