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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 12th Mar 2014, 01:53
  #2001 (permalink)  
 
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Ditto re stndby on ATC TX. When I learned to fly that was the accepted procedure. Forty-three years ago. Time has marched on since then.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 01:56
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No never.

Only xpdr change I can think of is a checklist action to go from TA/RA to TA Only following ENG failure/shutdown.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 01:59
  #2003 (permalink)  
 
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Jet, I did work on a KA200 that had a duel transponder failure coming into KLAS.

The seal on the R/H cheek panel was no good and they flew through rain.

Both TDR-90s had water pour out of them when I pulled them.

Unless they have added some wiz-bang feature, it is also possible that A transponder failed. And if they were busy, or ATC didn't call them to point it out, I doubt they would know.
No reply does not mean they were turned off...
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:07
  #2004 (permalink)  
 
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The common element for the transponders, VHR COMM #1, the GPS recvrs and the Satcoms is the antenna locations on the fwd fuselage.

That said, and with the understanding that there is a lap joint AD in effect, and with the alleged transmission of cabin disintegration received in Utapao yet one more theory emerges.

The Aloha 737-200 was very much shorter and only just held together apparently, so the scenario of a fuselage failure on a 777 being possible, and then allowing for another hour of flight would be astonishing. Although it would explain many data points.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:08
  #2005 (permalink)  
 
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If the transponder is turned off/on standby, do ATC (civil or military) still get a contact with no associated information? A primary return?

I'm a little confused by the impression I am getting from various posts that a large jet can go "invisible" by switching squawk to standby. Can SSR work where PSR cannot?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:10
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Ok, let me ask you this...Any of you had ever turned off the transponder on the flight for any reason? If so why?
I regularly operate within Military airspace. We turn it off (Standby) when operating within the circuit. When operating low in the training areas (definitely out of radar and transponder coverage), we turn it on but sqwark a common code.

To add (not relevant for this case), when we operate in such locations, it's known as 'flight monitoring'. I.e. the control agency will not be able to see us but know that we are somewhere in that area. We will call in every half hour to report. If we fail to do so, they will call to check. SAR will be dispatched only when we are way over due. I think this is very common for GA as well.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:12
  #2007 (permalink)  
 
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B777FD If you go to standby, the transponder will still hear the interrogations, but not send out any replies. So no, it would not show up on SSR.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:13
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This is starting to sound like a variation of Helios Flight 522:

Helios Airways Flight 522 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The left turn may have been an attempt by one of the remaining crew-members to return to land. Some news reports claim it was a low as 3'000 after turning west - other reports say is was sill up near 30k. If it did drop from the cruse this is further evidence that possibly one remaining member of the crew was making a valiant attempt to save the lives of aboard.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:16
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I'm a little confused by the impression I am getting from various posts that a large jet can go "invisible" by switching squawk to standby. Can SSR work where PSR cannot?
Yes. SSR heads typically have greater range than primary heads and, for en-route surveillance, it is quite common for civil ATC to have no primary cover.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:21
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Thailand will not be wasting their tax payers money over Malaysia authority blame game, sending them to search South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Andaman sea, and probably Indian Ocean next.

Missing MH370: Thai Navy may cease hunt for plane
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:21
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All this transponder talk is silly. Why would anyone try to select 7700 and not tell ATC anything?

We won't know what happened until they find the black box…if ever.

this may go down in history as just one of those accidents where you never find the wreckage.

Its a huge ocean…..won't be the first or last time a plane disappears.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:27
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Why would anyone select 7700 and not tell ATC anything?
Yes:

1) Unable to transmit voice (headsets failure, radio failure)
2) Unable to speak - loud cockpit noise such as canopy failure, partial pilot incapacitation, cannot speak audibly due to 3rd party (terrorist situation)

we even have codes following 77xx, to mean other failures, Hydraulics, Electrical, oxy, etc...
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:28
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Jet, it is possible a transponder failed (it happens) Unless ATC yelled at them or the failure caused a TCAS error message they may not have noticed.

