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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:14
  #461 (permalink)  
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People have posted a lot of "it could have been" or "must have been" possibilities, but the one that I haven't seen mentioned (and maybe I missed it) is the possibility of pilot/crew suicide as in Egyptair 990. No one really wants to think about that and the probability of it being the cause is very, very remote, but it is still, a possibility.
I can't see any similarity with EA 990 or LAM 470. Both aircraft were tracked on radar when losing altitude. Not with MAS 370. Apparently the last secondary return available indicated an altitude of 38,000 feet, then nothing. This fact, if confirmed, is certainly disturbing and raises lots of questions, but more or less excludes any similarity with the aforementioned crash cases.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:17
  #462 (permalink)  
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This terrible occurrence is surely a terrorist act but I am puzzled by the lack of a group claiming responsibility.
Splinter group operating on their own?? Who knows. Either way, an airliner is missing, seemingly with no trace
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:17
  #463 (permalink)  
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I would take the last 1 minute of data that everyone is talking about with a pinch of salt, to go from 35,000ft to 0ft in one minute would indicate a power on vertical dive.

I know the only thing that is important is that they find the wreckage and get the FDR and the FVR and establish what went on from there.

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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:18
  #464 (permalink)  
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Could you be more precise regarding water depth in the Gulf of Thailand ?
Within a radius of 20NM of 7N 104E the water depth on average is between 40 and 55 meters.

The surface current is weak and generally flowing in a SW direction at between 0.1 to 0.15 m/s.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:22
  #465 (permalink)  
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There may well have been many fishing boat calls, but coordinating the calls and even to make sense of them, would be very difficult. Would many have recognised a disintegrated airliner going into the sea? Establishing reliability of the radio calls will take some while.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:27
  #466 (permalink)  
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Water depth

Thanks mm43 for your feedback.

It means that once the crash (I guess that now nobody is doubting anymore about using that dreaded word) site is located, it won't take two years (ref. AF447) to get the recorders if thay have survived the event.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:30
  #467 (permalink)  
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Here is a Nautical chart for the area.

Chart 93010
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:35
  #468 (permalink)  
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I've browsed the Vietnamese news sites. Google's translator is far from perfect, but very interesting anyway. The Thanh Nien site has some interesting data of the SAR operation:
- Apparently three MI-171 helicopters have been involved (02, 04 and 431) and temporarily based at Ca Mau at the coast. At 1710, one of them "discovered abnormalities in the oil slick Shoals Ca Mau, at the rig DK1-10 of about 50 km to the southwest." "As noted, the scope of oil slick is about 20 km. This is a very unusual phenomenon."

(I have not located the DK1-10 but believe it to be close inshore. This is probably unconnected to MH370).

- Two AN-26 search aircraft took off from Than Son Nat airport at the capital Ho Chi Minh, at 1430 and 1500 local time.
- There is a video taken aboard AN-26 number 261 including also the "oil slick" picture widely discussed here. The flight was apparently a very unusual flight for the air force, judging by the fact it had a Lieutenant Colonel, Vu Duc Long, as captain and two further Lieutenant Colonels aboard.
- At 1610 it reached the search region and descended to 2400m (7800ft). They could not descend lower due to Malaysian aircraft searching at the lower altitude of 1500m. It returned to base at 1820.
- Tomorrow morning there will be two flights in the search area.

Here's a picture of today's defined route:

- 2 ships, HQ954 and HQ637, are also on their way to the search area.

I have tried to make sense of the "oil slick" picture but will not make any speculations. Judging from other oil slick pictures, they look very different depending on sun angle, cloudiness and other factors.

Edit: clarify

Last edited by snowfalcon2; 8th Mar 2014 at 21:14.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:35
  #469 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MountainBear
The one aspect that causes me to discount the terror possibility right now is that there has been no public claim of responsibility. Difficult to advance a cause through terror when no one knows who did it!
There are some 'organizations' that are known to use stolen passports of various nationalities that refuse to 'confirm or deny' knowledge of incidents. Also suddenly realizing that the aircraft was Malaysian and not China Southern would affect the wish for self-publicity.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:38
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Somebody mentioned the plane possibly being hijacked. Hijackers could have demanded transponders off and "low" flying. Primary radar can tell more.

If there really is no debris in the water, this could be one of many leads for investigators.

Depending on the wish of the hijackers the plane could have ended up anywhere. A Nigerian (OR was it Ethiopian?) plane was commanded to Australia but of course ran out of fuel and crashed in the ocean.

This does seem far fetched because hijackers usually want to speak to someone, unless they intend to do serious harm like 9/11.

