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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 13th Oct 2014, 00:55
  #11561 (permalink)  
 
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As with a lot of things on this hamster wheel, they have been discussed before. There were a lot of assumptions made to come up with a flight profile based on claims (unverified) that military radar had seen climbs to 45,000ft and the aircraft was flying low level in radar shadow to avoid alerting the Thai's, etc etc. All this is assumption based on partial reports from military radars that have a vested interest in ensuring that nobody knows the bottom of their cover or their height finding capabilities. Whether these people have been more forthcoming to the various boards of inquiry as long as their reports are kept secure - we do not know. However, what we do know is that the aircraft was airborne until the last 'partial ping'/'SATCOM logon attempt. Therefore, we should discount the 30 minutes of aerobatics and then the flight low level in radar shadow, it is more likely that the aircraft maintained level for the zig zag transit to the Malacca straits and then around Indonesia before flying South. If it _didn't_ fly like that it is not easy to come up with a flight path that would cross the range rings from the INMARSAT satellite at the right times within the error bounds of the tracking methodology. So until there is a better idea, the search is on the ring of the partial ping out to the West of Perth.
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Old 17th Oct 2014, 07:27
  #11562 (permalink)  
 
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news.com.au

Some interesting read.

AN Australian scientist says it is possible to locate missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 by identifying cloud changes for evidence of vapour trails caused by burning fuel emissions from the aircraft.
Hydrometeorologist Aron Gingis, head of environmental consultancy firm Australian Management Consolidated, and a former Monash University academic, specialises in cloud microphysics.
Mr Gingis says he has used the technology to locate shipwrecks in the north Pacific Ocean by identifying “ship trails” and the changes in cloud microphysics caused by emissions of floating vessels using archival satellite data.
MH370 search: Contrails could be key to finding missing plane
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Old 21st Oct 2014, 05:03
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From The Guardian, to-day 21 October 2014:

Australian Prime Minister Abbott received no official briefing from his department or special envoy suggesting they were confident early acoustic noises detected in the search for the missing flight MH370 were from the flight’s black box.

In a Senate hearing on Monday night the Greens leader, Christine Milne, asked how the prime minister came to make a statement suggesting the search had been substantially narrowed and questioned whether he had acted recklessly.

In April Abbott said during an official visit to China that the search for the missing plane – which is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean killing all passengers on board – “has been very much narrowed down because we’ve now had a series of detections, some for quite a long period of time”. He added that he was “very confident” it was the black box.

But the comments were tempered later on the same day by the joint agency coordination chief, Angus Houston, who said there had been no significant developments in the search. The plane has still not been recovered, and no traces have been found in the Indian Ocean.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) confirmed on Monday evening that no briefing had been provided by them to the prime minister to support the assertions made in China.

DPMC assistant secretary Helen McDevitt said: “The prime minister’s statements on each occasion were made on the best advice available to him, and of course the prime minister was in discussions not only with the department of the prime minister and cabinet … but also with his special envoy, Angus Houston, and a range of experts involved in the process.”

Milne questioned how Abbott came to make the announcement, if it appeared that the joint agency coordination centre and DPMC had not provided any evidence to support the assertion.

“I’m asking where it came from since his chief envoy clearly clarified later in the day to say there was no breakthrough, Amsa [the Australian Maritime Safety Authority] said they didn’t provide the information to the prime minister, the bureau of transport and safety says it didn’t provide the advice to the prime minister, so I’m just trying to find out where the prime minister got this from,” she said. “It was pretty reckless, surely, to go and make a statement like that if there’s no detailed analysis at all of the substance.”

Tony Abbott not advised MH370 search had found black box, senators told | World news | theguardian.com
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Old 22nd Oct 2014, 20:55
  #11564 (permalink)  
 
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On 22 October 2014, the ATSB has again updated their MH370 operations page.

www.atsb.gov.au/mh370/
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 19:30
  #11565 (permalink)  
 
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An article published in Aviation Week on 20 October 2014, contains an interesting look at the continuing saga surrounding the original Inmarsat data. It compares that data with that released by the Malaysian MoT, the continuing reassessments being made by the ATSB on where to search, and the conclusions of the so-called Independent Group who have continued to point out the errors they claim have been made by the ATSB's panel of experts.

