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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:19
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Citizens of countries that claim that they don't operate military radars at night or on weekends should be asking some very searching questions.

Or at least they should apply for a 40% refund on taxes paid if the government is only working part-time to protect their territory.

Just a note on the Maldives report, there's no way that any such sighting could be consistent with the end-point on the now-infamous "red arcs" but we should get some clarity as to how the 0615h local compares to the 0811h end of sequence that establishes the red arcs. I understand that the 0811h is equivalent to 0011z (UTC) and would imagine that 0615h in Maldives time might be about 2315z, possibly 2215z or 0015z. Any of these is too close to 0011z to allow a plane to be in the two different locations. The minimum flight time from Maldives to the red arc to the north is about 4 hours, surely.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:22
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Malaysia Airlines missing plane could be as far south as the Cocos Islands, Heard Island | News.com.au

ON Heard Island, the closest landfall to the Australian search zone for the missing Malaysian Airlines 777, all is quiet.
As usual.
No one lives there. There’s not a building on the place, let alone a runway.
It is home to Australia’s only active volcanoes and four species of penguin. It’s one of the most inhospitable and pristine environments in the world.
Likewise on the Cocos Islands, also way out west in the Indian Ocean and another of our farthest-flung outposts, there is no sign of any search activity.
As Australia takes charge of the southern sector search for the missing jet, they are seeking the possible location of a satellite “ping” that came from the airliner some seven hours after it went missing off civilian radar.
If the jet took the southerly route — rather than the other possibility, of flying northwest towards Kazakhstan — it likely crossed somewhere over the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, 2770 kilometres northwest of Perth, before heading on towards Heard Island.
A law officer on Cocos confirmed this. “Mate, I can’t say anything but I can just say there’s no extra activity on Cocos Islands. There’s nothing unusual going on here.”
The Australian search area is located 3000km southwest of Perth, covering 600,000km of empty, freezing ocean.
It is being conducted by three (and soon four) RAAF P-3 Orion Aircraft, a New Zealand Orion and a deep-sea-probing, state-of-the-art, submarine-searching US P-8 Poseidon.
The tiny Heard Island and McDonald Island grouping are approximately 1000km further southwest of the search zone.
Located only 1500km north of Antarctica, volcanoes rise sharply from the sea. It is considered a hostile, icy place at the best of times.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:23
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Originally Posted by skytrax
Another thing that it hard to get for me. They see an unidentified plane in the area and they dont scrumble a fighterjet to check it out?! Im referring here to the Malaysians, of course. Wouldnt this be the normal reaction to a plane that fails to be identified through normal sops.
Discussed many pages back and undoubtedly falls into the unnecessary secrets area. Whether they saw the rogue flight path in real time or from tape analysis would reveal their level of alertness.

Whether they have interceptors at high alert 24/7 or a lower state, say 30min, or not at night, or not at weekends etc etc.

The width of Malaysian air space FIR to FIR is fairly narrow so even in the best circumstances decision time, scramble time, and time to intercept means a low chance of intercept which could also increase the do we/don't we decision process time.

The fact is they didn't scramble and they didn't seem to react in real time; the reasons why are speculative and not really germane to the analysis and search.


At a very rough estimate the width available to intercept and track is just 400 miles. At 450kts that is around 50 minutes. Assuming a 15 minute decision time by the scramble authority, 15 minutes (max) for the scramble, and 5 minutes to height, the interceptor is already set up for a tail chase.

Geography often dictates defence posture. As for week end and over night working, remind me what the US posture was on 6 Dec 1941.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 19th Mar 2014 at 10:38.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:24
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unprecedented events

No one ever thought, before 447, that a professional crew flying a modern jet owned by a mainline natonal carrier could be capable of doing what they did. Yet only a few years later and here we are again with an even more bizarre mystery to unravel. It is a novel situation. That is why the solution to this riddle will most likely be found "outside the box". Until, and unless, there is a debris field to examine, nothing can be ruled out. But, with sufficient evidence already available to show intentional interference shouldn't operational and maintenance directives be out already governing accessibility of the Transponder switching panel and transponder CB from the flight deck?
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:24
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Originally Posted by mm43
The graphic below is using an equidistant projection, and has a 40° and 50° satellite elevation arc drawn on it. The red tracks represent the two speeds used by the NTSB and an assumption is made that about 200+NM west of Aceh, North Sumatra, the heading was set to 180°M.

