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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:04
  #3401 (permalink)  
 
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@ianwood

Too right and follows the points I was alluding to some posts back.

The large SAR operation to the West of Malaysia would not be happening unless corroborated by other intel, ie the SATCOMM tracking and other.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:05
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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Why is it possible on a civil aircraft to turn off the transponder whilst the plane is in the air? If it wasn't we would know where the plane had gone (and this thread) would be considerably shorter.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:08
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Totally agree and you might add the total lack of any sign of the plane in the South China Sea, in whatever form, really only re-enforces that. Given the relatively shallow depth and the sheer number of SAR assets looking, that seems an incredibly slim shot at this point. It's somewhere else.

Why are the US heading there then? There must be something there…?
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:10
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Teachme said
"If highjack, there is always the possibility that those responsible believed it could be flown farther than the fuel actually allowed. In such a situation it may have crashed short of the hijackers' destination."

It it were terrorism, have they not already been successful, regardless of the possibility they had a "destination" at all?

That seems to be lost on many. The first objective of terrorism is terror. We have 1 week of a missing plane, a plane we have just short of 0 info on for most all of that time. We are spending a fortune in both time and assets looking, and have zilch. In fact, we are still trying to figure out if it even is terror, and if it was, what their objective was. If the public was told it was terror tomorrow, think of the reaction that would be seen.

If this was terrorism, they have already been unbelievably successful; regardless if they pulled off their ultimate goal or not.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:14
  #3405 (permalink)  

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Pings

@Garage, GvonSprout

Well, yes, the protocol was explained. And it would, at least as I understand it require someone to set up the hardware to know where it was built into. Now, as an airline having the stuff installed but not using it (after all my 777 fleet does all the regional flights with VHF coverage losses for never more than 30 minutes), why would I bother to set the boxes up? Why would I know about how to do that it the first place if I do not require the service? How do I know of the detailed technical operation of the stuff if I don't use it?

The protocol does only say there is a space for the aircraft reg, but it does not say that the box may operate on a default setting prior to the effective registration of the box with Inmarsat.

If the whole regional 777 fleet of MAS have the same default setting the information is not valid.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:14
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CNN is now going on about a "stash" of batteries on the plane.

The media makes the search area look focused.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:15
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What Inmarsat knows:

14 March 2014: Inmarsat has issued the following statement regarding Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Routine, automated signals were registered on the Inmarsat network from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during its flight from Kuala Lumpur.
This information was provided to our partner SITA, which in turn has shared it with Malaysia Airlines.
For further information, please contact Malaysia Airlines.
Malaysia Airlines | Malaysia Airlines
Now, isn't that helpful!
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:18
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kenjaDROP

The large SAR operation to the West of Malaysia would not be happening unless corroborated by other intel, ie the SATCOMM tracking and other.
You may well be right but this from a newspaper report tonight (unconfirmed of course )

A total of 57 ships, 48 aircraft and 13 nations are taking part in the search and rescue mission, which has been expanded further east into the South China Sea and further out into the Indian Ocean.
Looks like those better informed than us still aren't 100% confident that the aircraft definitely went west.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:19
  #3409 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vegacat
Why is it possible on a civil aircraft to turn off the transponder whilst the plane is in the air?
Because it is a piece of electronic equipment.
Like most electronic equipment, it has on and off switches. One of the reasons to turn one off is for flight safety: if one of its wires shorts out and begets an electrical fire, killing the box can sometimes prevent a mess from turning into a disaster.
If you can't turn it off, you maybe can't isolate the cause of a fire, and fire in an airplane is a serious emergency that can get a whole lot of people killed real fast. (See recent UPS crash due to fire in the Middle East).
Another reason to turn it off is as simple as your PC. Sometimes, a piece of electronic gear needs to be turned off, and then back on, to get it to work right.
If it wasn't we would know where the plane had gone (and this thread) would be considerably shorter.
Only if the appropriate kind of radar interrogated it and received a reply.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:19
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Pings
Thanks garage. I'll try to find it.
The reason for asking is that if the identity being pinged relates to the engine numbers (say for onward data transmission to Rolls Royce), rather than the airframe number, it would still be be necessary for Inmarsat to link those engines to the plane. As many know, airlines frequently swap engines around.
However, I'm guessing they thought of that or, more likely, that the pings are identifying the airframe itself.

