Flight MH370: Malaysian radar, passenger phone contact, high-altitude hypoxia

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wrote:

This was far more complex than that. They could have simply flown straight into the South China Sea if that was what they wanted to do.

It is just about all CNN has on the air right now.

You are still only going to be good a few miles from the nearest tower. You might get a text through at 10 miles but you would need clear line of sight and more than a little luck. The pilots have said consistently, cell phones do not work at cruising altitude (30,000 feet or so). The indications are that the passengers may not have even known they were in trouble until they were a ways out into the Indian Ocean.

I am not even sure it is relevant. I would think they would want you anchored to your seat by that little hose and not causing problems. 10-15 minutes later, those masks stop working.

I am not sure they can but everything is controlled electrically so if they trip the breaker, it is not going to activate.

That is a design issue that was not considered 15-20 years ago when they started drawing up the 777

The debris field is still going to be a pretty small patch in millions of square miles of ocean. If you smacked in at mach 1, most of that debris is going down with the ship. What doesn't will be drifting for a while before it is likely to be spotted. If the plane is in 10,000 feet of water, it is gone. Someone may stumble on it some day in the future but they will be looking for something else.
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<stuff snipped>

Agreed. More likely the plane had serious trouble like a fire, rose above 45K to put it out and then turned to reach the nearest runway away from big cities, especially if he knew control was failing.

If the plane was indeed affected by a fire, it's most likely going to be found in a line that's a straight extension of the last known heading at low altitude. It was probably a flying graveyard by then, and a tribute to the automatic piloting abilities of these new airliners. On the NOVA program about the AF Airbus that crashed, they made a point of saying how "self-righting" these sorts of planes can be. An asphxiated crew and passengers would explain the ghost ride of seven hours. Even if they were still alive they may have even lost rudder and flap controls at that point and could do very little about their fate.

There's a good chance of finding it in a straight line because it doesn't make a lot of sense for hijackers to do that but it does make sense for a crippled plane on autopilot to fly until it ran out of fuel. I suspect that the wreckage will be found along the line of the last course and at the point where the fuel would likely have run out. That's at least a smaller area than the current one they are searching, which they said on the news in the size of France.
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Bobby G.



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<stuff snipped>

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/
The article in Wired explains the rise and drop in altitude very neatly. The pilot took the plane up (while turning back) to extinguish flames that had incapacitated some of the electronics. Then he dropped to 20K feet not to evade radar, but to get low enough so that the passengers and crew could still breathe.

Exactly. Excellent point and it explains the drop in altitude.

I want to believe that a pilot with as many hours as Shah did and a love of flying as evidenced by his home built simulator tried to do all the right things. Like the crew of Challenger, he may have been trying to save the plane with his last breath.

I kind of believe that no one was watching the radar screens, not that MH370 was making military-style manuevers to evade radar (which can't really track over open ocean anyway).

What probably happened is that the autopilot flew the plane after everyone on the plane asphxiated from the fire. If they ever find the plane, the above scenario would be supported by melted cables, smoke scarred lungs and perhaps the cockpit data and voice recorders. I suspect, though, that the last two hours of the plane's flight will be eerily silent, punctuated only by automatic warnings as the plane ran out of fuel and then, maybe, the sound of it hitting the water and breaking up.
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One thing it doesn't explain is the latest reports that (a) the big turn was programmed in to the plane's nav computer, not performed manually, and (b) the co-pilot's transmission "All right, good night" came some 20 minutes *after* this turn.
Neither of those are consistent with the on-board fire scenario.
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was programmed in to

transmission "All

To discredit the "Wired" theory, you have to believe that the Malaysians have all their dates and times right. I'm not so sure considering all the back-tracking and BS we've been fed. They've already admitted there's not exactly sure of the times of anything except the last radio transmission.
I'd have to know more about how they were able to distinguish between "manual" course changes and pre-programmed ones without access to the black boxes. I smell more BS from a government trying to cover its ass.
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Robert Green wrote:

The report I saw said some systen on board had transmitted the info that the turn was programmed in several minutes before the turn occured.
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A good timeline:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/18/mh370_airliner_mystery_the_iel_regi_pubdinnerparty_guide/
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the

