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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 10 2014, @07:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the The-Presses-Keep-Rolling dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Bill Palmer, an Airbus A330 captain for a major airline, and author of the book 'Understanding Air France 447.' has an interesting read at CNN on why there have been so few clues about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, beginning with the lack of a distress call. According to Palmer the lack of a distress call is not particularly perplexing. 'An aviator's priorities are to maintain control of the airplane above all else. An emergency could easily consume 100% of a crew's efforts. To an airline pilot, the absence of radio calls to personnel on the ground that could do little to help the immediate situation is no surprise.'

Reports of a possible course reversal observed on radar could be the result of intentional crew actions but not necessarily says Palmer. During Air France 447's 3-1/2 minute descent to the Atlantic Ocean, it too changed its heading by more than 180 degrees, but it was an unintentional side effect as the crew struggled to gain control of the airplane. The Malaysian flight's last telemetry data, as reported by flightaware.com, shows the airplane at 35,000 feet. Even with a dual engine failure, a Boeing 777 is capable of gliding about 120 miles from that altitude yielding a search area roughly the size of Pennsylvania, with few clues within that area where remains of the aircraft might be. "This investigation may face many parallels to Air France 447, an Airbus A330 that crashed in an area beyond radar coverage in the ocean north of Brazil in June 2009. Like the Air France plane, the Malaysia Airlines aircraft was a state-of-the-art, fly-by-wire airplane (a Boeing 777) with an excellent safety record," says Palmer. 'We will know the truth of what happened when the aircraft is found and the recorders and wreckage are analyzed. In the meantime, speculation is often inaccurate and unproductive.'"

 
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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by edIII on Monday March 10 2014, @07:13PM

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @07:13PM (#14186)

    None of those points lets us continue creating and discussing those delicious conspiracy stories though.. which are getting pretty interesting.

    I've already heard two different alien abduction theories.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday March 10 2014, @07:24PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:24PM (#14189) Homepage

    "We will know the truth of what happened when the aircraft is found and the recorders and wreckage are analyzed. In the meantime, speculation is often inaccurate and unproductive."

    Well, shit. I guess that's that, no point in discussing things further then.

    Okay, seriously -- The Boeing 777 Wikipedia article yields a possible clue: " As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer-mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft."

    So a firmware bug, or unexpected behavior from a subroutine? Tired pilots? Something related to the recent Bitcoin heists? A thwarted attempt at a 9/11 style attack? Shot down by a Chinese pilot with an itchy trigger-finger?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by sjames on Monday March 10 2014, @07:57PM

      by sjames (2882) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:57PM (#14218) Journal

      Someone tried to install IE on the flight computer?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by edIII on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:25AM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:25AM (#14394)

        To be fair, if that happened, it would have probably made it to it's destination. Just really slowly.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by sjames on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:40AM

          by sjames (2882) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:40AM (#14439) Journal

          They would have gotten somewhere, but if their navigation got mixed up with Bing, who knows where they would have landed?

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @08:15PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @08:15PM (#14234)

      Too boring of a flight. Look for something "special" about that flight. Highest barometric pressure ever encountered. Coldest air even encountered. Four digit engine start counter and this was power up 9999. Maint logs indicate this was the first flight after replacing the ...

      Unfortunately there seems to be nothing special at all about this flight.

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by cwix on Monday March 10 2014, @10:00PM

        by cwix (873) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:00PM (#14317)

        Except for two stolen passports being used to board the plane. With tickets bought by a man from Iran.

        http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/10/world/asia/malaysia- airlines-mystery-passengers/ [cnn.com]

        Sure, maybe it is just a coincidence. It certainly seems out of the ordinary though.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hamsterdan on Monday March 10 2014, @10:43PM

          by hamsterdan (2829) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:43PM (#14332)

          Unfortunately, it will probably give TSA even more power and authority. Everybody will be subject to a rectal search, and everybody will have to board the flight naked.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cwix on Monday March 10 2014, @11:06PM

            by cwix (873) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:06PM (#14350)

            I dread that as well. A revelation like this would just give the TSA more power.

            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:13AM

              by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:13AM (#14389)

              The people dreading that will be the people on my first flight.

              --
              Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
              • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:18AM

                by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:18AM (#14449)

                "The people dreading that will be the people on my first flight."

                Indeed, can I get flight insurance to cover the inevitable lawsuits over trauma induced blindness that will certainly result from me boarding an airliner nekkid...

                And if the TSA decides the still must feel me up, er, I mean, frisk me for the safety of the passengers and plane, and the CHILDREN (Oh, god, the CHILDREN!), I just might have to have a mighty bowel movement in his hand...

