Skip to main content

A very bright, enterprising and thoughtful man named Keith Ledgerwood has put forth a new theory about how Malaysia Air Flight 370 may have been able to traverse Central Asia without being detected:

They shadowed Singapore Airlines flight 68 while it flew to Madrid.

It's a great theory. Technically it works great, as long as the players involved perform to a rather James Bond standard of awesomeness (which is possible, I suppose). It is, in fact, the single most believable theory I've yet seen about how on earth a 777 may have penetrated the airspace of two rather well-defended nuclear nations who are watching their mutual border closely.

I hope you click through and read the whole thing, because the guy deserves the traffic. If not, here are some of the operative passages:

I quickly realized that SIA68 was in the immediate vicinity as the missing MH370 flight at precisely the same time.  Moreover, SIA68 was en-route on a heading towards the same IGREX waypoint on airway P628 that the Malaysian military radar had shown MH370 headed towards at precisely the same time.
It became apparent as I inspected SIA68'€™s flight path history that MH370 had maneuvered itself directly behind SIA68 at approximately 18:00UTC and over the next 15 minutes had been following SIA68.   All the pieces of my theory had been fitting together with the facts that have been publically released and I began to feel a little uneasy.
It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 through India and Afghanistan airspace.  As MH370 was flying dark€ without transponder / ADS-B output, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens.
Here's an image of Keith's proposed convergence:

I applaud Keith Ledgerwood's imagination. And his understanding of how big planes work the sky. It's nice to see at a time when so many total novices are talking out their asses.

But here's why I don't think it works...

PROBLEM #1:    Whose agenda was it?

Presumably a terrorist who wants to park a future weapon somewhere until it can be used (either against Beijing if it's a Uighur or against the West if it's a typical Islamic fundamentalist). Well, that presumption means the pilots were unwilling - or at least, unprepared - participants. Which leads me to the circumstances surrounding the transponder.

It went straight from Mode C (meaning altitude reporting) to OFF.

Think about that. If I'm a 777 pilot, in this post-9/11 world, and I hear banging on my reinforced cockpit door, or I receive a phone call from a flight attendant at the back of the plane informing me that someone is in 1st Class trying to hijack, my transponder goes to 7500 (hijack), not to OFF.  If my instincts don't at first involve the transponder, they would at the very least involve telling my F.O. to "pan pan, pan pan" a distress call of some kind. When you're alone at 35,000' and someone's about to take over your airplane, you do every single thing you can to let the outside world know.

These pilots turned their transponder straight to off.  And, apparently, even prior to that, they disabled the ACARS.  

It's a hijacking for sure. Just not by anyone aft of the cockpit door.

PROBLEM #2     What then?   

Shadowing SIA 68 is pure genius. That aspect of Ledgerwood's theory is - plus or minus the difficulty of maintaining a close formation at night and, potentially, in cloud - quite sound. But the "what then" angle is rather poorly thought out. "Could have easily broken contact and flown and landed in Xianjian, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan..."

Easily flown? No way.

The chance that an unlabeled return could peel away from SIA 68 and not be noticed by Pakistani controllers is almost zero. For the umpteenth time, a 777 is fucking obvious on radar, transponder or not and we know for a fact that in the last few days since the "one of two arcs" theory solidified, both the Pakistanis and the Indians went through their radar. If they found anything unusual, they sure haven't reported it.

But let's say MH 370 somehow did manage to break formation with SIA 68 and fly somewhere.  What are the chances of "easily landing" in any of those places.  You need 4600' of runway at sea level at the weight they flew (which I guessed was about 390,000 lbs on landing). The geographic floor of that entire region is 2000' above sea level. So, realistically, at those elevations, say 4000,' you need over 5000' runway. To land. At night. In an unfamiliar area.  Terrorist or not, anyone who knows anything wouldn't bother to attempt such a thing into a field shorter than 8,000'. There'd be too great a risk of ruining all the hard work in the final furlong.

If you're planning to want to takeoff again at some point with enough fuel to actually "9/11" Beijing or points in the West, you're really going to want 8,000', otherwise your rogue 777 will need a refueling stop at a not-very-distant longer runway and, in the meantime, you're going to have repaint your 777 because wherever you stop, they're going to see "Malaysia" and the tail number 9M-MRO.

And when you do make that refueling stop, your flight plan is going to show where you came from and you cannot simply just assume an otherwise legitimate flight plan in midair and pretend you're that flight. You would have had to takeoff from the airport shown on the flight plan, otherwise no ATC would have activated your departure clearance and started your data block.

(You can check 777-200ER (aka "High Gross Weight") takeoff and landing data for yourself with this pdf, pages 49 & 54.)

So that means you need an 8,000' runway (and longer if they wanted to hit the US) that the terrorist completely controls for up to several weeks and that leaves very few options in that area that are not owned, and monitored, by militaries.  Very few options. And, then, when you land somewhere, where are you going to park the thing? With a 200' wingspan? And not get noticed.

People have said "What about landing it on the floor of the Taklimakan Desert or something." My answer is that a soft field landing in a 777 has about a 90% probability of bending the plane in the daytime and these guys did it at night, in pitch blackness, with no instrument help. That's about a 99.9% probability of an unflyable plane and, even if they did pull it off, how the fuck do they taxi on desert floor without either A) sucking so much debris into the engines that they get destroyed; or B) sinking irretrievably into the terrain the moment the thing comes to a stop. Download the Boeing pdf on "PAVEMENT DATA" if you want to understand the strain these planes put on the landing surface.

Every one of the "landed somewere in Central Asia" theories has a heavy element of James Bond that I just can't abide. They are all predicated on the assumption that two experienced, post-9/11-world pilots sent zero distress calls or hijack squawks during the entire time it took the hijackers to break, blowtorch-cut, bargain or teleport their way through a reinforced cockpit door.

But again, Keith Ledgerwood gets a solid A for both imagination and conceptual understanding of aviation.

I'm a 14-year, instrument-rated private pilot and I've spoken to every airline pilot I know (some 777 guys and a UPS pilot who actually flies the KUL-PEK route occasionally) and we all feel the same way.

Whether it was the captain or the first officer, we're on record that MH 370 is a pilot suicide, involving the elimination of the other pilot, pulled off by a a guy who had a dying wish to not ever be found and to leave his mark as the perpetrator of an enduring mystery. He probably thought about the Marianas Trench as the best place to crash the plane and never be found, but he'd have had to cross the Phillipines to get there and with the amount of US military hardware there, too likely a chance of intercept, which would blow his entire agenda. So he chose the next deepest, most difficult ocean to search and put it down there.

Why wait for 7 hours? Why not just do what the EgyptAir guy did? I can't answer that. It's a human element that we may never know. Except perhaps the guy was thoroughly attached to the notion of disappearing forever, even if it meant taking 238 others with him.

The other theories are very involved, very difficult to pull off and require either the cooperation, or the incompetence, of lots of people. My theory is the simplest one I've come across, and it's the one my pilot friends agree with.

My money is on the Australians narrowing the search area through radar records (they have amazing radar on their West coast) and the plane being found, at some point, in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The one thing I feel most strongly about, however, is that history will judge the Royal Malaysian Air Force almost as harshly as the pilot who pirated the airplane. Had the four guys watching the radar at Butterworth AB done their jobs the morning of March 8th, this story would have been fundamentally different. It would have been an OJ Simpson-style chase story where adjoining nations teamed up to figure out what the hell this plane was doing and the world would have seen it through, most likely, to its conclusion. It wouldn't have ended well, but the families would have gotten closure very quickly.

Sadly, that didn't happen. And I hope the families sue the shit out of the RMAF.

*UPDATE*

While the timeline of when ACARS was turned off relative to both the transponder and the last voice transmission appears to be in flux, the New York Times is now reporting the following:

Instead of manually operating the plane’s controls, whoever altered Flight 370’s path [to the West, back toward Malaysia - clarification mine] typed seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee-high pedestal between the captain and the first officer, according to officials.
I would like Chris Goodfellow, or any of the pro pilots who subscribe to his theory, to weigh in regarding this latest development (which, it seems, comes from US investigators).  In the event of a cockpit fire or smoke, I find it unlikely that the life-saving turn toward the nearest airport would be made via CDU. It's possible the 777 has a D-NRST function (like we have in our G1000 Cessnas) which the pilot used to command a turn to Pulau Langkawi. However, Goodfellow accounts for the lack of a distress call by the systematic pulling of breakers to shed electrical load.

In my mind, I'd have my hand firmly on the yoke while the FO did checklists. Only when established on a westerly heading would I command a GPS-direct to Langkawi.

