Malaysia airlines 370 with 239 people on board, 8 March 2014 #25

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SouthAussie

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If MH370 turned south at around 18:25, it would have skirted the northwestern corner of Sumatra... which raises the question of why the flight was not detected by Indonesian radar. Pondering this question, Jeff Wise notes that Indonesia's radar capability is quite advanced and has responded numerous times to incursions by civilian aircraft. But Indonesia emphatically denies that MH370 was detected within its airspace. Yet another mystery....

I'm not so sure about the Indonesian capabilities. As Jeff Wise says, the radar in the western area of Indonesia is in Lhokseumawe, Aceh. It has a range of just 240nm .. a good chunk of those nm (about 100nm?) would be over Indonesian land if it was looking west/south west, leaving only about 140nm covering ocean space.
According to the article below, it monitors traffic in the Malacca Straits (opposite direction to MH370's apparent wayward flight path).
There has been some speculation as to whether they would have even been in a position to see MH370 heading south 'behind' it.

This article also explains how even the powerful Australian Jindalee radar would have only seen a very small unidentified dot on a map, if it did see MH370 at all.

http://anilnetto.com/governance/accountability/aceh-radar-detect-mh370-jakarta-post/



Indonesian radar is about to undergo some big upgrades due to its current capabilities. The unidentified plane - there probably are more than one, but I only know about one Aussie one - recently picked up on radar was directly over their more eastern airspace, which is apparently far more heavily monitored.

http://www.janes.com/article/43682/indonesia-china-discuss-radar-deal
http://www.defencereviewasia.com/ar...nnounces-Indonesian-Radar-Industry-Initiative
 

ilovepierre

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If MH370 turned south at around 18:25, it would have skirted the northwestern corner of Sumatra... which raises the question of why the flight was not detected by Indonesian radar. Pondering this question, Jeff Wise notes that Indonesia's radar capability is quite advanced and has responded numerous times to incursions by civilian aircraft. But Indonesia emphatically denies that MH370 was detected within its airspace. Yet another mystery....

But MH370's transponders were turned off.
Would it have been able to show up on radar anyway?
 

SouthAussie

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The head of the world's largest international airline believes information about missing flight MH370 is being concealed, calling into question who was in control of the doomed aircraft and the role of the Malaysian military.

Emirates has more of the Boeing 777, the make of MH370, in its fleet than any other airline.

Clark said his electronic engineers believe that even though the plane's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, known as ACARS, was disabled it would still send out weak signals and remain traceable.

To even disable the system, which allows the aircraft to communicate with the base through satellite, you would have to go through multiple steps including entering the avionics bay, he said.

"That requires you to leave the flight deck and go down through a trap door in the floor to do that. But somehow this thing was disabled so much so that the ground tracking capability was eliminated."

A Malaysia Airlines spokeswoman also said the carrier could not comment on whether pilots were trained to disable ACARS or how many people on board the flight would have known how to stop the system, as the matter was "under investigation".


Clark also cast doubt bout the role of the Malaysian military, saying the claim that they identified MH370 as friendly when it suddenly reversed course and so took no further action was "bizarre" and needed to be "looked at very carefully".

"That is where the conundrum is of mystery, that is where we must be more forthright and candid as to what went on, it is not good enough for the Malaysian military to say: 'On a prime radar we identified it as friendly'.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/flig...-concealed-20141121-11pue6.html#ixzz3Jhu0ygOr
 

SouthAussie

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The man in charge of coordinating the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is so confident of finding the missing aircraft, he has a bottle of Moët on ice for the occasion.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau crash investigator Peter Foley heads up an “extremely motivated” team of 180 people worldwide working to solve the aviation mystery.

In a wideranging interview with News Corp Australia he reveals they are fattening the search area, planning for recovery, and expect debris from the Boeing 777 to start washing up in Indonesia soon.

“Something is going to wash up somewhere on the beach, most probably in Sumatra,” he says. “Personally, I think something eventually will be found. Things in the ocean take a long time to come ashore.”

As tedious as the work can be, Foley says the level of commitment within the team is humbling. “People are so motivated, I can count the number of days we’ve had off,” he says.

In the meantime the 1988 Moet is chilling nicely. “We will find the answer,” says Foley. “It’s important for the world to know what happened to this aircraft.”

http://www.news.com.au/national/mal...ator-peter-foley/story-fncynjr2-1227131065377
 

gregjrichards

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"The chief executive of Emirates believes information on missing aircraft MH370 is being withheld by authorities.

This was revealed in a formerly unpublished full transcript of an interview conducted by well-known aviation journalist Andreas Spaeth, which has been made available on the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sir Tim Clark further questioned the role of the Malaysian military after the Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared on March 8 this year carrying 239 people, including six Australians, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing."


