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Malaysian Flight 370?

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What happened to Malaysian Flight MH370?

Catastrophic failure along flightpath
39
13%
Plane kept flying, eventually crashed way off course
40
13%
Terrorism, of some sort
37
12%
Pilot error of some sort
33
11%
Pilot sabotage of some sort
42
13%
Hijacking - crashed (landed?) far away
47
15%
Didn't you see Airport '77?
34
11%
Wormhole
40
13%
 
Total votes : 312

26 Mar 2014 17:32

Alpe, my step-mum was too and I know it's safe…

still, I fly a *lot* (30+ flights last year) and get a little spooked when something like this happens… probably not helped by the fact that i landed at CDG on the day AF477 was supposed to come in and it was madness… that stays with you :(
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26 Mar 2014 18:26

I feel it is a bit much to think that the pilots, even with the worst of intentions could make the aircraft disappear from earth. I tend to think that it went into the water at some strange angel and speed that allowed it to sink without a huge debris field
fatandfast
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26 Mar 2014 20:58

Alpe d'Huez wrote:Despite the talk, flying is extraordinarily safe. My ex was a flight attendant and there was a stat they used to say. I may get the number off, but not by much.

If you flew on a random commercial airline anywhere in the world, every single day, it would be nearly 40,000 years before you were involved in a major accident. And even then, you'd have a greater than 75% chance of surviving.

That stat is improving all the time.

The other one crew members liked to say was that it was more likely you would be killed in a car accident driving to or from the airport, than in an airplane crash.


http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SR0101.pdf
Ferminal
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26 Mar 2014 21:09

Alpe d'Huez wrote:Despite the talk, flying is extraordinarily safe. My ex was a flight attendant and there was a stat they used to say. I may get the number off, but not by much.

If you flew on a random commercial airline anywhere in the world, every single day, it would be nearly 40,000 years before you were involved in a major accident. And even then, you'd have a greater than 75% chance of surviving.

That stat is improving all the time.

The other one crew members liked to say was that it was more likely you would be killed in a car accident driving to or from the airport, than in an airplane crash.


All you have to be is on the wrong plane. Fortune is a b!tch and if you want her on your side, she needs to be beaten into submission.

PS. Not my words, but Machiavelli's.
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31 Mar 2014 16:45

The plane was hijacked by UFO. The Malaysian Government knew it but will never admit it. That's why they cannot find any debris or the blackbox til now.
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31 Mar 2014 17:06

hiero2 wrote:I'm sure you will correct me if I'm wrong, but last I checked, the black boxes do not ping. There are locator beacons in the emergency equipment stores on carriers that I know of. At least, on over-water stuff. But this is one of the current "issues" or complaints about the flight recorders - they only record. Records are not transmitted in real-time. Location is not transmitted in real-time. Given the current ability of technology, one could say they are antiquated.

I think this practice will change as a result of Flight 370.


thirteen wrote:Alpe, my step-mum was too and I know it's safe…

still, I fly a *lot* (30+ flights last year) and get a little spooked when something like this happens… probably not helped by the fact that i landed at CDG on the day AF477 was supposed to come in and it was madness… that stays with you :(


fatandfast wrote:I feel it is a bit much to think that the pilots, even with the worst of intentions could make the aircraft disappear from earth. I tend to think that it went into the water at some strange angel and speed that allowed it to sink without a huge debris field


I have one-up on the ex or mum being an FA. I was a flight attentdant as my first career. I'm now on career 2.5. However, that was also long ago now. Some things DO change. Some things don't.

Flying has been safer than driving for many decades. But the thing is, like that poster meme - flight is particularly unforgiving of errors. Even more than the sea. Also, an air incident catches an undue amount of public attention and fear. Perhaps because of the numbers involved, perhaps because someone else is doing the "driving". Automobile accidents claim far more people, and I'm pretty sure that this is true for every metric - miles traveled, hours traveled, etc. None of which dismisses the gut fear one can get over "this flight being the one". Those fears are real, too.

