Patterico's Pontifications

3/16/2014

Open Thread: Malaysian Airline Disappearance

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:34 am

I have not read much about this, but wanted to provide a forum for your thoughts, questions, and conspiracy theories.

216 Responses to “Open Thread: Malaysian Airline Disappearance”

  1. Bandar you bastard!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  2. this plane I ride goes
    to God knows where i dunno
    and-ah i don’t care

    Colonel Haiku (7d6f25)

  3. she said she’s goin’
    leaving on that midnite plane
    Punjabi Express

    Colonel Haiku (7d6f25)

  4. ET hitchhiking home.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. Dood, Cuba is in the other direction and you can’t get there from here. Plus, nobody wants to go there anymore. Might want to rethink those plans.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  6. Right now the government is trusting the other unelected despots in Asia in their reports that nothing passed under their noses.

    The only ‘logical’ conclusion being the pilot ditched in the Indian Ocean as far as possible from prying eyes.

    Guess we will have to wait for the ATMs to report where the passengers credit cards are for new leads.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  7. There are a few things being said that I don’t like:

    I don’t this idea being taken seriously, that somebody wanted to steal a plane to use it on another occasion. Terrorism, not now, but later!!

    If you had a skilled licensed pilot, there are many other places he could have stolen a Boeing 777 from, and you wouldn’t have to deal with passengers too, and everybody wouldn’t be looking for it.

    If it was to be used to crash into something, it would have been that night or day, and that would mean, if that was the idea, the plot failed, like the hijacking of Flight 93 failed to achieve its purpose.

    Anyway, I can’t stand this scenario. It’s one of the more annoying things about this. I don’t know why this is being bruited about, but it’s not honest. Just one of the things wrong here.

    Sammy Finkelman (20cc53)

  8. I notice that the Malaysian government has gotten a little bit more honest.

    They are admitting the plane did not go down near where the transponder was turned off. They seem to have completely conceded that point on Friday.

    I read United States investigators were doing a lot of arguing with them.

    All of the information we are reading now, was obviously available and understood within 36 hours.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  9. “If you had a skilled licensed pilot, there are many other places he could have stolen a Boeing 777 from, and you wouldn’t have to deal with passengers too, and everybody wouldn’t be looking for it.”

    Sammy – Yup, happens all the time but they try to keep a lid on it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  10. never fear Sammy
    you’ll find it in New York Times
    those damn Koch Brothers

    Colonel Haiku (7d6f25)

  11. Now from Malaysian defense minister Hishhammuddin Hussein, the pilot spoke (without giving indication of any trouble) with air control after the ACARS was disabled.

    “Mr. Hishammuddin, who is also acting minister of transportation, gave his brief answer: “Yes, it was disabled before,” he said.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-flight.html?_r=0

    SarahW (267b14)

  12. one more fanatic
    one Zaharie Ahmad Shah
    Religion of Peace®

    Colonel Haiku (7d6f25)

  13. The same article has simple graphics related to this point:

    The older satellite communications box fitted on the plane has no global positioning system, the person said. But investigators have managed to calculate the distance between the “ping” from the plane and a stationary Inmarsat-3 satellite. The satellite can “see” in an arc that stretches to the north and south of its fixed position, but without GPS it can say only how far away the ping is, not where it is coming from, the person said.

    SarahW (267b14)

  14. I had a hunch the plane’s pilot leaned towards theological, political extremism and its biggest adherents, and some recent reports indicate the guy was, in fact, exactly that. However, since I do tend to equate Islamism and Sharia-ism with the Middle East, I also thought the situation with a person from Malaysia (from a part of East Asia) was, at the same time, too ambiguous to call. D’oh to my ignorance and naivete!

    On the other hand, I understand the pilot has expressed sympathy towards the plight of a major Malaysian politician who is supposedly more liberal than reactionary.

    Who knows what the hell is actually going on?

    Mark (d72f8d)

  15. Ostensibly the MH370 was fueled for 3500 km, 2100 m of flight under a normal regime of operation.

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/print/malaysia/where-in-the-world-is-mh370

    A couple hours flying below 3000 feet over the Andaman Sea would have reduced the effective range.

    To reach the satellite monitored ‘air corridor’ in two hours the plane would have had to travel more or less north from the last point of Malaysian radar contact.

    To then ascend over the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau would have further reduced its range. However, the aircraft is reported to have remained on the air corridor for about 4 hours before powering down.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  16. Islamic Terrorism, the sharp left turn and drop in altitude concealed a sweeping counterclockwise return to a prepared landing site lower on the Malay peninsula complete with cover to hide the plane from satellite surveillance. The terrorists intend to repaint the aircraft and use it to blend in with normal commercial air traffic in a spectacular attack.

    Several potential targets are on the short list but developing circumstances will limit the final decision. The passengers are being held hostage and will be used as human shields to discourage fighter aircraft from downing the triple 7. Either way, if the terrorists can get the plane in the air, they will have achieved another stunning victory.

    ropelight (5d2732)

  17. 15. Cont. The flight could have remained powered up on the tarmac somewhere while negotiations were undertaken, the ACARs pings could have proceeded during such an event.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  18. Several potential targets are on the short list but developing circumstances will limit the final decision.

    Like a bad Hollywood script come to life, that is not beyond the realm of the possible. I originally totally discounted such a theory, of such a complicated plot involving so many other people, particularly innocent ones. But I guess anything is plausible right now.

    However, I’m still guessing the pilot flipped out, attempted to take over the plane (hence, it soaring to an extremely high altitude), succeeded momentarily in his effort, but is now lying dead in a crashed jet. Nonetheless, if I were living in a major city in Malaysia, I’d be very cautious right now.

    Mark (d72f8d)

  19. You know, I am not so sure this arc as to where the plane could have been is accurate. They are not being cler about how they know how far away it was.

    The only thing I can think of about the way they could know is that it is based upon:

    1) The accuracy of the clock on the airplane.

    and/or

    2) The speed of light.

    If the times of the attempted transmissions are exactly one hour apart – and the intervals anyway are known because there were several – then, by judging exactly when it happened — you could determine how far away it was.

    The ping also included altitude and speed data, which indicated it was airborne at 20,000 plus feet at the time of the last ping at 8:11 am, 7 hours and 31 minutes after takeoff. (By the time of the next ping, it would have run out of fuel)

    Or perhaps – maybe better – if there more than a ping, but some back and forth transmission, then its distance could be determined just by seeing how long it took a signal to go back and forth – without presuming on the accuracy of the plane’s clock . Maybe how long it took one time compared woth another.

    In either case, you could determine how far away the plane was from the satellite.

    Light travels 186 miles in 1/1,000 of a second, so tgo be any good, this method of determining how far way would have to be very fine tuned.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  20. well here’s some food for thought’

    There has been speculation that the reported extremely high altitude the plane reached very quickly was due to either a misread by satellite equipment or was, in actuality, an attempt by the person controlling the plane to knock out, if not flat-out kill, all the passengers on board. If it’s the latter, then wouldn’t the plane being far higher than recommended also have made the pilot (and possible accomplices) unconscious too?

    Mark (d72f8d)

  21. 16. Malaysia or Sumatera are among the very last places the authorities will be looking.

    On the other hand I have a hard time believing Myanmar’s airports are staffed at 3:30 AM.

    I’ll put a buck on MNU.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawlamyaing_Airport

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  22. 21. A CNN ‘expert’(FWIW the most seeming expert) said the attendants have bottles available to last an hour, more than the 15 minutes available to passengers.

    The flight cabin has oxygen available as long as power is available.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  23. 11. Comment by SarahW (267b14) — 3/16/2014 @ 9:38 am

    Now from Malaysian defense minister Hishhammuddin Hussein, the pilot spoke (without giving indication of any trouble) with air control after the ACARS was disabled.

    “Mr. Hishammuddin, who is also acting minister of transportation, gave his brief answer: “Yes, it was disabled before,” he said.”

    Also in the newspapers. One question I have is: do we know it was the regular pilot? ATC wouldn’t recognize his voice. So it’s just a voice from the cockpit of the plane, whoever that was.

    In any case TWO things were disabled before.

    1) At 1:14 the ACARS system – the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System – something that allows pilots to communicate quickly with the airport, his airline, the manufacturer, air traffic control and some oher parties as well as sending engine and aircraft health data automatically – was shut off.

    It is not supposed to be shut off – ever.

    There is way to disable it, and that is by pulling a circuit breaker overhead. But you have to know which circuit breaker. I don’t even think a pilot would be expected to know that.

    2) At 1:21, the transponders are turned off. this is a simple on-off switch.

    I would suppose the best explanation for why this wasn’t done earlier, is so that it wouldn’t be noticeable that the transponder had been turned off.

    The hijackers or the rogue pilot already had control of the plane by 1:14.

    Then, at 1:30, someone from the cockpit signs off with Malaysian Air Traffic Control.

    It’s known, I guess, from Malaysian military radar, tha the plane shortly changed course, and crossed over to the other side of Thailand. But first it climbed temporarily to 45,000 feet, which would have rendered anyone not wearing an oxygen mask unconscious.

    This had to be planned – very well planned and thought out – how to hijack and divert the plane without anybody noticing that.

    Now another thing. Nobody seems to have made any cell phone calls.I don’t know if that is technically impossible, and different from the way it was in the United states on september 11, 2001, or if there were so many hijackers that nobody tried, or if they tried and it hasn’t beebn picked up in the news, or if somebody simultaneously interfered with the system.

    Even the next morning family of passengers, and the airline itself, said when making calls to the cellphones of the passengers and crew, the phones rang like nothing was wrong. Of course that could just be the way the cellphone carrier does things – nobody has explained if this is normal.

    The phones rang and then disconnected (did not go to voicemail?)

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  24. The Chinese family members, because of the cellphone ringing (the ringing you hear when you call, is NOT the other phone ringing, but the Chinese families may not have known this) thought that maybe the plane had landed and authorities were in secret negotiations with the hijackers.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  25. The government of Malaysia has a vested interest in labeling the pilot as rogue, since that would be damaging to the political opposition. The airline, owned by the government, has an additional vested interest in avoiding blame.

    I’m willing to bet that the airline will be purging opposition supporters soon, as security risks.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  26. Otoh, if it was a suicide or suicidal political act, flying into deep ocean until you run out of fuel would be one way to do it, and would avoid the cellphone problem. The climb to 45,000 feet as they went back over Malaysia — the single point where cell phones might have connected — would make sense since it would make cell connections unlikely.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  27. Three stray facts:

    1) According to George Bibel, author of “Beyonf the Black Box”, who was quoted in the New York Post today, the cockpit door may very well have been unlocked. They often are, he said, in Asian airlines.

