After 24 hours ones any the wiser as to where it is. Must be terrible for the relatives.
I agree- its unbelievable. all those people
I'm puzzled by this one, ATC must know when it went off the radar and should be able to narrow the search area down somewhat, even though it's over the sea surely with modern sonar ships and aircraft should be able to find the wreck?
And that will happen. When the kit gets to the site. If it came down from 35,000 ft and even more so if it broke up on the way down, the wreckage will cover a vast area
would the wreckage not be floating? that's whats so puzzling. its like that air france plane that disappeared a few years ago. it was ages before they found it
What about the two passengers with false passports, was this a viable target for terrorists of some pathetic description?
that seems to be what they are looking at now. but wouldnt terrorists would usually have admitted it by now?
Difficult to think of a reason why the usual suspects would blow up a Malaysian aircraft. There is a huge trade in stolen passports so I would suspect that was nothing to do with terrorism.
The strange thing is that they are saying the aircraft turned back. A sudden catastrophic failure could explain the lack of communication but if they had enough warning and control to turn back then why didn't they radio a message? Although I don't think the Air France plane did either.
Perhaps I'm being unintelligent here , but why aren't all commercial aircraft fitted with several everything-proof satellite tracking devices , each in a different area of the plane ? Then even if the aircraft broke up on impact , search and rescue would be onto it like a shot .
Surely mankind has devised a bit of technology which can be found even when under water ?
A very tragic incident all the same , especially as the Boeing 777 had a clean safety record until now . With regards to possible terrorism , I can't think why anyone would want to blow up an air Malaysia plane . Most of the passengers were nationals of Asian countries ( not many westerners to target ). Malaysia its self has not set out to aggravate any one people group as far as I know .
They do have emergency beacons and flight data/voice recorders has pingers for finding underwater.
It's surprising there hasn't been different & competing claims of responsibility even if the real cause has nothing to do with terrorism.
I guess its not usually an issue. Aircraft are pretty big and don't tend to vanish for long. Also the satellite bandwidth required for every aircraft to constantly beam its location may be excessive. As it is, they are datalinked and send information regularly. This is more than enough to find a downed aircraft under normal circumstances.
I suspect in this, and the Air France, incident a more regular stream of coordinates may have helped. But equally, travelling at 1,000km/h, even with 10 second updates, if you come apart at 36,000ft or suffer something so catastophic to cause a crash, either the wreckage will end up over a large area many miles from the last reported point, and there is a hihg likelihood you might not be transmitting those co-ordinates in the final crucial minutes.
Ocean currents shift things around so it can be harder to predict where any wreckage might be even if you know the bearing and speed at the point of things going wrong.
One incident that is well documented is the Lockerbie bombing. Contact was lost as the plane crossed the Solway Firth which on the plane's heading of 321deg is about 22 kilometres away. (from Wikipedia) the main part of the plane descended at an angle from its initial altitude of 9400m down to 5800m when its trajectory became near vertical.
The Malaysian plane was out of controlled airspace so wouldn't have been tracked by ATC who would be more concerned with aircraft approaching and departing airports. All commercial aircraft have transponders indicating the details of the aircraft but these do fail - a backup device is available and ATC will request that a crew turn on the backup should the plane become unrecognised and just a simple radar blip.
Since it's now not looking like terrorists, and experts say a plane like that can't really break up unless there's a bomb and that leaves the lack-or-wreckage riddle unanswered. I can only think of four other possibilities. The first three are: something hit the aircraft: 1. satellite debris, 2. a meteorite, 3. a missile (Seventh Fleet were nearby … i.e a missile could have been fired by mistake). These possibilities could just about work if the aircraft was hit in such a way that it didn't break up e.g one wing came off (which might explain the turn), and the wreckage went into the sea with the fuselage intact…. But the only theory I can get to 'work', really is:
4. The co-pilot committed suicide and took everyone with him. I say co-pilot, because testimony re the Pilot is very complementary: he was very experienced, a complete enthusiast, and cheerful when last seen. But supposing his co-pilot wanted to commit suicide? He could have cut the pilot's throat and then disabled the radio communications. Then flown turned the plane westwards (as they now believe), back toward Malaysia, and crashed it into the jungle clad mountains.
After engaging stealth mode perhaps? How else would it have disappeared from radar?
That's brilliant Gordon, it's so wacky I almost hope your theory is correct :-)
Umm. ... Theory number 4 collapses :))
Soon we're just going to be left with
5. An extra-terrestrial swallowed it whole.
> After engaging stealth mode perhaps? How else would it have disappeared from radar?
Was it on radar or just being picked up via the transponders?
6. Elvis has it hanging from his bedroom ceiling on a piece of cotton...
No 4. is still an option. He could have spiralled the aircraft down to a height below the radar and then proceeded towards the jungle; before crashing.
If just the latter, my theory no.4 still has some life in it.
Ah, that's even better. The whole theory works now.
Definately still on radar, and turning circle of an airliner would have been easily spotted. Decrease in altitude coupled with circular flying pattern would have been very noticeable - less whole theory more theory hole!
There will be an explanation , and it won't be extra-terrestials. Without wishing to be a total arse, I'm not sure that flippant comments and speculation are appropriate at the moment.
> Umm. ... Theory number 4 collapses :))
> Soon we're just going to be left with
> 5. An extra-terrestrial swallowed it whole.
Bermuda triangle ET's move to Asia due to sky-high rent increases in the Caribbean?
Don't understand this, everyone and their dog are constantly sending out their location with GPS enabled phones, no reason a few thousand planes can't do the same.
The Air France plane was spotted the next day, the fuselage proper later that week.
But yeah terrorists would have claimed it quickly.
Bit of a mystery, if it went into jungle it could be lost but transponders should go off.
Some interesting reading here about the realities of international airline tracking and just how little information there is available to ATCs about where a large number of planes actually are when out of national airspace.
Theory No.5 Courtesy of the v nice Indian guy who runs my local corner shop. Has much in common with 4 - at least the first part. But the Co-Pilot is not suicidal but a terrorist/hijacker, and the whole thing has been carefully planned for years. He's working for an alien regime - North Korea being the most likely. And he flies the plane below radar level and lands safely. All passengers and crew in custody. No claim of responsibility yet because the nutter in charge is just having a bit of a perverse laugh at the expense of the rest of the world, partic. China.
How about theory 5: hijacked (by crew or passenger) and flown West?
Transponder and other communication devices switched off. If plane had enough fuel to reach Beijing it probably had enough to reach Africa. No show on secondary radar when it was NE of Malaysia, primary radar then shows it W of Malaysia sometime after, presumably after which it was our of radar range. It could have gone the rest of the way invisible.
Then intentionally crashed (aircraft can make a very small hole with few reamins bigger than a football if nose-dived - as per Florida everglades crash) on land, or in the sea (Indian Ocean is probably just as difficult to locate aircraft in as the Atlantic was for Air France). For real conspiracy though, it could potentially have been landed somewhere in the East Coast of Africa...but who knows if there are unmonitored airfields large enough to take fully loaded (but no doubt light on fuel) 777s.
Passengers could presumably be incapacitated by decompressing and satying at altitude long enough for the O2 bottles to deplete.
The co-pilot seems to have a bit of a track record in dodgy behaviour given his pulling a couple of birds in to the cockpit for a smoke. A few weeks back some African airline was hijacked by its co-pilot. Could have set the precedent and light-bulbs for an errant flight deck crew-member in expanding on it slightly.
At present its certainly a very weird and intriguing disappearance. Hundreds of people vanishing without trace. An aircraft veering entirely from its intended path and overflying the entire Malaysian peninsula (this was evidently noticed....but what actions were taken by those observing?). No wreckage. Apparently no satellite sign of explosions (dunno how effect they are at detecting such a plume). A multitude of surveilance aircraft and massive surface traffic finding nothing.
My theory, crew and passengers incapacitated due to lack of oxygen (Greek 737). Aircraft has just disappeared into the wastes of the southern indian ocean on autopilot.
no mention of Oceanic 815. The twitterverse seems to think this is the most likely theory. Which probably says more about Twitter
has just disappeared into the wastes of the southern indian ocean on autopilot.
Would be a very strange thing for the autopilot to do.
Unlikely, even with sudden and massive decompression the crew are going to have had time to make a call to ATC informing them of the fact. By the time the supplemental oxygen runs out (does it run out or is there some form of compressor supplying it?) the plane will have descended to a more suitable altitude. Of course then it would be below the coverage of on-shore radar but it would still be in radio contact.
From what we know (or have been told) so far, all communications from the plane ceased after a particular point in time. This could be either from something catastrophic happening to the plane or deliberate action by the crew. If the former then the plane will have crashed somewhere forward of its last known location, if the latter then the search area becomes effectively determined by the fuel carried. Also if the latter then the plane has to descend fairly quickly to avoid being tracked on radar and to keep away from shipping and other radar facilities, this would limit the area it could fly in.
Anything added to an aircraft airframe has to be so thoroughly tested (and is usually obsolete in technology terms before it ever flies) that I imagine airlines are very much behind the times with this. See how long its taken just to et a whiff of mobile phones being allowed in aviation.
No doubt these scenarios, and especially if pilot suicide is found to be the reason, will lead to cockpit voice recorders uploading in near real-time to cloud/satelites.
was thinking about the Greek airliner crash a few years ago: All communications lost with no indication of a problem. Fighters intercepting the aircraft reported seeing the crew slumped over the controls. Eventually crashed into a mountain in Turkey when it ran out of fuel.
Got it wrong there, it was flying west, it crashed in Greece.
If a plane crashed into the sea it will mostly sink. Including the acoustics in the black box and any radio transponders. The 'black box' transmits a couple of signals one of which is like a sonar signal. This cannot be detected above water. Although these signals can, in theory be detected many miles away if the box has dropped into a trough in the sea floor, or in an area where there are differing strata s of water temperatures and currents they may not be detected at all. This is one of the methods modern submarines use to hide at sea. Radio signals of the sort used on aircraft - and the black box, cannot penetrate through water. It took two years before the fuselage of the Air France plane was found in the Atlantic a few years back.
As for a distress message if it suffered catastrophic failure. I'm not too sure it would be high on my list of priorities if I was the pilot, even if the catastrophic failure had not ruptured the electronics, I'd be more interested in trying to hang on. If it suffered a catastrophic failure and dropped quickly the pilot + cockpit would be falling so fast I doubt the crew would even be able to move against the acceleration of the descent. I can't think of any catastrophic events where the pilot has been able to send a distress message out, even where the cockpit was ;largely intact until it hit the ground.
If one wing came of the plane, the aircraft would quickly fall out of the sky and not gently descend in a circle as has been described. If it had been accidentally hit by a missile fired from a ship then we'd know about it, sooner rather than later. These things can't be kept quite for ever!! But accidentally hitting a plane? I don't think so! It would not be impossible for the crew to wrongly identify the aircraft for some reason (this has happened once in the Gulf) and then shoot it down - but for what reason?? Its not exactly 'hostile' air space is it?
I believe an aircraft of the size of a 777 needs about 2000meters of runway. I think by now someone would have noticed if one had landed at the few runways that large! They'd be large civilian or military installations. If it was a civilian airfield, people would soon have communicated the fact either from the plane using their own phones or people on the ground. And I doubt the military would be very keen on keeeping quite the fact they'd just had a large civilian aircraft land on their doorstep.
Satellites can pick up small objects quite easily. Think Google earth! Military/'spy' ones can get even better resolution. But there is not blanket 24/7 coverage of all areas. If there wasn't anything pointing there at the time, then it isn't going to be seen.
I'm afraid we'll have to wait and see. It certainly isn't the only aircraft that has completely disappeared without trace, and this includes quite large modern aircraft someof which have taken many months before they have been located.
The passenger oxygen supply lasts about 12 mins. This is enough for the plane to descend to an altitude where supplementary oxygen is not required (about 10000ft iirc). This assumes that the crew is compos mentis and makes the descent. I believe the crew has a dedicated oxygen supply, but I don't know how long that lasts.
In the Greek crash, the crew failed to identify the problem correctly and didn't descend - the plane flew a holding pattern on auto-pilot while the oxygen depleted, and then crashed when the fuel ran out.
Quite possible the (Greek) crew became disorientated with hypoxia - from the Wikipedia page they seem to have become fixated on what they thought was the problem rather than responding to the ground crew's questions.
From what's reported in the Malaysian case the captain has reported that everything was OK in his final (known) message.
The worlds "Intelligence" agencies have the technology to simultaneously and covertly monitor the e mails and telephone conversations of billions of people and yet an aircraft with hundreds of people aboard can disappear in mid flight and they haven't got a clue!!!
Methinks they should be spending their money and effort elsewhere!!
Thanks for your input on this extraordinary riddle. Have been v busy today, so unable to converse.
Makes me question just how much of what the world's intelligence community is claimed to be capable of is actually true. Its in their own interests if people believe they are far more capable than they really are.
However, if the Malaysian flight has ended up in the water, it is likely miles from a mobile tower and the mobiles themselves either switched off or under-water by now.
Likewise, it takes years to collate satellite imagery so no surprise it can't be found from space. Flying every day over the sea looking at waves hour after hour, its no surprise searchers can't find anything. Its even possible the aircraft, if it was flown in to 60m of water at speed, could be entirely embedded at the bottom of the Gulf of Thailand.
Not too hard at all. Since most of the "floaty" bits are inside the fuselage then if the plane nose-dives in to the sea it may well be intact at the point of impact so little debris is likely to escape. This would depend on there being no existing damage prior to crashing.
I think there's a lot of that yellow foam insulation in the guts of aircraft, not to mention liferafts, luggage, seat cushions, fuel, oil, and, dare I say it, after a few days bodies, which are likely to end up on the surface.
Is there any carbon fibre on the 777?
Wasn't that why the tail fin was floating after the air france crash?
This seems to indicate a fair amount. Not sure how much of it is floaty.
The "floaty" bits would only remain inside if the aircraft doesn't break up. Air France Flight 447 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 both broke up on impact with water.
Water is one thousand times denser than air and anything but a perfect ditching will rip apart the structure.
It really is baffling isn't it.
My thought is it can only be a catastrophic in-flight break up. It really confused me when the 'experts' said that in flight break ups "are impossible...they just don't happen". What about TWA-800 or China Airlines Flight 611.
My theory is that this is the same as China Airlines Flight 611 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Airlines_Flight_611 ). Damage caused by tail strike 20 odd years previous caused metal fatigue that caused an in flight break up (tail fell off).
Have read in several articles that the wing tip of the same plane was damaged in a collision while taxiing...my theory is the wing wasn't repaired correctly and suffered an in flight break up due to metal fatigue. If the wing falls off, the whole plane would fall apart instantly...no time for a distress call.
Hopefully we'll find out soon..must be horrible for the families.
The EA flight was an attempted landing after the plane ran out of fuel (and with hijackers in the cockpit), the AF flight hit the ocean at roughly 45degs and left a debris field that had expanded to roughly 200m x 600m after 48hrs.
Until the Malaysian plane or its debris is found then this is all just speculation.
On the basis of information in the public domain at present the most likely scenario appears to be that something catastrophic happened somewhere near to the handover between Malay and Vietnamese ATC. Perhaps the crew retained some control for some time but the aircraft is likely not far from that point lost in the sea.
That said, looking at who is searching where it would appear there are at least indications it continued west ish after communications were lost, perhaps over Thailand or Malaysia. Why so reticent to explain or disclose what those indications are? Possibly it's sensitive intelligence via back channels from other nations' forces (or even Malaysian military) unwilling to disclose their capabilities. Likely it's inconclusive and messy whatever it is they have. Potentially it's incorrect and domestically embarrassing (eg US military overflights without permission regularly going unchallenged), this possibility is hinted at by the inclusion of the NTSB and FAA in the radar analysis since they may have the contacts required to rule this out. Most likely though there's just a lot of confusion and inconclusive data that each nation potentially involved does not want in the public domain and perhaps does not know how to share safely as it reveals their defence capabilities or lack thereof.
What is less clear is why they're being quite so cagey about the airframe and engine telemetry, what was available to begin with, what was received and when did it cease. Possibly it is just pure confusion and an unwillingness on the part of powerful men covered in medals to say 'I don't know' to the world's media.
If it carried on crippled but flying which is a slim and grim possibility then it could be pretty much anywhere within ~7Hr flying radius. If you discount areas in which it would easily have been detected that is still probably >5% of the earth's surface, most of that deep ocean.
It's an interesting mystery but most of all it's a tragedy for those who've lost people.
It's pretty obvious what's happened and why nothing has been released yet!
Eh?? I think the word 'obvious' is not quite appropriate! Are you implying an accidental missile strike by US Seventh Fleet? It's still more or less inconceivable that there would be nothing floating on the surface and no oil or fuel slick.
Tell me please.
It fascinates me how much influence governments have on us through the media, but sometimes we have to think outside the box. Smoke and mirrors...
Oh go on, do enlighten us sheeple mortals who don't have your cutting insights...
Fascinating. Care to be more specific?
So it is aliens then? Finally, someone has evidence!
I’m starting to think that by far the most likely explanation for the disappearance of MH370 was that it was shot down by an RIM-66 Standard SM-2 MR (medium range) surface-to-air (SAM) missile, as carried by USS Pinckney, a guided missile destroyer that was on a ‘training mission’ in the South China Sea. On March 8, 2014, this very same USS Pinckney was diverted from its training mission in the South China Sea to the southern coast of Vietnam, ‘to help search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’.
I believe it is the Americans who have said that the oil slick was the wrong type or aircraft fuel or an airliner, and that nothing showed up on their surveillance systems. The whole thing about it turning westward and flying on for hundreds of miles could easily have been a false lead to throw most of the searchers off scent.
Terrifying footage here about the Standard missile:
Perhaps you'll give us a comparable example from your experience?
Erm, any evidence for that, or just you 'thinking' and doing some internet 'research'?
Just the latter. But the point is that when you weigh everything up it starts to look like the most possible explanation - and none of the possible explanations quite 'work', except perhaps this one. I.e. no evidence found because a full-scale cover-up has gone underway (or gotten underway, I should say). There is at least quite a lot of circumstantial evidence.
I've got a feeling that this is probably what Ian Black is hinting at too, though I don't know why he's being so coy about it.
I love how you are managing to solve the mystery with no experience or evidence, and just some internet reading of dubious value. In that way a thousand moronic conspiracy theories are launched.
Oh for goodness sake! I am not solving the mystery, I'm just putting it forward as a strongish possible explanation for one of the biggest riddles in aviation history. I just said: almost no possible explanation quite adds up. Mostly because there has apparently been no trace. Except we now have an oil rig worker a hundred miles away seeing a bright burning object in the sky, plus the satellite footage (strangely withheld for several days) of large chunks of metal in the South China Sea (all miles away from the 'westward over Malaysia' scenario)
I assumed it was some sort of parody/joke, rather than a serious, let along "strongish" possibility. What possible reason would the US have for shooting down this plane, and then trying to cover it up. You are in WTC/lunar landing/JFK conspiracy territory .
Rolls Royce monitor all their engines whilst in flight from Derby. Now we are finding out through the MSM that the engines were working for 4 hours after the transponder stopped working. But the plane had 7 hours of fuel,
The thing that amazes me is that a plane can fly for 4 hours with it's transponder turned off and the military radar defences of these countries didn't pick it up? ( assuming the engine data above is correct )
Pretty well all technological states have technologies that they would rather other states not know about, or at least not give them an idea of the capabilities of those technologies. So while nation 'A' has a decent idea of what went on and where, it can't say immediately as that would provide too many clues. So, several possibilities are thrown up and lo and behold one of them moves things on.
I don't think this would be going on if there were any chance of survivors.
It's not one of the biggest riddles in aviation history, it's barely been a few days, let's just wait and see what happens rather than making ill informed and speculative judgements based on ignorance pretending to be knowledge.
You are jumping to conclusions, not me. Accidents/mistakes can happen (and have happened before). If this theory is correct (out of about only 4 possible main theories) don't think there has been any conspiracy. Unless you call a cover-up a conspiracy. And of course any country bringing down an airliner by mistake would not want to admit to such a balls up.
What else are we left with. Terrorist bomb. The experts are regarding that as less likely now, as no one has claimed anything; the two possible suspects were apparently escaping to the west and were not terrorists; any motive seems obscure indeed. Catastrophic failure of the airframe: experts have more or less ruled this out 100%. Hijacking and flown to secret destination: very far fetched indeed. Struck by external object: a) satellite debris, b) meteorite - but chances of this seem infinitesimally small.
Doesn't that just about cover everything?
And pilot/co-pilot suicide has been mentioned, as has some massive miscalculation and disorientation. So a few more...
Anyway, I think I'll leave it to the experts to work out what happened.
Yes, let's do that. It wasn't meant to be anything more than a brief survey of logical possibilities. It is a baffling and tragic mystery … as all the experts are saying (not just millions of armchair theorists around the world.)
Assuming that is exactly a conspiracy. It's the typical thing of assuming all the hundreds of people who must know keep quite and form a water-tight plan to keep the secret in a few hours. Doesn't happen. The US does actually have form in shooting down airliners and it hasn't attempted to cover it up (well not in general terms).
Possible and much more likely than your more fantastic scenarios but I suspect it is a rather more mundane catastrophic failure of some kind.
You are such a creep, you are off the scale. It was I who first suggested the pilot/co-pilot suicide scenario on this forum.
How is it that a string of experts on the BBC, and not just Boeing employees, have ruled that out as more or less impossible .. with no warning, and no mayday signal?
I'm at work now, so must leave UKC
you forgot alien abduction
Anyone remember Payne Stewart's private jet crash?
Doesn't really fit with the transponders stopping working but an example of hypoxia overcoming the occupants fatally and at speed.
Haha, I haven't read the whole thread, I was commenting on your speculation that it was starting to look like the US had shot the plane down and was covering up on it. Honestly, calm down.
Well *something* unlikely happened so we are speculating about how unlikely an unlikely event occurred. Catastrophic failure of some kind, or terrorist incident, is much more likely than the (first ever?) huge conspiracy-cover-up to actually be true.
Interesting too you assume it was a US ship, rather than say a mistake by one of the other navies operating in rather a tense region.
He has evidence though, he posted an old Youtube video of a missile and said it was "terrifying".
It wouldn't be the first time the US has shot down an airliner, so not beyond the realms of possibility unfortunately.
Yes quite, don't know why Gordon is catching flack over this, you can set a system to have safe lanes of approach and fire on everything else. So human error and machine intelligence. I had a friend back in the day who was court marshalled after an unfortunate incident involving a fishing boat and several shells which luckily for all involved missed. No malice, just a mistake.
Something terrible has happened to the plane, we will no doubt find out if they can find the debris. Lets hope it wasn't accidentally shot down as that would just add misery for all concerned.
