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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:21
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Now no ACARS shutoff?

Now CNN is saying that MAS are not saying that ACARS was deliberately shutdown, but that an expected signal 30 minutes after the last received signal was not received. That means a key piece of the puzzle for the last week has been taken away. (I did try to investigate ACARS protocols to find a logoff command but the manuals are $144 each and there are a lot of them, so I gave up. Anyone with more knowledge could usefully chip in.)
I also see that CNN is beginning to adopt a policy of criticizing everything the Malaysians do. Not helpful IMO. Once they get their hackles up the news flow will only get worse.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:25
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professionals

Perhaps we should all do the same until the loonies have exhausted their ideas ?
May take some time, there are a lot more of them than us !!
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:25
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Dave

As an air traffic controller of 33 years experience (retired) I have already posted:
The use of Goodnight etc, although non ICAO standard phraseology, is the norm.
Can we have no more posts querying the use of it.
It has no relevance.

Dave
Similar ATC experience, half of it in this region.
While I agree with you on the "goodnight" bit, its the "alright,..." that sounds a bit odd to me togther with the lack of callsign if that is the case.
I've spoken with hundreds of MH flights over the years and can't recall anyone acknowledging a frequency transfer with just "alright, ......"

Granted he is answering his own countrymen ATC, so maybe a little more familiarity crept in there.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:26
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Originally Posted by D.S.
Lost in Saigon



That's kind of the whole point of ACARS - to report issues. If a fire affected a single system somewhere, ACARS would have reported it.

See, for example, the 25 automatic messages sent from AF447's ACARS system during its 4 minutes of catastrophic issues
As I said before, I have no intimate knowledge of Malaysia's ACARS reporting capability. I doubt you do either. From what I have seen so far, I bet the Malaysians don't even know....

In any case..... If the fire did NOT effect another system, ACARS would NOT have reported it.

Is that not true?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:31
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Well, I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest this forum's questioning is a reason why, but just minutes ago NT Times confirmed the computer pre-programming angle:

at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/wo...ight.html?_r=0

it says:
"WASHINGTON — The first turn to the west that diverted the missing Malaysia Airlines plane from its planned flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carried out through a computer system that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems, according to senior American officials.

Instead of manually operating the plane’s controls, whoever altered Flight 370’s path typed seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee-high pedestal between the captain and the first officer, according to officials. The Flight Management System, as the computer is known, directs the plane from point to point specified in the flight plan submitted before each flight. It is not clear whether the plane’s path was reprogrammed before or after it took off."

Hmmmn....

(UPD: WSJ reporter David Ostrower also just corroborated this new NY Times report in an on-air interview)

Last edited by rigbyrigz; 18th Mar 2014 at 01:42. Reason: WSJ news
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:38
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RE: "Isn't it obvious the 1,000 plus posters who normally participate are all gone? Wonder why?????"

IMHO, "not invented here" and turf are all well and good in their place, but here we have one of the world's all-time mysteries and tragedies in play.

If the investigators, the media, the common folk looking for both comfort and answers, and even the affected families, find some sense amongst the weeds here, well, kudos to those that did not leave but are still here to refine ideas and theories and facts, as might be appropriate.

Priorities, please.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:44
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@oldoberon

US government snr official rate it "not wholly reliable".

See for yourself on CNN

Malaysia Flight 370: 10 of the most compelling questions - CNN.com

The analysis, conducted by the United States and Malaysian governments, used radar data and satellite pings to calculate that the plane diverted to the west, across the Malayan Peninsula, and then either flew in a northwest direction toward the Bay of Bengal or southwest into another part of the Indian Ocean. Malaysian military radar registered dramatic changes for Flight 370 in altitude -- going up to 45,000 feet, before descending to 23,000 feet -- and cut an erratic path as it flew across Malaysia in what are some of the last known readings of the plane's location, according to a senior U.S. official.
The same official, who is familiar with analysis of the data and declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information, cautioned that this assessment is not definitive. The readings may not be wholly reliable because of the distance the plane was operating from the radars that detected it, the official said.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:49
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we'd all be a lot better off if Malaysia would turn this over formally to the NTSB.
Really? On what do you base that idea? As far as I recall the NTSB is involved as is the AAIB which has an excellent reputation. None of us knows exactly what is happening and none of us is entitled to, only those involved directly in the attempt to discover what has happened are. Any information passed to the general public is done as a courtesy not as a right. Information passed to the relatives may differ in quantity but they are involved directly in what has happened and take priority over the rest of us. Some time back somebody (an official I think) said that it would be cruel to raise the hopes of the relatives by informing them of every alleged sighting of the aircraft or possible wreckage and I'm sure we would all agree - especially in view of some of the posts on here. I have my own feelings and ideas about what has happened but that is just what they are - feelings and ideas NOT facts so you won't see them posted here.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:51
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I’ve read all 5500+ of the posts to this thread, and I’m struck by the lack of known facts. Focusing on position, the last known position we know for certain is where MH370 was when its XPDR went dead. Many theories have been set forth on what MH370 did next. Please allow me to offer one that I haven’t seen presented yet.

