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-   -   Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost (https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/535538-malaysian-airlines-mh370-contact-lost.html)

Lonewolf_50 11th Mar 2014 19:14

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?

Clear_Prop 11th Mar 2014 19:14

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?

Nightingale14 11th Mar 2014 19:16

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.

mabuhay_2000 11th Mar 2014 19:19

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!

A A Gruntpuddock 11th Mar 2014 19:21

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.

CogSim 11th Mar 2014 19:22


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.

ika 11th Mar 2014 19:24

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.

andrasz 11th Mar 2014 19:25


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.

mabuhay_2000 11th Mar 2014 19:26

CogSim
 
That's exactly my reading of it.

And what happens to high risk threats?

We all know the answer to that conundrum...

CodyBlade 11th Mar 2014 19:27

''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..

Clear_Prop 11th Mar 2014 19:28

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.

TRW Plus 11th Mar 2014 19:31

CNN have totally bought into the new theory that the plane was tracked on radar into the Straits of Malacca and that it was last radar-fixed at some as yet undisclosed location roughly 100-200 miles northwest of KL.

This certainly points to one of two scenarios being more likely than others:

1. The pilot, having lost much of his guidance, was attempting to make a visual return to KL. One must then ask if moonset and local weather (something we left behind when it was assumed that the search would be much further north) played any role. METARS for relevant stations might be useful now.

2. Hostile elements, either terrorists or misguided pilot(s) were in control of the aircraft and the postulated track would suggest a terror attack planned at KL which after all has some of world's tallest buildings. One might then ask why anyone would plan such a thing especially at night (it would be approximately 0330h to 0400h local time if any terrorists managed to execute such a plan.

As either of these seem somewhat difficult to believe, we might then consider a third option, terrorist hi-jack with known landing point in Sumatra, explaining the low-altitude flight path in an attempt to evade primary radar. This even keeps alive the possibility that this plan has been successfully executed but in which case, why no announcement or demands?

Most likely outcome, but not by much, is that crippled aircraft made desperate but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to return to KL and that evidence of this will eventually be found.

hamster3null 11th Mar 2014 19:31


Originally Posted by andrasz (Post 8367146)
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.

I'm aware of the 2:40 curiosity, but I'm inclined to think that it's purely a coincidence.

Consider that the original statement about the plane being lost at 2:40 was made by the airline (that is, civilians). After that, the search continued in the Gulf for a while; my timeline may be off but I think that the first mention of Malacca Straits happened at least 36 hours after the plane went missing. The plane took off at 16:41 UTC on 3/7. The earliest statement about "turning back" I could find was made by Malaysia's air force chief at 06:00 UTC on 3/9.

Militaries aren't usually big on sharing info with civilians, and it takes an established protocol or an explicit authorization from high command to release stuff like that. It's pretty unlikely that someone would pass the information about last known military contact to the airline within a few hours after disappearance, in the middle of the night. And even if that did happen, it's downright incredible that Malaysia would then waste time and effort on searching the Gulf.

mabuhay_2000 11th Mar 2014 19:31

Andrasz
 
Logically, I would have thought an identified target that sudden stopped squawking would be cause for concern, even if only because it would be highly unusual for a commercial airliner to do that and should set a few alarm bells ringing, especially in a post 9/11 world.

Livesinafield 11th Mar 2014 19:37


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.

So your saying that, if a plane took off from the UK in the night then halfway out over the sea stopped communicating and transponder stopped working on SSR, then turned back toward the UK and over flew the UK for 1 hour still with no communications, that there would not be military response ?

i am afraid i cannot see that at all, and i find it really hard to believe that is the case here

Lonewolf_50 11th Mar 2014 19:37


Logically, I would have thought an identified target that sudden stopped squawking would be cause for concern, even if only because it would be highly unusual for a commercial airliner to do that and should set a few alarm bells ringing, especially in a post 9/11 world.
If the radar operator had already marked the contact as COMAIR, while it was squawking valid Mode 3, it might have (depending upon autotrack functions used or not used) retained that track classification with nary a peep out of the radar operator who, not being ATC, may not instinctively know where a given COMAIR is headed to on a given evening.

Do you put your sharpest people on watch at zero dark thirty? :confused:

Chill 11th Mar 2014 19:39

Clarifications
 
The not so good:

Fernanset - that was an unmeasured response, perhaps you should too. Execs comment didn't suggest any aircraft, just this particular one and many of the senior LAMEs at MAS could tell the life story of their aircraft. The 777 has been a pretty well maintained fleet and I'd see no reason to doubt their judgement even in spite of the element of human error.

Physicus - it's RMAF Butterworth and has been for sometime, you're living in the 80's.

Slats11 - Meals, a bit too early still, people might have got a drink and peanuts if they were lucky. Skyshow, yes so they would have been able to watch position unless... IFE, yes would have been on after 10'000 so if not sleeping many would be watching. Phones, seriously from my experience there is no reception above 8000', momentary at best. Someone way back mentioned something about EPC (?) maybe that works but how many actually do it. As a digression one MAS 777 was a test aircraft for inflight GSM services (relayed through SATCOM). System was active in cruise, you could switch your phone on and make calls and sms only; the aircraft was it's own cell (charges were high of course). Success had a lot to do with your telco, mine didn't work, but for others it did.

