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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:16
  #4061 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by D.S.
The pilot of that Japanese plane is quoted as saying

“We managed to establish contact with MH370 just after 1:30 a.m. and asked them if they have transferred into Vietnamese airspace,” the pilot reportedly told New Straits Times. “The voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie (Ahmad Shah, 53,) or Fariq (Abdul Hamid, 27), but I was sure it was the co-pilot."
The "Japanese plane" you're mentioning, may in fact have been MH88: Post 3875

Chances are that the MH88 pilot knew the MH370 (co-)pilot he was talking to.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:18
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It's nonsense.
The circle shows a line basically right through the last known position within a range of acceptable error.

According to Imarsat, it must have remained in the same area and ran out of fuel in same area, as the last transponder signal.

What we have is an incredible error in assume the TIME of the last "ping" to be 7.5 hours AFTER the transponder stopped.

No, that last ping from my read occurred about the same time as the last transponder report.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:22
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Techgeek – Re:17:11 out of range of POR

Point taken. But if at that time MH370 was too far west to be seen by POR, that fact in itself would proof that MH370 was going west as indicated by primary radar.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:25
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OK, maybe the mod will allow a question for one of the experts to comment on or answer, on a point that seems important but so far overlooked (at least here).

We have transponder/comms cut off, with some doubt as to whether that was "deliberate" or the result of some electro-mechanical failure/s.

We have a somewhat suspect "alright good nite" hand-over AFTER that.

So MAYBE that is telling. But what about: ATC Vietnam hears hand-over transmission.

Does he also see or note that this a/c handing-over is from a FL he does not see because the transponder is off... would he note that and question that??
(as being alarming to get the hand-over in such circumstances)
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:26
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Originally Posted by Ramjet555
The problem is, Imarsat information has got the TIME wrong, it was NOT AFTER the accident time but AT the accident time the last reported "PING" was heard.
I'm sure one of the first questions Inmarsat asked was 'is there any way these times could be incorrect?' (e.g. something in the system accidentally resending old messages).
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:28
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Define ping

Warning - the following is a bit off topic for an aviation forum but it is relevant to this thread.

"The term "ping" doesn't refer to a particular mode of transmission but a particular type of transmission. That is, a ping refers to the content of the data packet. A ping is either some version of an ACK or a "keep alive" message.

Typically one node broadcasts a message to another node. The node receiving node either returns an ACK (acknowledgement) or a keep alive. Which it returns depends on design specifications. It is something said that when this roundtrip has been successfully completed it is called a "handshake". However, a handshake contains more data than ping because a handshake contains data regarding the network protocol"
A reasonable generalization but not really accurate. Protocols use very explicit language to define their operation (e.g. ISO 8208 CALL REQUEST, ISO 10747 KEEPALIVE). In this case the protocols are pre-determined and there are quite a few of them (AMSS, ISO 8208, IDRP, X.25, X.121)! These protocols are layered with one depending on another for proper operation.

It is important to understand the concept of layers in networking. Microsoft has a good link here if you want to learn more about network layers in general.

This pdf published by Boeing (slide 12) shows an architectural diagram of ACARS. Blocks denote "layers" stacked upon one another. There are 3 stacks depicted ("Communications Management Unit", "Datalink Service Processor" and "User Ground System"). You can think of data flowing up and down each stack and horizontally between them. Note the dashed line connecting "Satellite Data Unit" (in the airplane) and "AMSS GES" (satellite ground station). The satellite itself is not shown but you could think of it as represented by the dashed line. This is where the "ping" is occurring.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:28
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Swedish media picking up reports from other media that some pax might have had flight training in Sweden. Might be picking at straws etc but Missing Malaysia Airlines jet: Investigation paying 'special attention' to Chinese Uighur passenger
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:28
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At last HF is being mentioned

I have followed this thread from the beginning and have read all posts that have not been deleted before I got to them.

About an hour ago, while reading yet another post about illicit communication with ground accomplices via satellite phones or cellphones, I starting shouting at my screen "Has nobody heard of HF?".

Then I came across Mike Banahan at 1119z and then J R Barrett at 1756z and realised that I was not alone in my thoughts.

