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Old 03-14-2014   #21
Biggus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Biggus & Dayuhan:

You guys are on top of this. Have there been any reports about what kind of cargo/freight the aircraft was carrying? Another idle thought on my part.
There's a conspiracy theory doing the rounds that suggests that there was a large proportion of the staff of a semiconductor company on board, and that a competitor might have planted a bomb on board to assassinate them.

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Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
Since the aircraft was flying at night, is it possible that a malfunction could lead the pilots to losing their direction? I'm not familiar with the technical aspects of flying and aerial navigating. Is it also possible that a series of technical malfunctions or human error led to the sequential loss of navigation, transponder, and communication system(s) before the total loss of the aircraft (perhaps running out of fuel)? Does the 20-something minutes between the shut down of the data reporting system and the transponder preclude, say, the loss of cabin pressure and the aircraft operating on auto-pilot? And if the flight was deliberately taken off course, what destinations are in the Indian Ocean? Did they get lost? I'm also not familiar with the history of hi-jackings in this part of the world.
I don't yet buy into the hijacking theory. I don't see enough evidence just yet.

There's really not a lot that can go wrong in terms of navigation. Part of the pre-flight process is to set up the waypoints along the appropriate airway (think of it as an imaginary multi-level highway in the air) in the flight control system, and most airlines these days tend to make it SOP to do nearly everything on autopilot post-takeoff. Everything is done by checklist.

A very mild decompression loss would explain most of the unknowns reasonably well at this point. The scenario would effectively be that the crew would catch the onset of hypoxia early enough to start an emergency descent (spoilers and speedbrakes, close throttle, set the autopilot MCP to a lower altitude which might or might not initially have been FL295, hit HDG mode to change course and get out of the airway, transponder to 7700) but late enough to not go through the second part of the emergency descent checklist before succumbing. In this case, you'd have an aircraft that could fly until it ran out of fuel with no human input.

The transponder seems to be the most troubling aspect. Two other aircraft in the relevant timeframe experienced anomolies in their transponder output in a fairly small geographic area, KAL672 and CCA970. Some are suggesting perhaps an electronic warfare surface vessel might be responsible, but I don't really want to speculate too much on that. It might very well have been accidentally turned off in the rush to get the emergency descent procedures started, which would be within the realms of possibility. I'm neither familiar with the transponder in question nor MAS's checklists and I'm going from input from B777 crews from other airlines. It might very well be necessary to turn the transponder to standby before putting in the new code.

The ACARS data is one of the pivotal pieces of data right now. If it's true that there were data packets of any kind being sent from MH370 beyond 0107 local time, then the entire game changes in terms of searching for wreckage.
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Old 03-14-2014   #22
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American Pride:

There is probably a plain magnetic compass in the cockpit. Every airplane I've flown had one and there appears to be one in the 777 cockpit photos on the net. It was mandated on the smaller planes I'm familiar with and probably is on a 777 too.

If that didn't work I'll bet at least one of the pax had a hand held gps in their carry on bag. That would be good enough to find your way.

(The above is if the primary nav systems all fail. I should have said that.)

There have been at least two accidents that I know of where the crew and pax passed out due to oxygen deprevation due to depressurization. Both planes eventually crashed. But that probably doesn't account for the transponder not working.

Beyond that I don't know anything.
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Last edited by carl; 03-14-2014 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 03-14-2014   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Beyond that I don't know anything.
None of us do at this point, though the evidence that the plane may have been flying for some time after the last contact does provide a reasonable explanation for the failure of the search so far.

This quote:

Quote:
U.S. officials said earlier that they have an "indication" the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner may have crashed in the Indian Ocean and is moving the USS Kidd to the area to begin searching.
does not specify the nature of the "indication", but if it was sufficiently compelling to redeploy a destroyer it must be something fairly substantial.
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Old 03-14-2014   #24
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Apparently we also need a way to track a plane even if the transponders are shut down, willingly or under coercion, by the pilot. Seems like with the technology available today that ought to be possible, but WTFDIK?
The question isn't purely technological. It's also a question of whether the owners of the technology (ie, various defence forces) are willing to share with the civillian world in real time. I would be extremely surprised if at least some of the event wasn't tracked by Jindalee, for example.
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Old 03-14-2014   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Apparently we also need a way to track a plane even if the transponders are shut down, willingly or under coercion, by the pilot. Seems like with the technology available today that ought to be possible, but WTFDIK?
You may be right. Biggus knows more about large jets than I so he might know.
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Old 03-14-2014   #26
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Biggus:

We have a gift for posting at the exact same time.