    So hijackers wouldn’t have needed a show bomb to burst in, and besides they are anyway not prepared for it on Malaysian airlines.

    On Malaysian Airlines, it’s still September 10. 2001.

    The co-pilot, and the pilot he was with that day, had actually invited two girls into the cockpit woth them in 2011, and posted it I think on Facebook, and didn’t get caught.

    2) Indian radar in the south of India is often turned off at night, unless India suspects a specific threat coming from that direction.

    3) The cockpit voice recorder only goes back 2 hours (it used to be 30 minutes years ago)

    This supplies a motive for continuing to fly the plane.

    If the pilot committed suicide, he may have wanted his family to collect insurance.

    If a hijacker, perhaps to protect other memers of his organization, although in this scenario you imagine control being wrested back and forth, or perhaps an inexperienced and lost substitute pilot who tries to communicate with he outside, but doesn’t know how, but in those cases there would have been no intention to crash.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  28. 24. Things may have changed, a lot, since I was in telecom, but the signals to the caller have little or nothing to do with what’s happening at the called end.

    When a cell customer is travelling the phone is considered ‘roaming’. The phone begins constantly sending out UDP, I’m Here, signals and one notices battery life drops like a rock.

    Don’t know what timeouts the Telecom provider might employ to no longer bother with a phone that has not reported in.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  29. You know at first I thought maybe that the Malaysian military radar was some kind of fake blip, maybe even invented – maybe just a printout somebody faked.

    But that seems to be accepted as more solid.

    Malaysia was having people look in two wrong places – first, where the last verbal contact was, and second where it went off the military radar – but there would have been no reaosn to suspect that the plane crashed just there!!

    Its last probable known location, at 2:15 am, was 200 miles or so northwest of Penang, Malaysia in the Andaman Sea, about 1 1/2 hours after its 12:41 am takeoff, and about 45 minutes after the pilot, or somebody pretending to be the regular pilot, had signed off from Malaysian air traffic control in the Gulf of Thailand, and entered a gap between Malaysian air traffic control and Vietnamese air traffic control.

    It flew on at least till 8:11 am, 7 hours and 31 minutes after takeoff, and would have run out of fuel in another 30 minutes or so (the airline said it had about 8 hours of fuel on it)

    Whoever disabled the other things probably did not know about this pinging. Malaysian airlines did not subscribe to this data service, but the pinging (attempting initial contact) still went on anyway.
    What I don’t know is if somebody is calculating that the plane flew on, without changing direction, from that spot, or they are depending on any such assumption in selecting the new search sites.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  30. On yet another hand: the pilot diverted the plane back to a remote site in Malaysia where his co-conspirators waited. They contacted the Malaysian authorities to demand the release of political prisoners and the military attacked instead and killed everyone. Now they lie.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  31. 27. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 3/16/2014 @ 10:48 am

    The climb to 45,000 feet as they went back over Malaysia — the single point where cell phones might have connected — would make sense since it would make cell connections unlikely.

    That’s an excellent idea – except that control of the cockpit must have been in the heands of a bad guy already by 1:14 am and the climb to high altitude didn’t take place till 1:35. Now the transponder could have bene switched off quietly, but it wouldn’t be so wasy to climb up to he climbing of he cockpit and turn off a circuit breaker without being noticed.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  32. Don’t know what timeouts the Telecom provider might employ to no longer bother with a phone that has not reported in.

    No, but there are some, since calling a phone with dead batteries goes straight to voicemail. This may depend on some algorithms based on last location(s). A previously moving and/or roaming phone may be treated differently than a stationary domestic one.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  33. I feel confident
    Super Sleuth Sammy’s on case
    we’ll get to bottom

    Colonel Haiku (7f84dc)

  34. About the plane landing in Malaysia:

    That can’t be early because of the pings. And it is also too hard to hide. Maybe you can on;ly do that if it landed in North Korea.

    To land safely, a Boeing 777 needs a long runway.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  35. Sammy, #32.

    1) That seems a non sequitur.

    2) I presume you are analyzing everything in terms of some sell-developed theory you have, but pardon me if I’m not on the same page as your detailed imagined scenario.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  36. land in teh NoKo?
    we must hold out fervent hope
    no dogs were on board

    Colonel Haiku (7f84dc)

  37. The flight cabin has oxygen available as long as power is available.

    I was too lazy until now to get a basic answer to my question. Google is my friend…

    Forbes.com, March 15: The radar data showing that the aircraft continued to fly after it hit 45,000 feet tend to indicate that there was no catastrophic failure. As far as the passengers surviving at that altitude, it’s important to remember that aircraft that fly above 10,000 feet have pressurized cabins. That is true, of course, of all major airline aircraft. These aircraft are pressurized to mimic the pressure experienced by the human body at an altitude of less than 8,000 feet. Regardless of the aircraft’s altitude in flight, the cabin pressurization system will mimic the pressurization at 8,000 feet or less. This means that at 45,000 feet, the passengers would likely feel the same cabin pressure as at normal cruise altitude. There is no reason to believe that supplemental oxygen would have been required. Or that passengers would not have been able to survive, if in fact the aircraft did climb to 45,000 feet.

    So the question is, assuming the readings from afar were accurate, why did the plane go up so high?

    This had to be planned – very well planned and thought out – how to hijack and divert the plane without anybody noticing that.

    I’m now starting to think this news story doesn’t involve a simple act of suicide or a last-minute, penny-ante type of hijacking.

    the single point where cell phones might have connected — would make sense since it would make cell connections unlikely.

    I understand there’s fairly basic equipment available out there that can be used to jam cell-phone signals. Also, I’ve read that at high altitudes, cell phones will be too far from a base station to make a connection. A well-executed plan to hijack a plane will also presumably involve a thorough search of each and every passenger.

    Mark (d72f8d)

  38. Looks like Rolls Royce denied that engine data was being transmitted after the transponder was turned off. That sort of blows my theory that they could approximate the location of the plane.
    The media has done its usual job of misinforming through over analysis of speculation.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  39. 35. Without using the reversers 6-7000 feet are needed.

    But landing in any case sorta requires the pilot so 3500 feet could suffice.

    The Guatemala City airfield is a good example. The pilot basically uses the taxi lane at the end to finish slowing down. The hardest right turn I took in some years.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  40. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 3/16/2014 @ 11:06 am

    36.Sammy, #32.

    1) That seems a non sequitur.

    I said it sounded like it made sense, except for the fact that maybe cell phone calls about a hijacking might have bene possible twenty minutes or more before the climb to 45,000 feet. Against that, maybe it wasn’t realized, or maybe it was prevented some other way. But I see the climb as maybe an attempt to knock out some people because of a struggle aboard the plane. But then, why is the person who did it OK? Maybe he’s not – this is all a struggle. Or maybe this is part of an attempt to “shake the tail”

    2) I presume you are analyzing everything in terms of some sell-developed theory you have, but pardon me if I’m not on the same page as your detailed imagined scenario.

    No, I don’t really have one. some variant of Flight 93 – a hijacking that failed to accomplish its actau; purpose – looks like the sort of thing that would make the most sense, but I haven’t any kind of detailed theory yet – I have no way to put the pieces together.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  41. Another fact: It’s going to get increasingly difficult to find the black boxes as time goes on, because any floating debris detected would be inncreasingly further from where the plane hit the water, and I guess they can only look at the where the water currents are or were previously for so long.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  42. As far as the satellite is concerned, it depends on what is actually recorded, but there would have been sufficient information to do better than simple speed-of-light delay calculations.

    The plane hand-shaked with the satellite(s) several times during its travels. Each time the actual frequency of the communication would have varied due to Doppler, as both the plane and the satellite are moving. This Doppler, coupled with more than a little spherical trig, would give some indication of the plane’s direction of travel. How good would depend on the type of radio signal, the length of the message and how accurately the satellite needs to compensate for Doppler to acquire the signal. But there are people who, given the raw data, could give a fair answer pretty quickly.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  43. I think the pressure system is only certified up to 43,000. That’s what I read.

    Anyway, all that about knocking people unconscious may be just plain wrong.

    It’s then to “lose the tail” and/or avoid cellphone calls.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  44. It should be fairly easy to determine, who, if anone, was a hijacker.

    All you need to do is look for passengers whom has nobody reporting him missing.

    There could be some genuine cases of people without anybody waiting for them, but you should be able to narrow it down to 10 or 15 people, and then narrow it down further.

    You should be able to determine whether there were a lot of hijackers or not.

    Big question: DO the Malaysian authorities know a lot more than they are letting on?

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  45. Sammy,

    You assume that the pilot wasn’t the bad guy. If you assume he was, than there is no discrepancy of times.

    They flow towards China and, when they were well out of cell range he turned off the transponder — a red flag — having already disabled ACARS, which no one would notice. Then and only then does he divert the plane. The first officer is out of play at this time and the cockpit door is locked.

    To prevent passengers from contacting authorities with cell-phones he climbs to 45K feet as he approaches land on his way over Malaysia. He then turns north to avoid a bit of Indonesia and returns to his course out over the Indian Ocean. During the flight he has remained out of cellphone range, either by altitude or distance from land.

    All consistent with a pilot intending to ditch.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  46. I thought I heard the plane would lose lift due to the thinning air at that height.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  47. Yikes!
    height s/b altitude

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  48. 43. The report is that there is only one synchronous satellite recording over SE Asia. That triangulation is not available. That the strength of signal is used to establish the corridor.

    ACARS asynchronous data reporting was switched off as much as 15 minutes before the transponder and could have been accomplished without access to the flight cabin via and engineering bay accessed in the gangway at the front outside the flight cabin door.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  49. 49. The ‘ping’ is originated via the satellite on hourly intervals and the Rolls Royce engine responded ‘Ready’ on five occasions after ACARS reporting was terminated.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  50. 47. Precisely. Flying near 700 knots on the verge of stalling out. IMHO, not possible for autopilot or a manually by a PhD Uighur with flight simulator training.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  51. Comment by Mark (d72f8d) — 3/16/2014 @ 11:10 am

    I’m now starting to think this news story doesn’t involve a simple act of suicide or a last-minute, penny-ante type of hijacking.

    Last minute, penny ante is one thing it can’t be.

    The same thing goes for the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, by the way..

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  52. 22. On the other hand I have a hard time believing Myanmar’s airports are staffed at 3:30 AM.

    I’ll put a buck on MNU.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawlamyaing_Airport

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/16/2014 @ 10:27 am

    It’s been seven days. Somebody would have shown up to work between now and then and noticed a B777, the world’s largest twinjet.

    Unless you’re suggesting the rogue pilot refueled and took off again. Which would have been a fairly large production requiring an equally large cast and crew, what with 230 or so unwilling participants to detain or otherwise dispose of in addition to normal refueling requiremens.

