OT: Anyone following the Malaysian 777 missing/crashed?

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On Sunday, March 9, 2014 3:25:01 PM UTC-4, Home Guy wrote:

But according to US intel, they had some credible reason to believe some months back that terrorists were up to exactly that. It only takes a small amount of explosive to bring down a plane. And with more than one participant, it would be easier to bring parts of the device on separately where they would presumbably be harder to detect because it's not a complete device.

IDK how much screening checked baggage goes through and it probably depends on the country. But at the very least it's X-rayed, and if there is any suspicion at all, they can easily open it up and inspect it fully. Easier than doing a body search, seems to me and you can't x-ray people.

Not at all how it works in the many airports I've been in. You hand over your baggage to be checked, either at the curb, or more typically at the counter inside. Off it goes. You get a boarding pass and head through screening and to the gate. Your baggage is now being X-rayed, examined, probably put through some sniffing eqpt in at least some cases. If they find anything, they are going to come find you when you try to board. How exactly are you getting away?

I also don't recall them finding any bomb, but then I don't recall them finding a bomb in a carry on bag either, so why isn't that equally strange? And apparently the devices/attempts are very rare or we'd have seen more planes go missing. But they did find the shoe bomber who came very close to succeeding.

One possibility I pointed out earlier was that it was a test to see if they could pull it off, so they didn't want any easy evidence left of how it was done. On land, it would be much easier to figure out.

From what I can see, it departed at it's normal time. IDK what the actual scheduled time was, but I looked at Flightradar24 for several previous days and it went into the air close to the same time every day, includint the accident one. If it was off, it was by minutes, it would have had to have been off by hours to be over China.

There were news reports that the tickets were issued for that route and destinations. Bejing was just a transfer point. Of course it could turn out that's wrong, but it seems reasonable, given they held European passports.

That's true, but that has nothing to do with where the two guys with stolen passports were ticketed through for final destination. They were not going to enter China, retrieve their luggage, etc.
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wrote:

Chinese Visas if they were just passing through.
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On Sunday, March 9, 2014 11:09:12 AM UTC-4, Home Guy wrote:

If you remember, it wasn't too long ago, maybe 6 months, that there was a sudden concern about any liquids being brought on board planes because there had been some kind of intel received about terrorists possibly using multiple people to bring components onboard and then assemble them.
or they caused a physical commotion on the plane as

Seems unlikely for two reasons. The cockpit is supposed to be locked and even if they did get in there, tracking radar and transponder data would show the plane reacting, at least for some perios, eg change in heading, speed, altitude, etc. That doesn't exist. The data just suddenly stops.

No way to say how exactly it came apart, or even if it did. The TWA flight where the fuel tank exploded, similar to what a bomb would do, there was wreckage all over the place and it was found within hours.

The plane was flying to Bejing, and would have made a

That's possible. There is a report this morning that the military now says that radar suggests the plane may have turned around, heading back toward Malaysia and that civilian radar seems to confirm this. Why they've only discovered this 2 days later is beyond me. They have the stored radar data. Either there are some returns suggesting something or there aren't. Should be available in hours, not 2 days.
It's also possible that if it was terrorists and they did take over the cockpit, they turned off the transponder. That would account for the sudden loss of all data from the plane and the possible weak radar returns that the military is talking about as possibly being the plane.

Interpol has stated that no country ever checked their database for these two stolen passports and they sounded annoyed. How that could happen, is beyond me. You would think the media would be asking questions about how the whole process works or is supposed to work, but so far, they just keep repeating the lame stuff from the airline, Vietnam, whatever.
I would think that every airport security would have thier own database of stolen passports, wanted people from Interpol, in addition to valid passports from all countries, and have it updated from the various sources like once a day. That would seem to be the most logical way to do it, but who knows.
In any case, I think the possibility that they discovered them after the fact is about zero. If they didn't find them before, seems extremely unlikely they'd suddenly wake up 30 mins later.
The

It could also be a test run for Al Qaeda, etc to see if they can get away with it before doing a bigger event somewhere totally unrelated, like USA, too. Of course the problem with that theory is that a lot of what they did will be evident, ie the use of stolen passports.