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...MH370-withheld-authorities.html#ixzz3JmAC3WgV

New article thought I would post it. Thanks to everyone for your posts and updates.
 

Bryan9

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that serious disagreements have arisen among the five investigative teams directing the MH370 search (Boeing, Inmarsat, France’s Thales Group , the U.S.’s National Transportation Safety Board, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation). At issue are divergent trajectories based on whether it is assumed that the plane was guided by its autopilot... but the resulting search zones are hundreds of miles apart.
“Originally we thought we had a consensus among the five groups, based on the best data available at the time,” Mr. Dolan, head of the Australian air-accident investigator, said in an interview. “Once we refined the data again the methodologies diverged.”
Even if there were consensus among the investigative groups, the Inmarsat data is so sensitive to frequency errors that the search zones represent educated guesses, at best:
“If you get a 1Hz variation in frequency in your assessment that leads to a 300-kilometer variation,” Mr. Dolan said of attempts to use satellite transmissions to locate the plane. “It’s hugely sensitive to initial inputs throughout any of the five models.”
An unnamed expert quoted by the WSJ says that the disagreements, and the resulting spread of search assets over multiple zones, makes recovery even less likely.
 

SouthAussie

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that serious disagreements have arisen among the five investigative teams directing the MH370 search (Boeing, Inmarsat, France’s Thales Group , the U.S.’s National Transportation Safety Board, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation). At issue are divergent trajectories based on whether it is assumed that the plane was guided by its autopilot... but the resulting search zones are hundreds of miles apart.

Even if there were consensus among the investigative groups, the Inmarsat data is so sensitive to frequency errors that the search zones represent educated guesses, at best:

An unnamed expert quoted by the WSJ says that the disagreements, and the resulting spread of search assets over multiple zones, makes recovery even less likely.


I don't envy these guys at all ... trying to work out where the plane entered the water by a series of blips and differing analysis results. What a task!

The good thing is that they are talking and consulting with each other, and nobody seems to be acting pig-headed about any of the variable results. They seem to be acting considerate of one another ... because nobody really knows which analysis is/could be the most correct.

At least they all agree that the 7th arc is the area ... just where on that 7th arc is the problem.

Meanwhile, they are also working on a new drift analysis, probably due to differing analytical opinions, to figure out where debris may wash up.

"We are currently working ... to see if we can get an updated drift model for a much wider area where there might be possibilities of debris washing ashore," search coordinator Peter Foley told reporters in Canberra.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/26/us-malaysia-airlines-australia-idUSKCN0JA06620141126
 

SouthAussie

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Search co-ordinator Peter Foley said people in WA and other Indian Ocean rim countries were regularly handing in flotsam and jetsam to police.

Photographs are forwarded to experts at the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, Boeing and Malaysian investigators.

"Every week we've had someone reporting something," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Initially they expected some on the west coast of Sumatra within 120 days of the crash, but nothing has been found.

Authorities have combed 7000 square kilometres of the 160,000 kilometre search zone to date.

http://www.smh.com.au/wa-news/no-debris-found-yet-to-aid-mh370-search-20141126-11ugnx.html
 

SouthAussie

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FAMILIES of passengers and crew on board flight MH370 have been told to prepare for DNA samples to be collected even though the plane is yet to be found.
The next of kin were advised of the move at a briefing in Kelana Jaya, Malaysia this week, at the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Academy.

A MAS spokeswoman said the briefing was provided by the Royal Malaysian Police Forensics team.

http://www.news.com.au/travel/trave...-identify-bodies/story-fnizu68q-1227146057303
 

SouthAussie

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Not exactly a new theory to WSers, but it seems that this is being thought about due to a recent FAA test on lithium batteries.

A new theory puts forth the idea that lithium batteries in the cargo of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could have overheated and caused a massive explosion that ended the flight in mid-air on its way to Beijing.

...... this explosive theory is documented in a just-released US government test video detailing the vulnerability of passenger planes to fires caused by rechargeable lithium batteries in its cargo hold.

“When the FAA conducts a test, those results are going to be accepted by most experts. It’s a huge development, as least for this particular theory,” said Gilleon.

If this is indeed what took place, experts suggest that fumes from the battery fire intoxicated the crew, resulting in the plane flying for hours on autopilot before crashing into the ocean.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/12/05/did-lithium-batteries-blow-up-mh370/
 

Bryan9

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Not exactly a new theory to WSers, but it seems that this is being thought about due to a recent FAA test on lithium batteries.