The point is, no reply from the transponder does not mean someone switch it off on purpose.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:37
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@Weary

In a part of the world historically known for the cultural practice of face saving, who would confess to pulling the trigger?
It is not easy to do this in the dark and cover it up. The hoops to go through are very complex. No one would want to do that. Trigger happy loose cannons just do not sit around waiting for opportunities like this. If ever this scenario even happened, the authorities would be very quick to spin it to their advantage, saying that they need to protect the ground from a larger collateral damage. This is not a region where people are staring down each others' barrel. There are just so many ways to disprove this theory.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:52
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I've seen little information about the pilots, other than that the copilot was transitioning. Does anyone know if the pilot regularly flew this route? Seems like someone who "knew" the area well might react differently than someone who didn't in the event of a com and nav failure. He would, perhaps, be more able to determine his position visually based on ground lights, and would be more apt to know of other (even disused) airports. Also, did he usually fly at night? He had a high number of hours and presumably seniority?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:53
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Continuing Transponder Saga

On the 777, if a transponder fails, will it auto transfer to another transponder, or is there a message of failure and a manual transfer to an operating transponder?

The last airplane I flew auto transfered, and gave an advisory message and chime.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 02:59
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Checking the back weather data, both KL and Penang were essentially calm and partly cloudy all night during the hours when this flight could possibly have been returning in that direction. Broken cloud layers were reported at or near 3000 ft. From what I recall of the satellite imagery (but I was then concentrating on areas further north) there were tropical thunderstorms quite a bit further south (probably south of Singapore) but as usual in this part of the world, dissipating and remnants drifting west. I think we could rule out weather as any kind of a factor in this event, even some theoretical last stage return to base.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 03:05
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Old Boeing Driver. I have never seen a setup on an American built plane that auto switches. Doesn't mean there isn't one....

Most failures will trip a fault that will show up but some faults in the receive path won't trigger an error, the transponder just won't know it is being interrogated, and won't reply.

Jet I agree it stinks to high heaven, but that doesn't mean it was a willful act by someone on the flight deck...
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 03:06
  #2019 (permalink)  
 
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At the rate this SAR is going, I doubt the debris field, if any, would remain clustered together. I fear that we'll just have to wait patiently for the debris to wash up on some coast, hopefully populated, and then back track the currents and find the crash site.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 03:07
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The denial by the RMAF chief that he ever stated the aircraft was picked up on radar near Palau Perak is Malaysian face-saving - in case their conclusion was wrong. Radar picks up all kinds of things, not necessarily related to aircraft. The radar results have to be analysed and a conclusion drawn. That conclusion may be right or wrong, when the radar return is from an object that shouldn't be there.

Let's say MH370 definitely was the unknown item picked up by military radar crossing the Malaysian peninsula and tracked to near Palau Perak.

Lets also examine the report by the eight people sitting on the beach at Bandar Marang on the NE coast of the Malay peninsula at 1:30AM, who heard a "loud and frightening noise" that "seemed to come from Kapas Island."

We all know that sounds reverberate and bounce off large solid objects. What if the eight people on the beach heard an explosive decompression of MH370? (they would have been within hearing distance of waypoint IGARI, and sound carries a long way at night, and through the sky).

Let's say an oxygen bottle in the cabin exploded and caused major decompression, and took out a heap of electrical wiring and comms, including the transponder.
The crew immediately commenced a left turn to return to KL and initiated a rapid descent.
However, hypoxia took over prior to reaching a low level and the crew became unconscious. The aircraft continued to fly in a gentle arc, back over the Malay peninsula, at a steadily reducing height, or at a low height preset by the crew on the AP.

In that case, there's a strong possibility the aircraft crashed into the Gunung Leuser National Park - one of the largest, largely unpopulated, mountainous wilderness areas in Northern Sumatra.
An aircraft crashing into a high-elevation area of this park at 3:00AM local time would be heard by very few people - and it would disappear into the jungle just as GOL 1907 did.

It's starting to become obvious that MH370 did not crash into the sea in the current search areas. Vietnam has scaled back its search, obviously confident the aircraft wreckage is not in its search area. The seas in the search areas have been combed by vast numbers of ships, aircraft and even satellites over 4 days, and nothing has been found.
If there was wreckage in the current sea search areas, at least one or two fishing boat crews would have come forward by now. The silence is deafening. The aircraft obviously flew well outside the current search areas.


"Gunung Leuser National Park is 150 km long, over 100 km wide and is mostly mountainous. 40% of the park, which is mainly in the north, is steep, and over 1,500 m. 12% of the park only, in the lower southern half, is below 600 metres but for 25 km runs down the coast. 11 peaks are over 2,700 m and the highest point is Gunung Leuser, which 3,466 m high".
http://www.nst.com.my/latest/font-co...plane-1.507926

Last edited by onetrack; 12th Mar 2014 at 03:15. Reason: addendum ...
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