Malaysian airlines missing plane

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TMann

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What kind of fire is that, exactly?
I would be curious as to what would happen in a situation like that at 35,000 ft.
The incident on Egyptair burned through the fuselage skin which if this is what happened on MH370 would have resulted depressurization of the cabin resulting in a reduced amount the of oxygen for both the fire and any other life form. Perhaps that resulted in a extinguished lifespan for both. Remember the fire is inside the vessel as it moves through the thin air.
I doubt if at that point anybody would be using the radio much.
Also, are we sure the transponder was disabled? If it isn't within range of a radar, what would trigger it to transmit?

The logical course of action would be to reset the heading on the auto pilot to get you to the closest available runway, hence the 180 (or there abouts) course change so the crew could address the next issue. In any case the new heading took it over a 13,000-foot runway at Pulau Langkawi. I doubt that was a coincidence.

I don't think the possibility of an in-flight fire is far fetched at all especially since the same event has happened before while parked on the ramp.
 

StarJar

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There are about 130,000 airline pilots in the world. Going by rough estimate by statistics, by the average male rate of suicide, that would indicate that on the order of 20 airline pilots per year commit suicide.
Therefore 1 extraoridarilly creative suicide surely has a high probability of occurring IMO, especially if it triggers an insurance payout to those left behind.
Sorry to tread on the dark side here.
 

nschmandt

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Pardon my relative ignorance about this issue, but...
We should solve this on the old axiom that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

If I remember the details of the case correctly, they lost contact just at the transition between ATC controllers. That strikes me as too much of a coincidence for mechanical failure. Furthermore, I don't know how autopilots on these jets work, but once it runs out of waypoints, doesn't it simply fly its last heading? For it to fly so far out into the ocean must have been set up by someone deliberately.

But, if the pilot wanted to commit suicide and destroy any evidence, let's think about his route of flight. From where he was over the ocean, why would he head west to do that? I have no idea what radar is like around there, but looking at a map from where they lost contact you can go pretty far to the north east without going anywhere near land, or straight east, and only over some small islands around the Philippines. That would seem to accomplish the same objective without the transition over any major land bodies, and for the rest of us, the plane would simply dropped off the radar permanently and we would have had no idea where to look. To me, there were better flight paths the plane could have taken to stay off radar.

I see two explanations; one is the parachuter. The other...is it at all possible that the plane was remotely hijacked? As technically difficult as this sounds, in terms of what the plane did it would make a lot of sense; force the plane to a high altitude to kill everyone on board, then fly the plane via the autopilot somewhere where they simply will never find it, destroying any evidence of what happened. They didn't care if anyone saw the plane on radar.

What do people think?
 

davidb

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I see two explanations; one is the parachuter. The other...is it at all possible that the plane was remotely hijacked? As technically difficult as this sounds, in terms of what the plane did it would make a lot of sense; force the plane to a high altitude to kill everyone on board, then fly the plane via the autopilot somewhere where they simply will never find it, destroying any evidence of what happened. They didn't care if anyone saw the plane on radar.

What do people think?
There is no way to egress the airplane in flight short of blowing a hole in the fuselage.

There is no way to remotely control the aircraft.
 

futurethink

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I am not sure if all the evidence has been listed, but I saw this in the news a while ago:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/mh370-pilot-flew-suicide-route-on-home-simulator.html (July 22, 2016)

Quote "The fact that Zaharie apparently practiced flying until he ran out of fuel over the remote southern Indian Ocean suggests the current search is on the right track — and that another year of hunting might be a worthwhile investment."

My current theory is that the captain took control of the plane, there was a struggle in the cockpit, hence the zoom to 40,00 ft. On board oxygen is good for a few minutes. Other reports said that the Captain planned to land the aircraft on a remote runway, not a bad token of protest to embarrass the Malaysian government, which he was not too happy with, to put it mildly. This story came out a few days after the disappearance.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2581817/Doomed-airliner-pilot-political-fanatic-Hours-taking-control-flight-MH370-attended-trial-jailed-opposition-leader-sodomite.html

I must say that's quite a URL. The URL text reads

"Doomed-airliner-pilot-political-fanatic-Hours-taking-control-flight-MH370-attended-trial-jailed-opposition-leader-sodomite.htm"
The article goes on to say:

