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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:26
  #1161 (permalink)  
 
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There was a suggestion made regarding rewarding fishermen for finding pieces of debris.

How about going one further? Supposedly they have video of the two (or more?) passengers flying with the stolen passports. How about publishing their photos, and offering a reward to anyone who can identify them?

If they were non-terrorists simply attempting to immigrate, then most likely they had family members or friends who knew it. Even if they were smugglers, someone might well recognize them who knew what they were involved in.

Identifying the men and ruling out (or ruling in) their possible link to terrorism could help to narrow in on what actually happened.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:28
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And while we're at it, how far would a 777 glide if (worst case scenario) a power failure shut down all electronics and all engines at the altitude of 35000 ft and airspeed of 470 knots?
The possible glide distance would be approximately 20 times the altitude, hence about 20*6 = 120 miles but not at that speed, to achieve this maximum glide distance pilots would have to lower the speed.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:29
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instead of probing into why they are searching the malacca strait, as the explanation given for searching the malacca strait was in my opinion vague at best. It just feels like they know something more than they are letting on at the moment.
They are just going on every possible lead, as would anyone. Soon, as the search grid grows, they'll simply draw a circle centered about the last known position and range based on the fuel remaining and search.

Disintegration in flight might be an explanation but no comms? One of the steps in an emergency is to 'call'. But then again, sometimes in the heat of an emergency, pilots may be too engrossed in handling the emergency. For the crash at Bagram, Afghanistan last year, the pilots only called out 'Weight' at the last moment before they crashed.

My best guess now:

Flight experienced some total electrics failure, somehow inclusive of batteries. No possibility of comms (perhaps 777 pilots can share on this possibility). Tried to turn back and some how mishandled due to disorientation and descended rapidly enough to lose radar line of sight/range. Somehow aircraft leveled off at low levels (no radar contact) and tracked in some direction until they crashed. Crash site no where near the last known position.

- one problem with this scenario is total E plus batt failure. Again, not sure the set up on 777 and how likely is this.
- another problem is if they fly low enough to evade radar, then those on the surface should have seen something.

Just trying to connect the dots:
a) loss of radar contact very quickly from FL350
b) no comms
c) no debris field in the region of the last known position
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:30
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@ Andrias - The longer it takes to find the aircraft, the harder it gets to find the cause.
That depends on the cause. If they find the FDR and CVR all could be revealed, as it was in AF447.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:30
  #1165 (permalink)  
 
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ffs once and for all..

There are essentially four common types of ATC surveillance. Primary radar requires a return off the skin of the aeroplane = heaps of power out for a tiny reflected return = very limited range (< 100 nm). All other forms of surveillance (secondary radar/ADS-Broadcast/ADS-Contract) require a transponder in the aeroplane in order to get s return. SSR and ADS-B are ground based, so they are limited by line-of-sight rules (i.e range ~ 300nm), ADS-C is via satellite return and has essentially world wide coverage. No return on anything except Primary simply means the transponder is u/s
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:36
  #1166 (permalink)  
 
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Have a look on the Flight Radar print out, a number of acft where in the general area, I find it hard to believe that between these aircraft and the number of boats around, no-one saw the supposed 'explosion / disentegration'. It does make me wonder if this was a controlled deviation and deliberate act which would mean that the search area could be out by hundreds if not thousands of Kim's. Surely if it had been a technical problem the Malaysian would have some info to back this up, even the Air France incident resulted in ACARS error messages being sent back to maintenance.

Why all the speculation about military radar showing the acft plunging to the sea whilst authorities denying all knowledge. The total lack of witness accounts and reliable radar traces and an apparent flow of misinformation makes me very suspicious of what has happened here.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:40
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What's this businessman doing @ 1.45 in the morning?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:41
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In a case like this, how long does it usually take to find out what sort of cargo might have been on board?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:41
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With 50 years of flying experience and 15 of it in South East Asia the loss of MH370 worries me. I know the Andaman Sea, South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand like the back of my hand.

I can not believe a B777 can be 'lost' without trace. There are many Radar installations in the area, both Civil and Military that could have been tracking the a/c. I am not surprised the Chinese Foreign Minister is frustrated and becoming impatient with the Malaysians due to questions being asked but being fobbed off.

After watching the latest press conference I am concerned the Malaysian DGCA is 'hiding' something.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:41
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I agree with the earlier post that if they are searching The Straits of Malacca, they must have something else which they don't want to release. That would be 1.5 flying hours back from the Southern tip of Vietnam.

