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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:20
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0215 Military Radar loses the unidentified aircraft 200nm NW of Penang at an altitude of 29,500ft (FL295)
Did they mention anything about the direction/heading?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:21
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The core of confusion is probably that radar data is buried in a lot of noise. That would be the case if the aircraft was flying low, or if it was approaching the limit of radar range, or if the radar is not in a perfect health. They probably have only disconnected groups of dots. If that is the case, they would have difficult time being sure about continuity of any unidentified dots, especially in the presence of many other signals and general electronic noise in the area. The only sure way would be to compare data, possibly even raw radar data of all neighboring counties. However, that would reveal real, practical and not theoretical limits of their radar detection capabilities, and information about early warning capabilities is absolutely crucial for any military. Most likely, that is core problem now, they do not know how to safely cooperate at this extremely sensitive and highly technical level.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:21
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Beginning to change my mind about this,

Massive electrical failure at FIR boundary, with associated control issues (I'm not speculating on cause). Pilots attempt to set course for home on compass bearing, possibly maintaining level flight until it was no longer available..
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:23
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Out of ATC/primary/SSR radar coverage or not, any Mayday call will almost undoubtedly have been picked up by any nearby commercial aircraft which will have been monitoring 121.5

Thus it would appear no Mayday call was transmitted, which suggests catastrophic failure or deliberate action as the only plausible options (IMO).
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:24
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2 Things

1. It was a hi-jack (transponder turned off, no Mayday), and the plane was not under the control of the pilots. It flew to wherever was demanded, and something happened thereafter causing it to crash, probably from an effort to regain control (as with United 93 during events of 9/11). So it could be anywhere. An eye-witness will eventually come forward.

2. The most fearsome worry to come out of this is how come an aircraft can invade national territory without military or civil or satellite detection? This leaves a hole in the defense systems of all countries.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:26
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Latest blog from Ben Sandilands.

MH370 Day Five yields a new last possible radar fix | Plane Talking

MH370 Day Five yields a new last possible radar fix
BEN SANDILANDS | MAR 12, 2014 10:14PM | EMAIL | PRINT
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After running more than two and a half hours late the day five media briefing in Kuala Lumpur has come up with a new last possible radar trace for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

It was picked up by defence radar at 2.15 am on Saturday morning, 200 nautical miles or 360 kilometres NW of Penang as an unidentified aircraft at 29,500 feet according to the chief of the Royal Malaysia Air Force, Rodzali Daud.

This is almost precisely where Mr Rodzali earlier today denied saying to the Malaysia Media that this was where defence radar saw the missing airliner after it was tracked flying across the Malaysia peninsula to the northern approach to the main Strait of Malacca.

In other words, in this very chaotic media conference, the air force chief confirmed what he denied he said yesterday, although he did not go into as much detail as was reported in the national media.

This time he said “I am not saying it was MH370.” And he also gave the radar trace a new time, 2.15 am local time, not 2.40 am, which was coincidentally or otherwise the time of last contact with the airliner originally given by Malaysia Airlines before it began a process of changing times and event descriptions on a regular and confusing basis.

It was made clear, through the clutter of the media conference, that this radar sighting inspired the original extension of the search area from the Gulf of Thailand to include the western side of the Malaysia peninsula, and today’s further extension much deeper into the Andaman Sea.

MH370 was a 777-200 service carrying 239 passenger and crew on a regular Kuala Lumpur to Beijing service. To recap, it left KL at 12.40 am, it disappeared as a commercial radar trace at 1.22 am close to the area where such radar visibility to the Malaysia air traffic control system drops off, and was never observed as entering Vietnam controlled air space on a path intended to cross that country to the South China Sea and continue past Hong Kong toward its destination.

There are reports of emergency frequency radio contact with MH370 up to 1.30 am, which haven’t been convincingly ruled out, and which was originally the revised time Malaysia Airlines said it had its last contact with the airliner in the same breath that it said it lost the radar trace at 1.22 am.

It is this constant stumbling over what should be precise and unambiguous markers for the progress of MH370 which have helped undermine the credibility of the airline, which seems to be rewriting the basic information every time it opens its mouth.

This Wednesday night’s delayed media conference was a hair tearer for the technical aviation media because for its brief duration the panel reversed the usual definition of primary and secondary radar, referring to the primary radar used by Malaysia defence as being secondary in purpose, and the secondary commercial radar as performing the primary role. Which is both right sounding but wrong.

The commercial radar uses transponders on airliners to identify them by flight number to air traffic controllers. The defence radars primarily records flying objects without using transponder generated identification for commercial flights.

The acting transport minister and minister of defence Hishammuddin Hussein said that apart from looking further into the Andaman Sea, the search would also maintain a dual focus on the South China Sea between Vietnam and Hong Kong.

The air force chief Rodzali Daud said the agencies from other countries were helping Malaysia reconcile the radar traces picked up by defence radar with those recorded by the commercial air traffic control radars as well as enable a better understanding as to what the military radar saw near Pulau Perak, as he didn’t say it did to the Malaysian media yesterday.