    I don’t see that going unnoticed at 4:00am no matter how sleepy this airport is. They must have night watchmen.

    Maybe George Zimmerman?

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  53. 49. Doppler is not triangulation. Doppler is relative speed. Geometry/trigonometry will give you a ground vector just from that, since you also have distance.

    Triangulation is what you do when all you have is distance. Here, you have speed information, too, so other methods are available.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  54. 46. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 3/16/2014 @ 11:25 am

    Sammy,

    You assume that the pilot wasn’t the bad guy.

    I don’t like that theory too much.

    You might be forced into it by ruling out everything else.

    Every theory carries with a number of facts that must also be true.

    If you assume he was, than there is no discrepancy of times.

    They flow [flew?] towards China and, when they were well out of cell range he turned off the transponder — a red flag — having already disabled ACARS, which no one would notice.

    The co-pilot would notice it, although he might invent some lie, and he might know him, and his skill level well enough to know what would be plausible to him. But maybe he was out of the picture by this point.

    Then and only then does he divert the plane.

    There’s another step. Signing off from Malaysian air traffic control.

    The first officer is out of play at this time

    How? I suppose any number of ways is possible. He could have locked him out. But getting him out of cockpit is not 100% guaranteed, so that’s a flaw.

    and the cockpit door is locked.

    And nobody else knows something is wrong, or if some of the flight crew does, they assume it is some emergency he is dealing with as best he can.

    If the co-pilot is locked outside, that doesn’t apply.

    If he’s taken care of some other way, maybe he even sends a message to the cabin, saying he is returning to the airport.

    How about: Co-pilot sick? He doesn’t radio anything like that, but he tells the crew.

    Does he drug him in advance, or just after starting the flight?

    What if the co-pilot doesn’t take the drink? I guess he can try another day! No special tools are needed. All he needs is the regular flight, which is repeated periodially.

    To prevent passengers from contacting authorities with cell-phones he climbs to 45K feet as he approaches land on his way over Malaysia.

    Not authorities, family, friends.

    He then turns north to avoid a bit of Indonesia and returns to his course out over the Indian Ocean.

    After crossing the Malay Peninsula and then going south for a bit.

    During the flight he has remained out of cellphone range, either by altitude or distance from land.

    All consistent with a pilot intending to ditch.

    Why 6 hours later? To avoid the cockpit voice recorder?

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  55. If the transponders were shut off by someone, the obvious question is: why would that equipment even have an on-off switch in the crew cabin? There is no legitimate reason whatsoever for shutting off the GPS/transponder in flight, and it would seem the most obvious thing, at least to me, that this equipment should only be accessible to ground maintenance crew.

    The Dana asking the obvious question (af9ec3)

  56. Sammy-You should call George Noory with your facts.
    check your local listings for air time.

    mg (31009b)

  57. Example: Plane nominal speed is 500mph. Satellite angle down to general area is X degrees, which gives you one projection. Apparent plane speed from Doppler is 107 mph (i.e. toward satellite to some degree). Apply a pile of trig. Magic happens and you get an approximate air vector. If you have repeated measurements from geosynch this can improve (assuming constant plane direction). This can also be done with a NEO satellite, but that’s more math and requires more readings and/or assumptions.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  58. You had to know that a Sammalanche on this topic was inevitable.

    JD (dd904d)

  59. Sammy, try to separate the important from the unimportant. Who cares who they call, it ends up with the authorities. Who cares how he deals with the copilot — maybe he tasered him, maybe he beat him to death with a hammer; not important.

    All that is needed is the really beefy post-911 cockpit door is locked and barred, the pilot is alone, there can be no cell communication, and the plane does not trigger any air defense. The passengers can do whatever they want and it won’t matter. The best they can do to stop him from flying into buildings is to start a fire and that’s not very inviting.

    The only country he flew over was Malaysian jungle — a chance but a good one and the only one. He avoided Indonesia, and had he flown North in any direction he would have encountered Vietnam, China, Pakistan, India or Afghanistan, all of which have good air defense for one reason or another.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  60. 15. Ostensibly the MH370 was fueled for 3500 km, 2100 m of flight under a normal regime of operation.

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/print/malaysia/where-in-the-world-is-mh370

    A couple hours flying below 3000 feet over the Andaman Sea would have reduced the effective range.

    To reach the satellite monitored ‘air corridor’ in two hours the plane would have had to travel more or less north from the last point of Malaysian radar contact.

    To then ascend over the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau would have further reduced its range. However, the aircraft is reported to have remained on the air corridor for about 4 hours before powering down.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/16/2014 @ 9:46 am

    I had been wondering about how much fuel this flight normally carries. It seems something of a waste that they’re using a B777-200ER for a route that a smaller, tens of millions of dollars cheaper B767-300ER/300F or its equivalent from Airbus could handle in terms of PAX and range.

    According to current reports, with the usual caveat “if they are to be believed,” it flew 8 hours. So it seems it may have carried more fuel than usual. I suppose nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. Interpol is reportedly perplexed that two Iranians got on this flight with stolen passports that had been reported to their organization and flagged.

    I don’t see any scenario where this aircraft headed north as likely because it’s such a conflict region. The chances of it going undetected are extremely small. So are the odds it could survive a rough field landing. The pilot apparently had 18,000 hours of flight time, and loved flying so much he had a home-built simulator. That’s great, but how many times had he landed a 300,000-450,000lb jet on a dirt strip or dry lake bed?

    I’m not a conspiracy nut, but as a matter of sheer practicality I don’t see it happening without some state support.

    My money is on the idea he went out into the Indian Ocean. The B777-200ER could have easily made the east coast of Africa if it had the gas. No one would have taken an interest in the flight as no one is between Asia and Africa on that route. Not even the USN, as the Harry S. Truman CSG was up in the GOO/NAS conducting joint operations with the French carrier Charles de Gaulle and her task force. At most there would have been an anti-piracy task force at the Africa end of the corridor, which probably wouldn’t have noticed or cared. Then a couple of rogue states are within range. Perhaps the presence of the Iranians and the Uighurs indicates that’s an option.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  61. Dana, apparently there was once a good reason to shut off the transponder back when it used rotary switches to change codes. But I’m told that’s no longer the case now that you can change codes digitally. I suppose the in flight on/off switch is a legacy feature which may well go away after this incident.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  62. If I take the speed of light and divide it by the hypotenuse of pi adjusted for the declination of Kuala Lumpur, I think I can pinpoint exactly where everything happened.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  63. Reports today are that the pilot was politically active with the opposition whose leader had been jailed the day before on trumped up charges of homosexuality, and that his wife and child had moved out the same day.

    This may be the government creating a scapegoat and opportunistically trashing the opposition, or it may be an explanation of why a senior pilot might go nuts.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  64. Actually it wasn’t ACARS that was pinging the satellite. It was Boeing’s AHM.

    http://www.boeing.com/boeing/Features/2013/07/bca_airplane_health_mgmt_07_30_13.page

    Which makes sense as Malaysia doesn’t subscribe to the AHM service. Most B777 operators don’t, since the aircraft is so reliable it doesn’t lose the airline money sitting on the ground waiting for parts or technicians.

    So the pilot may haven’t even known the system is installed regardless.

    The ACARS was apparently shut off, but that requires pulling up the floorboards in the cabin and taking out a circuit breaker.

    Malaysia does subscribe to that service. They knew exactly when the last packet of information had been sent to RR. Which is why they accused the WSJ of getting its story wrong. When the WSJ corrected and clarified its story, the Malaysians seemed genuinely surprised there was such a system on their aircraft.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  65. Funny, daley, but I have some professional experience with this kind of problem.

    The big caveat is that the satellite would have to record the frequency discrepancies and would need several samples to eliminate simple crystal differences, but in theory this kind of thing is possible.

    But probably not in this case, I guess.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  66. Global Warming, a.k.a Climate Change is the culprit.

    Perfectsense (4d5c72)

  67. Pulling up the floorboard panels in the cockpit. ‘Scuse me.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  68. I suppose the in flight on/off switch is a legacy feature which may well go away after this incident.

    There are possibly reasons to turn it off (e.g. troop transports) but maybe not from the cockpit. In any event you should need a passcode.

    Or course, there is still the circuit breaker.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  69. 67. Global Warming, a.k.a Climate Change is the culprit.

    Comment by Perfectsense (4d5c72) — 3/16/2014 @ 12:22 pm

    Concur. The heating of the planet contributes to increased buggery amongst politicians at or near the equator. That combined with the daily, visible rise of the oceans greatly contributes to the feelings of despair and general malaise amongst the populace.

    Hence, air piracy.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  70. Kevin M., military aircraft don’t have these transponders. They’d have IFF.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  71. I’m betting that for whatever reason the plane deviated from its flight path and was shot down deliberately like Korean Air 707. Or, less likely, it got caught by an errant missile in an AA exercise like Siberian Air 1812. And I’m betting on the Vietnamese as the primary suspect. Here’s Wikipedia on airplane shootdowns: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airliner_shootdown_incidents

    nk (dbc370)

  72. “Funny, daley, but I have some professional experience with this kind of problem.”

    Kevin M. – Thank you. I did not even consider the crystals. Are we talking the red ones or the green ones or both?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  73. look over yonder
    crystal blue persuasion yeah
    most definitely

    Colonel Haiku (853a3d)

  74. teh Sun was rising
    tommy james was a prophet
    on Brunswick Records

    Colonel Haiku (853a3d)

  75. 64. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 3/16/2014 @ 12:18 pm

    Reports today are that the pilot was politically active with the opposition

    So what would be the reason for the suicide?

    He heard was in danger of being arrested?

    Unjustifiably, so the Malaysian government is keeping that hidden?

    And then what?

    He determines to kill himself, but to hide the fact it was suicide? For his family? But he has no problems killing more than 200 other people?

    whose leader had been jailed the day before on trumped up charges of homosexuality,

    The day before doesn’t seem to be right. HE WAS SENTENCED, not jailed.

    Or even more exactly, an appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that DNA evidence had been contaminated (and re-instated a sentence?)

    This has been going on for years. Besides the sodomy thing, both he and the government accuse each otehr of being pro-Israel ad being associated with Zionists.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_Ibrahim

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/world/asia/malaysia-opposition-leader-sentenced-in-sodomy-case.html

    A Malaysian appeals court sentenced Anwar Ibrahim, the country’s opposition leader, on Friday to five years in prison on charges of sodomy, a conviction that critics described as an attempt to block the opposition’s ascendancy at a time when the governing party’s popularity is waning.

    Mr. Anwar, 66, was due to register for a local election next week, and a victory could have put him in charge of the country’s richest state, Selangor, which is under opposition control. Although Mr. Anwar is appealing the court decision, and he was released on bail Friday, the conviction bars him from office..