The other thing not being addressed (Excuse me if I missed a discussion, this is a long thread) is the missing 5 passengers. Malaysian went out of its way to confirm that the checked bags of these passengers were offloaded. But FIVE no-shows is an awful lot? Who were these people and what was the routing of their tickets? Did they turn up to claim their checked bags or did they "Disappear". If so, what was in those bags?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:46
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No return on anything except Primary simply means the transponder is u/s
It seems whatever happened in MH370 at the time of the incident happened in such a way that precluded electronic information transmissions from any of the following devices:

ELT-failed/turned off
ACARS-failed/turned off/MEL unserviceable
AIRCRAFT TRANSPONDER-failed/turned off
PRIMARY & SECONDARY RADAR-failed due no primary paint or secondary transponder reception
RADIO-no comms by either crewman

For all items to fail seemingly instantaneously seems to indicate either the purposeful opening of their controlling circuits or their loss during a massive single electronic failure. The second is indicated due to the loss of secondary and primary radar contact. In the case of 9/11 the aircraft were taken over and flown by the terrorists to their conclusion within hours. There is no indication of this with immediate radar loss. Wouldn’t this indicate that cause is a catastrophic failure?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:47
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fs once and for all..

There are essentially four common types of ATC surveillance. Primary radar requires a return off the skin of the aeroplane = heaps of power out for a tiny reflected return = very limited range (< 100 nm). All other forms of surveillance (secondary radar/ADS-Broadcast/ADS-Contract) require a transponder in the aeroplane in order to get s return. SSR and ADS-B are ground based, so they are limited by line-of-sight rules (i.e range ~ 300nm), ADS-C is via satellite return and has essentially world wide coverage. No return on anything except Primary simply means the transponder is u/s
Right. Now, the question becomes: what primary radar ATC stations are there along the route of MH370, and what were their actual effective ranges? And, when newspapers say that the plane disappeared from the radars, do they mean that the primary return was lost, or that the transponder had stopped transmitting and the primary return wasn't there to begin with?

The possible glide distance would be approximately 20 times the altitude, hence about 20*6 = 120 miles but not at that speed, to achieve this maximum glide distance pilots would have to lower the speed.
OK, good to know - 120 miles is not a lot but would probably take the aircraft out of the search area.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:53
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KILA

I'm not defending security at KLIA because if they were not screening against the complete security database, that is a problem.

On the other hand, on the surface at least security at KUL appears very good. I recently flew to LHR and back with MH on a A380 and, out of KUL, we were asked to produce Passports and Boarding Cards for checking before Boarding. My wife was taken aside for about 10 minutes for further Passport inspection because she did not look British (Whatever that means these days!!), despite the fact that her Passport picture matched her physical presence and that we were travelling together in First Class. I thought that suggested quite a high security alertness.


If this IS terrorism, wouldn't such a "Flagship" flight with 500 passengers have made a more "Attractive" target. I keep wondering WHY Malaysian (An Islamic country) and why a flight to PEK?

Last edited by philipat; 10th Mar 2014 at 07:04.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 06:57
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There are several airports capable of taking a B777 on the east coast of Malaysia that would have been in gliding range from position IGARI.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 07:00
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KELANTAN: A businessman in Ketereh claimed that he saw a bright white light, believed to be of an aircraft's, descending at high speed towards the South China Sea via Bachok airspace about 1.45am on the day flight MH370 went missing
If this guy is right - interesting wording. Descending at high speed - not plummeting out of control, not crashing. A white light - not flames or a fireball.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 07:01
  #1176 (permalink)  
 
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Wacko Scenario

There have been such a wide range of theories, many of them reflecting a lack of aviation knowledge that I've decided there is room for one more.

Perhaps some triple 7 experts can rule out this scenario.

The big puzzle here is: what could possibly happen at cruise speed at 35000 feet that would not result in a very large and dispersed collection of pieces of airplane that would easily have been noticed in a couple of days of daylight? And if there was a high energy breakup at sea level there would be a more concentrated collection of debris.

What if:

A massive electrical disturbance that took out all of the communications and much of the control electronics right down the line. Leaving the pilots with a basic panel and difficult to handle controls.

Assume the electronics are fried - without considering how this disturbance crossed over between the several buses. So, eventually they would engage the RAT and maybe get some useful hydraulics (if needed), but the RAT electrical power would not be very useful because of damage already done.

Faced with that an experience aviator might be able to control the aircraft and ride it down with or without engine power... possibly idling. Not sure what the engine control electronics does if it loses command signals.

