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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:53
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The hand over on this route is usually KL to Singapore on VHF followed by a short period on Singapore HF/CPDLC followed by a hand off to Saigon on VHF. The communications and ATC are, in my experience (25 years) usually excellent.
Singapore Radio on HF 8942 is one of the better in the region.
Of course, we don't usually keep a listening watch on HF as mostly we use HF Selcal. However, any distress call on VHF 121.5 would have been heard by any aircraft in the area.
Even at that time of night there are dozens of aircraft on that airway. If an emergency transmission was made it must have been heard by someone!
An absolutely catastrophic flight deck event IMHO.
You fly elsewhere. The airspace of that route in SIN FIR is delegated to Lumpur and the handover is directly from Lumpur to HCM on VHF.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:57
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@ Cronus

In our hitech world of today, where military sats in their geo stationary orbits around the planet and sophisticated radar heads covering every avaiable square foot of terrain can spot even a mozzie on the loose, with the seas patrolled with nuke subs and sewn with sonoboys that can hear a flatus of a mariner at a distance of 50 miles, how can it be possible for your every day , run of the mill variety type airliner to go into stealth mode for so long. That is what puzzles me most



Probably because the hi res surveillance satellites as used by defence agencies were not operating over this part of the eastern block at the time of the incident and the best images are taken in good daylight.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:57
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Ntsb updates statement on missing b-777 investigation
march 12, 2014
national transportation safety board investigators who traveled to kuala lumpur over the weekend are assisting malaysian authorities who are leading the search efforts for the boeing 777 that went missing five days ago.

Investigators with expertise in air traffic control and radar are providing technical assistance to the malaysian authorities who are working on locating the missing jetliner.

The ntsb plans no further releases of information on the investigation.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael0658 View Post
The radio horizon at 35,000 ft is about 230 nm for a ground ATC. At its last reported position, this plane was beyond the Line of Sight (LOS) radio horizon for all ATC systems and ground radio.
For VHF/UHF I agree. For HF comms, there should have been much longer range/coverage. Question is, was there any guard channel on HF, in that part of the globe, that would been monitored.
IGARI is well inside ATC VHF coverage of Lumpur, there may be a small occasional gap (a few minutes) until HCM can be reached.

However, which has not been pointed out anywhere, there is not necessarily VHF coverage for ACARS as SITA and ARINC do not provide full coverage. As Boeing Health Management via SATCOM was not subscribed (most major airlines do not do that due to costs), the airplane was most probably out of ACARS range.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:59
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Interesting ...

Almost the same wording was used in the documents relating to the design of the 787. I use this document in a college course I teach in systems integration. However, they were published effective 2008 -02-01 for the 787. Why so much later for the 777? Was this in response to some incident?

Here is what they said about the 787...



SUMMARY: These special conditions are
issued for the Boeing Model 7878
airplane. This airplane will have novel
or unusual design features when
compared to the state of technology
envisioned in the airworthiness
standards for transport category
airplanes. These novel or unusual
design features are associated with
connectivity of the passenger domain
computer systems to the airplane
critical systems and data networks. For
these design features, the applicable
airworthiness regulations do not contain
adequate or appropriate safety standards
for protection and security of airplane
systems and data networks against
unauthorized access.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:59
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Hypothetical
Hello.
This is my third attempt to make a post here. Maybe, as I'm new here I'm doing it wrong.
I am a licenced engineer, B747.
This post attempts to describe, with precedents, a possible single failure that would cause loss of coms, depressurisation and crew disablement due to hypoxia.

Precedent: QF30 25 July 2008 Pax oxygen bottle "explodes" tearing a hole in fuselage.

Ref: Please google "Qantas oxygen bottle explosion" and view photos of damage.
The picture taken inside the fwd cargo compartment shows one bottle missing.
there is no evidence of shrapnel damage in the photo. Therefore, no eplosion.
The bottle appears to have detached itself from its connections and propelled itself down through the fuselage skin.

777: The crew oxygen bottle is mounted horizontaly on the left aft wall of the nose wheel well structure with the fittings (propelling nozzle) facing forward. This aims the bottle, in the event of a QF30 type failure, directly into the MEC containing all boxes concerned with coms and a lot more.
Before all of its energy is spent, an huge amount of damage could be caused to equipment and the bottle could, conceivably, cause a decompression.
When the crew respond by doning oxygen mask, there is no oxygen and hypoxia is the next link in this proposed chain of events.
This link is entitled "Hypothetical" and is only that. I believe it ticks a few boxes.
Hoping this post make it and generates some discussion.
Bloxin.
Assuming this hypothetical situation happened, what would follow?