    I don’t know enough to know whether it is a frame-up or not.

    Since, unlike Mark, I consider homosexuality or bisexuality to be really rare, I’m inclined to think it is frame-up.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  76. and that his wife and child had moved out the same day.

    Part of scheme to make sure they collect insurance or pension? Or a lie and it didn’t happen?

    I suppose you could explain also the six hours as being he didn’t really want to die.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  77. 72. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 3/16/2014 @ 12:29 pm

    I’m betting that for whatever reason the plane deviated from its flight path and was shot down deliberately like Korean Air 707. Or, less likely, it got caught by an errant missile in an AA exercise like Siberian Air 1812. And I’m betting on the Vietnamese as the primary suspect.

    For a missile, especially a Vietnamese missile, everything we heard about where it went, and the devices being turned off, would have to be wrong.

    And a missile would also not destroy the plane without giving it a chance to signal distress.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  78. Watch out for that WORM HOLE!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  79. Comment by Steve57 (ab7166) — 3/16/2014 @ 12:09 pm

    According to current reports, with the usual caveat “if they are to be believed,” it flew 8 hours.

    Not that it flew for 8 hours, but it had enough fuel for that. The report is that it definietely flew for 7 hours and 31 minutes. (and presumably was no longer flying after 8 hours and 31 minutes)

    Interpol is reportedly perplexed that two Iranians got on this flight with stolen passports that had been reported to their organization and flagged.

    They shouldn’t be. Passports are never checked against a database of stolen passports by most countries.

    And they weren’t drug smugglers. They were asylum seekers. They both flew out of Doha, Qatar, using their own Iranian passports, and switched to European passports stolen stolen in Thailand in Thailand.

    The precise plane picked was picked only because of its fare. Both were to fly to Beijing, then Frankfurt, with one going on to Amsterdam. The purpose was family re-unification.

    I don’t see any scenario where this aircraft headed north as likely because it’s such a conflict region. The chances of it going undetected are extremely small.

    Unless there is something we don’t know. But it is unlikely it went there.

    So are the odds it could survive a rough field landing.

    And where?

    I’m not a conspiracy nut, but as a matter of sheer practicality I don’t see it happening without some state support.

    I don’t see a safe landing without that, yes.

    My money is on the idea he went out into the Indian Ocean. The B777-200ER could have easily made the east coast of Africa if it had the gas.

    Did the pilot miscalculate how far he could go?

    I’m not sure why the arc is all the way in the east.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  80. Vietnam would have the S-300, like the one that shot down the Siberian Airlines plane. As I understand it, those missiles explode in proximity to the target peppering it with thousands of ball bearings. Like a bird in front of dozens of simultaneous shotgun blasts. The plane could have been literally torn to shreds in an instant.

    nk (dbc370)

  81. 60. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 3/16/2014 @ 12:09 pm

    Sammy, try to separate the important from the unimportant. Who cares who they call, it ends up with the authorities.

    This is just a correction in the direction of accuracy. The difference is it would take some time for the authorities to find out, and the plane would be somewhere else by that time. But we would probably know by now.

    Who cares how he deals with the copilot — maybe he tasered him, maybe he beat him to death with a hammer; not important.

    We’ve got to figure out how it could have happened. A taser would have to be smuggled on board unless he had it there all the time.

    All that is needed is the really beefy post-911 cockpit door is locked and barred, the pilot is alone, there can be no cell communication, and the plane does not trigger any air defense.

    The passengers can do whatever they want and it won’t matter. The best they can do to stop him from flying into buildings is to start a fire and that’s not very inviting.

    But none of that seems to have happened.

    The only country he flew over was Malaysian jungle — a chance but a good one and the only one. He avoided Indonesia, and had he flown North in any direction he would have encountered Vietnam, China, Pakistan, India or Afghanistan, all of which have good air defense for one reason or another.

    Not China, but Burma. And Afghanistan only after crossing over another country, and the same with China. You left out Bangladesh.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  82. 79. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 3/16/2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Watch out for that WORM HOLE!

    That’s the way it almost looked at first, didn’t it?

    Except that there are no worm holes in real life,

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  83. I’m sure that the main cabin doesn’t have positive pressure O2, which would be needed at 40,000 feet (might be needed at 30,000 feet, I don’t really remember.) The flight cabin might have it; crew should have walk-around bottles.

    Circuit breakers used to be placed for the flight engineer’s use (I wouldn’t say convenience.) I suspect now they’re placed to minimize wiring harness weight. Computer aided design can do that.

    At the moment, I’m thinking co-pilot attempted to foil a suicide attempt, both pilots ended up unable to fly, and autopilot (perhaps with the aid of confused passengers) did the rest.

    Shootdown and coverup is possible, of course.

    htom (412a17)

  84. Persistent questions here:
    1. Re. pilot suicide. If this was the case why fly all over creation at varying altitudes just to dump it in the ocean?
    2. What purpose would a suicide by the pilot serve? Insurance would require some kind of verification of death; he would make it easier rather than harder.
    3. If flown, as mentioned, to MNU, then a refueling there would be traceable via the reduction of fuel stored there. If a remote field (private strip or “dry lake bed”) was used, the logistics of a refueling there would certainly leave some kind of trail.
    4. How does any terrorist objective be met without making it known that you had the plane and passengers and what would happen to either or both if you (whoever you might be) did not meet the demands.

    At some point the speculation must hit the “reset” button and Occam’s Razor be employed.

    Off the wall theory: Rod Serling has risen and is using us as a beta study for the next Nelson DeMille novel. WWJCD? [what would John Corey do?]

    gramps, the original (e6edf4)

  85. “Except that there are no worm holes in real life”

    Sammy – You believe what you want.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  86. “Except that there are no worm holes in real life,”

    How about Mrs. George Steponpoupolus?

    Colonel Haiku (853a3d)

  87. 85. 3. If flown, as mentioned, to MNU, then a refueling there would be traceable via the reduction of fuel stored there. If a remote field (private strip or “dry lake bed”) was used, the logistics of a refueling there would certainly leave some kind of trail.

    Comment by gramps, the original (e6edf4) — 3/16/2014 @ 1:51 pm

    People keep bringing up this “dry lake bed” theory and I just can’t buy it. For one thing, this time of year in the northern hemisphere those dry lakes aren’t actually dry. They may not fill up with water, but rain or a good dusting of snow will turn the surface into something you can not and do not want to attempt to land something like a jumbo jet on.

    There’s a reason people wait until May through September to try and set land speed records at El Mirage dry lake in SoCal or Bonneville. They have to wait until the surface has dried out and is good and hard.

    On top of that, how does a guy with no experience landing at an improvised airstrip do so in the dark? In a plane that normally requires a paved runway feet thick?

    Seems like an awful rough way to pop your cherry.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  88. http://www.luftfahrt.net/grafik/aircrafts/emirates-777-300ER_1000.jpg

    That’s not a plane designed to land at unimproved airfields. The world’s largest turbofans slung under the wings, close to the ground? The landing gear isn’t exactly designed to go off-roading on, either.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  89. “How about Mrs. George Steponpoupolus?”

    Colonel – Then you’ve got Mrs. Paul Krugman or whatever blow up doll he uses.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  90. What that airliner would have to deal with.

    http://vietnamairlift.com/images/c-130dirt.jpg

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  91. FYI, since October 1983 the Land Speed Record (Absolute) has been set North of Reno, Nevada at Black Rock Desert. The record (763 MPH) is currently held by ThrustSSC driven by Royal Air Force pilot, Andy Green, first car to break the sound barrier on October 15, 1997. I was there.

    ThrustSSC was powered by 2 Rolls Royce Spey Turbofan engines, the same engines which powered the F-4 Phantom. The same British team is now gearing up for another record attempt using new EruoJet EJ200s that now power the Typhoon.

    ropelight (5d2732)

  92. When in doubt, blame the Muzzies (™Neal Boortz).

    Fanatic pilot is the scenario all the governments will never accept. If they do, all international travel becomes an unsafe proposition in the minds of too many.

    They need a Kallstrom to honcho a ridiculous scenario as they did for TWA 800. They’ll find one.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  93. 87. Oooh, I think wee need to report that one.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  94. 88. Concur, need a good foot of reinforced concrete or whatever according to the skunk works elves.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  95. The reason I like the MNU azzpull is the Karen and the Junta are generally at arms length. My conspiracy employs a bad actor government with semi-autonomous locals.

    Double your incommunicative pleasure.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  96. Charlie Martin’s piece is one of the most interesting ones I’ve seen on this mystery. Still all speculation of course but lots to choose from.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/03/16/malay-mystery/?singlepage=true

    elissa (3a8451)

  97. 97. Charlie’s stuff is always good.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  98. Where is the plane now? Down, down, down, at the bottom of the sea probably. This may be a highjacking gone bad (my vote) or a very very clever plot that has partially succeeded. If the second, what happens next??

    Judith H (698dfc)

  99. Israel is on alert for the possible threat of the 777 carrying a dirty bomb or other device.

    Seems like a good idea to me.

    But I rather expect the pilot is motivated to hit a less displaced target of his rage.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  100. Planes flying to Israel better follow their flight plans to the split second and respond immediately to communications. Better yet, don’t fly to Israel for a while.

    nk (dbc370)

  101. If the transponders were shut off by someone, the obvious question is: why would that equipment even have an on-off switch in the crew cabin? There is no legitimate reason whatsoever for shutting off the GPS/transponder in flight, and it would seem the most obvious thing, at least to me, that this equipment should only be accessible to ground maintenance crew.

    @56 Comment by The Dana asking the obvious question (af9ec3) — 3/16/2014 @ 11:55 am

    Greetings to The Dana,

    First, GPS has nothing to do with the transponder. The transponder does not provide any GPS data whatsoever to ATC. The new generation ADS-B does, but not all airlines use that yet.

    Second, it is not uncommon for a transponder to hicup in flight. Typical in-flight solution — same as Microsoft, turn off and then back on.

    Also, with any avionic piece of equipment, you want the pilot to be able to turn it off in different emergency situations. Maybe total power loss, need to save battery; maybe electrical faults that may lead to fire…there are many reasons. (For Steve57 @ 62: The transponder does not have to be turned-off to set the ident — never has — and that info is input by the pilot. Now the IFF codes, yes, but that does not apply to civilian aircraft).

    Bottom line, your pilot has your life in his hands anyway, and if you do not trust your pilot, do not fly with him (or her). Quite frankly, there is an elevated risk factor if the pilot or copilot is of a particular religion.

    1997 Silk Air
    1999 Egypt Air
    (now IMHO) Malaysia Air

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  102. Has everyone forgotten about the Iranians on stolen passports?

    Not that that means anything.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  103. Thanks, Pons, for that comment.

