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30 July 2018

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John Minnerath

I think this shows that as advanced as our ATC is, the ability to track tiny bits of debris in space, even cell phones that can show a location to a few square feet; there are places on the planet where it still doesn't work and something as seemingly big as an airliner can vanish.

oofda

There is a precedent, and one not discussed in the US media.
The high velocity crash of a 737 operating flight MI185 for Silkair in 1997 into the Musi River near Palembang in Indonesia may indicate that very little will be recovered from the Malaysia Airlines MH370 crash, location uncertain, last Saturday.

The Silkair disaster is controversial to this day. However it is what physically happened to that jet that bodes badly, if as widely believed the missing Malaysia Airlines 777-200 operating MH370 dived into, or exploded over, the Gulf of Thailand or the Malacca Strait. Even though MI185 was seen to crash, and its location was thus precisely known, and the recovery effort began promptly, the tidal reach of the Musi River literally rinsed the victims and much of the structural debris into the sea, never to be recovered. Anything that wasn’t driven into the mud within reach of dredging was lost.

If MH370 was either scattered over the shallow seas in the areas that are now being searched, or for some reason plunged into them, the nearly three days that have elapsed will have diluted and dispersed the dreadful aftermath. Human remains, clothing, paper, and other fittings will be gone, while the more corrosion resistant components may float for a period, but much of that will sink into the soft seabed, and be covered by silt or mud.

The most critical objects, the flight data recorder, and the cockpit voice recorder, should be readily recoverable and readable, but only if their location is known or discovered, which might prove to be by far the most difficult challenge authorities will face.

nick b

I'm a big fan of 'Ancient Aliens' with Giorgio Tsoukalos. His answer for everything is aliens. It sure is a mystery.

I wondered why if some of the cell phones of passengers were still working why they couldn't triangulate a position or use GPS?

A fellow I met at a wedding a long time ago disappeared along with his plane on a short trip to Martha's Vineyard. Hikers found the wreckage four years later on a mountainside in NH.

Brien J Miller

As a pilot with ATC and some heavy turbo fan transport experience (and plenty of friends who fly as ATPs [airline transport pilots]) this situation is highly suspicious. The turn of the aircraft (assuming that is correct) and the rapid change in altitude (report early on), make me think that the aircraft was purposely flowen so as to be under the high altitude radar, something doable over the middle of the ocean, where the curvature of the surface of the earth only allows ground base radar to see very high targets.

Moreover, there is also the matter of the loss of telemtry from the aircraft above and beyond the transponder data. These modern fly-by-wire aircraft relay low level data back to their operators. This was one of the ways the French authorities knew of the airspeed issue on the lost Air France jet over the mid latitude atlantic. That could only be cut off by someone knowing the right fuse panel switch.

While there is still a strong possibility of an air-accident, the length of time and lack of any trace is begining to give me a feeling that this could in fact be a potentially well planned hi-jack.

Charles I

There is more than one kind of emission from a jet. There seems to be consensus that the transponder was turned off prior to time of the last radar contact. Although there is now debate about what, where, when, and by whom this will turn out to be.

Last night in passing on the CFTO 11 pm news I heard in passing reference to engine telemetry received directly at rolls Royce headquarters. I can't find an actual news report on this plane's telemetry, whether it is real time, periodic, did it continue past know times/locations, etc. etc.

Telemetry itself is a hot subject in net discussion forums from searching rolls royce engine telemetry or the like. Crashing in to a big ass UFO seems to have a plurality of opinion at first glance. There is reference to landing in Cambodia, secret Chinese response to a hijacking . . .

A subset of speculation is whether the telemetry software can be hijacked to control the engines. . . .

They'll find it eventually

LJ

Isn't it possible to hijack a modern airliner by "hacking" into its flight systems? Why? No speculation.

eakens

Might be worth checking to see if any Somali pirates on board!

Medicine Man

Col.: Here is a link to Ask the Pilot, with a round up of the facts we have and some speculation: http://www.askthepilot.com/malaysia-airlines-flight-370/

Indeed, it is a puzzlement.

blowback

Blame it on Putin, he's responsible for everything bad happening in the world but he has enough nukes not to care what anybody thinks of him.

cloned_poster

Might be worth checking the passenger manifest for VIPs and the cargo manifest for $$$

Swampy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aerial_disappearances

Highlander

In one of my past lives I was a captain on the Boeing 777, it is a superb flying machine. It has multiple built in redundancies in all areas including air to ground communications.

Four options on what has happened:

!. Some type of criminal activity in the cockpit has caused the aircraft to disappear. In my opinion the least likely scenario.

2. A decompression event incapacitated the crew ( 30 seconds of useful consciousness at that altitude ). They could have initiated an autopilot directed change of course and descent before they passed out. The aircraft could have descended to the preset new altitude leveled off, and preceded to fly off on the new heading for a couple of thousand miles. Not likely but certainly possible.

3.A near instantaneous catastrophic failure of the aircraft structure, This particular aircraft had some serious wing damage repaired a few years back. If this happened, there should have been a large debris field somewhere along the intended flight path, and by now I would have thought some of the sophisticated military equipment searching would have found the aircraft remains. This is the most likely event.

4.Some type of uncontrolled fire event causing a fuel tank to explode. My personal rule of thumb on uncontrolled aircraft fires was for a big airplane you have a max of 15 minutes to put in on the ground or in the water or you die for sure. This scenario doesn't fit with the lack of communications so also isn't likely.

