Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Expat » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:19 pm

CpnCrunch wrote:Interesting theory here:

http://keithledgerwood.tumblr.com/post/ ... sia68-sq68

He's saying that another 777 had the exact same track as the one that showed up on radar. His theory is that flight 370 snuck in behind it, so that it would remain undetected. I think that's a bit of a stretch, although if his analysis is correct it does bring up a few possibilities. Most likely would be that the military radar just picked up a completely different plane and flight 370 is somewhere else completely. Assuming that the satellite transceiver did actually remain on for hours afterwards, that would mean that the plane either flew on autopilot with the crew unconscious until it ran out of fuel, or else they managed to land it somewhere gently enough that the power remained on to the satellite transceiver for hours afterwards. (Unfortunately I think the second possibility is pretty unlikely).
I would like to think that the planes had to be very close to each other, to achieve a one blip ping. But possible, with a very good pilot flying visual.
Second possibility: The plane did actually crashed south of Viet Nam, and the rest of the pings relate to another aircraft entirely. In this part of the world, many aircraft fly with either defective transponders, or cloaked. I have tried to track flights here in Af, that did not exist on tracking sites...
Third option: People mention very well trained pilots, flying sophisticated maneuvers, to avoid being identified. If these pilots were so good, and had planned it so well, then they would not have stupidly crashed out of fuel. They would be somewhere having rum and cigars.( Sorry, that was 40 years ago. They would be drinking tea, and smoking shishas!)
If the third options is right, it could explain the theory of the GE pings. It could also explain while relatives got mobile messages that the phones were alive. Passengers? Another question.
Regarding the Inmarsat pings, I even have doubts. When flying with CASARA, I have worked with printout of ELT pings. They are very hard to interpret, and you could produce the result you wanted.
So it leaves two questions in my wary mind.
The first is follow the money. We all agree on this?
Who looses the most? Or gains the most, from these scenarios? The loss of an aircraft is nothing compared to the loss to Boeing shareholders. The 777 has a good reputation, and the loss of MH370 to a mechanical failure would have hurt Boeing shares a lot. So, nothing better than to extend the search, and eventually find the plane much later, with a lesser impact on share prices. After all, we live in a world of deception, and financial matters matter.
It is very easy for a powerful western nation to use this event, with Muslim pilots, to divert attention from the facts.
Note: A plane that comes in the opposite direction, and goes to FL45, than descents, and continues to fly, and disappear, is a typical spy plane. We have them over here. The CL 600 do it all the time.
This is not Canada here...
All right, good night!
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Rowdy » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:58 pm

I have refrained thus far from posting, as I am of the impression that these threads drag out all sorts of emotion and wild claims and ego.. but expat.. I do believe you're on the right track with your comments. Follow the money. A triple seven having an inflight breakup would be catastrophic not only for Boeing and it's shareholders, but every other 777 operator globally. There are over 1100 in operation and another few hundred on order/in production.

There certainly are an increasing number of far fetched conspiracy theories. The only KNOWN facts are the time at which it was lost from SSR and that, this particular airframe had structural damage a few years prior from that wing strike. The rest is hearsay and unsupported. Time will tell.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Old fella » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:52 pm

Well, since many are on the bandwagon here is my two cents worth (probably no value). The Captain as has been reported was very active on the political stage, certainly a “hyper-partisan” by our standards aka the Pierre Poilievre CPC type and this Captain had the ear of the Democratic opposition party being a very vocal supporter. Malaysian Airlines parent company is a Government Holding Company, in other words the current Malaysian Government is this hyper-partisan Captain’s employer. Perhaps the pilot’s activity raised the ire of the Government to the point he was/is to be placed on the disciplined list and told to cease his activity forthwith as it is an embarrassment to the company. Perhaps he was taking his political activity to a much higher level that would be normal for such an individual. It has been reported(unconfirmed) this Captain’s family left the home a day before the fateful flight, perhaps there was something very serious going down for that to happen. The shit really did hit the fan and this hyper-partisan felt he is getting f---ed over and things were closing in and if such is the case, well people…..”watch this”. The airplane is probably on the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Perhaps I am full of shit. Feel free to say so.


