Missing Malaysian Airlines B777

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7 years 8 months

Posts: 493

I'm sure something more substantial could be implemented, what with the internet now being introduced onto airliners, as well as the substantial data feeds that can be achieved using UAV systems like real time video feeds. A few key parameters (e.g. engine readings, GPS location, air speed, heading, altitude, AoA etc) along with voice data from the cockpit could easily be sent via sat link, and stored. Would save on having the need to constantly search for the flight data recorder. What size of data is recorded by those things anyway, is it in the terabyte range or lower?

Profile picture for user Confucius says

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8 years 8 months

Posts: 218

Any chance someone mistakenly shot it down, and is keeping mum?

"Any chance someone mistakenly shot it down?" Very unlikely.

"and is keeping mum?" F... yeah! Without going into tin-hat country, planes flying at 30,000 feet don't disappear from radars instantaneously.

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19 years 11 months

Posts: 527

Why can't radar determine where the aircraft went?
When the Pan Am Lockerbie 747 went down the debris field was tracked on radar.

I don't know anything about the radar coverage in these areas, but ATS today usually rely on secondary surveillance radar utilizing active transponders aboard aircraft. A primary surveillance radar would be needed to transmit and receive actual radar waves which may reflect off objects such as aircraft regardless of transponder units.

Profile picture for user starikki

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8 years 11 months

Posts: 221

I'm sure something more substantial could be implemented, what with the internet now being introduced onto airliners, as well as the substantial data feeds that can be achieved using UAV systems like real time video feeds. A few key parameters (e.g. engine readings, GPS location, air speed, heading, altitude, AoA etc) along with voice data from the cockpit could easily be sent via sat link, and stored. Would save on having the need to constantly search for the flight data recorder. What size of data is recorded by those things anyway, is it in the terabyte range or lower?

Voice data would massively increase the bandwidth required for transmission, therefore information might not be able to get sent before it's damaged in crash.
At current stage I would assume its only feasible (also cost wise) if only text information gets updated in every few minutes, and a burst transmission when **** happens.
Won't help much for investigation I guess, but will defiantly help the search and rescue missions.

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7 years 8 months

Posts: 493

Latest news suggests the two individuals with stolen passports were of Iranian origin, and the Malaysian military supposedly tracked the aircraft to the Malacca Straits. However, Interpol are saying there is no terrorist connection. This is becoming even more mysterious, why would the aircraft divert such a significant way to the Malacca Straits for no good reason? If there was a problem, shouldn't it have been heading back to the closest runway? Furthermore, if the Malaysian military tracked the aircraft, shouldn't that have raised alarm bells, a commercial flight deviating significantly from its original flight path, and forced them to scramble some fighter jets to intercept and make contact with it?

Although there may not be any terrorist connection, it doesn't exclude the possibility these two individuals may have hijacked the aircraft for other political or asylum reasons, for example, similar to the case of the Afghan airliner being hijacked around 1999/2000, and being flown all the way to UK in the end , IIRC.

Profile picture for user Matt-100

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7 years 4 months

Posts: 569

At least we know why they're looking in the Malacca Strait now, the military tracked them all the way over northern Malaysia to the Strait flying at low altitude. Residents of a small port town in north eastern Malaysia have also reported a low flying jet (~1,000ft) over the island in the early hours of March 8th - although these sightings have yet to be confirmed.

The big question for us if it does turn up in the Malacca Strait is why? If there was an on board emergency you'd divert back to the nearest airport and send out a mayday. As for the Iranians, modern cockpits are pretty much impenetrable for anyone outside - it's highly improbable they were able to storm the cockpit.

So regrettably we must now focus on the crew, could they have intentionally downed the aircraft? It's happened before. I've been researching all I can on the pilots and cabin crew from various tribute news articles and websites and they all seemed very "normal" and looked professional, certainly nothing from their Facebook pages and pictures to suggest they were about to commit suicide with the lives of 238 others.

This really is turning out to be a great mystery of our time.

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7 years 8 months

Posts: 493

If it was the Iranian passengers, they could have simply threatened some of the passengers or other crew members in forcing the pilots to open the cockpit door. However, if it was something to do with the pilots themselves, and if at least one of them intended to down the aircraft, why fly all the way across the Malaysian peninsula to do so? Even if their was a struggle between the pilots, it couldn't have lasted long enough for the aircraft to be diverted such a long way without at least some form of communication being made. And the question still remains why the Malaysian military didn't respond in any way if they could see what was happening on their radars. Mystery indeed.

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9 years

Posts: 87

One theory I've seen suggested on PPRUNE and elsewhere is a major electrical failure disabling many systems including the communications and the cabin pressurisation system. The pilots turned back and descended but were overcome by hypoxia and the plane just flew on until it crashed. Any thoughts about how likely that is?