In that instance the US vessel, the USS Vincennes, was in the Gulf and was on a semi-war footing (against Iran), the shooting down was as much due to a mixup between civilian and military procedures. The airliner didn't respond to radio messages for example possibly because the crew thought the request didn't apply to them.
Well postulating it was shot down is one thing. Postulating it was shot down by a particular boat with a particular type of missile and the US(has to be them, doesn't it?) are now hiding the fact is quite another.
Similar circumstances. Airliner in this case could have already been out of radio contact and not squawking anything, which in the post 9/11 world is every bit as likely to get the forementioned SA missile headed skywards.
Admittedly there is no more evidence in this direction than anything else. But equally, it is therefore every bit as likely. Add the accusations of reticence, conflicting comments, and the high likelihood that flight 93 was shot down, but to this day denied, I'd certainly put a shoot down on a higher likelihood than space junk/meteorite strike.
That missile, called the Standard, is absolutely standard for by many western navies, and was also the type carried by the very destroyer that is now helping in the search ... that had been on an 'exercise' with most/all? of the Seventh Fleet in that very area at the time the airliner disappeared. That's all. That's just why I deliberately used the (legally rather derogatory) term 'circumstantial'.
One of the scenarios suggested so far will almost certainly be found one day to be true, however 'unlikely' it now seems. Unless we believe in aliens or the supernatural. I repeat, though, that experts seem to rate a catastrophic failure of the airframe as extremely unlikely.
I'm getting 'flack', I suppose, because some people don't like to look at all possibilities in an even-handed objective way. We see just the same reaction regarding the most likely scenario in the Madeleine McCann case.
What about the burning object in the sky that was reported by a worker on an oil rig? Of course he could be making it up. But then again he might not, and then there would be the need for a scientific explanation for what he saw burning in the sky.
It's not just speculating, but making the statement that that was the most likely cause based on basically no knowledge beyond some internet 'research'.
This kind of event seems to bring out the armchair experts who seem to forget that their explanations are usually based on almost complete ignorance of the subject and access to a fraction of the evidence and information that the experts have.
Interested on your deep investigations on what happened to Madeline MaCann Gordon as well. Have you contacted Scotland Yard to offer your services in solving all these cases?
To be fair, the thousands of actual experts have so far failed to find the aircraft, let alone come up with an explanation for where it should be (or even which side of Malaysia it is likely to be on), no less a probable cause.
Arrrgh! Man hears of disappeared jet. Man remembers "something" he saw the other night. Man's imagination puts two and two together to make 26.
How many Loch Ness monsters have been "seen"?
It's being worked on, give it time. Internet generation just wanting answers now, sheesh. ;-)
Yup, eye witness accounts of anything are notoriously unreliable.
For uptodate info follow:
Indeed, its been worked on. But the inability to give even a vague idea of the aircraft's location is getting weird. We're not talking the middle of the Atlantic. This is what should have been a largely over-land flight, in range of primary radar, in a very modern aircraft, over an area full of oil rigs, fishing boats, freighters, pirates, and now P3s and other maritime surveillance aircraft. Imagine if the aircraft had ditched or there was a remote chance of survivors. They would now likely be dead regardless. Its a pretty damning situation.
As the Malaysians have stated, this is unprecedented.
You think the most likely scenario in the Madeleine Mcann case is that the parents killed her and dumped the body correct? (if my memory serves me)
I doubt many share your "most likely" scenario if that's the case.
The problem with your shooting out of the sky argument by a US ship is the scattered debris over a large area, the silence of all who know, the admission in past similar mistakes, the transponder turning off 4 hours prior to engine telemetry stoppage.
Obviously it is "possible" but hardly worthy of such a detailed guess work analysis until some hard evidence starts pointing towards that eventuality (IMO)
Sure, but this one looks very far from vague. As I said, could be an elaborate hoax, but it should surely be taken very seriously, as it stands:
I saw a burning object in the sky on Monday night, I put that object down to (after watching the tv last night) being a capsule re entry from the ISS. So the worker could well have seen a burning object in the sky but have the days mixed up.
It seems shambolic. I see now the satelite image release was a mistake!
Have you read the letter, and seen just how meticulous and carefully written it is? With lots of facts, compass bearings etc. Your suggestion is possible, but unlikely. More likely is that he's reporting as accurately (very accurately) as possible just what he saw and when and where, or it's a carefully constructed hoax.
I saw a burning object in the sky from Friday to Monday. Not sure what it was, but it was big, round, yellow and warm!
No, I haven't seen the letter(link?). The object I saw was roughly southwest(the back of our house faces sse) The only compass I have is on the iphone so could possibly get a better reading than southwest.
I put it above, but here it is again:
This thread is just getting better and better. Have the authorities been informed the best chance of finding out what happened lies with consulting with the posters on UKC?
:-) I honestly thought this was a joke thread with a who-can-come-up-with-the-most-outlandish-theory competition to being with. It seems not...!
UKC seems as good a source as any.
Or would you prefer some subjects are banned from speculation?
I said the object I saw was on Monday night, and that I had attributed it to the ISS waste capsule re entry.
I haven't read the whole thread, so thank you :)
Haha, no don't be ridiculous, nobody ever mentioned banning anything. I think I'd rather people were just sensible and didn't make statements about the most likely scenario with no evidence or understanding.
And "UKC as good a source as any." Are you seriously suggesting that UKC is as good a source as the experts investigating the incident? Surely not?!
No, I was being flippant. And clearly no one here has access to all the information the searchers do and speculation is purely that - uninformed.
But given that we're coming up to week since the aircraft vanished off the map, I think wild speculation is hardly unjustified.
Wild un-informed speculation is fine, it's the pronouncements of "this is what's most likely" that seems a bit mad!
Worth a read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447
I know I'm obviously being thick, but do planes not carry a GPS system so they could be pinpointed instead of radar? Even it was switched off you'd have a last known location.
Theory wise, I reckon its Blofeld and he's got it stored in a giant fake crater somewhere.
interesting snippet from today's Derby Telegraph,
The airline have now denied that.. all very strange.
Surely in free fall, they'd be weightless?
A maneuvering aircraft can temporarily create the effect of weightlessness but one that is out of control, descending or not is very unlikely to.
Have spent lots of today avoiding work and reading about this, and the informed opinion seems to be that the plane most likely suffered some form of slow decompression and hence hypoxia induced confusion in the crew and passengers, possibly involving a course alteration, and then this was followed by crash into the ocean, possibly a long way from the original route.
My first thoughts, when I suggested it further up the thread, everyone said impossible.
Well done then. Let's see what comes in the next days and weeks. It's an interesting event for sure.
Time will tell with a little luck. At the moment there just isn't very much at all in the public domain to go on, certainly nothing that points strongly one way or the other.
Yes, it'd be very disturbing and strange if nothing was ever found, which I guess is possible.
That doesn't explain why they would deactivate the transponder though. Equally, I believe primary radar in Vietnam and beyond, would have picked them up along their flightpath and been alerted to their lack of contact. Similarly the aircraft's ACARS would likely have sent reports. So we would have a far better idea of where they are and wouldn't be searching south of Cambodia/Vietnam.
I suppose it would be feasible for hypoxic pilots to slump forward in their seats, against the yoke, and plane to dive, come apart and crash.
The event that seems to have the most informed weight behind it in what I've read is the pilots getting confused through hypoxia, maybe involving turning off the transponder, and then making some very confused choices and becoming disorientated and making a high speed low angle descent into the ocean a long way off their original flight path.
would some of the wreckage not float? would it all just sink with no trace?
Some of the informed opinion seems to be if it hit at speed it might have sunk with little wreckage, and that that there was is now spread out and is a long way from the search area. It is a massive area that's being searched and if they're not even in the exactly right area it might be no surprise that nothing has been found.
Interesting that the US is now moving to search the Indian Ocean due to a 'indication' it has. It seems like of all the bodies involved the US has the most information.
its really strange and must be dreadful for relatives and friends of all those on board
Still seems very odd.
I suspect this view is related to the airworthiness directive on the fuselage skin near an antenna? I can quite understand insidious onset of hypoxia if the a/c didn't pressurise as it climbed above 8,000ft. However there would have been plenty of time to respond to the various bells and whistles going off in the cockpit. But anything untoward here appears to have happened once they were at top of climb, so would presumably have been more dramatic, presumably with mist in the air, sudden cooling, and loud, giving plenty of time to reach for the O2 masks. Two pilots so some redundancy there. Plus no doubt after the Helios crash there are procedures in place for cabin crew to check on the flight deck in the event of masks falling in the cabin and no decent occurring.
Of all the systems to switch off or to standby the transponder seems unlikely. Its probably located in the com radios stack so I guess its possible a hypoxic pilot could start twisting the wrong knobs, and the last time they were heard from was following a hand-off from Malaysian controllers so no doubt some frequencies were being changed at the time.
None of that explains the muted reaction to the aircraft turning back, overflying the mainland and being seen by radar throughout. If it had kept on its current path it would certainly have been noticed. I'm sure after Helios more rigorous procedures would be in place (on top of the already substantial ones) to guard against depressurisation.
Where on earth do you get the idea that flight 93 was shot down???????
If it suffered a catastrophic failure and dropped quickly the pilot + cockpit would be falling so fast I doubt the crew would even be able to move against the acceleration of the descent.
Seems pretty likely to me. The fact that one engine was found a long way from the wreckage might indicate a heat seeking missile was used which blew the thing off the pylon. There were eye witness reports of a fast moving jet in the vicinity. The general cagyness around the event. Quite understandable it wouldn't be sung from rooftops and quite understandable it would be shot down in the circumstances. Doesn't make for good hollywood film ending though.
Cease your idiotic and uninformed speculation. The professionals do it better.
Where was the engine found? How far away?
Can someone explain the logic of having on off switch on the planes transponder pls?
I can understand military planes wanting to be stealthy, but civil passenger planes?
Yep, good old PPRUNE. Have a read of the Jet Blast forum there to get a picture of just how "professional" its readership is. A lot of pilots use PRUNE. So do a lot of spotty flight sim enthusiasts, spotters, and seemingly grown men who sleep under airplane themed duvets.
Latest news is they just found the Wings - but Mr and Mrs Wing have no idea where the rest of the plane is.
6 miles away apparently.
Any evidence for that?
This is what I found:
"Jeff Reinbold, the National Park Service representative responsible for the Flight 93 National Memorial, confirms the direction and distance from the crash site to the basin: just over 300 yards south, which means the fan landed in the direction the jet was traveling. "It's not unusual for an engine to move or tumble across the ground," says Michael K. Hynes, an airline accident expert who investigated the crash of TWA Flight 800 out of New York City in 1996. "When you have very high velocities, 500 mph or more," Hynes says, "you are talking about 700 to 800 ft. per second. For something to hit the ground with that kind of energy, it would only take a few seconds to bounce up and travel 300 yards."
Are you really of the opinion that if you were in a cockpit of a falling aircraft you would still be intent or indeed able to make a distress call??????? Wake up!!! I'm not aware of any aircraft suffering massive failure at great hight has ever managed to make such a call. I can remember the Lockerbie/Air India flight in which the whole cockpit was intact.
When an aircraft crashes in an uncontrolled descent - like that one. Its not really surprising that bits of the aircraft ended up in more than one place. I really do suggest you do some reading up of air crashes. Bits fly all over. Engines are quite heavy and would have plenty of kinetic energy on crashing to break off and carry on moving for a considerable distance as they have done on many other aircraft.
And in anycase, the air to air missiles likely carried by the US planes which were airborne were I believe Sidewinders. You can lift a sidewinder. They aren't too big. And they certainly would not blast a massive commercial engine a long way from the rest of the aircraft.
Pay more attention!
Perhaps you would like to explain why the americans put armed aircraft into the sky - this was admitted at the time, then try to cover the fact up that they actually used one????
Oh yes, and the fact that their air accident branch found no evidence of missile damage?.
Oh, and despite several passengers using mobiles and describing how the cockpit was about to be stormed none of them reported the fact that they'd just had an engine shot off by a jet? How careless!!!±
No, I was questioning your understanding of the physics.
If it suffered a catastrophic failure and dropped quickly the pilot + cockpit would be falling so fast I doubt the crew would even be able to move against the acceleration of the descent.
The transponder? On/off switch? The point? Anyone?
OK, fair enough. Forget the physics for abit. If the aircraft - or whats left of it descending, spinning or twisting, or spiralling then centrifugal force will prevent crew from being able to move. Theres plenty of evidence of this happening, including two famous WWII bomber crew who successfully survived high altitude explosions and were unable to get out of their aircraft. ("Into The Silk - The story of the Caterpillar Club"
But lets say there's no spinning. Just a dead drop. I don't know about you - but on the very few times I've taken a fall, I didn't quite have the self control needed, as a pilot would need to do anything other than flounder. I can't think of anything less important than making a distress call whilst you are inside a cockpit which is dropping out of the sky, knowing you can;'t do a thing about it and that in a few more seconds you are going to die.
Even if you descend in gentle weightless fashion are you really going to want to make a distress call.
Personally I'd be shitting myself!! Obviously others may be a little more cool!
switch it off on the ground for maintenance or when it's not needed
switch off in the air for safety if it short circuits or otherwise malfunctions
if you can't switch off power it is a fire hazard you can't fix
very few things don't have an on/off switch - the only thing I can think of is a heart pace maker!
I would be shitting myself for sure.
Given the lack of wreckage (so far) anywhere near the last reported position along its scheduled route, it suggests to me that the plane did not drop straight out of the sky.
To switch it on, or off!
The transponder can interfere with radar and radio communications (although you could argue that the whole package should be designed to operate in harmony).
The transponder is not needed on the ground, like say at an airport where there will be lots of other planes with transponders. So it gets turned off to reduce the "radio clutter".
And a transponder isn't much use if you've just crashed into the ocean and you are now many fathoms deep. They just don't work underwater.
US Airways jet just aborted and crashed on take off at Philly.. everyone OK, just two minor injuries...
Saying burst tire on take off.
I've read plenty about aircrashes. I had mandatory subscription to air safety circulars and took a human factors paper or two in my undergrad years.
In the case of flight 93, the aircraft made a very deep round hole in the ground. They apparently had to excavate some 10m just to get the tail mounted FDR. The whole site is actually very tightly contained.
As for the engines coming off after a missile strike, it' seems entirely plausible. Read up the El Al Amsterdam incident. The pins holding the engines on the wings of that 747 sheared in flight. They are designed to do so in the event of a crash. A sidewinder flies some 2.5x the speed of sound and weighing close to 100kg. That strikes me as plenty enough energy, especially if launched inert, to fly right up the jet pipe and tear all hell out of the pylon and engine. Compare it to the damage the Strela (weighing all of 10kg and half the speed) did to the DHL flight out of Baghdad.
Did it happen this way for sure? Who knows. I'm happy to believe the official version. But I also think there's a high likelihood it was shot down. And if it was, it's unlikely the US govt would have been trumpeting the fact. It a final kick in the teeth: not only did a bunch of guys crash aircraft in to your buildings but it resulted in you having to shoot down one of your own passenger jets. How many times since then have heroic actions (Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman) turned out to be fabrications covering up less than ideal stories or. As with downing airliners in general, they do have priors.
Imagination runs riot!.
Forgive me if I'm mistaken but the El Al Amsterdam crash was not caused by a missile strike.
The fact that flight 93 made a "very deep round hole in the ground" doesn't mean it was shot down either.
2 + 2 = ????
There is no flight 93 engine mystery requiring explanation. The engine was not miles away, it was 300 yards away in the direction of travel.
A bit like the claims that some of the wreckage of the fourth plane in the 9/11 attacks was several miles from the main crash site. When in fact it was only a few hundred yards away on the opposite side of a lake but to get from one to the other you had to drive round the end of the lake hence the several miles.
> I can understand military planes wanting to be stealthy, but civil passenger planes?
There'll be a protective circuit breaker for starters then there'll be various configuration options (ID/frequency/antenna/mode/alt-input-source at a guess) on the control unit.
Is it in bad taste to start a sweepstake as to what's happened?
Does this ring any bells? "Flight com, I can't hold her! She's breaking up! She's breaking.."
"...I can't hold her! She's breaking up! She's breaking..." Thanks for that. It believe it proves my point. That last call they made was in the present tense.
It hadn't actually broken up then. And that was the end of all communications was it not?
Sure, but I'm questioning Dave Perry's claim that the pilots would be pinned to their seats by the acceleration. I suppose he could have meant that the plane was spinning around or something.
Ah, I see from later posts that his point is more that the pilots might have other things on their minds, which is fair enough.
Fair enough. All the reporting at the time and shortly after was referring to the engine being found a considerable distance further on. So probably nothing to see here. But it seems to me entirely plausible in this era for errant airliners to be shot down, while at the same time the public statements would probably (for everyone involved) shy away from such an admission.
Never said El Al was shot down. The pylon pins were faulty. Point is, engine pylons are far from bullet proof. A 100kg object flying in to an engine at 2,0000km an hour is far from guaranteed not to knock one off.
David, if you were a betting man what would your informed option for what's happened be?
But they haven't shied away from it in the past, when it's happened the forces involved have stood up to defend their decision (mistake). In today's stupidly paranoid world I don't imagine that's changed, I mean we're sadly all now conditioned to consider the very idea a warship/interceptor could have fired on an airliner a reasonable possibility.
I think it was a possible reason, but surely it would have come out by now if it had happened?
In the case of Lynch and Tillman they "turned out to be" just that in weeks, maybe months - and both took place in situations where the military very much controlled the info, but we still found out sooner rather than later.
All the 9/11 conspiracies rely on hundreds of people (possibly thousands) knowing and so far not a single one leaking a hint of what 'really happened'.
Agreed. I don't give any credence to the general 9/11 conspiracies. However, the shoot-down theory did seem plausable in my opinion. It made sense, few people would have known otherwise, etc. Obvious holes are the requirement for an elaborate NTSB coverup.
Jaypee60, as before I reckon its in the water of the Indian Ocean. Or for a more interesting turn of events, parked up in Aftrica somewhere.
Parked up in Africa would be pretty earth shattering news, can you imagine?! Yeah, the Indian Ocean seems likely. The most convincing guess I heard as to why that the US have moved there is that one of their secret nuclear subs on patrol had pinged it there, and that's why they can't say why they've moved there.
That's my point. A cover-up is far riskier (not knowing what others know and what will emerge in the period after) than simply saying what happened and giving justification. If needs must some mid-level commander's head can roll but a full scale cover-up could start a regional war.
Did it have enough fuel to reach Africa?
I read something that said it did if it flew at cruising altitude but in doing that would have been picked up by radar. If it flew at a lower altitude to avoid radar then it consumes more fuel and it couldn't have reached Africa.
Thanks for your reply.
Sorry it's vague! I hate un-informed speculation but can't find the link.
Reading news and opinion today makes it seem more likely that it was a hi-jacking of some kind, either by the pilot or persons unknown, followed by a crash.
Not from an hour north of KL assuming it was only carrying enough fuel for KL to Beijing + maybe 1 to 1.5H worth for contingencies.
The stolen and secretly landed idea is fantasy.
Yes, just done some more reading and my earlier comment seems to be wrong, not enough fuel to reach Africa apparently.
Could a warship shoot down an airliner? The answer is yes it could.
Could they have done so by mistake/accident? Not in the sense that they 'accidently' shot the wrong aircraft down'. Modern missiles are programmed to acquire targets and this always involves humans dictating which aircraft they shoot down. There are a couple of exceptions to this (Sea Wolf being one, which can acquire and shoot down its own targets but even that needs a human to input those instructions - and it does not have the range to shoot down a high flying jet)). As far as I'm aware it is impossible for a missile to be aimed at something and acquire another target by mistake..
It is of course entirely possible that the missile was accidentally aimed and fired at this plane. This has happened at least twice to my knowledge.
As has been mentioned above, the USS Vicennes mistakenly identified a radar contact as an Iranian military plane and subsequently shot it down after having made a number of mistakes to correctly identify it. It was of course an Iranian passenger jet and all on board died.
I also believe that during the Falklands war the Argentineans mistook one of their own aircraft for one of ours and this was shot down by a Roland Surface/Air missile - Again a human gave the missile the wrong information
Claims such as these are not new and I recall the Irish proposing the same solution to an AirLingus flight which went missing over the Irish sea in the 1970s. They claimed it could have been shot down by some Uk warships which were on exercise in the Irish sea at the time.
It would be impossible to keep this secret other than a very short time.
Many of the crew on the firing ship would have known what had exactly had happened as would operations room personnel in other warships of that group. Data links keeps shares information from ship to ship so that one warship knows exactly what is happening on other warships. This information would be known to anyone in any operations room at the time.
It is impossible for these sort of things to be kept secret indefinitely, Personnel will talk to others and regardless of attempts by the military or government to keep things secret someone, somewhere will talk. . Eventually someone will spill the beans - you just cannot force servicemen to keep quiet in these circumstances - the practicalities are unworkable. Once the ships are within the coverage of mobile phone networks someone will mention it.
I've just quickly spoken to a friend of mine who is an Air France pilot. His view was, "Yes, but...."
You would need 2000m of good concrete runway out of site and in a location impossible to detect aircraft by radar, coming in or out. And in an area totally away from civilians with access to mobile phones or other communication devices. He couldn't think of any where, where those conditions exist (he did not say they do not exist). - Oh he did point out the fact that it would be almost impossible for a large plane like that to land unassisted by ground control for technical reasons I don't fully understand.
Big runways like these are expensive to build and expensive to maintain. Thats why they tend to be in busy places where they can generate income.
So I asked him if it would be possible to land your 777 or whatever, at an occupied civilian or military airport without permission. After he stopped laughing he said it would be extremely foolhardy and possibly even more dangerous than landing at an unoccupied runway, as you would not have the benefit of ground control telling you which runway was free from obstruction and you'd be flying into airspace which by the nature of the large runway needed would be very busy.
And of course lots of people would notice a large airliner on the ground that wasn't meant to be there.
So given the lapse of time can anyone expounding this theory explain why we've not heard anything?
A sidewinder is not designed to hit its target. It detonates from a standoff distance once it receives a return signal from a laser. Its the shrapnel from the warhead that causes the target to disintegrate and any fuel vapour is ignited in the resultant mess.
I thought you might like this link.
"Its a ghost flight....it never existed...."
You might want to chat to real pilots here:-
Here there's talk of the plane flying into another dimension!!!
As proved by many, many respected professions, being skilled at something doesn't always make you either sane or not open to believing complete drivel!
> So given the lapse of time can anyone expounding this theory explain why we've not heard anything?
I don't think this happened but reading your post I would suggest your friend's training and job may have left him a little 'concrete and electronic-aids' focused. Airliners have been successfully 'landed' on all sorts of soft surfaces and short/ad-hoc 'runways' over the years, usually in some state of degraded airworthiness. Often it seems to be by pilots with plenty of general aviation experience, perhaps more familiar with that seat of the pants style of flying.
