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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:10
  #7341 (permalink)  
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Found this quite useful.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:10
  #7342 (permalink)  
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I've followed this thread from day one, initially I was of the opinion that it was a similar scenario to AF447 ie tech problem that overcame the pilots.

At this stage it would seem to me that the most likely scenario is that based on the assumption that the Inmarsat arcs are valid, this aircraft was flown to its final destination in the sea by someone.

The fire theory doesn't stack up, if it incapacitated the pilots so quickly it would most likely brought the aircraft down sooner than several hours later.

The location of the current search focus and the route that would have to have been flown to get there more or less undetected back up my
theory that someone was flying this machine.

Can anyone explain how it could have gone where it 'seems' to have gone otherwise?

A truly awful event whatever the reasons
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:17
  #7343 (permalink)  
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DEBRIS including a wooden pallet has been spotted by one of the aircraft searching for missing flight MH370, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has revealed.

Mr Abbott said he was told late last night a civilian aircraft had sighted a number of objects within the search zone.

It is the first direct sighting of debris and follows two hits by satellite in the past week.

“Yesterday one of our civilian search aircraft got visuals on a number of objects in a fairly small area in the overall Australian search zone,” Mr Abbott said this morning.

He said the debris was: “ A number of small objects, fairly close together within the Australian search zone, including a wooden pallet.”
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Search resumes after Chinese satellites spot object in Indian Ocean | News.com.au
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:19
  #7344 (permalink)  
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I mentioned a few pages back that during last nights press conference they said the atc transcript that is going around is false, this is to follow up on that post.

SEPANG: The communication transcript that allegedly took place between the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 and air traffic control (ATC) the night it was reported missing on March 8 has been classified as inaccurate and "tidak sahih" (invalid).
"The transcript is invalid and inaccurate. I have to inform that the transcript between the tower and the aircraft is not accurate," stressed the Department of Civil Aviation Director-General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

He rebutted the transcript which was published today by a foreign media 'The Telegraph' during the daily media briefing on the search and rescue operation for the unfortunate aircraft that entered day-15, at a hotel here, today.

Also present were Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

When asked to explain further which part of the transcript was not accurate, Azharuddin refused to comment, adding that: "The transcript by standard procedure cannot be publicly released."

The Telegraph in its exclusive report entitled 'Revealed: the final 54 minutes of communication from MH370' published the cockpit communication from its taxi on the runway to its final message at 1.19am of 'all right, good

The transcript allegedly between the co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid and ATC started at 00.25 with general instructions from the control tower to the pilots.

The detailed conversation began at 00.36.

Earlier Hishammuddin said that the original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and ATC had been handed to the investigation team, where it was being analysed.

"As a standard practice in investigation of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal," he said.

The issue on the lithium-ion battery which was carried in the cargo area of the aircraft MH370 was again raised by the media today, but Ahmad Jauhari had explained in detail on the matter at the media conference yesterday, besides issuing an official statement.

"The battery as cargo is not dangerous. Actually it (the battery) is not dangerous as long as it is handled according to the guidelines specified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA)," he said.

MAS Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing about an hour after taking off from the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8. It should have landed in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.

The fate of the passengers is unknown as the multi-national search for the aircraft has drawn a blank so far.
UPDATE 29: MISSING MH370: Reported transcript inaccurate, says DCA - Latest - New Straits Times

Latest Media Release From AMSA
During Saturday’s search activities a civil aircraft tasked by AMSA reported sighting a number of small
objects with the naked eye, including a wooden pallet, within a radius of five kilometres.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft with specialist electro-optic observation
equipment was diverted to the location, arriving after the first aircraft left but only reported sighting
clumps of seaweed.

The RNZAF Orion dropped a datum marker buoy to track the movement of the material. A merchant
ship in the area has been tasked to relocate and seek to identify the material.

The search area experienced good weather conditions on Saturday with visibility of around 10 kilometres
and moderate seas.

The Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, two chartered civil aircraft and two
merchant ships supported Saturday’s search effort in a 36,000 square kilometre search area in the
Australian Search and Rescue Region.

Since AMSA assumed coordination of the search on Monday 17 March, 15 sorties have been flown and
more than 150 hours of air time has been committed by the air crews to the task.