More from the NYT:

Flight 370’s Flight Management System reported its status to the Acars, which in turn transmitted information back to a maintenance base, according to an American official. This shows that the reprogramming happened before the Acars stopped working. The Acars ceased to function about the same time that oral radio contact was lost and the airplane’s transponder also stopped, fueling suspicions that foul play was involved in the plane’s disappearance.
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (182+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scribeboy, Senor Unoball, Sandy on Signal, MA Liberal, northbronx, amyzex, Mr Robert, CwV, Portlaw, psychodrew, Simplify, middleagedhousewife, kenwards, la urracca, Lujane, Lefty Coaster, wintergreen8694, Susan from 29, Overseas, ColoTim, Pluto, dog in va, leeleedee, ericlewis0, lennysfo, sawgrass727, MKSinSA, Matilda, NYFM, edsbrooklyn, BCO gal, Susipsych, Steve15, CanisMaximus, jrooth, BlueOak, Gentle Giant, Pat K California, jwinIL14, WheninRome, doingbusinessas, Matt Z, anodnhajo, Shockwave, Hayate Yagami, California06, geebeebee, Tinfoil Hat, DRo, FG, marleycat, BlogDog, Catte Nappe, GAS, Jollie Ollie Orange, SeaTurtle, rambler american, AllanTBG, PinHole, socal altvibe, peregrine kate, ranger995, DavidMS, monkeybrainpolitics, NewDealer, Mike Kahlow, Habitat Vic, La Gitane, Tunk, Yoshimi, Sapere aude, aitchdee, jcrit, zbob, profundo, dewtx, Bluesee, antooo, Eileen B, onionjim, political mutt, grover, rapala, pat bunny, Josiah Bartlett, tegrat, SuWho, Marihilda, Louisiana 1976, knitwithpurpose, davidincleveland, greenchiledem, BobTheHappyDinosaur, airportman, Tod, concernedamerican, IndieGuy, ChemBob, oortdust, petral, Lily O Lady, HiKa, riverlover, kaliope, lunachickie, bastrop, pixxer, sunny skies, Ducktape, Hastur, Timaeus, VPofKarma, SaoMagnifico, The Eyewitness Muse, joedemocrat, UncleCharlie, puckmtl, Sun Tzu, Alfred E Newman, DuzT, richardvjohnson, Colorado is the Shiznit, defluxion10, BlackSheep1, 2questions, AJ in Camden, NYC Sophia, Bridge Master, KJG52, roonie, Larsstephens, Smoh, terabytes, waterstreet2013, Rhysling, sydneyluv, rb608, Timmethy, PeterHug, exNYinTX, skybluewater, reflectionsv37, northcountry21st, leftywright, greenotron, Meteor Blades, wildweasels, Geenius at Wrok, radical simplicity, auron renouille, jguzman17, paulitics, newinfluence, eyesoars, nice marmot, Kombema, craiger, Youffraita, Alice Venturi, Bob Duck, joynow, RiveroftheWest, caul, mamamedusa, Creosote, BlueInARedState, rmonroe, Tortmaster, nswalls, Stripe, mikeconwell, wrights, yawnimawke, sable, semiot, MKinTN, Don Quixote, zerelda, DeminNewJ, chimpy, LOrion, KenBee

    In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

    by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:25:47 AM PDT

  •  Read "Reamde" by Neal Stephenson- shadowing (25+ / 0-)

    another plane to fool radar (in this case in order to enter US space undetected) was a plot device in that thriller. I think that part is definitely worth exploring, if indeed the flight to Madrid had such a convenient convergence in space and time.

    Then ask "at what point would the Malaysian Air flight have to have peeled away to avoid being detected?"

    The other speculations as to before and after that part of the flight are, well, more speculative. What if the pilot was the culprit- wouldn't he have been able to do whatever he wanted with the transponder?

  •  Maybe the Al Quada Air Force.... (9+ / 0-)

    has some nifty new refueling tankers, and the plane is still flying around up there somewhere.

    Otherwise, pilot suicide seems to make the most sense.

    As through this world I've wandered,
    I've seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    Some with a fountain pen.
    -- Woody Guthrie

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46:37 AM PDT

  •  If you want to take an airplane (12+ / 0-)

    and go unnoticed , why go way up , up to a point that is beyond what the aircraft is rated for ? Isn't that the opposite of hiding ? Isn't that more of a , hey look at me maneuver ?

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:47:57 AM PDT

    •  Good question. (29+ / 0-)

      But A) last I heard the 45,000' concept was unverified (on top of making very little sense, because an average person goes hypoxic just fine at 35,000' or even 25,000'. If he wanted the cabin to fall asleep, he could depressurize and it would happen.)

      B) planes burn a ton of fuel at low altitude. If he had a "special spot" for himself in the Indian Ocean which, I'm assuming, more or less coincides with the fuel load he requested prior to departure, he wouldn't have made it flying nap of the earth.

      C) nap of the earth (or ocean) in a 777 would invite lots and lots of either land or seaborne witnesses to wonder what the great thing that whizzed past at 330 knots, 500' off the deck, burning 40,000 lbs of fuel/hr.  We haven't heard from them as far as I know.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:03:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So if we go with a , he wanted to die a spot X , (7+ / 0-)

        why not fly at normal cruise altitude until near that spot ?
        No one is going to shoot down a 777 that's off course and not threatening anything .

        Do you think the reports of wild altitude changes are not real ?

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

        by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:20:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think they're unverified as of yet (14+ / 0-)

          due to the fragmented nature of the data from which the flight path is being constructed. Remember, they're coming via triangulations, not from ACARS or ADS-B.

          So I believe that they're currently unverified.

          If they are verified at some point, of course I'll have to try to imagine why a suicidal pilot would fluctuate like that. I honestly don't know.

          I just keep coming back to the lack of a distress call.

          It is the deciding factor in all of this for me.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:36:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Communication failures happen . (6+ / 0-)
            I just keep coming back to the lack of a distress call.
            Imagine flying along in the night and your cockpit goes black , no lights , no radio etc etc .

            Not really related but I enjoy the story of the non-electric cub on 9/11 .
            Guy was flying along minding his own business and didn't know everyone had been told to land and nearly got knocked out of the air .

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

            by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:44:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you know what the probability (9+ / 0-)

              of the avionics in a 777 going completely and irretrievably dark is? Honestly? In any Part 121-certified aircraft, where the guiding criteria is "no single point of failure," much less in a 777?

              In my not professional yet reasonably experienced opinion, and backed up by the opinions of many highly experienced professionals, it is a much lower probability than a guy being suicidal in the cockpit. In fact, I'm pretty sure the total number of times an ARINC 600 or higher series-wired, transport-category cockpit has gone completely dark is...zero.

              In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

              by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:53:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Someone mentioned a battery fire (0+ / 0-)

                Could that damage the electrical system that much? Does the power go to vital systems when a major fault happens? Thanks for putting up with us fools, but its very interesting stuff.

                A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

                by onionjim on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:18:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In any electrical "event" (7+ / 0-)

                  the pilot would start shedding loads, pulling non-essential breakers, turning off the coffee-maker and the GoGo inflight, etc., according to whatever checklist applied to the scenario.

                  When the problem expands, you refer to the next checklist.

                  Wanna know how much faith Boeing, pilots, the FAA and airlines have in the electrical systems of modern jets?

                  The checklists are electronic.

                  Sure you could say "Hey, they went through everything and then the fucking CHECKLISTS WENT DARK!!"

                  But can't we live in the realm of statistical probability?

                  In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                  by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:53:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks, please don't touch (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Eric Stratton

                    the contacts. As you say, this is a one off event.

                    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

                    by onionjim on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:51:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you know the stadards the 787 was built to ? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    terrypinder

                    "only occur once in 10 million flight hours" ?
                    How did that work out ?

                    http://seattletimes.com/...

                    Ethiopian 787 flying again after secretive repair of fire damage

                    Boeing has completed repairing the Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner that was severely damaged by a fire at Heathrow airport, but won’t talk about how it was done.

                    Just think if that fire had broken out at say 30,000 feet .

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                    by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:54:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This is the 777 (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Creosote

                      not the 787, and it has more than 15 years in the air. No fatal incidents even, until last year at SFO, which is almost certainly a record for safest aircraft ever.

                      I don't know what current practice is, but I gather that airlines like their pilots to use electronic charts on iPads -- saves weight, saves space, you have two pilots and two iPads for redundancy, and you can run ADS-B on it.

                      No doubt if the diarists hypothesis is right, the pilots would have wanted all external lights off, all cabin lights off, and cockpit lights dimmed, just on the off chance that they might be seen.

