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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:12
  #2241 (permalink)  
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How does the latest info about radar pilot and time sum up with distance/speed from last known position ?
Qouted myself.

Did a simple check on flightradar24 map, and it looks to be around /roughly 380 Nm between last radar spot and "200Nm NV Penang".

Roughly gives a ground speed of 460-500kt, depending on actual time if/when it turned westly. Seems plausible to me.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:21
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Originally Posted by island_airphoto
Here it is
Seems like it doesn't have the range required to 'see' that far north. But it is impressive and explains why Cobham's coastwatch contract ends in 2020.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:21
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The Iranians appear to know what happened

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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:22
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Some of the theories on here are getting quite impressive!
Seems like the South China sea could be the most logical place to look, this 'fire in the sky' 300km off Vietnam is at least in the same vague direction it was heading.
Making some assumptions here, but if they pilots suffered a 'major mechnical issue' (however it was 'induced'), this could send the aircraft off course, but the pilots main issue would surely just be trying to control the aircraft before trying to get the direction sorted?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:29
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The Iranians appear to know what happened

Yahoo News UK & Ireland - Latest World News & UK News Headlines
That's a definite keeper. I am passing it on to all my curious non-aviation friends.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:34
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Hello, my first contribution to this thread.

Don't believe everything you read on wiki and don't place too much expectations on Jindalee.
I was a Radar Operator on Jindalee OHR.

Yes Jindalee does work very well, obviously i cant say how well or i might be in a wee bit of trouble.

Jindalee is a HF based skywave radar, it bounces radiowaves off the ionosphere onto the target.

Have a look at the correlation between HF, the ionosphere and usage at night, and you will understand that picking up MH370 would never happen, even if Jindalee could see that far.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:40
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Rather than Australian OTH radars, if you want ocean surveillance information, talk to the US, and perhaps Russian (?), operators of what might perhaps be orbiting SAR radars. That would especially rule out any implausible trip over the Indian Ocean until the fuel ran out.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:42
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Ok, I'll jump in.. I don't normally speculate (I'm a heavy Captain for a US airline with a lot of overwater experience in an ac like the 777), but I will add this, with CPDLC, HF, VHF, ACARS and SATCOM, I'll find some way to get a message out under duress.. especially CPDLC, for it's a couple of key strokes.. would take me.. 5 seconds, tops.

- Chances of complete loss of comm on the 777, very, very slim...

- Bomb explosion we would have found the pieces long ago...

- I don't like structural failure theory cause it would have led to disintegration of airplane and then aircraft pieces would have already been found...

my theories fall into these two areas:

1. Hi-jack (terrorism from outside or crew)
2. Hypoxia event leading to incapacitation of all life on board.. (has happened in the past)
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:44
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In reply again to #2283:

The upper winds measured by weather balloons launched by the Kota Bharu weather station are different from the ones calculated by NOAA Hysplit.

( University of Wyoming - Radiosonde Data )

Kota Bharu Mar 7, 12Z sounding:

FL350: 020 deg at 10 kn.
FL230: 060 deg at 23 kn.
FL164: 095 deg at 16 kn.

Kota Bharu Mar 8, 00Z sounding:

FL350: 020 deg at 15 kn.
FL230: 090 deg at 17 kn.
FL164: 100 deg at 24 kn.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 13:50
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Is the JORN monitored 24/7 , or is there some peacetime reduced monitoring? And things in the night...are they only detected then at crazy ranges instead of astonishing?
Sorry wont say, but you airline pilots out there would know how well HF works at night.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:01
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military how it works

In one of the first pages of this thread the turn off course observed by military radar made me post my concern, that the military might know more than it is willing or allowed to share, as it proved that the defense forces must have made that observation on primary radar. The post is gone, no problem with that.

Two thousand posts later there is imho still little knowledge how air defense should be organized. The overall scheme is similar all over the world, also details and capabilities may vary a lot. I try to describe the overall systemic procedures how air defence works, limited to those points which could be relevant to this thread and in layman terms.

AD forces have to monitor the respective airspace, have to command control the assets available and have to train them to the required standard. For this discussion the assets Radar stations, Surface to air missile systems and aircraft are of relevance to this thread. Those assets are trained to cope with other intruding foreign forces to deny them entry or at least hinder them as long as possible. The training of those forces is an ongoing never ending process, updated and modified as necessary to reach the highest output for the ultimate task, the defence of the homeland.