    “1997 Silk Air
    1999 Egypt Air
    (now IMHO) Malaysia Air” -pons

    Yeah, me too.

    felipe (6100bc)

  104. 63.If I take the speed of light and divide it by the hypotenuse of pi adjusted for the declination of Kuala Lumpur, I think I can pinpoint exactly where everything happened.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 3/16/2014 @ 12:16 pm

    This gets my vote for thread winner.

    felipe (6100bc)

  105. 102. I agree that his religion is a big part of the pilots motive.

    He sent his family away the day before the flight. Apparently owns a T-shirt “Democracy is Dead”, is evidently a fervent supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, ordered imprisoned also the day before the flight.

    Is the plane and passengers sufficient loss? I would think he had some months warning that Ibrahim would buy the ice box.

    The crew assignments were purportedly random, but I would think the pilot needed help with the passengers.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  106. i think time will show that the two Iranian kids were using a smuggling ring that provided escape for members of well off families to leave the Islamic paradise by disappearing from a trip to another ROPMA idyl, only to show up later in the decadent west.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  107. 105. Good find. Here’s the satellite coverage and why Malaysia and Sumatera are excluded.

    http://www.inmarsat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/I-3-satellite-coverage-November-2013.jpg

    That said the POR satellite would appear very near the horizon in Malaysia.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  108. Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 3/16/2014 @ 9:29 pm

    Thanks, red!

    felipe (6100bc)

  109. If I take the speed of light and divide it by the hypotenuse of pi adjusted for the declination of Kuala Lumpur, I think I can pinpoint exactly where everything happened.

    I get 25 degrees North, 71 degrees West*. What do you guys get?

    *Map for joke.

    nk (dbc370)

  110. de nada… it pays to be a moron!

    AoSHQ moron, anyway… 8-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  111. The following is just one comment from the site red linked.

    Quote:

    The US has ample satellite means of reconnaissance to identify the plane, if it ws at any known airport. An off-airport landing would likely trigger the ELT, unless it can be deactivated in flight. It can’t on my plane.
    I can easily arm or disarm my ELT from the left seat…

    Response: I can’t envision the airplane getting into or beyond Pakistan or any of the other ‘stans without U.S. surveillance assets seeing it. Same for the respective militaries of India and China and their territories. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. They may have seen it but not recognized it for what it was, or they allowed it in with full knowledge of what was going on.

    For one thing, it’s not impossible to file and fly as a different aircraft, even one operated by a government, with full ATC knowledge. And it’s unlikely any U.S. surveillance assets were looking in the right direction at the right time to pick out this T7 from the clutter, but there may have been some non-scheduled flights acting like a big Boeing. I think theories about it tailgating another aircraft are a bit far-fetched because of the skills required, but masquerading as yet another Boeing doesn’t seem all that difficult.

    At the end of the day, if this isn’t a result of a mechanical failure, a botched hijacking that ended over water, or suicide, it’s a very sophisticated and well-executed plan, to an unknown end. If so, the airplane likely is on the ground somewhere, well-camouflaged or hangared, perhaps having landed before dawn at a secluded location, like a military base. That means state actor, or at least someone acting with a government’s tacit approval and a sophisticated,
    well -planned, -disguised and -implemented endeavor. So far.

    Who has the resources and testicular fortitude to plan and pull this off?

    Ultimately, though, I think the highest probability here is Captain Speaking did a deadstick lawn dart into the IO, and some trace will be identified in 48 hours or so.

    Again, thanks red, good stuff here. Going to bed now, g’night all.

    felipe (6100bc)

  112. Thanks felipe!

    He sent his family away the day before the flight. Apparently owns a T-shirt “Democracy is Dead”, is evidently a fervent supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, ordered imprisoned also the day before the flight.

    @107 Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/16/2014 @ 9:30 pm

    I did not know that — looking more and more…

    …but I would think the pilot needed help with the passengers.

    Nah, they could not get through the cockpit door without explosives. All they could do is pound and try to use some sort of battering ram. Worse case, the (co)pilot could always depressurize the aircraft at, say, 35,000 ft and game over as soon as the O2 masks deplete, which is well before the (co)pilot’s O2 supply. And yes, the pilots can manually control the aircraft’s pressurization.

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  113. 114. “yes, the pilots can manually control the aircraft’s pressurization.”

    News we can use.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  114. #102: PSA flight 1771

    As the aircraft, a four-engine British Aerospace BAe 146-200, cruised at 22,000 ft (6,700 m) over the central California coast, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recorded the sound of someone entering and then leaving the lavatory. The captain and the co-pilot were asking air traffic control about turbulence when the sound of two shots being fired in the cabin was heard on the CVR. This was probably when Burke shot Thomson to death.[7] The co-pilot immediately reported to air traffic control that a gun had been fired on board and no further transmissions were received from the crew. The CVR recorded the cockpit door opening and a female, presumed to be a flight attendant, told the cockpit crew, “We have a problem.” The captain replied, “What kind of problem?” A shot was fired, presumably killing the flight attendant, and Burke announced “I’m the problem,” and two more shots were heard that either incapacitated or killed the pilots. Several seconds later, the CVR picked up increasing windscreen noise as the airplane pitched down and accelerated. The remains of the flight data recorder (FDR) indicated the control column had been pushed forward, most likely by Burke, causing the aircraft to dive.

    A final gunshot was heard followed not long after by a sudden silence. It is speculated that the final shot fired by Burke had killed the airline’s chief pilot, who was also on board as a passenger and who may have tried to reach the cockpit to save the aircraft. According to the TV series Mayday, a fragment of Burke’s fingertip was recovered with the gun which indicated that he was alive and holding the gun until impact

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  115. 25 degrees North, 71 degrees West

    Don’t need a map, that’s in the Caribbean. Havana< i suppose.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  116. nope… right in the middle of the triangle

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  117. #117… Sweet Jesus, Kevin… that brings back memories. That was a flight I took fairly often, back when my job had me in the air between NorCal and SoCal, sometimes more than once during the same week. What a bad send-off for PSA…

    Colonel Haiku (0c88f6)

  118. Ultimately, though, I think the highest probability here is Captain Speaking did a deadstick lawn dart into the IO, and some trace will be identified in 48 hours or so.

    That’s what I assumed originally, but now I’m not so sure. If the pilot wanted to off himself, for personal or political reasons, why would he put such a great effort into delaying the final moment? Certainly if he wanted to make a political statement, he presumably would have wanted the whole world to know about it quickly and easily.

    OTOH, if it were a carefully orchestrated plot, then how could it have been pulled off without the assistance of at least one or more additional conspirators? So someone else in the cockpit, and, better yet, someone else in the passenger area probably also would have had to have been in on the plot.

    There’s also talk that some researchers for an American company that supplies weaponry to the US military were among the passengers.

    Mark (d72f8d)

  119. Interesting. I had never heard of the PSA Flight 1771 incident before. We were in Costa Rica in language school at the time.

    It seems to have been somewhat elaborately planned and executed for a suicide, unless there were reasons the perpetrator really wanted to vanish without a trace and leaving nothing but a mystery.

    I doubt the “steal the plane to use it in another attack” theory, as it seems to have been an elaborate job to do this in itself to then try to pull off another elaborate job. And I understand it takes a runway over 1 mile long to land the plane “in a condition for it to fly again”. If you don’t mind damaging the plane in landing just to get the hostages somewhere you can do that on a smaller runway.

    Any possibility they actually intended to “kamikaze” a US carrier in the region? Maybe they attempted it and were shot down? It sounds like they were quite sophisticated in what they were able to do. Any scenario like this may be known about but kept quiet. On one hand it seems like Google maps knows just about everything, the NSA and the rest of the world’s spy agencies can’t let a 777 disappear, but then again, one only sees what they are looking for, and it’s not the DC-NYC corridor.

    An elaborate kidnapping of some filthy rich multi-billionaire from that part of the world? But wouldn’t such a person be on their private jet? A political kidnapping of again some very valuable target?

    At this point, I’m not sure what further info will be better info or disinformation to detract from what really happened.

    It would be interesting to know what US military assets were in line with the last known trajectory of the plane.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  120. As I recall, the perp on that PSA flight was a drug-addled, disgruntled, soon to be ex-PSA employee.

    Colonel Haiku (0c88f6)

  121. Doc, if the plane had approached a Carrier Task Force demonstrating hostile intent (not responding to radio challenges) and had been shot down, the entire world would know about it.
    With close to 5K men and women aboard a carrier, you couldn’t keep that a secret in the age of the text message and email.

    I think there is a hostile act in this plane’s future, and that our current policy of “leading from behind” will not be helpful in preventing it.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  122. Iran Air Flight 655, shot down by the Vincennes, was not looking to kamikaze anything. It just happened to come into the sights of an overly-fearful captain of a ship, sent to a place it had no business been in to rattle the saber of a President with advanced Alzheimer’s. Accidents happen when you play with guns. And I doubt that either the Chinese or Vietnamese navies are not capable of clamping the lid down on such an incident, the cellphone/internet age notwithstanding.

    nk (dbc370)

  123. 125. Doc, if the plane had approached a Carrier Task Force demonstrating hostile intent (not responding to radio challenges) and had been shot down, the entire world would know about it.
    With close to 5K men and women aboard a carrier, you couldn’t keep that a secret in the age of the text message and email.

    I think there is a hostile act in this plane’s future, and that our current policy of “leading from behind” will not be helpful in preventing it.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 3/17/2014 @ 8:13 am

    True dat. It isn’t like this hadn’t occurred to the Navy before. It’s why I checked the CENTCOM site to see if I could find out where the carriers were and mentioned it in an earlier comment. It would also apply to Diego Garcia, which is on a commercial air corridor and following 9/11…

    Nevermind.

    If the plane had been CBDR and losing altitude when it should not have been it would have been shot down. Don’t forget it’s not just 5k sailors on the carrier. There are also all the sailors on the destroyers and cruisers as well. And not just USN destroyers.

    http://navalmatters.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/truman-carrier-strike-group-finally-set-to-deploy-to-persian-gulf/

    The Truman will be deploying with the destroyers Bulkeley and Mason, the guided missile cruisers Gettysburg and San Jacinto and 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron, a combined U.K. and U.S. staff.

    There’s just no way to keep that quiet. It’s happened before, and nobody shut up about it. As a matter of fact when I heard about the Iranians with the stolen passports I immediately considered the notion this might be a revenge attack.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  124. You beat me to it, nk. That’s what I get for being longwinded, with footnotes.