                  •  The problem is (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    patbahn, terrypinder
                    But can't we live in the realm of statistical probability?
                    statistical probabilities are great but not the end of the story , shit happens . Design and run a very complex machine , let people work on it , people who may or may not do the best job possible ...
                     In any electrical "event" (2+ / 0-)
                    the pilot would start shedding loads, pulling non-essential breakers, turning off the coffee-maker and the GoGo inflight, etc., according to whatever checklist applied to the scenario.
                    How did that work out on Swissair 111 ?

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                    In-flight fire leading to electrical failure, spatial disorientation and crew distraction
                    Fatalities     229 (all)
                    Wiring fires can get going unnoticed and before anyone can react they can snowball . All sorts of fuses/breakers pop after wire after wire gets involved .
                    Do you know that it is said to be impossible to rewire a 747 ?

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                    by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:05:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You've done a lot of googling! (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      greenotron, JVolvo, mamamedusa

                      Good on you. You should do this as a diary! I have no problem with you disagreeing.

                      My point - taking basically all of your examples into account - is that these catastrophic snowball things generally end up in a crashed airplane in short order.

                      I happen to think your thoroughly hyper-linked instances of snowball failures ignore the fundamental difference with respect to MH 370: That the snowball failure unfolded over the course of 7 hours and commenced with the switching off of both the ACARS and the transponder.

                      That's a rather Shakespearean snowball don't you think?

                      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:19:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I've done far more than google . (0+ / 0-)

                        But thanks for the put downs .

                        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                        by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:40:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Read any of this anywhere ? (0+ / 0-)
                        Chris Goodfellow has 20 years experience as a Canadian Class-1 instrumented-rated pilot for multi-engine planes.
                        For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.

                        If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there might or might not be incapacitating smoke.

                        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                        by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:49:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  A case similar to yours (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JVolvo, ybruti, Creosote, California06

                      has been made very compellingly by this guy and in his theory, the pilots are heroes.

                      I was turned on to it in a comment by MJB in this very diary.

                      It's a fine, fine theory.

                      I can't believe it though, because it doesn't deal convincingly with the switching off of the ACARS and the transponder. And it really falls apart when you're asked to believe that a flaming aircraft continuing to fly for 7 hours without crashing.

                      But a fine theory by an experienced pilot. And one that appeals to me emotionally because I want to believe the pilots were heroes.

                      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:53:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Oops . (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ybruti, terrypinder
                    But can't we live in the realm of statistical probability?
                    http://seattletimes.com/...
                    Investigators say it was likely caused by the incorrect installation of a small lithium battery inside an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), an electronic device that transmits location data to satellites in the event of a crash.

                    The same device is used in most Airbus and Boeing jets, as well as other aircraft made by ATR, Dassault and Lockheed Martin.

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                    by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:08:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oops , (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy, terrypinder

                    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...

                    Barr once investigated a cargo plane that crashed just after taking off from Sacramento, California. When the investigators first arrived to examine the wreckage, they assumed that the plane’s center of gravity had not been calculated, a common practice at the time. Neglecting to do that could upset the weight balance in a plane, causing it to stall on takeoff.

                    By the second day, they determined the plane held so little cargo that the center of gravity wasn’t relevant.

                    “They found out part of the tail fell off because the plane had just come out of maintenance, where someone didn’t put a nut on a bolt," he said. "Because of that, the horizontal stabilizer failed."

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                    by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:33:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oops (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    terrypinder

                    http://www.theguardian.com/...

                    What made an Airbus rudder snap in mid-air?
                    When Flight 961 literally began to fall apart at 35,000 feet, it increased fears of a fatal design flaw in the world's most popular passenger jet

                    At 35,000 feet above the Caribbean, Air Transat flight 961 was heading home to Quebec with 270 passengers and crew. At 3.45 pm last Sunday, the pilot noticed something very unusual. His Airbus A310's rudder - a structure 28 feet high - had fallen off and tumbled into the sea. In the world of aviation, the shock waves have yet to subside.

                    He and his colleagues also believe that what happened may shed new light on a previous disaster. In November 2001, 265 people died when American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus A300 model which is almost identical to the A310, crashed shortly after take-off from JFK airport in New York. According to the official report into the crash, the immediate cause was the loss of the plane's rudder and tailfin, though this was blamed on an error by the pilots.

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                    by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:39:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  more likely the pilots were debugging a minor malf (0+ / 0-)

                    and lost situational awareness.

                    there they are running checklists,
                    resetting busses, dicking around and the aircraft
                    auguers in.

              •  Do you know what the probability , (5+ / 0-)

                center tank explosion , three hydraulic systems severed , computer and pilot wrestling for control , wiring fire , main spar folding in half , vertical stabilizer going hard over and not being controllable , tail failing off the plane just after take off , fuel tank puncture from small piece of metal left on runway , an apu burning down the plane , etc etc etc .

                Do you know the story of the Concord crash ?
                Tell me the probability of that happening ?
                A non approved repair on a "Part 121-certified aircraft" failed .
                It didn't bring down the aircraft that was repaired , the failed repair caused another plane to crash . What are the probabilities of that ? One in a Billion ?

                I don't know if you know of the over seas repair shops and the problems re those shops . There are places where a shop will have one licensed repair person over seeing a crew of non licensed repair people . There are shops where very funny things have happened in the past .
                There are non approved parts in the supply chain , fake parts , not properly overhauled parts , etc etc etc

                "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:48:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand all that. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VelvetElvis, mamamedusa, Creosote

                  Believe me.

                  What you're failing to achieve is a convincing explanation of how some specific failure could still somehow account for the main story points in this affair, those being:

                  A) ACARS switched out of reporting mode and transponder switched off
                  B) Dramatic turn to the west
                  C) 70 minutes of flying
                  then...
                  D) Dramatic turn to the north over the Malacca Strait, with more flying
                  then...
                  E) another turn North or a beyond 180 degree turn to the south
                  and
                  F) a grand total of 7 hours airborne after the transponder was switched off.

                  Do you understand? Continually trying to get me to acknowledge that equipment fails is pretty asinine, dude. Equipment fails, ok? Satisfied?

                  What you're not doing is making a case that equipment fails catastrophically but then results in several 90+ degree turns that would not have been part of the pre-programmed LNAV profile of the flight, but miraculously somehow allows for the airframe, engines, electrical fuel pumps, electrical fuel transfer pumps (flying for 8 total hours requires a manual transfer of fuel from the belly tank to the wing tanks, right?) and, oh yeah, the ACARS power bus (which still had enough power to exchange empty pings with its satellite) to remain functional for 7.5 hours of total flying after the onset of the massive failure.

                  Make that case and I'm all ears, pal.

                  In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                  by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:00:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I heard Boeing had concerns the electronics of (0+ / 0-)

                this model 777 could be susceptible to interference from passenger electronics - someone could intentionally zap the plane's systems with malicious elecs/software?

                British anti-terror expert Dr Sally Leivesley said last night: “It might well be the world’s first cyber hijack.”

                Food for thought.

                "But I do apologize, JVolvo, for you are arbiter of all that can and cannot be discussed and I bow down to your supremacy when it comes to what can be written on this website." WinSmith 1/22/2014 - "OK" JVolvo 1/23/2014 (sorry, Clive)

                by JVolvo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:27:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  No one except the Us Air Force.... (0+ / 0-)

          "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

          by Bisbonian on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:51:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Would 45000 be more certain for passengers (14+ / 0-)

        Can the pilot turn off oxygen to the masks in the cabin selectively (leaving the cockpit connected)? If not, the idea might be to put the passengers and any other crew out more quickly.

        At 35000 feet, just using Wikipedia for a reference (sorry, I'm no expert at this), time of useful consciousness in a decompression is 30-60 seconds. That's time for lots of people to grab the dropped mask. 45000 isn't given, but interpolating, it looks like it might be more like 10 seconds. Few will manage it--especially at night when lots of people are sleeping or groggy. If the pilot wants to get the passengers dead, and can't shut off those masks, taking it up for decompression makes (ugly) sense. There would be fewer left to deal with. Few enough to be able to break into the cockpit, certainly.

        I agree that the 45000 feet is unverified. The Malaysians don't seem to stay on any one story very long. This is all so very sad.

        Resistance to tyranny is man's highest ideal. --Emma Goldman

        by Siusaidh on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:36:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  New engineering data come in. (0+ / 0-)

          Forget about damning the Malaysians. They're dependent on Boeing and the satellite people and whoever is coordinating at the international level.

          Consider the Air France Flight 8969 event from December 1994 and the aftermath. Very good work was done... then ignored severally. The right wing counterterrorism guys had a fundamental conflict of interest.

