From talking with a friend who is an ATC about this in another
context said that would be very dependent on the strength and type of
radar, how close it is, and other obvious factors (not the least of
which is the attentiveness/skill of the ATC). So, especially at the
outer ends of the range, it could happen.
Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.
It used to happen all the time - that's why they went to using transponders
to provide ID info next to the blips on the radar screen. I believe the
hijackers bet on the fact that at 1AM everybody, including the observers in
the military radar stations, is a little bit sleepy. They certainly knew
where to "fall off" the radar screens - at the handoff between Malaysia and
Already been discussed in one of these threads.
When on the ground (in a hanger, at a gate, etc) it adds visual clutter
to ATC screens if all such aircraft are squaking their beacons.
I suggested that the beacons have supplementary power through an
interlock with the landing gear - so that when the gear is up, the
beacons are powered and CAN'T be turned off. Normal circuit breakers or
fuses would provide plenty of safety if the beacons malfunction and need
to have their power cut - with said fuse or circuit breaker for the
supplementary power not accessible to the crew while in flight.
To avoid being tracked. If they were going to ditch, so what if the
transponders on or off? But if they wanted to take that plane to one of the
600 plus airstrips within range, turning off the transponder was a necessary
step. The lack of anyone claiming responsibility hints that there's another
shoe waiting to drop here. Perhaps a ransoming of the passengers, a release
of Chinese political prisoners, etc.
I think we can guess that whatever is involved, it concerns the Chinese
because even though it was a Malaysian plane, it was primarily filled with
Chinese. I am wondering if a number of the people on the plane traveling
with supposedly valid passports weren't who they purported to be. I think
it's possible this is a ransom attempt of some kind that may still play out
or ended badly prematurely. That would imply enough associates to control
nearly 200 people.
WNYC prepared a map of all airstrips/airports within range that could
accommodate a 777:
Could they take off again from such a short runway? I haven't found anyone
who could answer that question - yet.
I wonder how many countries actually pay close attention to their radar
scans. Malaysia certainly appears not to have done so.
Which makes me pretty surprised that the Malaysians didn't scramble any
fighters to check out the blips they saw. I suspect some heads are going to
roll for that.
If their target was crashing into something in China their best bet was to
keep flying toward Beijing. This is, as my boss used to say, an RFM - real
That would be similar to what happened with KAL007 and the AF fuel tanker
whose tracks merged as they approached Russia. I still think that was an
attempt to analyze Russia air defense systems and their readiness. That
"test" went terribly bad and was based on the assumption the Sovs would
never shoot down a passenger jet - even one that strayed over highly
sensitive military targets. Bad assumption, obviously.
Why go all that way to ditch when they could have done it at any time
earlier in the flight? Even the voice recorder, if found, won't be much
assistance with the two hour overwrite "feature" likely obliterating the
important moments just after takeoff. The pieces of the wreckage won't tell
us much since it's obvious this wasn't a bomb. AFM for sure.
That's an interesting point. Didn't Yossarian constantly practice ditching
his plane for his eventual escape to Switzerland in Catch-22? Until you
mentioned that, I really didn't think there would be any potentially
incriminating evidence to be found concerning the simulator. The big
question is if he did it, WHY? Family member held hostage? Promise of a
huge payday for delivering a plane that size intact somewhere? A need to be
remembered like D.B. Cooper as the man who "did it first and got away with
On Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:05:17 -0400, "Robert Green"
He may have been using his simulator to practice flying low, through
the mountains to get under ther radar and take this plane to Tibet or
one of the Stans.
Once he got out of the immediate search area, it is possible a random
blip popping up, might not attract that much attention.
This plane could be under a tarp somewhere in the Taklimakan Desert
... or just wadded up on the side of a mountain.
This incident has some pretty high-tech planning according to some reports
since the circuits that were disabled required knowledge that most pilots
wouldn't have. If you believe the reports, that is. Someone wanted to
conceal where that plane was going. That would be much more important to a
thief or someone wanting to hold the plane for ransom that it would be to a
suicidal pilot. But then again, it's probably a mistake to expect a
suicidal person to behave rationally.