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/18/mh370_airliner_mystery_the_iel_regi_pubdinnerparty_guide/
Always interesting work in the Register. Still, everyone's speculating, some more wildly than others because we have to rely on reports from the Malaysian government, mostly, and their credibility is just about nil.
<<It would be possible to turn off this transmission also, but that would mean getting into an electronics bay below the cockpit. Our pilot source didn't even know that such transmissions took place until all this happened, though he thought that if he had known he could get into the bay via a locked floor hatch (actually in the forward galley on the 777s he had flown) and cut power altogether to the satcomms equipment. He adds that if someone other than the pilots gained access to the electronics bay and interfered with comms kit, alarms and notifications would have appeared on the flight deck, so it's all but certain that the pilots were involved in the process - whether under coercion or not.>>
Interesting items in the above quote. First, a pilot *didn't* know that the sat comms had to be disabled from an electronics "bay" outside the cabin. I've read this before. While the writer says that the pilots were involved in this process, he intimates it was a deliberate act aimed at knocking out tracking. Unfortunately, pilots disabling circuits in the cabin they believed to be the cause of a fire also can explain those allegedly deliberate acts. There's just no satisfactory proof that's what happened.
They also say:
<<The flight never contacts Vietnamese air controllers, and at the same time the aircraft's secondary-radar transponder is switched off.>>
To me, "switched off" is reaching a conclusion without having all the facts. If the cabin's filled with smoke from a fire, you might very well find both events occurring as pilots switch off banks of circuits trying to eliminate it. Or the transponder circuit burns up. The evidence the Register presents is certainly not dispositive.
It's almost impossible for any "fact" we think we know to be proven at this point without the crash debris and the flight recorder to analyze and in many cases, finding those still doesn't give us all the answers. But the speculation has value because it at least gives investigators "fuel" to examine all the possibilities. I know when I am having trouble figuring something out, the inputs from members of AHR, while usually not being 100% useful or on topic, often reveal something I failed to think of.
<<The data reporting - and indeed the aircraft's satellite communications for all purposes - was disabled via processes that would have required navigating through some menus on the flight deck and selecting options on a keypad.>>
How on earth do they know *how* or *what* disabled those comms without something like a pilot's ID code being transmitted back to ground or sat as the code was being entered? Or video of someone punching in a series of keystrokes? Just like all the other articles, they have to take leaps of faith (although at least not of time and space and physics as we know it).
The Register keeps repeating things like "having turned off its transponder" as if their reporter was in the cabin, watching the pilot perform the action. It's like postings on the internet. Unless you have video of someone typing the keys that match the words on a post, there's really no way to know who actually wrote that. When I still had CourtTV I was aghast at the number of times tech-ignorant judges allowed "evidence" from web postings and emails that weren't vetted in the slightest and could have easily been falsified.
The Register article says:
<<However, almost certainly unknown to whoever was directing the airliner's course, its satcomms equipment was still sending its automated blips each hour>>
They've clearly gone with the hijack theory when a number of sites have (correctly) stated we have no proof of either hijack or malfunction. Just bunches of clues, some of them slightly better than others but absolutely none of them proving anything with certainty.
If everyone was dead and the AP was flying the plane, the pattern would be the same as what we've seen, at least according to a number of articles by 777 pilots that I've read. It would be nice to know exactly how far away the sat comm equipment is from the rest of the cabin electronics. That way we could properly evaluate if a cabin fire that was eventually contained, say from a burning tire, could have reached the transponder and VHF radios, but not the sat comms.
The people who *seem* to know say that the satcomms are locked into a bay remote from the cabin. That makes it seem to me more likely that the cabin electronics got pulled circuit by circuit in an attempt to extinguish what was probably not even an electrical fire. It could have been a burning tire that oddly enough retracts right into that area when aloft. At what point in the flight is the landing gear retracted? That would have some impact on the credibility of the burning tire theory. (In addition the fact that such an event HAD occurred before). I've read that newer planes have landing gear temperature sensors but I don't know if the 777 has them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria_Airways_Flight_2120
<<Prior to departure, the lead mechanic had noticed that the "#2 and #4 tyre pressures were below the minimum for flight dispatch" and attempted to inflate them, but no nitrogen gas was readily available, and the project manager, unwilling to accept a delay, disregarded the problem and readied the aircraft for dispatch. As the aircraft was taxiing, the transfer of the load from the under-inflated #2 tyre to the #1 tyre on the same portside axle resulted "in overdeflection, over-heating and structural weakening of the #1 tyre." "The #1 tyre failed very early on the take-off roll", followed almost immediately by the #2. The latter stopped rotating "for reasons not established", and the subsequent friction of the wheel assembly with the runway generated sufficient heat to start a self-sustaining fire>>
At this point, speculation is all we have (and the Register has to plead guilty on at least one count: they began talking about the plane carrying gold or huge amounts of currency). Speculation's not all bad because we learn more and more as experts debunk some of the less plausible theories. Even the wildest theories might spur something to come across something they had not previously thought of. I still tend to favor the Wired article
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/
if only because it's written by a pilot and he attempts to explain things that others leave out of their theories (like the rise and fall of the plane and the re-direction of same - if that even happened!).
To me, the changes of altitude are crucial clues. Yes, they can be signs of radar evasion (although it doesn't even seem that was necessary since no jets were scrambled by anyone). But they can also be signs there was a fire, he climbed to extinguish it and then dropped back down to a minimum "breathable" altitude because he knew supplemental oxygen ran for a limited time. All the while he was pulling busses trying to eliminate the cause of a fire he might not know was coming from the landing gear, not the plane's avionics. That would have kept him busy enough to not contact ATC with his current status until it was too late.
One thing I do heartily agree with the Register on: <<there remain plenty of scenarios in which neither the missing Boeing nor any of the people on board will ever be found.>>
That would be a shame because we wouldn't gain information we would need to track the next lost aircraft. All of us are paying for these extensive search and rescue operations so we all have a least a dog hair or two in the hunt.
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Bobby G.