Consider that a primary radar return signal has no inherent identification data in it. Thus, one knows the “where” of the target causing the return, but one don’t know the “what” or the “who” with certainty. This leads to the possibility of spoofing. Admittedly it wouldn’t be easy, but it might offer an explanation why only the MAF’s primary radar seemed to detect MH370 - they were following a false trail. The spoofing signals might also explain the wild altitude excursions the MAF reported for MH370.

Similarly, the Inmarsat pings could be spoofed. If the SATCOM on MH370 was turned off, someone could be located anywhere along one of the famous red arcs, responding to the Inmarsat ping on an hourly basis using the electronic identity of MH370’s SATCOM. Again not easy to do, but if someone did they could create yet another false trail.

Why go to the trouble of spoofing radar and satellite signals? Possibly because it would let the real MH370 go east, where no one was (or is) looking, buying time for the perpetrators to do...something.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:52
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@simon001
Also, there are parts of Malaysia and Indonesia between point 2 and the top of the southern red arc. Was there no military coverage in these areas?

I am expecting there is a good reason for this but it would be nice to see some detail behind the maps. I'd be wondering if I was a family member.
According to the military chief for India on the Andaman islands they only operate when required to. I have heard that this is during normal working hours and they turn off in the evening.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:59
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Visual horizon

Assuming the person on the "oil rig" had a viewing platform at an elevation of 30m above sea level, and he was observing a large light source at an elevation of 35,000 ft, then that light would be below the horizon at any distance greater than ~388.5km, that ignoring the effect of atmospheric refraction.
If he was at 40m above sea level then that light would be below the horizon at any distance greater than ~391.5km
He provides no time of the observation, that limits any projection of the aircraft along it's intended flight path.

So perhaps it would be informing to look toward IGARI at 6° 56' 12N 103° 35' 6E
If the observer was on a 40m elevated platform, viewing an aircraft on fire at 35,000ft, from his 40m elevated viewpoint at the cord position of at 08° 22' 30.23 N, 108° 42' 22.26 E as stated in his email, then IGARI is ~584km to the SW on a heading of ~254.7° from the oil rig, and the light would have been below his visible horizon (at ~391.5km).

Con Dao Airport (VCS) on Côn Sơn Island is ~230km to the west on a heading of 280⁰ from the oil rig position, it has a 1830m runway with a wet parking area at both ends.

The email indicates the light was seen high in the sky on a bearing of 265-275⁰ and it was "difficult" to determine distance, "50-70km" distance was approximated by the observer in his email.

Last edited by felix505; 18th Mar 2014 at 05:21. Reason: typos (make it 40m elevated platform providing the greater distance to horizon)
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:03
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Henra

The following article says that a 777 has indeed been flown in a re-enactment of the west turn and verified that the same primary radar and satellite data can be reproduced.

MISSING MH370: Re-enactment shows plane veered off course - Latest - New Straits Times
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:07
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Let's try this again...
How plausible would it be that MH370 followed SIA68/SQ68?

Keith Ledgerwood ? Did Malaysian Airlines 370 disappear using SIA68/SQ68 (another 777)?
Let's not--it's a rubbish idea posted by an idiot
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:11
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rigbyrigz
Quote of yours this AM
SLF: " A turn west from/after IGARI was entered into the active flight plan in the FMS; this is known as the last ACARS report indicated this waypoint change event."

IF this is TRUE and corroborated, it is extremely important, since said "last ACARS rpt" is 1:07
Ongoing events timing, including goodnight signoff, would CLEARLY RULE OUT electro-mechanical mishap, hypoxia as major cause, etc. It would make deliberate human action part of the equation for sure!

I am sure this is obvious to even the non-believers. If someone entered this waypoint request into the FMC in the 30 minutes before the 1:07 automatic (when ON) ACARS report (which listed it in event log) then it is what it is.

SO: Can this SLF quote be substantiated by any source other than "XYZ NEWS says unnamed sources tell them that..." and so forth? (or can a journalist viewing this thread ASK this of PM next chance?)


Quote of yours this eve
Well, I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest this forum's questioning is a reason why, but just minutes ago N[Y] Times confirmed the computer pre-programming angle:

Article states "...according to senior U.S. officials..."
Confirmation?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:21
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I just tweeted this to Don Lemmon at CNN:
#370QS what is the reason so many facts are coming out as "US officials say" rather than direct from Malaysian govt?

