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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:07
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Now I know that crews don't like the idea of FOQA data to the cloud or CVR/CVideoR to the cloud. But had that been the case here there would be relatives of 200+ people who would at least have known what had happened
I beg to disagree, but the upload system would surely have stopped at the same time as ADS-B / Transponder / ACARS etc.?

It depends on the nature of the failure of course, and/or how things were disabled. But I seriously airlines / passengers will want to pay the costs involved in such a system... and if it is installed for safety reasons, do you as SLF want all the delays / diversions associated with "our FDR system won't login to the satellite, so we cannot depart / must divert"

NoD
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:08
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Originally Posted by JanetFlight
Just an humble question to the 777 Skippers outthere, wich i would love to have an idea please:

Taking in account the possible scenario of an uncapacitated cockpit crew, taken by illegal interference/hijack, turning off the transponder and descending trough lets say 500 or even 1000 ft AMSL, and having in mind the endurance reported around that time was about +7 hours approx., how far the 777 could have gone in miles (aprox), like for instance a middle place in Indian Ocean or even Pacific at that lower altitude (burning more JetA), and another question...is it hard or too much complex to maintain for an non-rated 777 guy keeping the T7 a lot of hours at this 1000ft or so, specially towards East Indian Ocean (following the night/dusk planet zone) or it may be difficult?
Tanx and all the best for the SAR teams.
It's been asked before and a figure of 2000 NM was suggested.

It's unclear why you'd want to fly at 1000 ft AMSL. Without the transponder and with primary radar coverage as spotty as it apparently is, hijackers could have crossed into the Indian Ocean at FL350 without ever appearing on any radars.

Based on what we know, if it was indeed hijacked, it could have reached North Korea, any point in Indonesia, most islands in the Indian Ocean. East coast of Africa would be pushing it, but, if there was in fact enough fuel onboard for 7.5 hours at 490 KTAS, with favorable winds it could reach Yemen or Somalia. (Though it would be a gamble for hijackers if this were their desired destination, they'd have to know exactly how much reserve fuel there was onboard.)

You only need a 4500 foot runway to land a 777-200 without fuel at sea level in dry weather. There are probably dozens of poorly known or unknown runways in this range that would accept a 777 (though taking off again would be a completely different story). As a random example, there is an airport in eastern Somalia with ICAO code HCMG that is potentially within range, has a 5250 ft runway, and, as far as I can tell, sees no scheduled traffic. With minimal organization, a few determined individuals could land MH370 there, herd the passengers into trucks, torch the plane and disappear into the wind long before anyone starts asking questions.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:09
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Given the global lack of trust in governments, the press, and other humans, I'm not sure this will answer everybody's questions as to who is doing what and where but try:

BBC News - Malaysia Airlines: How is the search being carried out?

They provide a map of the search areas which include the South China Sea, the north half of the Malacca Strait, and central Malaysia (yes, land). Three P3s (2 Australian, 1 US Navy), multiple C-130s and assorted other maritime surveillance aircraft, helicopters, both land and sea based from 14 countries are involved, with more coming. Ships are being deployed but the bulk of the search patterns are being flown.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:09
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What if you has a hull breach at 35K at a location that took out some if not all of the avionics, and you're half way between land masses?

Wouldn't you try to get low into breathable air ASAP? It's not like you would have time to go back and check on the passengers. So now your low (below primary radar) what next? Would you head on to an airport that you have never been to before and might not have the charts, or turn for home and a field you have been to 100's of times? Somewhere you felt you could land blindfolded, since you pretty much are.

I'll bet they tried for home and the familiar airport, distances being equal.

Think I agree with the looking in the wrong place crew.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:10
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I just wiki'd JAL 123 and it says they flew for 32 minutes after the pressure dome blew.
And KAL007 flew for over 10 minutes and got out a radio call after getting hit by two missiles.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:12
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Wouldn't you try to get low into breathable air ASAP?
Descend and maintain 10,000 would be well above minimum radar altitude I think.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:27
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Bono,

the aircraft crash landed not in the water but in dense jungle some where close to water. Phones ring because while passengers might not be alive however some phones survived.
There would have been a huge fire and a lot of smoke.

Also phones are supposed to be 'off' so the chances of one cell phone being 'on' and surviving the crash are very low. Chances of dozens of them surviving are probably infinitesimal, to say the least.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:28
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If true, seems a bit coincidental if comms were lost just as cruise was reached. When would the seatbelt signs have come off and people started to move around the cabin?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:28
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Regarding a possible successful ditching: the street of Malacca is the World's most dense shipping lane. Any raft/slide or ditching would have been seen almost instantly.

The area where the secondary radar image disappeared is also very dense with fishing boats.

In order to reach Somalia as someone has mentioned, you would have had to stay at altitude and this scenario sounds more Clive Cussler material than reality, however not impossible.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:30
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Originally Posted by Mr Optiimistic
If true, seems a bit coincidental if comms were lost just as cruise was reached. When would the seatbelt signs have come off and people started to move around the cabin?
Around 5,000 ft or so. You don't fly much, I guess?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:37
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NEVER at 5000' or so. Do not try to belittle people when you have no clue yourself. This is a website for Professional Aircrew.
In quite a few companies, seatbelt signs are only put off when cruising altitude is reached, sometimes after up to 30 minutes.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:37
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Fact#3: Cell Phones still "ring" according to relatives
That means nothing!!

