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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 17th Mar 2014, 07:32
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The ABC in Australia has dug up some 'expert' saying ( again) that the use of good night on the radio is very strange as it is not normal procedure. I wish they would give it a rest, there is not jining abnormal about it at all, especially when you are talking to your home ATC.
One wonders where these "experts" are found. Completely normal in practice along with others such as "so long" or "good day". In fact, it is so normal and casual that it sounds like a completely routine flight up to that point which is what led me initially to think that something catastrophic happened very suddenly immediately thereafter.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 07:37
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The photo's I have seen of the Captains sim indicate to me it is little more than a toy.

I do NOT understand why someone with as much experience as this guy flying the real thing would build such a box, let alone use it! He could have used the Sim's at work, clearly he was senior enough to probably even bring friends in if he particularly wanted to.

I understand fighter combat sims and the like - they are good fun, but it is always acknowledged they are toys. In fact the 'good' sims to my mind are the ones that don't pretend to be anything else.

I accept there might be weirdo anorak wearing pilots out there who might want to make a cardboard (although cardboard is accurate, and most pilots have used them in basic training), milk carton, string and elastic band box painted to look like the one you are forced to spend 1000 hours a year in, but in 30 years I have NEVER met one personally. He clearly spent money on it, and for what it is its no doubt good, but if you have kids and don't fly I would liken it to something 'Mr Maker' on TV would create in comparison to a real FFS, let alone the aircraft.

That sim would give you basic terrain awareness - though no more than Google Earth and I would assume Flight Management Computer functions. NOTHING else would even remotely be like 'the real thing' nor even the 'real' MAS sim the guy could access whenever he wanted to. Any 'practice' he would get from that construction would be considered (IMHO) 'Negative Training'. In other words, using it would lessen your physical flying skills on the 'real thing'.
I strongly suggest you take a look at what is available online for anyone to purchase in 2014.

The PMDG simulators put most CBT's and FMC trainers to shame. Not to mention the platforms themselves have the capability to map the entire earths terrain using SRTM mesh (space shuttle data)

Plenty of commercial pilots use these products to brush up before a sim check.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 07:42
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Anyone know when the next press conference in Malaysia will be?
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 07:43
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ACARS and VHF

@Sicer

Reportedly VHF radio disabled by pulling CB. SATCOM uses sep radio and freq for its comm. SATCOM was not disabled.

Result: No VHF comm even if over land. SATCOM only.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 07:48
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ACARS - Forensic investigation

For those needing to know the basics of how the ACARS interacts when presented with a VHF or a SATCOM option, the detailed analysis presented in the TSB Canada report into the Swiss Air Flight 111 accident on 2 September 1998, will alert you to method in which ACARS can be routed. Nothing of any importance has changed in this methodology since that date.

Last edited by mm43; 17th Mar 2014 at 10:01.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 07:56
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One wonders where these "experts" are found. Completely normal in practice along with others such as "so long" or "good day". In fact, it is so normal and casual that it sounds like a completely routine flight up to that point which is what led me initially to think that something catastrophic happened very suddenly immediately thereafter.
Its being analysed based on the alleged timeframe that the words were spoken after the ACARS was logged out. So if a pilot, which one and any sign of duress, or if not a pilot, then who was speaking to ATC.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:01
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Sheep Guts
CNNs report may refer to the fact it was stationary wreckage the ping was coming from.Thats why it was the same angle.

Anyway let's wait see what eventuates. It's pure lunacy to start searching the Indian Ocean after not even properly covering the sea floor in South China, majority of the search has been by air. They need sea craft in the area.

Gosh I've had enough of this thread bye bye and good luck to all concerned.
My hearts condolences and sympathy to all the families affected.
I wouldnt leave. Its sad that D.S enjoys his/her ad hominem and strawman attacks because he/she cant handle a contrarian viewpoint. Its often a contrarian view that helps solve problems rather than groupthink or herd mentality that D.S and others appear to suffer from.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:04
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For those needing to know the basics of how the ACARS interacts when presented with a VHF or a SATCOM option, the detailed analysis presented in the TSB Canada report into the Swiss Air Flight 111 accident on 2 September 1998, will alert you to method in which ACARS can be routed. Nothing of any importance has changed in this methodology since that date.
A question for the 777 pilots out there. Before all this started, how much did you actually know about the workings of the ACARS? Did you know that it would continue to send pings via the SATCOM, even if it was shut off?
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:09
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Breaking news from the government backed New Straits Times in K.L.:

17 March 2014| last updated at 01:58PM

'Plane flew low to avoid radar'

By FARRAH NAZ KARIM AND TASNIM LOKMAN

TERRAIN MASKING: It dropped to 5,000 feet after turning back from Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route on March 8

SEPANG: MAS Airlines flight MH370 dropped to an altitude of 5,000 feet, or possibly lower, to defeat commercial (secondary) radar coverage after it turned back from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route on March 8.

