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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 17th Apr 2014, 14:25
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Originally Posted by Teddy Robinson
like many, I stopped reading every post on every page once the hamster wheel started feeding nebulous press coverage back into the forum, however, one line of interest was what was on the cargo manifest, specifically the lithium batteries dismissed as "not usually considered as dangerous goods" by the airline CEO.
Obviously, some information will not leave the core of the investigation until the appropriate time by the appropriate means, but has this information been released as of now ?
The information has not been made public.

Lithium Ion batteries packed and handled correctly are not a hazard.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 16:05
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"Lithium Ion batteries packed and handled correctly are not a hazard"


I would add that 'Non defective' Lithium Ion batteries packed and handled correctly are not a hazard. Experience in other applications has show that manufacturing problems can cause issues. Another unknown to add to the list.

Last edited by ilvaporista; 17th Apr 2014 at 16:06. Reason: Too many issues.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 16:25
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Originally Posted by ilvaporista
"Lithium Ion batteries packed and handled correctly are not a hazard"


I would add that 'Non defective' Lithium Ion batteries packed and handled correctly are not a hazard. Experience in other applications has show that manufacturing problems can cause issues. Another unknown to add to the list.
The point of correct packing and handling is that defective batteries with cells short circuiting and going rogue (not normally possible when not in a circuit) are isolated and do not cause any other batteries to fail.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 17:30
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From the news today...
"In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Mr Abbott said if the Bluefin-21 underwater drone scanning the Indian Ocean's seabed in the search area fails to locate wreckage, a rethink would have to take place.

"We believe that search will be completed within a week or so," Mr Abbott said.


further on...

"We were very hopeful the Bluefin-21 would be the answer - the way to search for this very hard to find wreckage.
"What we found was the Bluefin-21 couldn't perform reliably.
"We had extremely frustrating aborted missions, just as we have seen in the Indian Ocean.
"We saw malfunctions."
Mike Dean, the US Navy's deputy director for salvage and diving, told CNN one of its Orion-towed search systems was available in Maryland for use in the search if Australia requested it.

The Orion can send back real-time data to searchers.

Other search experts say a REMUS 6000 autonomous underwater vehicle, used to find Air France flight 447 after it went down in 2009, would be more suitable."


They have a REMUS 6000 on board the OS. It has a working depth of 6000m.
Not sure of the way it is equipped, but this fish can also carry the sidescan, multi-beam, sub-bottom, and video array. Same sort of programming.

Both fish are around $2.5 million each.

Given the realtively narrow search path of these fish, it would seem a towed array would be better, not sure why they decided to switch.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 17:51
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OleOle . . .

Thirty days have passed, no preliminary report yet. The AF447 preliminary report was available after 31 days. Does anybody know if the investigators are free to discard this requirement for a preliminary report ?
I know this is going to sound strange, but anyway:

ICAO Annex 13 requires a Preliminary Report be produced within 30 days after the date of an accident. Annex 13 defines an "accident" as an occurrence in which there has been either a) fatality or serious injury, b) serious structural failure or damage to an aircraft or c) the aircraft is missing or completely inaccessible. (The full definition is longer, but that's the sense.)

The Notes to the Definitions in Annex 13 state that "an aircraft is considered to be missing when the official search has been terminated and the wreckage has not been located".

Clearly the search has not been terminated, and there is no actual physical evidence as yet of death, serious injury, or serious structural failure or damage. So it seems to me that, for the purposes of Annex 13, there is at the moment no "accident". The AF447 situation was different in that, although the search for the recorders went on for 2 years, bodies and wreckage were found within days, hence establishing beyond doubt that an accident had occurred under both options (a) & (b) above.

I know that seems odd, and "common sense" argues that an accident (in the general use of the term) has occurred to MH370, but the drafters of Annex 13 clearly saw fit not to define an overdue aircraft as "missing" and thus an "accident" for the purposes of investigation and reporting until the search for it is abandoned.

It therefore looks to me as though a report is not yet required, so the investigators have not discarded any requirement.

Last edited by DespairingTraveller; 17th Apr 2014 at 17:53. Reason: insert missing "not" so that the last sentence made sense!!
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 20:50
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In regards to David Mearns comments:

In a typical search situation, you would be mapping the bottom with towed arrays. You get a wide area of coverage, with decent resolution. Hopefully, they were towing multi-beam sidescan and magnetometer.
The results are then analyzied and 'targets' of value are determined.

