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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 4th Apr 2014, 13:49
  #9121 (permalink)  
 
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They cant be all wrong!
Oh yes they can! Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable.

The ATSB data you cite refers to cases where the person on the ground saw an aircraft crash, or an aircraft in trouble, AND THEN raised the alarm.

lynw and I are referring to cases like this one (MH370), where the people on the ground ("witnesses") heard about the accident via the media, then came forward, or were contacted by authorities some other way.

As the TWA800 accident painfully showed, how a witness stores a memory of something they see, then recalls that memory, is very much subject to a whole lot of interpretation.

Nobody is saying these witnesses are being dishonest. It is just that there are significant limitations to the usefulness of eyewitness accounts.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 13:55
  #9122 (permalink)  
 
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Sheep Guts
many psychological studies tell us that 'they' could all be wrong but one or more of them may be right. The classic case of ignoring eyewitness testimony was the loss of several US atomic bombe from a B52 near Plomares, Spain. The fishermen who witnessed the event were not believed and much time and effort was wasted in consequence.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 14:06
  #9123 (permalink)  
 
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In the weeks that have passed, one would presume that the "Authorities" have contacted the Australian govt in relation to JORN (Jindalee operational radar network) project in the north of Australia.

In another industry I had a meeting with the directors of JORN a few years ago and its was astounding as to the coverage that this programme can achieve, let alone the information it can gather.

With this knowledge I'm presuming JORN would be able to track abnormal targets. One has to ask why it was not identified

JORN Radar scope

Last edited by belly tank; 4th Apr 2014 at 14:14. Reason: Inserting image to support post
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 14:30
  #9124 (permalink)  
 
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Sheep Guts
You are totally hung up on your pet theory that has no relation to probability and you just won't let go. You indulge the classic strategy of inventing endless auxiliary hypotheses to justify your primary obsession that you are hung up on.
You absolutely know what happened and those of us with qualifications far in advance of yours are just summarily dismissed. It's endless and relentless.
Please state your qualifications or go away. How many thousands of hours do you have on wide-bodied Boeings in SE Asia?
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 14:56
  #9125 (permalink)  
 
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Lets keep it simple - does everyone agree that there was power on that a/c until at least 0811 Malaysian Time?
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 15:08
  #9126 (permalink)  
 
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" They can't all be wrong... " sheepguts.

Statistics and probability are unfortunately not on your side.
3 eyewitness events and one has to be true ? oh dear.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 15:32
  #9127 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe done to death..

The only tangible thing we have is the fact there were comms between ATC and A/C AFTER ACARS was registered offline. Satcomm was active.

Now forgive me for asking if it's been repeated but how how much of an alert would this event create on the display CDU?

Lets say ACARS was taken offline due to an electrical short/fire/surge/circuit failure.

We could ascertain at this point VHF radio comms was fine. There wouldn't be too much workload in the cockpit at this time?
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 15:47
  #9128 (permalink)  
 
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@SheepGuts:

You need to re-read my post again. I am not saying eyewitnesses should be ignored I am simply pointing out that eyewitness testimony is proven to be unreliable and much more unreliable than technical evidence.

If all you have is eyewitnesses, then of course you need to investigate the validity of that evidence bearing in mind recall is not always complete, or accurate. If you have technical evidence that also needs to be assessed and investigated. Unlike eyewitness testimony though, that technical evidence is unlikely to change and the validation comes from another examiner using the same set of data and independently reaching the same conclusion.

In this case, Inmarsat have confirmed the aircraft pings long after these eyewitness reports saying they saw the plane. A company like Inmarsat is not going to put their reputation on the line over data they are not sure of. I suspect that these calculations would have been thoroughly validated and verified before release. The consequences for Inmarsat are very considerable if they have got it wrong.

The consequences for these eyewitnesses? they get the Daily Whinge probably paying them for their account and their pic in the paper. It's not rocket science to figure which one I would consider more credible and reliable.

I am not saying all eyewitness accounts should be automatically ignored but their credibility and motives have to be considered, and considered in light of the technical evidence. The question becomes whether they genuinely reported something they think may be relevant even if they are mistaken or hoping the worlds press and its cheque book will come calling.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 15:57
  #9129 (permalink)  
 
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Someone asked abut the costs of the search.