    Steve57 (ab7166)

  125. Actually, your comment was more pithy in the sense of giving information and not rant, Steve. 8-)

    nk (dbc370)

  126. Thanks to redc14 for the new smiley, BTW.

    nk (dbc370)

  127. Comment by gramps, the original (e6edf4) — 3/16/2014 @ 1:51 pm

    Off the wall theory: Rod Serling has risen and is using us as a beta study for the next Nelson DeMille novel. WWJCD? [what would John Corey do?]

    The wrong thing.

    There was one about TWA Flight 800.

    But the important thing about TWA Flight 800 was that the missile theory was part of the coverup.

    And it wasn’t dark when it crashed.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  128. The ACARS analysis is now a total mess. Did they log off or flip a breaker, did they shut it down before or after sign off at the radar handoff point, was it a Sat-Com box that remained operative or part of the Rolls Royce installation?

    They definitely did not have the fuel to reach beyond the Western Tien Shan to the Karakoram and Pakistan via the Himalaya.

    Finally, we’ve not been told anything about the location of the plane relative to the pre-calculated corridors until the final success at 8:11 AM.

    Evidently, there is no storage of data with the Sat-Com link, and the fact we have a 1:37 time of first failure of ACARS had nothing to do with the uplink software and satellite analysis.

    So the fact the plane was on a corridor at 8:11 does not preclude an intervening landing and take off.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  129. 93. Comment by Ed from SFV (3400a5) — 3/16/2014 @ 5:41 pm

    They need a Kallstrom to honcho a ridiculous scenario as they did for TWA 800. They’ll find one.

    What Kallstrom did is he really pushed the missile theory – in his case it was enemy missile.

    Numerous witness accounts were collected, and never made public, so that the confusion could never be straightened out. (the vast majority of accounts were probably of flares shot up sometime after the crash.)

    Also, a few liars were recruited to be quoted in newspapers.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  130. Some stray facts on the Malaysian crash:

    1) The voice of the pilot who signed off with Malaysian Air Traffic Control 16 minutes after the ACARS system was turned off, and 9 minutes after the transponders were turned off is said by Malaysia to be that of the more inexperienced Co-Pilot.

    2) As recently as a month ago or so he was still being trained to fly a Boeing 777.

    3) The two pilots had not asked to work together.

    There goes the theory of the chief pilot incapacitating the co-pilot.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  131. Stupid theories numbers 8 and 9:

    1. The plane landed somewhere (Djakarta Airport?) and is intended for use in a future act of terrorism (people who steal jetliners, having no other use for them.)

    2. It was a dry run to see if a plane could be successfully hijacked, but the hijackers had no plans for what to do with the plane after it was hijacked, except to make it disappear.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  132. Back to TWA Flight 800:

    That investigation is what made me initially suspicious of the Malaysian radar track, because there was an invented blip in that case.

    « . . .At the dawn SVTS conference on Thursday, an FAA official reported that a strange radar blip had crossed the TWA craft as it vanished from the screen. »

    - July 29, 1996 Newsweek, page 32, column 1.

    There was not the slightest basis in fact for that statement. That actually wasn’t on the tape at all.

    Later on, as Newsweek reports:

    « And at air-traffic control on Long Island, FAA officials reviewing radar tapes were unable even to find the mysterious blip. »

    - July 29, 1996 Newsweek, page 32, column 3.

    It came from a printout! and I don’t believe the technician who supposedly spotted it was ever named.

    The missile theory was invented in the White House the night of the crash.

    Clinton wanted skeptics to have something to hang their hats on.

    I know this is deep for some people.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  133. President Bill Clinton had set up the TWA Flight 800 investigation this way:

    It was the FBI’s job to determine if there was a crime. If the FBI did not find a crime, the NTSB was not allowed to blame the crash on any cause that would amount to a criminal act.

    Not a bomb, not any other kind of sabotage, not even bogus parts, or mechanics doing something against the rules.

    It’s like the police had to declare something a homicide in order for the medical examiner to find a cause of death that was not accidental.

    You ever heard of any such a thing?

    Only the President of the United States could make the FBI and the NTSB sign such an agreement.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  134. The friendly fire version of the missile theory was more plausible on a technical level, than a Stinger missile, but President Bill Clinton couldn’t hae the U.S. government broach the idea.

    President Clinton probably arranged to leak the Friendly Fire version of the missile theory (which he couldn’t have the FBI do) through French intelligence – who contacted various people, including the Jerusalem Post and later Pierre Salinger.

    There was also this New York Air National Guard guy (Frederick C. Meyer) who claimed to have received a friendly fire message. He was also used personally as a missile witness, playing a double role in this cvharade..

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  135. The final theory did not come from Kallstrom – it came from the NTSB. They had almost settled on a bommb after August 23, 1996, but then Kallstrom made a positive test by the FBI crime lab for explosive residue go away. (by blaming it in a test of a dog.)

    There was only one report confirmed by the FBI crime lab, because when parts were brought up from the ocean, they were pressure washed before being sent to the FBI crime lab.

    So even though explosive residue was detected numerous times at Calverton, it was never confirmed by the FBI crime lab, AND COULD BE IGNORED.

    The time that they did confirm it, they also included a false positive for RDX (I think there was only PETN) to make it look like it was Semtex.

    The NTSB was forced to select the most plausible accidental cause.

    Not the most plausible cause. The most plausible accidental cause that did not even involve anybody departing from the rulebook.

    That was the central fuel tank explosion.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  136. In my opinion, the crash of TWA flight 800 had something to do with organized crime at JFK Airport, and it started with a fire on the outside of the plane, which created a catastrophic explosion of the plane after the fire got big enough.

    And Clinton found out very soon what had gone wrong, and who had done it, and determined to cover it up.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  137. 134. 1.) The point is now not operative. The last transmission of ACARS at 1:07 was followed at 1:37 by no transmission. I.E. signoff and transponder power down occurred before ACARS going missing.

    Also no entry to EE panel below deck is now necessary if ACARS was simply logged off.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  138. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/17/2014 @ 10:32 am

    1.) The point is now not operative. The last transmission of ACARS at 1:07 was followed at 1:37 by no transmission. I.E. signoff and transponder power down occurred before ACARS going missing.

    The time earlier cited was 1:14.

    Now, you are saying is that all that anybody knows is that it was shut off between 1:07 and 1:37 and that it wsas necessary to pull a circuit breaker (a very noticeable act) or know where the circuit breaker was to shut it off?

    We’re still left with the transponder being turned off before, and the attempt to “lose the tail” immedoately after signing off with Malaysian Air Traffic Control.

    This actually would fit a hijacking scenario better than the opposite.

    The New York Times says the last ACARS message was sent at 1:07, but says the Malaysian authorities say it was disabled before the pilot signoff, but do not say how they know.

    The Malaysian Prime Minister claimed this was just before just before the jet reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which would mean at 1:08 a.m. The New York Times says the ACARS system does not send any message that it is being turned off.

    It is apparently also not clear now any more that the last verbal transmission happened after the transponders were shut off. (That also fits a hijacking scenario better than the opposite, as nobody has to force the co-pilot to say everything is OK.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-flight.html

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  139. mentioned it in an earlier comment. It would also apply to Diego Garcia, which is on a commercial air corridor and following 9/11…

    There’s just no way to keep that quiet. It’s happened before, and nobody shut up about it.
    Comment by Steve57 (ab7166) — 3/17/2014 @ 8:57 am

    Thanks for the replies, sorry I missed the previous comment.
    I know we are in the age of cell phones. We are also in the age of NSA and promise of court martial if silence is broken.
    I mean, no one in the military who has first hand knowledge of stand down orders, etc., with Benghazi has said anything public (though clearly that is a much smaller number of people and easier chased down if leaked).

    If the plan was to steal the plane for a future mission, what do you think is planned? Somehow move it to another location, paint it as something else, fill it with explosives- how about a nuke warhead/”suitcase bomb” that someone has without a delivery system- and then send it to NYC taking the place of a London to NY flight that was blown up over the Atlantic? Sounds like an interesting plot for a book, but how long can you keep a 777 secret while globe hopping along with downing another flight without someone noticing?
    I guess you could fly it somewhere else with a nuke for the EM pulse. I guess it could detonate in the air just before it hits Israeli air space?

    Otherwise what? A very elaborate suicide scheme, but with accomplices?? or perhaps kidnapping somebody of interest on board- but it must have been a lot of planning and stand by awaiting some one who made the trip semi-frequently?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  140. OMG, Sammy, your comments are getting more bizarre. An external fire? Yea, Odin held a match to the belly of the 747.

    SPQR (768505)

  141. 144. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 3/17/2014 @ 11:37 am

    OMG, Sammy, your comments are getting more bizarre. An external fire? Yea, Odin held a match to the belly of the 747.

    The external fire was seen by Eastwind Airlines pilot David McClaine, but not by the TWA Flight 800 crew.

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/CRASH/TWA/AUDIO.html

    or

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/CRASH/TWA/ATC_TRANSCRIPT.html I think you mght be able to listen to the *.WAV file also. One or ore words in the transcript may not be quite correct.

    0037:11 [Boston ARTCC Sardi Sector, Radar Position] well i just wanna confirm that ah that you saw the ah splash in the water approximately ah twenty southwest of hampton is that right

    0037:20 [Eastwind Airlines 507] ah yes sir it just blew up in the air and then we saw two fireballs go down to the to the water and there was a big small ah smoke*(from) ah coming up from that also ah there seemed to be a light i i thought it was a landing light *(eye) and it was coming right at us at about i don’t know about fifteen thousand feet or something like that and i pushed on my landing lights ah you know so i saw him and then it blew

    0037:40 [Boston ARTCC Sardi Sector, Radar Position] roger that sir ah that was a seven forty seven out there you had a visual on that anything else in the area when it happened

    0037:47 [Eastwind Airlines 507] i didn’t see anything he seemed to be *(alone) i thought it had a landing light on maybe it was a fire i don’t know

    I say, most probably, it was a fire.

    What’s the explanation? There was a small explosion that created a very small hole in the fuselage, and fuel leaked out and went on fire. This burnt for some time – seven or eight minutes or so – almost since takeoff. The fire, as it heated up the fuselage, melted some parts and made the hole bigger and then aerodynamic forces destroyed the plane.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  142. The NTSB didn’t release that transcript for a year or more.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  143. 18 months later.

    http://www.cnn.com/US/9801/14/twa800.tape/

    the CNN story doesn’t mention about the Eastwind Airlines (total number of planes owned by the airline: 2) pilot thinking it was a fire (or a landing light)

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  144. The New York Times, on July 18, 1996, also reported somebody on the groiund seeing a fire, which grew bigger and then there was a big explosion:

    Rocking on the water in his 17-foot runabout, Victor S. Fehner wondered who was shooting flares in the sky.

    Until that moment, it had been just another hot summer night. Mr. Fehner, a 47-year-old telephone cable splicer, had been out fishing, as usual.

