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Old 20th Mar 2014, 12:59   #6561 (permalink)
 
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Very well sourced bloomberg story. Including fuel load.

FBI Joins Malaysia Jet Probe as Simulator Data Sought
By Angus Whitley, Manirajan Ramasamy and David Fickling
March 19, 2014 11:00 PM EDT
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The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation joined Malaysia’s inquiry into the missing jet as authorities sought to retrieve deleted data on a computer flight simulator belonging to the plane’s pilot.
The FBI’s involvement, disclosed yesterday by the White House, widens the U.S. role in probing Flight 370’s disappearance. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are already working with Malaysian authorities, as is the U.S. military.
“There’s been close cooperation with the Malaysian government,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with a Dallas television station. He said the investigation is a “top priority.”
The search area for the Boeing Co. (BA) 777-200ER narrowed in the southern Indian Ocean after an analysis of the plane’s probable fuel reserves. Aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. patrolled a zone the size of Italy while the inquiry into the simulator opened a new front in the mystery that began March 8 when Flight 370 vanished with 239 people on board.
Malaysia gave India new coordinates to look for the plane, following which the country will deploy its P-8I long-range aircraft, D.K. Sharma, a spokesman for the Indian Navy, said by phone today. India will search the ocean in a location south of Jakarta, Sharma said.
Simulator Examined
Malaysia has brought in local and international experts to examine the simulator, Hishammuddin said. Some data had been deleted and “forensic work” to retrieve it was under way, he said. The data log was cleared on Feb. 3, according to Khalid Abu Bakar, the country’s police chief.
The homes of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid were searched on March 15 after Prime Minister Najib Razak said the Malaysian Airline System Bhd. (MAS) plane was intentionally diverted. It lost contact and disappeared from radar screens less than an hour after it left Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. Initial inquiries indicated the co-pilot was last heard by air traffic controllers.
“The passengers, the pilots and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise,” Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said. “For the sake of their families, I ask that we refrain from any unnecessary speculation that might make an already difficult time even harder.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the status of the investigation into Flight 370 while confirming that the FBI was involved.
Patrols Resuming
“We are finding that the level of cooperation with the Malaysian government is solid,” Carney told reporters. “But I have no update on the course of the investigation. It remains the case that, you know, we are not in the position yet to draw conclusions about what happened.”
Air patrols by the U.S., New Zealand and Australia are resuming today in the southern Indian Ocean, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
An assessment by the NTSB allowed the search to be focused on an area about the half the size of the zone planned earlier, according to John Young, the agency’s general manager of emergency response. The search zone is about 305,000 square kilometers (118,000 square miles).
Fuel Load
The search for the Malaysian jet, which lost contact with air traffic control less than an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. on March 8 en route to Beijing, is the longest in modern passenger-airline history. The previous record was the 10-day search for a Boeing Co. 737-400 operated by Indonesia’s PT Adam Skyconnection Airlines, which went missing off the coast of that country’s Sulawesi island Jan. 1, 2007.
The Boeing 777 was carrying 49.1 metric tons (54.1 tons) of fuel when it departed Kuala Lumpur, for a total takeoff weight of 223.5 tons, according to Subang Jaya-based Malaysian Air.
Satellite signals emitted periodically from Flight 370 even after other communications were shut down showed the jet operated for almost seven hours after last making contact. That may have taken the plane more than 3,000 miles from its last known location to the limits to the fuel on board, if it remained airborne the whole time.
U.S. investigators are reviewing satellite pings from routine flights in an attempt to determine the accuracy of the estimates of where the jet flew, said a person familiar with the probe who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Accuracy Estimates
A jet carrying global-positioning equipment would know its exact position, and that could be compared with estimates derived from its pings to the Inmarsat Plc satellite, the person said.
The distance from the London-based company’s satellite over the Indian Ocean to Flight 370 must have been calculated using the time it took for radio beams to travel back and forth, Tom Stansell, a consultant who helped develop the GPS system starting in 1960, said in an interview.
The arcs released by the Malaysian government showing where the plane was at 8:11 a.m. on March 8 are probably accurate to within about 100 miles, Tim Farrar, president of Telecom, Media & Finance Associates of Menlo Park, California, said in an interview. The company does satellite and telecommunications consulting.
Much of the area Australia is scouring is within the Roaring Forties, a region between the 40th and 50th degrees of latitude south known for strong winds and wave conditions, according to charts provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. That may diminish the chances of debris still being afloat so long after the jet vanished.
To contact the reporters on this story: Angus Whitley in Sydney at awhitley1@bloomberg.net; Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur at rmanirajan@bloomberg.net; David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net Ed Dufner, Bernard Kohn
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:07   #6562 (permalink)
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The FMC is very useful for an established route, SID or approach but don't get mesmerised by what may or may not have been entered into the FMC, in this case, quite possible that from 01.19 the rest of the flight was conducted in FLCH and HDG Select.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:09   #6563 (permalink)
 