Radar stations are active 24/7, monitoring the airspace from ground to the maximum altitude they are capable off. The radar systems are able to detect, analyze, track and record flying unstealthy objects with primary radar alone, although secondary radar is either on site or fed into the system from civil ATC stations. Radar sites on different locations and even airborne systems will feed their informations into a data processing system, and filed civil and military flightplans will go into this system as well. All those air datas are used to create an adapted overview for the command and control center, where decisions are made and ground based or airborne assets are allocated.

Aanalyzing all those data is at most an automated process, the individual sitting on a radar set like in approach control for monitoring purposes is the exception. He is there to get active when a radar return is flagged as unknown, as a potential threat or as an aircraft needing assistance. Then his status changes from readiness to active, and he will follow preset procedures using his skills learned in training. He then can manipulate his console to modify the information on his screen to get targets displayed at a special height, sector, with or without transponder, with or without flightplan, known or unknown.

Concerning our discussion here MH370 was on a filed flightplan, the primary radar return correlated with the secondary radar information from own or ATC sources and thus of no interest to the air defense system in a pure monitoring situation like during night, when no own aircraft are airborne and no conflicting situation between civil and military traffic can arise.

How come then, that the turn to a westerly heading reached the public and was denied at that time, but is now accepted as true by the military? When an identified target looses vital parts of the former identification information like planned track and secondary radar ident, the analyzing software will highlight the radar return somehow after a specified elapsed time and some alert will get somebody responsible to look after the developing situation. If primary radar contact with this target was uninterrupted, it will still be designated with the original identity, in our case the controller would still know that it is MH370 now on a different heading and altitude. He does not know the reasons though, except civil ATC would have told him, and he would not actively try to achieve this information except the new flightpath would lead MH370 in an area where conflicting military traffic is present or when approaching a no fly zone for civil aircraft. We also must consider that there is normally some kind of turf war between military and civil air traffic systems and therefore the communication between those parties is reduced to the necessary amount.
If the controller saw a situation developing, he would have informed the next guy up the chain and let him make the necessary decisions.

From the controversal statements we might assume, that the alert was disregarded on the way up the chain of command.

What would have been the options of the AD otherwise?
Use all available means of the radar systems to keep track on MH370, scramble fighters, alert marine forces in the surrounding waters for a lookout. Primary goal of getting fighters airborne in such situation in peacetime is helping in identification and monitoring of the rouge aircraft , thus gaining information and time for further decisions. In peacetime every airforce has some kind of readiness state active for a few aircraft, that might be from 1 hour to 10 minutes elapsed time to being airborne after an scramble order has been received. An aircraft the size of an B777 could not hide from an airborne fighter aircraft even when flying low level over sea or land, and there would be a greater possibility that the world would know about the fate of MH370 by now.

I keep out of the speculation what happened to MH370, but concerning the Air defense i think that the abnormality of Mf370 was observed, that the information was forwarded up the chain, but no action was taken and no communication with civil ATC took place. Now they have a real big problem to explain why.

Last edited by RetiredF4; 12th Mar 2014 at 23:44.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:03
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I read in a post waaaay back about some Chinese families getting angry with MAS staff and throwing bottles of water. I didn't (at the time) read the reason why... Link to the reason why and an excerpt "The families of the Chinese passengers on the missing MH370 flight have reached their boiling point, as a flight arranged by Malaysia Airlines to bring them to Kuala Lumpur messed up in transit and landed them in India instead"

If true, you couldn't make this up!
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:04
  #2253 (permalink)  
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So many questions:

Why did MH370 turn off course?
Was there a decompression?
What stopped all electronic transmissions, including automated ones?
How did it keep flying with so many systems not working?
Who commanded the descent to 29,500?
Why no transmission from 200+ mobile phones?
If decompression, why not a further descent?
If on AP with everyone on board unconscious and 2,000+ miles range, will we ever find it?

Obviously there was some sort of event but really we have no clues until we have answered some of these questions.
If the primary radar comes up with an accurate heading then it might be possible to follow the track. But it would still be a needle in a haystack.
Maybe a submarine with a towed array listening for the FDR & CVR pingers could be tried.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:12
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India joins the search for missing Malaysian jet

It all looks like what happened to MH370 is very similar to Helios 522.