As pointed out, HF aeronautical radios and their associated antenna tuners have wide band capabilities and used discreetly may go unnoticed.

Why would hijackers or rogue pilots need to risk drawing attention to themselves by taking hand held VHF on board when there are already decent powerful VHF COM sets on board connected to external antennae? Why risk using a pipsqueak radio whose batteries might die at the crucial moment? All that is needed is to pre arrange a selection of VHF channels which have been researched as not being in use wherever the hijacker intended to travel.

What has not been mentioned by the previous posters suggesting HF is that nowadays huge chunks of HF spectrum can be recorded using SDR and played back at leisure, with particular attention to transmissions sticking out as unusual. Likewise VHF, if anyone is recording it in that way.

Just a thought on "Roger that". Might not a pilot being leaned on by a third party break with convention in order to draw attention from ATC but not from a hijacker? In this instance could that have been too subtle?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:31
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Originally Posted by overthewing

I'm afraid I'm struggling a bit to understand what you mean - can you clarify? When you say that do you mean that the plane's position would have been on the 50-degree arc rather than the 40-degree?
I was trying to understand / envisage where the arc would be based on an earlier ping.

I now see all they can tell is the range based on the "elevation ring" , believe there are two arcs because they know it wasn't in that middle area, and the ends of the arc are based on fuel/range.

So when the aircraft was on one of the other rings , say for argument 50deg the arcs would be continuous, infact it may be the entire circle and anywhere inside or outside of it based on fuel.

Obviously a phone satellite is only concerned with range (angle of elevation) not where on the circle you are so each aerial ring is a 360 deg coverage
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:33
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In the whole of my flying career I've never heard 'roger that' being used by a line pilot. Maybe things have changed in the past few years, but not in my experience?! I think the airline training Captains might have a wry smile and then correct the phraseology used.
"Roger that" mmm very American military or too many videos/games.
Personally don't think a civilian pilot would use the phrase but hey Ho who knows these days, but if I was investigating I'd look into it.
Anyone have the original source of that reported phrase, was it one of the press conferences in K.L. or a media release?

We Americans are indeed pretty bad on the radio overseas.

"Delta one six six line up and wait runway zero two center."
"One sixty-six on the hold."

I saw one report that the "roger that" phrase was from a briefing given by the Malaysian ambassador to Chinese families, presumably in English. Is there another source or transcript?

And can we stop all this talk of the 'precise flight path' flown from 'waypoint to waypoint' carefully 'avoiding various areas of radar cover'.
Don't know if this one has really been debunked, it is from a Reuters report yesterday:

...The fact that the aircraft - if it was MH370 - had lost contact with air traffic control and was invisible to civilian radar suggested someone on board had turned off its communication systems, the first two sources said.

They also gave new details on the direction in which the unidentified aircraft was heading - following aviation corridors identified on maps used by pilots as N571 and P628. These routes are taken by commercial planes flying from Southeast Asia to the Middle East or Europe and can be found in public documents issued by regional aviation authorities.

In a far more detailed description of the military radar plotting than has been publicly revealed, the first two sources said the last confirmed position of MH370 was at 35,000 feet about 90 miles off the east coast of Malaysia, heading towards Vietnam, near a navigational waypoint called "Igari". The time was 1:21 a.m..

The military track suggests it then turned sharply westwards, heading towards a waypoint called "Vampi", northeast of Indonesia's Aceh province and a navigational point used for planes following route N571 to the Middle East.

From there, the plot indicates the plane flew towards a waypoint called "Gival", south of the Thai island of Phuket, and was last plotted heading northwest towards another waypoint called "Igrex", on route P628 that would take it over the Andaman Islands and which carriers use to fly towards Europe.
Exclusive: Radar data suggests missing Malaysia plane deliberately flown way off course - sources | Reuters

What has not been mentioned by the previous posters suggesting HF is that nowadays huge chunks of HF spectrum can be recorded using SDR and played back at leisure, with particular attention to transmissions sticking out as unusual. Likewise VHF, if anyone is recording it in that way.
This wideband recording has been done for decades, well prior to SDR, by the military and other 'agencies'. Don't ask us how we know.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:34
  #4071 (permalink)  
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"Roger that" is not an uncommon acknowledgement in U.S. aviation talk. I believe it comes from the military and has crossed over, in small doses, to general U.S. conversational English, typically from former military personnel. It's used to acknowledge (ie WILCO) or as a general agreement(I wish we could get going. "Roger that")

