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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:18
  #5281 (permalink)  
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There's been a lot of talk about the northern track going through various nations which enforce their airspace security tightly.

Is anyone familiar with the air defense quality/enforcement of Myanmar?

It would appear that there is a 7,000'x100' runway at Puta-O in northern Myanmar in the Himalayan foothills, that also happens to meet with the intersecting arc of the Inmarsat over the Indian ocean that is being circulated. It would also seem to be within fuel range, especially if flying below 5000' as speculated. It's also very remote and possibly not 'connected' readily to the outside world?

Just found it to be an intriguing possible search location, but have little familiarity with Myanmar's air defense capabilities or enforcement.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:18
  #5282 (permalink)  
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Flood-it thanks for the correction. During training my instructor told how they were visual with Cyprus some 570 miles out. Also during the '72 Olympics we could receive the band 1 TV from Greece a few hundred miles away. Once I receive Italian RAI FM radio in UK. Also when at school we could see the Isle of Man over 65 miles away when we were on the beach.

No, my point was that ducting at visual wave lengths we less likely at night.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:23
  #5283 (permalink)  
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FWIW it looks like the "Japan bound captain RT" and the "Oil worker fire in sky" stories are both full of holes and probably hoaxes.

The Nanning landing story is more credible. Just.

People seem to have forgotten that the authorities think the last two pings came from the same location and that the last ping was on the ground.

Also we know the ELT hasn't gone off.

These are amongst the hardest evidence we have.

So the flight hasn't crashed.
Isn't under water.
Hasn't ditched.

It really does look firstly like it is northern route and secondly that it has successfully made a proper landing at one of the thousands of possible locations.

Whoever planned this was meticulous.
It would help investigation if it was known what their motives are.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:24
  #5284 (permalink)  
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You can bet your paycheck the US NRO has used every satellite capability to look at every possible landing spot anywhere in Asia with multiple spectrum analysis--visible, IR, radar, etc. Pretty assured it's not on land. Not impossible, but very, very unlikely.

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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:28
  #5285 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by EJGeiginni View Post
Is anyone familiar with the air defense quality/enforcement of Myanmar?
Ah, you have mentioned the elephant in the room at last.

Burma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:30
  #5286 (permalink)  
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Regarding the theory that MH370 got close to SIA68 so as to transit Indian airspace without suspicion, it reminds me of a story I heard from a former RAF Lightning pilot who was based at Akrotiri in Cyprus in the late 1960s.

The Soviets were up to their usual tricks at the time and one of said Lightning pilots compatriots was scrambled to investigate an unidentified radar blip (just one). This turned out to be not one Tu-16 Badger, but two flying in a mirror formation, one high, one low.

I suppose that this proves that it can be done (in daylight), but I would be interested to know from any 777 drivers on here how they fancy a bit of night formation?
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:31
  #5287 (permalink)  
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Winter and fuel

Much as I'd like to be an advocate for the Northern Arc, it has just struck me that it is Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Landing conditions may not be remarkably good along a lot of the arc at some Remote Field "X".

Landing a T7 without navaid in nice weather is hard enough (see Asiana 214...). Doing it in Winter weather? You might be able to use AP and FMC to program it to a remote locale. Landing is another thing entirely. Ditto for terrain flying.

Has anybody looked at the WX along the Northern Arc?

Also, some terrorist org would have to get an enormous amount of Jet A to the A/C to get it airborne again for some non-trivial flight. At a remote field. Out in the desert or mountains. Uh, Right.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:38
  #5288 (permalink)  
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enough with the Flight Sim talk

The Captain did not "build" a flight sim, that is Microsoft flight simulator 10 and is a very popular software. He probably used it to hone his skills. The add on software is quite good at replicating the systems of a t7 or many other aircraft
He certainly put it together from parts he ordered, he posted pictures on his Facebook page. I commented earlier on the domestic U.S. Mail Priority box, it looks like he had some of the items delivered somewhere in the States for pickup.