If you call a cell phone that's been destroyed or out of service you'll still hear a ring from your end.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:38
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Facts and Conclusions

As I mentioned, this conclusion reflects what is *publicly* known at present. Later information could (most likely) change this conclusion.


Cell phones are only off during takeoff, people use them during flight for all kinds of activities (except calling off course).


Fire is highly likely in a crash into jungle but if sufficient attention has not been paid to remote areas, it could easily escape focus of scrutiny.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:39
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Chronus,

what do you make of the claims by the relatives of some nineteen passengers who have called their respective family members on the flight to hear ringing tones before their calls were cut off.
I call overseas cell phones often and this happens to me many times a year. I redial and this time the person I called pick up and confirm his cell was in his hands and never rang/vibrated. Cell phone technology is still far from perfect.

Bono,

Cell phones are only off during takeoff, people use them during flight for all kinds of activities (except calling off course).
They can only be turned 'on' in airplane mode, meaning their radio is switched off. For the network, that phone is off the grid.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:40
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"If true, seems a bit coincidental if comms were lost just as cruise was reached. When would the seatbelt signs have come off and people started to move around the cabin?"

Depends on the airline's SOPs : I've seen it 10'000ft, at cruise altitude, and I suppose there are many variations. Maybe someone from MH or who recently flew with MH may provide a better answer.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:40
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the aircraft experienced massive electrical/equipment failure
In terms of probabilities I would say pilot's suicide is more probable than a "massive electrical" failure on something like 777 which is full of redundancies specially in terms of electricity.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:48
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Seat Belt Sign off ...

Originally Posted by MPN11
Around 5,000 ft or so. You don't fly much, I guess?
10,000 feet is sometimes more typical (a) to have climbed well out of the local terminal manoevering area's arrival and departure routes, (b) to avoid turbulent low cloud if any, (c) to coincide with the 10,000 foot checklist items like landing lights off, end of <250 kt speed limit. I'm a pilot but not 777 so others may know differently.

Last edited by Golf-Mike-Mike; 11th Mar 2014 at 14:58. Reason: clarification
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:59
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I now see why the pilots and aircraft engineers get uppity when people post garbage about their area of expertise.

Tri-To-Start

If you call a cell phone that's been destroyed or out of service you'll still hear a ring from your end.
If the phone is detached from the network, as recorded by the Home Location Register (or its successors, for the pedantic), the caller will not hear ringing. They will either get a message to say the phone is out of service, and/or redirected to voicemail.

If the phone is in service so far as the network is concerned, it will be paged in the last known group of cells ("Location Area"). If Colour Ring Back Tones are subscribed to, then you'll hear music while the phone is paged. If not, you will probably not hear anything until the phone responds to the page. It will then ring, and the caller will also get a ring tone.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 22:09
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I would assume this sort of technology requires line of site (or whatever it is called underwater). I am guessing that the previous incident you are talking of happened in the Atlantic? Where it is thought this aircraft went down is almost surrounded by land, I do not know how the sound wave would get around these masses.
Sound propagation in the oceans is a complex process. If you want the details along with some math to back that up, there was a thesis link a few hundred posts back. The short of it is that the ocean's surface and bottom both reflect sound waves in a complex manner, resulting in channeling of the acoustic energy in what amount to a wave guide. Further complications include wave bending due to differences in water temperture and salinity. Signal loss in the channels is inversely proportional to distance, not the square of the distance as in line of sight, so signals can and do travel very long distances.

The hydrophone networks (e.g. the USN's SOSUS) were initially placed at choke points like the GIUK Gap to detect transit of Soviet submarines but proved able to track submarines as far away as the US continental shelf and low-flying Soviet patrol aircraft, all back in the 1960s. The capabilities of current systems are not publically available but I'd assume that the massive improvements in sensors, underwater cables, and computing power have produced near-realtime knowledge that might be applicable to the current search. The problem is that providing such data provides a lower bound on what the system is capable of.

The issue of propagation in shallow water interacting with surrounding land masses is complex but of critical interest to both civilian and military sectors due to the hunt for natural resources and the focus on littorial warfare. Lack of public disclosure for the supporting evidence behind the current search areas is hardly surprising.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 22:13
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TOC at 17:01 UTC

@HeathrowAirport
Just settled into the initial cruise attitude is also a likely time the cockpit door opens for many reasons, such as refreshments, dinner order taking and toilet rest etc

If someone says this is not a possibility, then you clearly are a wannabe.
MAS370 reached 35,000 feet (which I assume was its TOC that day) at 17:01 UTC, well 20 minutes before the last blip reported by FR24 (17:21 UTC).

I assume that 35,000 feet was TOC for that flight because the altitude did not change for 20 minutes. However, having tracked the same flight on FR24 the day after and yesterday, I noticed that TOC was 37,000 feet.

I guess only the airline may provide further information about this.
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