As I'm sure has been noted previously, the problem with this theory is the extreme unlikelihood that the plane would have continued flying for hours after a major explosive event and lithium-fueled fire. If I am not mistaken, there is no precedent for a modern commercial aircraft remaining in the air for more than an hour after a major onboard fire. Moreover, the plane's observed route back across Malaysia and through the Malacca Straits suggests deliberate, conscious control. If there had been a fire the crew would have tried to land the plane as quickly as possible.

The news from the search area is depressing. Much of the high-priority southern section has been scanned and, to date, nothing has turned up. Nor has any definitive evidence washed up on a beach somewhere. A 777 pilot recently speculated that the plane sank intact, but it seems inconceivable that this could occur unless the aircraft were under control and deliberately, professionally ditched in the sea. Had the crew and pax succumbed to hypoxia, as the ATSB assumes, the plane would have descended in an uncontrolled spiral after fuel exhaustion and broken up upon impact. The final satcomm transmissions do suggest that fuel exhaustion indeed occurred while the plane was still in the air. But, so far as I know, a pilot intent on ditching the plane and sinking it intact would have preferred to have power available. Nothing about this story makes sense.
 

Roselvr

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I still do not understand how the plane was not seen on Australia's radar. Had hoped they would have an idea of where the plane is by now with scanning. We need a Christmas miracle!
 

CoverMeCagney

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Just checking in after a few weeks off. So frustrating that there is still, 9 months later, no trace of it whatsoever :confused:

Have those mangosteens even turned up yet?
 

Bryan9

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It seems that Duncan Steel's Independent Group (IG), which had confidently and seemingly in unity predicted a location at the southern end of the current search area, experienced some internal dissension, just like the ATSB's investigative board. According to VictorI, a member of the IG, "I am amazed that the IG ever reached the consensus within our group to publish the reports we did. There was heated debate on many topics" . Of course, it's to be expected that internal debate would occur, but the take-home point is that both analyses -- the ATSB's and the IG's -- depend on certain assumptions and interpretations of the data. Whether they were correct only time will tell.

@Roselvr, I recall reading that MH370's hypothesized trajectory would have placed it out of range of Australia's radar - perhaps someone more knowledgeable could comment.

@SouthAussie, thanks for reminding us that there's still a huge area left to be searched. What's discouraged me is that, according to the IG and ATSB as well, the southernmost portion was the most likely to yield results - and most of that has been searched, if I am not mistaken.
 

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A new analysis of the turn to the south, which the ATSB believed to have occurred between 1822UTC and 1941UTC, shows that it likely occurred right around 1840UTC. Performed by three members of the Independent Group (IG), the analysis is in line with the ATSB's latest estimate. The timing of the turn argues for the plane winding up in the southernmost portion of the search area, where the seafloor search began in earnest. But what really interests me is the map the team produced. It suggests that the turn to the south was a deliberate action, which may have been intended to avoid detection by Indonesian radar at Banda (or at least to persuade the radar operators, if they indeed observed the plane, that it did not appear to be headed for Indonesian air space). I hate to say this, but I believe this scenario adds credibility to the pilot suicide theory.

Here's the previous estimate of the plane's trajectory, which showed it coming close enough to Banda Aceh to assure detection by Indonesian radar. The circle shows the estimated range of the radar:

Lhokseumawe-coverage-area.jpg

Here's the new map...

View attachment 65156

Indonesia insists that its radar operators did not see MH370 that night, but an operator might well have ignored a blip that was obviously not headed for Indonesian territory. This is quite consistent with what is known about how radar operators interpret the data they are observing.
 

Bryan9

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Here's the new map referenced in my last post (figured out attachment link was bad only after the editing clock had expired...)

Path-derived-from-V13.1-Path-Model1.png
 

SouthAussie

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So, this is what the sonar images being taken by the search vessels look like. Considering the scale on the image, seems to me that plane wreckage could still be missed. But I guess they have very trained eyes looking at the images and can tell what is a rock and what is not. :waitasec:


Go_Phoenix_SAS_20141008_tn.jpg

Synthetic aperture sonar acoustic image of the seafloor gathered by GO Phoenix


Fugro Discovery arrived at the search site on 4 December and recommenced underwater search operations.

GO Phoenix returned to the search area on 9 December and recommenced underwater search operations.

Over 9,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched.

http://www.jacc.gov.au/families/operational_reports/opsearch-update-20141210.aspx
 

Bryan9

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So, this is what the sonar images being taken by the search vessels look like. Considering the scale on the image, seems to me that plane wreckage could still be missed. But I guess they have very trained eyes looking at the images and can tell what is a rock and what is not....


The resolution of synthetic aperture sonar (SAR) systems is actually a lot higher than the ATSB image suggests. The following shows a SAR image made in Narragansett Bay. It reveals lobster pots and connected ropes.

mosaicweb-24206.jpg
 
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