He had a high end Asus motherboard, a 1000 watt power supply and multiple Nvidia video cards in the upgrade to his existing homebuilt computer.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:38
  #5289 (permalink)  
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On all our aircrafts including 777 we carry 2 ( fwd door and aft door) they are stow in the life raft stowage ie out of sight of passengers . The also have a guard to prevent it being accidently switch on by nosey curious passengers. The only way to switch it on is to take it out of its stowage which will enable the gaurd to expose the on position of the switch therefore enabling to be manually switch on. It can also be switch on by it's water switch on contact with water. Other airlines (malayaian included) may or may not carry them but ours does.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:42
  #5290 (permalink)  
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Don't think so. The keyword is 'could' in the below:

Today, Malaysia's civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that the plane may have been grounded when its final satellite signals were sent.

He said the satellite "pings" that were last read at 8.11am on Saturday, six hours after the military radar last detected the airliner over the Malacca Strait, could have been transmitted from the ground if the plane had indeed landed, The Guardian reports.

"The plane can still transmit pings from the ground as long as there is electrical power," he said.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:42
  #5291 (permalink)  
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Mediator: I have searched for mentions of this angle, apologies if it’s covered and delete.

FAA Dismisses 'PlaneSploit' Creator's Claims (SecurityWeek April15th 2013)

The Federal Aviation Administration has said that a researcher’s claims that he could hack an aircraft in-flight using only an Android application and a desktop computer are not possible. The FAA’s dismissal comes after Hugo Teso, a German information technology consultant, presented his findings during the Hack in the Box conference earlier this month.

According to Teso, security issues with the Honeywell NZ-2000 Flight Management System (FMS), allowed him to send signals via his Android device, compromising the FMS within a simulated environment. His research was carried by many news outlets, and sparked some concern.

However, the FAA, in a statement sent to SecurityWeek, says that there is no risk - as the technique doesn’t work against certified flight hardware.
“The FAA is aware that a German information technology consultant has alleged he has detected a security issue with the Honeywell NZ-2000 Flight Management System (FMS) using only a desktop computer,” the statement said.

“The FAA has determined that the hacking technique described during a recent computer security conference does not pose a flight safety concern because it does not work on certified flight hardware. The described technique cannot engage or control the aircraft’s autopilot system using the FMS or prevent a pilot from overriding the autopilot. Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain “full control of an aircraft” as the technology consultant has claimed.”

The dismissals have additional significance as the FAA was given access to the complete process Teso used to exploit the FMS, something that wasn’t publically released.

This is a year old story but Forbes expanded on the subject last year and it has a certain resonance:-

See Researcher Says He's Found Hackable Flaws In Airplanes' Navigation Systems (Update: The FAA Disagrees) - Forbes for more on Teso’s test rig, but of interest is this extract:

‘Teso focused on a different protocol called Aircraft Communications Addressing and Report System, (ACARS) a simple data exchange system that has evolved over decades to now include everything from weather data to airline schedules to changes to the plane’s flight management system. (FMS)
Teso says that ACARS still has virtually no authentication features to prevent spoofed commands’.

Does the 777 use the Honeywell NZ-2000 FMS? I believe it's Honeywell, but whether it is similar to the above ebay purchased system Teso used is questionable.

Google it for more info.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:47
  #5292 (permalink)  
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Mediator: I have searched for mentions of this angle, apologies if it’s covered and delete.

FAA Dismisses 'PlaneSploit' Creator's Claims (SecurityWeek April15th 2013)
Well you didn't try searching very hard did you ?!!

Please, NO MORE mentions of this stupid PlaneSploit stuff and its publicity seeking creator Mr Teso.

The topic has been done to death on this thread ! His "findings" were full of flaws. Both the US and EU regulators investigated and found nothing of concern.