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So many people seem to think that the participation of players like China, Malaysia, US, Indonesia etc is dominated by geopolitics, deception, and even commercial advantage. There is no doubt that security sensitivities will influence actions and will certainly influence public information sharing. There is no doubt that cooperative approaches are challenged by a whole range of sovereign and institutional barriers. But all of the people involved are people; people with families, friends, relatives and emotions and I would expect that most players just want to help people suffering.

Think about it. It's difficult enough to agree on what you are going to have for dinner each night. Instead of this somewhat paranoid and dysfunctional view, which is not entirely unwarranted, I happen to think we are seeing an effort of global cooperation that we should celebrate rather than pick holes in. Because the holes are going to be there despite best efforts.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:19   #6564 (permalink)
 
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Ping accuracy

Quote:
The arcs released by the Malaysian government showing where the plane was at 8:11 a.m. on March 8 are probably accurate to within about 100 miles, Tim Farrar, president of Telecom, Media & Finance Associates of Menlo Park, California, said in an interview.
Interesting!

Until now, most people with a knowledge of Inmarsat operation, latency and other errors have said that the 'ping distance' is accurate to +/- 5 km. If this new estimate of +/- 100miles is true, then even the very limited conclusions that can be drawn from analysing the 5 previous ping arcs would become virtually useless as the arcs become even more 'blurred'.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:29   #6565 (permalink)
 
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Southern Ocean Images - they may have better

My guess is that two Australian P3s and a C130, a USN P8, a NZ P3, and an Australian warship are not being launched on the basis of photographic evidence as poor as that shown to the media by the Australians.


It must be possible that the US National Reconnaissance Office KH11 satellite constellation has produced high quality images which we have (obviously) not seen, or which have been degraded.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:31   #6566 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OleOle View Post
I understand each wing tank of the 772 can hold 35000 liters, if they didn't rupture that's a potential for 35t of buoyancy.
Even if intact, the wing tanks have vents, and I would expect them to be filled with water after this length of time.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:39   #6567 (permalink)
 
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Quote [parabellum]:
"The FMC is very useful for an established route, SID or approach but don't get mesmerised by what may or may not have been entered into the FMC, in this case, quite possible that from 01.19 the rest of the flight was conducted in FLCH and HDG Select."

While the maneuvers after IGARI are probably indicative of the plane being under control and being flown in an evasive manner, the sudden altitude changescould indicate the plane was not fully under control (?). If the plane ended in the far southern reaches of the Indian Ocean could that indicate an attempted return to KL by a pilot in an incapacitated state who then passed out after setting HDG? Just asking.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:41   #6568 (permalink)
 
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H alpha,

You're right that the single-epoch released image just looks like a wave. The Australian government person interviewed said that the two objects appeared to be "awash", which implies multiple views to see this happening. Then again, a stack of containers, or an upturned yacht would be "awash" too.

I think it's reasonable to assume that there is much more imaging available; however, the resolution of the images released is of order of a meter, at least for sunlight reflecting off the surface, so it's probably adequate for the purpose. The tone of the Australians today has certainly been very positive. It seems hard to imagine they'd have made a statement/released the four-day-old image if they weren't quietly confident of finding wreckage.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:42   #6569 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed of Sound View Post
Interesting!