Four military aircraft assisted in today’s search, as well as two ultra-long range jets. Ten State
Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia were tasked as air observers today, along
with two AMSA mission coordinators on the civilian aircraft. AMSA runs a training program across the
country to train SES volunteers in air observation for land and sea searches.

The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Success has arrived in the search area. Two merchant ships are
also in the search area.

The search will resume tomorrow and further attempts will be made to establish whether the objects
sighted are related to MH370.

This evening China provided a satellite image to Australia possibly showing a 22.5 metre floating object
in the southern Indian Ocean. AMSA has plotted the position and it falls within Saturday’s search area.
The object was not sighted on Saturday.

AMSA will take this information into account in tomorrow’s search plans.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:19
  #7345 (permalink)  
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AMSA has the same on it's media release this morning


During Saturdayís search activities a civil aircraft tasked by AMSA reported sighting a number of small objects with the naked eye, including a wooden pallet, within a radius of five kilometres.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft with specialist electro-optic observation equipment was diverted to the location, arriving after the first aircraft left but only reported sighting clumps of seaweed.

The RNZAF Orion dropped a datum marker buoy to track the movement of the material. A merchant ship in the area has been tasked to relocate and seek to identify the material.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:39
  #7346 (permalink)  
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"the search effort has been hampered by the reluctance of all parties in the region admit to what they have actually seen on radar."

To state the obvious, various countries in that part of the world don't want to admit that:

(a) the radars may not be operating all the time.

(b) they may have missed something even when the radars were operating.

For example, India was forced to admit that its radars around the Adaman Islands were not actually on all the time in order to save money.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:42
  #7347 (permalink)  
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"Apart from hypoxia, are there any other scenarios that would account for the crew and passengers being incapacitated AND the plane being able to fly for another 5-7 hours?"

rabidstoat: "Surely there are. Off the top of my head, hijacker(s) with threat or use of force."

What I meant was: are there any other scenarios apart from hypoxia that don't involve foul play of some type. I'm struggling to think of any.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:50
  #7348 (permalink)  
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There is no way you will have network coverage on your phone at 35.000 ft

Still for me there are to many coincidences that and chain of events must have been really overwhelming, that the failures caused the aircraft to become invisible and silent, at the most convenient moment of the flight!

I do not believe the pilots are at blame, maybe it is a combination of unknown factors, as I can't see how a modern T7 could suffer such a failure - in that case it will be a latent failure, also existing on other T7's, and there will be no rest by the authorities and Boeing until something has been found!

There is no way with current available information to put together any even remotely satisfactory chain of events that can explain what happen, based on the facts that we are aware of at this moment.

I do believe some more information is known, and I also believe at the moment we can't even be certain of the current search area being the correct one.

All this uber-info about Pings and Arcs and various explanations means very little, as we have not been presented with all the data required to make such analyses.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:53
  #7349 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AndyJS View Post
[I]"Apart from hypoxia, are there any other scenarios that would account for the crew and passengers being incapacitated AND the plane being able to fly for another 5-7 hours?"

What I meant was: are there any other scenarios apart from hypoxia that don't involve foul play of some type. I'm struggling to think of any.
Noxious gas, from somewhere as yet unknown ?
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:53
  #7350 (permalink)  
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The recent inflight arson attempt on the EY flight from MEL-AUH?

A similar attempt here with a different outcome?
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:54
  #7351 (permalink)  
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Assuming Malaysian have an FOQA program couldn't they pull the QAR from previous flights the crew took (what is the history of the QAR?) and analyse any anomalies?
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 00:54
  #7352 (permalink)  
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I have been looking at as many relevant maps as I can find and one thing has me interested....MH370 went "missing" from primary radar 1hr34min into the flight...If we then assume that it continued to go north-west for lets say 30+ minutes, so as to avoid turning back South over Indonesia (whom denies they tracked it on primary radar), then that is 2hrs of flying time gone out of the 7.3 it was allegedly flying for. That leaves it in the air for 5hrs30mins. If you then calculated a speed of 800kmh, the flying distance would be around 4500km. Looking at one map, the distance from Sultan Iskandarmuda Airport (Banda Aceh, ID) to Perth is 4700km....So how could the plane have ended up 1500-2500km south of Perth....
I may be looking at this all wrong
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:00
  #7353 (permalink)  
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Apart from hypoxia, are there any other scenarios that would account for the crew and passengers being incapacitated AND the plane being able to fly for another 5-7 hours
All the scenarios at this point are just conjecture. If we look at AF447 for example, it was brought down by something we hadn't accounted for prior to the accident, this may very well be the same. All of the "it must have had human intervention" speculation, is based on absolutely no evidence, or at the very least unsubstantiated evidence. For the most part the investigating authorities cannot even get their story straight.