The chances of someone in row 27 of a 777 controlling it with their iPhone are zero, nada.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:50
  #5293 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by visibility3miles View Post
It is strange for an entire planeload of passengers to be phone/internet silent for several hours.
If you follow the line of thought that evil persons for nefarious rasons have absconded with the plane and its passengers, then the door is open for these same evil persons to hold a gun to the head of each pax and demand their phone and laptop. (Or other suitable means of force/intimidation if not a gun per se). This scenario being considered also makes one wonder "who were on the aircraft, and how many were part of the nefarious plot?" Unknown.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:52
  #5294 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jumpjim View Post
Peter: The passenger sat phone system can be disabled in seconds from the flight deck and block all calls. I would be very surprised if , having found out how to disable ACARS, "they" didn't also disable the phones.

I am still mystified by this theory that ACARS reports all waypoints as you pass over. It doesn't. If you are logged on to ADS then the aircraft usually reports it's position over every waypoint, and then every 18 mins if running a standard "contract" with ATC. The aircraft would not report every waypoint as a matter of course.

As for cellphones, you are hard pushed to get ANY service above about 2000' unless in remote areas (Afghanistan, some parts of Russia, Africa) where you have 60k mast spacing and your phone isn't logged onto multiple masts simultaneously. Even then your phone will only hold a connection for a matter of 2-3 minutes max.
What ACARS reports depends on the 'contract' set up with the recipients signed onto the ACARS reports. The pilot may have no idea what is contracted by the ground systems. If they ask for every waypoint, every vertical speed higher than n fpm and every drift off track more than x.y nautical miles and every change in the active route - they will get that and the pilot will not know that is what has been contracted.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:53
  #5295 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ciderman View Post
Anyone remember the Payne Stewart tragedy in a Lear? Is this possible in a 777 flying 10000 feet lower?
Yes. All that changes is time of useful consciousness. A sedentary passenger can be comfortable at a cabin altitude of 12,500 feet. With a cabin altitude of 25,000 feet some will lose consciousness after a minute or so. Others will experience euphoria for a minute or so but be unable to do anything useful. If they have oxygen restored in a few minutes they will recover and have no memory of loss of consciousness. If oxygen is not restored then they will eventually die.

If the cabin altitude was 37k then we are talking seconds before loss of consciousness - say 30 seconds.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:54
  #5296 (permalink)  
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There was a question about weather in central Asia around the possible time of landing this plane. I looked up Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Almaty (Kazakhstan) for the time and date (to about 0500h local) and the situation was fairly benign. There was evidently low pressure to the north drawing in mild air, it was above freezing at both locations and light rain was falling but visibilities were moderate. The cold front of this disturbance can be seen moving through somewhat later in the morning to mid-day. But by these reports, there was no severe winter weather going on the morning of March 8th in that region. Yet at the same time it was not perfect flying weather for anyone, let alone a hi-jacker.

People had also made reference earlier to landing on long, straight desert roads. Surely these would not be wide enough to attempt such a thing, but also, once landed, where would you stash the airplane? My feeling all along is that partially abandoned airfield is in play in this scenario, and it would make sense to be looking at those that are surrounded by some type of cover. An airport out in the middle of some vegetation-free flat region would require an extensive structure available. However, it has probably occurred to many that the perpetrators could have refuelled and this plane could have gone on further later in the day.

Anyway, not to say I totally believe this scenario, but that's what the weather reports say FYI.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:55
  #5297 (permalink)  
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:57
  #5298 (permalink)  
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Has anybody asked "What was in the cargo hold?"

Was there something on board worth the effort to set up what is appearing to be a very well thought out (and executed) crime.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 19:59
  #5299 (permalink)  
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Has anybody asked "What was in the cargo hold?"
PLEASE !! Use the SEARCH function !!!

If I had a penny for every time someone asked that question, I'd be a billionaire by now !
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 20:00
  #5300 (permalink)  
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Has anybody asked "What was in the cargo hold?"
Only about a gazillion times.
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