MH 370 – An alien abduction maybe? – Re-published 30 July 2018


"Malaysian authorities defended their handling of the hunt for the missing Boeing 777 on Wednesday even as they acknowledged they were unsure which direction the plane was headed when it disappeared, highlighting the massive task facing an international search mission now in its fifth day. The mystery over the plane's whereabouts has been confounded by confusing and occasionally conflicting statements by Malaysian officials, adding to the anguish of relatives of the 239 people on board the flight — two thirds of them Chinese."  CBS News


Seriously – Where is this airplane? 

– In the water between Malaysia and Vietnam?  There is no sign of floating debris so far.

– On the ground in Vietnam somewhere?  The Vietnamese are looking for it, but Vietnam is the size of California.

– On the ground in China?  The aircraft had enough fuel to reach Beijing.

– In the water in the Indian Ocean?  The Malaysian Air Force had a radar contact that mighthave been this aircraft heading in that direction at about the right time.

The possibility exists that explosive decompression could have killed everyone on board while the aircraft flew on under autopilot control.  A major problem with that theory is the silence of the on board radar transponder.  Basilisk is a pilot.  He tells me that if the autopilot worked the transponder should have been working as well. 

Another possibility is that someone in the crew or among the passengers shut off the transponder.  This would indicate a deliberate effort to take the aircraft somewhere other than Beijing.  But, where?

To quote the king of Siam in "The King and I," "is a puzzlement."  pl

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151 Responses to MH 370 – An alien abduction maybe? – Re-published 30 July 2018

  1. John Minnerath says:

    I think this shows that as advanced as our ATC is, the ability to track tiny bits of debris in space, even cell phones that can show a location to a few square feet; there are places on the planet where it still doesn’t work and something as seemingly big as an airliner can vanish.

  2. oofda says:

    There is a precedent, and one not discussed in the US media.
    The high velocity crash of a 737 operating flight MI185 for Silkair in 1997 into the Musi River near Palembang in Indonesia may indicate that very little will be recovered from the Malaysia Airlines MH370 crash, location uncertain, last Saturday.
    The Silkair disaster is controversial to this day. However it is what physically happened to that jet that bodes badly, if as widely believed the missing Malaysia Airlines 777-200 operating MH370 dived into, or exploded over, the Gulf of Thailand or the Malacca Strait. Even though MI185 was seen to crash, and its location was thus precisely known, and the recovery effort began promptly, the tidal reach of the Musi River literally rinsed the victims and much of the structural debris into the sea, never to be recovered. Anything that wasn’t driven into the mud within reach of dredging was lost.
    If MH370 was either scattered over the shallow seas in the areas that are now being searched, or for some reason plunged into them, the nearly three days that have elapsed will have diluted and dispersed the dreadful aftermath. Human remains, clothing, paper, and other fittings will be gone, while the more corrosion resistant components may float for a period, but much of that will sink into the soft seabed, and be covered by silt or mud.
    The most critical objects, the flight data recorder, and the cockpit voice recorder, should be readily recoverable and readable, but only if their location is known or discovered, which might prove to be by far the most difficult challenge authorities will face.

  3. nick b says:

    I’m a big fan of ‘Ancient Aliens’ with Giorgio Tsoukalos. His answer for everything is aliens. It sure is a mystery.
    I wondered why if some of the cell phones of passengers were still working why they couldn’t triangulate a position or use GPS?
    A fellow I met at a wedding a long time ago disappeared along with his plane on a short trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Hikers found the wreckage four years later on a mountainside in NH.

  4. Brien J Miller says:

    As a pilot with ATC and some heavy turbo fan transport experience (and plenty of friends who fly as ATPs [airline transport pilots]) this situation is highly suspicious. The turn of the aircraft (assuming that is correct) and the rapid change in altitude (report early on), make me think that the aircraft was purposely flowen so as to be under the high altitude radar, something doable over the middle of the ocean, where the curvature of the surface of the earth only allows ground base radar to see very high targets.
    Moreover, there is also the matter of the loss of telemtry from the aircraft above and beyond the transponder data. These modern fly-by-wire aircraft relay low level data back to their operators. This was one of the ways the French authorities knew of the airspeed issue on the lost Air France jet over the mid latitude atlantic. That could only be cut off by someone knowing the right fuse panel switch.
    While there is still a strong possibility of an air-accident, the length of time and lack of any trace is begining to give me a feeling that this could in fact be a potentially well planned hi-jack.

  5. Charles I says:

    There is more than one kind of emission from a jet. There seems to be consensus that the transponder was turned off prior to time of the last radar contact. Although there is now debate about what, where, when, and by whom this will turn out to be.
    Last night in passing on the CFTO 11 pm news I heard in passing reference to engine telemetry received directly at rolls Royce headquarters. I can’t find an actual news report on this plane’s telemetry, whether it is real time, periodic, did it continue past know times/locations, etc. etc.
    Telemetry itself is a hot subject in net discussion forums from searching rolls royce engine telemetry or the like. Crashing in to a big ass UFO seems to have a plurality of opinion at first glance. There is reference to landing in Cambodia, secret Chinese response to a hijacking . . .
    A subset of speculation is whether the telemetry software can be hijacked to control the engines. . . .
    They’ll find it eventually

  6. LJ says:

    Isn’t it possible to hijack a modern airliner by “hacking” into its flight systems? Why? No speculation.

  7. eakens says:

    Might be worth checking to see if any Somali pirates on board!

  8. Medicine Man says:

    Col.: Here is a link to Ask the Pilot, with a round up of the facts we have and some speculation:
    Indeed, it is a puzzlement.

  9. blowback says:

    Blame it on Putin, he’s responsible for everything bad happening in the world but he has enough nukes not to care what anybody thinks of him.

  10. cloned_poster says:

    Might be worth checking the passenger manifest for VIPs and the cargo manifest for $$$

  11. Highlander says:

    In one of my past lives I was a captain on the Boeing 777, it is a superb flying machine. It has multiple built in redundancies in all areas including air to ground communications.
    Four options on what has happened:
    !. Some type of criminal activity in the cockpit has caused the aircraft to disappear. In my opinion the least likely scenario.
    2. A decompression event incapacitated the crew ( 30 seconds of useful consciousness at that altitude ). They could have initiated an autopilot directed change of course and descent before they passed out. The aircraft could have descended to the preset new altitude leveled off, and preceded to fly off on the new heading for a couple of thousand miles. Not likely but certainly possible.
    3.A near instantaneous catastrophic failure of the aircraft structure, This particular aircraft had some serious wing damage repaired a few years back. If this happened, there should have been a large debris field somewhere along the intended flight path, and by now I would have thought some of the sophisticated military equipment searching would have found the aircraft remains. This is the most likely event.
    4.Some type of uncontrolled fire event causing a fuel tank to explode. My personal rule of thumb on uncontrolled aircraft fires was for a big airplane you have a max of 15 minutes to put in on the ground or in the water or you die for sure. This scenario doesn’t fit with the lack of communications so also isn’t likely.
    People automatically assume because third world countries fly a modern aircraft just like western countries, then their operational and maintenance procedures are up to western standards. In my experience this is quite often not the case. You buy your ticket, you takes your chances.
    Anyway, I understand the Malay government has now consulted with one to their local Witch Doctors. Who is utilizing two coconuts to find answers to this mystery.(I’m serious here folks). Hopefully the good Doctor will provide us final answers.

