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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:32
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@Romeo

Tell me again what Mach trim does?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:34
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Re the Maldives witnesses who claim the plane was so low and close they could "see the doors" -- well, did they happen to catch the word "MALAYSIA" on the side!? Did the media care to ASK this rather important question?

These witness reports are remarkably weak.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:37
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Nate Silver

Interesting article.

FiveThirtyEight | How Statisticians Could Help Find That Missing Plane
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:39
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Mach trim

As the aircraft speed increases in the transonic regime... the cp tends to move back causing the nose to to dip downwards... a Mach trim counters this nose down movement by deflecting the stabilizer.... true in a B737 NG above .61 mach...
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:41
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Originally Posted by paxrune
Re the Maldives witnesses who claim the plane was so low and close they could "see the doors" -- well, did they happen to catch the word "MALAYSIA" on the side!? Did the media care to ASK this rather important question?

These witness reports are remarkably weak.


You are assuming the witnesses can read, may be the description was a way to describe how close for people who can not read.

Maybe not weak, maybe just allowing for the ability of the witnesses
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:45
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Maldives uses dhivehi, not roman script.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:45
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Originally Posted by oldoberon
all I could see would be a constant spacing (assuming constant cruise speed) equals a constant hdg/trk but thought it would /could be anyone one of miilions of tangents with respect to the circle or arc of it.
I may misunderstand this but if there was constant spacing (between rings?) then it would indicate flight along a radial from the nadir.

Any other angle would eventually result in flight on the tangent or for a short time effectively along the ring.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 18:52
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FMS Ground Test Set

Couple of questions for the cognoscenti among us:

a. If an FMS ground test set (such as the FMZ-2000 - used to replicate flight on the ground in a static aircraft) was plugged into the FMS in the avionics bay, would it have precedence over cockpit inputs (whether or not they remained intact and plugged in)?

b. There'd be a headset jack plug in the avionics bay for AVbay to flight deck liaison comms I'd imagine?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:03
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Re the Maldives witnesses who claim the plane was so low and close they could "see the doors" -- well, did they happen to catch the word "MALAYSIA" on the side!? Did the media care to ASK this rather important question?
I agree it seems a little serendipitous. However, my own experience of low-flying a/c is that by the time I've heard it and raced outside, I'm looking at a plane moving away from me, with little chance of reading any writing on the side. I imagine the 'doors' they mention may well be the undercarriage bay doors.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:07
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investigation

We touched on the oft displayed denial in this thread, oh about 100 pages ago now (hard to keep up!). Lets at least try to keep pace with the investigation if possible

If you really must persist with mechanical/tech incidents/scenarios occurring at precisely the moment of ATC handover & during what is statistically the safest phase of flight, against the direction of the professional investigation it must be said, then you first have to reconcile one of the few knowns:

A left turn was entered into the FMS & reported by ACARS before comms went offline & before someone in the cockpit communicated with ATC for the last time [without alerting ATC of any unfolding drama].


Please do try to keep up
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:09
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Which raises the question as to whether 7.5 hours of fuel would be enough to reach Somalia at that sort of altitude (say about 5000 feet or lower)?
IF they were at 5k in an effort to dodge radar, as soon as they were a few hundred miles into the Indian Ocean, they could easily climb back to normal cruise altitudes to maximize the range with little risk of radar detection (assuming they continued to head away from land).

I keep thinking about that hostage/kidnapping scenario - if that was it, and it went well, I'd think that by now we would have heard something like a ransom demand.
Suppose it was intended to be a hostage/kidnapping scenario, but it went badly somehow. Perhaps dodging radar, etc. burned more fuel than anticipated and they ran out and crashed short of the destination, or there was an attempt to take the airplane back and it crashed (think United 93). Rather than admit their master plan had failed, have the would be terrorists/kidnappers instead stayed quiet and let the world wonder?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:10
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AIS, MMSI, IMO

A few tidbits on this topic:

- AIS is not mandatory for ships less than 300 tons dw. Neither for military ships, I believe. So don't expect AIS from every rescue ship.

- An AIS transponder (i.e. a transmitter which makes your ship visible to others) identifies the ship using its MMSI number, same as its phone number on VHF DSC.

