Malysia flight 370

The most plausible speculation, that I have seen about the mysterious disappearance of the 777 is this:
(excerpted from an article reported several days ago by CNN)http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/slow-decompression-may-have-knocked-all-onboard-mh370-unconscious-says-blog
"Likely fuselage failure near Satcom antenna adapter disabled some or all of GPS, ACARS, ADS-B, and ADS-C antennas and systems.
"Thus, only primary radars would detect the plane. Primary radar range is usually less than 100nm (nautical miles) and is generally ineffective at high altitudes.
“If the decompression was slow enough, it’s possible the pilots did not realise to put on oxygen masks until it was too late.” The writer said oxygen masks would not deploy until cabin altitude reaches 13,500m and the passengers were likely already unconscious by then.
Since it was also a red-eye flight, most passengers would had been sleeping and perhaps unaware of oxygen deprivation.


If such were the case, my guess is the plane is mostly, now, somewhere at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

This is a strange one, there was also a faint signal received by satellite about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/malaysia-airlines-flight-mh370-mystery-deepens-as-search-area-expands-1.2575295

Over the weekend, however, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that investigators determined that a satellite picked up a faint signal from the aircraft about 7½ hours after takeoff. The signal indicated that the plane would have been somewhere on a vast arc stretching from Kazakhstan down to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.
This is a strange one, there was also a faint signal received by satellite about 7 1/2 after takeoff. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/malaysia-airlines-flight-mh370-mystery-deepens-as-search-area-expands-1.2575295
Over the weekend, however, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that investigators determined that a satellite picked up a faint signal from the aircraft about 7½ hours after takeoff. The signal indicated that the plane would have been somewhere on a vast arc stretching from Kazakhstan down to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.
Right. I'm guessing that if an event caused the transponder failure almost simultaneously with decompression, the pilot had only a few conscious seconds of confusion, during which time he altered course, ineffectively, and the plane then, over those hours, just happened to fly over areas in which there was little chance for radar detection or visual sighting, then, most likely crashed in the ocean. I don't know how long debris will remain afloat, but I suppose some remnants may eventually be found if searchers happen to look in the right area.

There are a number of problems with this explanation.

  1. The transponder and the ACARS stopped transmitting at different times so a single antenna failure would not explain the observed facts
  2. The pilots were conscious when the transponder failed according to the commonly reported timeline and they reported nothing unusual.
  3. The plane did not go on a wild unpiloted route after the transponder and ACARS failed, It went on a planned route controlled by the on board navigation system and the route had to be programmed in by someone AFTER the last voice transmission because they were on course for Beijing right up to that point. The course plotted was not a return flight to Kuala Lampor since the plane did not return there, it made several pre-programmed course changes long afterward. My understanding of the way this system works is that you don’t tell the plane where and when to make turns. You enter your destination and the plane then follows predefined routes to get you there changing altitude and heading along the way on its own to stay in a safe corridor that avoids other planes. Someone programmed the plane to go somewhere very far from Kuala Lampor.
  4. I am not a pilot and in no way an expert on any of this stuff but it sounds just a little suspicious that the oxygen masks would be programmed to drop only at an air pressure that would already have left the passenger unconscious from anoxia. The person writing this is basically implying that the engineers only considered catastrophic loss of cabin pressure when they designed the system and did not take into account the possibility of a slow leak. I find it very unlikely that all the engineers who have worked on planes over all the years would have never thought of this. It also seems unlikely that the plane doesn’t have a warning system that would alert the pilots to a gradual loss of cabin pressure long before it became dangerous.
  5. Even if MOST passengers were asleep because it was a red-eye, they would not have ALL been asleep. Most people have a hard time sleeping on planes and even those that do sleep don’t sleep well, and wake up frequently. This was only 1 hour into the flight. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the plane was awake at that point and certainly the cabin crew would have been. Its very unlikely that none of those people noticed anything. A significant portion would have started to feel air hunger and raised the alarm even if the planes systems didn’t

Does this science fiction writer have the answer? http://timeglassjournal.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/missing-malaysian-flight-370-boeing-777-crash-site-located-three-different-kinds-of-witnesses-intersect-same-location/

Thats a bit ridiculous. The author is claiming that the plane crashed and the crash was witnessed and everyone is ignoring the evidence because its better for ratings if the mystery continues? I don’t think the multinational force of ships and planes and people give a damn about CNN’s ratings. If they had evidence the plane crashed somewhere they would be all over it. This is about the dumbest conspiracy theory I have heard so far.