While the level of expertise seems too much for the Chinese Muslim
separatists to execute, there are helpful intelligence services all over the
world that would train them just to make the Chinese go through hell.
Russians, Syrians, Iranians, etc.
On Sun, 16 Mar 2014 20:27:44 -0400, "Robert Green"
If the pilot or co pilot were involved, getting any information about
that plane would be fairly trivial, the book is probably ON the plane.
If they were planning this for a while it would make sense that they
found out what they needed to know and touched each one of those
breakers at least once before they started so they could do this
I had another thought about this.
China may have tracked that plane from the git go, followed it to it's
final resting place and either shot it down or just dropped a bag over
the hijackers when they landed it.
If this was really a political act, covering it up is more like China
than going on CNN and bragging about catching them.
The guys would be tortured for information and then just
If they really wanted to cover this up they would sprinkle a few
bodies and some floating artifacts somewhere in the South Indian Ocean
to be "found" later.
Agreed. Certainly Shah, the pilot with the huge simulator, appears to have
been able to easily acquire that data. I wonder if MS Flight Simulator
teaches users how to disable the transponder. Some of those simulators are
I'd say it was pretty well planned since they obviously got away with it -
to some extent. Whether the plane was landing in one of over 600 places
that could handle such a plan remains to be seen. As we've both postulated
before, it may be rammed into silt, sand and mud after a vertical flight
into the ocean.
I think that after years of suppressing the Muslim Uighurs in their outlying
districts that the Uighurs, possibly with a little help from a state actor
like Iran or Syria, took the plane. The fact that these two pilots
published photos of themselve frolicking in the cabin with teenage girls
alarms me. A terrorist would seize on that sort of information to trick
those pilots into opening the cabin for some very bad girls.
Well, that's always been an option for China.
I wonder if we'll ever know. The secrets of this
hijacking/diversion/whatever may have died with the crew and passengers if
they ditched in the Indian Ocean. There's a possibility that the jog south
was just a false lead and that when they were well out of ground radar
range, they set course for their true destination.
If Shah put the simulator to any use as part of the hijacking, it
wouldn't have involved stuff like how to turn off the transponder -
because turning on or off the transponder is routinely done by pilots
and they know where those switches are.
What Shah would have done is practice landing the plane at a particular
remote airstrip in VFR conditions.
I would be looking at his simulator to see if he manually added an
airstrip to the simulator's stock or built-in list of airfields. Did he
create a new airfield, input the parameters (type of surface, length and
width, height above sea level) and maybe some topo features, surrounding
buildings, antenna's, etc.
And as I mentioned in the other post -
What was the complete list of cargo being carried on that flight?
Or, to ask that question another way -
How much gold was central bank of China buying that week?
Wouldn't tell us anything either way. (1) being checked out on the
plane, he would know where the switch it. (2). It would also be in the
manuals that are carried in their flight bags (or flight iPads depending
on the airline.
I can't see Iran or Syria doing that to China. First of all, China has
consistently sided with both on the Security Council. Secondly, China
has fewer concerns about retaliation than even our most hawkish people
in the US have. Doesn't make sense for those two to risk it.
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital."
It would tell me if there were idiots at MS that valued realism over common
No doubt. But I've read that disabling the ACARS (incompletely, it turns
out) takes a lot more knowledge and access to an electronics bay. I'm
bowing out all this supposition because of this article:
<<For me, the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense in
a fire. And there most likely was an electrical fire. In the case of a fire,
the first response is to pull the main busses and restore circuits one by
one until you have isolated the bad one. If they pulled the busses, the
plane would go silent. It probably was a serious event and the flight crew
was occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire.
Aviate, navigate, and lastly, communicate is the mantra in such
I feel a little guilty at how many people are ready to turn a pilot who
apparently is a community minded guy who does home repair(!!!!!) videos into
a sucidal monster and a mass-murderer. For karmic reasons, I am preferring
to believe that he did everything humanly possible to get the aircraft to a
safe landing zone and failed.
Yeah, who would expect the US to spy on Merkel's cell phone and the whole
EU. We're allies for God's sake! (-:
I believe that's readily explained by China just being a dick. Same reason
they support NK.