An image has emerged of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet wearing a T-shirt with a 'Democracy is Dead' slogan as it has been revealed he could have hijacked the plane in an anti-government protest.
  • 'Democracy is dead': 'Fanatical' missing airliner pilot pictured wearing political slogan T-shirt
  • Police investigate data from home flight simulator of captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53
  • Investigators speak of his 'obsessive' support for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim
  • Police officers fear Ibrahim being jailed could have left Shah profoundly upset
  • Flight MH370 disappeared more than a week ago with 239 people on board
  • Despite a huge multinational search effort, no signs of the plane or a crash have been found
  • Malaysian Prime Minister said yesterday that the plane was deliberately steered off course
  • FBI experts say disappearance could be ‘act of piracy’, suggesting passengers are being held
  • Officials revealed the plane could have transmitted a radar 'ping' from the ground if it was still intact
 

Himat

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There is no way to egress the airplane in flight short of blowing a hole in the fuselage.
Even not if the airplane was tampered with before takoff?
In Norway the skydivers used to gather now and then to have a 737 boggie. That is, jumping from a Boing 737.

There is no way to remotely control the aircraft.
Even not if the airplane was tampered with before takoff?
 

Hot Wings

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There is no way to remotely control the aircraft.
Are you 100% sure?

I don't know the details of the control system but the standard CAN buss can pretty easily be "hacked" if you have control of just one node on the system.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Furthermore, I don't know how autopilots on these jets work, but once it runs out of waypoints, doesn't it simply fly its last heading?

Why would it run out of waypoints? Is the flight plan not entered from start to finish before departure?


For it to fly so far out into the ocean must have been set up by someone deliberately.
If you takeoff a 777 from anywhere in the world, skydive out at cruise, the odds are pretty good that it's going to crash in water - somewhere. After all, ~70% of the earth's surface is water.

A fire in the avionics bay could incapacitate the crew and provide the results we have. Why is that not a plausible scenario?
 

Topaz

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... A fire in the avionics bay could incapacitate the crew and provide the results we have. Why is that not a plausible scenario?
Yes, a fire in the avionics bay might incapacitate the crew and disrupt both redundant sets of comm/transponder radios.

The likelihood that such a fire could do that, disrupt only the data portion of the ACARS system, but not disrupt the flight management computers in the same bay, and then somehow magically fly the airplane along the course it followed - for seven more hours with no other system failure that would affect flight - is so impossibly remote as to defy belief.

A fire doesn't match what happened. If the airplane had gone off the air, wandered a few minutes, then crashed, then I could buy that it was a fire. But a magical fire that is bad enough to kill the crew but only knocks out comm/transceiver systems, and nothing else? And then steers the airplane onto a major airway on an entirely different direction than the original course? And then, just a few minutes after leaving primary commercial radar coverage, turns the airplane away from land and directly off into towards the very middle of the Indian Ocean and holds that course for six more hours? No.
 
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Himat

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Yes, a fire in the avionics bay might incapacitate the crew and disrupt both redundant sets of comm/transponder radios.

The likelihood that such a fire could do that, disrupt only the data portion of the ACARS system, but not disrupt the flight management computers in the same bay, and then somehow magically fly the airplane along the course it followed - for seven more hours with no other system failure that would affect flight - is so impossibly remote as to defy belief.

A fire doesn't match what happened. If the airplane had gone off the air, wandered a few minutes, then crashed, then I could buy that it was a fire. But a magical fire that is bad enough to kill the crew but only knocks out comm/transceiver systems, and nothing else? And then steers the airplane onto a major airway on an entirely different direction than the original course? And then, just a few minutes after leaving primary commercial radar coverage, turns the airplane away from land and directly off into towards the very middle of the Indian Ocean and holds that course for six more hours? No.
How likely a fire that could take out communication but not the autopilot depend on system architecture, cable routing and a lot of other variables like where and how the different equipment is located and mounted. I would not dismiss the possibility. Studying the drawings and schematics could give some clues, but no one could be sure no part of the wiring had been rerouted later on. I have seen a gyro compass with serial line output work ok between 0 and 180 degrees and not between 181 and 359 degrees. It did take some time and fault finding to figure out that one…

Be also careful, that the flight pattern matches “suicide by airline” scenario does not exclude the possibility for it being a pseudo random pattern after a technical failure. People tend to search for patterns, even if there are no one present.
 