- IMO number is meant for larger ships (over 300 tdw). I copied this list from Wikipedia:

The IMO scheme does not however apply to:
  • Vessels solely engaged in fishing
  • Ships without mechanical means of propulsion
  • Pleasure yachts
  • Ships engaged on special service (e.g. lightships, SAR vessels)
  • Hopper barges
  • Hydrofoils, air cushion vehicles
  • Floating docks and structures classified in a similar manner
  • Ships of war and troopships
Wooden ships[1]
Note that SAR vessels don't need an IMO number.

As said, AIS main use is collision warning (much as TCAS, but closer to ADS-B) while the tracking function is an extra goodie.

I've had an AIS receiver in my sailing boat for a number of years and now have an AIS transponder (an approx $400 investment). Very good piece of safety equipment.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:19
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One very important piece of data I haven't seen *confirmed* is the aircraft fuel load. Obviously this dictates range. I believe MAS stated the loaded was "normal" and no "extra fuel" was loaded, but that begs the question what was normal for this route? Were they tankering fuel?
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:24
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One very important piece of data I haven't seen *confirmed* is the aircraft fuel load. Obviously this dictates range. I believe MAS stated the loaded was "normal" and no "extra fuel" was loaded, but that begs the question what was normal for this route? Were they tankering fuel?
What difference does it make....?

Airborne at 0041....last recorded satellite "ping" at 0811. Fuel: 7:30
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:25
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deadheader said

If you really must persist with mechanical/tech incidents/scenarios occurring at precisely the moment of ATC handover & during what is statistically the safest phase of flight, against the direction of the professional investigation it must be said, then you first have to reconcile one of the few knowns:

A left turn was entered into the FMS & reported by ACARS before comms went offline & before someone in the cockpit communicated with ATC for the last time [without alerting ATC of any unfolding drama].
I would add; two even more reliable knowns, that are extremely important and near impossible to reconcile, need to be addressed in such a scenario

- ACARS never sent emergency transmissions indicating a system failure anywhere on board

- Flight continues for hours, meaning whatever the 'catastrophic event that took out all the systems' was, it seemingly did not effect auto-pilot at all
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:29
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Originally posted by Zooker:

Would it still be dark in The Maldives at that time in the morning?
Sunrise in the Maldives on March 8 was at 06:15, same exact time as sightings were made, according to local press reports, so it would have been possible to see an aircraft passing by.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:30
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a quick update of the...

What we know* timeline
(*or at least have a separate "unidentified official" verification on from a reputable source)

- 1:07 - ACARS last transmission (thru VHF) which apparently includes notation of a WP change having been entered into system since last scheduled report at 12:37
- 1:11 - INMARSAT ping would have been received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite?)
- 1:19 - 'Alright, Good Night' at handover (supposedly by co-pilot)
- 1:22 - Transponder goes off
(note: those previous two might be reversed, we have multiple sources seemingly confirming both possibilities. One happened at 1:19, one at 1:22 though. I'm putting them in this order mainly because...)
- 1:22 - Plane goes out of range/black from Thailand Radar (likely from the transponder going black and not the plane going out of range)
- 1:28 - Unidentified plane shows up on Thailand Radar roughly off the Kota Bharu, Malaysia coast (at Malaysia/Thailand border) and this apparently shows plane crossing the Peninsula to the Straights of Malacca (unknown endtime for this path)
- somewhere between 1:15-1:30 - Vietnam sees plane turn around.
(note: they have not told us a specific time of turn or if they know this because of a Military or ATC radar hit, but they told Malaysia they 'watched plane turn around' sometime shortly after contact was lost)
-
roughly 1:30-forward, Vietnam is "frantically" trying to contact the plane
- 1:37 - ACARS misses scheduled transmission
- 1:30-1:45 - at minimum 11 eye witness reports from around and past the Kota Bharu, Malaysia/Thailand border areas (including one saying 'plane descending fast' like one of the later radar hits indicates)
- 2:11 - INMARSAT ping would have been received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite)
- between 1:30-2:40 - Malaysian Military and Civilian radar picks up an "unidentified" plane flying over peninsula (Daud says "this was corroborated by civilian radar" in the March 9th press conference). Those include a couple radar WP hits we have specifically been told about* (and who knows how many that haven't been provided/leaked):
... VAMPI
... GIVAL
... IGREX
(note: we are not sure of the timing of the radar hits, and there is very contradictory evidence here. The most recent seemingly-official time is 2:15 for the last hit. Which hit that was, we don't know for sure)
post 2:15/or/2:40 apparent absolute complete blackout of plane (except...)
- 3:11 - INMARSAT ping received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite)
- 4:11 - INMARSAT ping received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite)
- 5:11 - INMARSAT ping received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite)
- 6:11 - INMARSAT ping received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite)
- 7:11 - INMARSAT ping received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite) near 40 Degree line
- 7:24 - Statement released by Malaysian Officials saying contact lost at 2:40 and SAR efforts are underway
- 8:11 - INMARSAT ping received, as apparently Boeing's AHM report attempted to automatically transmit (thru Satellite) (thru Satellite) on 40 Degree line

