Miami Valley native’s connection to missing plane

MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN)- The mystery surrounding Malaysia Flight 370 deepens by the day.

Matt Desch is paying extra close attention to the developments.

He’s the CEO of Virginia-based Iridium Communications, which is a satellite network operator.

It’s one of two companies in the world the operates satellites for aircrafts.

Desch says the other company can’t comment because it operated the satellite used by the missing plane and is now apart of the investigation.

“We operate more satellites than anyone else does on the earth.  Our system provides mobile satellite services to handsets and ships and airplanes and governments all over the world.  We actually have the furthest reaching telecommunications network because we cover 100% of the globe,” says Desch.

The 1976 Kettering Alter Grad says his company isn’t involved in the search.

But he can answer some of the biggest questions—like how could a jet just disappear?

“Radar has been around for 60 or 70 years but it’s being replaced right now by ground transmitters that receive GPS signals from the aircraft.  Unfortunately, they’re only putting them on the ground right where airplanes are, so in the oceans, there aren’t any ground transmitters so it’s all this brand new technology going into airplanes, doesn’t really help us as soon as ygoing over the oceans,” comments Desch.

That’s where his company comes in.

He says they’re going to put those receivers onto their new satellites and relay that information directly back to the air traffic controller.

“Safety is one of the benefits.  The real reason is that airplanes will be able to fly more directly between points, they’ll be able to climb faster, they’ll be able to save a lot of fuel, burn a lot less carbon.  That’s why we’re doing it but the side benefit of it is that you will know where every airplane is in real time, literally down to the second, which isn’t true today,” explains Desch.

The company plans to launch these new satellites between 2015 and 2017. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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