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On Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:48:59 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

I saw a 777 captain on TV stating that ACARS would not have transmitted those waypoints even if they had been entered. I'm betting this stuff about the waypoints having been entered early in the trip, the turn having been initiated before they said goodnight, etc, is BS from the confused Malaysian officials.

Unless of course there was a hijacker that was competent in the 777. But so far, there is no evidence of that.

I give that about a .0001% probability. If there was some indication of a fire, you'd have to be nuts to turn off the VHF radios, ACARS, transponders. First thing you'd do was inform ATC of the problem. And if you thought you had a fire, it would be nuts to turn off the working VHF radio, ending your ability to communicate with ATC. You need want to get to the nearest airport safely and land.
There's just no satisfactory proof that's what happened.

Again, while I agree it's not 100%, it's close to that this was a deliberate act. You believe a mysterious fire just happens to cut off VHF, transponders, ACARS, right at the point where they are handed off from one ATC to another, over the ocean, with poor radar contact, ie the perfect spot for a deliberate act? And then with the fire burning, they didn't request immediate vectoring from ATC to the nearest airport? Instead they passed airports and flew across Malaysia. Then they passed the 15,000 ft military airport, did a precise zig-zag to align with normal flight paths to India and kept going? Oh, and later changed course again, flying for 7 hours with a burning plane?

All the existing evidence points very strongly to hijacking by either the crew or someone on board.
Just

Not with certaintly, but foul play by someone on board is by far the highest probability.

Only if the programmed that route into the autopilot. Now, why would you program the autopilot to take this bizarre route if you had a fire or mechanical problem, you'd immediately contact ATC and ask for vectors to the nearest airport.
It would be nice to know exactly how far away

It just happened to reach all that stuff precisely at the most opportune point to disappear, ie between Malaysian and Vietnamese ATC and while in an area where neither country had good radar contact? And the same magic fire, just happened to incapacitate the crew, which has plenty of oxygen, yet leave the plane able to fly for 7 hours? Not credible.

What idiots would pull the VHF radio, instead of at least first telling ATC of their emergency? It's *never* happened before. We had planes with fires that flew for half an hour, informing ATC, etc.
It could have been a burning tire

Right at the point that you have positive climb, ie right after leaving the runway. You don't fly for 40 mins, reaching 35000 ft with the gear down. Good grief.
That would have some impact on

Yeah, the burning tire disabled the VHF, ACARS, transponders, all at the same time, a few mins after the last transmission where everything was normal. Sure, I'm buying that. The smoke alarms, fire alarms didn't go off. No, the fire just all cut off everything, exactly like you would to make a plane go missing, precisely at the perfect point in the flight for that to happen.

Total nonsense. For one thing, there isn't just a him. There are two pilots. I don't know of a single fire in aviation history where the pilots did not communicate that they had a fire. Again, what idiot, would turn off the radio, one of the most critical pieces of eqpt that you need to safely land, just because there is some evidence of a fire?

We've already learned plenty, much of it you would think should have been learned from 911. Transponders should not be able to be turned off once the plane is in the air. CVR should have max flight time plus an hour as min, etc.
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news:fa838a8e-13de-4dff-b648-
<stuff snipped>

I'm with you. A lot of data we're being told about is suspiciously late or incomplete and its origin is not clear. I think at this point we have to declare we don't have enough information to state conclusively what happened to the plane and where it now rests. I saw a segment on 777's that actually showed how blank waypoints are filled in by the nav computer in certain circumstances.
It's very possibly that the Malaysian government is just blowing smoke to make the relatives of the passengers think there's something going on. Has anyone calculated the area of the possible locations of MH370 in relation to the surface area of the earth? If it went into a deep part of the Indian Ocean, there odds are good we may never find it.
<stuff snipped>

Not if smoke was pouring out of the area where they were located.

Not from what I've read pilots say: "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate." Would it be so nutty to pull busses to the VHF unit if you thought the radio was the cause of the fire? Would ATC be able to help you in any way from 100 plus miles away? Your comments are counter to what I read all pilots say: Aviate first, all else is secondary to keeping the plane airborne.

working

The Goodfellow article in Wired covered that contingency saying most pilots, especially those with Shah's airtime, wouldn't have to radio to get the 10-20 of the nearest airstrip. They would know it.

There's no satisfactory proof either way. If it was a hijack, and I don't exclude that possibility, I suspect the target was the Petronas towers. If the hijackers followed the 9/11 mode, they would have wanted to hit a building close to the airport to a) minimize the chance of fighters being scrambled and b) they would hit the building with nearly a full, long-distance fuel load aboard.
Perhaps Shah realized this and cooperated with the hijackers until he could ensure that they couldn't use his plane in that way. But the problem with that scenario is that all the 9/11 events were scheduled for broad daylight to maximize publicity. For a hijacking this one's definitely got a lot of traits "outside the envelope."

time

facts.

both

eliminate

I've been in a fire and had the telephone cut out as I was speaking to 911 as the 50 conductor business phone cabling melted. Maybe fire investigator Kurt will weigh in on the unpredictability of fire. If the cabin was filling with smoke, ATC would have been of little help in getting it out and I can easily see the pilots being 100% focused on extinguishing the flames and doing nothing else. It wouldn't be the first plane to fail to radio in during a dreadful emergency.