It would be better if someone spent some time figuring out how in the hell people could use stolen passports to get on a plane today. It also raises the question of what would make terrorists or anyone think that they could walk into an airport with a stolen passport and get away with it. Have they done this before, to test if they can get through? And it also suggests a high level of ability. I don't think it's easy to cut and paste a modern passport and put a new pic on it. I mean the Malaysians are saying they use thumb print scanners that verify directly against biometric data stored in moder passports. If they have that level of sophistication, it would seem it should take a hell of a lot of skill to doctor up a stolen one. Which leads one to wonder, do these Chinese muslim nuts, ie the ones that stabbed 29 people to death in the train station, have that level of skill?
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Curious as to why you think that. If the person can't see it is expired by looking at it, what makes you think they would check it? Also, since PP expire for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which is death, I think this would become REALLY big REALLY quickly.

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Nope. Matching photos for instance. Checking for security things that may be there to show tampering, etc.
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On 2014-03-09 1:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Haven't you seen the Bourne movies? Stuff like that is easier than you think.
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I have been trying to find groups discussing this but looks like no one is interested.
I am curious about 3 things:-
1. How come 2 people with cancelled passports can board an aircraft in KL ?
2. How come a modern wide bodied aircraft with "state of the art" equipment can just go missing?
3. Is there no air traffic control over this area?

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Per nam sak:

4. On a multi-million (billion?) dollar aircraft, how come the black box's battery is only good for 30 days?
5) On a multi....., how come the black box's signal cannot be easily received over a very wide area?
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Per (PeteCresswell):

Looks like about a quarter billion per plane.
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Because a larger battery: a) May be more prone to fire (see recent 787 ELT beacon fire) b) Weighs more, thus reducing per-aircraft revenue. Weight reduction is a huge part of modern passenger jet design. See also (a). c) There is no location on the planet that cannot be reached in much less than 30 days.

Power, of course (see above). See also Inverse Square law.
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wrote:

1? Your guess is as good as mine. 2 a- small peices don't show up on long distance radar 2 b big pieces don't show up on radar when they fall into water 2c high tech equipment needs power to run 3 There is air traffic control, but when the Mode C transponder goes AWOL ATC cannot tell how high the plane is, or even reliably where it is. 4 - If they don't find it in 30 days there is no chance of rescue. When the boxes were certified they didn't expect to have to search more than 30 days for them?
5 - Radio does not work very well through water. In a land crash, the signal can be picked up by satelite from a normal ELT. Remember, also, there is not much of an antenna on a "black box" (or yellow box, either, for that matter)
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Re the passport issue. One might hope/think that all the databases are tied together. I can only relate my entry to Vancouver BC off a cruise from Seward Alaska where the Canadian immigration officers were standing behind wooden desks on wheels with no electronics anywhere in sight. My guess is that the cruise company had submitted a passenger list so the Canadians knew who (if anybody) they were looking for but I think it may be an invalid assumption that everything is totally connected.
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On Monday, March 10, 2014 4:37:17 PM UTC-4, Graham Harrison wrote:

I think you're absolutely correct. Based on what we're seeing now, it looks like this whole security system, PP system, has serious holes that can be overcome without a lot of sophistication.
For another example of why they may be having so much trouble finding the plane:
Commander William Marks from the US Seventh Fleet, which is taking part in the search, says he expects the plane's flight recorders to be floating in the water.
"In calm seas, if there were a soccer ball [football] or a basketball float ing in the water, the radar could pick it up. They [flight recorders] typic ally have a radio beacon and so for example our P3 [radar] - if they are fl ying within a certain range of that - will pick up that radio beacon. We ha ve not yet picked up anything, but that's typically what those black boxes contain."
Floating? Really? These are heavy boxes built to withstand a crash and 400mph and a couple hours of fire. It's more like a safe you'd have in your house. And he thinks it floats? How are they going to find anything if they don't even know what they are looking for?
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<For another example of why they may be having so much trouble finding the plane:
Commander William Marks from the US Seventh Fleet, which is taking part in the search, says he expects the plane's flight recorders to be floating in the water.
"In calm seas, if there were a soccer ball [football] or a basketball floating in the water, the radar could pick it up. They [flight recorders] typically have a radio beacon and so for example our P3 [radar] - if they are flying within a certain range of that - will pick up that radio beacon. We have not yet picked up anything, but that's typically what those black boxes contain.">
<Floating? Really?>
Yes. They are not talking about the black box, per se, but the ELT beacon that's designed to detach from the wreckage and float to the surface to transmit an emergency radio signal when it detects immersion in water.
<<ELTs (Emergency Locator Transmitters) are usually fixed in the aircraft and are designed to activate on impact. ELTs are required to operate continuously for 24 hours once activated. Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations require most aircraft to carry an ELT. CASA regulations allow for PLBs or EPIRBs to be carried in General Aviation aircraft as an alternative to an ELT. 406 MHz beacons come in two basic types: those that provide an encoded (GPS) location and those that do not. The satellite system can calculate a beacon's location, but locating a distress site is usually much faster if the beacon signal provides a GPS location.>>
http://mglsat.com/search-rescue-beacons/
<These are heavy boxes built to withstand a crash and 400mph and a couple hours of fire. It's more like a safe you'd have in your house. And he thinks it floats? How are they going to find anything if they don't even know what they are looking for?>
I suspect this was a terminology error of some sort, probably the reporter's.
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On Monday, March 10, 2014 7:13:33 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