          "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul Ryan

          by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:31:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  even with the masks, at that altitude you need (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote

          a suit.

          the mask is just slowing down the problem.

          trained crews can pressure breathe with a face mask,
          like in WW2, but, it is real hard work.

      •  Do pilots (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Shockwave, Timaeus, Bisbonian

        really have the power to selectively kill all the passengers by depressurizing the cabin? If so, that's something that should be addressed along with the plane transponder systems vulnerable to human intervention.

        •  Masks... (6+ / 0-)

          I think they only supply somewhere around 15 minutes of oxygen.  I believe the idea is that it is enough to get to an altitude that won't kill the passengers. I have no idea whether the pilots get more, but I suspect not. So, killing the passengers via decompression probably would require the pilot to bring extra oxygen for himself.

          •  The pilots do get more, but not enough for the (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Donner, zbob, davidincleveland, mrblifil

            whole flight, so it would be a gamble that they could repressurize smoothly and in time to not jeopardize themselves.

            I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

            by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:36:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course at this point.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              the dogs sockpuppet, SuWho

              There is almost no such thing as too wild of a hypothesis.

            •  Wrong. Pilots Have Enough For All Flight Above 35k (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grover, Timaeus

              OK -- so I don't know if foreign countries follow the FAA regs. But, when flying in the US, at least one pilot must have affixed an O2 mask when flying above 35k. Lots of planes cruise 35k and above. So there is plenty of O2 for an extended time.

              Now -- is there 7 hours of O2 available? That I don't know. But it's a lot more than just 15 minutes.

              •  on airliners.net, folks were indicating (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zbob

                otherwise.  I'm not a pilot, just a science geek, so I can't speak from experience.

                I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

                by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:17:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's only partially correct, I believe (5+ / 0-)

                I've been on plenty of flight decks above FL350 and no one had on a mask. The rule, I believe (and it was featured in the movie "Airport"), is that if one of the pilots leaves the flight deck while above FL250, the remaining pilot must go on oxygen. And I recall being witness to that procedure at least twice.

                I was on at least one B757 and up in the 40s and there was no O2 in sight. Granted, I was last on a flight deck in 1996, but I doubt much has changed in that regard.

                Also, I've learned from some of the local Kossacks who are ATP guys flying big iron that the O2 system for the passengers is different than the one for the flying officers. I believe the pilots are served by actual cannisters of Aviators O2.

                LRod—UID 238035
                ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired
                My ATC site
                My Norm's Tools site

                by exatc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:24:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  eyesoars, terrypinder

                  Here's rcair1's info on hypoxia and oxygen on the 777 with respect to this flight:

                  Hypoxia and Pressurization
                  •    There has been lots of speculation about loss of pressurization in the aircraft and what that would do to passengers and crew.
                  •    IMPORTANT NOTE: all of this applies to cabin pressure - not the pressure outside. Just climbing to 45K would not exposed the passengers to that altitude.
                  •    In the case of loss of cabin pressure - O2 mask would deploy automatically.
                  •    The pilots cannot disable this above 13,500 feet - they can release the masks.
                  •    Passengers masks would last 12-20 minutes. Portable crew (FA) bottles ~30minutes. Cockpit crew longer.
                  •    Time of useful consciousness (not to loss of consciousness) will range from 1-3 minutes at 30K to 9-15 seconds at 43K. (http://en.wikipedia.org/...)
                  •    Because of this the a/c must be certified able to descend and pilots demonstrate an emergency descent to ~10,000 ft in 2 minutes.
                  •    The actual regulation is that passengers cannot be exposed to a cabin altitude of more than 25K for more than 2 minutes, or more than 40K for any time.
                  •    Question: Can the pilots 'depressurize' the plane?
                  •    I believe not to a dangerous level. Per the FAA regulations the 777 is certified under it "must be designed so that occupants will not be exposed to cabin pressure altitudes in excess of 15,000 feet (4,600 m) after any probable failure condition in the pressurization system"
                  •    This is consistent with statements that, as long as bleed air is operating, the outflow valves of the 777 will not allow the cabin altitude to exceed 14,000 ft.
                  •    This, of course, excludes a major structural failure - it applies to pilot actions only.
                  •    Above 40,000 ft cabin altitude - positive pressure oxygen is required - passenger masks do not do this and would not be effective.
                  •    The discussions of climbing to 45K to "disable" the passengers really is not relevant unless you assume the a/c has had a major breech in the hull that full depressurizes it.

                  I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

                  by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:56:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hrm.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    patbahn

                    I don't know if a depressurization event will release the masks automatically or not.

                    I'm pretty sure that on many aircraft the pilots can raise the cabin pressure to fairly high altitudes, w/o causing the masks to release. Legally, I'm pretty sure pilots aren't supposed to take it above 16,000'. In practice, I've heard that flight crews out of Las Vegas are sometimes grateful to have the cabin altitude cranked up to 14,000' for a little bit after takeoff to put any surly drunks to sleep, after which reducing it to the typical 6,000-7,000' will allow the flight crew to function.

                    Further, unless your passengers are from the Himalayas (a possibility in that part of the world), putting the cabin pressure to 15,000 or 16,000' will put the passengers to sleep fairly quickly. Fly like that for 15-30 minutes, then take the cabin altitude on up, and oxygen masks won't matter.

                  •  Excellent info. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    patbahn

                    I want to add one thing with respect to hypoxia and the rules:

                    O2 rules for Part 121 (flag carriers) are 30 minutes of O2 for 10% of the cabin in a plane that can descend from its max certified altitude to 14,000 in four minutes.

                    But if you want to know what the FAA thinks about hypoxia for real, look no further than FAR 91.211, which are the basic rules of the road for everyone, including private pilots like me.

                    Passengers are not required to be on oxygen until a cabin altitude of 15,000' or above. Pilots don't have to be on oxygen until 30+ minutes above 12,000', or any period of time above 14,000'.

                    There have been many reports stating that the passengers would be knocked out at a cabin altitude of 13,500'.  The FAA disagrees.

                    And i'm not sure why everyone's so concerned with how the pilots mollified the cabin crew and the pax. It's pitch black outside the windows. They could be doing 1G barrel rolls and nobody would even know.

                    In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                    by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:27:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Part 91 O2 requirements… (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      alysheba, RiveroftheWest, Creosote

                      …are relatively recent. And by recent, I mean sometime after 1967, when I got my ratings, and, before, say, fifteen years ago. I can't recall exactly when—it could have been in the '70s, but I think it was later.

                      But I can assert with some confidence that they didn't exist in 1967. The notion of hypoxia was certainly around. I'm sure we discussed it in class at some point, but it was generally thought of as a "flight level" thing—the domain of King Airs and such—either turbine powered or supercharged recip engined aircraft. Normally aspirated recip powered aircraft usually don't operate much in the mid to high teens.

                      By the way, when I say "flight levels", that's predicated on our (U.S.) idea of Flight Levels, which is 18,000' and above. It's defined as the point at which all the altimeters get set to 29.92". But many FIRs (maybe all—that's beyond my area of experience) operate at standard pressure (the 29.92" thing) as low as 5,000'. I was stunned, on my first trip to the UK, when we got in radar contact again after all night in the North Atlantic track, and we were cleared down to Flight Level 5—that's 5,000'. Unheard of in domestic U.S. ATC.

                      Also, when we (U.S.) clear an aircraft out of the flight levels, we inform the aircraft of the current local altimeter setting, "descend and maintain one five thousand, Chicago altimeter, 3004," for example. On that trip to England, as we were approaching FL5, we were cleared, "to four thousand, QNH, 3004."

                      For the non-pilots reading this, there's a little window in the altimeter (often called the Kollsman after an inventor and manufacturer of altimeters) with a knob next to it. You rotate the knob until the desired setting appears in the window, which adjusts your altimeter to read correctly for the local barometric pressure.

                      As usual, more than you thought you needed to know…

                      LRod—UID 238035
                      ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired
                      My ATC site
                      My Norm's Tools site

                      by exatc on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:56:37 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  if the pilots screw up the bleed air valves (0+ / 0-)

                    or open the cabin vents,

                    they can depress.

                •  typically pilots get bottled oxygen, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mrblifil

                  the passengers get generated oxygen.

                  the passenger stuff is hot and nasty,

                  the pilot stuff is cold and clean.

        •  Yes they do. (6+ / 0-)

          They can also decide at the last minute to fly themselves into a tall building. Pilots have many ways to kill their passengers, either willfully or completely by accident.