Last edited by misd-agin; 15th Mar 2014 at 19:37. Reason: added 'typically from former military personnel'
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:39
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Boeing 777 avionics compartment vr panoramic

HawkEye Media Boeing 777 Avionics Compartment VR Panoramic Photography
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:44
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Just adding to Ensco's post which said "I know something about mental health and suicide. Anyone who wonders why someone would go to such lengths to mask a suicide, doesn't have that much familiarity with suicide.

It is actually reasonably common that someone commits suicide, but tries to disappear rather than be remembered for the act of the suicide.

Also the willingness to murder innocents in the process is not quite so rare as people are making it out to be. Ask any policeman about what they think really happened in many head-on collisions that are classified as accidents."

I'm in a different industry, but one where unfortunately we have suicides take place. And it is not unusual for someone to take several hours on the top of a building before jumping. So the continuation of the flight (rather than an immediate dive) might not have been planned or deliberate but the person starts the process with a flight diversion and removing the comms, and then takes time before finally committing the act.

Last edited by jonathan3141; 15th Mar 2014 at 20:44. Reason: rotten grammar
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:46
  #4074 (permalink)  
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I'm a pilot.

I have said "roger that" and "goodnight" many times.

I have never said them due to duress.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:47
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A few radio technical comments

I've been reading the thread, and have a few comments based on my radio/RF Engineering/software/comms background (my aviation is only P-3 aircrew, private pilot, and CAP SAR):

"Ping" - we don't know if this is being used as a technical term or simply a shorthand way to describe a transmission used just for link establishment/maintenance. It might actually refer to an ICMP "ping" message, but I doubt it. The safest assumption is the most general - it's just a received, short transmission.

Regarding the search arcs - they appear to be at constant range (and elevation) from one satellite. This implies that they were established either by signal strength measurements or timing. Triangulation, and measurements with two satellites don't match this.

Without knowing deep details, we cannot be sure of which. I would guess they are using just signal strength. The satellite probably logs each message with a bit of RF data - frequency/channel, strength, antenna used. In either case, unless remarkably tight timing information is being kept, the arc position will not be very accurate. If signal strength, they probably used one or more pings when the position of the plane was known to establish a baseline.

I hope someone with deep knowledge of INMARSAT appears and comments.

A non-technical note: the arcs appear to correspond to just one ping - probably the last. We have not heard where the other pings were located - unless they, by some chance, just happened to also be on the arc (i.e. had the same signal strength). A question to be answered.

Another non-technical: I doubt the aircraft had to be flying to generate the pings - it just had to not have been destroyed or completely powered off.

Regarding cell phones at altitude. Radio signals at those frequencies (low noise) can travel a surprising distance. A ~1/2 watt cell phone can easily reach 100 miles, unless TDMA timing protocols rule it out (depends on the specific modulation scheme). Likewise, doppler from a moving aircraft is from the component of motion along the line to the tower. Thus, if the phone is talking to something at 90 degrees to the line of flight, there is zero doppler, with it increasing as the angle approaches 0/180. I recently had an email appear while I was riding at >FL300 and had forgotten to set the phone to airplane mode.

The same observation on radio signals at high frequencies means that hand-held walkie talkies could be used at quite a distance for communications from an aircraft. Even an FRS radio (cheap HT's sold at many stores) could be used.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:48
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Originally Posted by Trimup
Where, when and how are prone to "anything is possible" see the hundreds of posts on those topics already. Why and Who tend to improve focus. The flight crew is being discussed as the Who in many posts here and elsewhere but I have yet to see a Why that makes sense for either of them.
Complete conspiracy theory here…. But you hear of "sleeper" agents in the spy world. Maybe in the terrorist world, they could be doing the same with pilots. Guys training, getting flying jobs, seeming completely normal for years, arousing no suspicion, until the day they are "needed".
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:48
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Why would the perpatrators need to be anonymous?

Let us throw another spanner in the works.