According to who? The ever-reliable Malaysian authorities? Why would hijackers fly over a military airport where scrambled jets might actually catch up with them?

The fire could have been extinguished by the climb to 45K feet (if that really happened, we can't be sure) and yet the cabin filled with enough toxic smoke to kill everyone. Ask Payne Stewart's ghost if that's an impossible scenario. A modern jet is designed to be very hard to crash, even if there's serious damage in the cabin. More importantly, why on earth fly into the deep ocean? There are as many "doesn't make sense" factoids for the fire theory as there are for the hijack theory and not nearly enough evidence to proof either case.

this

the

100%

communications

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as

of

it).

But lots of the existing "evidence" comes from the Malaysian authorities who seem to be playing some sort of perverse three-card monte with the facts. I don't believe them anymore. It would be an error to believe only the statements that conform to one theory or another. Here's a winner from the latest CBS piece:
<<The official said it had been established with a "more than 50 percent" degree of certainty that military radar had picked up the missing plane after it dropped off civilian radar.>>
Slightly more than random chance that military radar actually spotted the plane. Roll the dice.

You would think a 777 flying off-course and over Malaysia would have caused the Malaysian AF to scramble fighters. They *should* be aware of all routine commercial air traffic but let a huge jetliner appear and disappear without challenge? To me, *that's* not credible. Who would have thought the AirFrance 448 pilot would have kept doing exactly the wrong thing all the way down to the ocean?
One thing that does support the hijack theory quite clearly are the photos I've seen of the pilot/co-pilot entertaining guests in the cabin. That implies that they were not following procedure and signaled to potential hijackers that a pretty face could get them access. Maybe there was very valuable cargo that propelled the hijack. The Malaysian government's weirdness might be explained by that. But we just don't know.

Not sure how you can say it's never happened before. That implies a vast knowledge of incidents where planes just disappeared without a clue. If the pilot thought the radio was causing a cockpit fire, I easily see him pulling that buss. WTF would ATC be able to do for him 20K feet up and a hundred miles or more away? Aviate, navigate, communicate.

But we've never had a plane this big and modern go missing for so long. Something about this flight was very different from others. And we won't know much more about it until the wreckage is found (if ever).

I should have been more clear. At what point in THAT flight was the gear retracted. Landing gear problems have affected many flights. Sometimes they won't retract, sometimes they won't deploy. A plane like the 777 might have sensors that prevent a fiery tire from being retracted because of heat sensors in the wheels and landing gear. We just don't know and that's something the flight recorder might tell us. I don't know how long a smouldering tire takes to break into flames, I've only had a trash bin catch fire - hours later - because someone dumped their ashtray into it with smouldering butts.

The problem with your scenario is that much of it depends on accurate reporting by the Malaysian government. If they told me the sky was blue I would have to run outside to make sure. I do not trust them to be either truthful or accurate and so I don't find their "evidence" nearly as persuasive as you do.
Maybe it's my experiential bias, but when a witness is impeached over *anything* substantive in court, their future testimony is very often tainted, even in a judicial trial. The Malaysian government stands "impeached" in my mind. Why they seem to now be "creating" data with the way point revelation is anyone's guess but they have some explaining to do, eventually.
<<Today's breakthrough revelation could be retracted tomorrow. For example, one of the big stories of the weekend has evaporated: Everyone reported, based on Sunday's official briefing from Malaysian authorities, that the ACARS system was turned off (or became disabled somehow) before the pilot (actually the co-pilot) said "All right, good night." That seemed significant because it suggested deception in the cockpit. But at the presser today in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian briefer walked that back and said they don't know when the ACARS system shut down. It could have happened after the "good night" communication>> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/wp/2014/03/17/missing-plane-be-skeptical-what-you-hear-about-mh370/
We know what we know and it's not likely we're going to learn very much more unless we find the debris (or the intact plane, perhaps).