As for the debris field, it is not only possible, but more likely that there would NOT be a debris field, IF the plane crash-landed on the water. ONLY if there was a mid-air incident to cause a breakup would you normally get debris. If they approached the water at a more or less normal landing angle, I think it would be more likely to not see debris. Sullenberger's river landing is a good example. He didn't hit anything, he didn't blow up, there wasn't a cabin breach (remember the Aloha 243 incident?). For water landing, we were taught to expect the aircraft to remain whole. It would float for somewhere between 15 and 45 minutes, as I recall (but don't quote that. Look it up if you want to know more.). After which it would sink, and once it went submerged, it could go down fast.

If there was no cabin breach, then what would we see? Nothing. Which also would mean nobody got out after the plane went down at sea. If they popped the doors after coming down, there would be some debris. Perhaps only seat cushions and some luggage, but something.

The reason I came here today though, was to point out something that has changed - or I didn't get it quite right. Apparently the black boxes aboard flight 370 had locator beacons attached.

If they are like the locator beacons used when I was working - they may never have gotten activated. They have to be immersed in water, or manually activated, I think. But, fwiw:



I also recall the emergency beacons having a greater range - but that could be my memory. So I did a quick look about, and found this, for more info on the beacons.
http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

My guess, given what we are hearing, is that flight 370 black boxes were attached to the older type with limited range. On top of that, if they went down at sea - if the beacons were attached to the black boxes, they probably would not be floating, as the emergency beacons associated with flotation rafts are designed to.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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31 Mar 2014 18:32

That's an interesting question regarding floating debris. There are two flights I can think of that hit somewhat nose first, at high speed, into the water. Swissair 111 and Alaska Air 261.

The Swissair flight was in a cove, and left a lot of debris that floated in the surface and to shore even. It's impact was at a slight angle, but the force such that it broke up into well over 1 million pieces.

Image Image

For the Alaskan flight, here is an aerial photo of the area where boats were looking for debris, this was just hours after the flight went down. The caption and other similar photos say there is debris that boats are collecting. But I'll be darned if I can see anything.

Image

Virtually nothing. However, this link shows an oil slick (jet fuel) that is easy to spot.

However, those were taken hours after the accident, and investigators knew exactly where to look. Plus, the seas were calm.

How much of an oil/fuel slick would a virtually empty MH570 leave?

Just for reference, Egypt Air 990 didn't hit nose first, but rather stalled into the sea and left fair amount of floating debris, as did Air France 447, and much of it's vertical stabilizer (tail) was in tact. Birgenair Flight 301 stalled and inverted before crashing into the ocean and left little debris. Adam Air 574 broke went nose first at very high speed, but partly broke up a few thousand feet before impact. It took many days to find it in rough seas and left very little floating debris, if any.
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02 Apr 2014 14:54

If the flight flew 'till empty - not much oil slick. Engine oil, hydraulic fluid would be all that was left.

Egypt Air 990 is not a good example of a flight landing at a more or less normal attitude. It likely was descending at a very high rate of speed when it impacted - indicating a likelihood of extreme nose down or tail down attitude. From the NTSB report "data indicate . . . average rate of descent during the second dive of about 20,000 fpm." (NTSB/AAB-02/01, page 39). At that rate of descent, the airspeed would be sufficient to counter the lack of engine propulsion, and a glide path could have been assumed.

Ditto Air France 447. Also not a normal attitude approach - and a very high descent rate. I'm pretty sure that rate of descent would have meant the aircraft would likely break up if it was an attempted landing on ground. Any pilots out there?


So far, I'm standing by my thinking that it would be more likely for the aircraft to remain in one piece in this instance. If it was in stable but unmanned flight and ran out of fuel, we'd need someone experienced in the aircraft to verify, but I would not be surprised that it would assume a stable glide path at that time. If it was still manned, then presumably whomever was still alive would be trying to bring the aircraft down successfully, rather than catastrophically. If they wanted to crash it, that would have happened earlier - no point in waiting so long.

Idk about the other instances you point out - and I'm out of time atm.

C ya.