  12. jonst says:

    It is my understanding that it against civilian aviation ‘rules’ to fly a plane without a working transponder. If one is ‘up there’ one has to be sending out an id signal at all times. So, if it can be turned off manually, i.e. under threat, one might think there would be some type of SOS signal that would go out the moment that, or those, i understand there are back up transponder requirements to fly, transponders are shut off in the air.
    Wonder if I have this remotely accurate?

  13. Thomas says:

    What if a bomb west off in the rear restroom area, would the resulting structural failure result in the front portion diving nose first thereby negating a debris field?

  14. oth says:

    Cockpit fire would account for autopilot/telemetry failure. Another 777-200:

  15. Highlander says:

    When pieces come off of an aircraft at 550 mph, aerodynamic stability tends to be totally gone. At that point structural integrity is lost, and all the big parts become lots and lots of little parts. No graceful lawn dart like dives to the surface.

  16. Thomas says:

    Thanks, I was wondering if that would have fit in with the Silkair crash theory that oofda mentions above.

  17. walrus says:

    I agree with Highlanders opinions on probable cause and I have Six years airline engineeering experience. I also believe the old maxim about attributing things to conspiracy when the can be explained by a foul up.
    SAR resources and procedures in the region may not be as good as we might expect.

  18. Bobo says:

    Seems a New Zealander named Michael McKay working on an oil rig notified authorities early on that he observed what he thought was an airliner on fire going down in an area off SE Vietnam west of his position. Seeing the oil rigs position and the position of the Chineses satellite fix are within 200 miles his sighting was most likely accurate.
    Of course local authorities probably thought he was a nut discounted his observation.

  19. SAC Brat says:

    The two transponders (ATC identification information) and the VHF3/HF/Satcom transceivers (Real Time Events Reports – aka telemetry) are all powered by AC busses. An electrical power center fault could remove all AC power. A decompression would generate fault messages from the cabin altitude warning system, as would manually turning off communication systems by pulling circuit breakers and the various boxes no longer communicated with the central maintenance computer. Has it been confirmed that the operator used the fault downlinking system other than for transmitting engine performance data for its Roll-Royce service contract?
    Too many pieces of the puzzle are not available. A bunch of cell phone numbers and a cell phone tower responder in a search aircraft could make an alternate/MacGyver locating device if any units remained powered.

  20. scott s. says:

    Navigable air is divided up by national air traffic control authorities into lettered “airspace” as defined by a convention termed ICAO, which I guess just about every country is signatory to. Equipment requirements to operate in any specific type of airspace will be specified by the national air authority. Airspace in which airliners fly during cruise portion of flight (Class A) typically has the highest requirements. Separately, national aviation authorities place equipment requirements on aircraft based on size, speed, and intended use (large, turbine-powered aircraft which carry passengers for hire on scheduled flights typically have the most stringent requirements).
    The air traffic control system historically has relied on two ways of “tracking” aircraft (exclusive of voice reporting). So-called “primary surveillance radar” is the familiar technique of using reflected EM energy from a transmit/receive antenna. “Secondary surveillance radar” isn’t really radar at all but rather a transmiter/receiver which transmits a signal (interrogation) to an aircraft, which has its own receiver/transmitter (transponder) which transmits in response to the interrogation, so it requires a cooperative target. The original system was military derived (called IFF) but has since evolved into a more complex digital data transmission (termed Mode S) which allows a ground station (or other aircraft) to direct an interrogation to specific aircraft. In the aircraft-to-aircraft application it is used for collision avoidance.
    A further advance has been designed into this concept and datalink called ADS-B. ADS-B augments the data provided in the Mode S response by including GPS-derived aircraft position transmitted at 1 sec intervals. In the US, a new FAA rule is requiring ADS-B capability in most classes of airspace (in particular, much of Class E where general aviation flies) by 2020. In the USA GA aircraft environment, where Mode S capability isn’t universal, a different transponder called UAT is authorized for compliance.
    Existing transponder equipment (Mode 3/A and Mode S) have pre-defined codes which can be pilot selected to indicate emergency, pilot under duress, etc. The emergency code is 7700 (this is derived from the old military IFF, which relied on octal encoding and code 77 — highest possible code — was deemed emergency).

  21. nick b says:

    A lot of interesting speculation there. Thanks for the link.

  22. Tyler says:

    So any truth to the reports that many of the Chinese cell phones show as “logged in” to a polar messenger and you can/could ring the cell phones and not get kicked to voice mail like what usually happens when a phone is shut off?

  23. Haralambos says:

    At the risk of muddying the interpretation, I will post this: There has been some media speculation here in Greece about this disaster. Much of it focuses on the 2005 crash here in Greece of this Helios flight from Cyprus and whether the plane’s auto-pilot got reset. I think the conclusion her was that on that flight the oxygen system failed, the crew or almost every one of them except a steward seemed to be passed out, and the auto-pilot just kept the plane circling until it ran out of fuel. I recall the news was dominated by this story and the fact that the Hellenic Air Force scrambled and established and could see the flight attendant in his final minutes of consciousness trying to “fix” things. I think this article presents an accurate description of the findings as reported as they came out.

  24. jralstonc says:

    And information that the 777 flew for four hours after the transponders stopped functioning.

  25. jonst says:

    Thank you Scott!

  26. John Minnerath says:

    While I still think there’s nothing unusual about the time it’s taking to find this aircraft, there continues to be conflict between civil and military authorities in the area.
    This is what bothers me.

  27. turcopolier says:

    Since this opinion is based on downloaded maintenance data from the plane, it seems clear that someone took the plane for a long ride, but, to where? pl

  28. shepherd says:

    Off the top of my head, there are several innocent reasons these things might happen. You can shut voicemail off, and people do inadvertently. Also, a lot of phones won’t take voicemail without a mailbox set up. And it may be a glitch on the carrier’s end. Systems go down. I can’t get ahold of my business partner’s voicemail right now, as a matter of fact. He’s in a meeting in Texas, alive and well.
    As for the login thing, well, it may be that the service doesn’t log you out automatically. So if you went into airplane mode with the service on, it still thinks you’re on.
    Then again, something totally weird could be happening.

  29. turcopolier says:

    And now we are told that Malaysia says the ARCAS data stream ended about the same time that the transponder went silent. pl

  30. Charles I says:

    Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the government had contacted Boeing and Rolls-Royce, the engine manufacturer, and both had said the last engine data was received at 1:07 a.m. Saturday, before the plane lost contact over the South China Sea on its way to Beijing.