          They're still the best thing going when it comes to transporting people through the sky at 450 knots and there's a lot more good ones than bad ones. So let's not go taking any authority away from the good ones.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:56:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They do. They also have the power to fly the (4+ / 0-)

          Airplane upside down, under a bridge, into a cliff, to the wrong airport, into the ocean, out of gas, and any number of other potentially harmful things. Also the landing lights, landing gear, engines, communications radios, fuel dumping, ACARS, and many other systems are in direct control of the pilots.  If you can take away control of every potentaially harmful item on the airplane...away from the pilots, please let me know...because then there is no reason for me to have to go to work.

          "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

          by Bisbonian on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:03:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nap of the earth (8+ / 0-)

        over the Himalayas foothills would be a hell of a ride!

        "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

        by northbronx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:56:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  nap of the earth. (16+ / 0-)

        We once had a Marine C130 flight that flew nap of the earth for two hours. I was never so happy to parachute out of a plane in my life. I feel queesy just thinking about it.

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:37:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A friend of mine was a hot shot (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ranger995, Timaeus, Creosote

          fire fighter. They jump from planes into forest fires to fight them. He lived.

          A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

          by onionjim on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:22:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  that's all computer controlled too so no or little (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ranger995, patbahn

          thought for comfort, only safety...I've heard it's a dang nightmare on hard setup low altitude...

          Hey Question, What do you think of the Air Force Dumping the A-10, from what I've heard and read the ground grunt's best friend,  as they can do such a devastating job of close air support....

          Do you think there's really enough rotary wing to maintain a good level of force protection or should the rules be changed and have the Army absorb the A-10 program specifically for close air support instead of Tank killing which was what it was built for...

          then again, maybe we will see Russian Tanks rumbling through the Fulda Gap..

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:13:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a good question re. the A10. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buddabelly, patbahn

            I am biased, because they were pretty much what we had access to in Afghanistan and they are awesome. That was like 7 years ago now, so perhaps things have changed.

            I would totally support the Army doing like the Marines have done and develop a Close Air Support group. The Marines are usually behind the Army, but they have always lead the way in close air support. Discovered it's devastating effectiveness in WWII and employed it so effectively in Korea, that the Army sent advisors to learn how the Marines were doing it. Chesty Puller wrote about General Gavin (82nd Airborne CO in WWII) accompanying him a few times to observe CAS in Korea.  

            I know nothing about planes, except that nap of the earth sucks and how to call for help. I only used CAS once in Afghanistan personally, but she (the pilot) was my hero.

            "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

            by ranger995 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:25:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not the prettiest plane but it's an armored (5+ / 0-)

              tub wrapped around a 30mm autocannon that has unbelievable survivability for both the plane and the pilot.

              Yes it's an old system but has been updated to modern specs and really, except for maybe a Longbow or similar there's nothing close to it's ability to fly low and slow, devastate the opponents and loiter around a while to make sure.

              I've never met a ground troop actually in combat yet who didn't love the A-10 and the pilots that fly them into the teeth of the enemy guns to emerge with a dead enemy and a couple scars on the titanium tub armor....

              Besides it really putting an arrow in Davis Monthan AFB's heart and really hurting the Tucson economy, it seems a very shortsighted move for the guys at the point of the spear.

              I don't think there's really anything to replace it in ground attack role that is as survivable and deadly to the opponent....

              Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
              I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
              Emiliano Zapata

              by buddabelly on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:33:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I hope the Army takes them (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buddabelly, patbahn

            They aren't nearly as vulnerable as an Apache gunship. They are an amazing close support aircraft.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:36:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Because it kills all the passengers. nt (0+ / 0-)

      You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

      by Simian on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:55:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People are making too big a deal of this (9+ / 0-)

      The plane is rated for 43,000 feet. Going up to 45,000 would not be a big deal.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:55:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  is it possible to slowly lower the pressure till (0+ / 0-)

        most were groggy at least then take her up quick and blow the rest of the pressure quickly?  

        Seems there must be a way for possible fire control, deprive it of oxygen....or kill a short in the system.

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:15:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't work like that (7+ / 0-)

          The pressurization system is automatic and there is are two automatic controllers for redundancy.

          Theoretically you could do it, but it would require switching to a manual backup mode that we never use.

          You'd have to manually finesse the outflow valve to get the cabin altitude want. I've never done it and I doubt these guys have either.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:37:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They've made it more difficult then... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alysheba

            A 737 pilot I used to know claimed that when flying out of Las Vegas, it was often a gooduseful thing to set the cabin altitude up to 14,000'-ish shortly after takeoff for a few minutes to put the drunks to sleep, and then lower the cabin altitude to 7,000'-ish so everyone else could function.

      •  Thank you for the sanity check. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder

        I've been repeating this for days, but it just won't die.  I copied rcair1's blurb on hypoxia and oxygen to this thread in the hopes that facts would prevail.

        I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

        by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:38:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  tell that to these guys (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        http://www.popularmechanics.com/...

        For three and a half minutes on the night of Oct. 14, 2004, Capt. Jesse Rhodes and First Officer Peter Cesarz were on top of the world. The two Pinnacle Airlines pilots had pushed their twin-engine, 50-seat regional jet to its maximum altitude and were now proud members of the "410 club," an unofficial society of Pinnacle airmen who've attained 41,000 ft. in a Bombardier CRJ200.
        The instant you leave the operational flight envelope on
        an aircraft, you are now a test pilot.
        •  I wasn't saying you'd want to do it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          and it's definitely abnormal that they did.

          I just think everyone is freaking about them going up to FL450 when that's the least weird thing about this whole story.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:22:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You mention the problem with the Pakistanis (6+ / 0-)

    Suppose they were in on it?

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:54:27 AM PDT

  •  Pilot Suicide... (8+ / 0-)

    is really the only thing that makes sense.  So if the First Officer was the one who said the final good night (as recently reported), then the Captain was already gone at that point?  Oh so sad.  I understand you need to kill yourself, but why take everyone else with you????

    Melissa

    Dissent is Patriotic

    by mwjeepster on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:58:29 AM PDT

    •  Pilot Suicide doesn't really make sense . (18+ / 0-)

      There is no need to switch off anything to commit suicide .
      There is no need to hide to commit suicide .
      There is no need to fly for many hours after taking control of the aircraft to commit suicide .

      I'm still thinking cascading failures and the pilots trying their best with a failing aircraft .

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:12:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cascading failures (24+ / 0-)

        In which the autopilot seized control of the plane? And flew it around for 7 hours? Like the blowup doll in Airplane!?

        You should talk to someone who flies these things for a living.

        There would have been a procedure outlined for just about any failure you could imagine. There would have been distress calls. They would have squawked 7600 or 7700 at some point.

        I have yet to come across a pro pilot who believes the cascading failure angle. In fact, it's one of the most far-fetched scenarios in my opinion.

        In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

        by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:25:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No , not like (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sawgrass727, terrypinder

          "the autopilot seized control of the plane".

          There would have been a procedure outlined for just about any failure you could imagine.
          Not so much .
          United Airlines Flight 232 , please open the book to , how to fly without hydraulics .
          Did you ever see the video of the airbus doing acrobatics over France while the pilot struggled with the computer for control ?
          Did you see the recreation of the center fuel tank explosion ?
          Did you see the 747 crash at Bagram ?
          Asiana Airlines Flight 214 , there were reports that someone was running through the setting looking for the right one while the plane was descending .
           
          There would have been distress calls. They would have squawked 7600 or 7700 at some point.
          Maybe and maybe not , if the failures were such that they were disabled and non functioning ...
          You should talk to someone who flies these things for a living.
          I read the accident reports . I read the reports from the people who look into the crashes , I think they might have a better handle on what goes wrong ...

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:10:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great examples (8+ / 0-)

            Except UAL232 was in constant radio contact throughout the ordeal.

            Except the A320 that clipped the trees in Toulouse was an early production model and its flight control laws were thoroughly re-written in the period after.

            Except TWA800 had a massive, instantaneous explosion of the sort that deposits huge amounts of debris somewhere near the spot where the AC disappeared off radar.

            You didn't read the NTSB report on National 101 at Bagram because it isn't out yet. When you do read it, you'll learn that the pilot not flying issued a distress call.

            Asiana was really awful piloting and horrible company procedures. Nobody with proper training flies a final approach with both hands on the yoke and that guy apparently did.

            None of those examples support your thesis of a total blackout of everything (including the RAT) but somehow not the autopilot, the auto throttle, the FADEC, the fuel pumps, the fuel transfer pumps, and about every other system in a 777 which requires electrical power.

            In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

            by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:40:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't ask about Toulouse . (0+ / 0-)
              Except the A320 that clipped the trees in Toulouse was an early production model and its flight control laws were thoroughly re-written in the period after.
              You missed the reference , oops .