Links in the article will show that the movement in the ATSB priority search area has always been in the direction of the location that the IG have been promoting.

The ATSB's MH370 Flight Path Analysis, which is a PDF file.

Last edited by mm43; 25th Oct 2014 at 20:13. Reason: Added the ATSB PDF link
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 20:29
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The nature of the data leads to uncertainty here. I believe the ping arcs can be established with good certainty - many have repeated the calculations - but these only establish the distance from the satellite at the times of the pings. To establish a position on the final arc requires assumptions to be made and in particular, assumptions about the position and timing of the final turn south. The movement of the priority search areas over time thus reflects changing support for the various assumptions which could be made. Sadly, the hard data does not favour one assumption over another and so the range of possible endpoints is very wide indeed. At the moment, the Independent Group clearly has the floor and the search area seems to have moved to match the assumptions which underlie their calculations.
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 21:05
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Originally Posted by Ulric
To establish a position on the final arc requires assumptions to be made and in particular, assumptions about the position and timing of the final turn south.
To highlight your point; the assumption that the aircraft remained at a constant altitude during the unanswered satphone call between 1839~40, is really what everything hinges on. If it was climbing, then a turn to the south hadn't occurred prior to that time.
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 21:19
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It all hinges on the path taken between the 18:29 and 19:40 arcs. One crucial question is which direction the aircraft was travelling in when it crossed the 19:40 arc - E-W or W-E. The data doesn't tell us the answer to that.
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 22:19
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mm43,

Agreed, except that in your last sentence "climbing" should be "descending" (approximately 2500 fpm at the speed and heading at the end of the primary radar trace).
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Old 26th Oct 2014, 00:32
  #11570 (permalink)  
 
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Gysbreght,

If the aircraft had maintained the assumed PSR track, I accept your RoD. OTOH, think of a heading on which it could have been climbing.

As Ulric has said, we really can't be sure where the aircraft went after 1829 and until it turned up 'somewhere' on the 1940 arc. That 'somewhere' makes all the difference to the outcome.
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Old 26th Oct 2014, 20:44
  #11571 (permalink)  
 
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Exactly right. Some views I've seen expressed put the 19:40 arc at the western extremity of the flight path, some have it crossing EW and some WE. The data we have doesn't distinguish one from the other but the assumption you make at that point can cause any plausible course solution to move the endpoint thousands of kms.

I have to admit defeat and hope that the investigation team have followed the right hunch. Hopefully, they do have some information which can be used to favour a particular path.
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Old 26th Oct 2014, 21:59
  #11572 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ulric
It all hinges on the path taken between the 18:29 and 19:40 arcs. One crucial question is which direction the aircraft was travelling in when it crossed the 19:40 arc - E-W or W-E. The data doesn't tell us the answer to that.
We can take the view that the final major turn is bracketed by the 182815z observation and the cluster corresponding to two telephone call attempts around 1840z. The BFO for the latter has azimuth solutions to the south, whereas a risk analysis for the former provides strong support for flight continuing along on the track as it existed at 182212 depicted in the Lido Hotel radar photograph.

A game of overfitting rapidly ensues if an additional turning point is assumed to have occurred between 1840z and 1941z.
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Old 27th Oct 2014, 14:12
  #11573 (permalink)  
 
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map

Is there an up-to-date map locating the relevant timepoints in the flight sequence?
I know these maps continue to evolve..........
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Old 28th Oct 2014, 00:55
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Gysbreght, any azimuth solution very close to due south will be numerically unstable where very small speed changes cause relatively large azimuth changes. Azimuth solutions are essentially symmetric about north/south, with a small latitude-dependent phase shift that depends also on the flight path angle in non-level flight. A prime example of this instability can be seen in the 1827z BFO cluster.

Solutions in general are not due south. For example at 1941z the choices are about 30 degrees either side of south at normal cruising speeds.

See http://www.aqqa.org/MH370/models/aqq...muth_v3-5.xlsx for an analytic azimuth model.
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Old 28th Oct 2014, 11:24
  #11575 (permalink)  
 
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I find it increasingly hard to believe that the plane will be found using the Inmarsat data in the public domain. There are too many unknowns in the publicly released information, and these unknowns create a myriad of potential solutions such that the search area is huge. We had a much better idea where to find AF447 and the Titanic.