I can understand countries not wanting to give away classified information, but if there was one shred of evidence that the aircraft followed the Northern route, I am fairly sure it would be provided to the investigators (if not the source).

I don't suspect Australia, New Zealand, China and the US are conducting such a massive search on just a hunch, or even just based on the Immarsat 'pings' for that matter. Whether the information has come from JORN, or US and Chinese satellites we will probably never know, nor do we need to.

I cannot believe the number of so called 'aviation experts' on television pushing their outlandish theories. Time to hand back your ATPL's guys!
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:01
  #7354 (permalink)  
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Decompressing fire fighters

For all the genius so called pilots out there referring to the SOP's of fighting on board fires by decompressing or climbing heavy triple 7's to FL450 to starve them of oxygen.....

They have obviously drifted too far from the classrooms of their youth where they learned that the atmosphere consists of 21% oxygen ALL THE WAY UP!

Decompressing or climbing to FL680 will provide the fire with 21% of oxygen.

You guys should be checking out a career with CNN or the BBC
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:12
  #7355 (permalink)  
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wild goose, the percentage of oxygen remains the same, what changes is the density which, putting it simply means that the molecules of oxygen are too far apart to allow effective respiration. If this were not the case there would be no need for people to have oxygen supplementation.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:15
  #7356 (permalink)  
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Dear Wombat

You are in danger of being percieved as missing the point entirely

The issue is fire fighting by oxygen starvation


people fighting by oxygen starvation
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:22
  #7357 (permalink)  
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The search is taking place is the most probable area according to available information.

We must, however, maintain a perspective on what may be found.

The objects seen by satelites are too large at around 70 feet long to be wreckage still floating 2 weeks after an aircraft crash and are most likely the inverted hulls of abandoned yachts known to be in the approximate area. These objects can float at or just below the surface for years or even decades. They can be observed by eye but being made of fibreglass they are invisible to search and rescue radars.

Other clusters of debris will be too small to be photographed by satelites but will be found by visual search by aircraft. A ship will then need to be tasked to examine and recover this debris. The problem here is that the oceans are cluttered with junk so the probability of any debris observed being related to the aircraft are fairly low and there will be false leads.

I am confident that if the search is in the right area something will be found but it will take time. Beware of raising false hopes until something is positively identified.
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:25
  #7358 (permalink)  
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A bit premature, but in the hope that this incident gets to this phase, here's some data on recovery of flight recorders and underwater locator beacons (ULBs).

The Wikipedia page on ULBs


links to this 1968 FAA report:



Certain types of commercial transport aircraft are required by regulation to carry airborne flight data recorders for accident investigation purposes. A number of airborne recorders and their records were never located following a crash, especially after an aircraft crashed into water. The CAB requested the FAA to conduct a study for possible solutions to aid in locating the recorders and/or the recorded records from submerged aircraft. Following a crash in 1965 in which a flight recorderr and its record were lost in water and never recovered, the CAB formally requested the FAA to require commercial carriers to install acoustic-type locating beacons on all flight data recorders that are carried for crash investigation purposes."

The report talks about acoustic propagation through aluminum honeycomb fuselage structure, which may imply that was a consideration that drove the ULB acoustic frequency selection.

A set of slides describing at-sea recovery:


Slide 13 lists time to recover flight data recorders for a number of at-sea accidents.

Table 4 of the Metron report on AF447 has a more comprehensive summary of at-sea accident recoveries.


