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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:40
  #1841 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EDMJ
If the point of the last civilian radar return and the point of the last military radar return had been known at the same time, would a search effort not have begun at both points more or less simultaneously and not with a 4 day delay?
You have to ask yourself, "known to whom?"

Civilian authorities only had access to the civilian radar return, which terminated in Gulf of Thailand. Military radar return only existed on a tape somewhere in a military base and consisted of a single track among hundreds if not thousands of plane tracks seen by the military radar every day, without any association between the track and the plane ID.

It took time for a high-ranking officer to order the review of the tapes, and more time to perform the review, and even more time to authorize the release of this info to SAR. All in all, looks like it took about 2 days for this to happen.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:40
  #1842 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EDMJ
If the point of the last civilian radar return and the point of the last military radar return had been known at the same time, would a search effort not have begun at both points more or less simultaneously and not with a 4 day delay?
Sir, not a four day delay. (EDIT: sorry, Hamsternull beat me to this).

If you recall a couple of days ago, US and AUS P-3's were tasked to search in the Malacca Straits, and various search areas WEST of Malaysia were up on the board behind the press briefers. That would indicate to me that both areas were being searched. I noticed a number of posters here wondering at why there were search boxes in red WEST of Malaysia. Well, now we know.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:44
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I find it difficult to believe that there should be no active and real-time monitoring by the local military of their radar returns, and that perusal of tapes is required (allegedly taking days?). Why bother with military radar surveillance then?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:47
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Originally Posted by overthewing
If you read his theory carefully, he says ' It’s plausible that a fuselage section near the SATCOM antenna adapter failed, disabling satellite based - GPS, ACARS, and ADS-B/C - communications, and leading to a slow decompression that left all occupants unconscious.'

ADS-B/C = transponder, I think?

A good theory. However, the ADS-B and SSR transponder antennae are not in the SATCOM mount and are duplicated on the top and bottom of the aircraft. So it is unlikely that a corrosion/crack in the SATCOM antenna and decompression would lead to a loss of SSR (which will be what the ATC were tracking) or to loss of ADS-B. It is possible that there could be a common mode electrical failure but that is doubtful.

The aircraft also underwent an extended maintenance ~ 2 weeks ago at which corrosion/cracking around the SATCOM mount should/would have been checked for.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:48
  #1845 (permalink)  
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No wonder we are having huge page drops by the mods....please read the thread before posting!
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:49
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EDMJ, this event took place during the mid watch. Midnight to early AM shift. Consider the human factors involved. Consider also that process one goes through in the military to confirm what one suspects one has seen.

I don't think a radar operator expected a COMAIR to switch off its transponder while heading north/northeast, and begin to head west or southwest, with no IFF reply.

There is a lot we don't know, to include what comms challenges someone on the scope made, or if the person on the scope missed a trick and it was the next day before someone had a good hard look at the radar tracks and began to put one and two together.

In SAR, typical initial datum is LAST KNOWN LOCATION. So, lost IFF contact was most likely foremost in the minds of the national SAR coordinator, and it took some time and effort to establish that there was another possible datum to explore on the search mission.

That it took the authorities a few days to get that info out to the press "there are some things we can tell you and some things we cannot tell you" is a matter for you to take up with the authorities in Malaysia.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 11th Mar 2014 at 18:31.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:55
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hamster3null

I gave full benefit of doubt to Malaysian statements up till now, but given the initial report of radar contact having been lost at 2:40 (later modified to 1:22, explaining that 2:40 was when the information was received from ATC) and the slip of tongue by the Air Force chief on the press conference of the 9th hinting at a possible return makes me suspect all this information was known very soon after the event, maybe not with the degree of certainty as it was announced today, but with a good degree of probability. There have been unexplained reports of the Straits of Malacca being searched since two days.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:59
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I find it difficult to believe that there should be no active and real-time monitoring by the local military of their radar returns,
One reason could be they are looking for traffic coming into their area, not transiting / exiting.

Secondly, if there is any correlation between the civil and SSR side, the primary return could have been verified as a known / identified / flight planned "target", and thus disregarded / categorised as low risk.

Finally, retrieval from tapes is required in the civil world for various reasons. In the military world I suspect less so, since the basic requirement is real time. Think through what the military system and radar is implemented for - a backup civil / SAR is not high on the priorities.

NoD
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:02
  #1849 (permalink)  
 
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OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY CHIEF OF ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE ON BERITA HARIAN NEWS ARTICLE DATED 11th MARCH 2014 ON SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS IN THE STRAITS OF MALACCA

1. I refer to the Berita Harian news article dated 11th March 2014 on Search and Rescue Operations in the Straits of Malacca which (in Bahasa Malaysia) referred to me as making the following statements:

The RMAF Chief confirmed that RMAF Butterworth airbase detected the location signal of the airliner as indicating that it turned back from its original heading to the direction of Kota Bahru, Kelantan, and was believed to have pass through the airspace of the East Coast of and Northern Peninsular Malaysia.

The last time the plane was detected by the air control tower was in the vicinity of Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca at 2.40 in the morning before the signal disappeared without any trace, he said.

2. I wish to state that I did not make any such statements as above, what occurred was that the Berita Harian journalist asked me if such an incident occurred as detailed in their story, however I did not give any answer to the question, instead what I said to the journalist was “Please refer to the statement which I have already made on 9 March 2014, during the press conference with the Chief of Defence Force at the Sama-Sama Hotel, Kuala Lumpur International Airport”.

3. What I stated during that press conference was,

The RMAF has not ruled out the possibility of an air turn back on a reciprocal heading before the aircraft vanished from the radar and this resulted in the Search and Rescue Operations being widen to the vicinity of the waters of Pulau Pinang.