Aircraft continues on autopilot maintaining heading and FL set until fuel exhaustion at which point 1st then 2nd engine stops. What sort of descent would ensue? I assume the autopilot doesn't stick the nose down and trim for best glide.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:04
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in an absolute emergency you will transmit on the VHF frequency in use.
For example, these people would possibly have been directed as follows:
"Contact Singapore Radio on 8942".
However, they would have maintained their previous VHF frequency on their ACP. (Audio Control Panel) Most probably Singapore VHF.
On this route we usually hear Singapore VHF almost up until we contact Saigon on VHF. (Depending on your altitude)
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:07
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25,000 feet v 40,000 feet

In fact the same article states that pressurised breathing is only required over 40,000 feet:

Oxygen Delivery Systems
Continuous flow.
This system delivers a continuous flow of oxygen from the storage
container. It is a very economical system in that it doesn’t need complicated masks
or regulators to function. But it is also very wasteful—the flow of oxygen is constant
whether you’re inhaling, exhaling, or pausing in between breaths. This system is typically
used at 28,000 feet and lower.

Diluter demand.
The diluter demand system is designed to compensate for the short-comings of the continuous-
flow system. It gives the user oxygen on-demand (during inhalation) and stops the flow when the demand ceases (during exhalation). This helps conserve oxygen. Additionally, the incoming oxygen is diluted with cabin air and provides the proper percentage of oxygen, depending on the altitude. This system is typically used at altitudes up to 40,000 feet.


Pressure demand.
This system provides oxygen under positive pressure. Positive pressure is a forceful oxygen flow that is intended to slightly over-inflate the lungs. This will, in a sense, pressurize the lungs to a lower altitude, thus allowing you to fly at altitudes above 40,000 feet, where 100%
oxygen without positive pressure will not suffice.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:07
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Apparently the Chinese have just released satelite images showing debris floating in the ocean.

Seen the shots on the news - not 100% sure but worth finding these objects...
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:07
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There are, however anomalies with the data as presented - for an example, set the time to 17.00 on March 7 and watch what KAL672 (and the neighbouring CCA970) do whilst MAS370 is heading for the Malaysian coast. Perhaps anomalies are to be expected, given that this is unofficial data, but to see 2 reciprocal tracks in the surrounding area of the event under question, AND within a few minutes of the disappearance seems somewhat . . . . odd!
Can you please elaborate?
Which exactly is the anomaly you see with KAL672 and CCA970 at that time?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:10
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Finally - BBC reporting that Chinese officials have released satellite photos of what they claim are large floating objects in the South China Sea - east of last known position.
I must say the photos look fairly promising, albeit not good news.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:13
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Not sure if already discussed but did they have CPDLC capability and were they logged on?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:17
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bille1319

Early posts indicate this part of the world is watched by the satellites constantly.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:17
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do civil airliners not have a big red do not flick depress switch that does the packs off outflow valve stuff for you? my type has one on the centre console next to auto/semi/man selections and is one of the biggies not to miss on preflight checks.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:19
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There is no CPDLC with Lumpur and HCM.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:21
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Barrel_owl ... The likelihood of China revealing its overhead imagery capability online is minimal.

Please consult Google Earth instead.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:22
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Originally Posted by EuroChallenger
How high could a 777 actually fly? If for what ever reason, the aircraft was climbing, how high could it physically go before (presumably) a structure failure?

Would radar contact etc be lost if the aircraft went above a certain height?
43,100 is the certified maximum altitude, but it could fly higher. There would not be structural failure. It would simply stop climbing at the limit of its performance for the power and weight. There is also a possibility of the wing stalling or aerodynamic buffet due to the speed of the air flowing over the wings.

You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffin_corner_(aviation)

Radar contact would not be lost at high altitude.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:25
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Originally Posted by OPENDOOR
Assuming this hypothetical situation happened, what would follow?

Aircraft continues on autopilot maintaining heading and FL set until fuel exhaustion at which point 1st then 2nd engine stops. What sort of descent would ensue? I assume the autopilot doesn't stick the nose down and trim for best glide.
The autopilot would not be able to maintain the desired flight path and would then automatically disconnect. At that point the aircraft would be uncontrolled and would eventually crash.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:25
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BarrelOwl
Can you please elaborate?
Which exactly is the anomaly you see with KAL672 and CCA970 at that time?
At 16.55, KAL672 previously heading 054, turns to an apparent heading of 234 for a full 10 mins (until 17.05). It then Reverts to a heading of 041 before racing across the page (presumably in some sort of data catch-up). At all points in between, the data reports its heading as 234, which, if FA24 is to be believed, is data coming from the ADS-B transponder, itself reflecting the GPS coordinates of the aircraft.

CCA970 "appears" to do something similar for approx 2 mins at 17.01

Presumably this is corrupt/misinterpreted data, but perhaps goes to show just how (in)accurate FR24 is. Perhaps something else is going on - your guess is as good as mine, what that might be.

Last edited by NamelessWonder; 12th Mar 2014 at 21:26. Reason: fingers and thumbs
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:26
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the sat recon birds which were alluded to are typically on very high apogees, and may (or may not) work in the visible spectrum.

geostationary is pointless for a recon sat (unless its a weather bird) as you can only take a picture of a limited area. so unless you want to look at a particular area constantly for a long time, most of the sorts,of assets that would be useful would be non geostationary.
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