Investigators are poring over the Boeing 777-200ER's flight profile to determine if it had flown low and used "terrain masking" during most of the eight hours it was missing from the radar coverage of possibly at least three countries.

Top officials, who make up the technical team that had been holed up from morning till late at night here, are looking at the possibility that the jetliner, carrying 239 people, had taken advantage of the busy airways over the Bay of Bengal. By sticking to commercial routes, the flight may not have raised the suspicion of those manning primary (military) radars of the nations it overflew. To them, MH370 would appear to be just another commercial aircraft on its way to its destination.

"The person who had control over the aircraft has a solid knowledge of avionics and navigation, and left a clean track. It passed low over Kelantan, that was true," said officials.

"It's possible that the aircraft had hugged the terrain in some areas, that are mountainous to avoid radar detection."

This technique is called terrain masking and is used by military pilots to fly to their targets stealthily, using the topography to mask their approach from prying microwaves. This type of flying is considered very dangerous, especially in low-light conditions and spatial disorientation, and airsickness could easily set in. The stresses and loads it puts on the airframe, especially an airliner of the 777's size, are tremendous.

"While the ongoing search is divided into two massive areas, the data that the investigating team is collating is leading us more towards the north," sources said...
'Plane flew low to avoid radar' - General - New Straits Times

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has just said that the flight simulator in the captain's house has (finally) been taken to police headquarters and reassembled for forensic analysis.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:22
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Here's the latest media release from the Ministry of Transport:

MH370 PRESS STATEMENT BY MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT, MALAYSIA

MONDAY, 17 MARCH 2014, 2.15PM

1. Search and rescue operational update...

a. The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 26. These countries are: Malaysia, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, US, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.


b. Today, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force will deploy their assets to the southern corridor.

c. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all countries along the northern and southern corridors; and all countries from which we are requesting assistance.

d. The above mentioned diplomatic notes set out the specific support and assistance required, including:
- Radar and satellite information
- Land, sea and aerial search operations
- Search and rescue action plans for relevant countries
- Details of any information required from Malaysia

e. Today, three French officials from the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile (BEA) arrived in Kuala Lumpur to help with the search and rescue operation. The officials will share their expertise and knowledge based on their experience from the search for Air France Flight 447.

2. Update on the police investigation into MH370’s crew and passengers
a. On Saturday 8 March, the Royal Malaysia Police started investigations into all crew members on board MH370, including the pilot and co-pilot, as well as all ground staff handling the aircraft.

b. On Sunday 9 March, police officers visited the homes of the pilot and co-pilot. Officers also spoke to family members of the pilot and co-pilot.


c. Police visited the homes of the pilot and co-pilot again on Saturday 15 March. The pilot’s flight simulator was taken from his house with the assistance of his family. The simulator was re-assembled at police headquarters.
The NST report of low level flight over mountainous terrain in a 777 is surprising to me but predicted by some in earlier posts here. This is not the work of an amateur I would say.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:25
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
Breaking news from the government backed New Straits Times in K.L.:

'Plane flew low to avoid radar' - General - New Straits Times

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has just said that the flight simulator in the captain's house has (finally) been taken to police headquarters and reassembled for forensic analysis.
Might want to include a few other quotes that are more balanced:

"This followed MAS' confirmation of records that showed that the pilot had not made any amendments to the plane's fuel requirements. It was enough to take it to Beijing, with a 45-minute reserve in case of diversion to an alternate field."
[…]
"Meanwhile, another highly-placed source told the NST that initial forensics checks on Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's flight simulator showed that it was "clean"."
[…]
"A source with Malaysia Airlines, meanwhile, confirmed that both pilots were on that plane as rostered.
They had not swapped flight schedules with anyone. MAS pilots get their rosters at the end of every month."
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:25
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Galaxy Flyer

This seems quite informative

The Aviationist » What SATCOM, ACARS and Pings tell us about the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370

(Assuming it is correct !)
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:28
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Why fly at FL295 (if that is accurate)? It gets it just above the highest terrain (Everest 29k) if it was heading that way, but it isn't a particularly "stealthy" altitude?
 
Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:30
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The relationship between Captain and F.O. has been subject of some scrutiny, as if they co-conspired maybe.

On the contrary, with F.O. son of a current government leader and Captain being an ardent fan of the opposition, they might even have occasion to argue the matter. Like Ibrahim's reversal of acquital on trumped up charges, (some say) which happened that same day.

Arguments can of course get out of hand on occasion. Taken to a logical conclusion (or perhaps illogical?) seems this might be more of a trigger to some impulsive craziness than a divorce even.

Crazy things can happen, and we know crazy things DID happen. Just sayin. Its keeping me up thinking about it, and the awful consequences of whatever is the actual cause of this tragedy.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:32
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mm43 - thanks ... found this link to TSB report on Swissair 111 TSB on ACARS ... a good educational link
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:40
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Might want to include a few other quotes that are more balanced:

...Meanwhile, another highly-placed source told the NST that initial forensics checks on Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's flight simulator showed that it was "clean".
And the next sentence is:

However, experts are probing deeper into the footprint of the homemade simulator, which he had at his home in Shah Alam.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:47
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Mmmmmm............ Not necessarily true. He could even feel relieved!!!

I'm fairly confident he's not the first Airline pilot to go through a divorce!
When I was going through my divorce I was offered time off, maybe it was felt that I wouldn't have my mind on the job and perhaps be a danger as a result ?

I requested that I be allowed to continue as normal, my life at the time was collapsing around me, and the flying was the one stable thing that I knew I had control of, could achieve, and was the only 'normal' thing still available to me at the time. Had my flying been taken away from me as well, I may well have tipped over the edge, it was truly a life-saver.

( mind you, had I come across the one-time colleague who was the cause of my distress, in some back alley in Calcutta one dark night - it could have been another story !! - history now.)
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:48
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Psychology and Responsibility

My field is psychology. Whilst it would be absurd to assert that the pilot's possible family issues must have a bearing here, it is equally absurd to suggest that the possibility has been 'eliminated' by talking to his maid or his friends. Indeed, the person who would open up to their friends and let the mask drop in front of the maid is the kind of person more likely to 'cope' successfully. On the other hand, someone determined to keep up a front, ashamed to seek help, or in deep personal denial of the situation until the moment their family actually move out is more likely to be prone to 'snap'. Just to reinforce: I'm not saying that the pilot acted in such a manner, just that the reasoning for elimination of this possibility presented in some previous posts is unconvincing.

As regards an entirely different hypothesis, terrorism, multiple posts have expressed incredulity that responsibility would not have been claimed by now. Several answering posts have rationalised why the hypothetical terrorists might have chosen to remain silent. My personal hunch is that probably dozens of conflicting claims of responsibility have been made, that these are being looked into according to their apparent credibility, and that if any one of these claims starts shaping up evidentially as possibly genuine, we will likely then hear of it. Incidentally, this may offer one amongst many reasons not to put all known facts in the public domain: a good challenge to a claim of responsibility is to say 'OK, if you did it, tell us something about the events which we know or can verify but which is not yet public knowledge'.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:50
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Correct me if I am wrong, but the jet supposedly has flown for 8 hours, with a certain amount of time at low altitude yet only had enough fuel to get to Beijing (slightly under 6 hours) and say 45 -60 minutes reserve?
I think aircrafts like the 777 get more than only 45-60 mins reserve fuel for a 6 hour flight.. Logically they would obtain at least haft the trip back if not the whole trip back as reserve (thus 3hrs fuel reserve if not more).


Very interesting read about how ACARS, SATCOM and PING works for a 777 in simple terms, and also explains how investigators figured out the possible flight paths of the missing aircraft.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 08:52
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R/T

Good morning,

Just curious about the use of Goodnight being considered abnormal.

I was a controller at London Airways for 33 years and I can`t remember a time when I didn`t say Good-day, Goodnight or whatever on transferring an aircraft.

Not standard ICAO phraseology, I agree, but was almost universal.

Dave
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