At a minimum, the Inmarsat device itself is uniquely identifiable on the network.

Think of it as having a Sim Card - many do.

As I mentioned above, many Inmarsat antennas contain a GPS, so no additional information from the airframe or the engine is needed to identify and locate the aircraft.

The "handshake" between the sat device and the satellite can contain a unique identifier, and its location.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:22
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If this is a hijack/rogue pilot crime, I bet the reinforced F/D door made it easy for the criminal(s) and impossible for anyone in the cabin to resist.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:24
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It can contain an identifier, but does it have to? It may sound pedantic but if I would be the head of the SAR effort I would insist on a complete information before diverting the ressources to a different location.

And I would not care a single second whether the white house or whoever did comment something feable or not.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:25
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Only by a few minutes. If you run the numbers for the day and location through astronomical software it looks like the Moon was over 20 degrees below the western horizon at the time and place of last confirmed contact.
Thanks for the clarification. I did some searching and discovered that it's 1 minute for every 1500m of altitude (at the equator), so ~7 minutes in this case (less if they decreased altitude after contact was lost). I thought it would be much more than that...
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:27
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If MH370 did turn left and head west into the Indian Ocean , and if there was evil intent , it certainly had fuel to reach Diego Garcia (much the same distance as KL-PEK) and I am certain the US has both on island and space based surveillance assets to keep a very close eye on any unknown vessel or aircraft approaching this very important and rather secretive base.

Might explain why US seems to be going along with the 'it turned west theory' without being too specific about why they might support it. Picking a flight full of Chinese passengers is hardly likely to lessen any tensions of something bad did happen either .

Also I believe the India military are pretty concerned to protect their sources and resources in the Andaman islands which they see very much as an eastern frontier of India for maritime purposes.

Whatever happens I can see a mandated introduction of GPS location reporting for all long haul aircraft relaying constant position reports via a secure sat comms link with no access or control function from from flight deck
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:33
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It can contain an identifier, but does it have to?

Of course it will. From a software engineering perspective, a network protocol that can't distinguish between different senders and receivers is of rather limited use.


And even if it didn't it doesn't need to for them to correlate it with the aircraft.


Presumably the satcom system "transport layer" was pinging satellites from takeoff (even if other systems on the aircraft were not trying to send data), and thus plotting the progression of pings will indicate the flight path from takeoff.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:33
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@Hunter58

So would you just sit there doing circles in the Gulf of Thailand for the next how ever many months hoping you somehow just kept missing something in a body of water that is largely shallower then the length of the plane itself?

The Gulf is an area where it should be extremely easy to rule out the plane being - it is not an overly large body of water, is extremely shallow, and has been searched like crazy. Sure, it is possible it has been missed, but the odds are unbelievably slim at this point.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:34
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Sounds like the SAR efforts are not totally convinced by the pings and are therefore hedging their bets by continuing to also search the South China Sea. Seems prudent. I can't imagine how distressing this must be for the families. No wonder the Malaysians are bing cautious before confirming anything.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:36
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Triangulation

I don't know if this has been noted but as far as I am aware, Inmarsat uses geostationary satellites so if the signals were received by them then triangulation based on signal strength would be impossible at that distance.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:37
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Why is it possible on a civil aircraft to turn off the transponder whilst the plane is in the air? If it wasn't we would know where the plane had gone (and this thread) would be considerably shorter.
Because transponders have been known to send out incorrect data for one
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 21:38
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Trim up

Even in this surveillance, gps and tagged world some things will get under our guard. We can stare at thin air and speculate for maybe for 40 years until some one will come across ME. Maybe never.

Closure? In the wars we had folk going missing in action and families accepted that better than having the distressing gory details.

Just accept for now they are gone.

AF and MH are not the first or the last but we try to learn from each if we can. Maybe develop a truly global flight path external tracking system that is definitive and transparent.

If that is possible.
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