Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#101 Post by cncpc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:20 pm

Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:58 am
cncpc wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:14 am
This is a reasonable approximation of the view at tree top level at Canyon. It is hard to believe that witness sighting.

canyon.jpg
Is this due to the elevation of the trees? Or why don't you believe that?
No, its not due to the elevation of the trees. It is difficult to believe any pilot would place an aircraft at that low altitude in that terrain, or even be in such weather in that place. The terrain rises 500 feet in the next 2.5 miles, i.e. the road disappears into fog. There seems to be no outcome other than a crash into terrain. I just don't believe it.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#102 Post by waterdog » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:44 pm

I am not sure if this has been checked:

If the pilot flew with any apps like Foreflight / cloud ahoy and I am sure there are others, those apps track the flight using satellites and not radar. You can log into those apps from a computer and don't need to have the pilots ipad or phone in hand. It is even possible that he tried to submit an electronic copy of a flight plan and it didn't go through, its happened to me.
I'm not sure if the family would have any idea of what apps he was using but may be worth reaching out to some of those companies and see if they have any record for the pilot. If they do I would think they would track the plane all the way down.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#103 Post by tps8903 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:24 pm

PilotDAR wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:47 pm

Millions would have been saved had MH370 had one!
Slightly off topic. But no. Spot doesn't have global coverage. MH370 would still be a ghost. You need Iridium devices for global coverage.

If you buy these devices be sure to know their limitations.

In this case the pilot would have been smart to have a tracking device.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#104 Post by phillyfan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:53 pm

How much snow has fallen in that area since this airplane went missing? Is that a factor in calling off the search?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#105 Post by dazednconfused » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:44 pm

waterdog wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:44 pm
I am not sure if this has been checked:

If the pilot flew with any apps like Foreflight / cloud ahoy and I am sure there are others, those apps track the flight using satellites and not radar. You can log into those apps from a computer and don't need to have the pilots ipad or phone in hand.
How does an app like Foreflight track your progress via satellite if the aircraft/phone/ipad in question does not have the technology on board to do so, ie a spot device etc. An ipad does not have any method of communication other than bluetooth/wifi/and cellular if you purchased that option . I apologize if I am missing something obvious here as I have rarely used Foreflight. Unless this aircraft had an ads-b transponder on board?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#106 Post by waterdog » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:59 pm

No worries:
I use a bad elf gps that links to my ipad and enhances my phones built in gps. If you have an ipad that is 3g capable, even if it is not connected to the network it has a built in gps receiver that is always on. In both foreflight and cloud ahoy you can have the app create a track log that tracks all aspects of the flight so that you can review your flight from the comfort of your chair. In foreflight you can then add that track log to your log book and do all kinds of things.

So, if you have a good ipad, it has its gps built in, if you have a cheaper ipad like mine that is only wifi enabled then you need to pair it with a gps device. Either way, if he used anything like that you could potential have a log that would take you right to the crash site and that is accessible from any computer, providing you had the log in info. Without the log in passwords I would think that you would have to contact the company directly.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#107 Post by pdw » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:34 pm

Diadem wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:13 pm
The Illicillewaet River runs down from the Illicillewaet Glacier, past Wheeler Hut, under the Trans-Canada, and down to Revelstoke, so that's the one you were looking at already. I was just speculating as to why he might have turned south there if that was where he turned.
The valley to which I was referring is this one: https://goo.gl/maps/hyTrX5V3HC82 If he was following that short section of the TC eastbound before it turns north and missed the curve, the natural course would be to continue up that valley while trying to find the road because it's roughly the same track.
eastbound

You're speaking there of the second eastbound stretch in the "S pattern" thru the pass, the middle of that S. Being higher up in the pass there means the right 90deg crosswind would be stronger so the right crab angle lends-itself / contributes even more to missing the left turn instead heading forward into that valley in your link ... if pointing more south already. OK i get it ... that's a possiblility too ...
I was just speculating as to why he might have turned south there if that was where he turned.
Ok, now this is referring to the first left turn that had to be made (in that same S pattern you spoke of earlier) .. toward Wheeler hut area, which given the circumstance of the 90degree right crosswind .. might also have been easier to err. This first left turn of the S pattern from eastbound would have been a lot wider too .. 100 degrees left or more when coming out of a right crab heading (ie pointing more south already) .. esp if starting into it a bit late.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#108 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:37 pm

I’m unsure if that’s been looked into but I can certainly check. The weather wasn’t great for a few days after they went missing and have heard that quite a bit of snow had fallen. I’m not entirely sure why they stopped searching but I would assume funding had a lot to do with it.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#109 Post by dazednconfused » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:02 pm

waterdog wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:59 pm
No worries:
I use a bad elf gps that links to my ipad and enhances my phones built in gps. If you have an ipad that is 3g capable, even if it is not connected to the network it has a built in gps receiver that is always on. In both foreflight and cloud ahoy you can have the app create a track log that tracks all aspects of the flight so that you can review your flight from the comfort of your chair. In foreflight you can then add that track log to your log book and do all kinds of things.