Until now, most people with a knowledge of Inmarsat operation, latency and other errors have said that the 'ping distance' is accurate to +/- 5 km. If this new estimate of +/- 100miles is true, then even the very limited conclusions that can be drawn from analysing the 5 previous ping arcs would become virtually useless as the arcs become even more 'blurred'.
But any indication is better than 1/3 of the world surface, I have always assumed (yep dangerous) the shallower the angle the greater the spread of the beam, rather like a torch shining on the ground
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:45   #6570 (permalink)
 
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Once Queensland had a premier famous for "Feeding the chooks." His press conferences always gave provable facts..he kept a little back for his favorites and gave enough that everyone could write a good story without asking awkward questions.
It seems Australia has taken this art to an even higher degree. I think at least now the facts we get will be straight even though they may not be the whole story.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:47   #6571 (permalink)
 
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@OleOle

Quote:
Originally Posted by OleOle
I understand each wing tank of the 772 can hold 35000 liters, if they didn't rupture that's a potential for 35t of buoyancy.

Even if intact, the wing tanks have vents, and I would expect them to be filled with water after this length of time.

NB: density difference means 35000 litres of fuel at SG= 0.85 would have only ~ 5 tonnes of buoyancy
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:47   #6572 (permalink)
 
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There are a few guys flying out tomorrow morning from Melbourne to assist in the search (AMSA).
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:51   #6573 (permalink)
 
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The Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg has reached the area in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia where two floating objects, suspected to be debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, were spotted, the ship owner’s said on Thursday. The cargo ship is currently 30 NM from the location of the objects.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:52   #6574 (permalink)
 
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150kms isn't too shabby, given the level of knowledge otherwise.

Plus, that gives the width of a very long arc. If things drift by maybe several 10s of miles per day, that makes even a point from ten days ago a swath that wide by now.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:57   #6575 (permalink)
 
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ELT

Are we to assume that the distress radiobeacon failed in this case, or that some of the data that the search and rescue teams have been using includes that received by this device?

I understand that these devices can react to either water immersion or impact forces?

Would be grateful for an answer from someone with knowledge.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:57   #6576 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
A flight crew combing the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said they are getting radar hits of “significant size,” indicating something lying below the water’s surface, ABC News America also reports.
Interesting paragraph above was found at: Possible wreckage spotted in search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, RAAF plane on its way to identify objects | News.com.au
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 13:59   #6577 (permalink)
 
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The P8 did NOT find anything on Radar.

MH370 suspected wreckage images released | Plane Talking
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 14:01   #6578 (permalink)
 
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say original 180mls wide ie 90mls either side of a centre line, the drifting is hopefully only in one direction so you lose the other 90mlies.

Right now the width of search area would be about the same as day 1 but increasing as every day goes by,

If it landed on the centre line you get 10x20 =200, compared to original 180, if it landed on eastern edge you get 90+200 = 290

however if it landed on west edge 180 of the 200 is the original area
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 14:01   #6579 (permalink)
 
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Although ive been tracking this thread very regularly! I may of missed this question answered.
What about these image findings via sat, they are 4 days old, im sure daily images from this area have been rescanned? Which would indicate with current drift approximations more debris or potentially finding the same? But nothing more recent has been published anyway.

Either that or now due to currents/weather nothing is left afloat which means it was an awful amount of effort to find nothing.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 14:02   #6580 (permalink)
 
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For Future "Black Box" Designers......

Bearing in mind how long it took to find and later recover the Air France AF447 Flt Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder, I have often wondered why these, valuable to the search and subsequent enquiry, items are not given some form of barostatic release. If so designed they could then automatically deploy to release themselves to the surface if the lost aircraft were to descend below a certain depth of water. As merely a retired global and ETOPS flier, I am in no way qualified to know anything about such design matters, yet is it not time that the boffins put their thinking caps on to produce such an aid to their recovery?

The parameters for 'release to the surface' could be clearly defined so as not to activate such a device unless extreme water pressure were experienced by the sensing device. The trigger for release could then be by self-contained electrical, barostatic or even chemical means.
Realising that cost versus the number of times such inventions are needed form a large part of the design equation, it brings to mind the saying that, "Necessity is the mother of invention."
Nevertheless, regardless of the cost of design and fitting such a device to long-flight, over-water aircraft, at least the families and relatives of those lost would have greater hope of some form of final closure for their lost ones.
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