I agree this "US officials say" approach is yuk. And when I found one main reason, the ABC NEWS story, it gave me serious cause for doubt. Now that NY Times and WSJ are both very definitely saying this is what they have also learned from sources and just recently, folks we do know are not allowed to give their names, it seems to ring true. Not a good state of affairs, but true.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:21
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While I agree 100% with everything else you said, it needs to be pointed out Fuel Levels would indicate it likely touched down extremely close to the last ping. (if it were not already grounded)

The plane being in the air at 8:11 itself is already pushing what they would have been able to do (barring the extremely unlikely landing/refuel option, of course)
Sure, but that is making some assumptions about information we don't really have at this point AFAIK. For example nothing anywhere I've read (so far) says the plane was flying for the whole time. Once they lost it on radar it could have gone anywhere in range. It could have landed and took off again.

With only one ping an hour and only arcs from one satellite there is a lot we don't know, especially since we have only been shown the arcs from the final ping. Too bad the plane was not in range of another satellite, that would narrow things down in a jiffy!

Now I'm not saying I think the plane landed but it could have based on what little information we have. I'm guessing a plane saves a bit of fuel while sitting on the ground...

Just as landing would save fuel the plane might also have been "hypermiling". Low and slow might not give max range but it might increase flight time?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:32
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FWIW there is also a video of some of the re-enacted 777 flight here but it provides not much detail. They did try the terrain masking scenario.

MISSING MH370: Re-enactment shows plane veered off course - Latest - New Straits Times
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:33
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So let me get this straight. They are now saying the 1:07 ACARS report included the current and next waypoint, and that indicated the flight plan had been changed.

It's a text message not many characters longer than a tweet. And it took them 10 DAYS to figure that out.

Either this is just another red herring, or or or I don't know what.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:34
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In the know

Quote:
we'd all be a lot better off if Malaysia would turn this over formally to the NTSB.
Really? On what do you base that idea? As far as I recall the NTSB is involved as is the AAIB which has an excellent reputation. None of us knows exactly what is happening and none of us is entitled to, only those involved directly in the attempt to discover what has happened are. Any information passed to the general public is done as a courtesy not as a right. Information passed to the relatives may differ in quantity but they are involved directly in what has happened and take priority over the rest of us. Some time back somebody (an official I think) said that it would be cruel to raise the hopes of the relatives by informing them of every alleged sighting of the aircraft or possible wreckage and I'm sure we would all agree - especially in view of some of the posts on here. I have my own feelings and ideas about what has happened but that is just what they are - feelings and ideas NOT facts so you won't see them posted here.
You're right, none of us are entitled to know anything, but as a member of the general public, it would kinda/sorta be nice to know if there's a rogue T7 out there somewhere. There's also a not-small matter of ongoing confidence in the worldwide air transportation system.

That said, the Malaysians have lost all credibility by releasing information and then retracting it or modifying it. Their officials are too afraid of losing their jobs, and they're tripping over each other to obfuscate and save face. Someone with some experience and professionalism needs to take over this investigation and reinstill confidence, and at least set straight several confusing data points. I nominate the NTSB, but it could just as well be the BEA, TSB or whomever has done something like this before.

The only thing about the way the Malaysians are handling things that makes any sense is the adults working behind the scenes like it this way, which may make things more confusing for the Bad Guys, whoever and wherever they are.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 02:36
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Well, I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest this forum's questioning is a reason why, but just minutes ago NT Times confirmed the computer pre-programming angle:
This NYT article seems to confirm earlier reports that the plane was detected as a primary radar blip passing over the waypoints west of Peninsular Malaysia, not just going in that direction.

If you're cruising out there with lights and TCAS off, would you do SLOP? Or just stay on the centerline, incorrectly using the Big Sky theory?

Years ago aircraft would be scattered a mile or three off the centerline out over the water due to INS drift and lack of precise long range radio navaids. Nowadays with GPS, the planes will appear to be within 10 meters of each other laterally when they pass at (hopefully) different altitudes. MH 370 staying on airways instead of going random route would sure indicate someone was conscious and driving, at least initially. And trying to blend in with the commercial traffic.

The reversal route back past Penang wouldn't normally be loaded for the KUL-PEK flight. However, would it be part of a canned company flight plan stored in the FMS for, say KUL-DEL or KUL-KHI? These canned flight plans seem to go in and out of favor depending on the carrier. Many planes can uplink the route directly to the box. However, internationally, sometime this doesn't work and a canned flight plan, even with some changes, may be less prone to error than typing in the whole thing from scratch.

The report from the New Straits Times about MH 370 descending to 5000 feet doesn't seem to be corroborated elsewhere so far.
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