So, if you have a good ipad, it has its gps built in, if you have a cheaper ipad like mine that is only wifi enabled then you need to pair it with a gps device. Either way, if he used anything like that you could potential have a log that would take you right to the crash site and that is accessible from any computer, providing you had the log in info. Without the log in passwords I would think that you would have to contact the company directly.

I understand the part of having an ipad with built-in gps, and logging your position in an app as you fly, but how is an ipad or badelf transmitting your location back to Foreflight via satellite, such that someone could then find you later if you go missing? Your ipad or badelf gps is not transmitting (only capable of receiving) your position via satellite, that I am aware of. Thus the need for a spot type device. If you are talking cell network, I can see how a cell enabled ipad can send foreflight your location as you go, but if you are not in cell tower range, I think your track log is in your ipad until you connect foreflight via internet at some point. Again, my apologies if I am not understanding the technology.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#110 Post by waterdog » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:13 pm

dazednconfused:
Your questions are good, and you make a good point. Those types of apps although they receive location information from gps satellites, they update the profile of the user through a cell network. So, in order to access the information from a crash scene the apps would have to have been able to send the track logs via the cell network / wifi network, for anyone to access it post crash. I would think that the apps are constantly searching for this ability but I am not sure if they would do it mid-logging and whether it is a viable search tool. I just know that after I land without doing anything I can access all of the information on any device that I log into.

I still think it is worth reaching out to those companies and see if any information can be obtained.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#111 Post by anofly » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:18 pm

Does anyone have, or can get the highway cam pic for the approx time in question?
If the weather was low as indicated by the folks at the hut, and if he was running low, it would be very easy to make a wrong turn. When you are stressed, time goes weird, so you may think you have flown the Rogers Pass, and its time to head to golden, but 2 mins seems like forever, and you have only gone 4 or 5 miles.....and your not there yet, and if the weather is low, and you are low, you dont have much time to consult your app.....
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#112 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:34 pm

anofly wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:18 pm
Does anyone have, or can get the highway cam pic for the approx time in question?
If the weather was low as indicated by the folks at the hut, and if he was running low, it would be very easy to make a wrong turn. When you are stressed, time goes weird, so you may think you have flown the Rogers Pass, and its time to head to golden, but 2 mins seems like forever, and you have only gone 4 or 5 miles.....and your not there yet, and if the weather is low, and you are low, you dont have much time to consult your app.....
I’ve requested the cam info for that area. Apparently it can take 1-2 days.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#113 Post by CpnCrunch » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 pm

The Parks Canada webcam image might be useful too:

http://powdercanada.com/2016/11/rogers- ... ther-cams/
http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/glacier ... eo-weather

It's at 6266ft elevation.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#114 Post by dazednconfused » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 pm

Does anyone know which cell towers his phone was detected on? There are numerous towers in Revelstoke, then Telus has towers along the TC highway. Rogers also has a tower in Revelstoke but not along the highway. Talk to them as well. I read that the Telus Fidelity mountain tower picked up his phone, but what about the Telus cell towers at Twin Butte and Canyon Hot Springs? After Fidelity mountain, if he was following the highway, the next logical spot is Rogers Pass tower, which did not get a ping. I would double and triple check with Telus. Mistakes happen. Also, I assume SAR did this, but Telus should be able to tell you which antenna on Fidelity tower picked up his phone. There are multiple antenna which point in different directions. You can at least know which side of the tower the plane was. I assume this was looked into but perhaps the family or volunteers can get this info if they are conducting their own search. I ask this because perhaps the pilot turned on his phone momentarily for whatever reason only around Fidelity mountain. But, if the towers in Revelstoke, and the first two eastbound on the TC picked up his phone, we know the pilot had his phone on the whole time and was following the highway. I'm just trying to ascertain perhaps his phone was off at Revelstoke and into the mountains, turned on at Fidelity area, then off again to save battery, and he flew past Rogers Pass and we have no idea.