Description of Table 4 in the Metron report:

"Table 4 below highlights data on 27 aircraft crashes at sea that were assembled by the BEA. Of the aircraft involved in these crashes, 25 were fitted with 2 ULBs while two had only one. The crashes involved 52 ULBs of which only 5 failed to function. This indicates a more than 90% survival rate which is higher than the 80% assumed for the underwater search analysis in section 4.3.1. The failures in the table include those of the ULBs onboard the South African Airways Flight SAA 295 which were likely to have been caused by an in-flight fire. With this in mind, the estimate of 90% survival rate for the ULBs may itself be low for a crash at sea that does not involve a fire."

While there appears to be some trend between depth and days to recover, there are exceptions, such as Air India 182, 23 June 1985, where the recorders were found 17 and 18 days later at a depth of 3250 meters.

For those cases with depths greater than a kilometer, half (4 of 8) had recorders recovered in less than 30 days. Of 27 cases in the table where at least one recorder was found, only 6 were found after more than 30 days, and only 3 after more than 90 days. The last 3 were all deeper than 1 km.

The design parameters of existing ULBs are close to the specs in the 1968 FAA report. One could argue that the 90% ULB reliability figure cited by Metron does not imply a need for any drastic changes to the ULB design (e.g., frequency).

The FAA appears to have been responsive to the BEA recommendation from AF447 to extend the battery life of ULBs. A 2012 notice of Revision B to TSO-C121:

Federal Register, Volume 77 Issue 43 (Monday, March 5, 2012)

This includes a number of interesting comments from industry.

Also being adopted in Europe:

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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:29
  #7359 (permalink)  
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Unless depressurization would both starve the fire and incapacitate everyone on board...

Pilots get the fire alarm, they turned back. Fire resulted in damage to electronics.

Fire also resulted in slow depressurization - starving the fire and incapacitating everyone on board

Which fire can depressurize ? LION batteries - fire than explosion causing depressurization.

Where were LION in cargo - forward or rear?

Supposedly the zigzag pattern after return is based on Malaysian primary radar - which cant be trusted - given Malaysia's past in sharing conflicting information..
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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 01:29
  #7360 (permalink)  
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But even if the crew is overcome by smoke, hypoxia, etc - then there's the question of how the plane stays in the air for seven hours with a fire burning in the hold.

Thanks jugofpropwash for your response. Itís a valid point and something I thought about while composing the post. I certainly donít have any answers. There was only a small quantity and maybe, if they caught fire, the fire burned out. You would imagine other parts of the aircraft would have also caught, or other pieces of cargo, so itís a long bow to draw. As we know strange things have happened in aviation, but thatís hardly an adequate answer either.
The last paragraph was purely my conjecture and I donít think your point alters the thrust of scenario C Ė a major event. Time will tell and that will only be known when the orange boxes are found, but I think this scenario is far more plausible than the previous ones.
The other point is the heading. The turn back was in a general south west direction but the last known radar trace was roughly west. Itís the same as above, who knows what was in the FMC? Maybe another waypoint or discontinuity - but purely conjecture again.
I made a spelling mistake and edited this out. Itís been a long time since Iíve visited PPRuNe and in an excellent example of finger trouble think I deleted my post in the process. With apologies to those who read it in the mean time Iíve copied it here:

I guess Iím no different to a lot of us. Throughout this whole tragic episode my anger has been steadily rising. Itís not just the disinformation but the so called experts whoíve conjured up theories based on what is obviously minimal aviation experience, if any. I canít begin to imagine how this cuts into those poor people whoíve suffered so much already.

MH370 took off and climbed to cruising level. The ACARS sent out its routine 30 minute report. Shortly after voice communication was lost along with the transponder. The aircraft made a turn and the next 30 minute ACARS report didnít send. Up until this point the flight operated normally with communication routine. From this three theories have been put forward.

A: Someone from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Somewhere seized the aircraft. This someone had an in depth understanding of the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, was a wiz with the Flight Director Autopilot System and had a deft hand when it came to the Flight Management Computer System.
Manipulating the controls, or forcing the pilots to, the hijacker is flush with a sense of satisfaction - this act of piracy will at last focus the worldís attention on the plight of the PFFTLOS.
Thereís only one problem here, which should have been evident after a few days Ė and certainly after almost two weeks.
To add weight to this theory some expert from the Centre for Who Really Cares suggested the standard FIR handoff was a perfect position to turn the transponder off. As this was a sort of ĎNo manís landí such a devious act would go unnoticed. We could talk about ATC coordination but suffice to say commercial RPT aircraft donít fly in no manís land.