              "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

              by indycam on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:34:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Honest question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alysheba

            It seems you've made your mind up already. Is there anything at all -- from pilots, engineers, or other expert sources -- that will change your mind?

            It seems you're shoehorning every conceivable incident into your theory, discounting the foundational difference that the 777 is a different bird than the ones you're relying on as examples. Safety procedures, regulations (though I stipulate the FAA and Malaysia have different standards), and technology and equipment have continued to advance to the point where the type of mystery cascading failure you seem to be sure happened is virtually impossible without some "help".

            No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

            by newinfluence on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:11:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure , "virtually impossible" . (0+ / 0-)
              and technology and equipment have continued to advance to the point where the type of mystery cascading failure you seem to be sure happened is virtually impossible without some "help".
              http://www.dailykos.com/...
              “I think it’s very possible that this is what happened,” says Bruce Rodger, the president of the aviation consultancy Aero Consulting Experts. “It’s my favorite analysis because it means there wasn’t a bad guy doing something bad to an airliner.”

              The fire scenario could also explain the loss of communication systems. Either the pilots started killing electrical busses in order to contain the fire, or an electrical fire caused the gradual collapse of various systems on board.

              “Taking busses offline is a big process, and it may leave you without computer and navigational instruments,” says Rodger, who believes it is more likely that a fire took down the aircraft’s communication systems.

              "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

              by indycam on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:38:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You've switched from cascading failure (0+ / 0-)

                Now it's a single fire that caused the pilots to pull busses? That is different from the multiple system cascading failure you have staked your claim on.

                No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

                by newinfluence on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:24:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Payne Stewart (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sawgrass727, mmacdDE, Ellid, Catte Nappe

          I believe that is similar to what is believed to have happened to Payne Stewart in a small private jet.  Rapid loss of pressure incapacitated everyone on board and the autopilot kept it flying until the plane ran out of fuel and crashed.

          •  Autopilot was off on that flight. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bananapouch1, Ducktape

            If it was on the aircraft would have flown straight and level.

            One woman makes a din, two women a lot of trouble, three an annual market, four a quarrel, five an army, and against six the Devil himself has no weapon. -- Dutch proverb

            by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:34:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The auto pilot was on (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              davidincleveland, eyesoars

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              The Learjet's cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which was recovered from the wreckage, contained an audio recording of the last 30 minutes of the flight (it was an older model which only recorded 30 minutes of data; the aircraft was not equipped with a flight data recorder). At 1710:41Z, the Learjet's engines can be heard winding down, indicating that the plane's fuel had been exhausted. In addition, sounds of the stick shaker and autopilot disconnect can be heard (with the engines powered down, the autopilot would have attempted to maintain altitude, causing the plane's airspeed to bleed off until it approached stall speed, at which point the stick shaker would have automatically engaged to warn the pilot and the autopilot would have switched itself off)
              •  An aircraft will porpoise like that (0+ / 0-)

                without any help from the pilot. Here's how you do it: trim it up then pull back on the stick until the plane is just shy of a stall. Then drop the controls. Your nose will drop and your aircraft will pick up a shitload of airspeed. Before it starts red lining the nose suddenly pops up and you start quickly climbing. (I almost forgot--allow extra altitude before trying this.) Then your aircraft gradually slows and you start another cycle. The aircraft will keep doing this as long as you don't touch the controls.

                Try it sometime with an identical aircraft flying beside you. It will seem you are flying circles beside him. You are not. You are in fact flying an ellipse beside him with its major axis going up and down. The force of lift is proportional to the square of the true airspeed.

                One woman makes a din, two women a lot of trouble, three an annual market, four a quarrel, five an army, and against six the Devil himself has no weapon. -- Dutch proverb

                by Ice Blue on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:47:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  But it kept going in a straight line - did not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            davidincleveland

            carefully change course and also change altitude.

            •  Modern large aircraft autopilots (0+ / 0-)

              Modern large aircraft auto pilots are more advanced, so can change altitude and course according to the programmed flight plan.  But, that does require that some one actually program that particular flight plan.

        •  OK then ... (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          I'm inclined to think that around the time the pilot or co-pilot made that last radio call, some progressive electrical malfunction -- an electrical fire, perhaps -- was underway, not yet detected by the crew.
          Do you know the guy who wrote that and what his experience is ?

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:35:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Suicide does make sense (11+ / 0-)

        and the things you mention are all dependent on the disturbed mind of a suicidal person.  Whoever did this, it was important to them that they went this way.  Who knows what makes sense in the mind of a crazy person?  

        (And before you jump down my throat about that characterization, I've been there.  I can say from first-hand experience, people planning an elaborate death ritual are not thinking rationally.)

        "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

        by northbronx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:41:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder
          Suicide does make sense
          Who knows what makes sense in the mind of a crazy person?
          So it makes sense because who knows what makes sense ?

          If you believe the reports re the going under the deck ,
          http://www.reuters.com/...

          Cutting the datalink would not have been easy. Instructions are not in the Flight Crew Operating Manual, one pilot said.

          Whoever did so may have had to climb through a trap door in full view of cabin crew, people familiar with the jet say.

          Circuit-breakers used to disable the system are in a bay reached through a hatch in the floor next to the lefthand front exit, close to a galley used to prepare meals.

          Most pilots said it would be impossible to turn off ACARS from inside the cockpit, though two people did not rule it out.

          then the suicidal person left the cockpit , did that under the deck stuff and returned to the cockpit to fly on for hours before committing suicide .

          ......................
          I just don't see suicide , unless some really good hard evidence is brought forward , I'm still going to think the failures were with the aircraft and not the pilot/s .

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:29:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It will come out (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grover, davidincleveland, Creosote

            That through a well-researched combination of breaker-pulling, it is indeed possible to depower the ACARS unit. It would almost undoubtedly remove other functionality from the flight deck - which may go a long way toward explaining the altitude fluctuations, for example.

            But it will come out that ACARS went down without anybody yanking up a floor panel and pulling off a wiring harness.

            Especially is the pilot is an overachiever with a home office that allows him to stay "at work" round the clock.

            (Actually, strike that last part because I have no reason to suspect one pilot over the other.)

            In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

            by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:10:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do you think someone could have been (0+ / 0-)

            hiding in that hatch? Imagine a ground crew person sneaking on board before the flight. How would anyone know he was down there, until he started switching things off? Admittedly that wouldn't necessarily explain the odd maneuvers, although trying to incapacitate a stowaway who had barricaded himself in the hatch and was disabling the aircraft might make you do some wild gyrations. Is that area of the plane always inspected before take-off? And have the Malaysians checked to see whether any ground crew with the appropriate technical knowledge have gone missing?

            Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

            by Anne Elk on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:45:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  northbronx is correct about suicide. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chicago minx, snacksandpop

          And I could prove it from personal and family experiences.

          We have two main hypotheses: pilot suicide or terrorism.

          I'd say the odds right now are 99% and 1%.

          I'm usually right about things like this.

        •  I've been suicidal off and on since I was 11 (0+ / 0-)

          I know what goes on in the mind of a crazy person.

          I can think of no reason why someone would both hide their suicide and take hundreds of people out with them.

          There are plenty of ways to kill yourself and make sure your body is never found that don't involve taking other people out with you.  If you want to take other people out with you, you'd want people to know it was you.

          It doesn't make any sense.

          We want to build cyber magicians!

          by VelvetElvis on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:50:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  insurance (8+ / 0-)

        A suicide might be hidden/disguised if the person committing suicide wanted an insurance beneficiary to be able to collect benefits.

      •  Unless (0+ / 0-)

        ...as I mention below, one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide but wanted it "painless": disable comms, set the autopilot to fly to the middle of nowhere, depressurize and don't put on the mask. The suicidal pilot passes out like everyone else. If they don't die due to hypoxia, they're unconscious when the plane runs out of fuel and plummets intot he ocean.

        •  Hypoxia (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus, mamamedusa, Creosote

          would absolutely be a painless death.

          I've had it. You get a little goofy. Things seem to move slower. Then your fingertips tingle and then your lips.

          If it had kept going, I imagine I would have floated peacefully off into nothingness.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:44:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Having recently been in an ICU for days (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy, RiveroftheWest

            at the brink of death from literally hundreds of pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs), and having suffered terribly from hypoxia, I DISAGREE with your statement that it would be a painless death.  I was at the brink; I know.

            •  Details matter a lot (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest, mamamedusa, Bisbonian

              There's also a lot of personal variation.

              With altitude, hypoxia is not so bad. The breathing reflex kicks in due to excess CO2, not insufficient oxygen. So one doesn't feel starved for oxygen, or like one is suffocating. One gets sleepy.

              It's well recognized in aviation circles that hypoxia is a silent killer, and many of its victims never realize it.