As to why the Malaysians didn't respond to the plane changing course, it could just simply be that they didn't realise what was happening, its unlikely we'll ever know until they find the crash site.

Profile picture for user Matt-100

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7 years 4 months

Posts: 569

One theory I've seen suggested on PPRUNE and elsewhere is a major electrical failure disabling many systems including the communications and the cabin pressurisation system. The pilots turned back and descended but were overcome by hypoxia and the plane just flew on until it crashed. Any thoughts about how likely that is?

That is very plausible, although the flight deck's oxygen supply can last for 30+ minutes - more than enough time to make an emergency descent down to 10000 feet. I also read a theory on the Telegraph website that said if the aircraft had had a complete and catastrophic electrical failure that meant all electrical inputs were down they could have been without GPS and basic flying instruments such as Altimeter and Air Speed.
Knowing they were in deep trouble the pilots' plan may have been to track the coast down the Malacca Straight at low altitude back to KUL in the south of the peninsular where they could have made flybys (dipping the wings etc) before landing and hoping not to hit anyone.

I don't buy it though, flying blind like that is unheard of and I'm pretty sure the secondary/back-up instruments are analogue and mechanical so shouldn't be affected by electrical failure.

Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years 2 months

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At least we know why they're looking in the Malacca Strait now, the military tracked them all the way over northern Malaysia to the Strait flying at low altitude.

Matt - just to be clear - I don't think the military have confirmed any low altitude, have they, other than to say the aircraft was last observed at 30,000' over Pulau Perak?

Profile picture for user Matt-100

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7 years 4 months

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Sorry, you are correct, I misinterpreted an update on the Aviation Herald.

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19 years 11 months

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This is the weirdest airliner incident I have ever heard of. Not only is the series of events inexplicable, but we are at day five, and only now are we being told the plane made a complete course change into another body of water? We have dozens of international ships and aircraft searching the wrong side of Malaysia for days.

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12 years 3 months

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I have just read on Facebook, of all places ! That all relatives of the passengers who have tried calling the passengers mobile phones have got ringing tones ????? most bizarre ??

Keith :apologetic:

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11 years 1 month

Posts: 412

Even if you believe that these passengers or their phones have survived the crash somewhere, modern smart phones don’t tend to last 5-6 days without a charge. It might be an issue with this phone company.

If the Air force did see the aircraft flying over Straits of Malacca, it might have gone on to overfly Sumatra towards the vast south Indian Ocean. Perhaps never to be seen again.

Profile picture for user cloud_9

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14 years 2 months

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I have just read on Facebook, of all places ! That all relatives of the passengers who have tried calling the passengers mobile phones have got ringing tones ????? most bizarre ??

Keith :apologetic:

I saw this too Keith, albeit from a different source.

Thing is, with all the latest technology that is around is there no way that anyone could use the signal from these phones to pinpoint a possible location somehow, even if it were only to help by narrowing the size of the search area?

Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years 2 months

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According to the source where I read the story that was apparently being investigated. However I think the veracity and accuracy of the story is also being checked.

It is hardly surprising that the longer there is no answer to the riddle the more wild stories and conspiracy theories will gain credence. Facts and nothing else is what the investigators need.

Profile picture for user starikki

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8 years 11 months

Posts: 221

Unless the Malaysians were lying.

Just guessing:
What if the aircraft turned around without com/transponder due to system failure or hijack, and the Malaysian shot them down because there was no responce?
And now they are just trying hard to cover up?

Profile picture for user Matt-100

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7 years 4 months

Posts: 569

If the phones have survived then that would suggest the aircraft came down over land (otherwise the water damage would have killed them, and besides I doubt they'd have signal over water). However I find it improbable it's come down over land, so I'd probably question the sources.

I certainly don't believe that would be the case starikki, any shoot down would have to come from the Malaysian prime minister himself, and given the aircraft wasn't flying to any specific target (eg Kuala Lumpur) at the time it's unlikely. I heard here in the UK, priministerial protocol suggests a known hijacked aircraft needs to come within 30 seconds of central London before the go ahead is given. It really is a last resort.

The Telegraph is reporting that Boeing sent out an airworthiness directive to all 772 operators in November to look out for fatigue cracks (after a 16 inch crack was found in one aircraft) under the SATCOM antenna in the fuselage. The directive went onto say that these fatigue cracks could result in sudden decompression or mid-air "break up".
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/malaysia/10691089/Malaysia-Airlines-mystery-US-issued-warnings-over-Boeing-777-weak-spot.html

Profile picture for user Confucius says

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8 years 8 months

Posts: 218


Just guessing:
What if the aircraft turned around without com/transponder due to system failure or hijack, and the Malaysian shot them down because there was no responce?
And now they are just trying hard to cover up?

The details that are now filtering through (i.e. plane changed course) must have been available from the start... So it is clear that there is a cover-up.