So, with the basic panel they keep the airplane flying - possibly gliding - watch the altimeter, and hope the standard setting for FL350 is not crazy wrong at sea level. Or maybe they even had data on more local altimeter settings. As they get to 500 feet - they taper off to V1 or thereabouts and slowly descend until they hit the sea. And then float there for a short time. As sea water flows in through a few cracks in the fuselage.

And then sadly.... the aircraft sinks.

What's missing - floatation rafts getting deployed - maybe not practical.
406 MHz beacon... why is it not being heard?
Could this scenario require manual deployment?

Many years ago when I was active in small aircraft flying and airline and military avionics design the activation rate of ELTs was very poor in many crashes - the TCO got revised and the g switch specs and orientation made a great improvement. But automatic activation on nasty landings would make a lot of people unhappy.

So - could a 777 water landing leave the g detect switches untriggered?

Crazy? Impossible? Or just implausible.

So far the limited fact set seems to not produce many possible solutions.

In this scenario there might be an almost total absence of debris.

Enough...
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 07:04
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A previous poster has provided an extract from the Malaysian AIP showing radar coverage up to 200 nm. This radar is located at Kota Bharu (WMKC), and the normal configuration of Malaysian DCA radars is a co mounted PSR (60 nm range) antenna with a MSSR antenna , range 200 nm. This is the nearest radar to the last displayed position (N6.97 E103.63) on FR24.


As this location is 93 nm from the Kota Bharu radar, it is outside PSR coverage, so no primary radar returns would have been seen. However the position is well within SSR coverage with a lowest coverage height of about 5000 ft at this range. At 200 nm the lowest coverage height is about FL270.


The SSR data from this radar is sent to the KL ATC center at Subang, which provides enroute ATS for the KL FIR.


As for other radars, the last position is about 190 nm from the Hat Yai radar site in Southern Thailand, and 290 nm from the Ho Chi Minh radar, so no other radar coverage was available.


However there is an ADS-B site on Con Son island, about 130 nm south of HCMC. This is at a elevated site of 1500 ft, so has very good coverage, and is 200 nm from the last FR24 position. The lowest coverage height is about FL220 at this range. The Con Son ADS-B data is also sent to Singapore ATC to enhance surveillance of the ATS routes in the adjacent Singapore FIR


So its likely that the various ATS providers had good position data - but entirely dependant on the aircrafts transponder/s. Without that no data at all. There could of course be military radars providing PSR coverage of this area - but that has not been disclosed as yet.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 07:08
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Sorry if mentioned and correct me if I am wrong but....

The plane was airborne 6 minutes after it's scheduled departure, yet there were 5 people who checked in but didn't board.

I find it hard to believe that after waiting and waiting for 5 people, you would then be able to find all of their luggage and remove it without delaying the plane.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 07:16
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"I find it hard to believe that after waiting and waiting for 5 people, you would then be able to find all of their luggage and remove it without delaying the plane".


It's quite possible they could have been ready to close the doors 10--15 minutes ahead of scheduled departure time. All checked bags can be traced to a loaded container so the time taken would depend to some extent on the loading sequence of the containers, but it can be quite quick. And taxi doesn't take long at that time, after all the heavy longhauls have already departed.


Of far more interest is the matter I raised on the last page. FIVE is a lot of no-shows for a single flight, even if their bags were offloaded, which MH went out of its way to confirm. Who were these people and did they later claim their checked bags? What was their flight routing and where were the tickets purchased. etc.

Last edited by philipat; 10th Mar 2014 at 07:27.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 07:17
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Sorry if mentioned and correct me if I am wrong but....

The plane was airborne 6 minutes after it's scheduled departure, yet there were 5 people who checked in but didn't board.

I find it hard to believe that after waiting and waiting for 5 people, you would then be able to find all of their luggage and remove it without delaying the plane
I don't find this suspicious at all. KUL is MH's hub, and as such people most likely connected to this flight from all over South East Asia/Europe/Australia/India etc.

It is possible that the these passengers were proactively denied boarding by MH in advance due to missing minimum connection time (eg if a connecting flight from BOM was delayed - pax would be offloaded).

I haven't read anything to say that this isn't the case. Likewise with many MH flights departing from KUL around the same time, I doubt 5 pax failing to board is statistically significant. They may have been simply fallen asleep etc.

Regardless, due to security reasons of course bags must be offloaded if passengers are not travelling, and it sounds like they were.
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