4. I request this misreporting be amended and corrected to prevent further misinterpretations of what is clearly an inaccurate and incorrect report.

5. Currently the RMAF is examining and analyzing all possibilities as regards to the airliner’s flight paths subsequent to its disappearance. However for the time being, it would not be appropriate for the RMAF to issue any official conclusions as to the aircraft’s flight path until a high amount of certainty and verification is achieved. However all ongoing search operations are at the moment being conducted to cover all possible areas where the aircraft could have gone down in order to ensure no possibility is overlooked.

6. In addition, I would like to state to the media that all information and developments will be released via official statements and press conferences as soon as possible and when appropriate. Our current efforts are focused upon on finding the aircraft as soon as possible.

Thank You

GENERAL TAN SRI DATO’SRI RODZALI BIN DAUD RMAF
Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force

Released On:

11 March 14
Kuala Lumpur
This was posted on a thread on A.net, but the source was not verified there. IMO, it does have the hallmarks of an official statement.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:14
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papershuffler:

Presuming that release is genuine, does that put into question the line of thinking that the aircraft changed course and head west, or was he making a targeted press release aimed directly at a particular flight route put forth by the media?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:14
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I think the remark "there are some things we can tell you and some things we can't tell you" is a fairly standard remark where multi-agency data is involved, especially if they only have a few shreds of information, some of which related to manifest items (police matters), some of which related to military radar data.

As with every incident, the only time the investigating collective have a "duty" to tell us anything is when they release a final Accident Investigation Report; and to a lesser degree if they release any initial/preliminary reports beforehand.

Anything else the SAR team mention in the meantime is put out as a matter of courtesy and we can't expect 100% accuracy. We certainly can't judge them for it.

So in summary any old tosh like "people obviously arent telling us everything" is just idiotspeak for the bewilderment of the masses.

Sure, many of us would love to step into the investigation office and see all the fragments and blind alleys they are dealing with, but seriously? If you had access to all their info at this stage, with no further clue where the aircraft ultimately arrived... wouldn't you hold off making comments until you felt you had something worthwhile to report?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:16
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One of the uniformed types said at a press conference quite early on that they had extended the search up the Malacca Straits to the Anduram sea. A US P3 surveillance plane has been there from the start tracking and mapping. Ben Sandilands of the OZ website Crikey reported the sighting at Silver Island late this morning. I did try to report the Anduram Sea search early on here but it all sort of got bounced by the mods, presumably as they tried to manage the tidal flow of postings.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:19
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Questions?

I seem to have fallen foul of the mods with a comment that asked what seems a highly pertinent question: why would the MAF suit by idly and watch an unidentified blip traverse the spine of Malaysia without taking action to identify it?

Not sure what I did wrong!
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:21
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If they thought they might be dealing with a terrorist situation then keeping quiet at the time is understandable.

But why keep it up when they must have known the plane was down?

And I can't help feeling that the instinctive response of military to a suspicious object is to blow it up, just in case. If that happened, then there would be an even greater need for secrecy by those involved.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:22
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Secondly, if there is any correlation between the civil and SSR side, the primary return could have been verified as a known / identified / flight planned "target", and thus disregarded / categorised as low risk.
If this is the case, they should also know the transponder is (switched?) off and unable to make radio contact. At this point, I humbly submit, it becomes a high risk target.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:24
  #1856 (permalink)  
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Press poor

Sorry but I felt obliged to share this from The London Evening Standard which has a two page picture spread with an inaccurate report (and transcript) of the AF incident under the headline "Damn it, we're going to crash, this can't be happening." to draw attention.

"There are striking parallels between the two incidents. The Malaysia Airlines flight was at an altitude of 35,000 feet, while the Air France Airbus A330-203 was 3,000 higher at 38,000ft, both planes were state of the art and neither sent a distress signal."

This serves to remind, as I am sure all appreciate, that the media is increasingly desperate to fill space with anything vaguely related to keep the public interest alive, however spurious. The blondes in cockpit is arguably in the same league. It is of course possible, as it always was, that the crew invited someone into the cockpit, but there is no evidence to suggest they did on this flight or that this had any relevance. Hijack was and is a credible possibility. The blonde in cockpit story doesn't sensibly change that either way, unless someone shows a passenger manifest with a stunning blonde model with credible terrorist connections.

I would focus speculation on what might have caused what appears to be a sudden re-route, descent, and loss of multiple comms systems but I sincerely doubt now that we will get any closer at all to picking between hijack and a substantial event, deliberate or structural, until the aircraft is found regardless of how much vaguely related spice the media dredges up before then.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:25
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Originally Posted by mabuhay_2000
Not sure what I did wrong!
I think nothing, it seems the servers are giving up, my answer is nowhere too.

In summary I have suggested that if a target was once identified, it will remain as such (and hence 'uninteresting') even if the secondary return is lost.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:26
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CogSim

That's exactly my reading of it.

And what happens to high risk threats?

We all know the answer to that conundrum...
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:27
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''If this is the case, they should also know the transponder is (switched?) off and unable to make radio contact. At this point, I humbly submit, it becomes a high risk target.''

But the Tech crew would know that too..
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:28
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mabuhay if it was operating at FL3++ and clearly looked like a widebody jet, they would have NO instantaneous interest in it.

Military outfits are almost entirely monday-friday 9-5 operations, it would take a stuka attack from something very fast moving, heading directly for a military base or major population centre to sound any alarm bells in the mind of the poor guy on duty at O-silly-hundred-hours observing for credible threats.
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