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MH370 - "new" news

Old 6th Apr 2023, 11:24
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The turn however was at a higher rate of turn requiring an angle of bank of between 30 to 32 degrees. How did the investigators work out the required rate of turn? The turn back was actually seen on military primary radar.
If the turn was at 45 degrees AoB then I could agree that the autopilot was off. I get that an AP will turn at 25 degrees but for the calculation to come up with 30 to 32 to me suggests a margin of error with the method. The difference on the PFD between 25 and 30 is very small.
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Old 6th Apr 2023, 12:41
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Originally Posted by smiling monkey
Why would KUL have been better? They had no comms, no transponder, no TCAS. KUL would have a lot of scheduled movements in and out, even at that time of the night. Penang on the other hand only had one scheduled arrival at around 2:30 am. The runway lights would most probably have been on and the tower manned.
Disclaimer:- I am not a pilot, professional or otherwise, nor am I employed in the aviation industry. My observations are those of a reasonably intelligent person (at least that's what people tell me....) with an interest in aviation and some knowledge of the MH370 story. Obviously I will respect the informed views of the professionals.

The problem I have with the scenario described is that despite it imagining an event so sudden, catastrophic and overwhelming that less than 2 minutes after a routine sign-off at IGARI Captain Zaharie has decided to land the aircraft as quickly as possible, that within this extremely short time frame the crew have nevertheless been able to establish the condition of their instruments and communications, devised a plan to divert to the best suitable airfield, and begun to execute it. I'm struggling to find this credible. Would they have even known that they had lost the Transponder, TCAS and communications? Would they be aware of that nights movements in and out of Penang?

The three main arguments in favour of Penang that I have heard are 1) that it was the nearest suitable airport, 2) that as a Penang native Zaharie was familiar with it, and 3) that compared to KUL traffic would be light. In my opinion, arguments 1 & 2 are very weak. Penang was closer than KUL, but not by a great deal. 5 minutes flying time? Zaharie may have originally come from Penang but I don't believe as a 777 pilot he had recent operational experience of the airport; if he was familiar with anywhere wouldn't it have been KUL? The airport from which he had departed just 30 minutes previously and of which he would consequently have knowledge of the active runways? The third argument makes more sense, but would Zaharie really have had time to rationalise that? Again, I make no claim to a professional pilots insight, but wouldn't it have made more sense to turn the aircraft round and head back towards KUL in the first instance and then start troubleshooting and considering your options?

To answer the original question, it seems to me that if the crew expected to be able to land the aircraft safely it would better to try and make it back to base where MAS had engineering and operational support. Where there were 3 runways compared to PENs 1. Where, unlike PEN, if there were concerns about the control of the aircraft there was no terrain close to the airport and the area around the runways wasn't heavily built up. The argument about frequency of air traffic movements is a valid one, but surely not the only consideration.

Just for my education, has there ever been an instance of a large civil airliner having to land without any communication with ATC? Are there any protocols for such an event?
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Old 6th Apr 2023, 20:15
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MicKGo:

It would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that The Big Book of Aircraft Accidents would have far fewer pages if every crew did everything that was dinned repeatedly into them every time.
I have to, reluctantly, agree. As I wrote that my thoughts turned to a good friend (and very competent operator) who experienced acrid burning smells in a B747-200, they returned immediately (and landed the wrong way) to HKG but didn't don their masks - the FO passed out shortly after touchdown. THEN he put his mask on!

But I still have grave doubts about the "disconnecting the AP" theory...
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Old 6th Apr 2023, 20:35
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Originally Posted by Andy_S
The three main arguments in favour of Penang that I have heard are 1) that it was the nearest suitable airport, 2) that as a Penang native Zaharie was familiar with it, and 3) that compared to KUL traffic would be light. In my opinion, arguments 1 & 2 are very weak. Penang was closer than KUL, but not by a great deal. 5 minutes flying time? Zaharie may have originally come from Penang but I don't believe as a 777 pilot he had recent operational experience of the airport; if he was familiar with anywhere wouldn't it have been KUL? The airport from which he had departed just 30 minutes previously and of which he would consequently have knowledge of the active runways? The third argument makes more sense, but would Zaharie really have had time to rationalise that? Again, I make no claim to a professional pilots insight, but wouldn't it have made more sense to turn the aircraft round and head back towards KUL in the first instance and then start troubleshooting and considering your options?
1 & 2 are far more valid reasons to go somewhere than 3. If youíre in a dire emergency then the closest runway where you can stop is the place to go. It may help if youíre familiar with it, but look at UPS 6, they went past a perfectly good option to return to the departure airport because thatís the one they were familiar with .

Itíll be a mayday and everyone will be moved out of your way so doesnít matter if thereís 1 movement or 50 impacted.

Depending on the scenario, 5 minutes could be life and death.

Originally Posted by Andy_S
To answer the original question, it seems to me that if the crew expected to be able to land the aircraft safely it would better to try and make it back to base where MAS had engineering and operational support. Where there were 3 runways compared to PENs 1. Where, unlike PEN, if there were concerns about the control of the aircraft there was no terrain close to the airport and the area around the runways wasn't heavily built up. The argument about frequency of air traffic movements is a valid one, but surely not the only consideration.
As above. If it were serious enough maintenance facilities are a secondary consideration. Land, get out quickly, let the company fix the plane and worry about the rest.

3 long runways is definitely a big plus when evaluating where to go though.

Originally Posted by Andy_S
Just for my education, has there ever been an instance of a large civil airliner having to land without any communication with ATC? Are there any protocols for such an event?
Yes there are procedures for it. Not sure the last time a large aircraft used them.