                --
                Trump succeeds in making Nixon look respectable, Mission Accomplished!
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by isostatic on Monday March 10 2014, @11:17PM

          by isostatic (365) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:17PM (#14359) Journal

          He didn't specify this flight, he asked the ta for the cheapest tickets to two places (Copenhagen and Frankfurt I think), which happened to be kul-pek-ams-xxx

          I suspect criminality, possibly just illegal immigration, maybe drugs, but nothing more sinister.

          There was a third passport used, the number entered in the system was that of a Chinese national that still has his passport. Possibly a mis-entry.

          The big question is, where the hell is the plane. If it was stolen, what's the motive? If it was blown up, where's the wreckage?

          Most likely situation to me is a Helios 522 situation, gradual loss in pressure, autopilot carries it way off course before crashing (6 hours of fuel, could be anywhere in 3,000 miles), and poor radar coverage overnight meant no one saw it.

          • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:15AM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:15AM (#14392)

            The whole passport thing is easy to solve.

            Just authenticate again.

            Assume all passengers are fake, look up passport info, cooperate with governments, identify contact information, call person listed on passport.

            Somebody Answers?

            "Where the hell are you right now? Were you on the flight from Malaysia Airlines?"

            "Yes- Fantastic. Start waving your arms. We're on the way"

            "No- Fantastic. Glad you're safe"

            --
            Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
            • (Score: 1) by isostatic on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:43AM

              by isostatic (365) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:43AM (#14398) Journal

              Mr Wu books a flight
              Passport number 123456789 - Mr Wu
              MH accidentally write down 123456798 - Mr Wu

              Therefore the passport number in their system is wrong, but doesn't mean that the person boarding the plane had a forged passport.

              • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:14AM

                by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:14AM (#14404)

                Doesn't matter.

                Only two possibilities exist:

                1) It's Mr. Wu indicated from the passport
                2) It's Mr. Chang and his passport was wrongly entered.

                We want to identify all people on the plane, and there is question about the passports. Eliminate the question.

                Contact Mr. Wu, since he is listed. If Mr. Wu is alive and answers, we know Mr. Wu was not on the plane. Whoever was in that seat, or on the plane, is not listed.

                We identify Mr. Chang by cross-referencing all payments. Most will be eliminated due to matching payments in the records. That's just superficial. No invasion of privacy. Just ask Visa if Mr. Wu paid for a flight to Malayasia Airlines.

                You will have sparingly few cases where the payments are untraceable, people are located (meaning you have an unknown passenger), and you can positively identify most people and eliminate the question of the passports entirely.

                From what's left you can start concentrating on visual recordings in the terminal and other meta data that you have available, even data that is somewhat superficial and not invasive of privacy.

                There's really no reason to go on at all about the passports being the issue. That's my point. Bringing up the passports like it's a big deal or anything, or a hindrance to the investigation, smacks of FUD to me.

                --
                Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:43AM

            by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:43AM (#15192)

            At cruise, autopilots are controlled by the FMS which has basically the entire route of the flight programmed in, even the most likely STAR. For it to go off-course into the middle of nowhere would require the flight crew to intentionally delete all the programmed waypoints.

            Even a gradual loss of pressure would trigger alarms and the oxygen masks.

            A complete electrical failure would result in an uncontrollable aircraft and no communications. But that's extremely unlikely with all the redundancy in its systems.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by spiritplumber on Monday March 10 2014, @07:24PM

    by spiritplumber (238) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:24PM (#14190)

    Call XCOM maybe?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Monday March 10 2014, @11:02PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @11:02PM (#14342) Journal

    I've already heard two different alien abduction theories.

    [Citation needed]

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by edIII on Monday March 10 2014, @11:50PM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @11:50PM (#14383)
      *ahem* *typity typity*

      The Malaysian airplane was interdicted by two cigar shaped alien crafts. All passengers were offloaded and the plane was vaporized to leave no traces. The cigar ships then flew to Nebraska, USA, where the people were offloaded again into huge waiting pits. These pits feed into the factories to produce Soylent Green, a product that will be marketed ironically. Huge numbers of young Hipsters will consume the products. Overnight alien soliders will be born!! From that point on Washington, DC will fall and **CARRIER LOST***

      -- This dude on conspiracychat.org that I've known for awhile and knows his shit.

      That airplane didn't disappear at all. It landed and everyone is now safe living on another planet. It's an experiment. We're the other planet

      -- Found it scrawled on a used napkin in the subway. Seems legit though, like it was written in earnest.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 1) by fx_68 on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:56AM

    by fx_68 (2719) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:56AM (#15015) Homepage
    Aircraft was taken below radar and flown someplace. The aircraft could have tail number change. Paintjob. Etc.
    --
    Some where on the black vein highways of America......
    • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:47AM

      by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:47AM (#15195)

      At low altitude, fuel flow increases, and range drops drastically.