This is a good site.

https://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html

Here is a small image of the towers in the area. The top right is the Rogers Pass tower, followed by Fidelity mountain slightly below to the left. Bottom left is Revelstoke.

Image
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#115 Post by cncpc » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:17 am

dazednconfused wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 pm
Does anyone know which cell towers his phone was detected on? There are numerous towers in Revelstoke, then Telus has towers along the TC highway. Rogers also has a tower in Revelstoke but not along the highway. Talk to them as well. I read that the Telus Fidelity mountain tower picked up his phone, but what about the Telus cell towers at Twin Butte and Canyon Hot Springs? After Fidelity mountain, if he was following the highway, the next logical spot is Rogers Pass tower, which did not get a ping. I would double and triple check with Telus. Mistakes happen. Also, I assume SAR did this, but Telus should be able to tell you which antenna on Fidelity tower picked up his phone. There are multiple antenna which point in different directions. You can at least know which side of the tower the plane was. I assume this was looked into but perhaps the family or volunteers can get this info if they are conducting their own search. I ask this because perhaps the pilot turned on his phone momentarily for whatever reason only around Fidelity mountain. But, if the towers in Revelstoke, and the first two eastbound on the TC picked up his phone, we know the pilot had his phone on the whole time and was following the highway. I'm just trying to ascertain perhaps his phone was off at Revelstoke and into the mountains, turned on at Fidelity area, then off again to save battery, and he flew past Rogers Pass and we have no idea.

This is a good site.

https://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html

Here is a small image of the towers in the area. The top right is the Rogers Pass tower, followed by Fidelity mountain slightly below to the left. Bottom left is Revelstoke.

Image
I think you may not be correct in your understanding of how pinging works. It is something that is periodically initiated by the cell network to see if a cell has left the tower coverage area. If it has, then the network knows it can stop allocating resources to that number. I believe that it is the tower that pings and the cell that responds. This process is set to an interval by the network standard, in this case the Telus network standard. A common interval is 8 hours. The Fidelity tower pinged on of Mr. Neron's two cell phones, or perhaps both, and there was a response at around 10:30. So near to 8 hours from the last ping, on a Revelstoke Tower at 3:13.

I don't think the towers continuously or at short intervals ping cell phones. They can do so on direction, as they might in a search, but it seems this was a network ping to check if the number or numbers were still in the Fidelity coverage area. They were.

The aircraft was not flying at 10:30 that night. It was down. Cell transmissions work on line of sight. That means that this cell phone, and presumptively this aircraft, are in sight of the Fidelity tower. It also means the cell phone was on at 10:30 that night. The Fidelity tower seems to be in an area where its line of sight coverage is from Ross Peak to abeam the tower on the highway, with terrain seeming to cut out the area south towards Canyon Hot Springs, where there is another tower.

Good suggestion on trying to find out which antennae.

It isn't clear exactly what the witness saw at Canyon Hot Springs.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#116 Post by AirFrame » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:01 am

Pings aside, I suspect if the phone was on during the flight that it would be constantly trying to maintain a lock with any tower it could see along the route. I know when I flew to Calgary from Langley, I never lost cell coverage along the route... Much to my surprise. Mind you, I wasn't watching the screen 100% of the time, so it may have cut out and come back when I wasn't looking, but every time I did look it was there.

I would be surprised if this constant checking by the phone to see that it's still connected wasn't logged somehow by the carrier... And it has to happen more than once every 8 hours. They just need to dig further into their logs to find it.

If I take the ferry from Tsawassen to Victoria, i'll get a text message about two seconds after crossing the US border that "welcomes" me to the US and lets me know that Rogers will happily charge me $5 to extend my voice/data plan into the US for the day.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#117 Post by CpnCrunch » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:33 am

Here is a description of how cellphone pinging works:

https://www.quora.com/How-often-does-a- ... the-towers

It sounds like the phone itself will initiate a connection with a new cellphone tower if it detects a stronger signal. If not, it won't get pinged for another 8 hours. So most likely the phone was closest to the Fidelity mountain tower (or at least, it had the strongest signal at the phone) and the phone just hadn't moved since the afternoon. Unfortunately that probably means that the occupants weren't conscious, as they would presumably have been able to send a text message if they had been.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#118 Post by Notapilot1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:16 am