Thanks for that mm43, gives an idea of where the intermediate satellite pings probably fell.

By the way, I believe the correct projection to use would be an azimuthal equidistant projection, centered on the Inmarsat IOR satellite. (Azimuthal equidistant projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:26
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Originally Posted by Swiss Cheese
Interesting and incisive thoughts about Boeing, and following the money.
If it’s Wednesday, it must be Boeing conspiracy day on the MH370 thread……..

Please bear in mind that it might actually be in Boeing’s interest for this issue to be resolved in order to demonstrate that it wasn’t a mechanical or systems issue with the 777 that caused MH370 to disappear.

As for the share price, well done. You’ve put two and two together and got five…… The stock markets are driven by sentiment and can be susceptible to events, so there’s absolutely nothing surprising about a fall in the Boeing share price. There’s an old stock market adage “Sell on the rumour, buy on the news”; you’re just seeing this process in action. You can bet your bottom dollar that some of the people who sold their shares in Boeing will be buying them back at a lower price.

To suggest, as someone did a few pages ago, that MH370 could potentially cause Boeing to collapse is simply hysterical.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:29
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How to hijack an airliner

I'm with you on this one, Jazzbag, (post 6033)

Aim: To Hijack a 777
To make the aircraft vanish thereby presume crashed into the sea... the only thing they overlooked was that the engines kept talking to the satellite even though the ACARS was disabled.
-one or both pilots? or trained pax assisted by maybe one pax (the engineer?) depressurise the aircraft just 15 mins before the change over point.They could be wearing Oxygen masks which explains the garbled transmission with background noise.. Maintain altitude to starve the oxygen from the pax systems which last 15 mins ..(the pilots would last 30 mins or more) Intent is to disable all passengers who would notice the change in course and may try to storm the cockpit.
-the attendants with the mobile oxygen may have realised something wrong and try to break down the cockpit door.. so the pilot/s decide to climb to 45000 to disable these brave guys. When this works successfully the aircraft is descended to level 295 below RVSM and in between semi circular FLs.
-Now the plane is flown to a remote airfield maybe in South Central Asia.
What you've not mentioned is that having depressurised the aircraft for 20 minutes or so (air-conditioning packs off, outflow valve open), the pilot(s) or whoever was in the flight deck then closes the outflow valve and turns the packs back on. The OAT was likely -50ºC so the aircraft would be getting mighty cold. You would need to get back to a warm, oxygen-rich environment as quickly as possible. It could be that some mobile phones were left on (there always will be and lack of O2 won't affect them), but no one to make any calls at any stage thereafter.

Now that it's just "you' on board, the carefully thought-out plan can commence. And for all those 1000s of people reading this blog who don't imagine there was a plan, the precedent is 9/11. The complete creativity of that plan caught the whole world by surprise. I admit it does need a brave step of imagination but so it did back in 2001. I believe that General McInery's thoughts concerning a safe landing in Pakistan are to be taken seriously. He did ask the interviewer not to push him on some of his sources which had obviously been agreed prior to the interview (Lt. Gen. McInerney: Flight 370 Could Have Landed in Pakistan | Fox News Insider).