The next step would be to send down the AUV or the ROV to look at each target.

At this depth, it would take the ROV about 8 hours to descend to each target. The surface ship would have to stay stationary above the target when using the ROV.

With the AUV, they can program the different target locations, and the fish will fly to each and map it. As noted the descent time is about 3 hours, but once at depth, it can cover multiple sites, then surface.

I believe Mearns optimism is based on the simple fact that they were mowing the lawn, then switched to the AUV, signalling a change in search methodology. Since the AUV is not meant to cover a large search area, it would be assumed that they have found some specific targets to look at.
If you hear about them deploying the ROV, you can be assured they have located the aircraft.

About searching: Depending on the minerology, and depth of sediment, these can provide all sorts of false readings on a sidescan and/or the mag.
I see quite a bit of marine traffic crossing the search path, with a lot of shipping containers. In rough seas, these vessels drop containers all the time, another way to acquire false positives while scanning.
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 22:10
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Chinese Deep-Sea Submersible Jialong

Malaysia airliner search points up China's technology gap - latimes.com

"Chinese officials might be worried about getting the submersible to the search area. Its mother ship, the Facing the Red Sun No. 9, built in 1978, has had engine problems and is unreliable."

Probably a trait shared with other nations' deep divers -- not part of a rapid deployment force.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 02:01
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underfire:

They have a REMUS 6000 on board the OS.
Is that a typo? I've not seen that information anywhere. Do you have a source?

It seems that if they had a REMUS-6000, they would be using it, given what they now know about the water depth.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 07:42
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So it seems to me that, for the purposes of Annex 13, there is at the moment no "accident".
In fact Annex 13 would not apply anyway (cf 9/11), if the wreckage and recorders were to be found and if it transpired that the fate of MH370 was the result of a deliberate act by a person or persons on board.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 08:24
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HMS Echo

From the marinetraffic.com data it appears that HMS Echo is conducting a survey as they are travelling in a pattern around, as well as in, the search area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Echo_(H87)

Anyone here knows what, and what the resolution of the survey might be?

Last edited by sSquares; 18th Apr 2014 at 08:55.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 09:47
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Pace - "Throwing in the towel" is NOT what has been stated, by either PM Tony Abbott or by Angus Houston.

The actual statement from Houston, and repeated by Abbott, was - "If we don't find wreckage, we stop, we regroup, we reconsider".

This is not, "throwing in the towel".

In other media statements, Houston is reported as outlining that, "much larger", and deeper-diving, equipment may be needed.

"They are being looked at as we speak," he said, adding that partners in the international search will need to discuss "who has the capabilities to do this work" at such depths.


In other words, a re-assessment will be carried out within days, on how best to approach the finding of the wreckage, now that the pinger has ceased and the Bluefin-21 is proving to be incapable of operating at the required depths.

What is going to be discussed, no doubt, is that the only people with the ability and equipment to carry out a successful search for MH370 wreckage, are private contractors such as Woods Hole and Bluewater Recoveries.

These people cost serious amounts of money, and I think the only thing that is really going to be discussed at length, is just which countries are going to fund the hiring of WH and BR - and what percentages each country is going to contribute to the bill for the hiring in of WH and BR.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 10:09
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One track

I appreciate what you are saying above with one caveat!! For any search to be carried out at such considerable depth the searchers have to be pretty confident that the wreckage is in the confines of quite a small area.
Even with that certainty it will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

There is still no evidence that this relatively small area holds the wreckage.

If this is a clutching at straws location which looks more and more likely then the game is over.