The search and investigation into missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is already the most expensive in aviation history, figures released to Fairfax Media suggest.
The snippets of costings provide only a small snapshot but the $US50 million ($54 million) spent on the two-year probe into Air France flight 447 - the previous record - appears to have been easily surpassed after just four weeks.
The biggest expense involves the military and surveillance hardware - ships, satellites, planes and submarines - deployed for the search, first in the South China Sea and the Malacca Straits, and then in the remote reaches of the southern Indian Ocean.
For example, HMAS Success, the Australian navy replenishment vessel that was deployed two weeks ago, costs about $550,000 a day to operate, a Defence spokesperson said.
HMAS Toowoomba was diverted a week ago to join the hunt for MH370 and has direct costs - fuel, supplies, crew wages - of $380,000 per day.
Combined, the two vessels have cost more than $10 million while in the Indian Ocean, although Defence cautioned they were scheduled to be at sea anyway, so the additional expense to taxpayers of being re-routed was ''estimated to be negligible''.
Even so, the outlay can be included in a calculation of the resources devoted to the search for the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.
It is also known that the US Navy has allocated $US3.6 million for the deployment of a pinger locator and underwater drone on the vessel that will search for the plane's black box recorders.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon revealed that - aside from the black box locators - it had spent $US3.3 million on its ships and aircraft during operations to locate MH370.
Vietnam, reportedly, spent more than $US8 million searching for the plane in the South China Sea.
Another major expense is the cost of as many as 12 aircraft which scour the seas for plane debris each day.
Geoffrey Dell, an air crash investigation expert from Central Queensland University, said the the daily cost of the aircraft flying 10-hour sorties each day would easily amount to $1 million a day.
Over four weeks, a conservative estimate of the cost of the airborne search - excluding the US planes - would be $25 million so far.
Known costs for the airborne search total an estimated $53 million. Yet this would be a small fraction of the expenditure so far given 26 nations have been involved in the search. More than 40 navy vessels have been involved. China has deployed seven vessels in the Indian Ocean alone.
Then there is the cost of the intelligence analysts, police and air crash investigators from Malaysia, the US, Britain and France, among others.
''It's a lot of money,'' said Air Chief Marshal (retired) Angus Houston on Friday, revealing he would give an overall estimate of the cost at a later date.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 16:16
  #9130 (permalink)  
 
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"The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has shifted below the surface, with the "towed pinger locator" deployed on Friday to search for the black box before its batteries expire."

I wish them luck with that. From experience on the SAA295 'Helderberg' job I know that they've got a sub-minimal chance of finding that pinger in the next week or two. This wreck will be found acoustically, that's almost for sure, but it'll be by low frequency (100kHz or better) side-scan sonar --- or perhaps by pp-magnetometer... Almost certainly not by a couple of pinger locators and most certainly not by a fleet of photogenic aeroplanes sent on a photo-opportunity in a show-biz charade to assuage the PR efforts of three politicians and to satiate half a hundred rolling-news networks on telly.

A comparison with the Helderberg job is quite informative, mostly for its differences rather than its similarities. The water depth was broadly similar, circa four and a half Klicks if I remember correctly in that case. We never found the pinger(s). Not acoustically, anyway. After the thirty days plus ten percent we gave up dragging pinger locators around the hydrospace of the survey ground. We had a list of the co-ords of hundreds of false positives because we were under orders from bozos ashore to crank the receiver gain up the the max, but nothing of any use.

We did eventually find the CVR, replete with dead pinger, but that was more or less by accident when picking up a piece of wreckage with which it was entangled. That thing of quasi-accidental discovery of the recorders is actually quite common. Same thing happened with Valujet in the swamp and yet again with TWA800. In both of those cases the {insert colo(u)r here} boxes were found when someone trod on them. We never did find the SAA295 FDR, despite the fact that it had been affixed to the aircraft immediately adjacent to the CVR. Hell, they never found the recorders from the two Boeings in lower Manhattan -- and that was a case where they knew to within ten metres or better the very exact three dimensional co-ordinates of the impact points and they had reps from Boeing subbies searching every scoopful of debris for the thick end of a year.

We had the same problem, in the case of SAA295, of people ashore repeatedly switching the target area(s) as is being experienced by the poor sods at the sharp end of the MH370 search. We dreaded the hour after the end of the morning 'prayer meeting' conference calls because we knew that someone ashore would get his pencil out and make up a new box, usually in a place which could not be reconciled with any of the previous ones. Out of earshot of the shadowy civilian guy from Virginia who was leading the search from below and behind, we used to refer to those boxes as "your target for tonight".

Same thing is happening with MH370.


If such a bet were enforceable, and if I could find any mugs foolish enough to be a counter-party to the bet, I'd happily and profitably give odds of 100:1 against them finding the pinger with a pinger locator. They've got, at most, a couple of weeks, with only a couple of ships, neither of which (incredibly), is simultaneously towing a 100 kHz side-scan sonar.