Here's another "terminology error of some sort" from an "expert", from the South China Morning Post:
"Professor Cheng Wei, who studies plane structure robustness at BUAA, said the explosion theory was "almost impossible". The aircraft, a Boeing 777, was a modern, solidly built jumbo jet designed to withstand an internal explosion, he said. A bomb, be it in a carry-on luggage or cargo bay, could make a hole in the airplane but would not lead to immediate fragmentation."
"To completely disintegrate a 777, the whole plane must be filled with high explosives," Cheng said, adding that a jet plane's hull was built for high internal pressure, and the force of an explosion would be quickly dispersed from the hole."
Really? What exactly happened to Pan Am at Lockerbie? Air India 182? Korean Air 858? There is a whole long list of planes destroyed by bombs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_airliner_bombing_attacks
I especially like the part about the need to fill the whole plane up with explosives. Where do they find these idiots?
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luggage or cargo bay, could make a hole in the

I don't have the same problem you have with that statement. I don't doubt that it would take a great deal of HE (high explosives) to "completely disintegrate" a 777. To me, that means "atomizing into tiny particles" or "pulverizing" and it would take a very powerful blast to accomplish that, especially with today's high-strength materials.
There's a world of difference between turning a plane into dust and disabling it with a bomb. Most bomb-caused crashes, at least to my knowledge, do NOT disintegrate the aircraft but the explosives do enough damage to bring the plane down and the large pieces then break up into smaller ones on the way down. While it's common to hear people say the plane "disintegrated" on the way down, they usually mean the plane "broke up" or "fragmented."
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disintegrate to break apart into many small parts or pieces.

Certainly not "completely disintegrated" - I distinctly recall photos of a very intact forward section of the aircraft resting on the ground in Scotland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103

From the CASB site:
The Canadian Aviation Safety Board respectfully submits as follows:
1. At 0714 GMT, 23 June 1985, and without warning, Air India Flight 182 was subjected to a sudden event at an altitude of 31,000 feet resulting in its crash into the sea and the death of all on board. 2. The forward and aft cargo compartments ruptured before water impact. 3. The section aft of the wings of the aircraft separated from the forward portion before water impact.
In other words, badly damaged, but not "completely disintegrated."