              I 'took the chamber ride' as a pilot, and one of the things they played us was a tape of a Phantom II pilot who passed out from hypoxia when his cockpit pressurization failed. The pressurization failure made his mask uncomfortable (he was "presssure breathing" which is uncomfortable), and he took his mask off. He promptly passed out, and his wingman called to him on the radio as he flew big wide circles and ultimately flew into the ground w/o waking up.

            •  Yes, I'm very sorry for your situation. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote

              But it is different at altitude.

              All the best wishes for a speedy recovery!

              In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

              by alysheba on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:11:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I agree if this pilot (whomever was controlling (6+ / 0-)

        the plane at the time) wanted a simple suicide then no reason for the elaborateness.  I agree with the diarist that the most plausible theory is that he wanted it to be a"mystery" and go down in history as a modern Amelia Earhardt story.  So the plane route and wreckage is ideally never found.  

        If that "ping" was never discovered (and most people until this happened did not even know that the satellite would continue the "handshake" when the ACARS was disabled), then the logical assumption would have been it crashed near where the transponder went off.  Shallow water, no debris or wreckage = huge mystery.

        However, he elaborately executes a plan to get it over very deep water in secret.  He flies for extra hours to overwrite the Cockpit Voice Recorder (I heard it only records the last two hours) in case his plan goes awry and they find the wreckage.  Would still be a mystery "how did it get there"  "who and why" possible "hijacking".

        What I wonder is that everyone with this theory (including me) has been assuming the pilot went down with the wreckage.  Is there any way that he could have bailed at some point over land in a parachute and survived while plane kept flying briefly before crashing or running out of fuel?  Don't know enough about skydiving to know.  

        It is just that if the whole motive was an intellectual exercise in pulling off a huge stunt, maybe he wanted to be around to witness the aftermath.  I realize it is far fetched, but the whole thing is crazy at this point.

        There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? - Robert Kennedy

        by choochmac on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:55:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plausible. (0+ / 0-)

          At this point, pilot suicide might be the only thing which makes any sense. It would be hard to land the plane safely and use it again one more time. An attempted hijacking would probably leave traces such as distress signals, assuming you could make it through the secured post-9/11 doors.

      •  Life insurance and possibly other benefits (0+ / 0-)

        won't pay out if it's a suicide, so he might have done all that to make it look like an accident.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:03:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, it's much too complicated a plan for suicide (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mnemosyne, Timaeus, VelvetElvis

        A suicide plan is taking a bottle of pills or a bridge to jump off of. You're not thinking clearly, and so the idea of coming up with a plan to disable all the systems, get lost in the hand-off between Malaysia and Vietnam air traffic control, follow the waypoints to try to avoid radar...

        Way too much.

        If it was pilot suicide, he gets the plane up in the air and flies it into the ocean. If he's nervous and trying to make up his mind, or to make himself do it, he might fly in a circle or something, but he doesn't make complicated, step-by-step plans.

        The person was going somewhere specific. Or trying to go somewhere specific.

        And they didn't succeed. I just can't see them planning to go to this much trouble to get a plane and then hanging onto it for 10 days. If you happen to get the plane, you use it right away for whatever you're going to do. Waiting offers too high a chance of getting caught.

        Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

        by teresahill on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:37:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's two kinds of people in this world. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Creosote

          Those who view MH 370 from a human perspective and those who view it from an aviation perspective.

          I would really love to think that something other than pilot suicide happened, because the fallout from such a well-known incident will be absolutely devastating for the role of flesh and blood pilots in the future.

          Devastating.

          Your reasoning deals entirely with what may or may not be logical from a human perspective. What do people "do" when they're suicidal?

          You think that a suicidal person might not have some place "specific" where he wanted to plant his legacy. I disagree.

          But we're arguing human emotion which, in my opinion, is way more complicated and unknowable than aviation.

          I'd love to see a theory that works on an aviation level and accounting for every major story point in this affair. Shit, I've got a guy posting every single mechanical failure that's ever happened in the jet age trying to convince me it's a cascading mechanical failure. But nobody correctly applies their failure scenario to the story as we know it.

          Chris Goodfellow's theory works on many levels. But it falls apart when the plane makes a dramatic turn to the north at Pulau Perak and then another turn at Andaman Nicobar.

          It also requires us to believe that a smoking nose wheel tire (or some anomaly) knocks out the ACARS. Then an apparently content and unaware FO politely says "all right, good night." Then the transponder turns off - apparently at the same time as everything else, because there is no distress call or 7700 squawk.

          There is, however, a report of a nearby 777 making emergency contact on 121.5 and hearing static and mumbling, which would mean the VHF radios were indeed working long after both the loss of the transponder and the dramatic turn to the west because the nearby pilot hailed MH 370 at the express request of the Vietnamese controller who had already spent a few minutes trying to reach MH 370.

          This bit got very little followup, meaning the 777 pilot probably stopped giving interviews and other media outlets were unable to corroborate. But nobody at NST ever retracted it or debunked it that I saw.  Only in chatrooms did people reject it as debunked.

          So, believe me, if someone puts forth a "hero pilots" angle that does convincingly account for all the other aviation details, I'll be first in line at the subscription window.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:46:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "every single mechanical failure" ? (0+ / 0-)
            Shit, I've got a guy posting every single mechanical failure that's ever happened in the jet age trying to convince me it's a cascading mechanical failure.
            That is so far from the truth I expect it can be nothing short of intentional .

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

            by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:03:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to think that's true, but I don't think (0+ / 0-)

        it's likely.

      •  me too, although the shadowing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        theory (which if keith doesn't post to reddit, isn't an original by him) is the only other one that isn't totally ridiculous.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

        by terrypinder on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:36:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  why get on a plane to commit suicide in the (0+ / 0-)

      first place? are there no bridges in Malaysia or cars or guns or pills or knives? happens all the time. and most suicides are all about taking their own life-not a crowd.

    •  The FO saying the final good night to ATC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder

      is completely normal. The Captain and FO alternate duties, one's usually at the controls and the other's on the radio.

      Pilot suicide definitely seems like the most logical explanation, but I don't think we can use that final transmission as a clue to who it was.

      "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

      by yg17 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:01:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, Creosote

        We're told that ACARS was disabled prior to the sign off with Malaysia.

        That would indicate to me that the other pilot had probably already been eliminated by the time of "all right, good night."

        That handoff would coincide with the termination of radar services and the commencement of a brief period outside radar coverage.

        Only then is the transponder shut off. At the moment when ATC would hardly care that they'd lost the data block.

        In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

        by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:05:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does Malaysian culture treat suicide differently? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa, alysheba

      Say, would there be such shame attached to it that someone would to such extraordinary means to hide it?

      I've been suicidal off and on for half my life (I'm fine now) and I think of plenty of ways to kill myself where the body wouldn't be found.  There are even websites and forums devoted to helping people find the best way to kill themselves (and I will never link to them).  

      I just can't think of a reason why someone would do it this way.  Generally you want to leave your cause of death unknown because of either a)life insurance or b)avoiding harm to your family.  That could be easily achieved without killing hundreds of other people.

      If the goal is to be a mass murderer and take a bunch of people out with you, you'd want people to know about, to know it was you.

      I just can't put together the thought process of someone who both wants to a) keep the suicide a secret and b) do so using a method that kills hundreds of other people.

      Unless there are cultural factors, it doesn't make any sense.
         

      We want to build cyber magicians!

      by VelvetElvis on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:46:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  May not have had to land in darkness (11+ / 0-)

    The last ACARS ping was apparently received at 0811 Kuala Lumpur time.

    http://www.reuters.com/...

    By that time, it would have already been twilight in the Sinkiang area of China, as well as eastern Kazakhstan and eastern Kyrgyzstan.

    http://www.timeanddate.com/...

    The part that would seem most problematic to me is that MH370 could have been following another large jet close enough to have appeared to be the same plane on military radar, and yet not encounter such severe wake turbulence that it became essentially impossible to control it.  But I guess that's something that pilots of large jet aircraft could intelligently comment upon.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:05:17 PM PDT

  •  he must post at reddit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, whenwego

    read this there on friday evening. it's a good theory.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:13:25 PM PDT

  •  havent seen a deliberate shootdown discussed (15+ / 0-)

    One possibility I'm surprised not to have read speculation about is a deliberate downing of FLT 370 by some country's airforce that feared a possible 9/11 type attack in progress.  A subsequent cover-up of such a response would not shock me.  

  •  If it has been stolen for future use. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bananapouch1

    It will be found.