  31. Charles I says:

    And today there were conflicting reports from Chinese news and govt. sources that the sat photo objects are definitely not related to the missing aircraft. Or not

  32. turcopolier says:

    Let’s think about this creatively. Can ARCAS be turned off in flight from the aircraft? The 777 requires how long a runway? 10,000 feet? 11,000 feet? How would you get a list of 10,000 foot runways within the fuel range of the plane? Such a list should include supposedly abandoned or remote runways. pl

  33. Charles I says:

    If one reads the linked article closely, it doesn’t make the specific 1.07 pm last transmission reference that the subsequent denial I posted above does.
    Curiouser and curiouser.
    I trust some intrepid group has/is calculated maximum travel plots, and is scouring sat photos of available runways of any type therein, as well as any building big enough to hide the plane in. Seems a pretty big secret to keep.
    I also trust some wit is writing a screenplay based on the “took this plane on a long ride” theory replete with billionaire oriental baddies, knockout gas, a jungle airstrip, a depraved deep state intel op gone awry, a patriotic and honorable Chinese General trying to avert WW IV, drug fiends, bimbos, and a geriatric hero of the Willis/Ahhhhrnold/Cruise ilk who finds the plane, coughs up the gas, kills the baddies, co-ordinates with the one Chinese General on his side, exposes Deep State, busts a cartel, then flies the jet and passengers home with bimbo as his co-pilot.
    AF, please review asap.
    I still think it’ll turn up. Tho one must admit that each new conflict, confusion and denial tends to manifest as an imaginably duller Occam’s Razor.

  34. Charles I says:

    Hey, I just typed that, surely its already being done.

  35. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    Where is your list of airfields? pl

  36. SAC Brat says:

    ACARS can be disabled by pulling circuit breakers or by selecting manual control, as would the VHF3/HF/Satcom it transmits over. Normal and emergency airfields are loaded in the Flight Management Computer’s database the airline loads for the expected area of operation. Additional airports could be manually typed in. If an airfield had a radio beacon that can be flown to also.

  37. John Minnerath says:

    I finally read a report where the Malaysian authorities have finally said the plane “may” have flown for some time after the last radar contact.
    That opens up a whole new bag of worms. Was engine operating data being transmitted for several more hours?
    The 777 is a versatile aircraft and capable of landing and taking off from unimproved runways.

  38. nick b says:

    Lots of interesting theories and some insight into this mystery on this site:
    Last I checked, the thread was 140 pages. I read through about 50 pages or so before I got bleary eyed. Lots of discussion on systems and how they could be disabled. Many posts from 777 pilots.

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I am with the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew of the missing airplane; they are in the middle of this grim situation in which they are doubtlessly vacillating between Hope and Despair.
    I wish to ask these purveyors of “Security through Intelligence” to please tell us how come their hundreds of billions of dollars of expenditure have failed to find a single large air plane in one of the most travelled and densely populated parts of the planet.
    [In a recent short flight in the United States, where my hands were tested for traces of explosives and the loud-speakers were reassuring me of my safety in the hands of tens of thousands of “trained” TSA Officers, my checked luggage was permanently lost.]
    This is a truly deplorable situation.

  40. walrus says:

    Latest thinking from the American Government is that it may have turned back and headed out over the Indian Ocean it had about Four hours fuel left when it went missing. Apparently at least one U.S. Navy ship has been tasked with having a look.
    Doing a bit of checking on the B777 fly by wire controls and I’ve found that they are powered by their own permanenet magnet engine driven generators completely seperate from the main AC buses, so a complete electrical failure followed by a turn around and attempted navigation via the cockpit magnetic compass is not out of the question. I’ve yet to check if there is a standby analogue mechanical Altimeter that is not driven by an air data computer.
    The engines will keep running without electrical power but I’m not sure if the pilot would have throttle control.

  41. SAC Brat says:

    There is a standby indicator for altitude, airspeed and attitude that can run off battery power. The engines electronic systems (EEC) power the throttle position resolvers in the flight deck pedestal, so the throttle control is independent of aircraft power.
    It is common to design the airplane to fly on no AC power, just engines (hydraulic power) and batteries.

  42. Fred says:

    I just flew back to Michigan from Florida and had the joy only TSA can provide while watching them chemically test my ziplock bag full of beachsand and sea shells. Patting down the 3 year old in the ‘random’ search was just icing on the cake.
    As to the plane, if radar wasn’t tracking it all I can say is the ocean is a very, very big place.
    I hope the Obama administartion is thinking about taht, along with just where all those Russian SSBNs are while the rest of Victoria Nuland’s friends are beating the war drums over Ukraine.

  43. turcopolier says:

    “And now… Someone in the Pentagon is telling CNN that the Malaysians actually say that ACARS was working and that they have data showing flight to the west. This is the reason giving for moving USN efforts in that direction. As an old spook I suspect that this is a cover for satellite sensor readouts that have finally yielded results from archived data from a days back… a few days ago. It is common practice to disguise the source of such data. pl

  44. Highlander says:

    The 777 can be easily landed and brought to a full stop in 5,000 feet. The United and American guys do it on runway 22 right in ORD all the time.
    It is one hell of a fine machine.

  45. turcopolier says:

    Very helpful. thanks. How long a runway do you need to take off minus the weight of passengers and baggage? pl

  46. Allen THomson says:

    To pl et All:
    >As an old spook I suspect that this is a cover for satellite sensor readouts that have finally yielded results from archived data from a days back… a few days ago.
    Yeah, the same thing occurred to me. IR or SIGINT data, in descending order, would be my guess.
    Unless the flight blew up and made a showy IR signature, there would be no particular reason to expect that the INTs would have caught on to it in real time, but scrutinizing the records might well have uncovered some hints.

  47. shepherd says:

    It does require a longer runway for takeoff if I’m not mistaken. How short would that be if it were almost completely unloaded?

  48. Tyler says:

    Yeah, but all of them attached to the flight? If the voicemail isn’t set up, it will tell you. If the phone is off, it will kick you straight to VM or the message about it not being set up.
    Very weird though.

  49. Mark Logan says:

    I’m not a 777 driver, but I did witness the first take off of a 777 at Everett, Wa., test flight at minimum weight. Off the ground less than half way down a 9,000 ft runway.

  50. optimax says:

    Here are some basic stats on the 777. Its landing distance is 1,780m.

  51. Highlander says:

    It has been a while since those days.
    But I recall ,taking them off in less than 5,000 feet , empty of passengers and cargo, and a light fuel loads on maintenance check flights.
    Thru 10,000 feet lightly loaded, they climb like a fighter.

  52. Highlander says:

    There are exceptionally long runways in the middle of nowhere scattered around the world. Asia has more than its share.

  53. Highlander says:

    5,000 feet for minimum weight takeoff. Opens up lots of potential scenarios does,t it. I can hear that suspicious spook brain of yours turning them over. there are lots of left over semi forgotten paved runways scattered around that part of the world.
    I still think the highest probability is the bottom of the South China Sea, followed by the Indian Ocean.