Do you know if they can backtrack and get an approximate position of a satcom transmission, sort of like triangulating?
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Old 03-14-2014   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
American Pride:

There is probably a plain magnetic compass in the cockpit. Every airplane I've flown had one and there appears to be one in the 777 cockpit photos on the net. It was mandated on the smaller planes I'm familiar with and probably is on a 777 too.

If that didn't work I'll bet at least one of the pax had a hand held gps in their carry on bag. That would be good enough to find your way.

(The above is if the primary nav systems all fail. I should have said that.)

There have been at least two accidents that I know of where the crew and pax passed out due to oxygen deprevation due to depressurization. Both planes eventually crashed. But that probably doesn't account for the transponder not working.

Beyond that I don't know anything.
Not only would they have a backup set of rudimentary aviation and navigation instrumentation, they have a lost-comms approach procedure for KL which they'd be very familiar with.

The pressurisation system is one of the checklist items, and if I recall correctly, it's a simple mechanical knob that you turn to increase or decrease the pressure. It's pretty unlikely for a crew to miss setting it up correctly on the ascent, so the question is what caused the depressurisation?
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Old 03-14-2014   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
You may be right. Biggus knows more about large jets than I so he might know.
I don't know about that. I just read a lot from the big jet drivers and look for solid explanations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Biggus:

We have a gift for posting at the exact same time.

Do you know if they can backtrack and get an approximate position of a satcom transmission, sort of like triangulating?
I'm out of my depth on this question. I have three possible answers, though:
1. Yes 'they' do, but they're not sharing.
2. No, they don't.
3. They have the ability to do so, provided the transmission is live for x amount of time, and the nature of pinging a satellite with a few small packets of data precludes the ability to locate.

I did just notice this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WSJ
The satellites also received speed and altitude information about the plane from its intermittent "pings," the people said. The final ping was sent from over water, at what one of these people called a normal cruising altitude. They added that it was unclear why the pings stopped. One of the people, an industry official, said it was possible that the system sending them had been disabled by someone on board.
Apparently ACARS does include location data. MAS did not subscribe, so I wonder whether the slow leak of this is simply because RR don't want to let on to everyone that they're monitoring their engines regardless of the wishes of the airlines.
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Old 03-14-2014   #29
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Default The Pilot Did It!

Why the aviation experts explain the engineering an technical aspects I will stick with my universal small wars, big wars, basic Police theory that People cause crimes and wars. in this case I say the backround of the flight crew stinks. Start with the pilot.
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Old 03-14-2014   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
Apparently ACARS does include location data. MAS did not subscribe, so I wonder whether the slow leak of this is simply because RR don't want to let on to everyone that they're monitoring their engines regardless of the wishes of the airlines.
Hmm. Perhaps this is metadata that the U.S. Intelligence Community collects as a matter of course?
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Old 03-14-2014   #31
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Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Why the aviation experts explain the engineering an technical aspects I will stick with my universal small wars, big wars, basic Police theory that People cause crimes and wars. in this case I say the backround of the flight crew stinks. Start with the pilot.
It's happened in the past a few times, so I'm open to the possibility. Do you have anything to add to the background of the flight crew beyond what you've said? All I can say to be aware of is that the Captain was incredibly experienced, the FO was reasonably experienced for an FO, and I know nothing of any other crew.
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Old 03-14-2014   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
Hmm. Perhaps this is metadata that the U.S. Intelligence Community collects as a matter of course?
I would say that you're probably correct.

The other question mark in my mind is the airworthiness of the aircraft. It had had all scheduled maintenance, it had been repaired properly after the accident a few years ago where it lost a wingtip (evidently, given the existence of data suggesting the aircraft remained airborne for several hours after last contact), and it's next scheduled trip to the maintenance shop was still little way off. On paper, it was perfectly serviceable.