I donít care to speculate over what happened, just to provide some perspective on a few of your opinions. I really hope we find out what actually happened one day soon.
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Old 7th Apr 2023, 00:41
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Early in the season I know, but it seems that we have a breakaway front runner for the Most Apt Username Award for 2023.
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Old 7th Apr 2023, 01:57
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Thanks Mick,I both needed and deserved your reality check. I have removed my previous post and apologize for it's content. Like PA 103, MH 370 overwhelms me with sadness and my emotions tend to take over. I must respect the findings of people who are far more intelligent than myself and pray for all involved.
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Old 7th Apr 2023, 05:49
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Originally Posted by selfappointed
Thanks Mick, ...
Hat's off to you, sir.
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 08:50
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Regarding the turnback after IGARI. I had a good friend who failed command training twice by acting in this manner, i,e knee-jerk instantaneous reactions to emergency indications during sim rides. Zaharie was a TRE who taught and checked the principles of "ANC" in every flight/simride he undertook.

You are halfway between KL and Ho Chi Mihn, both company main airports; both wide open with little traffic. Two minutes before the turn, everything was normal. Zaharie was talking on the radio and responding to a frequency change request. 109 seconds later MH370 is going in the opposite direction, with absolutely no indication of distress, no ACARS CMC message, all the means of communication either shut down or ignored, and not a peep from the crew. The aircraft flies normally for over 6 hours. The SATCOM comes back on a little over an hour later.

Can someone explain to me what sort of aircraft malfunction would cause a TRE, and with many years in MAS and on the 777, and the 777 systems, to react in this manner? Because I cannot.
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 09:39
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There’s only one credible explanation: A reversal in the polarity of the Discharge Condensor in the Turbo Encabulator.
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 10:07
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Thereís only one credible explanation: A reversal in the polarity of the Discharge Condensor in the Turbo Encabulator.
Leady; Possibly immediately followed by a total failure of the Secondary induction microprocessor of the back up thronomister?
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 10:25
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I’d assess the probabilities of that sequence of events as probable rather than possible. Maybe.
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 15:15
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Double AIMS failure maybe?
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 17:17
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Originally Posted by Pinky the pilot
Leady; Possibly immediately followed by a total failure of the Secondary induction microprocessor of the back up thronomister?
Let's not discount an overload of the Flux Capacitor
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Old 16th Apr 2023, 20:25
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Originally Posted by flightleader
Double AIMS failure maybe?
Given the physical and electrical separation and isolation of AIMS, that scenario is extraordinarily unlikely (and still wouldn't explain the lack of comms).
BTW Lead - that gave me a chuckle
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Old 17th Apr 2023, 00:10
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The AIMS is known to have been working as it supplied positional data to the SATCOM till the end of the flight.

James Nixon wrote an entertaining book but he made several errors in what he asserts.

*22 minute oxygen generators- Yes they supply oxygen for 22 minutes. However, the amount of oxygen they supply tapers very quickly on the assumption that the first thing the pilots will do in a depressurization is begin to descend as per the checklist. Passengers and cabin crew will become hypoxic very quickly if the descent is not carried out expeditiously

*Pulling down one oxygen generator activates all of the generators in that seat row. There were 8 vacant seat rows in the cabin; 7 in business class and one in economy. There was very little spare oxygen available elsewhere, apart from the 15 attendant bottles. If the cabin was depressurized, the 4 litres/min these bottles supply would not be enough to maintain consciousness at 35,000 feet due to insufficient pressure.

*There is no indication in any of the recovered MH370 wreckage that a fire was involved.

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Old 17th Apr 2023, 07:49
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I'd just say this, Capt:
"Can someone explain to me what sort of aircraft malfunction would cause a TRE, and with many years in MAS and on the 777, and the 777 systems, to react in this manner? Because I cannot." That's the point of this mystery and of this discussion, isn't it? No-one can explain it... we can only enjoy reading the suggestions around possibility from those who can knowledgeably opine on what we know. Nixon doesn't seek (as I perceive it) to explain any of these things either. Just to suggest what he thinks are practical possibilities. Others can then judge these hypotheses (or you can, like Lead Balloon and Pinky, just waste bandwidth).

"There is no indication in any of the recovered MH370 wreckage that a fire was involved." Perhaps not, but did any of the recovered wreckage come from any portion of the a/c that may have been subject to fire (e.g. the avionics bay or cargo hold)?
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Old 17th Apr 2023, 10:28
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How many aircraft have flown for 6 hours after fire in avionics or anywhere for that matter . Fire big enough to knock out all communications tends to lead to shorter flights not longer ?
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Old 17th Apr 2023, 10:33
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Originally Posted by KAPAC
How many aircraft have flown for 6 hours after fire in avionics or anywhere for that matter . Fire big enough to knock out all communications tends to lead to shorter flights not longer ?
I would imagine a sudden explosion of oxygen tanks could damage said electronics, and flash fire would not last long with no oxygen left at altitude.
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Old 17th Apr 2023, 12:10
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Yeah, because exploding oxygen tanks are a common problem that the world's aviation industry is yet to come to terms with.
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Old 18th Apr 2023, 00:40
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The oxy bottles on a 777 are composite wrapped pressure vessels (COPV) which are designed to leak before bursting. The only COPV failure that I am aware of is in the US space program which uses much larger, lightweight COPV's that differ significantly from the type used on the 777 in both design and purpose, storing cryogenics for example.

If a COPV's onboard MH370 did somehow explode, the resulting failure to record the event by the CMC would need to be explained. The bottles sit near the LH AIMS cabinet but are not in proximity to the RH AIMS cabinet, and the bottles are oriented with the tapered end, the most likely failure point, pointing toward the rear of the aircraft. This setup would propel the COPV forward and away from the electronics in the event of a bottle explosion; something the COPV is designed not to do.
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