Malaysian airliner feared lost..

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by MANT!, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    North Ryde, NSW
  2. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Unless I'm missing something, the altitude change doesn't necessarily support an accident scenario.

    Suppose there was a sudden decompression, it makes total sense that they'd descend and head towards the airstrip on that heading. But, what doesn't make sense is that they got down to 12k feet and the plane was still flying just fine. You can breathe just fine at that altitude and the plane is operable. So, why didn't they communicate, or just land at the airfield?

    And, it doesn't explain why they'd climb to 45k feet prior to that. Nor a course change after they passed over the airfield. In fact, the plane flew for 7 hours which isn't consistent with a major onboard accident.

    And what does decompression have to do with not communicating, shutting off transponders and ACARS?

    I don't see how it adds up.

    Mr Awe
     
  3. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Well so far it all looks like Goodfellow's theory, which explains all that.

    What remains unexplained is where they went after missing the airfield and why. Somebody was still making course changes. Where were they trying to go and why? They were following the airways so they couldn't have been completely lost.
     
  4. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Actually, Goodfellow's theory has been seriously refuted. When you look at it more closely, it falls apart. Read earlier in this thread.

    As for the recent development, turns out the turn took 2 minutes and the descent to 12k feet took an hour, so not a maneuver that indicates an onboard crisis.

    Mr Awe
     
  5. JRS

    JRS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    Breaking News from BBC:
    Looks like they found something..
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    comments 2 my butt
    I would just point out that it's not necessary for anyone to make course changes for there to be course changes. The plane will do that by itself, even if it's not on autopilot. During "manual" flight it still does things like automatically maintain altitude, prevent banking beyond a set number of degrees, adjusting for turbulence on the fly, etc. What it doesn't do is maintain a heading--only the autopilot does that. So, the plane could proceed on what looks like a more or less random path depending on how winds bump it around, while managing to maintain altitude and not making any particularly extreme maneuvers.

    If the plane flew out into the middle of nowhere before it crashed--which seems to be the case if it crashed near Australia--to me, that makes the most likely scenario one in which the cockpit crew were overcome by smoke/fire and the plane simply continued to fly unmanned until its fuel was exhausted.
     
  7. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    The difficulty is that it execuated a lot of very specific manouvers before the last radar contact, before then turning due south which seems very deliberate. Also you've got the whole climbing to 45,000 feet aspect as well, and whilst it's possible that some kind of fire/disaster killed the crew before they could so much as send a mayday out, and also disabled the ACARS and transponder, would the plane still be able to fly for another 7 hours after such a catastrophe?
     
  8. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    North Ryde, NSW
    The word on Twitter from news folks is that the MH370 families have been called into an "emergency briefing" with Malaysian officials, and that the Malaysian PM will hold a news conference at the top of the hour. Sounds like they might be announcing something big.
     
  9. JRS

    JRS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    The Malaysian PM just said in the press conference that the flight MH370 has been "confirmed lost in the Indian Ocean" and that there are "no survivors":borg:

    I would like offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the passengers,
    in this very sad and difficult time.
     
  10. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    The authorities analyzed the course changes and found they were a nearly perfect turn that hit the nav points so perfectly that they concluded that it was programmed into the computer rather than a pilot using the stick, and definitely not random!

    Mr Awe
     
  11. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    That's the big problem for me. Such a catastrophic failure that took out so many systems, and the crew/passengers, but yet allowed the plain to fly for so much longer in a highly controlled fashion?

    I guess it's possible, but it doesn't seem like the most likely explanation.

    Mr Awe
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    comments 2 my butt
    I was thinking of any movements that happened much later in the flight, during the "missing" hours, not the obviously deliberate turns that happened shortly after contact was lost.
     
  13. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    That could well be the case. But, as of now, I don't think they have any data about that time. Just the satellite pings that can't pinpoint the exact flight path.

    However, it seems likely that, given the last known position/heading and any position on the southern arc, there would've been at least one more sharp left turn. But, will have to wait until hopefully we get something more concrete.

    Also, I doubt the ability of the plane to fly so far/so long at 12k feet. I suspect, but not sure, that the plane would've had to climb again in order to fly that far/long. One pilot indicated that fuel consumption at 12k feet is twice that at 35k feet.

    But, another significant course change/altitude change does seem likely after the last known radar contact.

    Mr Awe
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    America's finest news source has the most moving and spot-on article on this subject I've seen yet:

     
  15. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
  16. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    No matter where you go, there you are.
    Which should probably have been the primary assumption all along, although I doubt this will stem all the conspiracy theorizing one whit.
     
  17. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Attributing it all to an onboard catastrophe alone is problematic because in the end you're left with a plane that is under control, flying at a breathable (without oxygen) altitude, and flies for hours longer.

    That doesn't mean that the pilots were involved necessarily, but it appears likely there was more afoot than just an accident. Nothing is definite at this point though.

    Mr Awe
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    This is more wishful thinking on some folks part than anything else. They want there to be nefarious forces at work.
     
  19. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    You keep saying that, but... why? Auto-pilot would maintain course and altitude, and make whatever turns you program into it. And doesn't care if the air is toxic or not. And will fly until it runs out of gas. Pilots could have been flying at first, which accounts for some, but then overcome by events and manage to get autopilot on or something?

    Not an expert on the hardware involved, but that you could blow out some parts of the system while having it still essentially flyable doesn't seem that far a reach. Far less of a reach than someone hijacking it and then eventually just flying out into the middle of nowhere until it runs out of gas, at least...

    Unless you've got specifics the rest of us don't as to where everything is located, how they connect, what's vulnerable to what, etc...?
     
  20. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Attributing it all to anything other than a catastrophe is problematic, too, because put yourself in potential hijackers' shoes, and what the heck was the point of this? Not quite to Australia by way of going the wrong direction for a while... why?