Mailbox: Safety balloons in planes

Mailbox: Safety balloons in planes
Boeing 777 Malaysian Airlines

THE saga of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 reminds me of when I used to go scuba diving.

My safety gear included a very brightly coloured orange balloon rolled up in my diving suit pocket.

When the sea was very choppy, I would inflate this balloon so the boatman could see where I was and come to pick me up.

All planes should have half a dozen of such brightly coloured balloons as a safety feature. They can be tucked away under a flap on the outside of the plane and connected to an air cartridge or air lines that would be triggered if the plane hits water.

Adding a small radio transmitter to each balloon would also make tracking the location of a downed plane much easier and quicker in a vast open sea.

Willie Teo


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