Last edited by Lorimer; 19th Mar 2014 at 10:34. Reason: include reference to previous post
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:32
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What would you do as pilot of a 777 (or comparable aircraft) if faced with a 'significant' electrical fire in the exact position south of Vietnam where MH370 deviated from course?
I am not a pilot yet but I am aware that in case of any in-flight emergency, the pilot rules are to aviate, navigate and then communicate.
This explains a lot about an electrical fire or such event, since in such cases, the first priority of a pilot would be to land the aircraft. Which thus explains the west turn towards Langkawi Airport, closest airport at the time, and also easiest to navigate to on auto-pilot since smooth terrain on that route from where they were (as compared to going back to KLCC).
Second priority would be to find the source of the fire, i.e. assess the problem. In case of electrical fire, they would switch off electrical "busses", and turning them back on one by one to isolate where the problem comes from. Thus explaining lost of ACARS and all comms.
Climbing to from FL350 to FL450 would explain going to highest flyable altitude to minimize oxygen in an attempt to switch off fire. However, very difficult not to stall at this altitude, which explains sudden drop to FL250, a/c may have stalled and pilots struggled to regain control which happened at FL250. Heading continued on auto-pilot to Langkawi airport.
Lastly would be to communicate, but I guess things happened quickly, and since "busses" were off, that did not happen as something probably incapacitated the pilots (smoke for example), and they fell unconscious. Thus flight continued on auto heading until fire destroyed control electricals, or they ran out of fuel, thus crashed.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:33
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I am a 777 pilot and have waded painfully through all these pages.

Just a few points:

To be pedantic the 777 transponder cannot be turned off in flight from the flight deck. ie depowered with digits blank. There is no off switch, however there is a standy position which will stop it radiating. You would have to pull the circuit breaker to totally depower it. In flight on the 777 you never go to standby if you are given a change of squawk.

The suggestion of taking off with main tank fuel pumps off is not a valid possibility. The electronic checklist would not tick itself off, and there are clues on the eicas screen. If you did take off like that and the engines failed in cruise you would get low pressure fuel warnings first and your radios would still be working normally.

As to who made the last radio call. If the Captain is handling pilot the copilot would normally make the radio calls. However for various reasons i.e. the copilot out of the flight deck, copilot on the intercom to cabin crew , the Captain may have made the call. So role is not definitive proof.

In the event of a fire you do not climb to snuff out flames.

The 777 does not have a mach trimmer.

Can a 777 get to FL450? In true mythbuster spirit we put this to the test in a 777-2 simulator. A 777 with a full load of passengers has a zero fuel weight of between 170 and 180 tonnes, say 175 tonnes. 8 hours of fuel is approximately 52 tonnes. So a takeoff weight of approx 227 tonnes minus a bit of taxi fuel. At that weight the FMS says Max Alt FL409. The plane will climb easily to FL410.

Now it gets interesting. At FL410 There is a very small gap on the airspeed tape between the VMO and the yellow which is minimum manoeuvring speed. If you disconnect the autothrottle and firewall the thrust levers, then wait until the speed is about to trigger the VMO warning and then disconnect the autopilot and raise the nose you can do a zoom climb. Although into the yellow pretty quickly there is still a long way before you get to the red digits on the airspeed which is the point at which the stick shaker activates.. The elevator gets incredibly heavy as it is made artificially heavier as the Boeing 777 really doesn't want you to do this. With P2 pulling with all his might he still could not raise the nose to anywhere near 10 degrees. Putting the flight controls into direct mode made it easier. We got it to FL 443 at which point the stick shaker activated and P2 gratefully reduced the back pressure. This sim had GE engines. RR are a bit more powerful and if they had used an hour more fuel than our simulation I think it would have been feasible. Interestingly at FL440 the cabin alt was still at 8000 feet as per normal, so it must have used a higher diff than normal but still had not reached the max diff where the relief valve opens.

As regards the possibilities:

I believe the event probably started with the flight deck door opening and either a pilot exiting or someone else entering. I suspect someone with knowledge then deliberately disabled transponder, acars and satcom.

As for the gradual depressurisation theory. I cannot buy that because the normal cabin alt is 8000, if it gently depressurised it might not be noticed but at 10,000 feet cabin alt there is a very loud horn and red "cabin Alt" warning. No pilot should be unconscious by this point, the passenger masks don't even drop until a cabin altitude of 14000 feet so they would have seen the warning at 10,000 feet and taken action.