Sorry - what you don't know doesn't prove much. A plane whose wreckage was never found and never communicated an on-board fire could have burned and crashed. No one can say for sure.
<<Three years later, the Star Tiger, with 31 people aboard, maintained normal radio communication shortly before entering Bermuda airspace on a flight from the Azores. The plane, however, never landed, and no distress message ever emanated from the Avro Tudor aircraft. A five-day rescue effort located no wreckage, and investigators concluded the fate of the airliner was "an unsolved mystery."
2. British South American Airways Star Ariel (January 17, 1949) Less than a year after the Star Tiger vanished in the Bermuda Triangle, another British South American Airways flight also disappeared in the same region en route from Bermuda to Jamaica. Although the pilot reported fine weather conditions, radio contact with the Star Ariel suddenly ceased an hour after the flight departed. British investigators could not find the wreckage of the Avro Tudor Mark IV or any sign of the 20 people on board. Without evidence, investigators were forced to conclude that the cause of the accident was unknown.>>
Can you say conclusively that there was no cabin fire in the previous two crashes? Of course not. Just like with MH370, there is not conclusive evidence to support any theory at this point and a lot of data that's been modified or retracted.
Here's another and carbon monoxide in the lungs indicates there was very likely a fire on-board so it's clear there have been on-board fires without the crew radioing the same.
<<5. Pan Am Flight 7 (November 9, 1957) The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser that took off from San Francisco to Honolulu with 36 passengers and 8 crewmembers on the first leg of an around-the-world flight was the lap of luxury. Passengers aboard the "ocean liner of the air" enjoyed 60 inches of legroom, reclining sleeper seats, a horseshoe-shaped cocktail lounge and seven-course dinners that included caviar and champagne. The Clipper Romance of the Skies was about halfway through the flight when radar contact was suddenly lost without a distress call from the plane. After a five-day search, a U.S. Navy carrier spotted floating debris and recovered 19 bodies nearly 1,000 miles east of Honolulu. Most of the victims were wearing life vests, indicating that the plane had been prepared to hit the Pacific Ocean. The aircraft and the remaining 25 people aboard were never found. Although testing revealed elevated levels of carbon monoxide in several of the recovered bodies, the Civil Aeronautics Board found "no evidence of foul play or sabotage.">>
All from: http://www.history.com/news/historys-missing-passenger-flights

pieces of eqpt that

I don't know where to begin with that one. You would turn it off if it was the possible cause of a fire or was actually belcning smoke. And I doubt an experienced pilot like Shah needs a radio to land more than he needs a working stick and working engines. And if Goodfellow is right, we're not talking about "some evidence" of fire. If it was a bad fire, as he suspects, it was bad enough that it required Shah to climb to the upper limit of the plane's capabilities to extinguish it.

plenty of

board

to

the

Let's see if any of what we've learned translates into action by the FAA's of the world. The impulse is to do what AIG risk analysts did and declare this event such an outlier that it should NOT be considered in future risk calculations, as they ignored the 1929 crash in calculating how bad things could get. I've read that there are already flight voice recorders with massive recording space (not hard when 32Gb fits on a thumbnail sized TF card) for both audio and video. Maybe the best thing MH370 could do for aviation is stay lost so that the mystery drives forward changes to aircraft status monitoring.
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On Saturday, March 22, 2014 8:55:23 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

When smoke has come out in every other airplane incident that I'm aware of, the crew was always uncertain as to what was causing it, where exactly it was coming from etc. And the radio that you just used 2 mins before, that was working perfectly fine, would seem to be the last thing you'd suspect. Particularly when it takes 10 secs to send a short mayday.

Yes it would. Look at your own list.
Aviate - From all indicaions, the plane was flying perfectly fine, level at 35,000 , on course and almost certainly was on autopilot. There was no immediate crisis that involved controlling the plane.
Navigate - Same as above
That leaves communicate. Can you recall a single other aircraft crash where it was caused by a fire and the crew did not report it?
Would ATC be able to help you in any way from 100

The plane was flying perfectly fine. By aviating they mean keep control of the plane, keep it flying, don't focus on the problem and forget to fly the plane. So, sure, if the plane has stalled, then I don't expect a mayday. But not when you detect smoke.

And do they know that no other planes are in between them and whatever airport they decide to land at in the middle of the night? Are they just going to land at an airport, going in with transponders off, no contact with ATC to make sure the path ahead is clear, the airport runway is clear, emergency eqpt is waiting? Makes no sense to me.

There are holes in any of the theories. A nut case is probably the most likely. A nut case doesn't require that it all be rational. Suicidal nut pilot or passenger that wanted to make the plane do a disappearing act seems most likely at the moment. The nut case fits all the evidence that I've seen. A fire fits almost nothing.

Not necessarily. We've had suicidal hijackings by passengers before. We've had suicidal pilots put the plane in the ocean. Doesn't seem such a stretch that you could have that here, but the person wanted to try to hide what happened as much as possible. Whatever the reason, if you're nuts enough to kill yourself and take 239 others with you, I don't see it as being a big stretch to want to cover it up and make it a big mystery, hoping no one will ever figure it out. And by nuts, I'm including the possibility of some deranged terrorist type, not just a pilot gone nuts.

Smoke starting to come into the cockpit is a very serious problem. But it doesn't mean the plane suddenly can't fly. And it also isn't just the radio. It's ACARS and the transponder that went off too. Exactly the things that are needed to make the plane disappear.

According to Les Abend, a 777 pilot who's been spouting your fire theory on TV, among others. They say there is a Malaysian military base on the west coast that has an extra long runway and that's where the plane was headed. To do so, it would have passed other runways where it could have landed. That makes sense to Abend, does it make sense to you? You have a plane on fire and instead of landing where you can, you want to fly the burning plane all the way across Malaysia? How close they actually came to the base, IDK, only that it's on the west coast and in the direction they flew.

He'd say yes, because they didn't have a fire. They had a slow loss of pressure. Their transponder didn't go off exactly at the point where you'd want it to go off to make a plane go missing, either.
A modern jet is designed to be very hard to crash, even

It's not hard to crash from a fire. Swiss Air, AirTrans in Fl, among others. Both of those not only issued maydays, got clearance for an emergency landing, etc, but stayed in contact with ATC until the planes crashed.
More importantly, why on earth fly

So that no one will find the plane and solve the mystery. Does a suicidal nut need more of a reason or even "a" reason for everything they do?