Most likely we've not heard anything because it crashed into the ocean.
>If it flew at a lower altitude to avoid radar then it consumes more fuel and it couldn't have reached Africa.
I was listening to a US radio show on the missing flight a few days back, the panel was a journo who had been reporting the story and then three guys all from the air industry or air safety - so all technically aware guys. But one thing they said that really surprised me was that you don't have to be super low to not be detected by radar that normally tracks flights - I guess when you're that far away from it at least. I always think of the Jaguars and Tornados that used to fly over my house at few hundred feet when I was a kid as 'low', practicing that to avoid radar - but this guy was talking about only something like half normal cruising altitude and the ATC radars will lose the flight.
The longer this plane is missing, the more outlandish the theories on what could have happened.
I quite liked this Italian jobesque one..
"Theory AU: It could have been a gold heist. If China was quietly importing a series of gold shipments via Kuala Kumpur on passenger airlines, for example 20-30 tonnes at a time, then this pattern may have become known to various parties who then planned and pulled off a gold heist."
"You would need 2000m of good concrete runway out of site and in a location impossible to detect aircraft by radar, coming in or out. And in an area totally away from civilians with access to mobile phones or other communication devices. He couldn't think of any where, where those conditions exist "
A lot of chatter about Diego Garcia . Never heard of it before today mind you
Yeah, right. Let's just land incognito at the US's prime Indian Ocean base.
Nice one and well spotted!!!
Actually I think that there are thousands of mobile phones there given the amount of service men there. Pretty good radar coverage too given its prime use as military base. I'd guess there are plenty of civilian contractors there though - despite the fact the locals were turfed off..
I think I went there around 1968 on a ship too!
err, I think the talk was more of a terrorist style 9/11 attack on the US. But agree it's a bit "out there" as a theory
Toby, Generally electro magnetic (radio/radar) transmissions above about 30mhz or so can only travel in straight lines and don't really follow the curvature of the earth (much). Thats why many countries military use airborne radar to aid detection.
In case it fails and produces incorrect data.
To avoid excess radar clutter on the ground.
In case the unit is damaged and starts smouldering, so it can be turned off.
When you say "transponder" what are you actually referring to?
Now that's a brilliant theory. Great Train Robbery, but in the air. Aircraft is sitting somewhere in the boonies of West Australia or some hastily concreted strip being offloaded. No doubt ivory and other rare animals included.
They invariably have a standby switch, for the obvious reason that every time you need to change the four digit code, you don't start alarm bells ringing in ATC as you cycle through 7700 or suchlike.
I understand newer units may operate differently though. But nearly everything on flightdeck has an off-switch and absolutely everything will have a circuit breaker at least.
If that's true then surely the cause can only be either hijack or gradual decompression?
Fascinating stuff - but what about the engines sending info to Rolls Royce? I thought Rolls got the last signal at 1:30 or something like that?
Rolls do monitor the trent engines live (ish). What is more interesting is that Rolls have said nothing on this when they have had a week to comment. Its not like the BBC science correspondent will know what a trent 800 will do if it all goes to shit. Keep on trying to get a message out is what any sensible person/engine would try to do. Dont think it can do this from the ocean floor, but the last message may get sent for some time. Very mysterious.
The american sub hunters will find it.
It's certainly looking like the hijack theory (possibly by one of the pilots) is moving into no.1 position. Surely gradual decompression is impossible because then at least some passengers would have been able to send out mobile phone messages?
An alternative is sudden decompression of whole cabin; and plane left barely controllable and pilots struggling on with perhaps some air left in the cockpit? They would have come down low to be able to breathe.
Just inexpert speculation, I know, before someone shoots me down in flames with a UKC SAM missile.
More interest was a snippet quoted somewhere that the aircraft was apparently following standard routing on its way westward.
There were no further details, but I presume this to mean the aircraft followed an airway, rather than simply shot a bearing westward. This strikes me as very important. The aircraft would have had the flight plan for Beijing in its flight management computer which handles the navigation. If the aircraft had turned west due to an inadvertent action, or if the pilots had punched in an alternative nearby destination, the aircraft would almost certainly have simply headed in that direction and at the last navigation point kept on going in a straight line or possibly entered a hold.
Instead it seems the aircraft may have followed the convoluted set of points a routing normally holds. Programming in a route along an airway involves entering loads of waypoints and is a pretty involved process. Not likely to be done in the emergency descent from altitude following a decompression. It would be the actions of someone deliberately wanting to fly from a to b along the most typical route..
I'm not sure if that was what e news article was implying exactly, but it would point more towards a hijacking/rogue pilot scenario.
Had a chat to a professional airline pilot friend this afternoon, he flies 787's now, but is familiar with 777's. This is what he said.
Turning the Transponder off on a 777 would have to be a deliberate act. Pilot unlikely to turn off even in a "confused/hypoxic" situation.
The aircraft turned on a westerly heading, under control. The general feeling and rumour in his company is state sponsored hijack, by a certain secret service beginning with the letter M.
(Disclaimer these are his views/company rumours, not mine)
Make of this what you will!
then why not name the organisation?
In one!!! :)
Mossad apparently! come on, get with the programme slick! :)
Well I never. Didn't know the Israelis had anything against Malaya.
I think I know your friend - he told me last year that he was 100% certain that the family who were shot in the Alps were shot by Mossad.
The plot really has thickened .
The Express and Mirror have consulted their usual 'expert sources '' and now suggest that the aircraft the comunication instruments were deliberately turned off and the jet was flown to a secret location within the old soviet union . Whilst this sounds implausible is is certainly not impossible .
One problem with this is that the aircraft would have passed through several different countries that have decent air defense capability's who would certainly have scrambled fighters to intercept a potentially hijacked aircraft .
We cannot really rule anything out - although maybe alien abductions and a mossad conspiracy are a little far fetched .
Weird how no passengers at all seems to called someone to raise the alarm, even if just one had been able to even switch on a phone on silent and get one signal out!
A highjacker a could not watch hundreds of people at a time., at least you would not think so,
Either way, it did not help my 22 year old sleep much last night, ( or me) she is heading for Siberia just now, left Glasgow early doors, a tad nervous with speculation and talk of hijacks and terrorist groups all over the place.
This is certainly shaping up to a dastardly act that only the Mysterons could have pulled off. As usual, a UKC scoop.
Yes that is the weirdest feature of all . In the 9/11 hijackings the passengers communicated with the outside world quite a lot - and those were the days before mobile phones were such common items .
Also , if the pilots were being forced to fly to a mysterious-unknown-location they could surely have sneakily pushed the distress signal button at some point .
This takes us back to the possibility of the Captain or First Officer deliberately deciding that life wasn't worth living and crashing the aircraft . In which case , why did they turn communications off and continue to fly for up to 7 hours ? If they were suicidal they could just have ditched the aircraft into the sea at any time .....
At least it offers an understandable motive. It is difficult to think of a motive for why either individual passengers or outside organisations would have wanted to divert the plane but without obviously crashing it, landing at a different airport or claiming responsibility.
If the pilot/s did it then the passengers wouldn't know they were going off course.
my mates flying Malaysian this week.. tbh as he says, immediately following any incident is probably the safest time to fly..
I believe to get a signal on a mobile, you need to be within reasonable sighting distance of a phone mast. I doubt there's any in the Malaca sea or the Indian Ocean, Or jungles really.
The 9/11 flights were all over land and quite low too.
Does the engine data relayed to satellite give any indication of position or is it just about engine function?
All the suggestions about why no mobile calls have also missed the option of the passengers all being dead?
how far away can signals be picked up from the black box flight recorder?
I can only see one scenario that fits all the evidence I've heard: an attempted hijack, with the pilots complicit, went wrong and the plane ditched in the middle of the Indian Ocean. No calls from the plane before it ditched, because since it was a night flight, no passengers realised they were off-course and being abducted until it was way off any mobile reception. And nothing since it ditched, because there were no survivors.
Killing all the passengers does not stop their mobile phones receiving incoming calls.
I am not aware of any calls to passengers being reported as getting through to a ringing phone.
So, out of signal range or all phones destroyed (by crash?).
They know the time the satellite got a ping and they know the range but not the bearing so they're showing maps with concentric circles and saying it was on an arc going north overland or over water south of Indonesia. The latter seems more likely since there were no mobile phone calls.
Kilometers? I think you have to get a survey ship or submarine to do a search pattern in the right area.
On the radio they said it was about 3 kms maximum, less if it was submerged in water.
Immediately as in next day, next week or next month?
Is it so weird when we learn that 20 of the passengers were staff of a texas based electronic weaponry company Freescale Semi conductor...were they on board as part of the hijack to make the plane electronically invisible and render all phones useless?
Tin foil hat off....as far as I know they are a firm that makes chips for phones/computers rather than weapons but doesn't add anything to the conspiracy ;-)
Interesting to see the rumours have apparently been confirmed regarding signals received for hours after the loss of transponder, telemetry and voice.
The reports still appear to be very vague giving little indication as to exactly what signal/data was received, by what/who and what can be determined from that data. Presumably something has either been dug out of the databases of a company that could provide service but wasn't contracted to, or it's come from military intelligence services.
Given the reports that the aircraft was following a recognised airway then continued on one of two radically different routes I can only assume the airway theory comes from primary radar data indicating heading changes at recognised turning points across Malaysia then up the coast toward a split in the airway but no further trace has yet been found on either route. I wonder if that aircraft had flown either route previously and whether routing information like that is stored in the navigation computer to save programming time?
Talk yesterday was of new information from the satellite phone service provider. Given the wildly diverging routes being discussed you might expect a 7hr flight to cross from one satellite's coverage region to another at least once along the route giving some clue to the position and or direction.
If the signals received were merely 'pings' without useful data and they for whatever reason can't be triangulated (as it appears given they can't say which hemisphere it's in!) then the possibility has to exist given it hasn't shown up elsewhere that it ditched crippled but largely intact and subsequently sank hours later. Looking less likely than other options.
The motive for any deliberate re-routing to oblivion appears as obscure as ever. Re-use of the aircraft as a weapon or commercially seems unlikely to impossible given it'll need fuel and ground services to re-launch yet must travel somewhere remote enough not to be spotted. Chartering then hijacking a freighter would be a cheaper, easier and safer way to weaponise an aircraft. Commercial re-use or breaking for parts would be next to impossible given just about every part will be serialised and immediately recognisable. There has been little or nothing said about any possible cargo (or I suppose IP carried by those onboard (is the passenger manifest still incomplete a redacted name?). I suppose that may offer some clue but spiriting away an airliner full of people to steal something or someone seems almost too absurd to consider especially given the planning required and the very short notice. Chances are the crew would not even be aware of any high value cargo until it were loaded. There appears to be no verifiable/credible claim of responsibility for terrorist purposes nor any attempt at ransom. Perhaps the plan went awry whatever it was?
Mobile phone silence could be explained in a number of ways but the only two that work totally reliably is to route well away from any masts or to destroy all the phones. Confiscating phones from 200+ people doesn't work, too many opportunities to hide them and even if you kill everyone the phones will still automatically log into new networks as they become available leaving a trail of breadcrumbs albeit one that must be near impossible to follow across borders. Jamming is I suppose the other plausible option but I'd be surprised if it stopped outgoing signals (jammers swamp the received signal) so that's still not especially foolproof.
Perhaps still the cause is accidental not criminal. The resulting loss and appearance of agency later in the flight is a weird quirk of what happens when everything lines up just right by chance.
I'm quite surprised at how strange the story appears to be getting!
I thought the black box pinger was ultrasonic for use underwater.
Talk yesterday was of new information from the satellite phone service provider. Given the wildly diverging routes being discussed you might expect a 7hr flight to cross from one satellite's coverage region to another at least once along the route giving some clue to the position and or direction.
As I understand it, there is one geostationary sat over the Indian Ocean that the maintainance systems on the plane were pinging, bit like a mobile phone poling a cell tower. From this info they get an idea of longitude and distance too the sat, it does not give them a latitude. Hence two tracks, one NW and one SW.
I don't know I'm afraid.
The people are all alive and the plane is intact.
Latest theory. Hijack.
Or maybe the hijackers set off a sleeping gas, whilst wearing masks themselves. Worst case a toxic gas.
A ray of hope, would someone make this up?
"The unnamed woman "said she had gotten a missed call from her father onboard, and the number said 'powered off' later when she called back," the Beijing Times reported."
When you picture you classic gold heist, they usually are pretty elaborate.
In this case, 20 tonnes of gold in the hold destined for China. A pilot, or pilot trained passenger, in on the heist. Possibly a technically trained individual in the electronics bay with knowledge of what to turn off. Another aircraft to rendezvous with in the air so your radar blip doesn't arouse suspicions. Uplift more than the required Beijing fuel on departure allowing you to reach some other destination. Off you go.
Obvious issues: what the pilot could possibly gain out of it? What to do with the passengers? Would a pilot really know all, and how to deal with, the myriad of electronic devices that can track the aircraft?
On the flip side, 9/11, the recent hijacking by a co-pilot, and the difficulty in locating the AF wreckage do make it more obvious to one and all that the image we have of commercial air travel does not necessarily match reality, and there is huge scope for the unimaginable to happen.
Smacks of mission impossible, would make a great film, and the upshot is potentially no one has died.
More likely its at the bottom of the ocean however.
Gas wouldn't even be necessary. Just depressurise and wait for everyone to drift in to unconsciousness.
The "Black Box" transmits a sound signal underwater and is powered by batteries. It works in exactly the same way as surface ships (& wales, dolphins, fish etc,m) transmit sonar to navigate and/or detect underwater objects.
Sound underwater travels much further and much faster than air. This is because water is dense and doesn't compress in the same way as air does.
Despite the fact that it is possible to hear & detect the sound from ships & submarines well over hundreds of miles distance with the right equipment many factors limit this.
Like noise in the air, sound can bounce off underwater canyons, cliffs and so on and underwater obstructions can shield and absorb sound. If the black box is now resting in some deep trough on the sea bed, the detection range would be very short and may only be detectable from immediately above on the surface of the water. Sound underwater is greatly affected by salinity and temperature differentials and is often in many layers. Sounds are not able to always cross different salinity/temperature differences. So for example it may be possible to detect a submarine object from 60 miles away at say 600m depth, the same object at 200m may be totally undectable from the same distance. Modern submarines ocean topography and current differences to hide and remain undetected.
The sonar signal emitted by a surface ship is so loud you can hear it. But then the bit of kit which makes it is large and powerful.
The little battery powered imitation in a black box is weak and pathetic in comparison. In good conditions it can be heard many Km away. It bad conditions a surface ship may have to sail directly over it to pick the signal up. The sonar signal cannot be detected above water.
Great theory. How would you stop the pilots and/hijackers from loosing consciousness too?
Pilots have bottled oxygen in the cockpit. They can also reduce the cabin altitude, so perhaps setting it to 10,000ft or so. Gradual onset of hypoxia for passengers and cabin crew while they themselves stay fine. At 35,000 you could last a minute probably without oxygen.
You're not suggesting 10,000 ft or so would render the passengers unconscious are you?
I wonder how much oxygen the pilots would have?. I wouldn't have thought it much different from what would be needed for the passengers. I always thought that if a plane is depressurised the passenger oxygen is available automatically as we're told by the cabin crew.
The general feeling and rumour in his company is state sponsored hijack, by a certain secret service beginning with the letter M.
Why would Mossad do this? I'm intrigued. BTW, Malaysia doesn't like Israel, doesn't let Israelis in. But on the other hand most of the passengers are Chinese, and China is (in practice, not theory) a good friend of Israel.
I had a 5 month assignment there recently. Mutual business is going great. The government is a quiet supporter of Chabad (the Jewish outreach group). The Chinese see Jews / Israelis (they don't distinguish) the way they like to see themselves: smart, hard working, believing in education, successful traders, with an ancient culture.
Don't know, somebody specific on the passenger list? Something in the cargo? Although to my mind both would be easier to "obtain" on the ground.
Agreed. And this of course would apply to any organisation wanting a person or thing from the flight.
There are so many mysteries in this story.
All aircraft require oxygen around 10,000ft. Passengers of course won't become unconscious at that altitude either. But I presume oxygen masks deploy automatically depending on cabin altitude. So if the pilots were nicking the aircraft its safe to assume they would prefer to incapacitate the passengers through a moderate increase in cabin altitude, probably followed by full decompression. Otherwise they have to allow masks to deploy, wait until the passenger oxygen runs out and deal with any cabin crew attempting to get in to the cockpit when the aircraft doesn't descend as expected.
Likewise, I would be absolutely certain cockpit oxygen is many time more plentiful and reliable than cabin altitude. Cabin oxygen is to keep passengers alive for a descent to safer altitudes in an emergency. Cockpit oxygen is vital to everyone's survival so much more important than that, delivered through a full face mask, and designed for situations where cockpit electronics are producing smoke and fire. Simply, you can afford a few passengers to become unconscious or even die. You can't afford for your pilots to even possibly become incapacitated.
...wonder how easy it is for someone with airside access to stow away in the electronics bay or some nook or cranny elsewhere in the aircraft?
How could you hijack a plane nowadays since cockpits are locked?
They still get opened to feed the pilots.. pilots use the toilets.. also it could be the pilots..
I thought they had two doors. Before they opened the cockpit door they closed the other one? Logically it would be a pilot therefore.
its not like you need the door to be opened to tell the pilot you will kill people if they don't do what you say.
The locked door is just another of the knee jerk rules that got introduced, along with scanning xx % of shoes.
I agree. The locked doors make sense to prevent pilots being overpowered before they can do anything. So in this scenario there would have beeen plenty of time for the Malaysian pilots to have radioed an emergency.
From what they said on the news, I think it was a pilot interviewed, in the first hour after take off they feed the pilots so then is when there is a window..
However I'm not sure on the doors.. on many I thought there were just single doors. By the sounds of the reports it was just one door.
No idea re who.. as it took knowledge you suspect it was one of the pilots but who knows.
Before company budget cuts I used to fly in the front of the plane a lot. And even when only one door, there was always care when dealing with pilot needs. Nothing happened unless the whole of the front of the plane was clear of passengers standing around or using the toilets.
And I believe the co-pilot of the plane had previously let in a couple of dolly birds so he could impress them.!!
I'm sure it's just a single door. While it may be feasible on a 777, an a320/737 wouldn't have room for two doors. So if it's secure enough on one type of plane I can't imagine them being doubled on others. The door have overrides I believe so they can be opened from the outside, and there are clearly opportunities in flight to do so. All the more so given the propensity of the copilot of this flight to invite people in for a smoke anyway!
Besides, if whoever commandeered the aircraft is skilled enough to understand transponders, ACARS, and navigating the aircraft along a substantially long track, they are bound to know the ins and ours of cockpit security.
I've spent a lot of time in the jump seat too, pre 9/11, and it was a reasonably relaxed affair once you were behind the upper deck curtain to get in to the cockpit on747s.
With this particular co-pilot it seems even easier if you wore a short skirt.
So maybe not the pilots. But other company staff on the flight? Cabin crew? Someone known to the pilots?
Flew to Seattle from Heathrow 2 years ago, upper deck of a BA 747, the cockpit door was open every time i was out of my seat.
Yes, and thanks for that, but I've noticed this kind of security varies very much by airline. BA are really careful, for example, certain others less so.
I do think it seemed more relaxed over the past 2 years..
The other problem with a hijacking explanation is that nothing has been heard. But, of course, this does not preclude a failed hijacking.
It would be an bizarrely unlikely scenario I think in which anyone is still alive.
A friend of mine informs me that there is a strong chance the plane has been hijacked - the main tracking systems were turned off by someone in the plane but a secondary system that emits every hour and cannot be turned off easily continued to function for about five hours after it disappeared from radar. In other words it could be sitting on the ground in the Kazakhstan steppes covered in camouflage netting!
Basically this leave a hope for the people on board, time will tell.
Planes location will be known in certain circles.
Will be Classified.
If Hollywood films are to be believed ,there's enough technology and surveillance wizardry at Langley to watch a seagull taking a shit in the Pacific.
Or watch me typing this.
Surely when the plane deviated from its course ,it must have been watched.until it came to a stop
lets hope this is whats happened. but would a hijacker not have owned up by now? there must have been a reason why they did it
This has been discussed and dealt with earlier I think, but:-.
a) How did it manage to get to Kazakhstan without being detected by the countries it overflew.
b) Why did no one manage to call on a mobile whilst it was overland?
c) If it has managed to land at some 2000meter long runway, can you explain why no one on the ground appears to have noticed?
> If Hollywood films are to be believed ,there's enough technology and surveillance wizardry at Langley to watch a seagull taking a shit in the Pacific.
I think there's a tendency to overestimate the extent and effectiveness of our big electronic safety blanket.
Had a re-read of the more credible info out there and revised my earlier post of how they came up with the arcs shown on the map. From the ping they can triangulate the aircrafts position in relation to the position of the satellite on the ground(sea). This gives two arcs, NW and SE based on the last ping. Fuel and flight time would give a distance along this arc?
R.E. the satellite pings, this is a remote monitoring system that transmits engine and airframe data to RR and Boeing. The airline operating the aircraft can then subscribe to this service.
My question is; would you turn off this system at the aircraft because the airline are not subscribed to it? If turned off at the aircraft why does it still ping the satellite? Would it not be more likely that the engine and airframe data is transmitted and the block is between Boeing's servers and Malaysian Airways?
If this is the case, the location of this aircraft is known and is being "sat on".
The programme I watched last night said the 'circles' that were possible was one tenth of the total earth surface( if I heard that correctly)
If so, not exactly pinning it down.
Those lines are not possible tracks; they are a single position line based on the estimated altitude angle of the satellite from the radio signal (presumably there are multiple antennae on the satellite).
So no it wont be turned off because RR dont want one of their engines to fail. They track them from the uk and have ground crews around the world to service them. This was for newer engines and RR have not ruled this out when the plane was lost over a week ago. RR are yet to say anything.
Cutting mobile phones off is easy.
That's what I said isn't it? :)
If you then factor in fuel carried and ground speed, in conjunction with the arcs from the earlier pings, that would narrow down the location on the last position lines?
You said that the position was triangulated; which it is not possible to do with a single position line. In any case, fuel and time relies on so many assumptions about speed, altitude and route that it probably doesn't gain you very much.
Triangulated in the vertical, i.e. to give a distance to the satellite's position over the ground.
Drop a line vertically from the satellite to the earth's surface, gives you a side of your triangle and known distance, the time stamps on the pings, allow you to work out the distance of the plane to the satellite, the hypotenuse. This gives you an estimate of distance of the short side of the triangle. Hinge this about the right angle draws the arcs published.