TMann

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How likely a fire that could take out communication but not the autopilot depend on system architecture, cable routing and a lot of other variables like where and how the different equipment is located and mounted. I would not dismiss the possibility. Studying the drawings and schematics could give some clues, but no one could be sure no part of the wiring had been rerouted later on.
The issue with the EgyptAir Boeing of the same model was due to a wire that shorted out when it came in contact with the aluminum oxygen line that fed the emergency O2 to the cockpit.
Maintenance crews were advised to swap them out for a non-conductive line.
It would be helpful to know if that maintenance was ever conducted on the subject aircraft.
 

nschmandt

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The only flight plans in that plane's computer when it took off were the ones bringing it to its intended destination, Beijing.

I can buy that the plane was in duress and someone, with their last gasp of air, programmed the plane to fly to the nearest airport, but if that's what it was the plane would have just continued on past the airport indefinitely. If I've read the reports of the plane's trajectory correctly (stop me if I'm wrong), it continued on to multiple waypoints before finally flying into the Indian ocean. Someone must have intentionally programmed those waypoints into the system, either on the plane, or remotely. A mechanical failure could not program and execute a new flight plan, even if the crew was incapacitated.
 

Himat

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A faulty heading sensor can in the other side change a set heading to multiple courses over ground. A system fault with the autopilot and you never know what happen. Like heading around the globe to chase a missed waypoint. Trouble is there is no evidence, and the observations can fit with at least four scenario. None really unlikely.

Airplane autopilots do they erase all previous flight plans or do they just overwrite the index table like on a dos disk?

If a computer start to malfunction, details like that may change the outcome.
 

Topaz

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How likely a fire that could take out communication but not the autopilot depend on system architecture, cable routing and a lot of other variables like where and how the different equipment is located and mounted. I would not dismiss the possibility. Studying the drawings and schematics could give some clues, but no one could be sure no part of the wiring had been rerouted later on. I have seen a gyro compass with serial line output work ok between 0 and 180 degrees and not between 181 and 359 degrees. It did take some time and fault finding to figure out that one…

Be also careful, that the flight pattern matches “suicide by airline” scenario does not exclude the possibility for it being a pseudo random pattern after a technical failure. People tend to search for patterns, even if there are no one present.
Oh come on. This is stretching credulity past the breaking point. It's also statistically possible that all the Brownian motion in the water contained at the glass at my elbow could line up, and the water will levitate vertically out of the glass. Not holding my breath for that, either.
 

choppergirl

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Oh come on. This is stretching credulity past the breaking point. It's also statistically possible that all the Brownian motion in the water contained at the glass at my elbow could line up, and the water will levitate vertically out of the glass. Not holding my breath for that, either.
Improbable, but possible.

It becomes more probable, when you realize, "reality" is nothing more than electrical signals interpreted by your brain. Subjective reality, rather than objective. And then, there is no spoon. It's not the water that will move, but the reality of the perception of water standing still that you will change. Humans change things in reality all the time. We've become adept at it, but not masters of it.

Don't go jumping in front of trucks to test this, however, until you've become a Zen Jedi Master of discarding everything you have assumed about the world from birth. Easier said than done.

~

You want the truth? You can't handle the truth. The truth is, Choppergirl shot down Malaysians Airlines.... they were in my airspace over the Lost Island of Anarchia. You know, the other island over yonder, not far from that island full of Wonder Woman's relatives you saw on the television box in your parent's living room.

Wait, are we talking Flight 17, or 370? Flight 17 was abducted by aliens, and resettled on Gor, the hidden planet on the far side of the sun...

There's so much going on in reality, that you never see.. at all, with any of your senses, not even your most powerful one for seeing past the temporal limitations of your existence... imagination.

Some days, its just a reallllllly slow day here on HBA... and you get, posts like these.

Fine print: This post is now over. Go ahead and click the link to Wonder Woman Island, I know you want to. I promise you will be rewarded with lots of campy WW2 fighter pilot action. What's the probability of that? Like... I mean, in Wonder Woman? Statistically... zero...
 
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