  54. Macgupta123 says:

    Suppose the plane was hijacked.
    a. If it was hijacked for the usual hostage scenario, we have to assume that it failed for some reason and the plane crashed. Why the wreckage hasn’t been found may be because people were looking in the wrong area.
    b. But if it was hijacked by any kind of terrorist or criminal group, wouldn’t there be chatter when the plot failed?
    c. If the plane was hijacked in order to have a plane, (a) is there a less onerous way to get a plane? (b) for what purpose?
    Suppose the plane landed somewhere, deplaned the passengers, etc., refueled and continued on far away from the Gulf of Thailand, Malacca Strait, Indian Ocean.
    What can one do with a Boeing 777-200? Is there some way of sneaking it up to a target to crash into without anyone suspecting? E.g., if there is a scheduled airline flight X from A to B, is there someway for a terrorist to use that fact to bring this hijacked plane masquerading as X close enough to B for it to be too late for anyone to do anything before it is realized B is an imposter?
    d. Was this a dry run for a bigger operation?

  55. FB Ali says:

    Col Lang,
    “Can ARCAS be turned off in flight from the aircraft?”
    This question came up on Piers Morgan this evening. An expert (can’t be more specific as I was only half-watching!) said: Yes, there are two switches, one to turn off the data stream and another (much more inaccessible) to turn off the ‘pings’.

  56. Charles I says:

    cf please “some intrepid group”, of which I am not a self-defined member. See especially “I still think it’ll turn up”. I just spent the day snow plowing. I’m just to start FB’s book. I’m very lazy, isn’t thinking it up enough? I haven’t even looked at a map.
    Oh god lets see, my scheme includes, per Highlander, any 5000 feet of road wide enough(note to self – make minions look up 777 wingspan and ground turn radius) to land.
    We’ll assume Colonel Kurtz has enough ground crew to hack down a couple extra feet of jungle and make one o those bamboo runway/highway/Opium-Lord’s-driveway extensions I saw in a docu about rescuing WWI pilots crashing whilst ferrying over The Hump, for their nefarious purposes to take off in the darn thing once they get it kitted out with the spy gear, explosives or bimbos.
    By my estimate that would be in the thousands of possibilities, mebbe less if we excluded those not handy to a hollowed out mountain or volcano(hopefully not right ON the Ring of Fire) to serve as Center.
    Lemme get back to you.

  57. Medicine Man says:

    If they make that movie I’ll watch it. And then hopefully read Alan Farrell’s review of it.

  58. Macgupta123 says:

    Highlander, what to make of this Reuters report?
    “In a far more detailed description of the military radar plotting than has been publicly revealed, the first two sources said the last confirmed position of MH370 was at 35,000 feet about 90 miles off the east coast of Malaysia, heading towards Vietnam, near a navigational waypoint called “Igari”. The time was 1:21 a.m..
    The military track suggests it then turned sharply westwards, heading towards a waypoint called “Vampi”, northeast of Indonesia’s Aceh province and a navigational point used for planes following route N571 to the Middle East.
    From there, the plot indicates the plane flew towards a waypoint called “Gival”, south of the Thai island of Phuket, and was last plotted heading northwest towards another waypoint called “Igrex”, on route P628 that would take it over the Andaman Islands and which carriers use to fly towards Europe.
    The time was then 2:15 a.m. That is the same time given by the air force chief on Wednesday, who gave no information on that plane’s possible direction.”

  59. Macgupta123 says:

    Someone posted this image from showing the airplane’s path per the latest Reuters scoop:

  60. shepherd says:

    All would make no sense to me.
    Some might make sense if a single carrier’s VM went down for a bit. China is a little like the US in that its cell phone market has a few huge players. If one went out for a bit, you might see a handful of people from the plane reporting this kind of problem.
    I haven’t seen anything about this in the news lately. Apparently, the issue hasn’t persisted.

  61. Fred says:

    We have certainly been distracted by this event. What else might be happening that someone doesn’t want us to see? Have we mal-deployed our resources in the mean time? Just curious.

  62. Popsmoke says:

    Lets remember the Payne Stewart incident…
    Who is to say that the aircraft did not have a catastrophic event which incapacitated the crew and the passenagers? If the pilots were trying to maintain control they might have been turning off buss fuses to see if they could isolate the problem. In doing so one of the buss fuses could have been the transponder. The flight deck could have been trying to turn the plane around and could have been suddenly overcomed. If the aircraft was on auto-pilot then we have the possibility of a Payne Stewart type of event with no transponder pinging.
    We also have this…
    One of the questions I have is if this plane went down in the South China sea or the Indian Ocean did any of our boomers and even our attack boats pick up any sonar contacts?

  63. nick b says:

    Interesting article on Quartz today about landing strips in the Andaman islands.

  64. John Minnerath says:

    >did any of our boomers and even our attack boats pick up any sonar contacts?< Possible, but that information probably wouldn't be revealed till a way to "leak" it with out telling how the info was obtained. We all love a good mystery and this has certainly become one.

  65. shepherd says:

    Just a thought. My geography isn’t perfect, but it looks like the flight path crossed over a fairly well populated area of Thailand. Cell phone coverage there should have reached the plane, but no one texted anything. I’d guess no one on board knew what was happening, or the bad guys (assuming there were some), were smart and fast enough to take away all the phones. You might remember the role played by cell phones in United Flight 93. Maybe they did too.

  66. Charles I says:

    Claims of four hour contact after 1.07 pm seem based on transmissions from the ACARS – Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System seem to drive these reports, including expansion of search radius and dispatch of ships toward the Indian Ocean.
    I read earlier reporting that said the system, also used to send text messages to secure cockpits during 9/11, did no more than periodically ping the satellite tasked to ACARS without transmitting any data, text, performance or otherwise, during the four hour window.
    Now there is reporting that Malaysian officials deny that, stating the last ACARS transmission at all as being received no more than 1/2 hour after take-off.

  67. Charles I says:

    see my reply to Joh Minnerath above, citing reporting denying any ACARS after about 1/2 after takeoff.

  68. Highlander says:

    This westward path is pretty much explained by number two scenario in my earlier post.
    It is SOP for an international flight in difficulty to make a 45 to 90 degree turn left or right off of the assigned airway,if it can no longer maintain assigned speed and or altitude.
    A 90 degree turn to the left would just about be a perfect fit for the flight path Malaysian military radar picked up 1 hour later. It makes sense the Captain of 370 would have turned left to start heading back toward his home field.
    I once experienced a explosive decompression in daylight conditions at 31,000 feet. I got the aircraft back under control at 5,000 feet. There is an instant fog in the cockpit, and you are blinded by that for about 10 seconds. Then every small and large piece of debris, tiny screws,washers, dirt,break away equipment,etc start hitting you in the face on the way out with the breathable air. Then all the gases inside your body start expanding to meet the new outside air pressure at 30,000 feet. On top of this,the mental effects of hypoxia and terror start kicking in immediately. Now,if you are lucky, you probably have 10 to 12 seconds left to reorient yourself, analyze what has happened, initiate your immediate action emergency procedures, and find your oxygen mask and get it on and functioning before you lose consciousness. This time frame is without complications, in my case the copilot’s right side sinus immediately exploded inside his skull, he started spewing blood all over, went into convulsions and and started pushing the control column forward into a dive, which we barely recovered from. I tell you this not as a war story, but to point out how quickly things could have gone to hell inside 370’s dark middle of the night cockpit.