Ok, see what you mean.
So, we have RR engine data that is sent to and collected by satellite. Is the data picked up by more than one satellite? If the info is picked up with timestamps by two satellites then we have a locus and three a location.
From reading, just data to the one geostationary sat, covering the Indian ocean, hence arcs.
I see, so the satellite is recording the time taken for the signal to travel from engine to satellite.
Speculation about the plane possibly being "hacked" and flown remotely.
If that ever turned out to be the case, I think my flying days will be over. Fck that for a game of soldiers . Uk based holidays going forward (no bad thing really )
Don't know if there is any actual engine or airframe data, but the system was pinging the satellite.
#The next bit is guesswork/idle suposition#
My point was, and I think ItsThere agrees, that engine and airframe data would be transmitted, because Boeing and RR want to know. Weather Malaysian Airlines chose to subscribe to that data would be separate to the fact the data is transmitted.
Having this Data would give a lot more accurate picture of the location and condition of the aircraft.
Why would you sit on this info? Buy time to prepare a rescue package? its been done before.
Its worth a read anyway if you don't know the story.
As I understood it, kind of a rough approximation of GPS, to one sat instead of 6+
Not sure that would be true. From what I have read, all the telemetry data goes through a single communications system that is controlled by the pilots (as presumably are all onboard systems). As I've heard it reported, the system was put into some sort of standby mode, but one in which it checked in with the satellites at regular intervals (presumably so that the system could be started up more easily).
Ah right, that would make sense.
I also read something similar, I wasnt right. RR know something but wont say. The wiki page also suggests that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370 from the flight events timeline.
Even though its a crap source we do know that they still had flight data and evidence it was in the air after the last contact. Vietnam ATC tried to contact it and Malaysia had something on radar. Yet no one sent anything out to check. BBC news now says "confirmed the jet was commandeered" on their website. RR yet to say they didnt get any flight data.
As you say the com system will be contained and maybe one sat link for this system. They cost lots so it wont just be RR using it and the crew should be able to turn it off if there is an electrical fault.
The ACARS system along with other communication devices was turned off after it left the area controlled by Malaysian airspace controllers.
However, Immarsat which has a satellite over the Indian Ocean came up with the two 'Arcs position because even after ACARS is switched off it is still transmits, not a 'ping' but whats referred to as a 'handshake' once an hour. The satellite sends out a transmission to any aircraft within range and even if an Acars enabled plane has its acars gear disabled the satellite can still detect the aircraft as long as its power systems are working. It is this system which confirmed the plane flew on for a further several hours.
But there is no triangulation possible. Only the one satellite, but Immarsat data is capable of identifying the angle at which the satellite would have had to be to transmit data to the plane. It is this angle that has been transcribed into two opposing arcs - one going NW across the Indian ocean and the other SE. It is the NW arc they assume the plane followed because it was seen heading that way on Malaysian military radar.
They can only guess how far it flew along those arcs depending on aircraft speed. And that guess could be out by an by an hour because of the interval between the satellite transmissions. Thats a lot of indian ocean!
......But there is no triangulation possible. Only the one satellite, but Immarsat data is capable of identifying the angle at which the satellite would have had to be to transmit data to the plane. It is this angle that has been transcribed into two opposing arcs - one going NW across the Indian ocean and the other SE. It is the NW arc they assume the plane followed because it was seen heading that way on Malaysian military radar.
Which is what I said! Triangulation in vertical plane. I teach navigation, I know you need more than one sat to give you a Lat/long. However knowing the distance of two sides of a vertically inclined right angled triangle, gives you the third and hence an arc.
I thought the engine data was carried on a different system to ACARS, ItsThere corrected me of this earlier. :)
I've just re-read your posts and I stand corrected - I took too much notice of your referral to triangulation etc., which made me believe you were thinking of two satellites)
Seriously? Who is speculating? Anyone can speculate anything it doesn't mean it is possible or likely. Even if it were possible, I would think hijacking a plane by traditional means would still be easier and cheaper for most terrorist organisations. Some university students proved it was theoretically possible to 'hijack' a boat remotely but that meant getting close, and confusing its onboard navigation system by spoofing GPS responses, and even then it wasn't fool proof.
I just did a quick back of an envelope calculation and since this plane went missing, 27,000 people have been killed on the world's roads (according to WHO estimates) - that's 100x more than went missing on this flight.
I'm getting on a transatlantic flight in 12 hours - can't say it's even occurred to me once that its even remotely risky. This is a tragedy for everyone on board and their loved ones but its really not something anyone should lie awake at night worrying about.
If you book flights on the right airlines these days, they have a "Would you like to sit next to Liam Neeson?" box that you can tick.
I always tick it--saves a lot of stress.
I dont know if ACARS is on a diff system, but active radar systems/sat links cost lots so I would assume the plane only has one.
My mention of Kazakhstan was to illustrate the distance flown in hours, I didn't actually mean I had any information that it had gone to that country! Sorry, I imagined that was obvious. All I know is that a system had continued to emit for 5 hours after the plane left the radar. It could have headed over the ocean then crashed, but then one wonders what the motive would have been. The implication is the plane went somewhere and presumably for a reason. It could provide a bit of hope, that's all.
You're not far off the mark...
Go on, tell us your theory.
Lets just say in the short term the media are being led a merry dance for good reason.
Oh go on, don't be coy.
a) How did it manage to get to Africa without being detected by the other countries it overflew (I assume you don't mean its landed on the coast somewhere).
b) Why did no one manage to call on a mobile whilst it was overland?
c) If it has managed to land at some 2000meter long runway, can you explain why no one on the ground appears to have noticed or told someone?
d) Why has the Immarset calculations shown it went West to Africa then? Or have you an answer for that?
In terms of hacking there was apparently an airworthiness directive from Boeing regarding network security on these aircraft. Something to do with other aircraft systems being in the same loop as the inflight entertainment. No idea if this is true or not and no idea how much of an issue it is. Since ADs get issues for the most insignificant of things I imagine it isn't remotely an issue. But then again, until last week, the idea of a 777 vanishing wasn't remotely possible either.
I agree people should be no more afraid of flying than they were two weeks ago. But I can see where the fear comes from. In my mind planes are safe, but for many they are inherently risky contraptions. If you add to that the huge complexity, the fact that you have no control over your life for the duration you are on board, but also the huge expectations that everything is engineered perfectly and operates properly - it's a big trust exercise for many people. When that trust gets blown, it has an impact. Basically, you expect to board a plane with several hundred others and arrive in one piece. If you can potentially die, all together, in once flaming, speeding ball of metal, with the ret of the world having no idea where in the world you are then it's not something to look forward to.
Actually it can't reach Africa. At least not with the fuel load it was supposed to carry. But I've seen nothing reported to say whether it did in fact take the normal fuel load or not.
As for detection, how? Most regular detection is by secondary radar, so with the transponder turned off you are invisible. Primary radar is really the only other meaningful system, but that requires largely line of sight and is mainly very local - ie, around airfields and military installations.
There are lots of disused runways around the world, many I imagine of suitable length though whether they are fit for take offs and landings is anyone's guess. There are many many examples of aircraft landing on far shorter runways than they are suitable for. Runway length is for ideal safe arrangements. If someone is doing a runner with this aircraft, perhaps with no intention of taking off again and possibly no other aim than to get it and it's cargo on the ground in one or two pieces I'd imagine there are no shortages of places to land, albeit under risky conditions. Bt given they've already stolen a $300 million aircraft, I very much doubt sticking to conservative, legalistic, and ideal interpretations of safe runway length as defined in the flight ops manual for their given weight is high in their priorities.
My post wasn't saying I believe it, I was just musing that if it was ever proven that a plane could be hacked and controlled remotely, then all the security in the world at the airport is not going help, or the skill of the pilots.
It would be a true definition of terrorism, and I for one would not fly comfortably..I might not be rational, (I commute on a motorbike) but it would be a game changer for me. That's all.
I'm still leaning towards gold heist myself in the complete vacuum of information right now . But who the fck knows...not us that's for sure.
I asked further up why the transponder would have an on off switch, and a few of you explained why, although none gave a practical flying reason but I found out that when planes wait on a hold line for take off the pilots are instructed to turn it off so that approaching landing planes do not get distracted by their tcas. Systems warning them of a potential collision.
Perhaps you can answer these questions to:-
b) Why did no one manage to call on a mobile whilst it was overland, or since landing?
c) If it has managed to land at some 2000meter long runway, can you explain why no one on the ground appears to have noticed or told someone?
d) Why has the Immarset calculations shown it went West to Africa then? Or have you an answer for that?
From personal experience I can assure you that primary radar, given the right location, power and frequency can detect reasonably small planes at distances of 100 or more depending on hight and freedom from land clutter.
Indeed there is a fixed array (radar) within two miles of my home which can detect an orange sized object in outer space.
And as you say in your post airfields have radar. How come they didn't detect it either?.
Mobiles? No idea. Again though, if this is a commandeer/hijacking situation then it has been elaborately planned. Not beyond the realms of possibility then that jamming could be used. Or simply the passengers were incapacitated. All mobiles off in flight with no one awake to turn them on or recharge.
As for no one seeing it, the world is a big place. It could have been put down in the middle of nowhere.
I agree, both points above are contentious and as an otherwise well planned heist are major points of risk to whoever is trying to pull it off. But if you have the balls and the knowhow to hijack an aircraft in the post 9/11 world, to do the necessary to make it vanish from ATC, fly it back across the country of origin, confident there will be no hostile action as you attempt to do so, and so on....then you probably have a pretty good plan on how to get to where you want to go, and what to do then.
The immarsat stuff I don't understand. But I don't think it showed it near west Africa.. More East Africa or another route through Central Asia. And it strikes me as rough and ready extrapolation of position in a circumstance where all other leads have failed. So I wouldn't draw much more than a general "it's not in the gulf of Thailand" from that.
Radar...there's a lot less radar around than we are led to believe. It's been replaced by SSR for the majority of work. You simply don't need to be beaming out waves and dealing with all it's inaccuracies. It also depends on the readiness of the searchers. If the Jindalee network is anywhere near as good as it's supposed to be then we should know exactly where the plane is. But chances are it wasn't even operational at the time, and no doubt if it was it'll be set to look out for high altitude aircraft, ICBMs and suchlike. I imagine as you head up through SE Asia and Central Asia non SSR coverage is patchy at best, with controllers asleep on the job or enjoying a vodka or two..
As an aside, if the passengers were taken alive, how you would feed 230 people for a weeks beyond me. There's no way they could stay on a plane for that long. So the heist theory has to grow more elaborate the longer it goes on for, or the passengers were killed (depressurisation) in flight, or the plane has been deliberately crashed as far away in the Indian Ocean as possible.
For me the later is the most likely.. And if you were of the mindset where you could happily asphyxiate the entire passengers and crew (who you probably knew) then you were probably loopy enough to just go crash in the ocean anyway.
Otherwise it's parked up in some local Tescos car park somewhere waiting to be found when everyone turns up to work tomorrow
So the Diego Garcia super duper extraordinary rendition conspiracy theory conveniently answers some of your questions. Plane flies over ocean to remote atol. Plane unloaded, re painted then flown to Eastern us . All done to destabilise China Malaysia relationship. They even claim f16s escorting a civilian jet a few days ago over the us East Coast.
They seem light on what happens to the passengers and how they keep schtum
Would make a great bond movie (if the us were not the villains)
Read more bonkers here,
Have you not seen the start of cliffhanger... Too soon?
Do you think that they would need 2000m? They landed an ageing 747 at Rand airport in 1000m without using reverse thrust. I would have thought that a light 777 could land on a very short runway, particularly if they didn't mind overrunning a bit.
I don't think. Thats what the Boeing reportedly stated it needed- which I appreciate is a safe margin.
Yes it does Bjartur. Perhaps you can enlighten us on how the plane lands on Diego Garcia with no american service personnel either noticing or phoning home, nor any of the civilian contractors.
Didn't one airline pilot "dead stick" a 737 onto a grass levee a few years ago. They flew it off after an engine swap too. Don't think that was in Boeings manual ether.
Mobile phone jammers are cheap and easily available. This provides an instant stop when activated, giving you time to confiscate any phones passengers may have.
I have no idea what happened to the plane. I would be surprised if the engines had a comms system independent from the satellite and HF long range comms systems of the airframe.
I'm amazed no-one has mentioned "Flight 714". That's how it was done.
Assuming you get your jammer past security in your hand baggage then thats a possibility.
But mobiles are small and easily hidden. I can't believe you'd manage to get every passenger to hand them over.
Of course the jammer would also be sending out an obvious continuos signal which if done in places where there is mobile coverage could easily be located.
You would have expected phone companies and mobile phone users to report this fact.
Not my theory, it has more holes than a colander made of swiss cheese...more a movie script for Nicholas Cage and John Travolta ;-)
But until we find some debris, floating suitcase...whatever, then the Tom Clancy wannabies will have a field day.
How good is the mobile phone cover in the region?
Which region are you referring to?
Some info from the news:
The ACARS system's last communication was at 1:07. It was scheduled to communicate again at 1:37, but was turned off before that. It is not known exactly when it was turned off simply after 1:07 and before 1:37.
The last cockpit voice communication was at 1:19 and it was the co-pilot.
The last ping was at 08:11 after that the plane may have had up to 30mins of fuel.
This website will help re mobile coverage
Type in country of your choice (Malaysia?) and it shows mobile coverage. Lots of blind spots in that region. Maybe then cross reference the blind areas with airstrips ? Look at australia, very localised mobile coverage
I need to change my phone ring tone to that octave changing one on 24 lol!
Quality post on PPRUNE:
"I'll tell you what happened.
The pilot removed the co-pilot either forcibly or during a toilet break.
The pilot then recreated the wildest dreams of every airline pilot.
He turned around, flew low over his homeland, zig-zagged all over, climbed to the service ceiling, flew just above the water, tried to evade radar, flew fast, flew slow and had the ride of his soon to end life until the fuel ran out.
18,000 hours of flying every day from A to B took its' toll along with other issues and he did what every pilot wants to do... something they normally can't."
Are you sure it's a complete 'stop'. My understanding is jammers typically work by swamping the receiver front end amplifier with a high amplitude carrier in the frequency range of interest. That forces the automatic gain control (normal part of most radio receivers) to wind down the amplifier sensitivity rendering it insensitive to the proper network signals, just the jammer's dummy carrier. I suppose generating high amplitude noise/interference at the intermediate frequency would have much the same effect on the receiver. The output stage is unaffected, the phone can potentially still transmit. Whether it actually will send anything of any use to a mast while jammed is down to the software on the phone. I'd be a little surprised if jamming 200+ phones renders every last one of them completely invisible to network masts. Of course most will have been switched off or to flightsafe which is to all intents and purposes the same thing.
Me either. There doesn't appear to be any scenario that makes even a little bit of sense which leaves me thinking there is still quite a bit of missing information, what was on the cargo manifest for example.
One thing that is puzzling me is how those satellite 'arcs' have been arrived at. It seems the lines represent positions giving a constant angle of elevation to the satellite, presumably the missing section represents a region covered by more than one satellite and can therefore be ruled out. The outer bounds are possibly the same, double coverage or possibly related to what's known about on board fuel and range.
The thing that puzzles me is why would a satellite have high gain antennas arranged to produce concentric rings of coverage, surely a mosaic of overlapping spots is a more useful and far more conventional beam structure. Perhaps the satellite spins about the earth-satellite axis but that seems odd too, it would mean communications from a fixed point on earth would be continually handed off from one antenna/transceiver to the next in an orderly fashion but surely that'd be a managed, predictable event and would leave a better clue than those huge arcs. Anyone know anything about satellite antenna arrangements that could shed some light?
I'm not suggesting any kind of conspiracy or cover up around this information, just puzzled by why it appears there is only one angle that can be reliably determined from the satellite data if it's related to which antenna/amplifier was handling MH370. Measuring time of flight for the signal would explain it but it would also require the 'ping' to contain an exceptionally accurate time stamp or at least a highly stable, high resolution time stamp and enough previous data points at known locations for calibration. Possible I suppose?
The Malaysian team said they are gathering and going through the mobile phone data for the passengers. So far no calls in or out have been found.
There was an in-depth post on pprune Friday or sat, explaining the contents of the ping. Basically consisting of a unique identifier (sort of an i.p. address), time stamp and a test data packet to confirm the ability to transmit and receive data.
I belive the arcs shown have been calculated from the time stamp of the last ping, factoring in max range to the westward and coverage by another sat to the east.
This is interesting
(and with all those freescal semiconductor employees on board?)
Useless conjecture of course. But that could be an interesting "fact" (if true) regarding the entertainment system
The immarsat 3 satellites have 2 sets of antennas. A series of spot beams, and a global beam that covers the entire region. The type of signal that they use for managing network resources (i.e. the type of communication that is being referred to) uses the global beam.
I guess that the angle that they are talking about is determined either by signal latency, or by some calculation based on reception to transmission strength.
I wondered about phone coverage, Its rubbish here in East Lancs, I cant imagine its any better over Malaysia and Sumatra (assuming the plane turned to the West). Also if they were staying out over the sea, minimising military radar coverage (northern track), they would be out of range of cell phone masts anyway.
That would certainly explain the vague nature of the arcs, especially if the pings are handled on orbit by a low bandwidth broad beam antenna before access is negotiated to a narrow-beam, high bandwidth channel (which presumably never happened).
If the position is calculated from time of flight for the signal then I'm surprised the time stamp in the aircraft's packet contains enough data (clock resolution in the nS range) and the ping timing from processor to antenna is predictable enough given the time data was presumably never intended for this kind of reverse position tracking. Because the satellite is so high relatively 100km transmitter displacement (radial to the satellite's over-earth position) on the earth's surface produces a shift of only ~500nS in the signal flight time, not a lot to work with if the system wasn't actually designed to measure this!
Makes sense, cheers.
Perhaps it was. It might be useful for resource allocation if the network knows that a particular user is leaving (or nearing the edge) one of its coverage regions.
I was wondering how well can you depend on the integrity of the "ping" timestamp component. Is there any way of altering this onboard? Or is it derived from an external source?
Possible for sure but the high gain regions would presumably have significant overlaps, that would seem to be a more reliable way of determining which picks up the task and when as a signal moves from one region to the next.
I think that the timestamp comes from GPS.
Sounds reasonable. Really just uninformed speculation on my part, I have no detailed knowledge of the system except as an occasional user.
That would certainly explain the vague nature of the arcs
I thought the arcs weren't vague. They are long but quite narrow. AIUI, the length of the arcs is because of the minimum/maximum possible speeds.
I think the smooth nature of the arcs implies that the plane was on a steady course.
As was mentioned earlier. The arcs are not possible tracks; they are a single position line at a single time point.
No all the arc indicates is the aircraft location, someware on one of the two arcs at its last point of contact (last ping to the Indian Ocean INMRSAT). It might have flown around in circles for hours. The western end of the arc is the probable max range, and the east is determined by lack of communication with the pacific Sat.
Thanks you two, got it now.
The published arcs aren't paths, they represent a position at a single instant around 8am (Malaysian time). I have no idea what the uncertainty is on that position, they're drawn as thin red lines on maps I've seen but they could actually be big broad strokes covering millions of square km, it doesn't appear to have been mentioned.
As I understand it they're just a conical projection from the satellite onto the earth's surface, if that's the case you'd expect them to be pretty smooth.
It's curious that only the last-received position arc has been released to date.
Anyone know the last airliner to completely disappear, never to be found?
It's curious that only the last-received position arc has been released to date.
Yes, it is.
A quick google suggests a 737 stolen in Angola in 2003, in the air you have to go back a bit further.
727 actually, and it sounded like more of an insurance job that one. No passengers either.
Of course, ATC is actually behind it. They said something to the pilots, which activated some kind of prior brainwashing. The codeword to acknowledge this was "Goodnight".
The sodding Freemasons need to up their game if they want to remain as credible iluminati against this lot.
Flying a light aircraft from Guernsey to Bournemouth many years ago, I signed off from London FIR with a cheery "Happy New Year", it being 31st December. Should I expect a call soon from MI5?
Only one person can find this plane now...
Uri 'Remote viewing' Geller!
You'll be glad to know he's on the case:
Oh no! (insert emoticon for pained grimace whilst tearing hair out)
He chooses his words carefully. Reading the article it is clear that:
A fat man approached him, asked if he could give a clue...
Geller logged on to various websites remotely through his mobile to check current opinions...
And gives an opinion (not once has he mentioned the use of spoon bending powers).
A psychic has spoken! Go Yuri!
Uri Geller cashes in on the (possible) deaths of hundreds, and the associated suffering of (possibly) thousands of friends and family
Sometimes I wish I believed in things like heaven and hell, so that I could believe ghouls like him would burn in one of them.
Work of the Crab People surely.
Ive come in to this thing a bit late in the game but it seems truly bizzare.
I also see someone towards the beginning of this thread made an "outlandish" statement about the plane being hijacked blah blah blah. Its looking to be nearer to the truth every day.
I feel for the families. Very tough times.
So, you do all believe in Uri Geller after all!
I did suggest something similar back where I entered the thread. If correct that makes me more psychic than Yuri and presumably capable of bending cutlery too. Money to be made.
Either that or you're a Crab Person.
> No all the arc indicates is the aircraft location, someware on one of the two arcs at its last point of contact (last ping to the Indian Ocean INMRSAT). It might have flown around in circles for hours. The western end of the arc is the probable max range, and the east is determined by lack of communication with the pacific Sat.
I think the arc is more to do with the projection of a line of longitude from a 3d surface on to a 2D map. ie the plane was flying in a broadly straight line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MH370_last_ping_corridors.jpg shows the arcs centered on the satellite's position. They represent the possible position of the aircraft at one instant in time, they're not tracks.
So for a locus you need to know how much fuel it had at the last ping, figure out how far it could fly with that fuel, and then draw an area of that distance from each of the arcs? This could take some time to find...!
Yeah - understood. I was simply trying to explain how a plane could fly in a straight line over the earth but when plotted on a map, it will produce a curve.
In this case the curve is derived from a single point on a line of longitude, but with the plane signal could have been generated anywhere along that line.
They reckon 30 minutes of fuel max from last ping.
You mean the rhumb line track?
250 miles either side of the line + glide distance?
A wide corridor to search, for sure.
So far there have been no reported calls to or from the passengers on the plane.
Laughed at this comment (especially because in context, the poster was actually being supportive :-) )
" If you can find oil and diamonds a plane should be easy"
Latest news is that the last radio communication was from the co-pilot. Given that the transponder was deactivated before that communication, it seems that he's probably the hijacker...
> You mean the rhumb line track?
Nothing so technical. Simply that a straight line on a curved surface will plot to a curve on a 2D surface. Jeez, did I hate geodesy.....