People automatically assume because third world countries fly a modern aircraft just like western countries, then their operational and maintenance procedures are up to western standards. In my experience this is quite often not the case. You buy your ticket, you takes your chances.

Anyway, I understand the Malay government has now consulted with one to their local Witch Doctors. Who is utilizing two coconuts to find answers to this mystery.(I'm serious here folks). Hopefully the good Doctor will provide us final answers.

jonst

It is my understanding that it against civilian aviation 'rules' to fly a plane without a working transponder. If one is 'up there' one has to be sending out an id signal at all times. So, if it can be turned off manually, i.e. under threat, one might think there would be some type of SOS signal that would go out the moment that, or those, i understand there are back up transponder requirements to fly, transponders are shut off in the air.

Wonder if I have this remotely accurate?

Thomas

Highlander,

What if a bomb west off in the rear restroom area, would the resulting structural failure result in the front portion diving nose first thereby negating a debris field?

oth

Cockpit fire would account for autopilot/telemetry failure. Another 777-200:

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=44078aa7&opt=0

Highlander

Thomas,

When pieces come off of an aircraft at 550 mph, aerodynamic stability tends to be totally gone. At that point structural integrity is lost, and all the big parts become lots and lots of little parts. No graceful lawn dart like dives to the surface.

Thomas

Thanks, I was wondering if that would have fit in with the Silkair crash theory that oofda mentions above.

walrus

I agree with Highlanders opinions on probable cause and I have Six years airline engineeering experience. I also believe the old maxim about attributing things to conspiracy when the can be explained by a foul up.

SAR resources and procedures in the region may not be as good as we might expect.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Satellite Images

http://www.wbtv.com/story/24958378/satellite-images-may-show-missing-malaysia-plane-debris

Bobo

Seems a New Zealander named Michael McKay working on an oil rig notified authorities early on that he observed what he thought was an airliner on fire going down in an area off SE Vietnam west of his position. Seeing the oil rigs position and the position of the Chineses satellite fix are within 200 miles his sighting was most likely accurate.
Of course local authorities probably thought he was a nut discounted his observation.

SAC Brat

The two transponders (ATC identification information) and the VHF3/HF/Satcom transceivers (Real Time Events Reports - aka telemetry) are all powered by AC busses. An electrical power center fault could remove all AC power. A decompression would generate fault messages from the cabin altitude warning system, as would manually turning off communication systems by pulling circuit breakers and the various boxes no longer communicated with the central maintenance computer. Has it been confirmed that the operator used the fault downlinking system other than for transmitting engine performance data for its Roll-Royce service contract?

Too many pieces of the puzzle are not available. A bunch of cell phone numbers and a cell phone tower responder in a search aircraft could make an alternate/MacGyver locating device if any units remained powered.

scott s.

jonst:

Navigable air is divided up by national air traffic control authorities into lettered "airspace" as defined by a convention termed ICAO, which I guess just about every country is signatory to. Equipment requirements to operate in any specific type of airspace will be specified by the national air authority. Airspace in which airliners fly during cruise portion of flight (Class A) typically has the highest requirements. Separately, national aviation authorities place equipment requirements on aircraft based on size, speed, and intended use (large, turbine-powered aircraft which carry passengers for hire on scheduled flights typically have the most stringent requirements).

The air traffic control system historically has relied on two ways of "tracking" aircraft (exclusive of voice reporting). So-called "primary surveillance radar" is the familiar technique of using reflected EM energy from a transmit/receive antenna. "Secondary surveillance radar" isn't really radar at all but rather a transmiter/receiver which transmits a signal (interrogation) to an aircraft, which has its own receiver/transmitter (transponder) which transmits in response to the interrogation, so it requires a cooperative target. The original system was military derived (called IFF) but has since evolved into a more complex digital data transmission (termed Mode S) which allows a ground station (or other aircraft) to direct an interrogation to specific aircraft. In the aircraft-to-aircraft application it is used for collision avoidance.

A further advance has been designed into this concept and datalink called ADS-B. ADS-B augments the data provided in the Mode S response by including GPS-derived aircraft position transmitted at 1 sec intervals. In the US, a new FAA rule is requiring ADS-B capability in most classes of airspace (in particular, much of Class E where general aviation flies) by 2020. In the USA GA aircraft environment, where Mode S capability isn't universal, a different transponder called UAT is authorized for compliance.

Existing transponder equipment (Mode 3/A and Mode S) have pre-defined codes which can be pilot selected to indicate emergency, pilot under duress, etc. The emergency code is 7700 (this is derived from the old military IFF, which relied on octal encoding and code 77 -- highest possible code -- was deemed emergency).

nick b

A lot of interesting speculation there. Thanks for the link.

Tyler

So any truth to the reports that many of the Chinese cell phones show as "logged in" to a polar messenger and you can/could ring the cell phones and not get kicked to voice mail like what usually happens when a phone is shut off?

Haralambos

At the risk of muddying the interpretation, I will post this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helios_Airways_Flight_522 There has been some media speculation here in Greece about this disaster. Much of it focuses on the 2005 crash here in Greece of this Helios flight from Cyprus and whether the plane's auto-pilot got reset. I think the conclusion her was that on that flight the oxygen system failed, the crew or almost every one of them except a steward seemed to be passed out, and the auto-pilot just kept the plane circling until it ran out of fuel. I recall the news was dominated by this story and the fact that the Hellenic Air Force scrambled and established and could see the flight attendant in his final minutes of consciousness trying to "fix" things. I think this article presents an accurate description of the findings as reported as they came out.

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