:drinkers:
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by boeingboy » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:41 pm

For those who were wondering......
The aircraft took off with the fuel planned according to flight plan, there was no additional fuel loaded. The crew members had not requested to fly together. The team of Inmarsat have arrived in Malaysia supporting the investigation. Priority is still on the search and rescue operation. There have been no attempts to contact Malaysia, the airline or any other party in order to seek ransom or other compensation in exchange for occupants or the aircraft. There was no hazardeous cargo on board, the cargo has been checked according to standard operating procedures.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by CpnCrunch » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:45 pm

boeingboy wrote:For those who were wondering......
The aircraft took off with the fuel planned according to flight plan, there was no additional fuel loaded. The crew members had not requested to fly together. The team of Inmarsat have arrived in Malaysia supporting the investigation. Priority is still on the search and rescue operation. There have been no attempts to contact Malaysia, the airline or any other party in order to seek ransom or other compensation in exchange for occupants or the aircraft. There was no hazardeous cargo on board, the cargo has been checked according to standard operating procedures.
Not quite true about the cargo .There was a large consignment of lithium ion batteries.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by DanWEC » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:20 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/world ... .html?_r=0

The breaking news on most channels as of a few hours ago is the development that:
WASHINGTON — The first turn to the west that diverted the missing Malaysia Airlines plane from its planned flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was carried out through a computer system that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit who was knowledgeable about airplane systems, according to senior American officials.

Instead of manually operating the plane’s controls, whoever altered Flight 370’s path typed seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee-high pedestal between the captain and the first officer, according to officials. The Flight Management System, as the computer is known, directs the plane from point to point specified in the flight plan submitted before a flight. It is not clear whether the plane’s path was reprogrammed before or after it took off.

The fact that the turn away from Beijing was programmed into the computer has reinforced the belief of investigators — first voiced by Malaysian officials — that the plane was deliberately diverted and that foul play was involved. It has also increased their focus on the plane’s captain and first officer.
Regrettably, I think my money is on the crew. How could they execute something that is so "seamless" under duress? If it was, the hijackers must have had some impressive leverage.

As the theories gradually thin out, the most likely, and simplest, that checks the most boxes as per Mr. Occom, is hijack by crew. It explains why Malaysia wasn't quite so forthcoming with initial reports. However, the most pressing question remains. Where, oh where, did it go?

DC
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by halfmilevis » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:12 am

Hey DC,

I dont disagree that the turn was programmed by the flight crew. But all anyone needs to know (externally) is how to turn off the transponder. Once who ever enters the cockpit (assuming they did), all they have to do is know how to turn off the transponder, and force the flightcrew to do what ever they want...

This also forces the flightcrew to not be able to squawk the appropriate code, but also allows the person / people in question to have the aircraft go where ever...

thoughts?

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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Castorero » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:21 am

How many times have we seen this scenario where a plane goes down, bam! blame the crew!
Because we as pilots should know better, let's not jump on "it must have been the crew" until there is concrete evidence of that.

I think that these two pilots were faced with an immediate and serious problem and did what any experienced 18000 hr pilot would do, divert to closest, safest landing area while trying to sort out the problem on the way, which included pulling and disabling circuits.
Since the military tracked this plane for a while, they should have some idea of where he was headed, likely to the closest safest landing spot he knew of.

Events overtook them, they run out time, oxygen or whatever and crashed on the way to some landing spot somewhere along the track of the deviation from their planned route.

How many times has this happened before?

No need to look for conspiracies, vendettas or persecutions and until there is proof to the contrary, lets give those pilots some credit for integrity and professionalism as a starting point in trying to unravel this accident.

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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by photofly » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:29 am

Suggest why the professional crew turned off the ACARS.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Castorero » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:56 am

Could a fire have done that for them?
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by fleet16b » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:59 am

Interesting theory here ........what do you guys think ?

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh ... ical-fire/
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Castorero » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:18 am

Makes the most sense to me by far.

Crew incapacitated and airplane flies till it runs out of fuel.

May be why USN sent assets to look in the Indian Ocean.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by photofly » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:21 am

Castorero wrote:Could a fire have done that for them?
Allegedly, no. The system was still powered and transmitting hourly pings long after the data sending was discontinued.

There's a fairly sober technical summary here:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/18 ... rty_guide/

According to the 777 pilot quoted, turning off the data is a menu item on the flight deck. The quoted pilot didn't - before researching - know (and maybe the flight deck crew on the flight didn't know) that the system is still powered and transmitting hourly even when "disabled" in the cockpit.

A fire or electrical problem would have shut down all the transmissions, or presumably none at all.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by TheStig » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:28 am

I'm going to post the article in fleet16b's link because it really needs to be read by the followers of this forum given that this thread is in it's 12th page of speculation (and it was written by an experienced pilot)


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MH370 A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.

A lot of speculation about MH370. Terrorism, hijack, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN - almost disturbing. I tend to look for a more simple explanation of this event.

Loaded 777 departs midnight from Kuala to Beijing. Hot night. Heavy aircraft. About an hour out across the gulf towards Vietnam the plane goes dark meaning the transponder goes off and secondary radar tracking goes off.

Two days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca.

When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.

The left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN didn't pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don't want to be thinking what are you going to do - you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.

Take a look on Google Earth at this airport. This pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that immediate turn back to the closest safe airport.
For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.