Given that the transponder was deactivated before that communication
That is not known.
EDIT: From my post of 10:24
The ACARS system's last communication was at 1:07. It was scheduled to communicate again at 1:37, but was turned off before that. It is not known exactly when it was turned off simply after 1:07 and before 1:37.
The last cockpit voice communication was at 1:19 and it was the co-pilot.
I heard an intriguing line of investigation regarding the flight software being hacked! Credibility for this line of thought comes from the hacking of a drone:
I seriously doubt the drone was hacked. At the most some very expensive equipment was used to spoof the GPS receiver on the drone taking it of course. One would hope an aircraft with actual people on it is a bit less robotically dumb.
On the other hand if it was actually hacked a lot of people may stop flying...
It is definitely one of the more unlikely scenarios, but more credible than the aliens/Malacca Triangle/Crab People idea....
Here is my current favourite conspiracy theory:
Basically, the plane was hijacked by the New World Order to de-stabilise the region. Obvious, when you think about it...
I think one of the most interesting things to come out of this is that it shows how a section of the population are completely batshit mad, delusional, and willing to believe/make up ridiculous 'theories'.
I never said it was in Africa!! As for your mobile phone question, think a wee bit harder on that one. Each day that passes the media are getting fed a wee bit more...
Come on, enlighten us!
None of us know for certain but I'd be very surprised if it has crash landed...
Its in space isn't it!!
“Flight 370 disappears on 3/7 while reportedly traveling 3,700 km. Flight 370 flew at an altitude of 37,000 feet when it was last reported using flight tracking software. Luigi Maraldi, age 37, was one of the individuals whose passport was stolen. Malaysia Airlines is one of Asia’s largest, flying nearly 37,000 passengers daily. As of today, we are beginning the 37th month since the Fukushima tragedy, which is located on the 37th degree and initially caused 37 injuries at the plant.”
Are you the second co-pilot?
Well I've thought a little about how you rapidly guarantee outgoing mobile/dongle silence. I can only think of two totally foolproof ways to do it, destruction and avoidance of network cells. Does that fit with your theory? If not please don't just drop silly hints, I'd like to hear your idea.
So you think it's been spirited away somewhere, this is what you're hinting at, right...
How do you recognise a Crab Person, do they walk sideways waving a big hand about?
I think they took the passengers out with the climb to max ceiling 45,000ft. Pilots had the advantage of 2hrs+ bottled oxygen, I think the masks in the back only work for about 12-20 mins depending on the aircraft.
No mobile phones on board registered with any cell towers, because the plane tracked out over the bay of Bengal to avoid radar. Plane landed someware remote so no cell towers nearby.
Heavy cargo, enough to displace 50 passengers (so about 4.5 tonnes over normal cargo load).
The question is what do you do with 4.5 tonnes(min) of gold bullion once you have got it off the aircraft?
Seriously? I'd have thought stealing in in the air would be the hardest, most complicated, and most costly (lives and cash) way possible to nick it.
Or the reported altitude deviations could be the wild phugoid oscillations of an out of control aircraft eventually damped as the COG shifts forward (passengers toward flightdeck, fuel-burn?) or the crew regain some control. Or it could be poor reporting of wild rumours. Either way the excursion is unlikely to kill everyone in the cabin.
I'd be surprised if it's found intact on land but the avoidance of cells theory seems most likely to me too.
The whole idea that you could just steal an airliner and hope to get away with it still seems a little far fetched, there are so many variables not under your control, overflying a well equipped and alert naval vessel, passing AWACS in transit, military radar, all the RF junk aboard you can't shut off... at best there's a real risk you don't get any real head start, at worst you get shot down.
I take it the manifest has still not been released or even discussed publicly? The longer this goes on the less likely it seems someone is merely embarrassed about something like screwed up paperwork and that there was something in the hold we're not being told about. With my tinfoil hat on I'd maybe go for embargoed electronics. Seems really far fetched but so do the ever changing 'facts'!
Could be the premise of a book this. Spies, Terrorism, hacking, hijacking, gold bullion, landing a plane on a deserted island, 200 lives. Anyone write thrillers?
Planes are relatively easy to hijack if you think about it. Once in the air you have the upper hand if your armed .. No police, armed guards. Then fly the plane to a rendevous with your waiting boat, ditch the plane in the sea, jump off with your cargo and leave it to sink with the passengers.
Wild conjecture, a lot of collateral damage, but who knows..we are hardly brimming with knowledge on what's happened here.
The fact there is no demands, no claiming of responsibility , seems more likely heist over terrorism.
Very hard to do. They walk like people but taste like crab.
Using a 'phone on a plane should be easier than using one on the ground in a car as there will be no obstructions due to terrain, other vehicles or buildings. On 9/11 various people used mobiles from a hijacked plane or planes.
Judging by how many people use 'phones after landing, there's no problem getting a signal (through the windows I assume).
I totally agree, I mentioned it earlier in the thread.....if it ever was proven that planes could be hacked and flown remotely......massive game changer for the airline industry
That was my "movie script" theory! :)
So the only way to tell is by running up and biting them? That would just get you a stay in the mental hospital, the Devils! Still its a good job we know this and can listen for their secret decapod communications.
I thought that most of the 9/11 calls from the aircraft were through passenger air phones. I also read that the cell phone calls that did get through were probably only possible because they were still using analogue networks. Don't know if that is true or not.
You could just re-program the transponder before switching it back on (think it is possible), and hey presto you are a different airliner, flying along a recognised airway, just another little blip on a distracted radar ops scope in the small hours of the morning.
Has there been any indication of a valuable cargo or is it just speculation. I have seen several mentions of tonnes of gold.
There has been no immediate terrorist use but an interesting theory is that stealing the plane is just the first stage. Load it with something nasty and and then fly to a target at a later date. Especially if they keep the passengers alive and put them on the aircraft. At what point would a government order an aircraft full of civilians to be shot down because they suspect it may be a terorist attack?
The Malaysians were a bit vague, first mention of cargo was this morning; "mostly Mangosteens to china"
Would a cargo of Mangosteens be valuable enough to knock back 50 passengers on am over-subscribed flight?
Not a bad idea but your 'new' aircraft's position and track would have to match a pre-registered flight plan for it to be of any use and I'm not sure how you'd know what code to set it to mid flight nor how you'd avoid attracting attention just materialising part way into the route, perhaps the system isn't as smart or joined up as it could be. Also your new flight plan takes you somewhere, probably given it can take a 777 that's somewhere with people and access to news/phones. If you don't arrive there'd be two missing airliners in the news.
Also I believe there's an essentially imutable hardware/airframe ID buried in the transponder data packet (possibly confusing this with the ACARS data). Maybe not something that an ATC computer would automatically flag as suspect but would presumably have been traced by now from ATC logs.
My money is still on a rapidly unfolding catastrophe in the cockpit that causes a hurried divert followed by some very strange set of events (yet no stranger than the alternatives) leaving a ghost ship heading south to fuel exhaustion or weather finally puts it into the ocean. That said, I'd not put a lot of money on it, less still until the cargo manifest is made public.
Incidentally (and surprisingly) it sounds like the SATCOM 'ping' is initiated on orbit, if the latency from reception to reply in the airliner's system is known and predictable/stable (easy to check, lots off data from 777s carrying the same system at known positions) then it's much less surprising they can position the ping on that arc despite the unhelpful geometry. The flight time (including the position 'component') for the signal is doubled but the error (quantisation mostly?) isn't and you are only relying on one clock to determine round trip time.
Not seen anyone else post this one .
No better or worse than some of the links I have read. If true ( big if) they might look for this flight, but with the latest tech, solve some of these.
And to others re mobiles on planes.
Once you are away from mobile towers/mast you cannot communicate with them. There are no communication masts at sea for mobiles. And as others have posted not everywhere on land has mobile total mobile coverage.
If you are within range of a mobile mast inside a plane the structure of the plane isn't a complete barrier anymore than a building or car is on land. But it will attenuate the signal somewhat. Those of you may wish to remember 9/11 where mobiles were used in the 3rd plane.
How far?. Not far, l 'line of sight' would be the norm quoted, but if you were flying high over the ocean or land and the nearest land/mast was more than a few miles away by line of sight you'd not have a chance. . I've used radios at sea which transmitted 1000 watts, and the signal was capable of going thousands of miles. Small hand held two way radios only use something in the range 5 - 15 watts (and they'd only be line of sight too). Mobiles use less than one watt. This is why moving just a few feet in marginal conditions will improve or worsen the signal.
It's all speculation as far as I can tell.. It really is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Or intentional. Imagine the scenario of depressurisation.. Cabin crew are sure to try and gain access to the cockpit of the masks are down but the aircraft doesn't descend to a safe altitude. It indicates, at the very least that the pilots are incapacitated and need help urgently. How do the pilots prevent this? By flying a series of negative and high-g manoeuvres. Doesn't take much. A pitch over to 0g leave everyone in the cabin airborne and unable to venture up the isle, while pitching up to 2g pins them to the floor.
Agreed. But who better to pull it off than pilots who fly these routes all the time and know fro decades of experience how things actually operate..
Perhaps this is the worlds biggest hoax promo for a film on the subject? A take on "The Game".
How good is China's air defence, particularly aircraft detection? Better than most of her neighbours I would wager.
Dunno. Depends if they feel the need to have it up and ready which I am not sure is the case.
Take India from what they say their defences on the border with Pakistan are rather good but elsewhere its so so unless they have got an alert on.
As fascinating as the heist/hijack theories are(its easy to forget the souls onboard when sat on the settee), I'm with you on the "ghost ship" theory; decompression event, similar to the Helios flight, followed by flight southwest over Indian Ocean.
Its definitely gone viral!
Just heard on Newsnight that plane's transponders switched of a couple of minutes after the co-pilot's last voice comms.
Why turn off the comms, a two stage process, AIUI, separated by minutes?
That's where the "ghost ship" fails the test.
Does anyone here actually know how mobile phones on planes work?
I don't know about this plane but there is a technology where mobiles actually connect to the network via a node in the plane itself - this is supposed to be safer as the phones then use minimum power as the node is right next to them - this will reduce the chance of EMC problems with the avionics etc. Phones using such low power presumably would not radiate enough power to go outside the airframe unless you were using something very sensitive to detect them (eg EW equipment)
Plenty of info on the web, but briefly it depends on the plane, some have mobile cells on board (few though) - most use ground towers, so can't be used unless very close to one of them.
No mobile calls so the southern arc over the sea and out of range of mobile signals seems more likely than overland flight. Mobile cells are kilometers (10km?) across in rural areas. 5-10km range down in the ground clutter and behind a few buildings might translate to much further (tens of km?) in the air.
Mobiles handshake with local cells so that the network knows to 'phone you in a certain cell or try adjacent cells. Two hundred people on a flight - somebody must have left their mobile on accidentally or deliberately so one of those phones should have been detected in an overland flight even if no calls were made.
So unless anyone knows about the technology used on this particular plane, any speculation about the use or lack of use of mobile phones to raise the alarm is pretty worthless.
Yup. I suspect the authorities don't need anyone to remind them that it might be worth having a think about the possibility of mobile phone records being chased up. It's quite hilarious when people make that suggestion!
That's assuming good mobile coverage over the land. Phone coverage is bad enough in East Lancs. Also picture a 10k "bubble" around a cell tower, the diameter of that bubble will be a lot smaller at 8000 meters+.
Assuming the plane stayed over land, it may have tracked out over the Bay of Bengal to reduce the possibility of military radar ops taking an interest.
I think you will find that its full name should be enimysriddleterygma ( (c) Clarence)
Some of my colleagues fly to NY on BA's exclusive business class planes from City aiport (only have 32 seats on the plane). They have mobile access for the whole flight for texts, email and internet on your own device (dont think you can make calls though)
I think you can get a cream for that
Been checked by Malaysian authorities. Nothing found.
I wonder what the beam pattern is like for a typical cell phone mast? There seems little point wasting energy upwards given they're designed for surface communications.
Identifying all the mobile devices potentially on-board then determining their unique IDs then persuading countless private companies across 10s of nations to scour their records, each with their own national rivalries and privacy laws... Even if a few devices did make contact finding the breadcrumbs could be the work of weeks not days. I think we've been conditioned by that unrealistic Hollywood image of a hacker in a bunker somewhere thrashing away at a keyboard for 5 seconds before a bank of monitors throws up a picture of the suspect... and a map... followed by real-time satellite imagery...
With NSA and GCHQ recording and tracking most global communications surely they should be able to find out without having to ask the companies holding the data. But these days they seem more concerned with what their own citizens are doing on facebook than the rest so maybe not...
On that point it's funny that intelligence agencies are able to know what their citizens have been having for breakfast but are completely useless at tracking a potentially hijacked passenger flight...
New take on the aircraft shadowing another flight with its transponder turned off.
Seems it could be anywhere in central Asia if this is true. If the passengers were already incapacitated it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility to land with the engines shut down at some chosen runway (with a big hanger and tow vehicle on the ground). Word seems to be that the final radio message could have been a third party, rather than either pilot.
It is a bit weird all this. The obvious answer is the pilot committed suicide. But if that was your goal, why would you bother with the whole transponder/ARCARS thing? Just fly wherever you want and crash wherever you want. No need to hide.
So the more weird and wonderful theories do have a lot more merit than otherwise would be the case.
The transmitters are tall & narrow so the beam pattern is concentrated in a horizontal plane but there is signal going up/down which can be useful as it allows phones to work at the top of the hill or at the bottom of the valley.
That theory has been discredited by professional pilots as next to impossible.
There's a much more reasoned one knocking about by a professional pilot that suggests a cabin fire knocking out electronics/crew followed by a long autopilot flight into the Indian Ocean.
I'm always more inclined to look towards the less involved scenarios, the weirder ones usually involve you jumping through ever higher and more convoluted hoops. This appears to have a mixture of both.
The problem I have with the MA plane shadowing another and landing in central Asia is that this would be right at the limit of the fuel range *assuming* that all went well and there wasn't anything like a headwind on the path taken. I don't know how close you have to be to an airliner to hide yourself from radar but there's going to be a lot of turbulence which is likely to reduce your range.
A genuine modern day mystery.
Indeed, or some version thereof leading to it ending up in the Indian ocean.
But surely a cabin fire leading to this would rely on even more conincidences than the more elaborate conspiracy/film script theories: a fire that knocks out coms, but not the autopilot, but which jams the autopilot and primary controls in a functioning state, but knocks out the crew.
Yes, the shadowing theory isn't being given any credence in pilot circles, and most seem to tend towards a more simple and tragic set of circumstances..
I read a very plausible one similar to that claiming the initial change of direction was to a course for the most suitable emergency landing strip. However it is completely contradicted by what is now known about the possible routes indicated by the engine signals.
It has been explained that it would be possible though, and not even that unlikely - well at least when compared to other options I guess.
Not sure either of how close you have to be. Even if they were outside of the range where two "blips" become one, I imagine controllers might overlook such an aberation. As for turbulence, I reckon if they flew above the aircraft they were tailing and somewhat behind or off to one side it wouldn't be an issue....in fact, like geese, they may even score some more range out of it.
I guess the longer it goes on the more likely it is that is has been a crash and the wreckage has yet to be found rather than any other event.
777 pilots have basically said that it would be impossible to shadow another flight like that.
The turbulence goes a surprisingly long way back - when the RAF were still flying Vulcans they would fly over us doing radar avoidance so quite low, the last you'd see of them was as they went over the hills just west of Tebay about 20 miles away. The air sounded like it was being torn apart.
OK, so not every aircraft is the same and the Vulcan is a very old plane design but I'd reckon on there being significant turbulence up to a couple of miles behind a modern jet. There'll be sweet spots but you can't be too far to one side otherwise you'd be visible from the leading aircraft.
Did they give any reasons why? B52s, Tu95s, etc fly in formation all the time, often using just formation lights at night. KC-135s fly within a few meters of all kinds of aircraft, bombers, C17s, military versions of civilian aircraft.
Granted, it would be stressful for extended periods of time but doesn't seem to be impossible. The act of finding and catching up with an aircraft would be difficult I suspect.
It was less the turbulence, although that was a factor, but more the skill, practice, precision and navigational instruments that would be needed to do it apparently. And yes, the finding the other plane in the dark, knowing it was the right one, and then getting into a position without being noticed.
> The problem I have with the MA plane shadowing another and landing in central Asia is that this would be right at the limit of the fuel range *assuming* that all went well...
It does seem too difficult to set up and execute reliably, a 5min delay for either flight and the plan is in tatters not to mention what happens if someone actually decides to investigate their curious radar return and the possibility of simply being seen by passengers toward the rear of the lead aircraft.
In really tight formation you'd likely fool all but the most curious of operators using old fashioned primary radar. I remember watching my old man work with these pointing out slowly moving streaks (aircraft) amid the clutter (everything else!) as the line swept round refreshing the sea of spurious returns and aircraft behind it.
Modern radar systems are potentially far more capable especially the shorter range high frequency systems (higher resolution) which when coupled to a powerful enough computer/database/pattern-recognition-software identify aircraft in formation and even identify particular aircraft by looking at patterns in the returned pulse. My flight control and avionics lecturer was ex RAF radar/guidance specialist (among other things in a very varied career), the RADAR part of that course was fascinating. I'd imagine India/Pakistan have systems that advanced looking at each other but whether they've invested elsewhere... Who knows what's left in Afghanistan.
Beyond that there are experimental (or deployed, who knows) systems that are enabled by the availability of *huge* data storage/processing capability. These use a nations's background RF clutter (TV, Radio, other radars, mobile cells etc) to illuminate the target and a geographically diverse network of receivers to observe. After a *lot* of correlation and triangulation you're left with a hot computer and an incredibly robust, spread spectrum radar that is also invisible to those it illuminates (no transmitted pulse). The distributed nature and high bandwith potentially also robs 'stealth' aircraft of their advantage given they work in large part by skirting around known radar sites (it's potentially *everywhere*) and deflecting received radiation away from rather than reflecting back to source. With multiple sources and receivers there is nowhere safe to deflect the reflection and even absorbing it potentially shows you up as a black hole against the reflective upper atmosphere in the longer wave lenghts. Not suggesting anything like this exists in the region, it's just a fascinating concept!
Makes you wonder where the 'court' is that the terrorist is making his claims.
The plane's Emergency Locator Transmitter is automatically activated by a 3g impact or immersion in seawater. Distress signals from ELTs are monitored worldwide and would be detected (and triangulated) instantly. We can therefore rule out crash scenarios at this stage (assuming there was no fault with the ELT).
Makes the best reading so far IM (completelt uniformed!) O. The fire/autopilot one:
It appears that Boeing may have put systems in place that allow remote control of their aircraft in the event of a hijacking.
This is from 2006
Any idea why besides the fact most of them will be completely unfamiliar with formation flying?
My only and very limited formation experience is on tow in a glider which is actually relatively easy even for a hamfisted novice. I wouldn't fancy hours of it in the dark in an airliner but 'impossible' is a strong word, some very large aircraft get very close indeed for in flight refueling. Granted it's a specific skill and there are doubtless specific pilot aids employed but *if* it's hijacked we have no idea who is at the controls or what skills/experience they bring with them.
But they don't always work do they? Think of the Air France 447 flight which went down in the Atlantic? Crashes will often smash them to bits.
Flying a glider gives you no more valid knowledge in this field than me using Scaletrix does! I'll listen to the 777 pilots.
That fits the facts, as I understand them.
EDIt: But wasn't the left turn 270 degrees as opposed to 90 degs? If so, is there a reason for that?
Yes, if I were a betting man, I'd be putting some money on that theory too.
I don't imagine it does but I wonder whether you'd get such a negative response from pilots with for example 777 *and* fast jet experience?
My question was *why* do they think it impossible in that particular aircraft/scenario, not why should I simply defer to authority despite the fact our experience of the world shows us other similar feats (air-air refueling) are relatively commonplace.
There are a lot of people claiming to be pilots of this and that on some of the forums out there (especially PPRUNE). Also some funny ideas in general and a hell of a lot of disagreement between even the kosher posters. I certainly wouldn't take anonymous forum posters, saying something can't be done, as any more reliable than the cranks.
It strikes me as being far from impossible. Unlikely, yes. Require detailed planning and a good performance on the day, yes. But if the cabin fire/depressurisation hypothesis isn't true, then hijacking (with its radar-avoiding requirement) enters the fray.
The cockpit fire scenario seems to requires a lot of coincidences, none of which is helped by the fact that the aircraft continued to fly all the way across Malaysia. Imagine as a passenger, all hell is breaking loose, "I'm going to die" is going through your mind. Its likely someone would turn their mobile on and attempt to text/film what is going on. Oxygen masks are deployed so they are safe for a bit. The cabin crew are trained to open the cabin doors to vent smoke in serious smoke incidents so the likelihood of smoke asphyxiation of all passenger and crew seems slim. It would have to be coincidental indeed for it to be sufficiently serious enough (wheel well/cargo fire) to kill all 239 people on board but not knock the aircraft out of the sky at the same time.
Do you know where the reports of the plane flying to 40,000'+ have originated? Was wondering if they are speculative or based on data.
"..the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed that neither an explosion nor a plane crash on land or on water had been detected so far," Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Stephane Dujarric told reporters here yesterday"
> The cabin crew are trained to open the cabin doors to vent smoke in serious smoke incidents
Lol!!! Yeah, just wind down the windows to let some fresh air in... Everyone is an 'expert'.
Anyway, thread is closed. Courtney Love has found the plane and solved the mystery http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/courtney-love-claims-to-have-found-missing-malaysia-ai...
I read that. Imagine how embarrassing it would be for the authorities if it turned out she was right and she found it on her computer at home and tweeted it
It sounds crazy, but believe me its fact (the doors that is, not Courtney).
"I'm a 777 pilot and so's my wife." ;-)
For all the conspiracy theorists that think the US could be involved, It seems they have previous in contemplating such things to suit their own ends. (no idea how legit this is)
Page 7,8 and 9 specifically
The devils in the detail Bjartur:-
The report says ....it would be able to detect a crash/explosion.. "if there was monitoring station within range...." (So there might have been a crash out of range).
The report from CTBTO, then goes on to say....."there is a possibility"....of the CTBTO detecting an explosion if, a) the explosion/crash was loud enough and if any detection devices were near enough.
Like the CTBTO, it heard nothing at all. Unlike the CTBTO she didn't make a fuss about not hearing anything.
Well I'll you Bjartur. My dog can may have heard an seen the crash ...if it was within range and she'd been outside on one of her walks and the crash had been loud enough..
I'm just adding to the rolling news debate. Have you asked your dog? I read once that they can behave strangely before earthquakes...maybe you are onto something!
