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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:06
  #3841 (permalink)  
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Although it often looks like it, this is NOT the Daily Mail discussion forum, but a PROFESSIONAL FLIGHT CREW forum.

Please refrain from commenting if not flightcrew or other aviation professional.
With all respect, I beg to differ. I've been following this thread since its inception and some of the more insightful and helpful posts have come from people who are not in the aviation industry. This is such an unusual event that the normal rules don't really apply. If someone with knowledge of satellite telecommunications wants to chime in with their particular expertise, I welcome their opinions. We've had a detective comment on investigative issues that have been helpful. I've even seen a few posts from admitted SLF (a/k/a the people who pay the bills) that were thoughtful and constructive to the discussion.

This incident is highly unusual and I welcome posts from anyone who can help shed some light on the situation whether they're in the industry or not.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:07
  #3842 (permalink)  
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Correct me if wrong, but could the plane have landed or crash landed with some systems still active along that 40 degrees relative angle extrapolated through Inmarsat/plane TX-RX range-calc and continued to ping the satellite while on the ground?
How often does the pinging occurs?
Since it seems possible to judge movement with a single radio reference only by measuring changes in distance from the satellite thus impossible if flying along an equidistant path (40 degrees in this case), could it be the plane wasn't even moving at all? Is the Inmarsat ACARS system on the 777 active while on battery power or does it needs engines or APU to be powered?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:08
  #3843 (permalink)  
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Loose lips

Given recent developments, I am now of the opinion that some ideas and theories should be referred to relevant authorities rather than disseminated via this site. I'm sure that the relevant people are quietly going about their business and that they know more than they're letting on. It seems prudent to now assist them by hesitating before communicating.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:10
  #3844 (permalink)  
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Simple crewing question...that I think hasn't been discussed here yet.
Since when were both pilots rostered on MH370 flight? Was it long term planning random assignation, specific request of one or both pilot or was it a last minute crew assignation decided by Crew planning?
In case of fool play, which is highly suspected, we can guess that whatever happened to MH370, it has required serious planning and preparation.
This could at least give an indication if pilots could be involved or not.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:13
  #3845 (permalink)  
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I do not think a wilful act other than a head case individual or even crew member stacks up!
Any organised terrorist group would have claimed their prize by now as not to do so would be unproductive in their misplaced eyes to their cause.

More likely this was a case of massive depressurisation. Note the private jet accident which flew for miles with all the crew and PAX inert in their seats.
a massive decompression would have accounted for the lack of radio communications, attempt to change course, deviation off track and eventual crash in the Sea.

Seems to fit the events more than some high tech terrorist attack
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:14
  #3846 (permalink)  
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Just been running the FR24 playback of the relevant time.

Three flights along the route which are possible to tag along with given the timing.

THY67, EK349 and SQ68.

The 45,000ft report is from RMAF mil radar and I'm given to understand these are not pinpoint readings thus 40,000 would be more sensible and achievable..
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:16
  #3847 (permalink)  
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Inmarsat 40 degree line

Those concentric circles with degrees on them on the map denote 'angle of elevation' for a ground observer at sea level to assist with positioning a flat antenna on some terminals.As you get closer to the satellite the angle increases.The zero circle denotes the point at which the satellite will be on,or very slightly under the horizon.Given that the satellites are in geostationary orbit ( approx 36,000 kms above the equator) the difference in the elevation angle at 35,000 feet instead of sea level will be negligble.

Which means that you could probably use a hand held satphone out of a western facing window on the aircraft.


Last edited by TWT; 15th Mar 2014 at 11:33.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:16
  #3848 (permalink)  
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Ok thanks for the info Stormy and Ana. Will bet back to be books. What's missing is the range rings for the other pings in between they haven't given us. Surely that would give a better picture. It is not plausible it flew to Kazakstan. Pakistan and Indian radars would have seen them for sure.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:17
  #3849 (permalink)  
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So the options with the current information (which will undoubtedly change again) would be a hijacking, particularly one where the hijackers demanded a reroute - which would mean the plane could be parked at an airbase somewhere in central Asia, or a situation like Ethiopian Airlines 961 but with an even worse outcome.

If the pilot took it upon himself to change course, what could his motivation be? If he was suicidal, surely he'd have nosedived it somewhere along the planned route or into a prominent building/city? Not flown thousands of miles out into the Indian Ocean.

If he was attempting to land somewhere else, why? to sell the plane? I can't imagine the market for stolen intercontinental jets is huge, and most of the components could be tracked if it was broken up.

I can't imagine a Malaysian pilot wanting to claim asylum anywhere either.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:18
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A 772 Driver has confirmed that it would not be physically possible to get up to FL450 with a full load and 7 hours fuel minimum on board. In fact, I would be very surprised if it could even get to 400? 772 Drivers please advise.