India joins the search for missing Malaysian jet | NDTV.com

and hindustantimes.com reports
India's coast guard joined the aerial search on Wednesday for the missing plane off the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, a senior officer told AFP.
A Dornier aircraft belonging to the coastguard set off mid-afternoon local time to scour the eastern side of the Andaman islands on orders from the Indian government, the inspector general of the coastguard service said.
"We were directed to take part in the search operations up to the eastern fringes of the exclusive economic zone of the Andaman islands," VSR Murthy told AFP. "We are looking into that area for any clues to the missing airliner," he added.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are Indian territory, although they are at least 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the mainland and are closer to the coast of Myanmar.
- See more at: Missing jet MH370 may have strayed toward Andaman Sea; India's coastguard joins search - Hindustan Times
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:21
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I am still puzzled about the two individuals with the stolen European passports being portraied by the Malaysian authorities as innocent refugees from Iran, one who was going to visit his mother living in Francfort.

a) They bought their tickets together in Thailand against cash paid by 3rd person, who has not been found and questioned so far.
b) They made their way into Malaysia well before the departure of MH 370.
c) They were travelling on fake European passports, supplied by " human trafficker ring" based in SE-Asia
d) They definitely would be immediately arrested when arriving in AMS showing their stolen passports which are in the Schengen database and possibly be sent back. Don't think that they were not aware of this. In short they would never made it to their final destinations in CPH or FRA.
e) Dutch border officers speak very well German and regularly extend a friendly greeting to you, so you must speak perfect flawless German ( Austrian ) to pass this hurdle especially using a surname which is only common in small area in Austia.

I think that wer are mislead by the authorities ( who admitted that they failed to connect into the Interpol database ) for reasons I don't know.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:22
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Retired F4, your explanation aligns with my previous attempt some pages back, but with more detail. Well said, sir, about general AD procedures.

Martin M:
But even if these guys where close and having an eye on anything closing in onto the helicopter carrier they are protecting, they (DDG-100) would not be interested in an object flying at 29'000 feet.
You are mistaken, Martin. The CO of that DDG is the local anti air warfare commander. He's got the better Aegis system than we had on our cruiser (20+ years ago) but the role is the same. When you are the local Air Defense commander, every single air contact is tracked and of interest until you are certain that it is on a opening course and speed relative to the battle group you are protecting. IF this contact was being tracked (not sure if the ship was in a position to do so the evening it went missing) then its track would have been identified and tracked by the guys on the scopes in Tracker Alley in Combat Information Center. I've stood enough watches in CIC in an AAW command ship to know how this works. (Yes, it's been a few years!)
Originally Posted by anotherposter
Why noone has asked the Indonesian guys yet to deliver any a radar data. It could be interesting to know if an unidentified object was flying over the area of Banda Aceh in direction of the indian ocean. Would this be the cased, you coud stop searching ...
... or look in a different place.

While I am not sure why you assume no one has asked the Indonesian guys, you raise a good point. Likely some info has been passed between Indonesian and Malaysian militaries. Perhaps no such track was recorded on Indonesian radar, or whatever they saw didn't fit into the other pieces in the puzzle.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:22
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I think we've been spoiled by all the NTSB briefings, and Debbie Hersman's calm, clear delivery of information and faultless handling of journalistic queries.

When authorities can't even photocopy something without making a major mistake - and don't notice that they've done so till it's pointed out by world media - it doesn't give confidence that they can handle a really big emergency.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:24
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I'm not too sure I give much credibility to the oil rig worker's email.

AS SLF I have no aviation knowledge but both myself and my spouse have been employed in the oil & gas industry for years.

Oil rigs aren't "oil rigs". They're generally drilling rigs that are used to drill for both oil and gas. Neither of us know anyone in the industry who call them "oil rigs", just rigs or drilling rigs.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:25
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Thanks for the very insightful post.

One thing to add, which I believe was not mentioned here before:
Malaysia being a predominantly muslim country, with bhoomis (ethnic Malays) favored to occupy govermment (including military) positions, essentially all government offices close at midday on Friday. A Friday/Saturday night shift is mid-weekend, and I can easily imagine the junior operator manning the radar station at the time to be very reluctant to call anyone higher up the food chain.

Last edited by andrasz; 6th Mar 2015 at 08:00.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 14:29
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It all looks like what happened to MH370 is very similar to Helios 522.
But that doesn't explain the loss of transponder info etc and why the aircraft just didn't carry on flying the route in the FMS until it ran out of fuel...Like Helios 522
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