He said that's what would be required to "completely disintegrate" a plane like a 777 in midair and I think that's just about right. I know of no aircraft bombing where significant chunks of the plane did not remain intact. It doesn't take a very powerful explosion to do enough damage to bring down a jetliner BUT it would take a lot of HE to pulverize the entire plane.
Besides, planes made after some of these events like Lockerbie have been designed to minimize the effects of explosions by providing better designs that attempt to minimize the destructive events of on board explosions. Current aircraft designs are, however, already fairly resistant to internal explosions-as evidenced by the 57 percent survival rate of aircraft for all in-flight bombing incidents (35 events) in the past 25 years (Schwartz et al., 1995).
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id 26&page(
Until I went looking I had no idea the bomb survival rate was so high.
As for Prof. Wei, I suppose it's all about what the phrase "completely disintegrated" means to you. While I think there's plenty of wiggle room using "disintegrated" without a modifier, adding "completely" changes things around a lot, at least IMHO.
My suspicion is still centered on the wing breaking off and the two large pieces hitting the water more or less intact and at an angle that caused the fragments to plunge underwater leaving very little surface debris. Or they found Shangri-La and they're living in paradise. Sadly, the alternative theories will start sprouting like mushrooms, especially as days pass without a sighting of the wreckage.
I heard on the news that the US confirmed that its monitoring satelites detected no mid-air explosions, further bolstering my theory that a near instantaneous structural defect brought down the plane. A mid-air bombing, while not "completely disintegrating" the plane would have certainly left a fairly large debris field of material adjacent to the bomb that would be pulverized.
All in all it's quite the mystery and it's easy to understand why the black boxes were developed. Even with the BB's there's often enormous speculation about the causes of crashes, but without them. there's almost no chance of conclusively proving the cause.
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can't recall a single one from dynamite to grain dust to natural gas that did not leave significant chunks not only of the target but the bomb making themselves (in those cases where it was a bomb). I even saw an after action report of a dynamite truck exploding where you could still tell it was a truck. Don't know of anything short of an atom bomb (and maybe not even then) that would pulverize an entire thing like that.

alternative theory (grin).

remains, there will be indicators. Unless the voice recording parts of the BB record the boom, they wouldn't be of much help in this scenario.
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<stuff snipped>

I remember my dad investigated a big silo explosion and that grain dust can put a silo roof into low orbit. Very nasty bit of business for a common cereal by-product.
I think enough HE would pulverize a 777, and we're talking about high brisance explosives that are specifically designed/formulated to shatter things because of their explosive speed.
"In addition to strength, explosives display a second characteristic, which is their shattering effect or brisance (from the French meaning to "break"), which is distinguished and separate from their total work capacity. This characteristic is of practical importance in determining the effectiveness of an explosion in fragmenting shells, bomb casings, grenades, and the like. The rapidity with which an explosive reaches its peak pressure (power) is a measure of its brisance. Brisance values are primarily employed in France and Russia." Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosive_material#Brisance
Recently I heard Assad was sabotaging lots of AK-47 ammunition by slipping in HE rounds among the standard rounds. Very nasty surprise for the shooter.
< http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/dirty-tricks-of-government-forces-where-deception- and-deadliness-meet-inside-a-gun/ >
<<Rebels describe an effort run by the Syrian government that assembles rifle and machine-gun cartridges in which the standard propellant has been replaced with a high-explosive powder that detonates when a shooter tries to fire a weapon, shattering the rifle or machine gun and often wounding the shooter. These rounds are then mixed with clean ammunition and channeled into black markets or left behind at government positions when the army withdraws.>

(-: Flight 370, like Luca Brassi, sleeps with the fishes. I'm pretty sure of that. Incompetent searching is the reason it's gone unlocated for so long. You don't really think all those Vietnamese and Malaysian fishing boats had ultrasonic hydrophones to hear the pinging of the black boxes? Amateurs doing a sincere but amateurish job.

Well, if it was a controlled crash into terrain by a religiously fanatical pilot, we might get an "Allah Akbar" or two on the voice recorder. The 180 millisecond buzz on the Lockerbie recording indicated that the cabin wiring had been severed (the entire nose of the plane was sheared off). There's always something revealed by the black boxes even if at first it seems to be nothing.
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On Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:14:01 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

In the case of the bombings that I've followed, the disintegration was sudden, initiated by the bomb and consistent with what data we have on MA370, ie the complete, sudden loss of contact. And Wei from my reading of what he's saying, in context is dismissing that. See the more complete reference later.

What happened to PanAm meets my defintion of a completely disintegrated aircraft. No one has suggested that MA370 was turned into kibble bits, only that it could have been brought down by a bomb. And it looks to me like that is what Wei is dismissing.

With the plane broken in half and no longer flying, I'd say it's a lot more than just badly damaged.

But if you read that article in context, his statement, I don't think that is what he's saying. No one ever raised the question of a plane being turned into kibble bits, only that it could be brought down by a bomb and he sure seems to me to be saying, no, you can blow a hole in them, but it couldn't account for what happened here.
I know of no

Again, no one suggested that, so why is this guy even talking about it?

