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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:13
  #3881 (permalink)  
 
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Full disclosure: I have no relationship to planes so I bow down to you gods, I am but a lowly analyst who has studied threat groups as part of my work.

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.
I wouldn't take this off the table so fast. In this day and age people seem to only remember the kinetic actions of these threat groups. Terror groups work on fear which by the looks of things this event has avoided. Maybe the passengers are now hostages who will be used as bargaining chips to trade for captured comrades. Maybe this could happen again which then would put people on edge.

Perhaps they are waiting to get into a secure location before making any comment or taking their next action. Particularly in the short term there is no rush to claim responsibility.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:18
  #3882 (permalink)  
 
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The Malay Peninsula is not remotely as covered by military radar as India, but I agree that there's some explaining to do in this case. I've flown over both places hundreds of times and there is no comparison. India is on constant alert because of certain neighbours and has a vastly bigger air force.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:21
  #3883 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks everyone.

I agree that the simple plan above to locate the plane does assume not many zig zags in the last 6 hours and it does not take account of a path needing to avoid radar.

However if you assume the plane goes fairly straight for the last six hours, covering say about 4000km from the Andaman sea, then there are only two final resting places on the red arcs/corridors.

They seem to be a northern one at 37N, 68E in northern Pakistan and a southern one at 25S, 91E about 2000km west of Perth.

The northern destination seems slightly more attractive but goes through Indian radar coverage.

The southern one seems a very sad place to end up.

Last edited by ana1936; 15th Mar 2014 at 12:22. Reason: typo
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:21
  #3884 (permalink)  
 
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Have only spent a little time around satellite but those arcs dont look like anything ive seen before. The inmarsat reports ive seen shows the bgan data going through a specific cell number not from some arc?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:24
  #3885 (permalink)  
 
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Apologies, has the actual amount of fuel on board at departure been confirmed?

As carriers often carry CAT B fuel to China so double the the normal amount.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:24
  #3886 (permalink)  
 
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The Malay Peninsula is not remotely as covered by military radar as India, but I agree that there's some explaining to do in this case. I've flown over both places hundreds of times and there is no comparison. India is on constant alert because of certain neighbours and has a vastly bigger air force.
For which reason also, I find the "Tailgating" theory unpersuasive on balnce to get a silent 772 right over the sub-continent? The Southern route seems more plausible. If 1000 Km West of PER, wouldn't that already be getting tracked by Australian Military eyes? Quite apart from the huge Australian/NSA tracking station up on the Northern Coast of WA?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:29
  #3887 (permalink)  
 
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On JOTR and AC location near Perth

philipat

In Australia maybe. Does not explain how a 772 could fly right across Peninsular Malaysia entirely unchallenged.
Given the spectrum allocations granted to JORN, the enforcement of that spectrum with Australia, especially north of the receivers and the publically understated capabilities of the system, it's safe to say that, unless JOR2 was down for operational maintenance at the time of the incident, then the aircraft was nowhere near the operational airspace at the time the incident occurred.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:29
  #3888 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by philipat View Post
For which reason also, I find the "Tailgating" theory unpersuasive on balnce to get a silent 772 right over the sub-continent? The Southern route seems more plausible. If 1000 Km West of PER, wouldn't that already be getting tracked by Australian Military eyes?
You can guarantee, they have already looked as soon as Military Radar tracking was mentioned & a radar plot discussed....at least I hope so
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:30
  #3889 (permalink)  
 
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That was 1000NM West of PER, not 1000km. A rather substantial difference.

If the aircraft went South, it would be because there was extra fuel uploaded to make Africa.

There's only two airstrips in the Northern Indian Ocean (besides DG) - CCK (8000') and XCH (6900').
Both of these are well-established Australian territories with top-class communications, and I'm sure we'd have heard by now if a stray B777 rolled up to either. Unless it was a weekend, of course.

Last edited by onetrack; 15th Mar 2014 at 12:44. Reason: addendum ..
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:34
  #3890 (permalink)  
 
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tichy

Have only spent a little time around satellite but those arcs dont look like anything ive seen before. The inmarsat reports ive seen shows the bgan data going through a specific cell number not from some arc?
Inmarsat's BGAN network is on a different satellite platform than the one which provides backhaul for ACARS.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:36
  #3891 (permalink)  
 
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@onetrack

That was 1000NM West of PER, not 1000km. A rather substantial difference.
Beg pardon and stand corrected. But the question remains the same. Would that area be controlled from Australia or Diego Garcia?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:38
  #3892 (permalink)  
 
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Cargo questions

Could a B777 pilot please explain why the alleged 50 odd pax empty seats (weight restricted) MZFW occured for only a medium haul flight. Does this mean an unusually high cargo load? I've only experienced this restriction into headwinds on flights of twice the duration in larger types.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:41
  #3893 (permalink)  
 
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One more brief observation.