*those way-points on map


(Note on map: the Thailand radar data, as we understand it, indicates a straight path from IGARI to VAMPI is not possible, so there are more unknown/unreleased turns in there somewhere. Please do not read that map as a 'straight flight' from WP to WP; it was not a straight path over the peninsula, in the very least)

Anyone have any other times to add and/or corrections? Would like to keep this as updated and accurate as possible for all, and any input is welcome! (just, want to keep it to things cross verified, so please keep that in mind if suggesting other times - that is why things like the possible post-1:30 JapanBoundFlight/MH88 call is not included here)

Last edited by D.S.; 18th Mar 2014 at 23:55.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:35
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Maldives 'sighting'?

A very low flying "jumbo jet" (a 747 or an A380 is a jumbo jet but we will let that pass) was purportedly spotted over the Maldives 0615 local 8 March -10 days ago, and yet so precise about the time? But we will let that pass also.
0615 local Maldives is 0115UTC ; MH370 departed KL 0030 local which is 1730 UTC (7 March) -by my math that puts the plane as having been airborne at the time of this possible Maldives sighting for 7 hrs 45 and likely about or completely out of fuel.....
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:41
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D.S.

I would explain the apparent inconsistency on the IGARI-VAMPI leg, and indeed the other straight lines, as journalistic simplification given the scale of the map. They may also have chosen to ignore non-radar sources.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 19:42
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Interesting theory from Business Insider

A few days ago, a former pilot named Chris Goodfellow articulated an entirely different theory on Google+.

This theory fits the facts.

And it's one of the most plausible yet:
Shortly after takeoff, as Malaysia 370 was flying out over the ocean, just after the co-pilot gave his final "Good night" sign-off to Malaysia air traffic control, smoke began filling the cockpit, perhaps from a tire on the front landing gear that had ignited on takeoff.

The captain immediately did exactly what he had been trained to do: turn the plane toward the closest airport so he could land.

The closest appropriate airport was called Pulau Langkawi. It had a massive 13,000-foot runway. The captain programmed the destination into the flight computer. The autopilot turned the plane west and put it on a course right for the runway (the same heading the plane turned to).

The captain and co-pilot tried to find the source of the smoke and fire. They switched off electrical "busses" to try to isolate it, in the process turning off systems like the transponder and ACARs automated update system (but not, presumably, the autopilot, which was flying the plane). They did not issue a distress call, because in a midair emergency your priorities are "aviate, navigate, communicate" — in that order. But smoke soon filled the cockpit and overwhelmed them (a tire fire could do this). The pilots passed out or died.

Smoke filled the cabin and overwhelmed and distracted the passengers and cabin crew ... or the cockpit door was locked and/or the cockpit was filled with smoke, so no one could enter the cockpit to try to figure out where the plane was, how the pilots were, or how the plane might be successfully landed. (This would be a complicated task, even if one knew the pilots were unconscious and had access to the cockpit, especially if most of the plane's electrical systems were switched off or damaged).

With no one awake to instruct the autopilot to land, the plane kept flying on its last programmed course ... right over Pulau Langkawi and out over the Indian Ocean. The engine-update system kept "pinging" the satellite. Eventually, six or seven hours after the incident, the plane ran out of fuel and crashed.

This theory fits the facts. It makes sense. It explains the manual course change as well as the "pings" that a satellite kept hearing from the plane. It requires no fantastically brilliant pre-planning or execution or motives.


Read more: Malaysia Plane Fire - Business Insider
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