    The sky was getting dark and he was about to give up — he had not caught anything, as usual. He had decided to rev up his outboard engine and head back to the shore.

    Then he saw the flash overhead and watched a fireball that grew larger and larger before it divided in two with each piece falling in a different direction.

    “It looked like a little flame,” at first, he said adding: “All of a sudden it blew up in a tremendous ball of fire. Actually two. The big ball of flame kept going down, just like you see in the movies, with one wing going down, rotating. You could see black smoke trailing behind it.”

    Mr. Fehner thought it was a small plane with engine trouble, a two-seater, that had landed close to the beach after a frightening
    8-to-10-second descent. Not until he had tied up his boat and called his son-in-law, a mechanic with the Coast Guard, did he learn the scope of the disaster he had seen: the plane was a Trans
    World Airlines jumbo jetbound for Paris carrying more than 200 passengers.

    – article by James Barron on the front page of the New York Times of July 18.

    This was only in the paper copy.

    P.S. Actually, a version of this is online but the part about the little flame that he saw after a flash that becomes a big flame until it flares up very brightly and then divides in two isn’t there.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/18/nyregion/the-crash-of-flight-800-the-scene-accidental-witnesses-to-airborne-tragedy.html

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  145. Help!!! I been buried by teh Sammalanche and I can’t get up!

    Colonel Haiku (0c88f6)

  146. there’s a bit of narrative creep in that piece, Shah is wearing a shirt, from a protest a year ago, when there was a fraudulent election,

    narciso (3fec35)

  147. One more thing, maybe:

    Six minutes the plane [TWA Flight 800] blew up. Capt. Steven Snyder made an eerie comment.

    “Seems like a homesick angel here,” he said, using pilot language to say that the plane wasn’t going as fast as it should.

    “It’s bleeding off airspeed,” replied fellow pilot Ralph Kevorkian, implying that the minor drop in speed was not a problem.

    “Yeah,” Snyder said.

    Two minutes before the explosion, Snyder said: “Look at that crazy fuel flow indicator there on No. 4. See that?”

    [According to page 31 of the December 15, 1997 Aviation Week, he said "Look at" that at 8:29:15 and he said "See that?" at 8:29:23].

    . .Even though the pilots’ conversations seem intriguing, investigators said they showed nothing out of the ordinary.

    Alfred Dickinson, the NTSB’s chief investigator, said it was not unusual for the fuel indicator to fluctuate.

    - article by Andy Geller on page 5 of the Tuesday, December 9, 1997 New York Post.

    I speculated fuel leaked to the outside
    when they started transferring fuel from one engine to the other. The fuel collected on the outside and then when the plane began to climb again from 13,000 feet the fuel slid along the outside surface of the plane, to near where the wings met the fuselage. Aerodynamic forces did the rest.

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  148. 149. This is the theory from yestertday that Gary Gulrud said at 141 in reply to my 134 a corre element was not operative because the ACARS was not shut off that early.

    But I don’t know what we know.

    Also, Malaysia now says it was the co-pilot who spoke to ATC at the end. They could be lying, of course, or incompetent.

    This feels, again, like a Flight 93 scenario where the passengers recover control of the airplane.

    Only nobody knows how to get in contact with anyone on the ground, and they fly on for hours.

    One passenger was a flight engineer who should have known how to fly the airplane at least to some degree,

    Sammy Finkelman (cb261b)

  149. 153. I really don’t care what anyone thinks of my theory.

    One of the attendants and a Uighur Ph.D. had prior simulator experience. The flight cabin door was not locked at the moment Malaysian radar handed off to Vietnamese radar(or no-man’s airspace).

    The co-pilot signs off, the auto-pilot executes a turn the co-pilot is ushered into the passenger cabin and a very few co-conspirators lock the flight cabin door behind them.

    The passenger cabin is de-pressurized and the captives greased against a 40K foot ceiling. The plane hits the deck over the Malaysian/Thailand frontier.

    The flight proceeds to the way points in the Malacca Strait and then into the Andaman Sea. It puts down at 3:30 AM on a remote airport in Myanmar near the Thai frontier never quite reaching the corridor where its last acknowledgement is sent at 8AM when it’s finally shut down completely.

    The plane and passengers will be ransomed.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  150. Now Thailand says, on review, ‘Yeah, we saw a bogey too!’

    Sure ya did.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  151. I twaut I taw a puddy tat!!

    mg (31009b)

  152. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/17/2014 @ 7:50 pm

    One of the attendants and a Uighur Ph.D. had prior simulator experience.

    If they had anything to do with it, then it’s a hijacking. Only if the pilot or the co-pilot diverted the plane, is it not a hijacking.

    Some more bots of news from yesterday:

    The only thing that remained from the original three things part of the timeline is the transponders were shut off at 1:21.

    The last communication, however was not at 1:30 but at 1:19 am. Malaysian authorties are saying it wasthe younger, and more inexperienced, especially in Boeing 777s, co-pilot.

    And the time the ACERS system was shut off is no longer 1:14 but is unknown, except that it was between 1:07 and 1:37. Except that Malaysian authtories without giving a reason are saying it was before the last verbal contact. The Prime Minister even made a claim that would have placed the time at 1:08.

    The flight cabin door was not locked at the moment Malaysian radar handed off to Vietnamese radar(or no-man’s airspace).

    That’s probably right. It’s still September 10th over there. They were in no-man’s airspace.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  153. The co-pilot signs off, the auto-pilot executes a turn

    What’s this?

    That autopilot hijacked the plane?

    Can it even be programmed to do that – go to a new destination?

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  154. That’s actually in the second lead New York Times story today!

    The source(s) are “senior American officials.”

    It could be done by typing 7 or 8 keystrokes into a computer which is on a knee high pedestal between the two pilots.

    What could be done? Something that went to a particular destination? A change of course at that point in the flight path?

    This could be done before takeoff, too, by someone who didn’t go on the plane.

    But how would you know this had happened???

    How did this become a fact?

    If this was knowable, why did it take ten days for this to become known, or at least public?

    As soon as you knew that, you’d know that the plane did not go down in the South China Sea or Gulf of Thailand.

    This theory would make a “dry run” plausible, but only if nobody would guess what had happened, otherwise whoever did this would not want to spoil the element of surprise.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  155. A simple explanation, with a hat tip to William of Ockham. Well worth reading:

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/

    Simon Jester (a13a6f)

  156. ^ What Simon Jester said.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  157. I think it was a result of the pilots maybe having been spanked or circumcised as children.

    JD (5c1832)

  158. 159. I would agree the fire scenario can be made to fit until about 2 AM.

    Thereafter, not so much.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  159. The Telegraph is today reporting a Maldives sighting the morning of MH370 disappearance of a ‘low flying plane’.

    The Maldives(not to be confused with Dog’s Malvinas) are a score of low-lying atolls SSE of India. Maximum elevation 3 meters.

    Provided a plane was low enough to avoid detection by radar from Diego Garcia to the South a possible route to the ME.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  160. 166. A number of the practice airports had lengths of 1000 meters which do not permit takeoff of the 777.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  161. At least provisionally, not a flight in distress:

    From Checkpoint Igari in the South China Sea, it flew on to Checkpoint Vampi, northeast of Indonesia’s Aceh province and a navigational point used for planes following route N571 to the Middle East. Subsequent plots indicate the plane flew towards Checkpoint Gival, south of the Thai island of Phuket, and was last plotted heading northwest towards another checkpoint, Igrex, used for route P628 that would take it over the Andaman Islands and which carriers use to fly towards Europe. The complexity involved led aviation experts to set their sights on the pilots and crew.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  162. Maldive report may be excluded falling an hour after last Sat-Com ping thousands of miles from the corridor.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  163. Some more honestly carried out referenda and some bad ones:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/03/crimea-vote-awkward-west-it-isnt-unprecedented

    Upper Silesia in 1921. Results mostly nor respected. It was partitioned, which had not been the plan.

    1935 Saarland – but maybe there was a lot of intimidation there..

    1955 Saarland. Independence was rejected 32.3 per cent to 67.7 per cent, despite both France and West Germany supporting the move.

    1990 Bosnia: vote boycotted by Serbs.

    1962 Algerian independence: intimiodatuion plus boycott.

    Transnistria 1991 and 2006 – doesn’t look honest.

    West Papua 1969: Indonesia replaces a possible refernedeum with assembly of 1,000 male elders to ask for union with Indonesia.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  164. Wrong thread.

    The basis for saying that the plane was already supposed to head west is supposed to be the last ACERS (or only?)data transmission at 1:07 am. If that happened.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  165. Re; Wired story: Heading toward Palau Langkawi airport might make sense, but is consistent with widely differing scenarios.

    Maybe it is true that in case of a fire you pull the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one, so the ACERS might have been shut off, and the transponders, and later burned out.

    Climb to 45,000 might be not to knock out anyone,
    or prevent cellphone or Internet connections, but put out the fire.

    One problem with this being an accident is that it takes place just at the point where the aircraft can disappear unnoticed – between air traffic controls.

    Also we now have this report that the diversion had been programmed in. Who knows if that is true?

    Does anyone know if it stayed on one course after a certain point in time?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  166. Chinese government claims to have cleared all China-based passengers of suspicion of having been hijackers.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  167. Slate: Why Didn’t the Missing Airliner’s Passengers Phone for Help?

    Answers:

    1. Many passengers were asleep and they weren’t woken up because there was no turbulence (??) because maybe the altitude-deviation reports are wrong.

    2. Cell phones don’t work above 3,000 feet. (?) Or maybe that’s 10,000 feet.

    On United Flight 93 passengers most of their calls were made using GTE AirFones, a technology no longer in use that relied on radio waves to communicate with the ground. There is another technology called another technology, so-called “pico cells” (miniature cell phone towers located within the plane) but Flight 370 appears not to have been equipped with this. Malaysia Airlines offers a “air-to-ground phone” service in business class that also allows passengers to send email, but the captain can shut this down.

    However, attempted calls might have been detectable. If a cell phone is taken out of airplane mode, it would begin sending out signals every 20 seconds or so, trying to locate the nearest cell phone tower. This will drain the battery, which is why airplane mode exists. But the passengers would have had to try to connect to the ground.

    3. The pilot can depressurize the cabin, which at 30,000 feet will cause passengers to lose consciousness within seconds unless they grab their oxygen mask (which will automatically deploy if the pressure drops to such an extent). But sucking air from a tube will keep passengers immobilized in their seats, and at any rate the chemically-generated oxygen will run out after 15 minutes.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  168. Thailand now also reports the plane went to the western side of Malaysia.

    Originally they didn’t pay attention to the plane, and later the Malaysian call for help was not specific enough. They finally took a new look (when Malaysia reported the new possibility) and some experts to found it.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  169. Slatest PM: What If We Never Find Flight 370?

