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Old 15th Mar 2014, 20:48   #4081 (permalink)
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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, 20:49   #4082 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by misd-agin View Post
"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A lot of our ship based air controllers got in the habit of using "roger that" but I am ten years out of date.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, 20:50   #4083 (permalink)
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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, 20:52   #4084 (permalink)
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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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Old 15th Mar 2014, 20:52   #4085 (permalink)
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Roger That

I have to concur with Tourist. I'm a humble heli pilot and I use " roger that" all the time. I am very surprised to see it even being discussed in the context of this thread.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 20:55   #4086 (permalink)
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then, those involved would be sophisticated enough to know, or learn through monitoring the world, including PPRuNe discussions, and make the necessary modifications IF (again) that is technically possible on the a/c systems.
I suspect Boeing, Airbus and the rest are already one step ahead. I don't think anyone wants to see this repeated. You'll probably find the US will mandate some sort of enhanced monitoring under the auspices of the TSA and National Security....other nations will no doubt eventually follow suit.

And quite honestly I feel sorry if anyone is trying to monitor the PPRuNe discussions for useful tidbits...unless its a Hollywood script writer looking for a few pointers to help with their writer's block !
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 20:57   #4087 (permalink)
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What about previous 'ping's

If Inmarsat can establish that the 777 was on a particular arc during the last ping (these are the arcs we have seen recently) they can surely determine the arcs of the previous pings as well. Given that the groundspeed of the plane is probably known to with 10% at worst, a reasonable track of the plane's position should be possible. If it was pinging every half-hour, and we are absolutely certain of its position when the transponder was disconnected, then the range of possible flight paths based on a series of arcs and a estimated speed would be quite small.

I can't imagine why nobody is bringing this up. It's completely obvious.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 20:58   #4088 (permalink)
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Aircraft HF Radio Comms

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 is interesting because intelligence networks like GCHQ do something along these lines and as the aircraft was equipped with something like Rockwell Collins HF 400W transceivers which can work any frequency between 2 and 30Mhz then it is possible those on the cockpit had capability of communicating on preassigned frequencies with a range of 1000s of miles.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:04   #4089 (permalink)
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Question Alice Springs- Jindee comment FWIW

About 15 years ago, as a tourist I passed thru Alice Springs- flew in- bussed out south via the ' gun barrel " hiway.
Was traveling with a random group- e.g. non affiliated.

And being generally aware of the OTH radar facility there - and later discussing it with some more knowledgeable people on the subject…

Its pretty sure the detection range publicly listed is much less than actual

As in being able to track military aircraft flying around during desert storm . .

My point is even if the Aussies went back to records and found some indication by matching times, possible tracks, etc it would probably be a while before they released it.

And I'm still quite sure the U S Navy is working on more than a ' hunch '-

But it will take spotting of a debris field and backtracking wind and waves to find if possible a ping . . . .

Even so it is a very big and DEEP ocean on the south leg of the arc
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:05   #4090 (permalink)
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Scroggins and Ramjet555's post at 4097

While I realize that you don't think that INMARSAT technicians can tell the time; one thing that they are reasonably good at is which satellite the signals are being received by. The position of handoff between Malaysia and Vietnam where you would have the explosion - is outside the footprint of the geostationary satellite that was receiving the pings for several HOURS. Mathematical lateration calculations put the last ping North West of Thailand received by a satellite whose footprint does not extend as far East as Thailand.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:06   #4091 (permalink)
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The U.S. officials said the communication was four “pings” over a period of hours after the last ground contact with the plane, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
citation for above quote

It seems you left this fact out of your theory!

Further to the point, it is based on this evidence that the US Navy has moved its assets west into the Indian Ocean.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:10   #4092 (permalink)
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Precisely! I'd like to see a map showing each ping and it's arcs. I suspect the USN has this information.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:14   #4093 (permalink)
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Ramjet555s responce is the only one out of 'undreds of replies of rubbish that I have read in the past week.
Unless RR has improved its powerplants exponentially the references to 45000,(FL450) is unavailable because at the weights that the 777 was at it would only get to FL390 near the end of its scheduled flight.
It used to be a very light 747 that got over FL370, untill there was only about 4hrs fuel left on board.
For my money the aircraft had a technical problem(breakup) or sever control problem at less than 5 hours out of KL.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:14   #4094 (permalink)
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I may be totally off here and I will welcome any correction but:

The 40 deg arc is being shown on maps as the supposed northerly option of the flight path.
There is no way that the aircraft flew along the arc as if it was some huge DME arc. The flight path would have cut through various arcs, the 40 deg one being just one, with the hourly ping being on a different one each time.

I must be missing something here...anyone?
I agree with you goose, not only that, but we must assume that the arc, is really a sector of a sphere, as the Ping only tells them the distance from the satellite at a certain time, and this diagram is only 2 dimensional. And this particular arc or section of sphere is all the possible locations as of the LAST ping.

They would have the data of all the other hourly pings (7?) and by starting out with the last known actual position, where it was lost off the actual radar, assuming a reasonable airspeed, they could intersect the plane's assumed trajectory with the Ping arc and have an idea of possible locations.

The assumptions they are making are airspeed and direction - they can't tell that by the pings. . Lots of assumptions. Many possibilities.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:15   #4095 (permalink)
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What would be the chances of the flight crew knowing what cargo was going to be on their flight, far enough ahead of schedule to plan something like that?

In my days in Ops, I would get the cargo manifest a few hours before departure to do the planning. Often it would get bumped to another flight if we had weight and balance (and space) issues. The cargo manifest went to the Cabin Crew. I would only notify the Flight Crew of what cargo was on board if there was a NOTOC involved. Even if we had something unusual, i.e. a car, that we knew about in advance, the crew wouldn't know until they saw it on the ramp.
I've given this some thought, and there are some possibilities.