I agree the Malaysians don't have much credibility. But we're not just dealing with the Malaysians. The NTSB is finally involved and it does look like most of the basic info is right now. The main part I'm not convinced on are whether they know that the turn was entered via waypoints and that it was done early in the flight. And I'm not just picking stuff that agrees with my nut pilot or hijacker theory. It's just that most of the data fits with that, almost nothing fits with the fire theory.
Here's a winner from the

OK. But don't blame that on the Malaysian officials. They have had the NTSB and the radar manufacturer look at the data too. And none of them can tell you what it is for sure either. It doesn't say on the radar screen "MH370". It's just blips from primary radar, with much of it near the limits of the radar range. They'd be lying if they said they know for sure it's MH370.

It's a lot more credible than the fire theory. They aren't at war with anyone. How about the US Navy having an Iranian drone show up over a US super-carrier, without them seeing it until it was on top of them? And that's in the Middle East, near Iran, which is a hot zone.
Who would have thought

It's actually quite common and happens in many accidents.

Sure, make all of Malaysia look like assholes, instead of saying that the plane had a valuable load that could explain it. Oh, and search in the Indian Ocean, instead of where the plane could have been landed to unload the precious cargo. That makes sense to you?

Again, the plane was level at 35,000, on course. There was no need for aggressive intervention to control the plane that would have prohibited one pilot from making a brief 10 sec mayday.
As for what they could do for him, they could have given him an immediate clearance and heading to the nearest airport. They could have cleared the airspace ahead of him, so that they wouldn't crash into another plane with 300 people in the middle of the night. They could have the nearest airport runway cleared of all planes, even from taxiways, so that a burning,perhaps partially uncontrollable plane wouldnt' kill more people. They could have fire equipment and ambulances standing by. But, heh, let's forget all that and just turn off the radio because we smell smoke and go our own way.

And you think that's explained by a magical fire that just happens to occur at exactly the place where it's ideal to make a plane go missing, ie over water, at the limits of radar, having just been handed off by Malaysian controllers and where in the next few secs they would normally have contacted Vietnam ATC? The odds of that happening at that precise point due to a fire are astronomical compared to other possibilities that fit the facts.

Good grief. Try focusing on what we do know instead of bizarre speculation. If the landing gear would not retract normally they would have informed ATC that they have a problem, not go flying on course out into the ocean.
A plane like the 777 might

Sure and again, they just flew for 40 mins, out into the ocean, on their way to Beijing, instead of telling ATC that they have a problem. Good grief.
We just don't know and that's

You do have NTSB involved at this point. And whatever credibility they have, it sure beats just making up stuff, like the flaming tire.

If they aren't explaining it now, I wouldn't count much on them explaining it later. It is their country and they are in control.

Well, that solves that part of it. That was one part that didn't fit well with any scenario and now that has been corrected. They conflated "last ACARS transmission" with it being turned off. It is amazing that anyone there could be that dumb, but there you go. In fact, a few days ago, you had the head of civil aviation for Malaysia, ie the guy heading this, insisting that ACARS was turned off at the earlier point, while the airline CEO was standing right there, saying the version that we now know to be correct. That is a pretty sad case. And even worse, you would think as soon as the press conference was over, they would get together, figure out what was going on, and then come out together again and clear it up. That guy must be someone's brother in law.
The cockpit transcript has been obtained by the Telegraph. There is one slightly unusual thing, and one more that is more unusual. Upon reaching 35,000 ft, their assigned altitude, MH370 reported that to ATC and ATC acknowledged it. About 5 mins later, MH370 did it again, which isn't normal, but some are suggesting they might have just forgot they already did it, weren't sure, etc.
The second thing is more unusual. ATC tell them to contact Ho Chi Minh ATC on xxx.x. Instead of replying "MH370, roger, contact Ho Chi Minh xxx.x, good night", ie repeating back, all they say is "all right, good night".

I don't agree. There are other avenues that could aid immensely here too. The forensic examination of the flight simulator and computers of all involved. Phone records, insurance policies taken out, who did the pilot call on that last call from the cockpit, what was said, etc. At this point, we know close to zero about the family dynamics, relationships, etc. We also don't know squat really about the two Iranians, the mysterious Ali who bought them the tickets, etc. They are high on my suspicous list. But apparently this is being treated like a MExican illegally crossing into the USA. Soon as they found out the story was they were using stolen passports to illegally enter Europe, it was, "Oh, OK, they're just undocumented immigrants, no problem there".

It could have been taken by aliens too. What we're dealing with are probabilities. The probability of deliberate human intervention is way up on the list. The fire idea is near the bottom. The deliberate action fits perfectly with the precise point in the flight where the communication and transponders stopped. It explains why ACARS was turned off. It explains why they were last on military radar performing a precise zig-zag that aligned them with the flight paths to India. If it was a fire, why did the plane do that precise zig-zag over the Straits and align itself perfectly with the route to India? Why was it even over the Straits, either being flown by hand or with waypoints to those spots? It was going to India to land there with a fire? Good grief.