dazednconfused wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 pm
Does anyone know which cell towers his phone was detected on? There are numerous towers in Revelstoke, then Telus has towers along the TC highway. Rogers also has a tower in Revelstoke but not along the highway. Talk to them as well. I read that the Telus Fidelity mountain tower picked up his phone, but what about the Telus cell towers at Twin Butte and Canyon Hot Springs? After Fidelity mountain, if he was following the highway, the next logical spot is Rogers Pass tower, which did not get a ping. I would double and triple check with Telus. Mistakes happen. Also, I assume SAR did this, but Telus should be able to tell you which antenna on Fidelity tower picked up his phone. There are multiple antenna which point in different directions. You can at least know which side of the tower the plane was. I assume this was looked into but perhaps the family or volunteers can get this info if they are conducting their own search. I ask this because perhaps the pilot turned on his phone momentarily for whatever reason only around Fidelity mountain. But, if the towers in Revelstoke, and the first two eastbound on the TC picked up his phone, we know the pilot had his phone on the whole time and was following the highway. I'm just trying to ascertain perhaps his phone was off at Revelstoke and into the mountains, turned on at Fidelity area, then off again to save battery, and he flew past Rogers Pass and we have no idea.

This is a good site.

https://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html

Here is a small image of the towers in the area. The top right is the Rogers Pass tower, followed by Fidelity mountain slightly below to the left. Bottom left is Revelstoke.

Image
Thanks, dazednconfused. If you look at the map I posted previously it shows that the tower at Fidelity Mountain was pinged at 10:32 and 10:36. After that there were no other pings closer to Roger's Pass that I am aware of. The problem with your theory is the timeline. There is no way it took him 6 or so hours to fly from Revelstoke to near Fidelity Mountain. I will try and find out which side of the tower pinged him.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#119 Post by Diadem » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:35 am

I took a look at the Parks Canada webcam on Fidelity Mountain this morning just to see the area, and there was some interesting weather in the pass: Image Image That first image is looking towards Wheeler Hut, which is up the valley to the right at the far end, and the highway curves left there. Here's the highway camera for the head of the pass this morning: Image
Of course, this isn't in any way relevant to the actual weather conditions on Nov 25, but I thought it was a good demonstration of how localized weather phenomena can be in the mountains. A lot of pilots who've never flown in BC don't really seem to appreciate that you can get a single puff of cloud in a valley that can really screw up your day, while the weather stations on either side show conditions that are totally fine for VFR flight. The stuff that's in there this morning is probably a result of just how clear and stable the conditions are this morning, so you can't extrapolate that to Nov 25, but I still think it gives a good idea of how abruptly you can run into something without having any expectation of anything besides severe clear.
Edit: It appears that the Fidelity Mountain webcam images are stored somewhere, as several appear in a Google image search from the last several days, but there doesn't seem to be any way to search a database to find the images from Nov 25. Has anyone contacted Parks Canada to see if those are accessible?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#120 Post by Notapilot1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:41 am

Thank you for sharing. Yes, the weather is definitely unpredictable in the mountains, one minute it's sunny, and the next minute it can be completely different. I would really like to see the cams for Saturday and am impatiently waiting for them.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#121 Post by Notapilot1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:46 am

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I just received this map, it may be helpful.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#122 Post by CpnCrunch » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:09 am

Yeah, I think the weather is very different today. Right now there's a high pressure system, so it's probably mostly ground fog. The GFA is saying the clouds are topping out at 6000ft. You could in theory go over that layer today, but you'd need to make sure you had sufficient fuel and that Golden is clear (or wherever you have fuel to get to with a reserve).

I think on the day in question it was more of a low pressure system blowing in moisture from the Pacific, which will tend to generate clouds as it blows up the valleys. More dangerous as you will tend to be under the clouds, which could suddenly close up in the valleys. (I'm not a weather forecaster, so please correct me if I've got this wrong).
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#123 Post by Notapilot1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:58 am

Wheeler Hut and surrounding area is being searched today.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#124 Post by Notapilot1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:28 pm

Is Revelstoke Airport unmanned?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#125 Post by cncpc » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 pm

CpnCrunch wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:09 am
Yeah, I think the weather is very different today. Right now there's a high pressure system, so it's probably mostly ground fog. The GFA is saying the clouds are topping out at 6000ft. You could in theory go over that layer today, but you'd need to make sure you had sufficient fuel and that Golden is clear (or wherever you have fuel to get to with a reserve).

I think on the day in question it was more of a low pressure system blowing in moisture from the Pacific, which will tend to generate clouds as it blows up the valleys. More dangerous as you will tend to be under the clouds, which could suddenly close up in the valleys. (I'm not a weather forecaster, so please correct me if I've got this wrong).
You've got in right.
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