If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there might or might not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the possibility given the timeline that perhaps there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires and it blew on takeoff and started slowly burning. Yes this happens with underinflated tires. Remember heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long run takeoff. There was a well known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on takeoff. A tire fire once going would produce horrific incapacitating smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks but this is a no no with fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter but this will only last for a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry one of my own in a flight bag and I still carry one in my briefcase today when I fly).

What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on the heading probably on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it along that route - looking elsewhere was pointless.

This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That's the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.

Surprisingly none of the reporters , officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot's viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together. Also a look at the age and number of cycles on those nose tires might give us a good clue too.

Fire in an aircraft demands one thing - you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible. There are two well remembered experiences in my memory. The AirCanada DC9 which landed I believe in Columbus Ohio in the eighties. That pilot delayed descent and bypassed several airports. He didn't instinctively know the closest airports. He got it on the ground eventually but lost 30 odd souls. In the 1998 crash of Swissair DC-10 off Nova Scotia was another example of heroic pilots. They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time. That fire incidentally started when the aircraft was about an hour out of Kennedy. Guess what the transponders and communications were shut off as they pulled the busses.


Get on Google Earth and type in Pulau Langkawi and then look at it in relation to the radar track heading. 2+2=4 That for me is the simple explanation why it turned and headed in that direction.

Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by photofly » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:34 am

If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent.
It didn't go silent, and they didn't pull the buses. (note spelling, please.) So the rest of the article is worthless.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by mbav8r » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:49 am

Thanks for posting fleet! It makes a lot of sense and makes one think what what you do with a fire on board. Climb for less O2, dive for incombustible mixture, head for nearest airport, check, check, check!
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by trey kule » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:16 pm

The only fly in the ointment here, if I understood the sequence correctly, is the transponder went dead...and some time later the pilot signed off with a normal good night....

Maybe I am the only one here, but if I had a fire on board, and planned a diversion, it would probably get mentioned to someone. Maybe they did not notice it, but then there would be no reason to divert.

Be patient. I expect there are many people working on this.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by ogopogo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:41 pm

Two days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca.

Innocent question: can primary radar distinguish between various aircraft?

If yes, then why didn't the various military radars continue to track until it disappeared? And therefore narrow down the search area?
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by tbaylx » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:45 pm

If they actually had the FMS fly the route that invalidates a fire theory and emergency diversion. No one is going to program intermediate waypoints in on an airway while in a emergency diversion due to fire. It'd be direct to the airport, with possible an approach loaded if you had time and it was IMC and you could actually see the FMS.

Also oxygen masks and goggles are SOP in a fire for flight crew. Its just the masks in the back that aren't. With a serious fire onboard if you don't have your smoke goggles and O2 masks on you aren't going to be concious long enough to do anything useful. See UPS in Dubai for a scary read on that.

It's "curiouser" and "curiouser" and people love to speculate, but I wish the media would just give up on wild theories and let the investigators do their thing.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Indanao » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:18 pm

cncpc wrote:Jesus, the LooLas really come out of the woodwork in something like this.
You, yourself, have been one of them for a long time!
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by ogopogo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:54 pm

From CNN today:

Inmarsat may have the search area ID'ed.


http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/17/world ... index.html

(CNN) -- There's a reason why Malaysian officials are so confident it was Flight 370 that sent signals to a satellite many hours after the plane disappeared from radar March 8. That's because CNN has learned signals from commercial aircraft to Inmarsat satellites always include a code confirming the identity of the plane.

An Inmarsat official, while declining to discuss specifics of Flight 370, tells CNN the satellite system is highly reliable, that each signal to an aircraft is met by a return signal and that those signals always contains a code verifying the identity of the aircraft.

It is "virtually impossible" to change an aircraft's identifying code or to confuse one aircraft with another, the Inmarsat official said.

Further, after a satellite link is established at the beginning of a plane's flight, it makes automatic, periodic checks until the end of the flight -- helping investigators determine the duration of the flight, if not its location.

That could explain why Malaysian authorities now say they have a "high degree of confidence" that Flight 370 continued flying well after it disappeared from civilian radar screens.

Government officials now believe the plane continued flying until at least 8:11 a.m. -- almost seven hours after disappearing from radar at 1:21 a.m.

Malaysian officials, citing "satellite information" but giving scant details, this weekend refocused the search for the missing Boeing 777, moving attention to massive arcs on both sides of the equator.

Malaysian authorities believe someone disabled several communications systems, perhaps to conceal the plane's location. One of those systems was a digital data system known as ACARS, which uses the satellite to relay messages to the ground.

But while it is possible for someone in the cockpit to turn off ACARS, the system's powered antenna remained on, receiving and responding to hourly checks from a ground station, via the satellite.

Inmarsat technicians continue to help, the company said.

"Our experts have been pulled into the investigation. We've had people in Kuala Lumpur," said Inmarsat subject expert David Coiley. "We are putting everything into this to assist the investigation as best we can, because it seems there's no other data set."