Btw - the internet can be wonderful. Reports like the NTSB report referenced above were hard to get when I was working in that business. Oh, we had copies in the flight rooms - but the public had to go to Washington to get copies, I think. And I'm not sure if they were publicly even available. Now it's easy.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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02 Apr 2014 15:47

The only way they're going to find the wreck, if they ever do, is by a blinding stroke of luck approaching miracle status. It will require a similar act of God for them to even find any debris, since it is evident by now that they don't have the slightest idea where to look. Very depressing.
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02 Apr 2014 16:54

Amsterhammer wrote:The only way they're going to find the wreck, if they ever do, is by a blinding stroke of luck approaching miracle status. It will require a similar act of God for them to even find any debris, since it is evident by now that they don't have the slightest idea where to look. Very depressing.


Agree. And given that it has apparently successfully done a Seigfried and Roy / Bermuda Triangle act, I have to think the only reasonable explanation is nefarious intent. And unsuccessful. The only way it could have been nefarious and successful was to land somewhere and preserve the aircraft. But for what purpose? KISS principle says all those scenarios are way overly complicated.

It would make a good story, though - CIA agent Black Bart, so deep undercover he's not even on the mole list, gets 'disappeared' by his own boss, for supervillian-like purposes. Taking out the aircraft with him. Unless you are into "Lost" - then maybe a time/space warp story.

You know what question I have though? The pingers. Supposedly, if the emergency beacons WORK, you can pick up the signal THOUSANDS of miles away. Why do the beacons attached to the flight recorders have such a supposedly limited range? Next, what possible scenarios could you get where the beacons did NOT get self-activated? [I can tell you one - they never went down at sea.] But if they went down on land, what about cell phones? Although, the cell phone thing is fairly easy to explain away.

Dollars to donuts, this will change the way that flight recorders and flight data are specced and managed.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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02 Apr 2014 17:26

Alpe; I'm supposed to be working, but you got me curious. The internet is amazing. Wikipedia is amazing. I had to do very little research to find this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_landing#Commercial_aircraft

Somebody else did the research for me. I would say I overstated the case for the airframe not breaking up. It looks like, if they actually tried to ditch, and it wasn't a dive, and there wasn't midair damage, then about 60-70 percent stayed pretty much whole.

Swissair 111 and Alaska Air 261 were both in steep dives when they impacted.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
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02 Apr 2014 22:55

Wow, that is comprehensive.

There was another aircraft that stalled and hit the ocean at high speed, Birgerinair 301. It left some debris, but much of it sank. But I think part of the issue here is time. It's been three weeks, and any wreckage may have now either sunk, or been so churned up by rough seas it's mixed in with other flotsam and jetsam.

This math guy says he's not convinced the aircraft flew south, and backs it up with a lot of hard numbers. After a while this all gets mind numbing.

hiero2 wrote:Btw - the internet can be wonderful. Reports like the NTSB report referenced above were hard to get when I was working in that business...

There used to be something called a "green packet" that contained un-redacted info on top of the report. My understanding is that these still stay hidden, except in court cases and such. My ex had one of them, some ATA DC-10 that caught on fire on the ground. These often have photos and details you don't want to know about. The one she had wasn't terrible. I imagine some are.

hiero2 wrote:Dollars to donuts, this will change the way that flight recorders and flight data are specced and managed.

Agree with you there. As mentioned before, they have the technology to have almost everything constantly recorded and sent back to HQ, including cameras in the cockpit. This was suggested after 9/11. I'll be surprised if we don't soon see it implemented step by step.
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19 Apr 2014 05:34

Update on this issue. CNN is reporting the first new stuff in quite a while.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/18/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

What's new? Aircraft behavior prior to disappearing. ELTs.

The ELTs I was strongly wondering about - I would expect them on any over-water flight. But the news coverage never mentioned them before, at least, not so I could find.

Now they notice - the aircraft should have had these. If one of these got activated, the satellites could pick up the signal from ANYWHERE on the globe.

So far, I've been sticking with K.I.S.S. Simplest conclusion, in part because we got NO cell phone calls from victims, NO announcements from political/terrorist/governmental/whatever organizations taking responsibility, nothing at all. Ok, so simple explanation is all the empty empty empty space available. Plane is in that.

But now, if it went down at sea, these beacons should have activated. If the lesser beacons attached to the black box activated, these should have activated.