First - one thing we know. There were approximately 50 less seats sold for the flight than max capacity. That might signify a heavy cargo. I would think that someone would have to plan that out ahead of time, otherwise the seats would be sold. If someone knew that regular shipments of something heavy (gold?) were being made, tracking available seats would point to which flight.

Also - this was a high-hour pilot with seniority. Presumably the red eye would not be a particularly desirable flight. It could be that if there was an important cargo or person on board, the airline assigned a senior pilot. If that was SOP, it could have been another indication of cargo.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:18   #4096 (permalink)
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an update re WSJ

Search teams have been withdrawn from the South China Sea, the area from which the plane's transponder, which relays identification signals to ground radar, sent its last signal. "Clearly, the search for MH370 has entered a new phase," he said.

"As of Saturday, 43 ships and 58 aircraft from 14 countries are involved in the search, the prime minister said.

The latest revelations indicate that the search areas will be significantly expanded, while Vietnam announced it would cease search operations following the prime minister's statement.

On Saturday, the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet confirmed that it had spent the day searching the Bay of Bengal far to the northwest of Malaysia. However, it now appears unlikely that Flight 370 could have flown there, given the bay's distance from both corridors highlighted by the prime minister.

A spokesman for the Seventh Fleet said patrol schedules were planned only one day in advance and the U.S. Navy "will not fly to the south" of the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, despite Mr. Najib's statement. "


" Based on the new data, aviation authorities of Malaysia and counterparts in other countries have determined that the plane's last satellite communication came from one of two corridors, Mr. Najib said: a northern one stretching approximately from the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border to northern Thailand or a southern one stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

If Flight 370 traveled north, it might have been above Thailand, China, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan at 8.11 a.m., according to the satellite data released by Kuala Lumpur. However, it would have needed to fly through the airspace of several countries to have reached that point, and it is unlikely that it could have done so undetected, especially if it passed close to China or India, both of which have air-defense systems.

"The routine messages sent by the aircraft show that Flight 370 was still airborne nearly six hours after it disappeared from Malaysian military radar. The Boeing BA +1.00% 777-200 plane with 239 people on board was carrying enough fuel to fly for eight hours, Malaysia Airlines confirmed on Saturday"
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:19   #4097 (permalink)
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The 40 deg arc is being shown on maps as the supposed northerly option of the flight path.
NO. the 40 degree arc is the possible position of the aircraft at the time of the "ping" to the satelite. The Aircraft could have been anywhere on that arc(In the red marked areas).

The flight path would have cut through various arcs, the 40 deg one being just one, with the hourly ping being on a different one each time.
Right. But the degree of the three other pings has not been shared(yet).
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:23   #4098 (permalink)
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Roger That / Readbacks

Originally Posted by AirWon View Post
I'm a humble heli pilot and I use " roger that" all the time. I am very surprised to see it even being discussed in the context of this thread.
I'm a pilot too and pretty sure I've used this phrase on occasions but what I haven't seen is what he was responding to. If it was a frequency change to the Vietnamese controller then strictly speaking it is one of those items, like a runway clearance, heading, speed or altitude change where a readback is required and he didn't.

While it doesn't prove anything, other than rather casual phraseology late at night, it might have prompted the Malaysian controller to quickly ask for a readback before MH370 changed frequency to be sure of a clean handover.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:26   #4099 (permalink)
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Over-Reliance on Inmarsat Ping Data? Other Radio Signals?

Reading the Malaysian PM's statement as a whole, the thing that stands out is that it is carefully crafted to address an obvious question about the Malaysian government's handling of the matter:
Why did Malaysia fail to take advantage of civilian and military primary radar data that were readily available from the beginning?
The implied answer asserted by the PM could be paraphrased as follow:
  • Malaysian government did (ultimately) notice that an aircraft had flown across peninsular Malaysia,
  • The primary radar track was not connected with MH370 at first due to the absence of transponder data.
  • The primary radar track was only connected with MH370 when the relevance of Satcom ping information was appreciated some days later.
Current attempts to pinpoint the location of the aircraft based on extrapolation from Inmarsat ping communications should be seen against this background, and be taken with a large pinch of salt.

It is tempting to overestimate the degree to which Inmarsat data can be relied on, all the more tempting as we have nothing else in the public domain. However, as pointed out by earlier contributors, estimating location from radio signal strength cannot give more than a very rough indication of range. It may be worth the effort and cost to conduct a full-fledged trial to confirm assumptions about signal strength etc. given the actual type of aircraft, antenna, flight attitude, etc.

More sophisticated techniques based on signal transit times etc. are more promising in theory, but the Inmarsat protocols are not primarily designed for this purpose. Transponders on the satellite may not have measured/collected/downlinked timing data except as necessary for link establishment and maintenance. TDMA related data may be most promising to the extent it remains extant.

As another contributor has noted, it is possible that ACARS also sent out pings on VHF which might have been received while MH370 was (again) in the vicinity of land (Malaysia or Indonesia). Space-based SIGINT may also be of assistance, but we will not hear about such efforts.

Obviously, contemporaneous visual satellite imagery would be the the easiest way to spot an aircraft in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Last edited by Communicator; 29th Mar 2014 at 15:53.
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 21:36   #4100 (permalink)
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Unless RR has improved its powerplants exponentially the references to 45000,(FL450) is unavailable because at the weights that the 777 was at it would only get to FL390 near the end of its scheduled flight.
I believe that BA38, the 777 that crashed at LHR, had spent a lot of its flight at 40,000ft? That was thought to have contributed to the icing problem.
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