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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:16
  #2441 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Montgolfier
I know the safety cards in the seat pocket tend to show a lovely, stable floating aircraft ...
In the old piston days with much slower touch-down speeds successful ditchings were almost a commonplace. However I am not aware of any successful intentional night-time ditching of any large jet airliner (approach undershoots and runway overruns don't count).
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:16
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T7 ditch

Quote: T7 at low speed? If it remained in one or two pieces, how long could you reasonably expect it to float?




Even at relatively low speeds, the effect of hydraulic surge will rip away sections of fuselage, as was the case with the underside of the Airbus that ditched on the Hudson river. High impact crashes will result in fragmentation in water, and buoyant debris on the surface – Swissair Halifax, and the Air NZ A320-200 Airbus in the Med in 2008.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:20
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Transponder's fate may prove key to solving Malaysia Airlines puzzle - CNN.com

The electrical system aboard the plane is so robust and the transponder draws so little power that it would be one of the last pieces of equipment to go dark, even after a catastrophic event like an engine explosion or a breach of the cabin and rapid decompression, he said.
"I'm in a head-scratching mode," Nance said. "The most likely probability is that a human hand turned that off. Then you get into the logic tree of who and why and there aren't that many channels in that tree." He added, "This is beginning to look very, very much like a hijacking."

A former Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector agreed. David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash," cited the redundant electrical, charging, battery and communications systems on Boeing 777s. Much had to go wrong for the aircraft to lose its transponder and then to veer off course, he said, adding that it stands to reason "that someone forced those pilots to take control of the aircraft and take it off course."

Turning off a transponder requires a deliberative process, said Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board. "If someone did that in the cockpit, they were doing it to disguise the route of the plane," he told CNN. "There might still be mechanical explanations on what was going on, but those mechanical explanations are narrowing quickly."
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:22
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IMHO various chunks of debris with an aproximate size of 20 by 20 meters pretty much rule out a high speed impact.

But:
- There was no communication during descent.
- ELT wasn't activated.
- If there may be survivors, why would the chinese "hold back" the images for 3 days ?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:44
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Regarding the debris identified by the Chinese; it must be noted that the images were retrieved some time on Sunday, and the debris will have since moved due to a surface current flowing in a SSE/SE direction at up to 0.25 m/s from the location given, i.e.

642'N 10538'E

I daresay that aviation and marine assets will take the above into account when they go searching shortly after sunrise in about 30 mins.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:46
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Is this it ?

RE: The photos from the Chinese sat. The second photo looks like the centre fuselage section still connected to what is left of the wings. It looks to have separated from the nose and the tail leaving only the section attached to the wing root. The areas where the fuselage came apart may also correspond with the areas that the fuselage is mated during construction. The object appears to be facing towards the 1' oclock position. The wings appear to have large sections missing on both sides.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:50
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Originally Posted by OPENDOOR
@Lost in Saigon

What I was trying to ask is how would the airframe behave with no control input and what would be the likely impact speed?
The 777 is fly-by-wire and even with the autopilot disconnected it has some authority over the flight controls. These "protections" are over-bank, over-speed, and stall protection. That would help keep it stable for awhile, but I would expect that the aircraft would eventually enter a turn, begin a shallow dive, and impact at high speed.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:52
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Chinese media were giving the debris as found at 642'00.0"N 10537'48.0"E. Given that Tomnod was making public high res images taken at the same time as those of the Chinese, is there a way of plugging those coordinates into the Tomnod system? I can't find one.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:54
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Does the 777 have a reversionary mechanical mode for battery only power supply (yaw damper only)?

Wait and see tomorrow morning. Be interested to see what is what.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:55
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Not so easy to spot

Patience will be rewarded.

Having crossed the Atlantic and other seas several times by ship, I can only say that I found it virtually impossible to see anything of note from that level other than the "white horses" of the wave tops and occasional algae so the SAR ships may be more concerned with picking up bleeps than visual clues. But I accept they will be trained in what they're doing so let's leave them to it.