  69. turcopolier says:

    Did the co-pilot live? Was this in a 777? What do you make of the latest RUMINT that the plane flew from waypoint to waypoint making several turns? Any chance tht they could be on a small airfield somewhere? pl

  70. SAC Brat says:

    That would be an uncommon ACARS installation. Most widebody aircraft have ACARS as a menu selection on a multi-function display and the actual ACARS (DCMS/Boeing or ATSU/Airbus) management unit is black box in the electrical compartment. To turn the unit off would require opening an AC and a DC circuit breaker. The ACARS function can also be selected into a manual mode which can lead to it not transmitting if a unmonitored frequency or mode is selected. The radios that ACARS uses can also be selected out of data mode, disconnecting the ACRS from the transmitters. Engine and fault downlinking will go through ACARS unit, and the ACARS unit will switch between VHF, HF and Satcom to transmit and receive.
    The expert was more likely describing the transponder system, which can be selected off or to different modes of transmission.

  71. SAC Brat says:

    Having experienced a few cabins dumped at max psid during maintenance operations by dumbasses who wanted to see fog, I’m curious where the pressure vessel opened up and how large the opening was. In the past I was surprised how many minutes it took to equalize the cabin on a DC-10 when the outflow valve, which is about 1 square foot, was fully opened.

  72. Highlander says:

    Yes, the copilot made it, but his aviation days were over.
    This occurred in a military aircraft, we were hauling a navy nuke device back to Norfolk for maintenance. During the first part of the dive the controls were jammed by debris, and I could do little more than gaze out the windscreen as down town Tucson got bigger and bigger. Interesting day.
    Any Bad Guy capable of executing a caper based on 370, would have no need to go to navigation way points, as a matter of fact it would be counter productive on multiple fronts.
    He would just use a GPS unit to go direct to whatever destination was needed. Portable aviation GPS units can be had for $!,000, and they will take you anywhere on the planet.
    Yes, I suppose they could be sitting on an obscure runway someplace. I personally can think of a few in that neck of the woods. But why? That airplane is now the hottest piece of property in the entire world. How are you going to successfully hid it, while you prepare to execute the rest of your dastardly plan? And what are you going to do about the Chinese government trying to kill you for killing 150 of their citizens?
    I have some experience at it, and hiding a large aircraft isn’t an easy thing to do, additionally aircraft don’t work very well ,if you just let them sit around for a while. I can think of many easier ways to get my hands on a big jet, and raise no alarms because it would all be legal.
    I still maintain the highest probability is in a few weeks or a month or so, somebody in Asia will look down at the beach sands, and there will be a piece of 370 washed up to solve the mystery.
    However, one point of interest I haven’t seen discussed, which could have a major bearing on the case.
    Flt 370 was apparently limited to only 210 passengers, some 70 or 80 less than it could carry. If true, that indicates tp me, it was jam packed with heavy cargo. Now say, oh, if it was carrying $250 million dollars worth of gold or platinum to the lords of China. Or maybe the cargo was 50,000 pounds of lithium cell phone batteries, that caught fire because of improper packing. Well ,now you would have some motives for all kinds of bad things.
    Not saying this is true, but I would have thought by now the cargo would have been discussed. funny how none of the authorities have discussed it. I can fully understand the morons of the MSM missing it.

  73. Mark Logan says:

    Indulging in crazy theories, I once overheard a couple FO’s talking about a commuter captain who dealt with a load of drunken revelers by slowly bleeding cabin pressure until they were asleep on a Metroliner once.
    Would it be possible to do that on a 777? Do the masks trip at a certain pressure or due to a sudden change?

  74. VietnamVet says:

    After a week it is time to add politics to the mystery. The latest headline is “Act of Piracy?” I was shocked to read that Malaysia had not formally requested military radar data from Thailand and Indonesia. This could confirm that the 777 with mostly Chinese on board continued flying west towards India. There is a low grade jihad ongoing with the Muslim Malays verses the Buddhist Thais in southern Thailand. This and local issues could explain the lack of cooperation between the three nations.
    Also, when the Emergency ended, the British consciously agreed that the Malays “Sons of the Soil” would control the politics of the new nation of Malaysia and the Chinese would be free to make money and Indians would survive anyway they could. Instead of going all out to find out what happen; the airline and government appear to be glossing over the possibility of problems with the Malay flight crew and/or hijackers making it through Kuala Lumpur security that a four hour flight west implies.

  75. Fred says:

    I was wondering when someone would mention the cargo. Also the passengers, and not just the two with fake/stolen passports.

  76. Jose says:

    My sources tell me that MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6) has dispatched Mr. James Bond (007) to Oasato Chemicals to get to the bottom of this…lol

  77. SAC Brat says:

    The masks on the 777 will drop automatically above 80 knots and 13,500 feet cabin altitude. Cabin altitude warning is between 10,000 and 15,000 depending on entered landing field elevation. The warning message will be downlinked through ACARS.
    In cases where the cabin altitude has to be raised manually due to something like a cracked windshield in flight while descending to a lower altitude, the smokers and drinkers will nod off early.
    Having all the downlinked maintenance messages and pilot warnings is a great resource in figuring what has happened on a flight. So far that information is not available. That information was quickly available inside the industry as we tried to piece together what happened in the Air France flight 447.

  78. Macgupta123 says:

    Would there be a problem getting the aviation GPS unit on-board?

  79. Highlander says:

    it was on a C-130.
    A 5 by 10 section of the fuselage blew out at the base of the right wing. All the flight control and throttle cables also run thru that area. An air conditioning duct was sucked up against them, and jammed them all. It got interesting at that point.

  80. Highlander says:

    You know I can’t remember if the automation of the 777 would let you manually raise the cabin altitude. The 727 did.
    The mask drop for the passengers at a cabin altitude of 14,000 feet (normal is 8,000 feet of cabin altitude ) There is a 15 minute supply of oxygen for the passengers, and 30 minutes for the crew.

  81. Highlander says:

    Nope…Garmin now has an app for the iPad. It turns the iPad into an aviation gps/navigation unit, and a full set of cockpit instruments.

  82. robt willmann says:

    Now today, Saturday, 15 March, the Malaysian prime minister says that Flight MH370 “could have potentially” flown for seven more hours after its communications systems were intentionally disabled!
    When evidence of a crash did not show up reasonably soon after normal contact was lost with the plane, the question of what cargo was on board should have gone up to the top of the list along with hijacking or complicity by the pilots in an “agreed hijacking”. If the cargo was something with a high resale value, such as gold, diamonds, military components, high tech equipment, and so forth, it is not unreasonable to consider that planning, expertise, and financing could have been put together to attempt a sophisticated theft.