What I want to see is not a list of planes where we don't know what happened. What I want to see is just one where we know that the plane was brought down by a fire, where the aircraft was in range of radio contact and where they never issued a single message about the problem.
Just like with MH370, there is not conclusive

Was the plane in radio range at the time? While CO might suggest a fire, I don't see where they declared a fire to actually have occured and that it was the cause. CO could come from smoking cigarettes, sitting in the plane around smokers, etc And note that if the plane did have a fire, it didn't fly on for 6 hours.

Sure, everything is suddenly bellowing smoke. VHF radio, transponder, ACARS. All of which were working perfectly a minute ago. And yet the same suddenly ravaging fire leaves the plane capable of flying, performing precision manuvers an hour later, apparently capable of recovering from a stall at 45,000 and but flying off until it runs out of gas. Show us one fire accident anything like it. And it all just happens exactly at the point in flight that is the ideal time to disappear.
And I doubt an

Sure. It's pitch black out at night. No need to worry about the other planes in the area that you could run into. No need to worry that when you get to the airport there is traffic ahead of you or the runway is occupied, so you have to do a go around in the burning plane. Or worse, you don't see the other plane pulling onto the runway until it's too late. Now you've killed 500 people because you couldn't use the radio for 10 secs.
And if Goodfellow is right, we're not

Yes, the magical fire that was so bad that they had to turn off the radio, transponders, ACARS. But magically it leaves the plane able to fly for 7 hours. And if they put the fire out, why in the world is the plane missing? It was obviously under control at the Straits. It aligned perfectly, to the exact degree, with the flight paths to India. That was long after the climb to 45,000. So what now? Only India has water and a runway?
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Well it might be a bit premature to say this, but if the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight # MH370 isn't found in the next 2 or 3 weeks, it probably won't be found by looking for it. It'll end up being found by some advanced sonar device 50 or 75 years from now scanning the sea bed for solidified methane deposits or for thermal vents.
Be prepared for this flight to stay in the "What?!?" bag for 75 years just like the last flight of Amelia Earhart.
What I can't understand is the families of the passengers in China. I can understand that not knowing what happened can be frustrating, but getting mad and yelling won't help any. These families are behaving as though the Malaysian officials know what happened, but don't want to tell them, and that doesn't make any sense. In the world I live in, "We simply don't know yet because we can't find any wreckage or floating debris." IS a legitimate answer. With those Chinese families behaving the way they are, it almost makes sense for the Malaysians to send out a plane to dump a bunch of stuff in the ocean to create a debris field and thereby satisfy the Chinese families.
--
nestork

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On Sunday, March 23, 2014 2:23:15 PM UTC-4, nestork wrote:

I think the families have every right to be mad as hell. The Malaysian officials have proven themselves totally incompetent in handling the response to this. The airline hasn't been much better.
Some examples:
The flight goes missing from ATC radar and it takes 11 hours to get any search plane to where they lost contact with it and first believed it had gone missing. The spot is only a couple hundred miles from the coast of Malaysia. In similar cases, searchers were there within a couple hours.
It takes them a week to figure out that military radar shows a primary radar contact consistent with MH370, making a u turn and heading back across Malaysia. A week? Really? You have the radar screens to play back. How hard is this? And even then for a couple days they were contradicting themselves, military says the plane did turn back, civial aviation guy says, no, etc. And during that week, they refused help from NTSB, FAA, FBI, etc, ie those with experience. So, they had a bunch of countries deploying ships, planes satellites to the wrong area. Finally, they let NTSB, radar manufacturers, etc in on it and within a day, they say that it does look like the plane turned back. And about the same time, we have the fact that the sat handshakes place the plane on a circle where it was at 8:11AM, nearly out of fuel. More progress in one or two days than these clowns made in over a week. And also, if they had just looked at that military radar in the first couple hours, determined that there was a track back to the west, that it could be the plane, then they could have let the world know that and for the next 6 hours, everyone could be on the lookout with radar, visually, etc for the plane.
For the last week, the position of the civil aviation head idiot in Malaysia has been that the waypoints for the turn to the Straits of Malacca were entered early in the flight, shortly after takeoff and that ACARS was turned off early in the flight too. He keeps saying that, with the CEO of the airline saying, all we know is that the last transmission from ACARS was at that time, which was when it was scheduled to report and that it didn't report again 30 mins later when it should have. They had that discrepancy standing side by side at a news conference. Now, how hard is it to tell when the last ACARS transmission was and who is right? The airline has the hard data on that. It's fact, not conjecture. Yet this went on for another 5 days or so. Now, just hours ago, the idiot civil aviation head now says that they don't know when ACARS was turned off, ie what the airline CEO was saying is correct. He's also just retracted that the waypoints for the turn to the west were entered into the autopilot early in the flight. He now says the last ACARS transmission ~20 mins into the flight still showed the Beijing waypoints. He's just a total ass. This is simple stuff. The airline has the ACARS data. Within hours they should know if any waypoint were transmitted. Yet here we are 2 weeks+ and this is still coming out? If I was a family, I'd be pissed.
Then you have Malaysian Airlines that knew for hours the plane was missing. The relatives waiting at Beijing were just left waiting, staring at a flight board, that flashed "delayed". No one from the airline came out to talk to them and take them to a secure area where they wouldn't be hounded by the press. They finally did that, but only after major damage had been done. It's also only come out in the last couple of days that the plane was carrying lithium batteries. I think a fire is unlikely, but previously the CEO when asked what it was carrying said it had a load of Mangosteens.
The biggest, unforgiveable thing is that the Malaysians refused to let the NTSB or other international experts in on the investigation. NTSB does these investigations all the time. One big reason is that in any crash the countries under law that are involved include the country that made the airplane. With Boeing as well as business plane manufacturers in the USA, NTSB is involved all the time. Anyone know how long it's been since Malaysia had to do a crash investigation? My guess is decades and those involved that ran it have probably retired.
With those Chinese families behaving