Even with vane depressors and drag reducing devices such as Hairy Fairy vortex interruptors on the lower quarter of the tow-cable, they'll be lucky to make much more than three or four knots of waterspeed. The end of line turnarounds are an absolute bitch. In 87/88 we quit after doing a thousand square miles and we had the twin advantages of knowing quite accurately where the aircraft stoofed in and we had our tools in the water (titter ye not in the cheap seats!) at the locus within a week of the crash. These poor sods have none of those advantages and they are being led by an Air Chief Marshal who has reversed seamanship and placed the surface ships at the disposal and in the service of the air fleet instead of the other way around.

This evening, by any timezone, we enter the fourth week of the search and they haven't found so much as a satay stick from that aeroplane. If anybody has learned anything from the AF447 fiasco, then surely they must have learned that becoming fixated on theoretical back calculations of the impact point from subsequently discovered patches of identified and confirmed flotsam can lead to unwise people becoming target fixated on wrong locations.

With Helderberg we had two major advantages. One was that the flight deck crew had been aviating;navigating;communicating right up until very few (less than five) minutes before impact and had been giving copious amounts of positional and intention information to ATC. Very different to MH370. The other massive advantage we had was that the first confirmed patch of flotsam from the wreck was found, and its co-ordinates measured, just 12 hours after impact. The second patch was located just 12 hours after that.

Given the non-linearity of the mathematics of oceanic dispersal, any positional information from that elusive MAS satay stick, even if found during the fourth rather than fifth week, is likely to confuse rather than clarify the impact location. It'll tell you that the wreck lies in the SouthEastern quadrant of the Indian Ocean and not at some fairytale Dawson Field in one of the 'stans, but we pretty much know that anyway.

The ugly truth, quite certainly unpalatable to the two prime ministers and 230 sets of bereaved relatives, is that the best chance of finding the wreckage and a few fragments of human remains lies in a very long hard slog with side-scan sonar. It's a search which is likely to take very large fractions of a year or, more likely, multiple years. Enthusiasm for funding such a prolonged and open-ended search will surely dry up, as it always does, when the bills start flowing in and become overdue for payment.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 16:31
  #9131 (permalink)  
 
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ACARS last transmission

Captain's log wrote:
AFTER ACARS was registered offline
I've heard this several times recently and don't believe it is accurate.

Last ACARS was 17:07, Next ACARS was due 17:37. The 17:37 transmission was never received, leading to the deduction that ACARS was disabled sometime between 17:07 and 17:37. That's the most that can be said on that account.

Last VHF to ATC was 17:19, at that exact time we don't know if ACARS was disabled (offline) or not.

Another system, ADS-B, apparently up and functioning at 17:20 and transmitted lat/lon, speed, track and FL.

What we don't know is what was happening during and after 17:19 (last ATC comms).
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 16:33
  #9132 (permalink)  
 
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Who to believe?

lynw: "....I am not saying eyewitnesses should be ignored I am simply pointing out that eyewitness testimony is proven to be unreliable and much more unreliable than technical evidence....technical evidence is unlikely to change and the validation comes from....A company like Inmarsat is not going to put their reputation on the line over data they are not sure of.

Excerpting above for brevity, not cherry picking your post. The fact is (not my opinion) that changes in tech conclusions from initial did occur and were sufficient to those spending money searching to significantly shift search locations two or perhaps four times (S China Sea, to Malacca Straits, to W of Adaman Isl, to west of Aus, then repositioning W of Aus).

I don't think anyone is arguing that eyewitnesses don't make mistakes or their memories are unchanging, or that refinements in analysis (or announcements of new information, postponed for whatever reason) don't later suggest more probable conclusions. The acceptance of an evolution of tech analysis begs the question of whether a parallel witness-based investigative evolution has similarly continued. There is a lot of differing certitude about where MH370 ended up, but only one of those conclusions will be accurate, and everyone else will be wrong. Focus should be on the highest probability, but absent any debris, now is no time to be closing doors.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 16:34
  #9133 (permalink)  
 
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Getting back to the in flight fire scenario for those who have not read the Wikipedia on the SAA295 accident.
Quote Van Zyl took the voice recorder to the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, DC, to show his goodwill and to ensure neutral observers.[9] Van Zyl believes that if he kept the CVR in South Africa he could have been accused of covering up the truth.[9] At the NTSB, Van Zyl felt frustration that the degraded CVR, which had been in the deep ocean for fourteen months,[19] did not initially yield any useful information. Around 28 minutes into the recording the CVR indicated that the fire alarm sounded. Fourteen seconds after the fire alarm, the circuit breakers began to pop. Investigators believe that around 80 circuit breakers failed. The CVR cable failed 81 seconds after the alarm. The recording revealed the extent of the fire.[9]un quote

Fire IMHO is still the most likely scenario
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 16:39
  #9134 (permalink)  
 
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titter not in the cheap seats

Low Flyer's post is as darkly humorous as it is wise and informed. A model for the rest on this forum.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 16:39
  #9135 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TylerMonkey View Post
" They can't all be wrong... " sheepguts.