They can always claim "rogue operators." It works for the big banks, why
If there were any air marshals is a big "if." Outside the US it's clear
that people don't take air security as seriously as Americans do. That
makes sense because we've taken some pretty enormous hits, from Lockerbie to
the WTC. I'm just afraid that we'll never know what happened, even if the
voice recorder is found because it overwrites previous recordings every two
My current thinking (which changes as each new data tidbit dribbles out) is
that terrorists somehow learned that these pilots have had female visitors
in the cabin before and used that knowledge to gain entry. Russian
terrorists have long been equal opportunity employers with the last two
planes that crashed brought down by suicide bombers who were women - one I
believe was the widow of a well-known terrorist. IIRC he was a Muslim and
the Russkies made a point of filming him being buried in a pigskin bag in an
undisclosed location. Clearly that got her worked up enough to take drastic
action (although I may be confusing events).
A week later. They move very slowly in that part of the world, it seems.
Nor to me. He apparently built his own using several PC's running MS's
flight simulator and feeding six different monitors. What do they call
that? A busman's holiday?
Yes, I just read something about a racecar driver's passion for driving
games. I don't think it's unusual. From what I've read these guys don't
seem like the suicidal type, but you never know. My bet's still on someone
getting into the cabin, probably a woman (because they've apparently
"partied" with women in the cockpit before) and killing them and taking over
I still suspect the Uighurs because the plane was Chinese and they have been
cracking down quite hard on them. The problem with that scenario is that
they would probably want to crash the plane into something symbolic in
Beijing and not ditch it in the ocean. It seems more and more likely every
day that we will *never* know what really happened on flight MH370, even if
the black boxes are found.
We can still get plenty of evidence. Is there just one voice on the
recorder? Are there extra voices? What is the content of any
conversations? Did the pilot at the end do a culture equivalent of Slim
Pickens riding down the bomb in Dr. Strangelove? All sorts of
interesting things are still possible.
I haven't seen anything yet that I would consider to be data. Rumors
and conjectures, but little data.
Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.
But, as they say in the adult film biz, the "money shot" would be missing.
If a lone hijacker killed both pilots I suppose we might hear pounding on
the cabin door five hours later, but if the passengers were asphyxiated, as
some people have suggested, all we might hear is the heavy breathing of the
hijacker. And perhaps "low fuel, low altitude" alerts as the plane crashed.
Just finding wreckage seven flight hours away would have told us that
Maybe if the hijacker was explaining how "peace on earth" equalled "purity
of essence" out loud to him imaginary friend Mandrake we could determine
they were shi+ stomping crazy . . . (-:
(Ironically a lot of Strangelove concerns a rogue plane flying under Russian
radar after the Russians wasted time pursuing decoy targets and got fu&ed -
life imitates art.)
I think the end of the transponder tracking is trustworthy because it's
mutliply sourced. The Malaysian government and FlightRadar24 both confirm
that and FR24 uses independent listeners connected by the net. I believe
the pilots have had cabin guests before because someone published a picture
of them with a woman in the cockpit. I think it had enough fuel to get to
Beijing and then some. I believe that the transponders were manually
disabled, but indirectly because a) they stopped and b) if the plane broke
up, they'd likely have found the wreck once the adults arrived to help.
Everything beyond that gets sketchier and sketchier, I'll agree.
BTW, I called my buddy in Chicago who's flying home tonight to warn him of
the storm predicted for our area. I'm very familiar with the "ring pattern"
of his phone but this time it rang four rings longer before it went to
voicemail. Just saying - ring patterns don't mean much compared to all the
other non-evidence and innuendo we have.
In the end, both the airline and Boeing will find a way to blame the pilot.
It's a tradition! (Also, the pilots have the shallowest pockets.)
There's a possibility that a part of the plane has been found WAY outside
the proposed search area but within the fuel range of the jet:
a.. Source close to investigation says Boeing officials, looking at
photos, see element unique to 777 part
b.. There are indications part is from Boeing 777, but indications
otherwise as well
c.. Experts say it is too soon to determine if part is from Malaysian
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