    CBS/AP says:

    1. It would torment the families of those missing.

    2. It would flummox the airline industry.

    3. Liability issues will be a huge headache for courts. With no wreckage, it would be difficult to determine whether the airline, manufacturers or other parties should bear the brunt of responsibility.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  170. Durdge is reoprting that “witnesses” in the Maldive Islands (directly to the South of the India and just East of Sri Lanka) report seeing a low flying jet on the morning Flight 370 vanished.

    Located South of the Maldives is the major US outpost on the island of Diego Garcia. It’s highly unlikely, actually foolish in the extreme, that terrorists would elect to hide anywhere within the extended reach of US surveillance facilities on Diego Garcia, which are extensive and highly effective.

    ropelight (8b6241)

  171. Slatest PM: What If We Never Find Flight 370?

    That would make me thing of an episode of the 1960s Twilight Zone TV show, in which a plane ended up in a time warp, traveling back in both space and time, to the age of the dinosaurs, to the era of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, etc.

    Mark (40dc7c)

  172. 178. Thanks for the link. The only possible crash site then, with Shah acting alone, the plane running out of fuel in flight, is the Southern Indian Ocean where Australia is looking.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  173. On CNN Mary Schiavo just said the Maldives are 4 hours out from the last way point. That would mean the report of 6:15 AM could be GMT afterall.

    This might put the horn of Africa just barely in reach.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  174. 182. Cont. In that case however the corridor established by the 8:11 ping would have to be wrong.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BiwPWMOCYAAG3ZC.jpg:large

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  175. The CIA built several secret landing strips long enough for fully loaded B-26 bombers hidden in the jungles of Sumatra and Sulawesi (Celebes) as part of the preparation for the 1958 attempt to overthrow Sukarno. Just sayin’

    ropelight (8b6241)

  176. The claim of the computer being reprogrammed may be disinformation. There was a press conference at which (I think maybe the head of the airline) would only not rule it out.

    That’s one problem here with this investigation. There’s much disinformation being circulated. That would mean that somebody knows, or has a strong suspicion of what really happened, and wants to hide it, and is throwing out all kinds of theories, or claims of fact that would support other theories.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  177. 185. ACARS reported the turn executed under its direction.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  178. I guess if the choice is between too much information, much of it faulty, and none at all we’re happy with the former.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  179. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/18/2014 @ 5:03 pm

    The only possible crash site then, with Shah acting alone, the plane running out of fuel in flight, is the Southern Indian Ocean where Australia is looking

    Or maybe the plane could have landed in Oz.

    How does anyone know that that arc can be trusted? Why don’t we see the arcs for one hour before, two hours before? I would think, if you know distance from the satellite, only one course setting would have the plane traveling X number of miles between the two pings, unless it was moving directly away from the satellite.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  180. 186. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 3/18/2014 @ 6:07 pm

    185. ACARS reported the turn executed under its direction.

    Is that true?

    There’s also the story it could have been shadowing Singapore Flight 68 up to a point. Is that a theory which has an oobvious debunking?

    I’ve heard this thing about shadowing without it being explained. Was the other airliner actually there, or not there, or is it just simply it followed the same route, or is this all made up?

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  181. The time Thailand saw the plane turn left is reported as 1:28 or 1:29, a bit earlier than we had thought.

    1:21 as when the transonders shut off has not changed.

    Last verbal contact by the co-pilot is said to be 1:19.

    ACERS – nobody seems to have the truth there. One version would be that the reason for the 1:07 report was the course change.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  182. Some people from the families in China have been talking about a hunger strike.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  183. Heh, Sammy! How is a hunger strike in China different from any other day?

    nk (dbc370)

  184. Teh dogs can’t stop smiling?

    Colonel Haiku (945927)

  185. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 3/18/2014 @ 6:47 pm

    How is a hunger strike in China different from any other day?

    It’s not 1962 any more. And they may think themselves safe from retaliation, and in any case they are desperate, have nothing to lose, especially with so many one-child families.

    The point is the Chinese families think they are being lied to. Because they are lied to so much, they think people know really a lot more than they are telling.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  186. So now Sammah is speaking on behalf of Chinese families?

    JD (bc236d)

  187. Maybe they were being lied to by the Chinse government (giving them hope) because they didn’t want the crowd to get mad at them. Now they have to pretend they werten’t doing that.

    And maybe for the same reason the Chinese government has quickly announced none of the Chinses passengers are under suspicion. That could also be because they don’t want other countries asking questions.

    But in truth it should be wasy to clear most people. Hijackers would have nobody waiting for them, or missing them, at their destination. They most probably wouldn’t have a cover story for the trip.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  188. Re: lying – somebody could have explained to them very quickly what the cellphones ringing really meant. It didn’t mean the phones were working and turned on.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  189. 195. Not really.

    That’s just part of what’s going on.

    It’s putting some pressure on officialdom.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  190. Sammy speaks for all folks all around this world… long one’s, tall ones, short ones, brown ones, black ones, round ones, big ones, crazy ones

    Colonel Haiku (945927)

  191. 190. ACARS reported the turn at 1:07, that it had been punched in sometime before, possibly while still on the ground.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  192. Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 3/18/2014 @ 2:43 pm

    Rushbo’s caller said he thought the most likely scenario was the pilot and copilot scuffling over who would control the plane as the reason it first climbed to 40,000 then dropped to 20,000, and then probably did a nose dive with little trace.
    One theory.

    Painted Jaguar (a sockpuppet) (f9371b)

  193. Comment by Painted Jaguar (a sockpuppet) (f9371b) — 3/18/2014 @ 7:56 pm

    Rushbo’s caller said he thought the most likely scenario was the pilot and copilot scuffling over who would control the plane as the reason it first climbed to 40,000 then dropped to 20,000, and then probably did a nose dive with little trace.

    One theory.

    He means the rise and fall right at the start. He said:

    And the thing that I believe happened is I think one of the pilots commandeered the airplane from the other pilot. My personal feeling is it might be the captain. The flight path climbed up precipitously to 45,000 feet, stalled, and then dove down to 25,000 feet ’til it was recovered, would probably parallel a cockpit fight for control of the aircraft.

    So I think what happened was the other pilot didn’t want to go along with what the other pilot was doing, so they started fighting. And during that time nobody was flying the airplane, it started climbing, went into a stall and finally somebody got control and recovered the airplane at 25,000 feet, then it took off in whatever direction they think it took off.

    He’s only accounting for the first hour and half at most. He doesn’t say who gained control of the plane in the end but it couldn’t have been the hijackers (or rogue pilot)

    Of course that makes sense as a way to explain the plane’s maneuvers..

    A struggle is what in general I thought about. A Flight 93 scenario, except that control of the plane was recovered from the hijackers. But only with the pilots incapacitated.

    That would explain why it got hijacked and then nothing happened. And it just flew on to nowhere for hours.

    There is every reason to suppose that hijackers would not be as good as keeping control of the plane as the September 11, 2011 hijackers were.

    The passengers also wouldn’t be as good, but they still might prevail.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  194. Incidentally, the ex-Boeing 777 pilot says the pilots could not have kept the other members of the flight crew out of the cockpit by locking the door. There’s a way for them to get in.

    So, presumably, up to a dozen people are suppposed to know the secret.

    Of course, on Malaysian Airlines the doors were not locked most of the time anyway, so maybe they wouldn’t know, or have the key, or whatever it is. (Maybe they are supposed to knock out a panel with something.)

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  195. “There’s much disinformation being circulated.”

    I heartily agree.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  196. And the fact of disinformation being circulated means somebody wants to misdirect people, which in turn probably means somebody wants to cover up something here.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  197. The irony, the rich, chewy, nougaty irony flies untouched overhead.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  198. http://tinyurl.com/ld5r92f

    According to the map here, the plane was not anywhere along the red arc, but the boundaries of its probable flight path is marked by dotted black lines.

    As near as I can tell, that would place the plane almost midway between Perth, Australia, and Madagascar, at about 90 degrees east longitude, and 30 degrees or so south latitude, on a course headed south towards Antarctica that wouldn’t take it within 500 miles of Amsterdam Island, and it ran out of fuel at least 1,500 miles from the Shackleton Ice Shelf.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  199. I meant not just anywhere along the red arc but only near one little portion of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (20c5cc)

  200. I missed this news, now 5 days old:

    Yahoo news: Saudi demands Qatar ‘shut down Al-Jazeera’ (March 14)

    That was on March 5. Saudi Arabia also wanted Brookings Doha Center and the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies closed. Also to “turn over all outlaws” – stop giving asylum or protection to people Saudi Arabia didn’t want them to.

    After that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors from Qatar.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  201. We are now at day 31 1/2. The pingers are supposed to last 30, but in reality they last longer, going as long as 35 days.

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  202. No pings heard today, according to the CBS Evening News, or is that really yesterday?

    A new day is beginning. It is now 31 full days since the crash (which happend at about 8:19 am Malaysian time)

    30 days 23 hours now, The black box pingers are on borrowed time..

    Sammy Finkelman (ebf45c)

  203. The pings were heard again: (or at least one of them was)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-09/plane-hunt-fails-to-replicate-signal-as-search-narrows.html (that was the original URL)

    Dawn is breaking, as Day 33 begins.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  204. More pings heard:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/malaysia-airlines-flight-370-search-possible-black-box-ping-from-indian-ocean/

    Will they find it before the batteries run out??

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  205. The Australiam Prime Minsiter was in China.

    He is pretty confident they are detecting the real thing. Although, of course, no wreckage has been found yet that has bene connected to the plane.

    ————————————–

    They are postponing sending a sub to search the sea bottom because it makes noise and could interfere with detecting a ping.

    The 5th ping they detected does not seem to be connected with the plane, but the eralier ones do.

    They will continue with the pinger locator until they are sure the batteries have run out.

    the batteries will not stop all at once – rather, it will emit a fainter and fainer sound for about ten days.

    Last night (April 10) at about 8:19 pm was the beginning of Day 33. (Sat. March 8 to Tuesday April 8 = 31 days)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  206. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Missing-jet-MH370-skirted-Indonesia-apparently-to-avoid-radar-report-says/articleshow/33342854.cms

    Or maybe not:

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/untrue-that-mh370-avoided-indonesian-radar-hishammuddin-says

    Except that comes from the Malaysian government, and doesn’t change anything we know – it’s just a stupid argument.

    I guess it depends on the meaning of the word “skirt.”

    His argument is that Indonesia said it never detected the plane – in other words,that it never came close.

    But we knew that. The plane turned northwest and then later south.

    One interpretation of such a moovement is that it was avoiding crossing over or being detected by Indonesia.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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