Malaysian Jet

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March 8th, 2014 at 2:18:37 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
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Tho Chau island is only 430 miles from Kuala Lumpar. The oil slick is supposedly 90 miles south of the island. That doesn't seem very far if they lost track of the jet 2 hours after takeoff.

Something doesn't add up.

Quote: NY TIMES
That timeline seemed to suggest that the plane stayed in the air for two hours long enough to fly not only across the Gulf of Thailand but also far north across Vietnam. But Fredrik Lindahl, the chief executive of Flightradar24, an online aircraft tracking service, said that the last radar contact had been at 1:19 a.m., less than 40 minutes after the flight began.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesman said on Saturday evening that the last conversation between the flight crew and air traffic control in Malaysia had been around 1:30 a.m., but he reiterated that the plane had not disappeared from air traffic control systems in Subang until 2:40 a.m. China Central Television said that according to Chinese air traffic control officials, the aircraft never entered Chinese airspace.


This may prove to be some very complex foul play.
March 8th, 2014 at 5:24:37 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 673
They're going to have to dig much deeper on times and locations before this information becomes hardened facts. Ideally, they'll need to find the black box on the aircraft, especially the voice recorder from the cockpit. There is a lot missing from the data so far. (Disclaimer: I have almost no outside information on this particular incident).

Questions that need to be answered:
1. What system were they using to track the actual aircraft? Over water, the industry is in transition, with traditional reportage (pilot-reported location at predetermined checkpoints) being overtaken by GPS-reported positioning. Radar positioning is very limited over water, but at high altitudes, they may have some reliable transponder data. Unknown whether any ATC in the area was running primary radar, which can be more reliable than transponder data, because primary radar is a raw return that is the most reliable indication of an object if the radar is set correctly. Range varies from 240 to 400 nm from the antenna in the enroute environment. Digitized primaries can filter out intermittent signals that could be significant to understanding this particular situation.

Transponder hits, until analyzed, can be highly misleading as to timing, because the computer extrapolates the position ahead of the aircraft (called coasting) in the absence of a confirmed signal received from the aircraft. The idea on this is that your mind tends to focus on the aircraft info tag rather than the actual target, and so the tag remains on the screen and moves in the direction of the last vector, tracking at the last known speed. But the target itself may have become disassociated from the aircraft for any number of reasons, including falling out of the sky. So tracking graphics like the one shown above or on flightaware are susceptible to misleading information, because they provide the data tag tracking, not the actual return. It's happened before that controllers are handing off a coasting tag and have lost the aircraft; happened during 9-11, for example.

So in the particular clues above, it is not unusual to lose radar and go to pilot reportage, especially in an overwater situation, and especially in a grouping of small countries with a variable investment in ground-based equipment. Doesn't mean the timing is inaccurate, but it's not definitive.

The main datapoint that matters is the crew contact at 1:30 am. I'm assuming it was routine. Which means the search should start from that position, which can be calculated from the last known radar position at 1:19am along the correct flight altitude and route. And an oil slick seems ominously significant but should provide an endpoint that might help estimate the trajectory. It's also ominous that there was no mayday call or other communication indicating any type of problem. Makes me think midair explosion, catastrophic loss of the crew, or somehow disabling the comms before the incident began.

This was preliminary on my part; going to look into it more.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
March 8th, 2014 at 6:04:38 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11352
Quote: Pacomartin
This may prove to be some very complex foul play.


You're violating the Carl Sagan Venus Principle (ie "Observation: There is nothing to be seen in Venus. Conclusion: It must be teeming with life")

Right now there's too little information to go on. Of course all alternatives must be considered as evidence starts to come in, including the possibility of foul play. But you'd be amazed at the navigation errors pilots can make, even experienced pilots, not to mention the really odd things which can happen.

There was an Aeroperu crash which involved bad altimeter information. The pilots tried to get a good reading of their altitude by asking air traffic control what their radar showed. Neither they nor ATC realized the altitude and speed info on that radar is provided by the plane's transponder. Do you begin to see the problem?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 8th, 2014 at 6:53:41 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 11603
Just saw a retired general who was a pilot for
35 years and he said 90% odds that it was a
bomb. The former first officer from the
USS Cole agrees with him. He said Malaysia
is a center for terror planning. The two stolen
passports are more than just a coincidence.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
March 8th, 2014 at 9:33:06 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
Posts: 8571
Quote: beachbumbabs
The main datapoint that matters is the crew contact at 1:30 am. I'm assuming it was routine. Which means the search should start from that position, which can be calculated from the last known radar position at 1:19am along the correct flight altitude and route.


12:41 Plane takes off from Kuala Lumpur
1:19 Last known radar transmission (roughly 300 miles from Kuala Lumpur (135 miles from Vietnam's Ca Mau peninsula)
1:30 Last voice contact from crew
2:40 Subang Air Traffic Control lost radar contact with the aircraft (position not reported in media)

There is simply way too much time (81 minutes). If the plane was only 135 miles from the peninsula the jet should have closed at least 85 miles in the 11 minutes from 1:19-1:30.

The jet should have been well over land by 2:40. Unless the plane spent the last hour circling, you would think they would know it's track by radar.

Either Subang has bad data or the plane was hijacked. Or they are hiding information from the media (very realistic possibility).

March 8th, 2014 at 11:03:47 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 4810
Whatever happened seems to have been sudden and at FL35 the sudden reporting of altitude 0 undoubtedly means unreliable data.
ACARS seems to have continued to function.
They had been in the process of making a turn at a waypoint and may have steadied up on the wrong course though this seems unlikely with the input having been keyed into keypads.

Coverage is spotty and some flight following services are prone to outages for this area.

Bomb? A possibility. As is Uncommanded Thrust Reversal Activation.

Oil slick? How long does it take to analyze it to determine Bunker Oil from a ship versus kerosene like Aviation gasoline?
March 9th, 2014 at 3:10:24 AM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 673
Quote: Fleastiff
Whatever happened seems to have been sudden and at FL35 the sudden reporting of altitude 0 undoubtedly means unreliable data.
ACARS seems to have continued to function.
They had been in the process of making a turn at a waypoint and may have steadied up on the wrong course though this seems unlikely with the input having been keyed into keypads.

Coverage is spotty and some flight following services are prone to outages for this area.

Bomb? A possibility. As is Uncommanded Thrust Reversal Activation.

Oil slick? How long does it take to analyze it to determine Bunker Oil from a ship versus kerosene like Aviation gasoline?


A good friend of mine in the business has provided a pretty well-balanced synopsis so far;

LDougWicker
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
March 9th, 2014 at 6:24:16 AM permalink
s2dbaker
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 13
Posts: 241
I do not suspect terrorism. If it was terrorism then someone would have taken credit for it and provided evidence that they were involved. Terrorism doesn't work unless people are terrified.
March 9th, 2014 at 7:28:53 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 73
Posts: 1571
watched something this morning that didn't mention the oil slicks at all, making me think that it was rumor or that it has been discounted as possible crash evidence.
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
March 9th, 2014 at 8:36:09 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 735
Posts: 8571
Quote: odiousgambit
watched something this morning that didn't mention the oil slicks at all, making me think that it was rumor or that it has been discounted as possible crash evidence.


I don't think they have been completely discounted, but no debris was found. Now we are getting reports that the plane may have turned back (which may explain some of the distance to land issues).

Clearly if the plane was turning, the pilots would have called it in, if able.
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