So MacGyver, What is your best guess re: what happened to, and where flight 370 is?

I really don’t know and sometimes admitting we don’t know is the smartest thing we can do. It really is a pretty unique set of circumstances and one heck of a head scratcher which is why I suppose people are even more glued to this story than a typical plane crash. Its tough to come up with any good theory when there is so little information to go on.
I will go out on a limb and suggest that its going to be years before anyone finds this plane. Even when we find it we may not get all the answers. I heard expert say the black box recorder is on a 2 hour loop. If that’s true, whatever happened more than 2 hours before the flight ended would have been recorded over so we may never know for sure what happened at the moment the plane left its planned route and disappeared. So we may be tossing this one around for a really long time. On the other hand the amount of resources being put into this search is unprecedented so you never know. We may get lucky.

Wired piece neatly satisfies Occam’s Razor as to what might have happened.]

He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer.
Take a look at this airport on Google Earth. The pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make an immediate turn to the closest, safest airport.
When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and searched for airports in proximity to the track toward the southwest.
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 situations.

Or, maybe this book was prophetic about what happened, and they’re now all on Pluto.]
A planeload of high-school students, their teacher, and the airliner’s crew are hijacked in midair by an alien spacecraft. The aliens take them to their crazily-malfunctioning starship Ark, which we know as the planet Pluto and its moon Charon.
Sixty-five million years ago, the Ark came to Earth to collect plants and animals. It was ship-wrecked and stranded in our solar system. Now its alien crew intends to force the teenagers to learn to operate the Ark, so it can continue on its multi-billion year mission of sowing life among the stars.
The humans are flabbergasted of course, but life-change is not unwelcome to two of them. One is copilot Froward, whose drinking, womanizing, and general fecklessness are about to cost him his career.
The other is misfit student Charlie Freeman, a ‘casualty on the battlefield of puberty.’ He’s with the group only by the whim of his teacher, Mrs. Robinelli.
:wink:

Wired piece neatly satisfies Occam's Razor as to what might have happened.]
He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer. Take a look at this airport on Google Earth. The pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make an immediate turn to the closest, safest airport. When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and searched for airports in proximity to the track toward the southwest. 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 situations.
Or, maybe this book was prophetic about what happened, and they're now all on Pluto.]
A planeload of high-school students, their teacher, and the airliner’s crew are hijacked in midair by an alien spacecraft. The aliens take them to their crazily-malfunctioning starship Ark, which we know as the planet Pluto and its moon Charon. Sixty-five million years ago, the Ark came to Earth to collect plants and animals. It was ship-wrecked and stranded in our solar system. Now its alien crew intends to force the teenagers to learn to operate the Ark, so it can continue on its multi-billion year mission of sowing life among the stars. The humans are flabbergasted of course, but life-change is not unwelcome to two of them. One is copilot Froward, whose drinking, womanizing, and general fecklessness are about to cost him his career. The other is misfit student Charlie Freeman, a ‘casualty on the battlefield of puberty.’ He’s with the group only by the whim of his teacher, Mrs. Robinelli.
;)
I will go out on a limb and say the Pluto explanation is probably not correct. But I do like explanations that involve catastrophic mechanical problems that both incapacitated the detection systems and the crew, because we, then, have no need to search for motive of ill intent. So far, no speculations on motive of ill intent appear to be supported.

Regarding the Wired piece, I’m not sure that really fits what is being reported. On the one hand he is proposing a fire so extreme as to knock out the transponder, ACARS, and all communications and yet leave the navigation system intact enough to carry out preprogrammed maneuvers but yet still taking out the crew and preventing anyone on the plane from manually bringing the plane back. Additionally the reports say that the planes maneuvers were run by the on board navigation system so if the pilot told the plane to return to the proposed airport why did it fly past the airport?