Could have been spotted flying low in the Maldives according to the latest feeds. They haven't clarified if it was a human or canine sighting yet ;-0
the Airline Pilots Forums.com has some wacky theories too. But at least most of the contributors are actually pilots rather than wannabies. Here's a couple :-
a) Apparently the 777 flew up to 45,000 which is exceptionally high. Why? According to one pilot who does this regularly its so the passengers pass out, the crew then have it off with the '"hotties on board", then return to normal flying altitude.
b) The on board flight computer rebelled against its human opposition and took over.
good god there's some sh1t spouted on the internet
this however makes much more sense
What use is the internet if you can't spout shit? Some would call it "the creative commons" no doubt.
No, it's not.
It's on a conveyor belt, riddled with existential angst.
lol fair point mucker, fair point! :-)
I'm interested to know what Mr Ian Black and all the other conspiracy theorists make of this suggestion.
They used to say "one million monkeys with one million typewriters would eventually recreate the works of Shakespeare".... unfortuantely the internet has proven this wrong
That seems informed and balanced. I hope they find out what happened soon for the benefit of the poor families. It must be living hell.
My favorite 'theory' was someone asking if they might have just pointed the 777 upwards and whether it could have gone into space and orbit.
Are people really that stupid? I guess loads believe in some kind of god with no evidence and against all logical thought so it's not too surprising that people also believe in all sorts of clap-trap conspiracy theories and lunatic ideas.
Just read that and I have to say - and I do have some aviation experience - it's about the most logical and level headed hypothesis I've seen so far.
Don't you think that would be one of the first things the authorities would have looked at? Nearest airport, cock pit fire etc. Still no sign of the plane.
Anyway, apparently some honeymooners spotted it in the Maldives on its way to Somalia. ;-)
No sign as it's gone off into the depths of the Indian Ocean according to that theory.
Maybe. I would expect that the real experts involved in trying to solve this mystery would have looked at the most level headed/logical scenarios and then with the information they have looked for the plane.
Yet we seem to have ships/planes looking all over the place. Which begs a few questions.
But I agree, it is almost certainly somewhere in the ocean and one day some debris will turn up and it will be solved.
Godwin by proxy; and so this thread is officially closed!
My personal favorite conspiracy theory was that peddled by the Daily Sport ''Missing 777 found - On THE MOON !
Seriously thought , after 9 days of intensive searching by nations with advanced kit , not a single bit of the aircraft has been found . Something strange is going on and only time will tell us what happened .
Hence the searching in primarily 2 areas, one of which is the area mentioned.
It's not strange to not have found it, have you looked at the size of the search area and read people who understand this kind of thing? It is entirely possible the crash site will never be found.
Oh well in that case they will be able to believe they are all up in space with God. A happy ending all round .
All I know is that anytime I have gone looking for plane crash sites, even when I have a GPS position, they have been hard to locate ,even when you are very close. The chances of finding a plane, crashed or hidden, in such a huge area has got to be remote.
Depends how much fancy wizardry they have at work. No doubt bespectacled boffins are trying to work more information from these infamous "pings". Surely the all seeing eye of Australia's over-the-horizon radar must be able to pick up something better too. I'm not sure how ground mapping satellites work either. Perhaps these things are orbiting taking photos 24/7, from which we update Google Earth? If so, they might right now be mapping out the very search area meaning a great many more eyes will be able to look for potential debris fields.
Strikes me that the tools at hand are better than ever before, we have a rough range of locations (as well as knowing where it is not), and a 777 is a much bigger aircraft than the 737s and turboprops that used to go missing.
Completely aside, the "Beacom climbing walls" advert below, shows a wall that looks surprisingly like a massive doner kebab.
Yup, for a vaguely similar case (although much smaller plane) it took the USA air force a while to find Craig D. Button's A-10
Too much hollywood, I fancy.
Whats the name of that radar system, kinda interested. Not that wiki will have much on it but there are better websites anyway.
A more interesting point on the radar front is who detected it but wont say because it would show what their radar can/cant do.
Ok, so it's not a 777 and it's daylight but it's a wide-body jumbo in very tight formation and a great picture to boot! http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/mt/flightglobalweb/blogs//the-dewline/A330tanke...
I still think something catastrophic followed by a divert, crew incapacitation and continuation to ditch in the ocean seems most likely but seeming most likely doesn't necessarily mean it's what actually happened.
Ha, you caught me out, I can't remember! There was an interview piece on Radio4 with a British engineer/scientist probably on one of the science shows (Inside science?) a year or two back after (I think...) he'd won a major Engineering prize (Nobel equivalent?) for the work.
*edit: Much of the discussion focussed on which signals were most useful for robust correlation/identification and the switchover to digital radio and TV broadcast services which improves matters greatly. Still not much help for a search...
Not much to go on but google could turn up the possible prizes (assuming I remembered that right) then a few names and their projects. I'm struggling! The technology was fascinating, the names sadly go in one ear and out the other and leave me sounding like a loon :( Maybe it'll jog someone else's memory...
The flat out denials from India an Pakistan that anything could have entered/traversed their airspace uninvited make political sense but I bet they're going back through their logs.
But,but the experts all say that's impossible.........
Electrical fire? Perhaps not
Go have a look at the same suggestion on the Pilots Forum. You'll see that they think that is not a good theory. So there's a fire. Possible. But the plane flies on for several hours with no communications?
Not too far of the mark if my memory serves me correctly. According to the Daily Sport in around 1979 this is entirely possible. In fact they published a picture of a B52 bomber supposedly on the moon. Loads of people thought it was true!!!
Yawn. No, the experts aren't saying formation flying is impossible, but that it's impossible without both planes being involved and highly trained in the shadowing plan, which in the aformentioned theory isn't the case.
Do we know what their motive was for publishing that twaddle.
has nobody mentioned its a diversion tactic to keep our attention away from crimea?
I'd guess to sell more papers to the masses.
Thanks Iain, looks like I was a bit out on the date - the story was published in 1988.
Yes the rumour was that it would boost circulation. But there were plenty of explanations flying around.
Playing devils advocate here, *if* the formation radar thing were what happened both aircraft/pilots can potentially be involved. You can know pretty well exactly what the lead plane will do, it has a set route and the exact same autopilot aboard, your instruments are seeing the same conditions, you're privy to their radio traffic, you can see what they can see. Also it's not like following a car, they're very unlikely to slam the brakes on (metaphorically) without warning. You don't even need to be especially close for the low risk parts of the route over the ocean. We also have no idea who's flying in this scenario nor what their experience and mission specific training is. On the other hand any on route weather, bad luck or delays completely screw you, it's far too fragile a plan to rely upon yet also surely too involved for a spur of the moment thing. It's almost certainly fantasy but I don't see that it's actually impossible.
Shadowing aircraft needs to fly within 500 meters of lead plane for shadowing theory to work.
The lead plane is flying straight and level at a set speed on autopilot.
The shadowing plane, flown by a pilot of 18,000hrs experience on 777, with a very trick simulator at home to practice this sort of flightplan.
Impossible is a strong word! :)
It was basically like the Daily Mash. It just took people a while to realise)))
I didnt know they actually got stopped as it was obviously blatant lies so had to revert to sleazy journalism.. the 'London bus found on moon' stuff was miles better..
My (virtual) money is on this.
Fire takes out comms and maybe some other systems. Smoke takes out passengers. Pilot climbs to try to quench before additional cockpit breathing apparatus fails. Turns towards nearest landing strip. Pilots conk out. All on board dead before plane re-reaches coast. Flies on until fuel out. Ditches.
Fits known facts and also the oil rig worker's views. The uncertainty comes because both the altitude gain and vector back towards land seem based on data with quite big error bars.
My guess: bottom of southern Indian ocean; won't be found before beacon expires; urban myths will persist.
All the "stolen to use as a weapon" ideas seem nonsense - you can *buy* airplanes pretty easily.
Impossible to shadow another aircraft going the way you want to:-
No active radar on the 777 - you'd have to find it with mark one eyeball.
You'd need night vision goggles
You'd have to know the exact position of the aircraft you wish to shadow
There'd have to be no cloud
You'd have to acquire correct set of lights from miles away
The aircraft you want to shadow would have to be in the right position at the right time
And you'd have to be able to catch it up from behind.
*thanks to professional pilots forum for that one!
ACARS, if you switch it back on, will give you altitude, heading and identity of nearby aircraft, its linked into the collision avoidance system.
Night Vision goggles? Check!
Known route of your target aircraft? Check!
Ensuring the correct aircraft in the correct position? Flightradar app or similar with satellite dongle. Check!
Speed to catch target aircraft? Descent from FL450. Check!
Do I belive this? No just being a c*ck, but impossible is a strong word!
"Fire takes out comms and maybe some other systems". And only manages to partially disable ACARS system. But no distress call in the meantime?
"Smoke kills passengers and pilots". The plane continues flying for 5 hours whilst on fire. Really?
Fits known facts and also the oil rig workers views. No it doesn't! The oil rig was in the South China sea and that was before the plane turned NW, crossed Malaya and into the Straits of Malacca and flew on for five hours after the explosion was allegedly seen/heard.
Very plausible series of events suggested here.
Not sure what the logic of a hunger strike is, but I guess the relatives are desperate for information, and don't trust the authorities .
"Some Chinese relatives have said they believe the Malaysian authorities are holding information back and have demanded more clarity.
After a meeting with officials from Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday, families held a vote on organising a hunger strike.
"What we want is the truth," said one woman.
"Don't let the passengers become the victims of a political fight."
Sorry JayPee and others, I see you posted this link earlier.
The plane was hijacked, it's route changed for whatever purpose (think 9/11) plane shot down by fighters of as yet unknown country; massive cover up,search in wrong area, clear up in another area, oh we were searching in wrong area, move search area - no evidence!
Cloud, not an issue at 36,000ft
No radar, but a moonlit night and contrails several km long mark a plane's location well, as do nav lights. And they do have radar, but it's a wx radar. Not sure if it's any good for picking up aircraft - probably not.
I imagine it would be easiest to go into a slow orbit at the desired location ahead of time and wait for the scheduled flight to arrive, possibly timing the hijacking until you knew that the aircraft you were going to rendezvous with was on schedule.
Hey, if none of this happened, at least we're collectively hitching a good plan to make it happen. Anyone know anyone airside who can forewarn us when the next shipment of ingots are due? Oh, such adventure! Where's Timmy the dog?
Ha, "electrical fire" eh? That old chestnut. That's what "they" want you to think! Sounds more like aliens every day to me. It's about the only theory no one has managed to debunk.
The hunger strike thing is odd. No doubt the families feel awful, but why hunger strike? Abusing the airline staff., the carry on is something.
I suppose as much as we enjoy musing at the technical possibilities their minds run riot with stress and grief, all getting wackier as time goes on..
With no radio communications how would you know the plane was on schedule?
With a turning circle of 7 miles how would the 777 'catch up' with the other plane if it was in a slow orbit.
I'm not too sure Boeing 777s are designed as long distance night interceptors ;-)
Who said the 777 had no communications?
And they don't need to catch up with anyone if arriving first and waiting.
A large plane with similar colours to the one missing was reported as seen flying over the Maldives the day the Boing disappeared. Several witnesses say they saw it flying at low altitude:
(use google translate)
If the 777 had used a radio that would have been picked up wouldn't it either by other aircraft or by ground and/or satellite wouldn't it?
I'm not sure Boeing 777s can hover and wait.
The only way I know an a/c can 'wait' is to fly circles. So if it was circling it would have to exactly anticipate its 7 miles circles so that it comes out of the turn following the aircraft at the right speed. I believe that large a/c like that loose speed circling so its likely it would be much slower than the target jet and as you'll know even a small mistake would mean the following pilot could end up so far behind it may have difficulty catching up.
All this and the aircraft it followed didn't even notice?
And don't forget it had an electrical fire onboard too!!! ;-)
But Bruce, it was seen to crash into the Straits of Malacca by an oil rig worker several days ago.
Any case lots of low flying aircraft go over the maldives. Its got a big runway and its a popular destination. Don't you think ATC would have noticed?
The Maldives news could be interesting if several different witnesses corroborate each other and are unlinked. They are locals and would be used to normal air traffic, they claim this was very unusual, large, very low and very loud and had red and blue markings.
It should be very simple to disprove by looking at all the planes and talking to all the pilots who landed there on the 8th
I heard (but don't know) that TCAS or ADS-B would work (to some extent) even if the missing 777 had it's transponder off, in which case it might know exactly where every other aeroplane around it was. They could even have a cheap ADS-B receiver separate from the aircraft (cost about Ł100).
Yes, I'd be interested in that, but most eyewitness accounts so far have been dis-proved, so wouldn't hold your breath. Assume also it's been looked into and confirmation would have happened by now if it was relevant.
Why no radio communications? You can still listen so long as you don't transmit.
Where does that 7mi figure come from out of curiosity? That's only about 1.3g @ 500mph, seems a little on the sedate side unless that's at up at 35,000ft and includes a reasonable safety margin.
Relatives of one of the passengers taken away by police, according to BBC news (TV).
Just came on TV in office...didn't catch much more, sound is turned off...
appalling way to treat grieving relatives
US General speaking on Fox News....
Next up: Daily Express claims Diana was secret passenger on missing Malaysian Airlines flight.
I just don't get the theory that it's been stolen to then be used as a weapon in an attack.
Why take a plane with loads of passengers that all are potentially able to mess up the plan rather than a cargo plane with just a small crew?
Why take a plane from a modern airport and airline rather than one in Africa or somewhere that wouldn't attract so much attention when it went missing?
"If McInerney’s theory is right, the airplane would have landed at 5 a.m. Pakistan time, and it would have still been dark out."
Righto, that explains why nobody saw it then lol
Because the aircraft has to be a 777? Maybe your nefarious plan relies on cloning your stolen 777, with a recognised carrier that also uses 777's
True, Why not hijack it at the airport you plan to land it at and you don't need to know how to fly a plane, shadow a plane, kill all the passengers, avoid radar, turn of all the comms.
re the cargo jet though....if I want to hijack a plane, a lot easier to buy a ticket and get on one than try and get on a cargo jet I would think.
Panic over..Courtney Love found it..
Catch up, been posted ages ago. ;-)
The whole way this has been covered by the media is going to be the subject of many a PhD in the future. WTF is going on with even the sensible papers covering things like that?!
Sorry. I just discovered the thread - I thought the title 'Missing' was about a bit of kit that went walkies so never bothered looking until now..d'oh!
Re radio, the 777 doesn't need to do anything but listen. So its not giving away anything and would be picked up by nothing.
Aircraft follow very regular patterns and will be at each waypoint within a minute or so of their expected time. I would have thought it reasonably easy to enter a hold at the expected waypoint, perhaps a few thousand feet above. I'm not sure this rendezvous is as tricky as is being made out. It is certainly unusual though.
How would the aircraft that was followed notice? From the cockpit you can see in an arc rough back to your wing-tip at best. An aircraft with no lights its not going to be visible. Contrails are normal so wouldn't surprise. Its better thought of as how in the world would the aircraft being followed have any idea there was another aircraft a few hundred feet away?
Really? I thought their behaviour has been pretty shocking. Have not Malaysian airlines also lost 10 people or so? Many in the airline will be deeply shocked. Yet they have to take abuse from irate relatives over something they have no control over? Its a bit hypocritical to be dropping this at the feet of Malaysian airlines and the Malaysian govt. Try doing that in China.
I dunno, just saw the report and thought I'd share... who's this ATC anyway?
ATC... air traffic control
Still no release of what constituted the 20 odd tonnes of cargo.
A jammer is likely to be a small, relatively low power, broadband noise generator. Provided it generates enough noise power to reduce the C/No (or Eb/No) to a level below the performance of the channel FEC, it will prevent the phone from receiving the base station. And, since mobile phones must be synchronised to the base station timing (for TDMA or CDMA) systems, a phone that isn't receiving a base station should not attempt to transmit, since it would splatter other users, and that's frowned upon...
A jammer could be made to look like a perfectly innocuous electronic device, and therefore easy to get past security.
They've found it!!!
> A jammer could be made to look like a perfectly innocuous electronic device, and therefore easy to get past security.
Cheers, I have a reasonable idea how to make a local area radio jammer, it's guaranteeing you prevent transmission that I'm not certain I could achieve. I guess you're right though, maybe the phone firmware is dependable enough in that respect.
FWIW I don't think any of this is relevant to what happened.
IIRC, the Oil Rig worker saw what he thought was an aircraft - way over to the East off the coast of Vietnam, so I dont think this fits in with a Maldives sighting.
Really? Nothing on the BBC.
No, he's lying.
Ah. Sorry. I thought this was the thread about the swiss army knife lost at Malham...
Bit of a bad tempered scrum at the public press conference this morning. Can't be nice for the relatives but the Chinese relatives seem to be a not nice bunch of people.
It has to be in order to get type approval; a phone with a faulty receiver (giving the same effect) cannot be allowed to transmit willy-nilly.
Apologies for any egg-sucking; it's hard to remember who knows what about what... And I agree that it's probably irrelevant...
Interesting comment on BBC news that if the flight was recorded on two specific locator beacons, then it would confirm a suspicion that the flight plan was zig zagging and therefore hacked.
Can't help but think having all the relatives in one hotel is a bad idea. Feelings are bound to get stirred up, not unlike an office environment. Certain individuals appear to be carrying on in a pretty undignified manner, seemingly oblivious to the fact that others have lost family and friends too.
Think it makes sense from a general viewpoint eg easy to keep them updated and also provide support (plus protection from the press).
Just in this case it has gone on longer than would expect without any news and constantly changing information.
I don't know why they have not released the (possible position) arcs from all the pings received. Even from one satellite, I think you would get some indication of flight path.
Sky news reporting that the Australians have spotted something on satellite imagery. Aircraft being sent to investigate
Looking like they've found it.
It's a very long way from it's intended flight plan, perplexing.
Anyone have any idea how deep the ocean is in that region? Assuming it's the wreckage , hopefully not too deep. Air France black box was 4km deep, took a while but they got it.
Hopefully now all the morons going on about various mad conspiracy theories can shut up.
It's going to be difficult; someone on R4 was saying just now that they are entering winter and can expect massive swells.
Jeez, someone already suggesting the US have finally planted some wreckage for the cover-up. Some people are really odd.
Don't hold your breath! They've "Sighted wreckage ......" has been on this thread before.
There's tons of stuff floating around in the oceans. All they have are some indistinct sat pics.
They'll send out a plane to get a better look - but that will take time. And unless it's pretty obvious what it is they'll then have to send a ship to investigate. Its a few days sailing into the Indian Ocean from the nearest Australian port before they even get there.
And the rest of the wreckage - if it is the plane - lies on the bottom of the sea a long way away from the surface wreckage.
The ocean at that point is is extremely deep - think thousands of feet - not hundreds!!
No, multiple radar hits backing up clear satellite imagery that hasn't been released publically in an area that fits with the projected flight path. It is almost certainly the plane, it's just not confirmed officially.
Have a read of this.
They do not - and cannot claim it is the plane. Its a possible. Like the other stuff they spotted.
Yes, am reading that as well, but it's more than likely. They've had the imagery for 4 days so have obviously checked it pretty well before releasing it and saying what's been said. Bets are that it is the plane.
they are saying about 10,000ft and very wild seas
What other stuff have 'they' spotted?
What short memories.
Earlier in this thread it was this:-------
Chinese satellite spotted the wreckage in - The staits of Malacca:-
You reckon. Look at how many people now dispute the basic facts on 9/11. The gaps in the timeline on this disaster will be a bonanza for those people
Yeah, think you might be right, there's already people crowing that it's all been planted by the US, and even some people who think the plane never existed and the families are all actors in some big plot.
The most paranoid one I read was that the plane landed at Diego Garcia (under remote control from the US), re painted in El Al livery, loaded up with a "fake" dirty bomb and was going to crash in Tel Aviv. This would be the false flag for a full on strike on Iran. !?!
Have to say I found some of the stories interesting though. Specifically the Boeing application for anti terror switch in the cockpit in 2006 and the old document pertaining to the Cuban issue. Also my opinion of the worlds plane tracking abilities has been corrected somewhat.
AIUI, this latest potential wreckage sighting has been made by the official search teams on more up-to-date imagery.
Whereas, that link you posted was to something found by punter crowdsourcing efforts on old satellite data.
I am unaware of any earlier reported potential sighting of wreckage by the grown-ups.
You cheeky twunt (should have a smiley thing here)
The ocean is full of rubbish, from tiny bits of plastic in the atlantic gyre to 16m intermodal containers tipper of cargo ships. With some luck its the plane but I wouldn't be counting on it.
I thought that was the same potential find.
The latest find is corroborated by more than satellite (got from the live Malaysian news briefing right now).
Yes, I agree that it sounds positive, and certainly more positive that anything else we've heard so far. I'd just be a little cautious about jumping to conclusions; that's all.
With some (huge amount of) luck it's not the plane, and it's sitting on a airfield with everyone alive in.
But I suspect it is. 24m long, multiple metal hits on the surface and underneath, in the area expected - even including tide and weather conditions.
My new take is that the Freemasons, in coordination with the NSA, placed a plant in Malaysian ATC. On that plant uttering some code word in an otherwise routine transmission, the otherwise law abiding pilot had a melt-down (hence "mumbling" over the intercom) and enacted orders that were given to him (this time by MI5) some weeks before when he was brainwashed by something beamed through the screens of his home simulator set up. All this is to distract us from the forthcoming alien invasion that the Russians have trying to make us aware of by invading Crimea, but which the EU is trying to keep under wraps by attacking Russian TV.
Its all totally obvious and fits. Why else would a 777 go missing?
...the more the mystery is resolved and turns out to be a humdrum hijacking/crash, the more evidence there is to crackpots of a cover up and conspiracy.
I don't think anyone is saying it *IS* the plane, just repeating the official line and reading between the announcements which seems like they think it is, but aren't going to confirm 100% until they have visual.
Yeah, there's something about despite how much evidence there is to prove something it only reinforces peoples' contradictory position. Look at 9/11 and the Boston bombing.
OK, fair enough.
Also, a 24m section of wreckage is pretty big for an airliner crash (almost an entire wing length of a 777).
Yeah. <Speculation/question hat on> I wonder if an intact piece that big suggests a controlled ditch rather than a crash?
A seven hour flight down south followed by a controlled ditch is one very long and strange suicide (if it indeed it is).
It would make sense if it was "meeting" the submarine! :)
It would be an utter tragedy too as its likely some passengers would have survived the impact. Seems a locator beacon should surely have been detected though.
I can't comprehend how awful it must have been to be a passenger either way. Dying slowly at 45,000 from hypoxia is much more preferable to ditching in the ocean and then drowning, freezing, or dying from lack of water though.
David, the locator beacon isn't in a solid container like the data recorder so it could have been broken on impact, and if it was underwater and not damaged you couldn't detect the signal anyway.
