Disappeared Malaysia Flight
Does anybody on this forum have any idea what happened to that plane?? How incredibly weird and sad can something be? How does a plane just vanish? I keep thinking that someone somewhere is going to come up with something — like big chunks of debris. But really, nothing so far and all the explanations, like terrorism don’t take a total absence of debris into account. And hijacking? Well, wouldn’t authorities know something about that by now? You couldn’t land a plane of that size somewhere and escape detection anywhere in the world. A satellite would surely pick up evidence of the runway, quite easily.
I take so much in stride now, figure there is a huge limit to my understanding of so many issues. Nothing much upsets me anymore. But this plane vanishing makes me a little nervous. What will the new directive from stewardesses be? “In the event of sudden evaporation, fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to become stardust?”
Kind of creepy.
My wife works in the airline industry. Her immediate response on hearing the news was…it was blown up. That's the only way a plane usually disappears from the radar that fast without any warning from the flight deck. How it was blown up would be the next question. The ocean is also a very big place to be looking for debris, so it's not surprising they haven't found any yet. So sad.
Apparently the Malaysia flight flew on for at least four hours after the transponder was switched off
U.S. investigators suspect that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stayed in the air for up to four hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, according to two people familiar with the details, raising the possibility that the plane could have flown on for hundreds of additional miles under conditions that remain murky.
The investigators believe the plane flew for a total of up to five hours, according to these people, based on analysis of signals sent by the Boeing 777's satellite-communication link designed to automatically transmit the status of some onboard systems to the ground.
Throughout the roughly four hours after the jet dropped from civilian radar screens, these people said, the link operated in a kind of standby mode and sought to establish contact with a satellite or satellites.
These transmissions did not include data, they said, but the periodic contacts indicate to investigators that the plane was still intact and believed to be flying. Investigators are still working to fully understand the information, according to one person briefed on the matter.
The transmissions, this person said, were comparable to the plane "saying I'm here, I'm ready to send data."
So we know this:
- The transponder was turned off
- The engines were on for hours afterwards
I don't know too many ways to put those dots together besides to put whatever happened in the human category, not mechanical and not a bomb. We know it couldn't have been an explosive decompression that knocked everyone out because even then the autopilot would have kicked in and flown to the original destination.
So this I means the pilots must have flicked off the transponder for some reason. And then the plane flew on.
Can't say why yet, but this is a very curious case.
for the clarification. I haven't kept up with the recent news. Good to know.
What could make a plane disappear from civilian radar while at 36,000 feet yet still be visible on military radar? ONE THING, and it looks like a UFO (as some have speculated) only it's attached to a boeing jet – the antenna on a U.S. Air Force AWACS plane. The fact that this missing jet vanished from civilian radar yet remained visible on more robust military radars proves well enough for me that this indeed was an AWACS hijacking, just like we saw on 9/11 where AWACS planes were seen on video observing if not controlling the crashes into the twin towers. Once the plane flew far enough West, Awacs was obviously enough to jam both civilian and military radars, probably because they entered a zone where the angle of both incoming signals allowed for their simultaneous cancellation. That is where the plane finally "vanished" forever, an hour after the "official" vanishing act. The final vanish happened while at 29,500 feet. Though AWACS was originally released as a radar platform there are many variants of awacs type planes now that serve many types of radio oriented missions including jamming and takeover, and they all have the same antenna dome.
Thank you for all the interesting responses!
Jim H, I read the link and it's interesting insofar as it provides a speculative 'how to'. It became confusing for me when the author, Jim Stone, ventured his opinion as to the 'why'. Even if he does have some insight into the method, he can't possibly have any idea why this was done. That part he appeared to pull out of his…ummmm……you know.
If this was a hijacking, it's been planned for years and some kind of very rudimentary runway must have been constructed in an area that is highly camouflaged. Otherwise it's a country that is highly hostile, isolated whose own govt was behind it.
The only country that would be that flat out nutzoid to even attempt to pull off something this bizarre would be North Korea–but they'd need help. They are so isolated, I don't even know how they would access the outside covert funny-business world. The only contact from the outside, the son of Little Kim has, is Dennis Rodman! And that's not the kind of funny business that was required— though it does appear to be a slam dunk, so far.
a while Dogs_In_A_Pile, good find on the link…and it makes sense.
"…. the electronic ping detected by the Inmarsat satellite at 8:11 on the morning of March 8. According to analysis provided by the Malaysian and United States governments, the pings narrowed the location of MH370 at that moment to one of two arcs, one in Central Asia and the other in the southern Indian Ocean."
"The" INMARSAT satellite? INM-5 F1 is the only global satellite in constellation. The coverage beam stretches from 82 N to 82 S. Theoretically, MH370 pinging 5 F1 means it could be anywhere in the beam coverage. Think a parabola stretching from the north to south pole.
If it was one of INM-4 series (F1, F2 or F3) or INM-4A F4 providing regional coverage in the Middle East/Asia corridors, the most likely candidates are 4 F2 or 4A F4. Both of those birds are BGAN coverage (broadband) and don't (necessarily) normally provide geolocation data within the transmitting source signal. INMARSAT is a comms system, although you can algorithmically work it backwards utilizing doppler vector to geolocate the originating source, but you need numerous "pings" on the bird to do so. Most aviation INMARSAT system utilize BGAN coverage and don't need to transmit geolocation data. Smaller handheld units have to to transmit geolocation data for efficient SAA (Satellite Access Allocation) purposes. A couple of pings on a regional or even a global bird are going to generate at best a huge ellipse covering a very large AOU – area of uncertainty, where the originating signal may have been.
Without more discussion from Slate about which bird, number of pings, interval between pings, type of transponder on MH370, etc., I'd be cautiously reluctant to hang my hat on the calculus of a comms system without embedded direct gelocation capability. CNN will run with it, but I'm gonna start out with a very slow walk…..
Don't get me wrong, there are numerous systems out there that use INMARSAT for comms AND provide geolocation data. But everything I've read about the march 8th "pings" indicates it was on a global or regional bird; it was access only; and all that means is that the originating signal could have emanated from a huge, almost pole to pole parabolic arc. We do have it narrowed down some knowing where the plane took off from, and a reasonably good estimation of event times, but the farthest on circles given flight speeds and times still generate vast areas the plane could have been in.
As to the "sharp maneuvering" at waypoints? I spoke with a couple of my friends who are in the commercial aviation industry and autopilot is more than capable of executing the maneuvers without man in the loop. The interesting thing about these waypoints is that they shouldn't have been the flight plan. Of course, we're assuming that the sketchy data that indicates the maneuvers were executed at these waypoints is accurate.
This one's a head scratcher, that for certain.
For now, I'm leaning towards and onboard electrical casualty/Class C fire or really pissed off flying monkeys……
Edit: It's been a few years since I've played had my fingers in INMARSAT in anything other than a user standpoint, so if there are any satellite jockeys out there who can shed light on advances in system capabilities and functionality in the last 4 years, feel free to add, detract, counter, amend, nullify, corroborate, ameliorate, blah, blah, blah…..