  83. Macgupta123 says:

    If INMARSAT, a British company, had information that ACARs was turned off around the time the plane’s transponder turned off, but that the plane was pinging the satellite for 7 hours after take-off, why was that information kept secret for so long?
    Even if INMARSAT could not estimate the position of the aircraft, the fact that the airplane was alive 7 hours after take-off would immediately focus the search away from the Gulf of Thailand.
    Why would the governments involved permit the search of the Gulf of Thailand to continue for so many days? The only reason I can think of is, not that any vital military or technological “spy” secrets would be revealed as some say, but that deception of the hijackers was for some reason crucial.
    I think search-and-rescue/recovery is expensive and accident-prone. I don’t think hours of monotonous scanning of the sea promotes alertness or safety. One does it because one has to, not otherwise.
    That information about the extended life/flight of the plane is being made public only seven-eight days after the plane “disappeared” can charitably be attributed to the necessity of deception to thwart the hijacking adversary; every other reason I can think of demonstrates malafides on the part of the Chinese, Malaysian, British, American governments.
    Then the question is – what was going on that deception was so necessary?

  84. John Minnerath says:

    I’ve been having the feeling that Malaysia wasn’t being fully cooperative with western agencies in supplying information they had, for unknown reasons.
    If the airplane was in flight for as long as now is being reported, that opens up a great number of places where it could have landed, especially at the north west limits.
    This brings up scores of new questions.
    If the plane did get into an area where we would not like to see it taken, don’t we have assets that would notice such an unidentified aircraft moving into that airspace?
    If this was an extremely well planned and executed hijack could such a coup be kept secret enough that no word or rumors would be picked up by our vaunted eavesdroppers?

  85. SAC Brat says:

    Perhaps the aircraft was repossessed by its leasing company and Malaysian Airlines is too embarrassed to admit they missed a few payments. Some guy with a briefcase of tea money for the crew and whatever airfield staff at the landing end.

  86. Fred says:

    SAC Brat,
    Plausible but where are all the passengers?

  87. SAC Brat says:

    Yep, that’s the weak link in that one. A financial company wouldn’t need or want to do anything malicious with the passengers. Now if they flew to Macua and gave out casino vouchers to the passengers….

  88. turcopolier says:

    My current “theory’ based on RUMINT is that the aircraft was flown into former Soviet airspace and putdown on an abandoned airfield already under control by the conspiracy. Uighurs? AQ? Who knows. Passengers” Maybe they were killed in the air by de-compressing the cabin pl

  89. Macgupta123 says:

    Q: Might China have a hole in its radar coverage over the China-Burma border?
    Could the plane have turned away from its Andaman heading and flown over Burma, and over the Myanmar-China border. I imagine the Tibet border with India is well-covered with radar but maybe not the interior of Tibet? Subsequently the plane flew over Tibet towards Xinjiang?
    Is this even remotely feasible?
    The problem with the plane landing in Myanmar is that we have a 7-hour flight to account for (unless the engines were kept running on the ground).

  90. nick b says:

    Uighurs have tried to hijack a plane before:
    There have also been reports in some papers about authorities paying particular attention to one passenger of Uighur descent on MH370. It seems he has training in electronics and digital communications. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that he may have received flight simulation training in Sweden as well.
    Then again, the UK Daily Mail had a story about the Pilot’s political affiliations, and some speculation that he was responsible for whatever happened to MH370 as an attempt to embarrass the Malaysian government.

  91. Macgupta123 says:

    If it was the pilot or co-pilot who diverted the flight from its path, then there isn’t much I can think of that explains the subsequent events. If the hijacker was suicidal, why the turn-off of ACAR, transponder and long flight to oblivion to the South Indian Ocean? Agreed, we can never explain the actions of a crazy person. And apparently to disable ACAR the person would have to leave the cockpit- when exactly did that happen?
    If it is not the pilot and co-pilot:
    The plane was diverted from scheduled flight plan between the hand-off from the Malaysian air-control to Vietnam, the plane climbed high (to the impossible 45000 feet? or to its rated ceiling) probably to disable or kill the 239 passengers, made its way across southern Thailand to the Strait of Malacca. Then what? Why would it turn south to seemingly nowhere? (Bloomberg just reported that the most likely area for the plane is 1000 miles to the west of Perth, Australia).
    If the plane headed south, the motive has to be that the perpetrators don’t want the plane to be found or even if located, not to be recoverable. Not the passengers as hostages, not the plane, not its cargo – none of these hold value to the perpetrators. Could the plane have been put on autopilot and the perpetrators safely bailed out? Or were they willing to commit suicide in that cause?
    Why might it be so vital to the perps. that the plane not be recovered? The only reason I can think of that they didn’t want anyone to discover how they did what they did. Which leads to the thought that this was a dry run for something bigger. The shoe bomb, the underwear bomb, the liquid bomb – all failed in the first attempt, and all attracted immediate security counter-measures. Yes, it sounds stupid…..But why are they insisting the plane headed south towards the deep ocean? If the plane headed north, there are more plausible scenarios.

  92. r whitman says:

    I want to say up front that I have little knowledge of commercial aircraft other than as a passenger. Could this incident be explained by a complete failure of the operating software or computer? Can the software systems be hacked or corrupted from the outside?

  93. Fred says:

    Does that increase the chance of a 777 for another attack somewhere or a theft of cargo, whatever that may consist of?

  94. Macgupta123 says:

    The world’s first “hack-jacking”? (not my term).

  95. turcopolier says:

    The “Golden Grotto?” Seems like the range would be too far. pl

  96. turcopolier says:

    If you mean my “theory,” I don’t know what the hijackers’ motivation would be otherwise. Once they had control of the aircraft they proceeded to try to hide the movements of the aircraft and they would have succeeded if they had silenced the pinging response of the ACARS to the satellite. The question should be asked as to why the hijackers did not take the aircraft to a city of a country they did not like and simply crash it into a high value target. Another question that should be asked concerns the silence of the hijackers. If they were Islamic fanatics bent on martyr status, then it seems to me that either they or accomplices would want to make a statement concerning the purpose of their action. For these reasons the notion that the hijackers would fly the plane out into the southern Indian Ocean and crash it there in silence makes no sense to me. pl

  97. nick b says:

    There was considerable speculation on the Professional Pilots Rumor Network (, about the cargo of MH370. Some claimed that up to fifty seats on the flight were held from sale in order to compensate for heavy cargo. The speculation was that the cargo was gold bullion. Perhaps it was a huge theft? Some also pointed out that it was strange that a senior pilot, one with 18,000 hours of flight time in the 777, would be put on such an undesirable flight schedule like the red-eye to Beijing. I can’t vouch for the veracity of any of this, it’s just some of what was mention on that site.
    Has anyone seen an official explanation of what MH370’s cargo was?

  98. Highlander says:

    Us old pilots have a saying,”If ain’t a Boeing, I ain’t going”. There is a reason for this.
    Boeing design philosophy has maintained a connection with traditions of aircraft design and redundancies, which the only other builder of large aircraft, Airbus Industries, has not. Airbus has opted for leading edge computer automation of every aircraft system they can place it on.
    Here is an example,Flight Controls. Air Bus is all electronic activated with no actual control cables running from the cockpit to the control surfaces. Boeing went this route on the 777 (it saves a good deal of weight) but… a nod to “sometimes unexpected things happen in the air philosophy”, Boeing put in a back up manual control system, with which the pilots could manually land the aircraft in a dire emergency with no electronics. In an Airbus if the electronics are gone, you soon will be also.
    To answer your question about software vulnerability/weaknesses.
    On the current generation of aircraft, I don’t believe it is a threat. In the future it no doubt will be. There really is no central operating system as such in the electronics suite of the 777. The autopilot (there are actually three of them ) comes closest to that description, and it has no signals reception capability from outside the aircraft, other than navigation signals. The various system that can receive signals from the ground, have to go thru a pilot review, and then be manually connected to other systems by the pilot.
    I would tell new guys, “hey ,if the damn automation gets ahead of you, just click these two automation cutoff buttons, and it will fly like a J-3 Piper Cub”. They did, and it would.