So why not?
* Airline didn't include ELTs on the flight to save money. I don't think this is likely. Not that much money saved, compared to the trouble they could get for not having them.
* All ELTs failed due to old dead batteries etc. Really? The airline is going so cheap on the maintenance that they didn't maintain the batteries for years and years? Possible, but also, I think, not likely. Low probability anyway. But possible. The fact that all four failed points away from this possibility, I think.
* The satellites just didn't detect them. ?? No way. If they peeped, they would have been heard. They are designed to "shout".

* ooooops. Conspiracy theories just got a boost. Yup. I am no fan of conspiracy theories - way too complicated almost always - almost always way too reliant on "special circumstances" which are based on questionable views of reality. But now? We have something VERY unusual going on. We're putting together a lot of logic and brain power - but very little hard evidence. So, maybe the aircraft IS in ****stan at some remote airfield. Or was it claimed to be in Afghanistan? I forget - one of the two. If it IS, why is the US not coming up with satellite photos? Still way too many questions, but the fact that the beacons should have been on-board, and did NOT activate? BIG question in my mind. And why have they not been mentioned before? Another big question.

Instead of getting closer - I'm beginning to wonder if the underwater search is gonna find zilch. And I don't think this was a Bermuda triangle/Lost case. No time travel. No aliens. But we have more questions, not less. But I tell you what - if it turns out to be a maintenance issue, or a cost-savings measure, there is gonna be a whole heck of a lot of international hullaballoo. Ditto if the airlines are covering up - or the Malay govt.
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20 Apr 2014 03:46

ELTs are required in all such commercial a/c but radio waves do not propogate well through water. This is why submarines have to surface to communicate with "HQ." There also would have been at least two acoustic "pingers" (one in the CVR and another in the ELT) that are supposed to activate when submerged in water. The problem is that absent a less vague idea where it might have gone down, there's simply too much ocean and too few search vessels to stand any reasonable statistical probability of finding them before their batteries all expire.

There also is a remote possibility the signalling devices all could have been destroyed in the impact. Their design limit is 3400 Gs, and this impact would have generated considerably less than that, but there's a lot of CF in a 777 fuselage, and that stuff gets awfully sharp when it shatters. And bizarre stuff happens when you fly into an incompressible liquid at 90% of the speed of sound. But considering the size of the potential search area, Amsterhammer's characterization of the odds it ever will be found are spot-on.

The simplest explanation that encompasses all the known facts and requires no supernatural or extraterrestrial intervention (Occam's razor) is that at least one of the flight deck crew deliberately flew the a/c out of radar contact until it was almost out of fuel, then flew it straight down into the water. Deliberately nose-dived at full throttles, it could have hit the water at approaching 700 knots (1300 kph, 360 m/s), plunging to a good 100 meters depth before the momentum at impact was spent, and leaving millions of tiny pieces too small to hint they once were part of a 300,000 kg a/c.
Styrbjorn the Strong
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20 Apr 2014 04:25

I can’t see any other reason but cabin decompression resulting in hypoxia to the crew and passengers. I believe the captain turned the plane in order to get back to ground when the emergency arose. Unfortunately decompression sickness can kill a person in a short space of time.

This has happened before. Helios flight from Cyprus to Athens in 2005. Malaysia airlines also had a serious incident with one of their 777 planes the same year of the Cyprus flight, making the pilot request to go back to Perth airport. The airplane ‘got away’ from his control, so to speak, when he got back control of it, they went back to Perth.

Back to the Helios flight, the crew and passengers all went unconscious from hypoxia when the cabin decompressed. The plane flew on by itself until it ran out of fuel; then crashed on land. Everyone died.

I’d like to hear the news talk about the maintenance records of the plane. I know it had been in an accident; but more details are needed to come out.
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20 Apr 2014 05:03

Amsterhammer wrote:The only way they're going to find the wreck, if they ever do, is by a blinding stroke of luck approaching miracle status. It will require a similar act of God for them to even find any debris, since it is evident by now that they don't have the slightest idea where to look. Very depressing.


According to the guy that found the HMAS Sydney, and that took 60 years to find. He is adamant that they have found the correct location due to the signals found on the pingers. Only black boxes give off those types of signals. Locating the wreckage is the hard part. It did not help with the currents in the Indian ocean and the fact that they spent the first week or more looking in a totally different place. Maybe the plane disintegrated on impact which makes you wonder how the black boxes survived even though they are protected.
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20 Apr 2014 19:14

Microchip wrote:...Helios flight from Cyprus to Athens in 2005... ...the crew and passengers all went unconscious from hypoxia when the cabin decompressed....