The good:

V1...ooops - your ELT stuff is more or less correct. The tubular model is a Rescue406 and it floats like a buoy - in fact saltwater makes the battery cell work (if you use it on land you have to stick it in water or better yet urine), but there is nothing automatic with it other than in liquid it works and out it doesn't. The boxy unit quite often is an ADT406, it can be automatic (G switch) if armed but otherwise it's off and it can float if it's floatation collar is attached. But if they go to the bottom of the ocean they're not much use.

I was under the impression that all transport category aircraft had to carry an ELT and haven't flown a bird yet that doesn't have one "built-in" in addition to the portables stowed in the cabin (the built in one of course being armed at all times except in the hanger), at least on Boeing aircraft. For those wondering, the missing aircraft contains 1 fixed, 1 portable and 2 slide raft ELTs. The fixed one as per V1s description, the portable on it's own battery and the raft only when deployed in water (spose you could cut it out and drop it in water if you're the boy scout type). Only one unit is G-switched, the rest require human operation.

The Shadow - as someone said to me, plausible. However I would add that in my experience with unusual events affecting the airframe that post repair, said problem area is subjected to more routine inspections than normally required and that is Boeings recommendation. Eg hard-landing gear repairs every so many cycles, tail strike repairs every so many hours, etc. I rather doubt it would be fix it once and forget about it, monitoring would be required much like warped fan blades. I'm not an aerodynamicist, just a pilot, so won't tackle you on the theory, but as crew we get some stuffed up situations in the sim like runaway controls and while that can't mimic surface loss and the rolling moments could be significant, the outer 1/4 of the wing isn't contributing the majority of the lift so managable springs to mind in the best of situations. Regards to major repairs, much much earlier a MAS 777 tail striked in ZRH and it was "pretty" bad, whole tail redone, that aircraft is still flying.

Fly26 - the area you're referring to, it's pretty rugged for the most part and semi-mountainous depending where exactly. Nuri's and light aircraft have disappeared in there for ages and that makes sense due to their size but if a 777 went in with 30,000+kg of fuel onboard I think the haze problems here would be a whole lot worse.

JG1 11th Mar 2014 19:43

Airliner flies along. Suddenly transponder is switched off/fails at time x, likely causes .. Interference//tech issue//sudden destruction of aircraft, allied with comms possibilities as follows..

A/Radio transmission from flight ends abruptly. Likely cause..explosion/or/explosive decompression. Sudden destruction.
B/No radio calls from crew. Likely cause..Crew wouldn't have Known the transponder had failed and continued.
C/ATC tried to contact the crew in range and there was no response. Likely causes...destruction at x/or/interference at x/or/radios made u/s by same tech issue as transponder eg. Fire//electrical problem.

Mu!tiple eyewitnesses report an unusual large aircraft flying fast and low. Coupled with there being no evidence of sudden destruction, either in the form of debris, infrared flash monitoring, seismic registration or eyewiynesses in a very densely populated area points to either interference or tech issue, fire or electrical. As the eyewitnesses have mentioned that the aircraft was carrying lights, it couldn't have been a total Electrical failure. (If this large aircraft flying in an unusual direction at an unusual altitude on the very night this 777 goes missing is indeed the 777) . if it wasn't a total electrical failure then it would have been almost certainly possible to get either the transponder or com1 or acars or HF going.

Which points to two things. If it was a fire, it was now under control or it would have Been out of control by this time, but wasn't, or the bits would have been found by now. The witnesses specifically mention white light, not fire. If the fire had been contained I daresay the pilots would have landed it asap.

So it wasn't a fire.

Which leaves us with the last cause... Interference. If the aircraft was seized the scenario would fit the facts..seizer/s turned off the transponder, prevented the Crew from transmitting, and forced them to fly somewhere else, or flew themselves, deviating from the flight plan. Where they were seen by eyewitnesses. Or painted by primary radar.

We know two things by deduction..the aircraft was unlawfully taken control of and By now the aircraft is either crashed or landed safely somewhere in the hands of the criminal/s.

Pontius Navigator 11th Mar 2014 19:43

[QUOTE=Lonewolf_50;8366717In defense of the Malaysian authorities: it may have taken some analysis by the best radar operators and analysts -- who'd not be on the night shift, but on the day shift -- of radar the tapes/data from the night shift to arrive at the conclusion that the radar contact being tracked was indeed the airliner they had been looking for. Such analysis takes time.[/QUOTE]

I am reminded of a similar disappearance nearly 30 years ago. A light aircraft disappeared overland in UK. Our local military suitably qualified SATCO was called upon to examine the radar tapes to determine the probably location of the crash site.

This examination was at least full day after the accident and he was successful. LW is therefore probably quite right.

hamster3null 11th Mar 2014 19:52


Originally Posted by Livesinafield (Post 8367220)
So your saying that, if a plane took off from the UK in the night then halfway out over the sea stopped communicating and transponder stopped working on SSR, then turned back toward the UK and over flew the UK for 1 hour still with no communications, that there would not be military response ?

i am afraid i cannot see that at all, and i find it really hard to believe that is the case here

The way things are done in post-9/11 UK are not necessarily the same way they are done in Malaysia.


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