MAS has a history of cutting their budget a bit fine, though. Not that long ago, they were caught landing at well under the required reserve of fuel on a regular basis at a UK airport, and were only allowed to continue to use the airport on condition of allowing the airport staff full access to not only raw fuelling data but also having staff present for fuelling events. Given that they were operating from home territory and heading for China (which is a little more lax than the UK in terms of ensuring compliance), I do wonder whether the ground crews missed an important item.
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Old 03-14-2014   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
It's happened in the past a few times, so I'm open to the possibility. Do you have anything to add to the background of the flight crew beyond what you've said? All I can say to be aware of is that the Captain was incredibly experienced, the FO was reasonably experienced for an FO, and I know nothing of any other crew.
Yes, who had motive,means and opportunity? Both the transponders were turned off. That took human action. Who had the means and opportunity to do that? IMO only the crew had those 2 . Now we need to find a motive and who had that motive.
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Old 03-14-2014   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Yes, who had motive,means and opportunity? Both the transponders were turned off. That took human action. Who had the means and opportunity to do that? IMO only the crew had those 2 . Now we need to find a motive and who had that motive.
It's worthy of some consideration, but given the lack of information indicating malicious intent, I don't see much point throwing around accusations about the crew. That may change, though.

The slow decompression theory that I've found the most compelling thus far has some flaws. Firstly, the aircraft turned quite a bit more sharply than you'd expect it would to leave the airway. Secondly, there's a visible and audible warning to the crew. There is a precedent where a crew ignored such a warning and subsequently crashed (see Helios Airways Flight 522 for example). People do strange things when they're suffering from hypoxia, though.

Edit: For what little it's worth, I am slowly beginning to agree that this looks like a deliberate act. I'm not quite there yet, but it's on my mind.

Last edited by Biggus; 03-14-2014 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 03-14-2014   #35
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And this, released a few minutes ago:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBS
'We are looking at sabotage, with hijack still on the cards,' senior Malaysian police official says
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Old 03-14-2014   #36
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After yet another day of information leak, denial, retraction and obfuscation, I have come to the conclusion that the mystery will ultimately only be solved by a fisherman in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 03-14-2014   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
It's worthy of some consideration, but given the lack of information indicating malicious intent, I don't see much point throwing around accusations about the crew.
Not throwing accusations at anyone in particular.... but any serious investigation should ''start" with the Pilot and work through the entire crew and then the passengers. They should look heavily at Financial,Medical(not just Psychological),Marriage,Religious,and Political stresses not just past work performance. They should pay special attention to the "Private" Life (and everybody has one) personal habits of the persons of interest.

And as usual my adult warning label! I could be all wrong!!!
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Old 03-15-2014   #38
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Quote:
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 hijacked, official says

Investigators have concluded that one or more people with significant flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, switched off communication devices and steered it off-course, a Malaysian government official involved in the investigation said Saturday.

No motive has been established and no demands have been made known, and it is not yet clear where the plane was taken, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. The official said that hijacking was no longer a theory.

"It is conclusive," he said.
http://ph.news.yahoo.com/malaysia-ai...052949104.html

If that's true, the next question is whether they subsequently crashed, or whether they actually managed to land somewhere.
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Old 03-15-2014   #39
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This just keeps getting messier...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...deliberate-act

Quote:
The Malaysian prime minister says investigators now know that the missing Malaysian airliner’s communications were deliberately disabled and that it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew across Malaysia.

A newly extended, multinational search stretching all the way from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean was underway on Saturday after satellite data indicated missing flight MH370 last made contact six hours after previously believed.
Quote:
Malaysia’s aviation authorities are working with their international counterparts to help determine where exactly the plane may now be, Najib said, who added it was likely to be in one of two possible flight corridors: a northern corridor stretching from northern Thailand to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern corridor stretching from Indonesia out towards the southern Indian Ocean.
The northern corridor would include some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet and would be a very difficult place to search. It also crosses quite a few nations and several contested areas... is it not likely that an airliner flying off course and without transponder data would at least be noticed by somebody's air defense system, especially if it were flying along the India/China border, or over Kashmir? Would be good to have input from somebody who knows about these things. An arc from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean would include Afghanistan, Pakistan, potentially western Iran... but only if the aircraft flew over India, which you'd think would hardly go unnoticed.

If it went out over the southern Indian Ocean... big piece of water to search. No chance at all of finding anywhere to land, no target of opportunity, no realistic destination.

They will be investigating everyone on board, I'm sure, any idea of who hijacked it and why could make finding it a great deal easier.

Very strange all around.
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Last edited by Dayuhan; 03-15-2014 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 03-15-2014   #40
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Apparently there is now a possibility that the last ACARS transmission occurred somewhere between Thailand and Kazakhstan, or alternatively Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean at 0811.

Dayuhan beat me to it

Edit: It's worth noting that as far as I am aware, no cargo manifest has been released.
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