The most plausible explanation I've seen is the one where the initial turn to left (west) is because of an on-board fire and the pilot knew there was a suitable emergency landing strip in that direction. The crew were then overcome by fumes and the plane carried on over the Malay peninsula.
Aircraft are generally pretty stable so will continue in the direction they were pointing unless something knocks them off course as it were, auto-pilot systems mainly deal with minor perturbations, such as turbulence and the fat guy in row 23 heading to the toilet, but also pre-planned course changes. There was a case in the 1970s of a Harrier heading out in to the Atlantic after the pilot had been ejected. Again it just carried on until it ran out of fuel.
However if the plane was on auto-pilot then I'd assume that it would continue in the westerly direction it was on, it appears to have made another 90deg turn to port (left).
If this is the wreckage of the plane then one scenario is that the plane continued on auto-pilot until it ran out of fuel and then slowly glided down until it ditched. Note that I don't know if the auto-pilot system continues to operate once the plane runs out of fuel or if it auto-disengages at that point. Again just speculation and until we find the actual plane or its wreckage then we won't really know.
The hypoxia experience would probably have been quite pleasant. Light headed, giggly, drift off to a pleasant sleep. Stuck on an inflatable life raft in the swells of the southern Indian ocean for 10 days on the other hand....
Yes, my thoughts exactly. If this is the plane I can't see anyone being in a life raft, wouldn't they carry EPIRBs?
I'm not convinced by the fire/crew overcome scenario. Oxygen masks would have come down and if the fire was on-going then surely the aircraft wouldn't have kept flying for 6 hours. If the fire was short-lived then surely the smoke would have been as well. This would have allowed passengers and/or crew to get on their mobiles or whatever they had and start sending messages as they overflew Malaysia. The aircraft did make some substantial course changes so it seems the crew probably were in some sort of control.
I'm happy to admit I don't have a scooby as to what might have happened, nothing I've read seems that plausible, although on a line from aliens/US false flag through to hijack, pilot suicide, fire/malfunction/autopilot - my guess is something nearer the later end of that spectrum!
I did too, but...
An MH370 theory that was simple, compelling and wrong
The co-pilot suicide mission scenario is extremely plausible and everything fits. Fire scenario slightly less so. Almost every other theory - nowhere. Seems like a good idea to suspend speculation for the moment until that wreckage (which is very close to that 'satellite arc') is located and identified.
The latter half of that piece does the full debunk on why the plane overflew the supposed emergency landing area. There's definitely human intervention in the plane's flight path after it deviated from its original flight plan as it looks so deliberate. The questions are by who and for what purpose?
I don't know, the black box is needed.
Maybe... or an in-flight disintegration as it spins/spiral-dives in following a single engine flameout or dumb luck. Or it's just more floating junk.
Presumably given the resources allocated to this sighting they US/AUS have more to go on than the blurry pictures the press are running, I saw quite a few very similar things looking at that crowd-sorted image website the other day, I just assumed they were spray/white-horses. No idea which part of the world I was looking at.
I wonder if somewhere in the NRO (or *secretive agency of your choice* that may have the capability) someone has found a log of the pings returned from MH370 allowing some triangulation and the search to be narrowed down. On its own the record would probably be useless given the various errors likely to accumulate but you'd have pings from other aircraft in known positions too for calibration purposes. We'll never know either way. That does assume anyone was listening to and logging what is essentially useless RF junk which seems unlikely.
"US/AUS have more to go on than the blurry pictures the press are running"
The military will often degrade such material so as not to give away how advanced their surveillance technology is.
The figure captions suggest that the satellite they used is capable of multi spectral imaging, presumably they would have more information from separate channels than is shown in the released image (an overlay?).
The images are not from the US government, they are from a commercial organisation (digital globe).
Ah ok. But are the images from a commercial satellite or from a military satellite through a commercial outlet?
EDIT: Looks like they have their own suite.
From the publicly released info the area could be narrowed down to 2 regions. The satellite pings gave the north/south arcs and the length of time it was 'pinging' gives the flight time. Couple with fuel load and data on aircraft performance this should give distance along the arc.
This is assuming it didn't fly around in circles of course but the ghost plane theory tends to lead to it flying in a straight line untill it runs out of fuel.
> This is assuming it didn't fly around in circles of course but the ghost plane theory tends to lead to it flying in a straight line untill it runs out of fuel.
But if you happened to have another piece of information you could significantly reduce the size of the primary search area. Arguably we do have more information in as much as it's not been detected nor found on land yet and the northern option is almost entirely over land.
It seems unlikely that the extra information from SATCOM pings exists for two reasons: One, why would anyone log what is essentially empty automated chatter and two, if you had and could do something with it then you could still feed the derived information into the search without revealing the source of that information.
I don't think it's safe to assume it flew a 'straight' course.
If a pilot was intending on killing himself and all passengers and crew in a suicide plot why would he not keep heading for China or other populated area and take a few hundred more people with him on the ground? Or is it more glorious to go into the deep leaving a great mystery behind you?
I think some mid air disaster leading to autopilot thing is most likely based on gut feeling alone.
thats whats strange, its being made out as some politically motivated suicide by some, but surely you'd release a statement, publicise the cause? unless all that is still to come..
Re fire on board
Yeh, we've heard it all before.
Can you - or any of the others expounding this 'plausible explanation' explain how a plane with a fire on board, can after the pilots are overcome by fumes, fly on for another five hours??
The fire goes out again?
The one in my dining room does every night after I go to bed.
Autopilot. Though I don't personally believe this theory in this case.
There have been a few cases of this in the past, though not fire. Most recent was I think a Greek aircraft which decompressed, knocking the pilots out, but basically continued in a straight line until it crashed when it ran out of fuel.
Remember Helios flight 522?
EDIT: Though given the reported continued changes in direction, autopilot looks less likely to this layman.
To be fair, none of the theories are outwardly plausible. There are few, if any, incidences like this before, so every option put forward requires a fair amount of imagination.
It is entirely possible that something innocent but lethal happened, leaving the plane to fly merrily on until it ran out of fuel. But there are lots of holes in that theory. The cockpit might have become a raging inferno, exhausted only when the cabin depressurised. It might not have been possible for any passengers then to take control of the plane before they themselves passed out.
If there was such major damage to the aircraft though I very much doubt the autopilot would have remained operational. And despite being trimmed for level flight and inherently stable, I would be very surprised if any aircraft can fly on for more than 5-10 minutes, let alone 5 hours, without intervention. At the least its likely to end up in ever increasing oscillations - I've tried this myself on gliders, trimming for s/l and going hands off. If they had a better track of the those final 5 hours it could probably be better understood if the plane was just drifting, or flying an accurate path.
Every theory requires a huge number of unusual events in order to be true, which makes the case both fascinating and terrifying.
Why would a fire that went out so quickly as to allow the aircraft to remain airworthy prevent passengers (there was reportedly a flight engineer onboard) from at least making an attempt to bring the aircraft home? 230 people on board. At least a few have to be technically minded enough, or from the PlayStation generation, where they could make a ham fisted attempt at controlling the aircraft. At the very least, attempting to and ballsing it up so badly the aircraft left the sky 5 hours earlier.
That makes for grim reading re: the Greek crash. So not all of the crew were incapacitated, but ones that were couldn't take control of the aircraft. That must have been a panic stricken last bit of time alive. I do hope that the people in the Malaysian plane didn't have hours heading south unable to do anything but contemplate death when the fuel run out.
Re helios. Indeed I do. Forgive my poor memory, but it didn't crash because of fire. Depressurisation was a major cause.
Well fires require three things: heat; oxygen and fuel. If any of those are cut off or run out then the fire will stop. Something like a tyre burning is going to have limited fuel (rubber) so won't actually burn for that long unless it causes other parts of the craft to begin to burn. It could of course smoulder and give off toxic fumes for some time afterwards.
If the plane is on auto-pilot then it will just keep going until it runs out of fuel. The problem is that the plane made at least one course alteration *after* it had overflown what is being promoted as the emergency landing strip.
The first turn to port (i.e. from last known point on original flight path) could be explained by the pilot aiming for an emergency runway - the crew would also be concentrating on dealing with the problems at hand rather than begin a conversation with ATC.
The main problem as I understand it is that the known (or publicised) information taken in its entirety doesn't fit any one scenario. One large subset fits one scenario while another overlapping set of data fits another. Any theories (which is all any of these are) essentially is cherry picking from the set of information. For example: f one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide then he'd incapacitate the other and simply plough the plane in to the deck. Just about all the other theories can be explained away in similar fashion.
There was a case in 1999 where US golfer, Payne Stewart, and four others were killed when their executive jet crashed in to the South Dakota hills after flying out of control for 1,500 miles at 45,000 ft. F16 were scrambled and saw no signs of life on board. The windows were frosted over suggesting decompression.
FWIW I still find it curious that at yesterday's press conference the BBC were pushing questions around the rumour that the jet changed directions at least twice - well in to the window of time it was considered missing.
How about fire in rear galley fills cabin with toxic smoke killing/knocking out all passengers, smoke slowly gets through cockpit doors knocking pilots out by which time fire has gone out, cockpit and controls undamaged but nobody left conscious to do anything?
Why no word of this from crew to ATC as it happens.
I didn't say my theory was any good...
And not one member of the crew sent out a distress message??
Burnt through electronics? In the Greek flight mayday signals were sent out numerous times but the radio was on the wrong setting. Humans easily f*ck up in these situations.
I think that is a very important point, and one way in which air accident investigations are very different to normal scientific investigations.
The fact that we are wasting our time discussing it here is because something almost impossibly unusual happened. Even more rare than a simple airliner crash (which in itself is incredibly rare).
As such the explanation (by definition) has to be an extraordinarily rare event, which is why all the theories seem so unsatisfying. Obviously some are more likely than others, but unless you consider the event in the context of all the flights that don't crash, any explanation will seem hard to believe.
It tends not to be first priority - if there's risk of the plane dropping out of the sky you are going to be pretty focussed on that rather than sending out a distress message.
At the moment we simply don't know and until the plane and then the data recorders are found we won't know for sure.
So why were you suggesting it then? Its been well discussed on here already.
If that was the case there would be plenty of time for the crew to get out a mayday before the transponder and ACARS melted to an "off" position. Cockpit of electronics bay fire is far more likely, but presumably then the autopilot would also be stuffed.
At the very least, if all communications are stuffed but control is still maintained, there's no reason why passengers wouldn't have then got on their mobiles and a more successful attempt at landing made.
Modern day Titanic.
I wasn't suggesting it, simply stating that at the moment it seems the most likely scenario out of those already suggested for the first part of the flight path.
The fire story still seems too elaborate. Far simpler to depressurise. That will knock out everyone who isn't on oxygen (and even those who are - pressure breathing apparatus is required at the altitude the aircraft ended up at). It might still be the case that the pilot himself did this, shortly before or after switching off the transponder. Then set a random (if he's that unhinged, or hypoxic, predictability shouldn't be expected) set of waypoints in to the flight management computer. Maybe the two where the aircraft did the dogleg where as far as he got before passing out himself and once reaching the final waypoint the aircraft just continued on its merry way south.
Not sure thats a good analogy - more a modern day Mary Celeste
"modern day titanic". Are you really suggesting it hit an iceberg? At 36,000 ft? ;-)
Then explain the rest of the flight path.
Is that true. On 100% oxygen, the partial pressure at 45,000 ft would be about the same as air at 10,000ft. Or do oxygen kits not give you 100% O2?
I thought it didn't end up at 45,000ft? that's just a mismeasure of a satellite.. like a running GPS giving odd heights?
Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of. There was also one in the US I believe.
Indeed, air travel is so safe that it pretty much always takes a "huge number of unusual events" to result in something even vaguely scary happening, yet alone anything that results in people being killed.
There are, for instance, many airlines which have never had a fatality at all. All the UK based low-costs including easyJet and Ryanair, for example.
Like I said, if you use one scenario to explain the first part of the flight path then it doesn't fit the latter and vice versa. David Martin's theory of the pilot/co-pilot plugging in waypoints to the flight management system whilst hypoxic may be what happened.
Looking at any of the major areas of investigation : terrorism; hijack; suicide; accident, then there are problems/inconsistencies with the current state of knowledge with all of them. Unlikely to be terrorism, it would be far simpler to incapacitate the aircraft or take over the cabin and crash it. Also there's been no "we did it" from anyone as far as we know. Hijack - seems similarly implausible as hijackers usually want to live. Suicide - again a lot easier simply to force the plane down at the earliest opportunity unless you've got some macabre wish to prolong the event. Which leaves accident.
Over to you.
Or theft of the aircraft or a passenger/piece of cargo thereon. Though I think unless they then killed all the passengers it's getting rather implausible that anyone hasn't made contact.
I doubt it will be found in one piece.
I understood that above 40,000 the pp of pure oxygen is insufficient to stave off hypoxia, although I don't know at what rate.
Scuttlebuck is it went down in a pure Accident. Mossad told Malaysia whereabouts 10 days ago.
That's a hijack of sorts. Rough event scenario: plane hijacked, landed at some as yet unidentified airstrip, remove whatever you are after. Then what? Assuming that the airstrip is well within the range of the plane with its original fuel load, what do you do with it or with the passengers you don't want? Take off - climb to a reasonable height, put the plane on auto pilot to head towards the southern ocean then parachute out?
That's getting towards Indiana Jones/James Bond territory. Not impossible but highly implausible.
Now that's a theory! And nothing about it is really any less plausible than the others.
Sorry, south west Pirate term, Means rumour among the crew.
So in modern parlance... word up!
The word you're thinking of is scuttlebutt, and it's a general maritime term.
No thats the word youre thinking of, im thinking of scuttlebuck ;-)
And what lunatics have told you they've heard a rumour that Mossad knows? Are these people off their medication at the moment? (Unless you have a high ranking job in an intelligence service, in which case I apologize.)
> Now that's a theory! And nothing about it is really any less plausible than the others.
Other than it's not possible to 'parachute' from a bog standard 777...
Still no cargo manifest released. Wasn't it 20 or 25 tonnes of cargo on the plane?
Probably irrelevent, but does add to the soup of speculation
Search in Google maps 40.0800° N, 116.5844° E
Then change the N to S and see where it ends up
It's a bit odd!
I cant say sorry :-(
That and it would be tricky to find a suitable airstrip. At least for taking off again.
Plus it would need to be a rather important cargo to murder so many people over. Particularly since I suspect the Chinese government wouldnt be overly concerned about the niceties of international law and more inclined to setting an example.
Its only fair to finally unveil my own theory on what actually happened to flight MH370.
a) As they leave Malaysian airspace the pilot to the loo. (he's going to have a fag, so he instructs the co pilot to turn off the ACARS data link incase it transmits smoke alarm data to Rolls Royce)
b) Co-pilot says good night to the ATC.
c) Co-pilot now invites a fit looking female into the cockpit (he's done this before) with the hope of getting his leg over.
d) She gets distracted with his instruments and starts to have a good fiddle with his nobs. She gets turned off, he's trying to turn them on again.
e) Pilot discovers he's had a bad curry the night before and lights another cigarette for the duration.
f) An alarm sounds in cockpit, co-pilot now distracted by the female turns the wrong switches off. (this explains the transponder switched off)
g) Build up of methane in the loo, causes minor explosion. Pilot shouts for help.
h) Co-pilot rushes to assist his captain.
i) Discovering the dishevelled state of the captain's clothing they attempt to clean it up in the sink.
j) The blonde in cockpit struggles to get dressed and whilst she's getting back inside her underwear accidentally stumbles (she's gone weak kneed don't forget) accidentally disengaging auto-pilot and plane turns west and starts to climb to 46,000 ft.
K) Below an american destroyer, picks up the plane and attempts to shoot it down. (there are a number of american electronic experts on board who are believed to be defecting to China)
Unfortunately the MH370 has now reached 45,000 ft and is out of range. The still burning missile falls to earth. (this explains the 'burning light by seen by the oil rig worker)
h. The small explosion in toilet causes minor damage to plane's fuselage, passengers asphyxiated by combination of methane and lack of oxygen.
I. As there are only two oxygen masks in the cockpit there is a minor struggle to to see who gets them. Not noticing the plane is no longer on auto pilot this struggle causes the plane to veer off course again. The captain still dazed from the effects of the curry & explosion looses out) He collapses on the floor and dies.
J. The Americans send another plane up to see whats happened and flies in front of the aircraft trying to see into the cockpit.
k. The co-pilot not wanting to be found guilty of gross negligence and his captain's murder turns the aircraft away from this aircraft entirely unseen in the dark and heads SW into the southern Indian Ocean in an attempt to dispose of witnesses.
l) The aircraft the americans sent up now flies on to the Maldives (this explains the 'similar' looking aircraft flying low over the islands)
m) A passenger knowing there's some gold in the hold now attempts to seize the aircraft.
n) A struggle in the cockpit takes place, and the passenger takes the controls.
o) Meanwhile in down town Los Angeles a bored teenager, hacks into the planes computer system and takes over the plane and puts it into a climb.
p). In an attempt to rid the cockpit of the foul smells the passenger at the controls attempts to remove the dirty clothing from the captain and attempts to depose of it by throwing it through the small window next to the pilots seat. Unfortunately he gets sucked out by the rapid decompression.
q. Noticing the next episode of 'Stars in their Eyes' (or something) i about to start he discards the computer controls to watch TV instead.
r). With everyone on board overcome by either fumes or lack of oxygen the plane carries on climbing on automatic pilot.
s), The explosion in the toilet has damaged the wings and large portions drop into the souther Indian Ocean and these are later spotted by Satellite. The plane meanwhile is now so high it no longer needs the lift from the full wings so carries on into outer space.
t) The plane now enters the week gravitational pull of the moon, where it gently glides in the Sea of Tranquility.
u) And it is here, 250 years later where it is photographed by an undercover reporter for the 'New World Sunday Sport) whose been trawling the now old fashioned internet and accessing old forums in a bid to solve the case of the missing flight MH370. Its here where he now stumbles on the ancient UKC forum, 'Missing" - Solved at last.
Who told you?!
I thought it was meant to be a secret?
Now THAT'S a theory!
I forgot to add Airplane to the list of movie plots :-)
Somewhere about 4,000 miles away from anywhere that has anything to do with where they think the wreckage might be?
Is it that far? It looked pretty close to me, albeit on a very cursory glance! Was I being fooled by the tricksy size of Australia and the big watery pond around it?
Ever seen these aircraft go for flight testing? All on board wear parachutes. They *may* have some kind of escape hatch or jettison for test flights.
Putting my criminal mastermind hat on, if I was landing a plane in Kazakhstan, offloading the gold, then planning to bail out after re-launching it on its way to the south pole....I'd be taking an angle-grinder to and removing the rear door before taking off again. Plenty of room to jump out.
Sorry, I already asked the professionals on various pilot forums about that one. They say its "impossible".
OK about 2000 miles away.
In fairness though, I don't know how far away the debris site might be from lying somewhere on a route that might be plotted to your coordinates. I like your lateral thinking, anyway!
I just nicked it from someone.It is for sure going to make some interesting reading in the weeks/months/years to come! It's starting to head into winter down there as well, who knows what'll happen with either finding it, being able to recover it, or make sense of what's left when they do.
> They *may* have some kind of escape hatch or jettison for test flights.
They do but only on test aircraft.
I think the suicide co-pilot could easily have wanted the plane to disappear without a trace. He could easily have had this vague idea of getting out over the Indian Ocean and then just flying south at low level towards the South Pole until the fuel ran out. He probably ensured that all the passengers were asphyxiated long before that happened.
Forgive me for saying so, but aren't the searchers being a bit dim to fly today to exactly the place where the wreckage was seen floating 4 days ago? Wouldn't it be hundreds of miles to the east by now (if it's still floating). Hope they're looking at the weather/current charts closely with the aid of computer programs.
I'd imagine they have a better idea of what to do and why than anyone worrying on here that they're not doing it correctly.
P3 crews spend every day searching for stuff on the oceans in this part of the world. Its their bread and butter, now that dropping sonobouys and chasing soviet subs isn't.
I reckon they havea pretty solid idea on where and how to look.
Well, fine, let's hope so. But it seems extremely odd, does it not, that they flew to the exact spot that 'wreckage' was seen four days ago? … That's how it's been reported, at least. Very odd.
But the near-hysterical American reporter on board the plane with them made it sound like they were going to the exact spot the wreckage was seen four days ago. Perhaps it's just been reported wrongly. Hope so.
Yeah, I suspect the guy doesn't know what he was talking about though. My old man was a P3 pilot before going commercial on a similar aircraft to the one lost. Their lives were spent on long distance maritime surveillance, searching for lost yachts, errant fishing vessels, bodies in the water, etc. and all of it in these same areas of the ocean. You can be pretty certain they know exactly what they are doing in this regard.
Yes. In which case i wish they could use reporters with more than about two braincells.
Imagine they start there and do a search pattern based on tides and weather etc etc. Sure they'll know what to do.
I think having more than 2 braincells disqualifies you from working in the news media.
There was a statement that a hercules or similar was going out to drop tracking buoys so they could plug in more accurate figures to their computer models.
Perhaps you could offer your valuable knowledge and experience as search and rescue navigator to the rescue services. Would you like their 'phone number Gordon?
(whilst you are at it, you could teach them to suck eggs too!)
I'm feeling short changed .
Can't wait for v to z
Well good. The only reason for some optimism, surely, is that if that stuff was still floating on the 16th (one piece was very large) it would suggest it's something buoyant like a large section of wing with an empty fuel tank attached.
I'm just having a relaxed conversation. Please. I am not trying to talk like an expert. That's the trouble with these internet forums: everyone gets so uppity and jumpy at the drop of a hat. Chill out.
So was I Gordon - hence the ;-) & the other ;-) Cheer up.
BTW the two objects could also be shipping containers. They often get washed off ships in big seas.
FWIW, I don't think shipping containers get that big (24m is 78 feet).
This article suggests it is US military sat
satelite images (?downgraded for release?)
There are certainly some grounds for optimism (optimism in the sense of getting nearer solving the mystery; the end for relatives of the passengers)
It says that it was a US satellite because digital globe is a US company. It's possible that the US government bought the data from them, but their name was clearly plastered all over the photos that were released, and the images match the capabilities of their Satellites.
I'm working on V to Z riiiiiiiiight now!!!
Minor problem my good man!!
Designed by the hijackers of MH370. The naughty men had designed an extra big custom made container to store the bullion inside the hold. They've now escaped in the modified container (special semi submergible modifications) to an unspecified location, "Somewhere down south" *
*I'm sworn to secrecy on this and must protect my informant so no more details at the moment.
What distance can the submergible travel on it's battery carrying 6 men?
its nuclear powered. Which is why the Fukushima accident was staged, to help hide any traces.
Whilst on the answering questions front. You going to care to elaborate on your earlier statements?