Regarding the Wired piece, I'm not sure that really fits what is being reported. On the one hand he is proposing a fire so extreme as to knock out the transponder, ACARS, and all communications and yet leave the navigation system intact enough to carry out preprogrammed maneuvers but yet still taking out the crew and preventing anyone on the plane from manually bringing the plane back. Additionally the reports say that the planes maneuvers were run by the on board navigation system so if the pilot told the plane to return to the proposed airport why did it fly past the airport?
The author of the Wired piece was suggesting that the pilots shut down the electrical systems as a first step in addressing an electrical fire. Also that the pilots had time to program a turn toward the nearest safe landing spot. If they were then overcome by smoke inhalation, despite having controlled the fire enough to preserve the plane's flying integrity, perhaps this could fit with what we know, so far. I don't know whether the programming is able to have the plane go to a specific airport and circle or if it just sends the plane in that direction.
Regarding the Wired piece, I'm not sure that really fits what is being reported. On the one hand he is proposing a fire so extreme as to knock out the transponder, ACARS, and all communications and yet leave the navigation system intact enough to carry out preprogrammed maneuvers but yet still taking out the crew and preventing anyone on the plane from manually bringing the plane back. Additionally the reports say that the planes maneuvers were run by the on board navigation system so if the pilot told the plane to return to the proposed airport why did it fly past the airport?
The author of the Wired piece was suggesting that the pilots shut down the electrical systems as a first step in addressing an electrical fire. Also that the pilots had time to program a turn toward the nearest safe landing spot. If they were then overcome by smoke inhalation, despite having controlled the fire enough to preserve the plane's flying integrity, perhaps this could fit with what we know, so far. I don't know whether the programming is able to have the plane go to a specific airport and circle or if it just sends the plane in that direction.Depending upon how new that particular plane is, the software is capable of landing the plane with no human intervention, in the latest versions of the software. Earlier versions could enable the plane to circle the airport automatically.
Regarding the Wired piece, I'm not sure that really fits what is being reported. On the one hand he is proposing a fire so extreme as to knock out the transponder, ACARS, and all communications and yet leave the navigation system intact enough to carry out preprogrammed maneuvers but yet still taking out the crew and preventing anyone on the plane from manually bringing the plane back. Additionally the reports say that the planes maneuvers were run by the on board navigation system so if the pilot told the plane to return to the proposed airport why did it fly past the airport?
The author of the Wired piece was suggesting that the pilots shut down the electrical systems as a first step in addressing an electrical fire. Also that the pilots had time to program a turn toward the nearest safe landing spot. If they were then overcome by smoke inhalation, despite having controlled the fire enough to preserve the plane's flying integrity, perhaps this could fit with what we know, so far. I don't know whether the programming is able to have the plane go to a specific airport and circle or if it just sends the plane in that direction.Depending upon how new that particular plane is, the software is capable of landing the plane with no human intervention, in the latest versions of the software. Earlier versions could enable the plane to circle the airport automatically. Do you know whether that would entail more keystrokes than simply turning the plane toward the intended airport?

No clue.

Here is another bit of info that might support the idea that the plane and pilots were in trouble:
{A BOEING 777 pilot, who was flying 30 minutes ahead of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, said he established contact with MH370 minutes after he was asked to do so by Vietnamese air traffic control.
The captain, who asked to not be named, said his plane, which was bound for Narita, Japan, was far into Vietnamese airspace when he was asked to relay, using his plane’s emergency frequency, to MH370 for the latter to establish its position, as the authorities could not contact the aircraft.
"We managed to establish contact with MH370 just after 1.30am and asked them if they have transferred into Vietnamese airspace.
"The voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie (Ahmad Shah, 53,) or Fariq (Abdul Hamid, 27), but I was sure it was the co-pilot.
"There were a lot of interference… static… but I heard mumbling from the other end.
“That was the last time we heard from them, as we lost the connection,” he told the New Sunday Times.
Read more: MISSING MH370: Pilot: I established contact with plane - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/font-color-red-missing-mh370-font-pilot-i-established-contact-with-plane-1.503464#ixzz2wNDklpYZ }