The Helios flight never properly pressurised because the crew failed to follow preflight procedures. The pressurisation controls were switched to "manual" as part of the preflight checks, but were not returned to the "automatic" position when completed, as per the check list. So, sorry to pick nits, but there was no "decompression" because the a/c never pressurised to being with.

The flight crew of MH370 still were communicative at flight level 350, which they could not have been if the cabin were not pressurised, which rules out any similarity to Helios 522.

I can’t see any other reason but cabin decompression resulting in hypoxia to the crew and passengers. I believe the captain turned the plane in order to get back to ground when the emergency arose...

That doesn't explain why they turned off the transponder.

The flight deck crew have an emergency oxygen system that is separate and independent from the cabin's system. Universally, the first step in the emergency procedure for either loss of cabin pressure or smoke in the cockpit is to don the oxygen mask. This is one of the emergency procedures the pilots would have been drilled on and tested on in their semi-annual simulator training. Checking the pressure gauge on that system is part of the preflight checks, as is testing the masks themselves to confirm there is in fact pressure on the line.

Had there been a decompression event (or any other in-flight emergency), the pilots would have performed the "immediate action items" from the emergency checklist, which must be memorised and also are tested rigorously (and must be performed from rote) at every simulator session and every check ride. Once the immediate action items are complete, the non-flying pilot consults the Quick Reaction Handbook (i.e., the emergency checklist) to confirm the IAEs were properly dispatched. Then he performs the additional steps in the QRH, reading aloud as he does so the other pilot can confirm his actions. One of those additional steps would have included resetting the transponder to 7700, the international code for an in-flight emergency.

If they were conscious long enough to alter course toward an emergency landing site, they also should have been squawking 7700. There is no conceivable reason they'd have turned off the transponder unless their design was to disappear from the radar.
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20 Apr 2014 19:23

StyrbjornSterki, I’ll be back to re-read your post.

Meanwhile, here’s what I did one morning while I was groggy and still filled with sleep. I filled up the electric kettle with water, to make myself some coffee. Then I placed it on the stove top, on the front left burner and left the kitchen, without turning on the burner, thinking it would soon be on its way to boiling and make myself a nice cuppa coffee! An electric kettle on a stove top…!

Sometimes the answer is the simplest. I was just so sleepy I wasn’t in my right senses! I think some things can be explained if we think that the cockpit crew may have been doing them while in a disoriented state.

There’s no evidence at all to link a single soul, whether crew or passengers, to shady criminal behaviour. And the officials have confirmed this.
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22 Apr 2014 19:26

StyrbjornSterki wrote:If they were conscious long enough to alter course toward an emergency landing site, they also should have been squawking 7700. There is no conceivable reason they'd have turned off the transponder unless their design was to disappear from the radar.


There's no evidence that either pilot had the temperament or plans to do anything criminal. Neither the stewards and stewardesses. Even the 2 guys who were hitching a ride on other persons' passports have been ruled out as having any nefarious intentions.

What is interesting is the SILENCE of the news media about the plane itself. Why are they so quiet? It would be NATURAL that the aircraft's condition itself would be on the checklist of things to investigate - just as a matter of routine. CNN actually began to turn toward the topic of decompression, then they stopped discussing it.

This article written in 2009 discusses the same type of plane - Boeing 777 - ALSO owned by Malaysian Airlines: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/automated-to-death

I'm surprised that the American Media hasn't jumped all over this and speculated to death about whether this is the same plane. One CNN anchor said that the plane is now probably covered in silt!!!! They are such drama queens and kings that they suggest all sorts of things on air, it's a wonder they haven't hammered this incident and wondered out loud if it's the same plane.
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23 Apr 2014 08:18

i really thought they'd find some answers before i flew again but, no… off on saturday, CDG-LAX on a 777.

a pity, that, as i've always preferred them to the new Airbus… then again, all this silence really is making me start to think they are covering something up -- and it doesn't necessarily have to do with a plane malfunction.
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