Malaysian airliner feared lost..

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

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    The plane is flying five-miles up over unpopulated expanses of water. What could anyone possibly see?!

    If it was hijacked and landed somewhere it's likely in an unpopulated area or an area where people aren't keen to say, "Yeah, I totally saw that plane land in that area there operated by Al-Queda!"

    I suspect nothing more than just generic engine information in order to make sure maintenance cycles were being adhered to, the engines weren't being operated out of tolerance zones, or that the engines were just in general good-working order.

    There seems to be *some* conflict between the various agencies involved on how true this engine-data from RR is, mostly Malaysian Airlines seems to be denying it but, really, it's not like they've been totally upfront about everything.

    I could be mis-remembering things but I think one of the questioned identities was one of the pilots. And while *American* pilots may be more cautious and less likely to cooperate in a hijacking what a Malaysian pilot would do is harder to discern especially when he flying over an unpopulated area and is thousands of miles away from anything "important."
     
  2. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    I meant as it was coming down.
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    There isn't someone everywhere. If the plane landed (or crashed) in a remote area no one would know it or see it.
     
  4. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

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    Here's what I read somewhere last night or this morning (or maybe it was on the radio?): Boeing has a service that collects engine data by satellite transmission. Malaysia Airlines doesn't subscribe to the service, so the data isn't transmitted, but the system still continually pings the satellite. If that's true, then they don't have actual data from the plane, just attempts to communicate with the system. While not as helpful as actual data that might contain information regarding airspeed, fuel consumption, etc., it at least indicates the plane was operating.
     
  5. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    I wonder if that system has an independent battery-operated power supply. If so, the plane may not necessarily have been flying during that period, the system just may have survived the breakup/crash and continued answering pings until its power supply gave out/drowned/whatever. If the power supply is not independent, of course, the only option is that the plane remained intact and (presumably) aloft for that period.
     
  6. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    Btw. why is it even possible to manually turn off the transponder in a commercial airplane?
     
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/us/malaysia-airlines-plane-crowdsourcing-search/index.html

     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    There are times when you don't need it, particularly on the ground or times when it might be malfunctioning and causing more problems than it is worth.
     
  9. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I wondered the same thing. Unfortunately, the report where I got the information didn't answer any of those questions. They didn't say so, but I did get the impression that the system only pings the satellite when the engines are actually operating. If that's the case, then the engines were either running during that time, or the system is powered by an independent power source and the destruction of the plane also caused a malfunction in the system such that it kept trying to communicate.

    Or this could all be wrong, as so many other reports are.
     
  10. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Boeing installs a system ARS on the 777s but it's Rolls Royce that would be collecting the engine data (the MAS 777 had Trent 800s).

    When you put Rolls Royce engines on your jet, you don't own them, you lease them. As part of the lease service, RR providing a monitoring service keep track of how their engines are performing.

    So when the QANTAS A380 had it's engine come apart a few years back, RR knew all about it.

    Not sure about the idea of landing the aircraft on Island - you don't put a 777 down on dime. The runway would need to take a 200 tonne aircraft and be at least 1km long.

    Then it was hijacked to be parted out that wouldn't be an easy task. The parts of the airframe that are really valuable (engines, avionics, landing gear) are serialized up the wazoo and those numbers of tracked because to keep licences airlines have to maintain records and details of what's fitted to their aircraft and by whom.
     
  11. JRS

    JRS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, that is true. It would be difficult to get to the cockpit also, because of the better doors and the pilots would surely have time to send a mayday of some sort..not to mention all the passengers, who prob have cellphones and so on( 9/11 lots of passengers made phone calls and so on). So there are problems in that theory..unless one or more pilots were in on the plot. But I am not willing to accuse them of something like that, not without evidence.

    I have heard all theories from UFOs to Pakistani agents and secret airfields. I dont really believe to any of them without proof. I will keep a open mind, though.
     
  12. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    If it landed at a suitably equipped airport, it would be very difficult to hide the fact, as in wacko conspiracy theory difficult. If the idea is that it was "put down" in some open space somewhere... very, very unlikely that an aircraft like that could be landed safely with no landing guidance systems, especially in the dark. They would be lucky if they ended up in several large pieces.

    ETA:
    Over open ocean in the middle of the night?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  13. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    I was wondering about this unlikely successful hijacking scenario. If the hijackers did seize and destroy everyone's cell phones on board... but would they have the tenacity to go through all the luggage to do the same?
    Not everyone shuts their phone off completely during a flight.

    As others have stated, it's incredible how gov'ts can use phones to track people and detail their lives with metadata but a gigantic flying bus with hundreds of people on board vanishes without a trace and there are no tracing signals? So bizarre. Maybe poor/nonexistent coverage in the area?
    I wonder how unlikely a scenario exists where 200+ people are being held captive in a jungle somewhere. That would require a lot of resources and personnel and leadership skills.

    From wiki (United 93): "After the hijackers took control of the plane, several passengers and flight attendants were able to make cellphone calls."
    So does it matter that they were in the middle of the ocean vs. over dry land like United 93? I guess the mystery for me is that of cell service availability. If they could use their phones, would they have been shielded from transmission somehow? And another question about aviation in general, there is a strong indication that in the next several years, people will be able to freely place calls in the cabin of a passenger jet. Does this service use the equipment on board to carry the signals or are they using the individual carrier service?

    Anyway - I complete understand the value of taking a jet but not so much the hundreds of hostages. I fear the reason for this plot (if it was successful) is something no one has been able to figure out yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  14. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    1. The monitoring system doesn't have an independent battery, and requires the plane to be running.

    2. Another theory I believe even less than the last one I posted, but, what if it landed at an airport *as another scheduled flight*? Like say an Iranian (or some other restrictive country) flight that never actually took off in Iran (would we know for sure?). How difficult would it be to change the markings, transponder, etc, while in flight?
     
  15. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    How difficult would it be to repaint a jetliner in flight? Is that a serious question?
     
  16. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Whoever did this timed it to happen when the plane was out of contact with everything (that we know about) except the Inmarsat satellites.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  17. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  18. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    All doors on airliners are designed to stay closed while in the air; otherwise, some very bad things will happen to the airplane. So, no.
     
  19. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If there's no way the plane could have landed, could someone have bailed like DB Cooper, leaving the plane and witnesses to crash into the ocean?
     
  20. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    There's no way to get out. The way Cooper did it, the stair door under the tail of a 727, was a serious design flaw that was corrected on that model of aircraft and eliminated in newer designs. So, no.
     

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