I posit that there was a large quantity of gold bullion, or other very high value cargo in the hold of MH370. One or both of the flight crew conspired with a criminal gang to hi-jack the aircraft and fly it to a location where the criminal gang could recover the cargo.

Pure speculation of course, but it would certainly explain the lack of a crash site, lack of attribution to terrorist groups and the desire to remain anonymous. The destination would not necessarily require a runway if the aircrew were prepared to ditch or crash land the aircraft, or even abandon the aircraft, for it to crash at a known location.

Will Malaysian reveal a cargo list? If not, it may just lend credence to my posit.

Any body any thoughts on this?
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:49
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Originally Posted by misd-agin
"Roger that" is not an uncommon acknowledgement in U.S. aviation talk.
Sadly true in too many cases.
I was one of those pedants who used to bust peoples' chops about that. It's bad radio discipline. Roger, Over, Out, WILCO ... a lot of terms have precise meanings if one bothers to learn what one has been trained to do.

A lot of our ship based air controllers got in the habit of using "roger that" but I am ten years out of date. I would hope that someone would have tried to clean up the airwaves, though maybe enough pedants are not around to have enough impact.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:50
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on "roger that"

I suppose that pro pilots in service for many years or in familiar airspace might develop verbal shortcuts or personal touches. For me, as I get farther away from my normal flying areas and familiar-sounding controllers' voices, I get more standard in my speech.

I'm only a private pilot, but my instructor taught me to use concise, correct phraseology by commenting mercilessly about others' goofy phraseology overheard on the air. He tolerated a bit of personal modification to the official wordings, but was careful to instill in his students a respect for the benefits of consistent language.

Many of the students at the school where I learned to fly continue on to pro aviation careers (especially in ATC) and so there's a good emphasis on phraseology there. Usually there was a bit of good natured ribbing over strange phrases they had heard fellow students utter on the air.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 19:52
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Occam's Razor

This would certainly be the simplest - and arguably most logical - explanation (see Ramjet555's post at 4097):

It appears that most of the worlds journalists and managers of the search have failed to do any "air of reality"checks with this story. The searchers have failed to think logically with the exception of the Chinese Government and the Vietnamese Government who have done an incredible job and who both deserve an honourable mention for their accurate reporting.

The Transponder and Flight Data STOPPED indicating a catastrophic explosion. The WRECKAGE DEBRIS was repeatedly observed, photographed and provided to searchers. Boats arriving could not find it. Those Photographs did not LIE, they were not fabricated. They are REAL EVIDENCE.

Oil Rig Worker Michael McKay was the First and Only Eye Witness to the explosion and his "Bearing confirms that it was along the flight path near where the Transponder Stopped.

The Satelite "PINGING" by Imarasat shows it ENDED in the same area as where the Transponder Stopped.

The problem is, Imarsat information has got the TIME wrong, it was NOT AFTER the accident time but AT the accident time the last reported "PING" was heard.

There appears to be a miscalculation of time or , the FL MH370 flew in circles in the same area for 7.5 hours and then crashed in the same area.

Imarsat is not showing an accurate map. The map shown is misleading and fails to allow for known errors that if allowed for place the last signal in the same area.

The Primary radar is dubious, and does not show clear evidence to support any flight away from the last known position.

There is NO evidence to support a highjacking.

Any search manager should take a close look at that Imarsat informatio, demand to see video or stills of that primary radar BEFORE assuming the "Highjack" theory and or wasting many millions of dollars searching in any area OTHER THAN

an Underwater search in the Immediate area after the transponder stopped.

At around 500 Knots, the debris will have travelled about 5 miles forward of the last known position along the Planned Flight Path and it is there that the heavy wreckage will be found.

The floating Debris has moved at about 50 miles a day and some maritime science needs to be used to determine from wind and currents since the crash time as to where that debris might be now.

The world owes an apology to the Governments of China and Vietnam for their incredible work to date and for the arrogance of the west to ignore their vital evidence.

Dito for Michael McKay who is the Sole Witness to this mid-air explosion.

The US navy needs to take its own appraisal of the above information and start an

underwater search centered on 5 nm ahead of the last known Transponder position on the Flight Path Track.
On a related note, does anyone know what this "debris" turned out to be?

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