If you had family on the plane and saw the incompetence here, particulary refusing help from the USA and other countries with expertise, I think you'd feel differently.
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On Sun, 23 Mar 2014 19:23:15 +0100, nestork

This came out Mar 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORm2Xi693NE

Glenn Beck says 20 of the passengers were semiconductor experts.
The cargo changed from mangosteens to lithium batteries.
It is starting to seem like "The West" is searching for a plane that was hijacked by the US.
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Metspitzer wrote:

If it was hijacked by the pilots for the value of it's cargo - that means only one thing.
Gold.
China's been on a gold-buying binge for the past year - and not on paper. Taking actual physical possession. Which means gold in the hold.
That, and don't overlook those chinese passengers each bringing back a kilo or two of gold in their luggage. The Indians are doing it by the planeload themselves since their gov't put controls on gold imports.
China is in the midst of a liquidity crisis starting about a week or two ago, and the ultra rich are selling their expensive foreign properties to raise case.
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On Wednesday, March 19, 2014 11:57:15 AM UTC-4, Bob F wrote:

There is a lot of confusion on this and I agree with Robert, it sounds like more Malaysian official BS. The offician Malaysian govt position is that the waypoints for the new western course to the left were entered about 14 mins before where the transponders were turned off. That would put it about 26 mins into the flight, probably around the eastern coast of Malaysia.
But I heard a 777 captain on TV saying that the ACARS system would not be sending that info, so how would Malaysian officials know? And it seems very odd that someone up to no good and apparently so knowledgable about how to make a plane disappear would enter waypoints so early.
Another *huge* discrepancy is that the Malaysian head of civil aviation insists that the ACARS system was turned off at 1:07, only ~26 minutes into the flight. Again, that sounds odd, because you would think it would make more sense to turn it off later, same time as transponders, etc, not tip your hand. And more significantly, the Malaysian Airline CEO is clearly disagreeing. He says that the *last ACARS transmission*, which was a normal scheduled event, occured at 1:07 and ACARS could have been turned off anytime between then and 1:37 when it should have transmitted again. They gave these two conflicting versions standing side by side at the same press conference. And when reporters pressed the civil aviaition head about it, he just brushed it off and said it was *fact* that it was turned off like he said. The airline is the one that uses ACARS, not ATC, the civil aviation officials, etc. You would think the airline would know.
This is why they have no credibility left. Something like this, if there is reason to support either version, they should make it known by now. This is a major thing in the timeline.
And did you see the Chinese mother that came into the press briefing and was crying, sobbing for answers? They had security people grab her and roughly drag her screaming and crying from the room. Nice public image. And then I saw a reporter try to interview any of the families that they have hidden away in a hotel. A Malaysian Airline security official turned them away. I can understand that they want to give the families some privacly, but they also should not have them essentially locked up so that no one can talk to them at all, even if they want to. If I was one of the family, I'd just head home by now. Staying locked up in the hotel doesn't appear to be doing any good.
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Some statements of guess ? I have made cell phone calls on land 50 mles away. Was actually over lake Erie. That was a long time ago. I knew because I once saw it on my bill, making the connection in a Canadian city. Couple times it was a free call. That was a long time ago.
Greg
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2014 10:35:29 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

CNN has had a guy in a 777 simulator for a week now and if I learned anything, it is that a 15 year old kid who studied the book for a few days could fly a 777 unless the electronics went bad.
This thing is a big video game.
When Mythbusters took on "could a passenger be talked down in an airliner"? the short answer was "no", if they actually had to fly the plane but if someone told them what to enter in the flight computer, no sweat at all. The plane would land itself. Flying from point A to point B is even easier. The guy in the simulator on CNN showed that you alter your destination with a few key strokes and that is where the plane will go.
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On 3/22/2014 2:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Bummer, can't talk a passenger down. I've had two and a half hours in a Cessna 150, and sure a jumbo is whole different animal. But, I'd love to try some day.
--
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

A number of pilot-written articles imply that the plane can suffer a lot of damage internally and lost both pilots and still fly a straight and level course until its fuel runs out. We'll never know what really happened unless they find the wreckage and even then what it tells us may be inconclusive.
--
Bobby G.



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