If it wasn’t an airliner looking like an airliner at 29,500 feet in Malaysia airspace that was seen by the defence radar, at a point where it should also have been easily discoverable by normal civilian ATC radar that in itself on a ‘normal’ day would be a puzzle that the authorities would presumably try to resolve without delay.

What is so frustrating in the lack of detail given by the Malaysian authorities is their failure to address such obvious questions. It would have known precisely what by way of scheduled airliners was flying over western Malaysia on Saturday morning. It doesn’t need military radar to answer that question.

These evasions or omissions in the briefing last night make it overwhelmingly likely that the original reports attributed to Rodzali Daud were correct, and that there is a cover up of important detail being attempted by the authorities, with less and less success with every day.

If they are in the Andaman or South China Seas, the traces of those who were on board MH370 are rapidly vanishing, and the dispersal of floating items of wreckage will make the location of the crash site and the black box flight data and voice recorders, which would have sunk, that much more difficult to find.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:28
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Hi. This was posted earlier:

0121 Last radio contact
0130 Last ATC Radar contact
- then onto Military Radar, turn west to west peninsular -
0215 Military Radar loses the unidentified aircraft 200nm NW of Penang at an altitude of 29,500ft (FL295)
At 29,500ft, wouldn't conventional 'airport' radar have picked the plane up too?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:30
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I think we need to wait until the radar trace is published now-

But I suspect we will eventually find the aircraft not far from the last position where it appeared to be ops normal.

Anything else just seems too far-fetched to me.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:31
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Bob…
If there were survivors, they'd be in rafts with beacons, and their location would have been know within the time it took to broadcast to and from satellites 10,000km up.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:32
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SATCOM and Telemetry Data?

Concerning Data:

Why has nobody confirmed/announced if there were any transmissions sent via SATCOM? Seems to be the elephant in the room - the media currently appears to have an unhealthy tunneled obsession with; radar, ads-b, voice comms, gps, black boxes, etc.

Surely ACARS and engine telemetry data could shine a good dose of light on this incredibly sad fiasco.

Many aircraft today also have Panasonic Avionics high-bandwidth eXconnect GCS (Global Communications Suite) to augment SATCOM.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:34
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My two cents.

So far I see no conclusive evidence that the aircraft last seen on primary radar 200 nm NW of Penang was actually MAS370. In addition, this would raise a lot of questions, for example why the aircraft had turned off its transponder and was NORDO and why it turned West.

At post 1835 I posted a report from a guy in Marang who claims a strong unusual noise was heard at 1:20 MTY on Marang beach, exactly the same time the aircraft was last seen on flightradar24 at N 6.38 E 103.46. The distance from Marang is 89.315 nm, however this report would deserve more attention, in my opinion.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:36
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Guys please... If it was 'massive technical failure' they would've elected to ditch not try to attempt a return to KUL
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:38
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The question about ACARS was asked in the PC, but the muppet who answered the question, completely ignored the fact he was asked about ACARS data and waffled on about radar returns. Incompetent or covering up?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:40
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The International Seismological Centre has stations in that area. I'm not sure if a 777 crashing would produce a reading but there would be nothing lost by the investigators asking them;

Seismological contact information
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:41
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I believe a good radar system works like a layered brick wall, different sites overlapping and giving depth.

I'd say the lack of detailed information would be regarding miltary capabilities and also from a legal standpoint.

Early post showed guys operating in the area, I wonder if they have had time to collect their thoughts and can shead and light on anything they may have seen in the search areas.?

Deepest of sympathy to families and friends
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:42
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Not knowing the geography of that part of Asia at all. Is there anyway they tried to get back with massive technical problems VFR and impacted land not necessarily mainland Malaysia? What are the chances of this been unseen by eyewitness due to jungle or lack of densely populated area?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:44
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It was picked up by defence radar at 2.15 am on Saturday morning, 200 nautical miles or 360 kilometres NW of Penang as an unidentified aircraft at 29,500 feet according to the chief of the Royal Malaysia Air Force, Rodzali Daud.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this position seems to me to be a mere 25 NM or so south of Phuket in Thailand, and a line connecting this and the other known position crosses Thailand. Have there been any comments from them?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:45
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OK… so boats are typically separated by less than 20km.

An intact 777 descends rapidly from 10km. No lights or very fast-moving lights?
No moon. Steeply into the sea.

No one need see anything, not even hear a splash.

And do they all have radios?

Last edited by awblain; 12th Mar 2014 at 14:26.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:47
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There are two US Navy guided missile destroyers participating in the SAR, one assigned to the Strait and the Andaman Sea, the other in the Gulf of Thailand. It would be interesting to know where they were when MH370 went missing, and whether their phased array radar coverage can rule out any transit of MH370 within the operating range of their radars.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 12:51
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The more I think of it the more I can only see one scenario fitting all open questions: slow developping inflight fire. It would explain complete loss of comms, the need to turn back and the still inknown location of impact. As long a the aerodynamics are not affected by the fire an airplane could go very far before coming to its final rest.

It is a horrible thought, but not that unprobable.
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