Here's a more complete excerpt of the whole article, the issues raised, that puts a better perspective on it. I think that's part of the problem, I read the whole thing and only cited the one quote.
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1445695/what-caused-malaysian-airlines-flight-ma-370-vanish-thin-air
"Professor Tian Yafei, a radio expert at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said judging by the complete loss of radio signals, a sudden disintegration caused by a powerful force such as explosion should not be ruled out. Tian said most radio communications use low frequencies that can reach very far to ground stations or satellites, so even if the plane dropped near to sea level, it would still have a chance to send out some signals. Only an "explosion powerful enough to tear the plane into pieces and destroy all communication devices at once" could lead to the sudden, complete radio silence, he said. He pointed to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing disaster of Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747, where the crew failed to send an emergency signal and lost all contact after an explosion in the cargo bay caused the plane to disintegrate. But others scholars remain sceptical of the hypothesis. Wong said the absence of any sort of debris raised doubts about the mid-air disintegration theory. He said it was possible the aircraft may have crashed into the sea in one piece before breaking apart. Professor Cheng Wei, who studies plane structure robustness at BUAA, said the explosion theory was "almost impossible". The aircraft, a Boeing 777, was a modern, solidly built jumbo jet designed to withstand an internal explosion, he said. A bomb, be it in a carry-on luggage or cargo bay, could make a hole in the airplane but would not lead to immediate fragmentation. "To completely disintegrate a 777, the whole plane must be filled with high explosives," Cheng said, adding that a jet plane's hull was built for high internal pressure, and the force of an explosion would be quickly dispersed from the hole."
To me that sure sounds like Wei is dismissing an explosion as being a possible cause.

AFAIK, they only said that they didn't detect anything, not that they necessarily would if it had ocurred. Depending on what they do or do not look for, I think it's entirely possible that they wouldn't see a bomb that's capable of destroying a plane go off. If there was some bigger, fiery explosion, more like TWA800, then maybe they would. Who knows. AFAIK no sat intel agency has ever said they did see an aircraft bomb explosion.
A mid-air bombing,

I agree you would think it would be very likely from past experiences. But I wonder if you could have a more limited explosion that cuts enough control lines, power, etc resulting in the plane coming down essentially intact?

And in this case, unfortunately we're a long way from finding them. I think we agree that the area where it seems most likely that the plane went down is where ATC contact was lost off Kota Bahru. That's assuming that all the BS coming out about the plane continuing on is just confusion, not some kind of cover-up. And if it's where it was last seen, then it's almost certainly has to be major mechanical failure, bomb, or suicide by either the flight crew or someone on board.
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<stuff snipped>

luggage or cargo bay, could make a hole in the airplane but would not lead to immediate fragmentation.

high internal pressure, and the force of an explosion would be quickly dispersed from the hole."

I don't think so. He's talking about immediate, complete disintegration that would have killed the transponder, the crew and all contact. We know that because he says such an explosion would not lead to "immediate fragmentation." It's clear he's imposing some sort of time constraint relative to the speed of damage and that there ultimately *would* be fragmentation and a crash.
It just wouldn't happen so suddenly the transponder and all contact would go silent. In fairness, I think that's what happened to PanAm 103 because the bomb was by random chance placed in the baggage area right aft of the cockpit and basically severed it from the rest of the plane. As I recall it was a big device, too, hidden in a boom box back when you could get something like that past security. And it was a much older plane.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103#Disintegration_of_aircraft
Give a blow by blow of which pieces separated when and went where.
IIRC the Stinger missile has the explosive force of 10 sticks of dynamite so that's what weapons designers think it takes to knock down a big plane. And that's with a hit on a strategic target, the engine. Terrorists typical get access to baggage and maybe the passenger compartment but not critical systems.
We have to assume that *any* kind of fragmentation is not healthy for an airplane trying to stay in the sky. I read what Wei's trying to say is that to stop an airplane dead in its tracks with a bomb is highly unlikely. Indeed, that's why so many airplane bombings have been survivable. It takes a lot of explosives to render it *instantly* unairworthy. But it doesn't take that much to create real trouble and make it *eventually* unairworthy, especially if the bomb damages vital components upon detonation (you know we're all going on a watch list now for talking about this).
I think he's at least partially vindicated by the US spy systems not detecting any mid-air explosions in that area that night. Since the skies were clear, it's not likely they missed something like that in an area that most military people think is due to erupt over claims to various islands. It's very closely watched for signs of combat or terrorist activity. Plane crashes, not so much.
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