  99. LJ says:

    I asked the same question above without response. Now it appears that electronic hijacking is possible. Look here:!documentDetail;D=FAA-2013-0958-0001

  100. nick b says:

    Interesting stuff! One thing I noticed, and it may be totally inconsequential, those regs were for the 777-200, 300 and 300ER. MH370 was/is a 777-200ER. Picayune, I know, but they do make the distinction between the 300 and the 300ER. (It’s my understanding the ER is short for extended range.) I wonder why the 200ER was not included? Could the 777-200ER have slipped through the regulations with a vulnerability?

  101. Charles I says:

    As my attorney I must point out that we don’t really know if the plane flew on for 7 hours, as you note, there’s a ground possibility. That’s one. Given the factual opacity and conspiratorial miasma we face, one must ask if the pings have to come from the plane in flight, or on the ground aT at all.
    Can the pinger be cloned, signal ghosted, sat receiver tricked, etc, etc. Our public flight duration conjecture seems to hinge solely on these pings.
    Given tech and paranoia levels and especially the torrent of TAO – Tailored Access Op – software and hardware revealed to be embedded in thousands of bits of commercial kit and code, may it be possible the silent plane went one way and the spooked pings another?
    I asked obliquely in passing before if the ping generator could be detached and still powered and operable.
    w/r/t/ to TAO programs, see Schneier, esp
    TAO catalog of hardware and software “implants”:
    Spiegel articles:
    Blog post, for comments:

  102. SAC Brat says:

    The pinging from the Satcom Data Unit will occur as long as the unit is powered, either in the air or on the ground. ACARS will transmit a Flight identifyier, while the Satcom unit is looking to stay connected to be ready for the next transmission, like a cell phone. The pinging will mean how long the SDU was powered. If the airplane sat on the ground powered from either ground power or auxiliary power unit the SDU would be powered and pinging to find a satellite to connect with.

  103. Babak Makkinejad says:

    SO we can surmise that the hijackers were air pirates after some sort of monetary gain. This surmise could be confirmed or discarded based on the cargo manifest; which has not yet been made public.
    In case the plane has been landed, I hope that the passengers and crew be safe.

  104. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Can the satellite link be shut down in mid flight?

  105. Macgupta123 says:

    Indian Air Traffic Control (ATC) has said it doesn’t raise an alarm as long as it can match planes to filed flight plans.
    So, suppose a flight plan was filed for a plane from Kuala Lumpur to Kazakhstan, but no plane actually took off from Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 did its turn, and somewhere over the Bay of Bengal, morphed into this flight, setting the right transponder codes as assigned in the flight plan (or however it is done) and interacting normally with ATC.
    For this to work, there might have to be some dead zone between hand-off from one ATC to the next? Is there such over the Bay of Bengal?
    Basic question is – is such a plot workable? Are there too many data trackers that would notice a plane did not exist on the initial leg of its flight, but appeared later?

  106. turcopolier says:

    Long ago I was the “proprietor” of a USAF C-12 aircraft. My pilots often re-filed different flight plans in flight. This usually occurred at a waypoint. pl

  107. smoke says:

    r whitman –
    According to a British risk/terror specialist, the answer is yes.
    “Dr Leivesley said a hacker could potentially change the plane’s altitude, speed and direction by sending radio signals to its flight management system. She claimed the threat was exposed at a science conference in China last year.
    … “ ‘It is possible for hackers, be they part of organised crime or with government backgrounds, to get into the main computer network of the plane through the in-flight, on-board entertainment system.’ ”

  108. LJ says:

    I certainly don’t know for sure but look here:

  109. FB Ali says:

    It seems to me that the reasonably reliable information currently available, and the application of Occam’s Razor, indicate that the most likely hypothesis is pilot suicide deliberately concealed, ie, the pilot did not wish to have it established later that he had in fact committed suicide by crashing the plane.
    A large life insurance policy would be a good pointer. Another could be some recent change in the pilot’s circumstances which could have led him to consider suicide as a way out (the concealment could then be due to the stigma attached in that culture to suicide).
    Another (weaker) pointer would be if the wreckage was found in the South Indian Ocean.

  110. Mark Logan says:

    My bet is on the southern ocean. Seems like somebody wanted to make a mystery.
    I would ask Highlander if the electronics bay is big enough for someone to stow away in and what mischief might be caused from there by a disgruntled employee, perhaps.

  111. turcopolier says:

    It appears from the captain’s flight simulator that he had practiced flights from KL to several airfields on the periphery of the arc of flight in the Indian Ocean. One of these was in the Maldives. At the same time local people on one of the Maldive atolls report having heard a multi-engine jet aircraft flying low on the morning in question. (Important search tip) pl

  112. John Minnerath says:

    Now that’s interesting. I had thought that maybe after a little time passed some local observations might filter through.
    The Maldives might be a good location to land such a plane, probably approachable without alerting major radar networks.

  113. Fred says:

    Didn’t the Maldives have a ‘change’ in government a year or so ago?

  114. Will says:

    this looks more like Okkam’s razor to me
    A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet
    BY CHRIS GOODFELLOW03.18.146:30 AM”

  115. turcopolier says:

    John Minnerath
    Take a look at Gan International Airport (former RAF Gan). 8400 foot runway, lots of fuel storage, beacons etc. This thought requires some degree of cooperation on the ground. There are a number of candidate airfields for a re-fueling stop in the Maldives. pl

  116. turcopolier says:

    Why does this place have a 13,000 foot runway? Presumably he couldn’t make the place and crashed in the strait of Malacca? If that is the case the floating wreckage should be easy to

  117. nick b says:

    Wouldn’t radar at Diego Garcia have seen that?

  118. John Minnerath says:

    The old RAF Gan strip could be a perfect place.
    All the Maldives are far from the main stream and Gan even more so.
    Suitable strips near the original flight path, like Pulau Langkawi, should all be cleared by now.
    Now we wait to see how long it takes to check this possibility out.

  119. Will says:

    The pilots overcome by smoke, the plane continues to fly erratically until it runs out of fuel?

  120. no one says:

    Will, Maybe, but why no Mayday squawk? It would take a couple seconds to send out a distress message and report the new heading; both being extremely important information given the possibility of a water landing (i.e. alerting search/rescue parties of the need to search and where to start looking). At any rate, if the crew set the new heading, was overcome by smoke and died and the plane flew on autopilot until fuel was exhausted, then it should be pretty simple to pinpoint the crash zone.