The rapid depressurisation theory and the pilots unconscious due to either failing to put masks on or failure of the oxygen system. This might have been a possibility except the transponder stopped radiating. In an emergency descent you do not touch the knob of the transponder switch. I have never put a 777 transponder to sby in flight and it would be totally alien. The transponder selector knob is not part of the emergency descent checklist.

A massive electrical failure or smoke in the flight deck? Possible but extremely unlikely for it to all happen at once with no chance to get even a radio call out. Also flying for 5 more hours. Would it not be better to head for land then circle and get attention?

A great mystery.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:34
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It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma ...

I can't believe the suicide theory;

Don't think it crashed due to mechanical failure;

That really only leaves 'interference' with the aircraft and crew.

Worst case would be ransom demand, with hostages dispersed - and no way of extracting them.

The body language of the Malyasians suggests more knowledge than answers.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:35
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Oxy tank failure? Breach of the pressure hull following failure of the regulator apparatus on the Oxy tank? Electrical fire, smoke, fought by increasing altitude to FL45, which put out the fire, but if the pressure hull was breached, proved terminal to all carbon-based life-forms on board?
Agreed, well said. Read what RCSA, has written he knows what he is talking about.

I must say i finally do not believe all the fancy rumours.

Ii think they had somekind of an initially undetected smoldering fire in the electronic bay which disabled one system after another - starting with acars. after system failures began they decided to turn back to malaysia , using the heading mode .

Just in the turn the fire melted through the structure resulting in a rapid decompression. the crew oxygen bottles, stored in the electronic bay, failed and the pilots were out of order. the decompression by itself also put off this fire.

The autopilot continued to work and stucked in the turn on a heading towards indian ocean where the plane continued until fuel exhaustion and then crashed.
Here is another sensible post from Aerobat 77, smouldering fire in the Electrical Bay situated under the cockpit floor.

Boeing, Rolls Royce, Airbus and the London Insurance Underwriter’s along with every airline maintenance and overhaul organisation around the world including 800,000 aircraft engineers / mechanics and 500,000 commercial pilots, will be thinking along these lines. None of the aforementioned will be thinking of the monstrously irresponsible and ridiculous conspiracy theories that have spread throughout this thread.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:44
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"It did occur to me that while there are clear geographical and logistic reasons for Australia to take charge of the Southern search area, there is also the possibility that the US may be more willing to reveal any information they may have to the Australians than the Malaysians."

Pine Gap and other technology is jointly manned by BOTH Aus and the US and I doubt any hold ups would be occurring of relevant info between the US and Aus considering how close the two countries are, we share virtually everything else !
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:44
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AMSA MH370 Search Day 2 March 19 2014

John Young gave on camera briefing without any reporters. Key Points:
1. Search area has shifted a little closer to Perth due to refinements based on data analysis
2. Only one aircraft participated in search on 18th March, but 4 are participating on March 19th and maybe 5 on March 20th.
3. Search conditions were good on 18th March as search crew could see marine life but did not locate anything of relevance to search.
4. A few ships will pass through search area as well.

Pictures/video at Media site:

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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:45
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777 Fuel System operation

Is it possible for the 777 in question to fly to full endurance, i.e. fuel exhaustion, without any manual intervention?
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:48
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OleOle, in answer to your question re extending the range of Jindalee/JORN: I understand the aerial array involves very large tracts of land. I don't believe there's be anywhere near enough land available on Cocos to have an aerial farm.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me.
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:49
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Not sure why they think finding the black box will necessarily prove anything, as if it kept flying normally for a few hours, how exactly would that help the investigation and answer the questions of the press?
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:50
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:51
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Wow... They didnt confirm whether plane past through the two waypoints on west. They dont have any data to corroborate

So anything that they have been saying regarding MH370's path so far is smoke..
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:52
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I get the impression they know its crashed with no survivors.

They just said during the press conference "our focus is to find the aircrafts black box and we have the team who found the AF447 black box in KL now to see what recovery assets they have"
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Old 19th Mar 2014, 10:54
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Simply ask.

Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Get the full capability of protection here.

And here.

Pine Gap - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don't tell me they don't fully check for threats 24/7 or keep records.
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