I would always be suspicious of sources that refuse to be named. It makes it very hard to verify such information which is often the reason they refuse to give their name. There will no doubt be lots of these surrounding this case in the coming months and years.
In regards to the turn. The pilot does not program a turn from what I understand. They can manually make a turn but if using the onboard navigation system they program a destination and the system then engages and executes all turns and altitude changes. I don’t know whether the plane will land itself if that isn’t programmed in but it makes no sense that it would fly past the programmed destination and then continue to execute additional maneuvers that take it even further away.
Again we are working with very limited data and specific bits of information seem to change from time to time so its difficult to put faith in any given interpretation of these events.

Here is a quote from a CNN story today that calls into question the theory we are discussing
It says that " it appears the passenger jet was programmed to steer off course before the pilots signed off with air traffic control – and that the change of course was transmitted to air traffic controllers."
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: How do passenger jets change flight paths?]
There is a helpful 3 minute video on that page that explains a lot of the equipment in the cockpit

So the pilot has a flight simulator in his garage. :wow: WTF
Someone builds a simulator in his garage, a simulator for a Boeing 777-200 :grrr: (http://www.balticaa.com/en/facilities-and-services/full-flight-simulators-ffs/boeing-777---full-flight-simulator/) - like A) how does someone pull that off and B) for what?
I guess the for what is easier to tease out that the how.

Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, Malaysia’s defense minister said Wednesday.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-03-malaysia-deleted-flight-simulator.html#jCp

Oh and look what just popped up http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/malaysia-airlines-pilot-filmed-training-disappearance-article-1.1723318

Interesting video macgyver.
Reminded me of the other thing that isn’t making sense to me.
The transponder was shut off, and the plane ‘disappeared’
but it seemed to take days to find out the plane apparently few for another ±5 hours after that, according to other information…
But I thought the jet engines sent readings back to RollsRoyce maintenance somewhere.
Why didn’t they know immediately that the plane kept flying?

From what I have heard its not unusual for pilots to construct their own flight simulators. Its fairly easy to do with off the shelf software and hardware components and it allows pilots to keep their skills sharp and practice for unusual events. They only get very limited time on official simulators each year.
To clarify something, when the transponder and ACARS are disabled the plane does not “disappear” the transponder sends out identifying data such as flight number, speed, heading etc. It provides the data that the air traffic control sees next to the blip on the radar screen. Without the transponder the blip is still there but the associated identifiers and descriptors are gone. The ACARS has several functions one of which is to collect data from sensors all over the plane that relate to the planes performance. It senses speed, altitude, engine performance, flap position etc. This information is then transmitted back to a central station on the ground periodically (every half hour i believe). It is sort of a cloud based version of some of the information stored in the black box that’s on the plane. It does not give up to the minute location data since its only uploaded form the plane every 30 minutes.
The data they are using to define the current search area comes from an entirely different system. The engines apparently have their own method of communicating in a very limited way where a satellite pings the engine every hour and waits for a response. Basically checking to see if the engines are alive. The satellite can determine how far away the signal is by measuring the time it takes for the signal to return. Basically you get a spherical set of points that are all equidistant from the satellite. You then look at where that sphere intersects with the surface of the earth since the points below the surface of the planet and out in space make no sense outside of crazy alien theories. This gives you a circular ring of possible locations that the plane could have been at when the last ping came in. You then start from the last known location of the plane and plot the furthest point on that ring that the plane could have traveled north or south before fuel ran out and the pings stopped. You can then erase all portion of the ring beyond those points. That leaves you with the two arcs they keep showing on TV. That’s not the path the plane flew, its a depiction of the possible places the plane could have been when the last ping came in.
From what I have heard the information from those engines is not being monitored in real time. If there is a need for the data someone has to request it and it has to be retrieved and then interpreted. The data is not designed to determine location only engine health. They had to do some interpolation of the data using the time delay to make use of it as a crude geolocator and that may have taken a little time.