  121. Alan says:

    Sorry, I see this link has already been posted. Apologies.

  122. turcopolier says:

    No “May Day?” No declaration of a emergency? How about the possibility that AQAP bought itself a 777? pl

  123. John Minnerath says:

    Diego Garcia is actually a long way south of the Maldives. I know we have a lot of stuff there, but I don’t know what sort of radar.
    Given reports by locals of a large low fling jet over the southern Maldive islands at about the right time it certainly needs a close look.

  124. Thomas says:

    Anyone see if the question has been answered on the cargo contents? $250 million in gold bullion would be a tempting target.
    Though, the suicide plot were the plane is taken out deep into the Indian Ocean to prevent recovery makes sense also.

  125. no one says:

    Sir, ” How about the possibility that AQAP bought itself a 777? pl ”
    That is exactly what I think happened.
    As for the fire theory, in addition to the significant – highly so, IMO – lack of a Mayday, what kind of fire generates enough smoke to quickly kill everyone on board and, presumably destroys some key electronics, and yet does not disrupt systems that keep the plane flying for several more hours? Why wouldn’t the fire consume the plane within the first hour or less? A very selective fire indeed.

  126. optimax says:

    I did read somewhere the plane’s manifest included a load of lithium batteries, something Highlander speculated on earlier.

  127. SAC Brat says:

    What bothers me most about this story is the poor research that the media displays. Airplanes are simple systems when studied, but few in the media spend any time to look anything up when much of the information is available about the technical aspects of the airplane and how it is operated.
    If the various news outlets cannot cover the technical details with available information, what other stories do they mangle or misreport?
    At this time if the airplane has not had any ground support, the batteries will be flat and the tires low on pressure. If the airplane has not been powered by ground power or the apu (auxiliary power unit) in this period the hot battery bus units will drain the batteries below what is needed to start the APU. Aircraft tires on airliners leak down and if the tires are low on pressure they will overheat on taxi or takeoff and throw their treads. If the tires have been serviced with air instead of nitrogen they can catch on fire if operated at below service pressure, but this would take almost a full servicing of air.

  128. turcopolier says:

    SAC Brat
    If this was a coherent operation then the minimum necessary my have been done. Many, many airlines have experience of this aircraft. pl

  129. Highlander says:

    Here in Day 11, I am starting to see a consensus among 777 pilots developing that possibly there was a fire in the Electronics Equipment bay ( a small room under the first class galley and cockpit maybe 12 feet wide by 10 feet deep , 7 feet high ).
    All the communications black boxes, radios, ACARS, computers,sat comms, aircraft circuit breakers, etc are packed into this small room. In short, the brains of the aircraft.
    An uncontrolled fire in the E/E compartment would be disastrous. It would probably lead to the exact scenario we are dealing with. For starters the fire would probably shut down all air to ground communications as it progressed. The only way to get the deadly electric smoke fumes out of the darkened and dying aircraft would have been to descend to 10,000 feet and open the cabin air pressure control valves.
    If it had been me as the Captain in that situation, you are damn right, I would have turned left back to the land, and started planning on putting that burning piece of aluminum on the first fly piece of earth I could find. My best guess, is they are either in the water of the South China Sea, the Malay jungle. or in the water to the west.
    As for all those satellite pings, well I can’t account for all of that. But is has now been noticed that Malaysia airlines is on financial life support, and this fire scenario would not reflect well on the maintenance at this crony capitalism enterprise. I suspect the CEO is praying for terrorists.

  130. Fred says:

    Doesn’t Malaysian Airlines follow standard cargo regulations? Granted this (copied below) is US but aren’t international airlines following similar standards?
    The U.S. DOT hazardous materials regulations prohibit the transport of lithium metal batteries on passenger-carrying aircraft. In addition, the U.S. DOT requires specific markings on packagings that contain small, consumer-type lithium metal batteries (“PRIMARY LITHIUM BATTERIES – FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT”). A “cargo aircraft only”label must be placed on packagings containing larger cells and batteries that are shipped as fully regulated hazardous materials.

  131. LJ says:

    PL I haven’t heard this anywhere. Did this info come from ..cough… some “old friends?”

  132. euclidcreek says:

    If flight 370 is found, it is possible Judge Crater will be among the passengers.

  133. SAC Brat says:

    Roger that. I work in the operations center of a large airline and Murphy is a major factor. Several times I have been involved in the recovery effort when a widebody airliner has diverted to a military field and doubled the local population.

  134. turcopolier says:

    Let’s be clear. If I had classified data from “alte kamaraden” I sure as hell wouldn’t tell you all about it. No, good intelligence analysis seldom requires access to government secrets. the ever widening wondrous world of open source information provides more and more of what is needed. If the aircraft turned south there should still be floating materials, seat cushions, etc. Where is it? pl

  135. nick b says:

    LA Times this morning is quoting Malaysian Minister of Defense claiming Maldives story not true.
    “Hishammuddin said reports that the missing Boeing 777-200 aircraft had been sighted in the Maldives, nearly 2,000 miles west of its takeoff point and far from its intended course, were found not to be true.”,0,4773564.story#ixzz2wQ89ydY1

  136. Charles I says:

    So how did the perps transmit the fruits of their research to their fellow conspirators? Phone?. Verbally after landing/parachuting?

  137. LJ says:

    True, however, I am asking about the info that the pilot seemed to be practicing a turn to the West on his flight simulator. You are the only source I have seen for this. I would have expected Richard Quest to be breathlessly all over this on CNN. Nothing. Why?

  138. turcopolier says:

    It was reported in the media in several places that he had been practicing approaches to a number of place including somewhere in the Maldives. pl

  139. Thomas says:

    Thanks, it looks as a battery fire as Highlander points to up thread as most likely cause now, followed by a stolen plane for AQ or suicide plot.
    Now it is wait and see if any debris are found.

  140. LJ says:

    OK, now it has finally popped up on CNN.

  141. Anonymous says:

    Alien abductors?
    I say undocumented guest abductors, the wretched refuse of cold-hearted extraterrestrial civilizations, marooned unto the elastic vortex plugged in heaven by our little blue dot, clinging to life in their tiny cockleshell ufos, a despised minority bound to a life of iniquity and theft, awaiting through the long cold nights of thin air for the day when comprehensive immigration amnesty finally releases them from hard fate and into service in the american military, or maybe into helping pay the bills of poor guy Zuckerberg.

  142. Ryan says:

    I know what happened. Islamo-Nazis and their allies, the racist Neoconfederate used their Horton brothers Foo fighers to capture the plane. They took it to Neuschwabenland in Antarctica.
    If you don’t like my theory here’s one provided by former LtG Thomas McInerneny. He believes the aircraft was hijacked and flown to Pakistan. He mentioned two locations for it to be flown to would be at Quetta and Lahore.
    Supposedly, the operation is under ISI control. He has made a number of other claims on Fox you can see here:
    If google doesn’t allow its link to work just use these keywords: mcinerney foxnews flight 370
    McInerney claims to have sources that he obviously can’t reveal at this time. I wonder if he means Israeli sources? [sarcasm]
    If this material has already been posted I apologize.

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