It's not clear where those altitude data came from, especially now we know that the Satellite was NOT receiving such data?
The altitude excursion data was attributed to leaked Malaysian PSR returns on the unidentified target (presumed MH370) at IGARI sometime shortly after transponder switched off.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:19
  #3851 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sheep Guts
What I am saying Stormy is that final ping to the Satellite at 8:11 am came from the wreckage in the South China off Veitnam. Which is on the 40 degree line. It doesn't show up on your picture because it's faded. But I saw it when Jim Clancy showed his picture in front cameras this afternoon after the news conference.
What would be good is if we had the intermediate ping details & times....

Using the 40 degree arc, it does put it a long way away, especially if India did not see it.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:19
  #3852 (permalink)  
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Relatively untraceable communications with ground-based collaborators

If there is a conspiracy involving collaborators on the ground, it has already been pointed out that satellite phone contact would probably work from inside the plane, especially near a window. A small hand-held VHF set would be problematic and give very restricted reliable range of miles or tens of miles unless you were lucky.

Whilst the use of a satellite phone would leave you open to eventually being tracked / triangulated that would almost certainly take days to occur as the satellite operators would have no particular reason to suspect that any given call was even remotely related to the missing aircraft.

From the flight deck, as may well be the case, HF radio would probably be your best bet. Picking a suitable channel, you are highly unlikely to be overheard and HF is notoriously hard to triangulate unless significant assets are coordinated and expecting your transmissions. This would give a potential reliable range of one or two thousand miles, coupled maybe with a switch to VHF when in closer range. It's easy to overestimate the SIGINT resources that are out there and kid yourself that 'everything is monitored' but it's vastly more likely that that is simply not true. And even if it were true, your goals have probably been accomplished long, long before anyone realises that a couple of random / unexpected transmissions were you and joins up the dots.

Simple portable HF stations are ridiculously easy to set up as anyone with a comms background (as I have myself) will know, ditto VHF. It can all be operated from the back of a truck and put together for a few hundred dollars.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:22
  #3853 (permalink)  
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Pace ...More likely this was a case of massive depressurisation.

I heard on the news conference that systems were switched off / deactivated at different times, pointing to the fact they were deliberately turned off.

That would be 2 radios transmitting data, transponder, CPDLC, SAT, ADS etc..
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:27
  #3854 (permalink)  
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If the aircraft was deviated from its route intentionally, and then as suggested flown in close proximity to another aircraft to avoid detection the satellite pings that have been recorded could be traced to other transponding aircraft on the same route, military primary radar traces could then be observed for a target break away and a possible new route calculated.

Last edited by Above The Clouds; 15th Mar 2014 at 11:53.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:30
  #3855 (permalink)  
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North & South Arc

Why have they not filled in the arc between the north & south arc. Would this not also be a possible location for the final 8:11am ping?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:32
  #3856 (permalink)  
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Regardless if the cabin crew used portable oxy or not given the threat was at the controls it would have been just as easy to eliminate the cabin crew.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:36
  #3857 (permalink)  
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Thanks jimjim and stormy

It is very clear to me from the photo of the Malaysian SAR map


cross referenced with the INMARSAT coverage map


that they are doing the calculations on the basis of of only one INMARSAT being in contact with the plane (at the end).

Only the Indian Ocean (64E) INMARSAT was involved in the last ping(s) and so they have ruled out areas (on the 40 degree circle) that overlap with coverage by POR in the Pacific and AOR-E over the Atlantic to the West.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:42
  #3858 (permalink)  
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The captain's home simulator is interesting. He could have practised all the scenarios large numbers of times. The plane handling, the systems management, the use of airspace, the approach and landing at some obscure destination etc.
As a captain, if he didn't know how to do that already then it would be a scary ride alongside him.

We may never know what happened on board this plane. If somebody can switch off the ACARS and Transponder then they may have the ability to switch off the CVR and FDR.

The Indian Ocean is a pretty big dumping ground and would need some sort off debris to identify a place to start searching.

I still reckon we are not being told the whole picture of what the authorities know, but if keeping quiet, means the possibility of getting back "hostages" then they have to do it.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:42
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I think the use of the term arc is possibly better that corridor. The two arcs, if I have understood correctly, are the result of "triangulating" data captured by two satelites using time codes. What is not clear is whether the last "ping" cannot be precisely positioned on these arcs which then possibly means that they are indeed corridors (i.e. arcs with a width corresponding to precision, with the points sighted being the limits of accuracy at say 2 std deviations.

Assuming the aircraft was flying in a roughly constant direction, I suggest that the actual last position can be estimated with a further arc being when the a/c ran out of fuel or landed and was shut-down, which clearly must have been around or after 00:11Z. This suggests it could well be towards the western end of the northern corridor.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 11:43
  #3860 (permalink)  
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the speculation is now back on a possible terrorist act, but making an aircraft disappear without spectacle doesn't seem to be the MO for radical terrorists.
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