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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 28th Oct 2014, 12:24
  #11581 (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, 15:01
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Originally Posted by slats11
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, 06:22
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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, 09:14
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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, 09:38
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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 10:26. Reason: clarification
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 09:50
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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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Old 29th Oct 2014, 09:55
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Fuel Imbalance and cross feeds

See page 970 here: https://db.tt/4EXSNq5o for info on fuel imbalance and cross feeds.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 10:12
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Can anyone with access to B777 manuals please find out the maximum fuel imbalance?
There's no quoted Limitation/"maximum" in the manuals (whilst gross imbalance obviously isn't desirable I suspect for certification purposes the aircraft would have to be controllable one wing tank full, the other wing tank empty (e.g.holed)).

Balancing, when called for, is performed as ALSM/the FCOM 2 describes.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 14:53
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Originally Posted by slats11
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.
1. It was a weekend. Someone probably to had to go and look at the data in their time off, when the news reports already seemed sure it had crashed not long after takeoff, where it would be relatively easy to find.
2. The BBC documentary said their first thought was that someone was spoofing the system, pretending to be the aircraft. That probably involved pulling in experts from other companies to verify that it wasn't. Again, on a weekend.

So, you're probably already up to the 10th by the time everyone is available who needs to be available.
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Old 29th Oct 2014, 16:00
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Then don't forget getting authorization to release the data and getting the report that was being handed over double checked by lawyers that nothing was going out that would be detrimental to INMARSAT. Calculations and documentation re-checking amendment and reapproval by senior management after all hoops jumped through.

I know some companies where that would take a month.
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Old 10th Dec 2014, 00:08
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Is this number of transponders correct?

In the following article, regarding redundant systems, Byron Bailey said

"the 777 has 80 computers and three sets of nearly every system on board – including three radios, three radar transponders, three autopilots and three flight management computers – to ensure a "practically fail safe" operation.

A failure of one will result in transfer, usually automatically, to another. "


Here is what I am asking 777 pilots: Is it correct that there are three transponders?

Flight MH370: former Boeing 777 pilot points to sabotage | Flight MH370 News | The Week UK

Last edited by TamairTarmac; 10th Dec 2014 at 00:25. Reason: to focus the question
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Old 10th Dec 2014, 04:53
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TamairTarmac


There are actually 2 ATC Transponders; L & R switched by the crew. The general thrust of his statement is however correct in that most flight critical systems are triplicated and have auto switching.


If it's not triplicated; then in most cases it's duplicated. These systems are never on the same power supply.


As a separate example; a non essential system such as ACARS is a software function within the AIMS system. There are 2 AIMS systems and therefore ACARS; The system uses the VHF system it can tune to, one of three (VHF L, C or R), depending on the aircraft option/vintage it will the go for one of two HF systems (L or R) after that; then on to a single SATCOM connection if enabled and optioned. The pilot can select a source if so desired.


So what he's saying in a nutshell is that something IS fishy leading to the end of this aircraft.
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Old 10th Dec 2014, 05:05
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2 is 2 and 3 is 3

I have just seen him quoted all over the internet referring to three transponders; and I just wonder if it is only 2, that no one has called him on it. Or if there is some kind of third redundancy, want or where it might be. Or might he be referring to the Inmarsat pings as a kind of transponder?
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Old 11th Dec 2014, 02:25
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As somebody who knows nothing about this (or anything of a technical nature like this) i'm curious, how does the auto-switching work? That is, what is the technology that detects the need for a switch and switches it? To my lamen brain, it seems logical than in order for a switch to take place between two systems, they would have to be connected in some sort of way?

Apologies if this is really dumb question.
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Old 11th Dec 2014, 06:56
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Exioxx


You are correct that there is a link between systems for automatic switching to occur; this can either be via data bus links between computers or simply by relay connections.


Trying to keep it simple;


Depending on the system; computers on different power supplies will be connected through data buses, each computer comparing and monitoring against the computer in control to detect a failure and then force a transfer to a good computer.


Relays often provide discrete inputs to computers as to status of power and other circuits. A failure of power on a circuit can be the trigger to initiate the system on standby.
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Old 11th Dec 2014, 16:30
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I have just seen him quoted all over the internet referring to three transponders;
It doesn't matter anyway. The plane was no longer within radar coverage, so 1 transponder or 1 hundred, there is no transponder signal when outside radar coverage.
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Old 12th Dec 2014, 15:59
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Just a thought about this faux concern vis a vis 3 transponders. Uninformed complaints / criticisms seem to abound in the media these days.
1. The IFF/Transponder system doesn't need to be triple redundant, the way some of the flight safety systems mentioned above might need to.

Why?

The plane flies safely with 0, 1, or 2 operational.
If 0 are working, the crew need to use their radios more often in terms of coordinating with ATC on where they are and what they are doing, since the information isn't passed by the system via the radar and radar returns.

You can argue that if you wish to "for safety's sake" rely on a third layer of capability, that third layer is present in the ability to use two way radio communication:

You tell them where you are and what you are doing, just as we have always done in areas where there is no radar contact.

ATC then associates that with a radar reflection, rather than a transponder paint/code, and can thus track you and sequence you into the air traffic du jour. If you turn off your two transponders, and refuse to talk to them on the radio, it amounts to the same thing as turning off three transponders.

May we put to bed (without any supper!) this "three transponders" thing?

For any journalists reading (Mr Bailey?): please, give it a rest.
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Old 17th Dec 2014, 19:42
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Setback announced by OZ

The Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister for Transport announced a setback today:

MH370 setback in search | Assistance to the Aviation Industry
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Old 23rd Dec 2014, 16:50
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New Theory about MH370

Flight Magazine has just published a new theory on the location of the possible crash site of MH370. It looks very plausible, what do others think?


Is this where MH370 is?
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Old 23rd Dec 2014, 17:44
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He assumes a constant TAS and true track for the last two and a half hours of flight. If either of those varied, his final position calculation will be wrong.
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