Similarly looking down on the Atlantic (North / South / Mid) from 35,000 feet I've never seen a single yacht, container ship, tanker or cruise ship - and only occasionally another aircraft - in dozens of flights. Maybe I'm unlucky but the seas are awfully large, empty and unforgiving places, the South China Sea included, so you have to hand it to the Chinese if they have discovered something significant from satellite images. For the families' sakes I hope this is some concrete news.

Last edited by Golf-Mike-Mike; 12th Mar 2014 at 23:01. Reason: typos
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:57
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One poster did touch on this earlier. If the information from the military radar indicating westbound at fl295 is accurate, the level itself could be significant. It suggests the aircraft is being flown in a deliberate manner, and has selected 295 to minimise the chance of collision while crossing the north-south air routes over the peninsula. Particularly if you had the TCAS and transponder switched off.

If whoever was flying had done some homework and decided that primary/military radar would only see them above fl300, this could be another reason to select that level. Obviously if trying to avoid radar detection lower would be better, but lower could also increase chances of visual sightings. It would also burn more fuel, if you happened to be trying to maximise range.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 22:57
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There was indeed in the past an airliner Ocean-Ditching at night for many hours with reasonable success and survivors until the SAR teams arrived:

ALM Flight 980 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:01
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Patience will be rewarded.

Having crossed the Atlantic and other seas several times by ship, I can only say that I found it virtually impossible to see anything of note from that level other than the "white horses" of the wave tops and occasional algae so the SAR ships may be more concerned with picking up bleeps than visual clues. But I accept they will be trained in what they're doing so let's leave them to it.

Similarly looking down on the Atlantic (North / South / Mid) from 35,000 feet I've never seen a single yacht, container ship, tanker or cruise ship - and only occasionally another aircraft - in dozens of flights. Maybe I'm unlucky but the seas are awfully large and empty places, the South China Sea included, so you have to hand it to the Chinese if they have discovered something significant from satellite images. For the families' sakes I hope this is some concrete news.
Having spent thousands of hours flying maritime patrol and SAR I can tell you that you can see a lot more from 1000' and below.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:03
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How can a roughly rectangular piece of wreckage 20 metres by 22 metres fit into a B777 with a fuselage diameter of 6 metres?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:04
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expanding box

@ Nightingale14


I agree it is puzzling nothing was found previously by the SAR crews in that area, if indeed this turns out, as I suspect it might do, to be MH370.


In maritime SAR, skippers are taught to use the reliable 'expanding box' search pattern from a last known position, e.g. for a man overboard at night etc. I'm sure there'll be time for analysis & questions/learning later but it certainly appears that had the authorities conducted this methodical proven SAR technique commencing from the last known position of MH370, with all the resources/assets involved the operation, they would have reached the location shown in the Chinese satellite images much, much sooner.


Unfortunately it looks as though spurious/unidentified radar tracks and/or other distractions led them to search elsewhere...
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:08
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Red Chilli post 2241 wrote
Thus it would appear no Mayday call was transmitted, which suggests catastrophic failure or deliberate action as the only plausible options (IMO).
Not necessarily.
AF447 no Mayday, and it did not have either of the 2 scenarios you suggest.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:11
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Originally Posted by Nightingale14
Still do not understand how no one found it before, if it is such large pieces and so near the original site where contact was lost? Anyone care to offer an explanation?
Who's to say this 'debris' isn't actually one of the SAR vessels or who knows what? At this point, with the amount of false alarms and other sea junk in the region, basically any account of potential debris has to be taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:11
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I agree with 5 green. That looks like the center section with the lower 1/2 of the fuselage still attached.

Remember, items underwater look larger than they are...
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:12
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With so many sources of info in different timezones, is any SAR asset likely to get to the debris during daylight today to confirm or otherwise ?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:12
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If that is the wreckage in the image, it rolled into a ball when it smashed in. Wing folded over the wreckage etc. I wouldn't hold my breath, count my chickens or otherwise.
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