Even if the plane had twice as much fuel as needed to get to Beijing, it still stopped (one way or another) within 30 minutes of 8:11am.

So it did not get further South than (2000km west) off Perth and it did not get further North (or West) than Pakistan/Himalayas.

How do we know that?

Because the pings stopped then and it is highly unlikely that the (new) ``pilot'' would have suddenly worked out that s/he'd overlooked pings and worked how to stop them.

So 6 hours from the Andaman sea is as far as you can get by 8:11am.

And to also be on those arcs puts you at those limits.

Furthermore you can not get out of range of IOR with 30 mins of those places.

So the plane did not go on to Kazakhstan or Antarctica, even if it had enough fuel.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:44
  #3894 (permalink)  
 
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Let's assume the Aircraft landed somewhere and was de-powered when the Pinging stopped..


When they power up the 777 the pinging may well start again, also the ACARS May default back to switched on after a new power up cycle?

I hope we are watching for new pings/ACARS connections?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:45
  #3895 (permalink)  
 
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Would any experienced formation pilots care to speculate on the ease with which a twin-aisle passenger jet could be hand-flown for 4 hours in close formation with another?
Not only could one intercept at night, providing it was VMC, but a relatively safe join up could be established, and whether one chose to remain directly astern, or 5/7o'clock to avoid visual detection from the lead aircraft, and ideally slightly low, it is quite easily do-able with the lead aircraft displaying good reference lights.

So in short, intercept, join up and loose trail formation keeping very easy.
(helps to have had at least some practice, overshoot and lack of appreciation of closure rates are a killer!)
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:48
  #3896 (permalink)  
 
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ANA1936

Your maths is near perfect, and then you add an assumption that someone-one on the ground (at night) would have tried to prevent the plane crossing their airspace. Stick to the maths, I am with you on the approximate final northern destination.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:51
  #3897 (permalink)  
 
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I would not dismiss the Helios theory all together. Explosive decompression takes out some of the kit in the E&E bay, including transponder and ACARS, most pax and crew incapacitated. Some survivor gets on portable O2 and gains access to the FD. They try to push a few buttons but don't know how use the radios or fly the jet. They try a few turns and climbs and descents, typing stuff into the FMC, eventually portable 02 runs out and the jet continues on last track until fuel exhaustion over the indian ocean. Even with the autopilot off a 777 that remains in trim should remain airborne without any inputs for many hours. I don't fly the 777 but relevant questions would be : is transponder (1 or 2) in the same bus as essential kit that drives the ACARS, is the pax O2 in the same bus? what would happen under a variety of electrical malfunctions if appropriate actions where not carried out by the crew? for example loss of essential batt bus. There are sure to be combinations that take out all comms (even if some could have been regained by the crew if they had been able to).



It seems more plausible than a super elaborate suicide plan. I could (try to) understand a suicide as an act of madness but going for hours and hours dodging radar to take 200 souls with you to a far away oceanic grave. It seems far too elaborate and contrived.

As an act of terrorism it also seems contrived. if you wanted a big jet to carry an evil deed later on you could buy a big one in Russia while keeping a pretty low profile. If you wanted a high profile why has nobody credible claimed the action?

Technical and human factors explanations must be completely discarded before going down the "James Bond villain" routes
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:52
  #3898 (permalink)  
 
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MZFW or MLW.

As far as the standby passengers; do we know for sure whether the flight was limited by either? It would certainly suggest different culprits if the limitation was MZFW i.e. lots of/heavy cargo vs. a MLW limitation i.e. many tons extra fuel.
Just following our in-house detective's thought on eliminating various scenarios...

Last edited by ekpilot; 15th Mar 2014 at 12:56. Reason: add-on
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:53
  #3899 (permalink)  
 
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Seems to be lots of focus on the Captain. So much so that I heard the following phrase on BBC Radio 2 - "They are searching the pilot's home". I am assuming they mean the Captain, as the press still have the quaint habit of calling Captain and First Officer, Pilot and Co-Pilot.

So have the press forgotten there is a second pilot at all? I assume they are probably investigating the first officer as well, but BBC don't deem it necessary to mention this.

I think people are barking up the wrong tree about the Captain and his home sim. I doubt that is relevant.

So there were some allegations about the First Officer letting people into the cockpit before. Was this an isolated incident or did it happen more than once? Is it possible that, if the FO was known to be amenable to cockpit visitors, that one of his flights was targetted by would-be hijackers for that very reason? The FO would not have to necessarily be 'in on it'.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 12:58
  #3900 (permalink)  
 
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FWIW, I think the public is way behind the curve of events. From what I can see, the Malaysian Press conference only came clean with what they know, after a statement by Inmarsat. Based on this information they have now popped around to the crews houses - I can't believe for one minute that this has not already been done.
I can't see any official statement on the cargo or just how much fuel was uplifted. If it was tankered, the 777 could fly maybe 13 hours or so. The cargo & fuel must be known- so why not release that information?
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