A wee typo, submersible!!
A Hercules wouldnt have the range to get out there. The P3 Orions and P8 Posiedon would have a full sonobuoy fit, which will allow them to track such data.
The Orion which the BBC was on, had an empty sonobuoy rack
It was specifically mentioned in addition to those, the reporters could be talking shite of course.
I'd imagine they will have a few racks but I'm thinking back to my time working on Nimrod's here, so not entirely familiar with the layout of a P3 and the P8 is brand new.
that indeed looks like C130. Possibly a new C130J with air to air refuelling capability?
They have announced the plane was carrying lithium batteries in the cargo hold.
Another potential fire risk?
Aye, maybe spares for a B787...........
Wow, reading the comments on this story on various newspapers reporting of it and it is making me pretty despairing for humanity.
People really are obsessed with crazy conspiracies aren't they, and are acting like children demanding to be told things, and making the most obvious suggestions as to what to look for when obviously their skills in the field of maritime search and rescue and aviation accidents is non-existent. Weirdos.
Its understanding that relatives act like this - they are distraught. Its the news editors I despair of for airing this as 'news' rather than the facts of the case
Not talking of the relatives, but the idiot conspiracy weirdos posting comments screaming for them to look in Diego Garcia or Obama's underpants or whatever the flavor of the week crackpot theory is in their mental little minds.
I'm currently on a flight from Portland to JFK on my way home to Europe and I was sat in the airport lounge earlier and CNN was on - they were 'analysing' the different theories with a whiteboard and a couple of experts and it was excruciatingly bad (as well as not the best programme choice for getting on a long flight).
The announcers kept talking about how frustrating it was not being able to get more information, and kept saying 'well its not impossible' that theory A, B, C etc is true.
Aye its just as bad 0n this thread at times.
Well ? what?
The southern winter is approaching and so far they've not been able to positively identify any wreckage with that of the missing plane. With increasingly bigger seas makes spotting wreckage increasingly difficult from the air and even when ships arrive it'll be just as difficult to spot or hopefully retrieve some positive ID.
Then they've the difficult task of locating the black box. Knowing roughly where the aircraft went down is essential as the detectable range of the box is limited to a few miles and the battery only has a couple of weeks life left. It isn't the same as locating a needle in a haystack. This will be much much more difficult. Maybe they'll never find it? In which case it will be come another aviation mystery.
Two aviation mysteries which were eventually solved were 'The Lady Be Good' , an american bomber and the 'Stardust', a UK registered passenger plane, both went missing. One plane was missing for 15 years and the other for nearly 50 years. Their stories make an interesting read and can be found on the internet.
It took 2 years to find the one from the Air France crash. Could easily take as long or longer - that one was an easier case as they knew near enough where it had gone down.
I think it's about time a satellite based system to provide a real-time transfer of that data from aircraft was introduced. It wouldn't be cheap, but nothing about aviation is cheap, so it would pale into insignificance compared with other costs.
Many aspects of modern aviation in general are completely archaic, I guess this is simply due to the cost of making any change being huge.
How often is it needed though?
On the search for the plane sounds like they have found something. At least emergency briefing for the family and then a press conference gives that impression.
You could argue that about having the recorders at all, though.
Looking like a major breakthrough to be announced, and relatives been offered flights to Australia, so no brain of Britain award for what's coming....
Conspiracy theories now go back to your very strange little lives now please.
You dont think thats going to stop them do you?
Even those who dont just claim it is a cover up will be able to invent all sorts of reasons for why it happened.
No, sadly not. But I never miss a chance to hope/have a dig at them!
Well there is no need for conspiracies - there is still ample scope for normal speculation about how and why the plane ended up where it did.
Yes, hence the distain for idiots thinking it was aliens/the US/etc. etc.
I thought it was because it is stable and has been debugged over the years. Bringing in new technology brings in an extra risk.
I take no satisfaction in seeing that what I first suggested on 11 Mar (the suicide theory) as being the most likely, indeed 'the only theory i could get to "work"' is the one that the most of the authorities involved are now accepting as the most likely.
Yeah, fire would seem unlikely given how far it flew.
Yeah, the only ones that made sense to me were the suicide one and the failure/incapacitation/autopilot one.
What about the missile then Gordon? ;-)
Well, that was an idea I thought about (subsequently) - once I heard there was an naval exercise going on nearby, with at least one SAM missile carrying cruiser - that I thought should be taken seriously, as it's happened before, and far from impossible. But I realised it was impossible once the extraordinary route that the plane had taken out over the Indian Ocean had been revealed.
I think Gordon was covering all possibilities so he could definitely say "I told you so". Here are some
"1. satellite debris, 2. a meteorite, 3. a missile (Seventh Fleet were nearby "
"5. An extra-terrestrial swallowed it whole"
"Theory No.5 Courtesy of the v nice Indian guy who runs my local corner shop. Has much in common with 4 - at least the first part. ..."
"I’m starting to think that by far the most likely explanation for the disappearance of MH370 was that it was shot down by an RIM-66 Standard SM-2 MR (medium range) surface-to-air (SAM) missile..."
"What about the burning object in the sky that was reported by a worker on an oil rig? Of course he could be making it up..."
"It's certainly looking like the hijack theory (possibly by one of the pilots) is moving into no.1 position."
That's what they want you to think!
Well, fire I suppose comes in a remote 2nd place (esp. as an oil rig worker thought he saw something burning in the sky of the S China Sea) - but really the deliberate turning off of the transponders etc. plus the complex, deliberate-looking route the plane took, plus quite few other reasons, makes that look very unlikely, as you say.
What a grim way to go either way, thoughts with the passengers, crew, and families. Horrible.
The way you have edited this is incredibly dishonest. What I actually said in my very first post on this thread (all I said) was:
Since it's now not looking like terrorists, and experts say a plane like that can't really break up unless there's a bomb and that leaves the lack-or-wreckage riddle unanswered. I can only think of four other possibilities. The first three are: something hit the aircraft: 1. satellite debris, 2. a meteorite, 3. a missile (Seventh Fleet were nearby … i.e a missile could have been fired by mistake). These possibilities could just about work if the aircraft was hit in such a way that it didn't break up e.g one wing came off (which might explain the turn), and the wreckage went into the sea with the fuselage intact…. But the only theory I can get to 'work', really is:
4. The co-pilot committed suicide and took everyone with him. I say co-pilot, because testimony re the Pilot is very complementary: he was very experienced, a complete enthusiast, and cheerful when last seen. But supposing his co-pilot wanted to commit suicide? He could have cut the pilot's throat and then disabled the radio communications. Then flown turned the plane westwards (as they now believe), back toward Malaysia, and crashed it into the jungle clad mountains.
In my next post I then suggested all the other 'possibilities' I could think of, mostly to point up their absurdity. I thought I made that obvious.
Anyhow I have to get back to work now, realising that it's a complete waste of time saying anything on these threads, because they are full of people who are so contrary by nature that they weigh in on the attack without bothering to read what you actually say.
Relax Gordon.... I was just poking some fund at the numerous possibilities you suggested, not being dishonest. Sorry for any offence.
Ignore it. I enjoyed the thread.
I have no idea where you get your news Gordon but I don't see any 'authorities' 'accepting' any theory. I see we're one step closer to possible answers and probably still years from those. The only new information today appears to be confirmation that MH370 flew south not north, that it couldn't make land from last known position given the fuel load and that there have been sightings of debris in the sea, the source of that debris is as yet unconfirmed. Chances are a little to a lot more than that is already known but not yet (if it ever will be) made public.
That you can make the deductive leap from the scant information available to a conclusion of suicide/mass-murder and proudly pin it on one person without a shred of evidence is frankly staggering.
I too Gordon can find no account of 'the authorities' accepting that pilot suicide is the most likely theory. Where do you get this factoid from>
Clearly you don't do much reading or listening to the news.
Shot down by the 7th fleet?? You cannot fire a missile by mistake. We'd have heard about it by now. Someone would by now said something. You can't gag a whole navy. And how come the plane flew on for several hours? And why turn off ACARS & transponders? Planes with, as you say, "a wing off', don't glide or carry on flying. They crash.
As it is pretty common knowledge the aircraft flew west over Malaysia and travelled south west into the Indian Ocean when it went 'missing'. How can you conclude it could have been travelling the opposite way and say it crashed into Malaysia - and without anyone noticing? Indeed in your 1st post of today you acknowledge it did fly SW into the indian ocean.
As for being hit by satellite debris or meteorites. Again, explain the turning, the switching off of equipment and so on,
You are so contrary you really ought to read what you wrote!
On the contrary, you don't seem to have been following what the experts are saying behind the scenes. I should not though have said pilot 'suicide' as such, as hijack (which could have been for suicide purposes, or terrorism, or both)
You didn't read what I said at 14:27 - which made your very points 6 & 7 here.
I've said that several times over many days.
I rejected that too in my very first post. Said they didn't 'work'. Listed all possibilities and then rejected them all except for 4.
Everyone loves a conspiracy theory.
But Ian? Ffs.
Ian Black? I got the impression they thought it had been hijacked and the authorities were being deliberately vague so the bad guys thought they were getting away with it. Until the point the commando types let them know otherwise.
Ah, to be fair Ian never said what his theory was, I just assumed it was barking.
No I don't think that at all now. I rejected it on 11 Mar, and again on about my 2nd post on 12 Mar; then I took it more seriously again on 13th, with the oil-rig worker's report of seeing fire in sky in approx correct compass bearing. Then rejected it again, finally, on 14th, once we knew that the plane had flown out over the Indian Ocean. Said it seems that the hijack-by-pilot/s theory had moved back into the No. 1 position. My position hasn't changed since then.
A very sensible chap once said "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent". Of course that was before the internet where everyone can posit any old pony.
I think it might not have helped by reposting your theories you posted last week, again (at 1435 Mon) with several now highly impossible theories again, without clarifying.
Unfortunately even the suicide theory doesn't quite fit the bill does it?
Why would anyone switch off the ACARS, Transponder, navigate the plane through two waymarkers, then fly 1500 miles into the southern Indian Ocean and crash into the sea??
Why not simply crash soon as you had control of the plane?
I work with a Malaysian guy whose brother is part of a volunteer team back home helping the families involved. We met for lunch last week, and one of the rumours that he had heard from his brother was that MH370 was hijacked involving Ukranian agents, trying to force the hand of China > in turn to influence Putin.
Crazy I know, but that is exactly what he said.
It seems to me quite probable (compared with other scenarios … what other scenarios are now even suggested as plausible??) that one or more of the pilots wanted the plane to disappear in this mysterious manner. About the one thing that can screw up human technology on this scale is human perversity.
Aside re Wittgenstein quote someone mentioned above. What he was talking about was not empirical matters based on evidence that can then be tested scientifically (like the riddle of flight MH370), but about metaphysical speculation that is literal nonsense for both linguistic and logical reasons.
I have a sneaky suspicion Sir Chasm knew that. But I'm sure he will be quite pleased to have got a bite.
ps. Off now.
I think we know a lot less than we think (a thought certainly confirmed by suffering a week of witless speculation on US tv and radio last week). The Inmarsat data analysis is interesting and credible but given the general level of cluelessness and incompetence demonstrated in Malaysia I'm not sure whether I believe any of the rest of it. None of the debris sighted so far in Southern Indian Ocean has been identified.
We don't even know for sure that the ACARS was deliberately switched off, we just know that it stopped working. I don't know anything about how the electronics on a 777 are wired up but some sort of catastrophic electronic /software failure doesn't seem to me any more improbable than many of the other suggestions. It was certainly a topic of interested debate on the 777 flight I took back from San Diego.
I agree with Malaysian government announcement that it seems likely that the flight went south and that, given the lack of anywhere to land and the limits of range, it's probably in the sea. Other than that, I'm keeping an open mind.
One of the few sensible comments I did hear in the States came from one of the few commentators who, probably not coincidentally, genuinely seemed to know what she was talking about. She was a woman who used to work for the the US Department of Transport investigating air crashes. She said that in nearly every case she looked at odd manoeuvres were the result of "heroism not terrorism"
> ps. Off now.
Is that a subtle barb or did you mean "P.S. Off now."?
Meant 'Post scriptum. Off now.'
One thing that impresses my is the manner in which various countries have put aside their differences to co-operate in investigating this tragic situation, so that we now have Japanese, Chinese, Australian and US aircraft operating in Australian airspace, other countries pooling satellite data and so forth. One contrary comment I did see from an American was along the line that "as usual the Brits do nothing" conveniently ignoring the despatch of a war ship and that INMARSAT is a UK company whose scientist have been quietly analysing their data. I also understand that the (UK) AAIB are assisting where they can. Seems to me that their is a good level of international co-operation.
One thing that hasn't impressed me has been the odd behaviour of the relatives:
A group reportedly representing families issued a statement describing the Malaysian airline, government and military as “executioners” who constantly tried to delay and deceive them.
“We will take every possible means to pursue the unforgivable crimes and responsibility of all three,” said the statement on the microblog of the Malaysia Airlines MH370 Family Committee.
Perhaps something has been lost in translation, but it all sounds incredibly arrogant considering almost 100 of the 240 dead were not Chinese, not to mention the airline and Malaysia itself must be equally grief stricken.
I'm not convinced this behaviour would be seeing the light of day if it were a Chinese aircraft that had crashed. It almost seem as if nationalistic fervor and theatrics are being encouraged.
I think some of that has been genuine outrage/shock but also filtered through some cultural differences around pain and grieving, and then it's been encouraged by the media and reported by them in quite an odd way - not to mention the political machinations going on as well.
> One thing that hasn't impressed me has been the odd behaviour of the relatives:
From their point of view, the Malaysian government's desire to wait for solid information before making an official statement may seem like callousness and a certain amount of denial and hysteria is understandable. Maybe in the west we have a rather stereotypical impression of the Chinese as inscrutable and unemotional, which is certainly not true in my experience.
You've also got to bear in mind the "losing face" thing. It's quite big in South East Asia, and so the Malaysian Government won't want to say something then backtrack from it.
At the same time, when the Malaysian govt fed them information all too quickly, which was later retracted, they also reacted with anger.
It seems as far as a certain group of relatives are concerned, the Malays can do nothing right, all information must be known now, and even once given the truth they appear to be in outright denial.
I wonder if the Chinese are becoming a bit full of themselves when it comes to how they treat their neighbours.
Completely agree the behavior of the Chinese relatives has IMHO been pretty disgraceful but having had dealings with Chinese people in China I'm not in the least surprised. The global co-operation in the hunt for MH370 has been pretty unprecedented yet just been reading on the BBC news website that the Chinese Govt. are DEMANDING that Inmarsat hand over all there data/evidence.
Maybe something IS being lost in translation but as you can tell I'm not a huge fan of the Chinese!
Contrast the Chinese behaviour with the 50+ other people on board of other nationalities.
Hardly justifiable since the aircraft would have been Malaysian registered and apparently never even entered Chinese airspace. The fact that some of the passengers were Chinese is immaterial.(That's not meant to sound callous)
It's a bit like the French wanting to investigate a UK car accident because there was a French national travelling as a passenger.
Being charitable, I'd like to think that having them all couped up in the same hotel together has aided these very negative and far from constructive emotions coming to the fore.
But they seem to think the world revolves around them alone, that no one else is feeling any pain, me-me-me, and perhaps there are just a few bad eggs pushing their own agendas.
Throwing their weight around demanding this and that is a Chinese speciality take a look at the current situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands.
> I wonder if the Chinese are becoming a bit full of themselves when it comes to how they treat their neighbours.
It's understandable isn't it? And they're not 'the Chinese', they're individuals who've lost children, partners, parents, siblings and friends. Until yesterday nobody could say for sure where to and now they have there's a good chance nobody can ever tell them why or how. You might expect some pretty raw mixed emotions given what they're going through and under a pretty intense media spotlight.
It might be understandable if the relatives were acting this way as a collective group and not based on nationality.
I wouldn't deny bereaved running the whole gamut of emotions. That is understandable. But there seems to be a gang mentality here, by the relatives from mainland China (the, no doubt, ethnically Chinese passengers from Malaysia don't appear to be part of this group), to throw as much abuse, be as beligerant as possible, and so on.
Malaysian spokespeople left one briefing in tears after the abuse hurled at them, and on another they literally had bottles of water thrown at them. Fer fuks sake. Its obnoxious, no matter what has happened, especially as this appears to be nothing more than a tragic accident. Its not like there is someone present who has committed some hideous crime, for which any abuse could be justified. This is a plane crash, in which Malaysian airlines crew were victims and quite possibly did their damndest to save the lives of everyone on board.
I can see there's a possibility of learning something from the Doppler shift if the satellite is geosynchronus rather than geostationary introducing a small, slow known wobble in it's position relative to the aircraft/earth and extremely high resolution frequency shift records are kept for each ping. I guess if the Doppler shift is used for frequency compensation in subsequent communications it makes sense to log it. Lots of ifs and ands there plus the geometry of the set-up is stacked against them.
About halfway down on this story they have a more detailed breakdown. Being shite at maths though I wont comment further.
As I understand it: The time delay gives you the distance from the satellite, and thus the two "arcs", Northern and Southern.
The Doppler shift of the signal then tells you the direction of the aircraft's travel at the time of the ping. Had it been somewhere on the Northern arc it would have been travelling away from the satellite (which was over the Indian Ocean). On the Southern arc it would have been travelling towards the satellite, producing the opposite Doppler shift.
Putting the two together thus places the aircraft on the Southern arc.
Cheers. My maths is poor too but it looks like they must have a set pretty accurate position arcs for all the pings (they hadn't been released yet had they?), from those they've produced a set of possible routes linking those arcs for a series different ground speeds, from those you get a heading and a speed at each position arc crossing allowing a Doppler shift prediction to be made. From there you compare your series of Doppler predictions against the measured series and look for the best correlation. Lots of assumptions there of course (airspeed vs groundspeed for example) but if the results are still unambiguous when they're accounted for it looks like a very neat bit of work.
So they now may have found debris in a different area, seen from a plane.
OK, but what about all the satellite images, is that debeis now ruled out, or was the location very uncertain? Surely it can't have drifted 1000km in a few days?
I was wondering this but a news item just said there's no contradiction between the debris being from the flight and the new search area due to the drift.
Does seem a bit odd they haven't found one bit of all that debris though.
I hope they manage to get a ship to these locations - I'd imagine only then will they be able to confirm if these objects are relevant.
It's such a big empty area, the chances of recovering anything useful must be getting slimmer by the day.
I wonder how the new 'flew faster' theory fits the doppler data? It's apparently significantly reshaped/shifted the flightpath to the east (in addition to shortening it) but I wonder if the fit between prediction and measured data is no longer so good as it was at 450kts? I presume they picked the best fit curves from a set with valid ground/airspeeds to narrow the search initially
50km a day, 2kph in an area prone to high winds, doesn't seem entirely unreasonable. That assumes it's all travelling the same way, it could be dispersing from a mid point or it could all be just random fishboxes and flotsam.
Without knowing how high resolution the recorded Doppler shift data is and how accurately things like atmospheric effects and oscillator frequency drift at each end can be calibrated out and where the last known radar position actually is to give a solid start point from which to calculate out it's hard to know how accurate the end 'point' is. My guess is it's bigger than France at least until some wreckage is found and ocean current tracking buoys are deployed to determine where it may have come from.
What a complete nightmare.
Finding objects by satallite is a matter of simply looking at the picture. You have the luxury of looking at the same spot twice, and if you blink or go for a leak, you can simply look again. And because you are nearly always vertical over the sea there's nothing apart from cloud to obscure your view.
From a low flying and fast plane your view is at such an angle that anything further than a mile or so out won't be seen except on the most calm and still days. If you blink or look away then you can't look back to see what you missed.
From a ship its even worse. You are lower down and all but the most buoyant object is partially obscured by waves and white caps anyway. Except on the calmest days you won't see much in the water more than a few hundred yards out. If its rough you won't even see that far.
There is ample evidence that a plane can land on water with little debris.
Thats one doing a controlled landing with an exceptionally skilled pilot (think about the guy landing in the Hudson River) and on extremely flat water.
This aircraft is suspected to have run out of fuel. So it simply crashed into the sea. On hitting the sea aircraft break up.
Landing deliberately in the open ocean with any kind of swell is probably impossible without the aircraft breaking up. Think of the plane that was hijacked and the pilot was forced to ditch in the indian ocean off the Seychelles(?) some years ago. It had a wing torn off and much other damage. And that was on a calm day!!
The ocean is full of debris. No indication whatsoever that what has been seen at any point was in any way linked to the crashed aircraft.
No doubt been asked, but whilst ships looking for debris , or trailing sensors looking for a black box are limited by bad weather , submarines are not, but I have not heard anything about their use. (Or have I missed it?)
Aircraft can land on water without coming apart, but it would rely on the sea being pretty smooth (even sea-planes can't land in rough seas). The southern ocean is pretty rough, so it does seem less likely.
The idea that any ditching aircraft breaks apart is more I think a result of logic and small sample size than a guarantee all ditchings would go that way. You can probably count the number of times it has happened on commercial airliners on one hand and in my memory the results have been pretty good actually.
I would have said, what incentive is there for the pilot to attempt to ditch anyway, if it was a suicide. In one sense it makes no sense as, apart from the obvious, loose parts of the plane might still come adrift and form potentialy visible debris (flaps, ailerons, wing-tips, tail planes, etc). And what then? Sit in the sinking plane? But on the other hand, if he has gone on a massive jolly, it would seem quite possible that he'd like the opportunity to try landing on water.
They wont say cos its a secret where the submarines go !!!!
I still don't see why a suicidal pilot would fly for 5 hours before ending it. Why wouldn't he end it straight away?
I read the Australian survey ship currently heading to Perth has phenomenal undersea mapping ability. If stuff has sunk to the bottom and its searching in the general area, then there is a good chance it will be found. I imagine there would be a few others with similar capabilities in the area. The navy vessels would surely have towed array sonar.
The question might be more of, how far away can the blackbox pinger be heard in that kind of environment. You never know - technology designed to find quiet stealthy submarines might be utterly incapable of finding simple wreckage on the sea floor.
Elsewhere on the site
A product review by James Turnbull. James Turnbull at Outside recently took the new Osprey Mutant 38 on a rigorous test in the... Read more
Skiing Baffin’s couloirs has been on my to do list ever since I saw Andrew McLean and Brad Barlage’s inspirational... Read more
WINTERFEST 2014 at Outside in Hathersage 6th and 7th December 2014 Outside's ever popular Winterfest event is back... Read more
As a long-standing name in the UK rockshoe market, Scarpa have a loyal following and many much-loved models. As a fan... Read more
Nick Livesey discovered the mountains of Snowdonia over a decade ago and finally moved there a year and a half ago, quitting a... Read more