How Inmarsat works

Inmarsat, which is prohibited from discussing details of the Malaysia Flight 370 investigation, was able to provide CNN with a detailed explanation about how its system works.

The London-based satellite communications company owns and operates 10 satellites, all in geostationary orbit some 22,200 miles above the equator.

Since a single satellite can see one-third of the Earth, multiple satellites are needed to provide seamless coverage and provide redundancy and reliability, the company said.

Among other services, Inmarsat provides satellite communications for the ACARS, the acronym for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System. It's a digital datalink for short messages between an aircraft and an airline operations center, air traffic controllers and others.

ACARS can be used to send messages and data of all types, including text messages from pilots to dispatchers, or automatically generated data on the health of the plane.

When a plane is over land, ACARS messages typically are sent via VHF radio. But when a plane is in remote regions, or over water and out of range of VHF radio, the signal is seamlessly switched to satellite. "The pilot doesn't have to do anything," Coiley said.

At its most fundamental, the satellite is a simple relay, transferring signals from ground stations to the aircraft, and back again, not unlike a cell phone tower, Coiley said.

'Handshakes' help determine location

When an aircraft powers up, the airplane automatically sends a signal logging onto the communications network. Thereafter, the ground station sends "polling signals" to the satellite, which relays them to the aircraft. When the aircraft responds, it is known as a "handshake." The information relayed during the handshake is very limited, but it contains a unique identifying code to identify the aircraft.

The purpose of the hourly "handshakes" is to allow the satellite to know the approximate location of the aircraft so that it can efficiently relay any messages. For this, the satellite needs to know the angle of the aircraft from the satellite.

An aircraft directly under the satellite would be at a 90 degree angle to the satellite; an aircraft at the poles would be at 0 degrees.

In the case of Malaysia Airlines 370, authorities have said, the last message sent was at 40 degrees. edit:NORTH OR SOUTH?

Accident investigators, with the help of satellite experts, have used that information to determine the possible location of the plane.

"We're trying to get up to speed on what that means and how to interpret it," one U.S. official told reporters. "It's sort of a new technology for us."

"We have never had to use satellite handshaking as the best possible source of information," the official said.

A completed handshake also suggests the plane was operational because the plane needs electrical power to send the return signal.

A plane's return signal is an acknowledgment that, "Yes, I'm still here," Coiley said.

In the case of Flight 370, the "last successful handshake occurred somewhere along that circle," the U.S. official said.

"A lot of that semicircle is over land; a lot of it is over water," he said. "We are trying to figure out how we can use that information to give us an idea of what the last known location of the airplane might have been."
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by goldeneagle » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:04 pm

Lots of speculation, lots of theories, slim in facts is essentially the order of business in this case.

The way some of the information is presented for public consumption really does make me scratch my head a bit and wonder. A pilot has a computer set up to be a flight simulator. Really, this is a big deal ? I mean it's almost as unusual as finding a closet full of guns in a hunting lodge. Personally, I know quite a number of pilots, and lots of them have a fairly nice setup including controls and multiple monitors, which can run various flight simulator programs on a computer.

Something else caught my attention as well. I see a lot of folks travelling these days, that carry thier own spot locator. It's rather common in various areas, I know a lot of scuba divers carry one, to try keep track of various dive sites they go to. Got me wondering as to wether or not any of the passengers on that flight may have had a personal spot locator with them, turned on, and what coverage is like in that area. Hmmmm, the globalstar website shows a large outage due to technical difficulties, centered over malaysia.

http://www.globalstar.com/en/images/cid ... 0_14v2.jpg

The green lines indicate the area with technical issues. Now I'm wondering out loud, it seems to be awfully co-incidental that the worlds biggest personal locator network, has an outage precisely in the area where this plane went missing. Dont know where to find out if that outage started before this flight went missing, or if it's something that came about since then. The sinister side of me says this is an awfully big co-incidence if that outage is recent. The outage seems to be due to technical problems with a downlink in singapore.

Spot provides an inexpensive way to track airplanes, but, even if there was one on the airplane in question, technical issues with globalstar coverage means, it wouldn't have been working in that area anyways, even if it was on the aircraft.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Expat » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:13 pm

Hmmmm... It seems they were shut down due to the ongoing investigation. Too strange otherwise...
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by FICU » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:14 pm

mbav8r wrote:Thanks for posting fleet! It makes a lot of sense and makes one think what what you do with a fire on board. Climb for less O2, dive for incombustible mixture, head for nearest airport, check, check, check!
Call for a QRC. then call Mayday... takes 10 seconds at the most.
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Re: Malaysia Airlines 777 - Missing

Post by Expat » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:16 pm

Also no I saw no mention of ELT signals. So a land crash is out of question.
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