Statistics and probability are unfortunately not on your side.
3 eyewitness events and one has to be true ? oh dear.

And the other two have to be wrong. So, which one do you believe?
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 17:27
  #9136 (permalink)  
 
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Low Fliers excellent post deserves extending to make it explicit.
We need to sonar side-scan(SSS) an area of about one million square km to be reasonably confident of finding the remains of MH370.
The approximate ship speed and width of scan are known, so a rough estimate of the scale of effort needed is simple. The SSS beam width is one km at most and the ship moves at 10 km/hr, consequently the effort needed is about 100,000 hours of ship time. That translates to about 10 ship years, so a determined effort with 5 ships should be fruitful within two years.
As a side benefit, the world gets a superb high resolution map of a large chunk of the Indian Ocean sea bed. A wonderful oceanography project which could easily be combined with more extensive geophysical measurements. Oil companies might even be willing to help underwrite part of the search, as the data might help guide the search for hydrocarbons in the area.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 18:32
  #9137 (permalink)  
 
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The recent post by Low Flier basically says it all.

Until the Australian government executive arm became directly involved in the PR issues, and removed AMSA and ATSB from providing media releases, we were provided with factual information and graphics showing what was going on.

Now that the new agency (JACC) has taken overall control operationally and in releasing information to the media, the public are being treated to "sound bites", "photo opportunities", and political "back-slapping". Little of anything "factual" is now available. The show goes on, but the well oiled veil of a secret military controlled operation has now quietly been put in place. When did they last find a plastic shopping bag?

EDIT:: Seems that AMSA are now continuing to provide their media graphics updates separately to whatever appears on the JACC website. Thanks to those who alerted me. This means the first part of my post was not warranted, and is of course now redundant.

Last edited by mm43; 5th Apr 2014 at 04:12. Reason: update AMSA graphics url
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 18:42
  #9138 (permalink)  
 
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Low Flier ... thank for that insightful input. Such a refreshing change from those of the tin-foil hat community.

A question, if I may, as a simple observer.

You refer to side-scan sonar. Without revealing anything sensitive, and as the RAAF Air Marshal noted "we haven't even found the haystack yet', what sort of lateral coverage are we talking about? Surely this implies many months of meticulous (and accurate) scanning over a fairly narrow search band? Wherever such search has as a datum, of course!
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 19:04
  #9139 (permalink)  
 
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Getting back to the in flight fire scenario for those who have not read the Wikipedia on the SAA295 accident.
Quote Van Zyl took the voice recorder to the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, DC, to show his goodwill and to ensure neutral observers.[9] Van Zyl believes that if he kept the CVR in South Africa he could have been accused of covering up the truth.[9] At the NTSB, Van Zyl felt frustration that the degraded CVR, which had been in the deep ocean for fourteen months,[19] did not initially yield any useful information. Around 28 minutes into the recording the CVR indicated that the fire alarm sounded. Fourteen seconds after the fire alarm, the circuit breakers began to pop. Investigators believe that around 80 circuit breakers failed. The CVR cable failed 81 seconds after the alarm. The recording revealed the extent of the fire.[9]un quote

Fire IMHO is still the most likely scenario
except that MAS370 apparently flew on for 4-5 hours... SAA295 went down very quickly.
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Old 4th Apr 2014, 19:21
  #9140 (permalink)  
 
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Really...?
I thought the SAA Helderberg Combi crew fought the fire on the cargo deck for hours.
Some of the crew went in there and did not return...
The Captain was told by SAA Ops via HF not use Diego but to press on for Mauritius.
Story was they had rocket fuel on board from the Orient in the arms embargo days of Apartheid...
Did not want the world to know this, of course.
Somewhere short of Mauritius the aircraft went into a nosedive and the tail broke off.
Not sucking this out of my thumb.
It was common local knowledge at the time.
Just Google SAA Helderberg.
The Wikipedia report says it all.
Also YouTube search SAA Helderberg.

Last edited by DriverAirframeOneOf; 5th Apr 2014 at 03:11.
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