I sincerely hope authorities are in possession of more information than has been released to the public.

I had always been struck by the early US government statement that the plane flew for hours and likely crashed in the Indian Ocean.

Have a look at the following:

MH370: US sends ship to Indian Ocean on new ?indication? of crash site | euronews, world news

So by 1051 (CET) on 12/3, the US was stating they had indications the plane flew on for some hours and went down in the Indian Ocean, and were already moving a USN ship. Subsequent reports confirmed these indications were the hourly satellite pings. This report would have been early in the day in the USA. The fact they had already moved a ship means they had this information for at least some hours - possibly even 11/3

http://www.inmarsat.com/news/malaysi...tails-uk-aaib/
Malaysia sates they were told (by Inmarsat) about the satellite pings on 13/3.

Now maybe Malaysia got the date wrong. Or maybe Inmarsat (UK) shared with US before Malaysia - perhaps from a concern that Malaysia was being less than completely transparent. Maybe.

Or maybe there is another explanation.

It is generally accepted satellite tracking of submarines exists. It is also accepted there is satellite monitoring for the heat signatures of ballistic missile launches (although presumably such systems would not be looking in this area). But there is plenty of satellite surveillance of the earths surface.

You also have to wonder what technology has been developed since 9/11. It is presumably possible to track a large plane by its heat signature. You would imagine there has been research into tracking aircraft, and subtracting verified flights in order to identify rogue aircraft. This would seem a sensible area to research in the post 9/11 world. Such technology would have been very useful during the many hours that MH370 kept flying.

Anyway, hopefully there is additional information available even if it is not in the public domain.
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Old 28th Oct 2014, 14:01
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Originally Posted by slats11 View Post
Now maybe Malaysia got the date wrong. Or maybe Inmarsat (UK) shared with US before Malaysia - perhaps from a concern that Malaysia was being less than completely transparent. Maybe.
I'm sure the BBC documentary a couple of months ago went into that in some detail, but I can't remember exactly who told who what and when.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 05:22
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The 4 Corners ABC documentary went into this. Just double checked and it says Inmarsat privately handed over the data to it's distributor on the 11th March, who in turn passed it to Malaysia.

However, Hishamuddin dismissed the possibility that the plane continued to fly on the 13th March. He actually made a point to dismiss it. It was another two days before they abandoned the search in the South China Sea.

My money would be on poor communication and incompetence on the part of Malaysia and Hishamuddin's ever present foot-in-mouth syndrome..
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 08:14
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RR PDA numbers

Have the 9M-MRO RR PDAs surfaced here? Or any difference in fuel in left vs. right tank? I ask because the IG received a 3rd hand report yesterday from someone attended a meeting in Perth on Oct 22, saying that an official member of the search team stated that one engine flamed out ~1 hour before the other. We are very skeptical, but trying to find out if anything like that has ever showed up here.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 08:38
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Thanks Exoixx. That fills in a few blanks. I never saw that story. Will try and find it on line.

The timing still looks very odd.

MH370 goes missing on evening of 7 March UTC, and the world knows its missing by morning of 8 March UTC. The circumstances of disappearance are highly unusual from the outset - e.g. no distress call.

Inmarsat hand the information over on 11 March UTC. 4 days later. After Inmarsat had specifically very recently looked into applying this technology to track a missing plane (as a result of AF447).

I find it difficult to believe Inmarsat took days to discover they actually had this information. Or that it would take 4 days to deduce the plane kept flying for many hours after lost contact.

Did someone at a high level (political rather than Inmarsat) sit on this for a long time? Just one of the many questions surrounding the early response to this incident.

Last edited by slats11; 29th Oct 2014 at 09:26. Reason: clarification
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 08:50
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Originally Posted by AirLandSeaMan
Have the 9M-MRO RR PDAs surfaced here?
Like you we would also be interested in such info. The short answer is no, but it would be interesting to know.

Whatever the fuel imbalance (if any) noted in the last ACARS to RR, there is no way of knowing if that was or wasn't corrected later in the flight.
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