Dick Smith: How to avoid MH17, MH370 disasters

Dick Smith with the Cessna Grand Caravan which is fitted with a Spider Tracks system that keeps a record of the plane's flight path. He says the system would have helped investigators probing the MH370 disappearance.

Dick Smith with the Cessna Grand Caravan which is fitted with a Spider Tracks system that keeps a record of the plane's flight path. He says the system would have helped investigators probing the MH370 disappearance.

If people wanted to avoid plane disasters such as the incidents involving MH17 and MH370, they should stay home, according to adventurer and aviator Dick Smith.

“They will then probably be electrocuted by lightning,” he said.

Mr Smith spoke to Fairfax Media moments after arriving by plane at the Port Pirie Fly-In on Saturday.

“I think there are lessons out of the MH370 that disappeared,” he said.

He said a device called Spider Tracks, which was fitted to the Cessna Grand Caravan in which he travelled, could provide information about the route of aircraft including those headed for disaster.

He pulled out his mobile phone and showed the path of his plane from Victoria.

“It sends a signal by satellite back to the United States and it is on a computer back there,” he said.

 “If everything else gets turned off, you know where the plane is going. It fits in the tail of the plane.”

Asked whether he would lobby the Australian government to introduce the system, he said he would not, adding that government would probably “regulate something that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars”.

Six Australians were on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur when it disappeared in March.

The black box from that flight has yet to be recovered.

Up to 39 Australian citizens and residents were aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down by a missile over Ukraine on July 17.

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