Frankly a politician saying we need to regroup, reconsider or whatever is a pre warning that they have run out of reasonable options and a withdrawal is likely
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 10:11
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Originally Posted by Pace
I see the Australian prime minister stated yesterday that this will be the last week of searching before they consider throwing in the towel!
Are you sure that he did not only refer to the search for wreckage on the surface? I highly doubt that they would stop the underwater search this quickly, when they continued for almost two years in the case of AF447.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 10:50
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Frankly a politician saying we need to regroup, reconsider or whatever is a pre warning that they have run out of reasonable options and a withdrawal is likely
i,m unfortunetly with pace here. we have to remember the ships cannot stay at the search area forever - they need fuel, supllies and a change in the crews which work 24/7 and surely start to get fatigued. so when they find nothing in the next days i guess all ships will return to harbour and then it will be a political decision what to do next.

i do not think they will officially stop "searching" , but this search may be reduced to satellite tracking, further calculations on the handshakes and waiting if somebody finds somekind of debris somewhere. i guess the enormous effort in keeping ships at sea and conducting a 24/7 underwater search as well sending aircraft every day will stop .

we have to rember that the australians have a life beyond this aircraft and somebody might ask if its not better in long term to spend this amount of tax money in schools than in keeping up the search when its obvious no lifes can be saved anymore.

whatever happens - i have deepest respect for this just 23millions citizens country since it prooved it is willing and able to conduct and lead an extremly difficult task no man performed ever before , and everything which can be done was and is done .
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 11:55
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aerobat:

somebody might ask if its not better in long term to spend this amount of tax money in schools than in keeping up the search when its obvious no lifes can be saved anymore.
Aerobat, this isn't a domestic expenditure matter. And it won't be Australia's decision whether to continue with the search. Add to that several very important diplomatic relationships involved. Any who were to "ask" that question would be comprehensively (and rightly) ignored.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 12:19
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Not entirely sure what is meant by "domestic expenditure matter". What is certain is that Australia has contributed well beyond its SAR obligations here and the time will most certainly come when those who do have a direct interest, ie Malaysia, US and China, will have to decide on what comes next and more importantly who pays the bills.

Aus has done well out of this diplomatically, but the law of diminishing returns applies and I'd say that the Aus contribution will be substantially scaled back come "time to regroup, reconsider" or whatever.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 12:32
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Originally Posted by Pace
One track

I appreciate what you are saying above with one caveat!! For any search to be carried out at such considerable depth the searchers have to be pretty confident that the wreckage is in the confines of quite a small area.
Even with that certainty it will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

There is still no evidence that this relatively small area holds the wreckage.

If this is a clutching at straws location which looks more and more likely then the game is over.

Frankly a politician saying we need to regroup, reconsider or whatever is a pre warning that they have run out of reasonable options and a withdrawal is likely
No, it is not nearly as bad as that.
A definite ULB signal was received. This means the search area can be narrowed very considerably within the radius of ULB audibility. No, it's not the size of Texas, more like a few hundred km2 at most. The Bluefin is supposed to be able to scan 40km2/day so if it Bluefin can't find it within a few weeks, then this probably means that it is beyond the capabilities of the AUV. A rethink of how to scan the search area, and maybe using bigger and better hardware is appropriate.

The only fear I have is that something else was mistaken for the ULB signal. This seems very unlikely, but given that it has stopped, it still a worry.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 14:19
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With all this doubt on whether the ULB pings were from the MH370 ULB. would it be an idea to modulate the ping with an aircraft/equipment ID? This would be extremely simple circuitry which would take little power but would stop these guessing games. The ping would then be indisputably from a particular aircraft and definitely not a 'natural' source.

Last edited by Ian W; 18th Apr 2014 at 14:20. Reason: grammar
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 14:46
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With all this doubt on whether the ULB pings were from the MH370 ULB
While there's been some serious doubt about the equipment the chinese have been showing to be of much use in this situation at all, I don't think there's much debate about what the TPL has been detecting. Not many natural 37.5 kHz sources out there (short of being trolled by a dolphin ).
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 14:58
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Originally Posted by glenbrook
No, it is not nearly as bad as that.
A definite ULB signal was received. This means the search area can be narrowed very considerably within the radius of ULB audibility. No, it's not the size of Texas, more like a few hundred km2 at most. The Bluefin is supposed to be able to scan 40km2/day so if it Bluefin can't find it within a few weeks, then this probably means that it is beyond the capabilities of the AUV. A rethink of how to scan the search area, and maybe using bigger and better hardware is appropriate.

The only fear I have is that something else was mistaken for the ULB signal. This seems very unlikely, but given that it has stopped, it still a worry.
In a BBC Radio 4 interview a couple of days ago, the commanding officer of HMS Echo said the search area had been localised to 10 miles by 5 miles. Assuming nautical miles, that is about 172km2.
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