But as many other have posted... the sudden and unannounced disappearance is unsettling....
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:40
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It may prove interesting on whether the passengers with the stolen passports originated in Kuala Lumpur, or connected from another flight(s), and their seat assignments.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:51
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A few people have asked questions about the depth in the likely impact area. The Gulf of Thailand is relatively shallow, and the depths in the area of interest are around 50m. When the debris is located, a full salvage a la TWA 800 is possible.

Specifically, the depth in the area of last radar contact is a fairly even 51m. It is five miles due west of a 1945 wreck on chart 93018 (which after brief googling seems a probable misplacement of the USS Lagarto wreck) for the navigationally challenged. Doubtless someone can be bothered extrapolating a parabolic trajectory from last known position to give a more accurate estimation of debris field position.

Chart 93010

Chart 93018

(edit: someone beat me to it)
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:54
  #473 (permalink)  
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Thread Review

Lots of interesting speculations. Let's review a few.

1. It appears the plane was lost in a catastrophic occurrence at altitude.
2. If so, did local fishing boats see anything?
(Early posts indicated lots of boats, but with poor communications capabilities)
3. If a catastrophic occurrence was it:
A. A bomb--would have to have been a good one and well placed.
1.Why has no one taken credit for it yet? (I know some speculations here)
B. Airframe failure? Does 777 have a pressure dome?
C. Descend and take me somewhere.
1. I think the reporting sites would show the a/c at 0 feet if transponder/other equipment made inoperative.
2. If this scenario, where is the plane?
D. Inflight collison with a practice radar intercept/drone/meteorite

Last edited by Old Boeing Driver; 8th Mar 2014 at 21:00. Reason: Forgot items
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 20:57
  #474 (permalink)  
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China Visa

China normally requires a visa. These are carefully checked including matching the passport photo to the visa applicant.

There is a special no-visa 72 hour transit arrangement for some cities including Beijing. This requires an onward ticket to even get onto a flight to the city. The visa / onward ticket status of both stolen passports will be known to MAS and will be very interesting whatever it turns out to be

China 72-Hour Visa-free Transit in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Dalian
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 21:08
  #475 (permalink)  
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Search area


It's quite different from AF447 : potential area is maximum 400 km by 400 km in shallow waters (as per Wikipedia : mean depth is 45 meters and max depth is 80 meters Gulf of Thailand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 21:27
  #476 (permalink)  
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You can shut down anything if you take its power source, sure you could disconnect ACARS if you know what C/B's to pull.

Since the Lauda crash it is standard to double down on the Rev Isol valves.

So we are still scratching our heads
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 21:33
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A bomb--would have to have been a good one and well placed.

If this was indeed caused by an explosive device it was definitely no shoe or underpants bomb. Anyone with the capability to smuggle a real bomb on board and detonate it in flight, would not be traveling on a 2 year old stolen passport.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 21:39
  #478 (permalink)  
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False Passport Conundrum

It has been confidently started in this thread that it would be very difficult indeed to get through an airport using a stolen passport.

It has been confidently stated in this thread that a significant minority of any passenger manifest may be expected typically be travelling on such documentation.

Undoubtedly one of the above is overconfident.

I don't recall past incident passenger manifests triggering such reports of bogus documentation, and if I were investigating this I'd be very curious indeed as to who was travelling on those passports: such as how, when and where they bought their tickets.

Incidentally, I wouldn't regard the FR24 track as definitive, but I would regard it as evidential. I doubt the plane crashed during the time it was tracked as being in flight. I'd regard just beyond the end of that track as a place I'd be very interested to look at: which is not to say I'd be certain of finding anything there.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 21:40
  #479 (permalink)  
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Two stolen passports pax both ticketed on China Southern Airlines

"A posting on Airliners.net saying that this was a code share flight with China Southern Airlines, and that only 7 pax were ticketed by them, including the 'Italian' and the 'Austrian'"

Well I do not believe in coincidences of this magnitude. We just need to see if they were travelling together, seat nrs, form of payment used for both tickets...this time they clearly did not choose to kill rail travellers at stations. They probably did not fully understand the difference between being ticketed on China Southern Airlines and actually flying on their aircraft. Still a plane full of Chinese pax heading to Beijing. Ideal target for Chinese Islamic separatists.

All seems to indicate a massive explosion that instantly disintegrated this aircraft, typically compatible with a terrorist attack (e.g. bomb), if this is not terrorism we are left with a missile attack or rare collision. Nothing else logically possible.
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Old 8th Mar 2014, 21:40
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For a passport to be stolen and picked up by Customs, it has to be REPORTED AS STOLEN first. The Italian one was, but maybe the others weren't reported stolen.

Imagine all the ones travelling the world now, with people not noticing their passport is stolen as they do not travel much.

Sudden ATC signal lost & no contact seems strange, but maybe it had a mid-air collision with a military exercise? It all seems very strange.
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