B: A decent family man whoís been a loyal employee and worked his way up to check airman in MAS suddenly decides to make a radical political statement. Sure it was a Murdoch publication (so what would you expect?) but is someone in Australia who leans to Bill Shortenís philosophy a radical extremist?
The FO is a young guy recently promoted from the 737 to the Tripler. His whole career ahead he will shortly marry.
They didnít ask to be assigned together and if not acting in concert one would have to disable the other. The cockpit door is the most feasible theory but the question remains.
Here the scenario branches to; Iíve had enough - I canít take it anymore Ė goodbye cruel world Ö in seven hours while in the mean time I sip on a brew or two from the Cameron Highlands.

I canít believe some of these journalists, but then again pathetic journalism is nothing new. With the transponder out the aircraft disappeared off the radar. Radarís been around since World War II. The transponder, as we know, identifies the radar blip. How do we know the aircraft flew back across Malaysia? It was tracked on radar. MH370 lost its ident but was the same physical object the radar beams bounced off seconds before.

Our simulator sessions are built on operational experience. Every time we do a sim check what happens? We take off and sometime after we have a problem. The problem is always serious enough so as not to continue the flight. We either return to our departure airport or an alternate. Itís a command decision but if serious enough the QRH is explicit Ė LAND AT THE NEAREST SUITABLE AIRPORT.
The radios are out, the transponder is out and contrary to first reports the ACARS ceased to function sometime between its standard 30 minute reports. Itís probably not a leap in faith to assume this happened when the other communication devices were lost. Who would continue on to Beijing? Through several FIRs, change altitude into metres, three different STARS assigned during the approach and numerous runway changes to add interest.
If youíve flown a 737 around Malaysia and the region then you get very familiar with the airways and waypoints. Kuala Lumpur would be OK and Penang would be good. There are others as other pilots have pointed out. It would be a quick entry, if not the airway then a quick WMKK or WMKP. Entered into the FMCS and executed Lateral Nav will point the aircraft in the right direction and if not then Heading Select.
There were earlier reports of a climb to 1900í above the service ceiling and then a dive to 23,000í. I havenít heard any more of these and assume it went the same way as the erroneous ACARS report. If an event major enough to knock out the communications system then chances are thereíll be other damage. And so to what I believe is the most plausible theory.

C: The aircraft suffered a major problem. The pilots started working through the checklists and decided on an air return. Whatever the problem it was serious and some with greater aircraft engineering knowledge than me have suggested this led to a depressurisation. Whatever happened incapacitated the pilots. The aircraft flew on in LNAV or HDG SEL and at the MCP/VNAV altitude. If in LNAV and passing over the last waypoint the mode changed to HDG HOLD, as per its design. Returning in this direction was roughly South West and further south into the prevailing westerly winds. For a trip to Beijing there was approximately 8 hours endurance. Some used for climb and then traversing West Malaysia would mean, again approximately, 7 hours.

I didnít make scenario C up. I added a bit from my local knowledge but itís been out there. So why today do I open the paper and read the same old crap slandering two people, unable to defend themselves, who more than likely were busting their guts trying to save the aircraft and all on it? Some moron talked about ghosting, as if you could fly a 777 just below another aircraft through all the busy airways, some two-way, funnelling in and fanning out, level changes and the rest.

Now I will go out on a limb. Itís pure conjecture and I donít pretend to have any expertise but itís something Iím conscious of as I fly both passenger and freighter aircraft. Nearly every time I fly theyíre there. In the cargo machines they can be half the load. In the pax aircraft theyíre in the hold. I know theyíre allowed and shipped in accordance with all the rules and regulations. But that was the case with the other types, before they brought down the UPS and Asiana 744Fs.
It was the one question I had and it wasnít until today, buried deep in a secondary article, that this question was answered. A small quantity, all packed, shipped and loaded in accordance with the guidelines. But they were there.
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