  •  Sleeper cells??? (0+ / 0-)

    What's not to say that the pilot or/and co-pilot were involved in a sleeper cell for years and that there were many others involved in this plan for years? Sleeper cells where the plane left from and cells where the plane landed. This not only could have been a terror plot in the planning and making for years and they could be right in the beginnings of phase 1. Think, what could be bigger than 9/11. Terrorist having their own plane and perhaps more planes and at some points load them up with, who knows what, and fly them into who knows where. Condi couldn't imagine anyone doing anything with a plane, remember?

    DONATE MONEY OR TIME TO WENDY DAVIS

    by Chamonix on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:47:53 PM PDT

  •  The OBVIOUS question: (8+ / 0-)

    Did the two pilots rack up a lot of time flying the route to the west of Malaysia/Thailand/Burma up the Indian ocean towards India/China? Were they familiar with the SIA 68 flight path?

    I have flown up the west coast of Thailand and Burma a few times, it gets pretty sparse along that coast. Lots of flat river valleys.

    "The Obama Administration has been an unmitigated disaster" - Osama Bin Laden

    by Explorer8939 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:54:58 PM PDT

  •  Single Bad Actor explains it. (14+ / 0-)

    After 9/11, the cockpit doors on commercial airliners are very solid and quite secure. If the captain or first officer feels a call of nature and goes to the lavatory on the other side of the cockpit door, he leaves the remaining crew member briefly alone in the cockpit, and pretty much unassailable there. The pilot could induce a depressurization, disable the passenger emergency oxygen masks, and climb to minimize the time of useful consciousness for the remaining souls on board. He is also at risk of hypoxia, but unlike everyone else aboard has access to both his emergency oxygen mask and the other pilot's. That offers plenty of time to maneuver the aircraft in his chosen direction, and eventually to descend to a lower altitude while he re-enables the pressurization system, silences the various transmitters aboard the jet, and continues along his way, the only person still conscious or alive on board.

  •  Question (4+ / 0-)

    The theory that the pilot was in on it makes a lot of sense.  (What's the probability that someone had a satphone, and could have called to say something's wrong?  Pretty good.  And what's the probability that someone used their cellphone while over land?  Excellent.  This didn't happen so it's possible that the passengers had no idea what was going on.)

    And the theory that they hid behind the other plane, which was going to Madrid, makes some sense.  Up to a point.  If the Madrid flight is following the shortest distance, they go over numerous countries that would gladly provide a landing place.  But I've never been on a plane that followed the shortest route.  And the pilot would have to have known the details of the other pilot's flight plan.

    And once they're on the ground, then what?  What do they do with the passengers?  Shoot them?  (I'm sure that's not beyond the realm of possibility.)  And what does it accomplish?  Now they've got a missing 777 that everyone is looking for.  I don't think it's going to get into anyone's airspace all that easily.

    Another reason, though, is the original suicide theory; following that plane would get them far enough to make it very hard to find once they crashed and to give the debris plenty of time to sink.  The pilot wouldn't be the first airline pilot to snap and do something like this.

    •  I don't understand why everyone is so focused (4+ / 0-)

      on the cell phones.  If this truly was a hijacking, I imagine that one of the first things they do when they reach cruise altitude before everything unfolds is to go around and collect and disable all the cell phones.

      I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:15:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not possible - think about it (0+ / 0-)

        227 passengers, with at least 200 cellphones between them.  To say nothing of the crew.

        So you, what, start going down the aisle collecting them?  That screams to everybody onboard that this is a hijacking, if they didn't already know.

        People fight back after 9/11.

        Even if the passengers, for some bizarre reason, all chose not to fight back...the passengers in the back of the plane would have the opportunity to make calls and send texts while you are still busy up front collecting the cells in that area.  Somebody would have.  Ever see how fast a teenager can type a text message?

        •  Hijackers would start at the front (0+ / 0-)

          back and middle of the plane simultaneously over water without a cell tower nearby.  All the phones collected while people frantically power up and try to get a signal... which they cannot do without a cell tower.

          I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

          by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:47:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Pointed out above... (0+ / 0-)

      Crank the cabin altitude up to reasonably high, and everyone w/o oxygen passes out.

      Crank it up higher (there's some question about how easy this is in a 777), and they all die.

      Pilots have a separate oxygen supply and masks.

  •  Sounds like either pilot suicide or a Tom Clancy (7+ / 0-)

    wet dream.

  •  I'm probably really late asking this, but... (4+ / 0-)

    does the U.S. military have anything that could prevent the Pakistanis from seeing a plane?

    Anything that somebody else might have gotten a hold of?

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:27:45 PM PDT

  •  Where would the pilot go? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland

    If the pilot wanted to make the plane disappear... he would go South.  How far away from the East coast of Australia would you need to be to avoid their radar?

    A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. - Dwight David Eisenhower

    by Mestral on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:34:47 PM PDT

  •  Nope, I'm sticking with <(--^^^--)> (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawgrass727, Matt Z, La Gitane

    AHLEENS1

    "When does the greed stop, we ask the other side? That's the question and that's the issue." - Senator Ted Kennedy

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:35:06 PM PDT

  •  So where was SIA68 when the sat ping happened? (5+ / 0-)

    Not sure of any of the timing here, but if SIA68 is anywhere on the arch that matches the ping from the satellite then bingo.  If not, then oh well.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:40:59 PM PDT

    •  Good point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidincleveland, Creosote

      My money's on that very thing being looked at and refuted in the next 24-48 hrs.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:12:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it was well over central asia by the time (0+ / 0-)

      I actually followed the flight when this theory floated up on friday evening.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

      by terrypinder on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:41:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about the earlier pings? (0+ / 0-)

        I keep wondering about how we only hear about the last ping.  If I understand correctly, the satellite pinged every hour, so there should have been several earlier ones.

        The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

        by Do Something on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:47:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we haven't been given enough data (0+ / 0-)

          all we seem to know is the last ping was at 8:11am Kuala Lumpur time, over 7 hours after it took off. It had enough fuel for that, perhaps.

          we have no idea where it was, except it was along one of two arcs.  I personally think it's at the bottom of the ocean and this was a horrible, horrible accident.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

          by terrypinder on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:14:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm inclined to agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

    But it does make a fantastic movie plot.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:44:43 PM PDT

  •  Question for plane techies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Mike Kahlow

    Wouldn't the Singapore pilot have gotten all sorts of alarms going off in his cockpit to alert him to a plane tailgating him closely enough to show up in his radar blip? It seems like at the very least, the Singapore pilot by now would have come forward and said "Funny thing about that, I flew that very route that night and there was this plane on my tail the whole time."

    Just wondering.

    Seems like if one semi tailed another semi all the way across I-70 some night with no one else around, the front one would remember that even if he didn't know who it was.

  •  What's the following interval? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, sneakers563, davidincleveland

    Military radars are designed for target discrmination.

    How close would MH370 have to follow SIA68 to effectively merge their radar signatures into a single return?

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:01:33 PM PDT

    •  It would depend on the altitude (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidincleveland, eyesoars, Creosote

      and the total distance from the receiving antenna.

      In the diary, I said anything under 2-3 plane lengths at 35,000' would probably guarantee a single return as far as a controller was concerned.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:14:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm no pilot (0+ / 0-)

        but "2-3 plane lengths" seems like a ridiculously short distance when you're traveling at four plane lengths per second. Even if you're listening in on the other guy's ATC communications, it seems like it would be way too easy to either overshoot or fall back from the sweet spot.

        •  You'd sit either above and behind (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote, RiveroftheWest

          or below and behind. It's a lot simpler if both aircraft are of the same type, but an airliner generally isn't going to be making large control input changes, which makes it much easier.

          I've done this in small aircraft many times, and it reasonably tiring to keep a close distance, in turbulence, at low altitude, in different kinds of aircraft. In this case, it would likely have been rather easier.

          I can't say I've ever tried this in the dark, however... nor will I.

          •  I have, 23 times...Gulf War I, in KC-135s (707s) (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, eyesoars, Creosote

            Our standard departures involved five -135s in formation, 330 knots, low altitude, at night, no lights.  Hand flown.  Entirely possible.  

            Under more normal circumstances, I flew one of two large airplanes within thirty feet of each other (touching, actually)... hundreds of times.  Once you are experienced at formation flying, it's easy, almost second nature.  Not something you could learn in a simulator, though.  

            "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

            by Bisbonian on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:30:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  2-3 plane lengths is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Creosote

          400-600 feet.

          And the plane you're following is on autopilot at a preset altitude and Mach#.

          It's absolutely doable.  But, like I said in the diary, it requires a James Bond level of execution.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:56:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Radar problem. (0+ / 0-)

      Remember that the starting place was that the Malaysian radar was tracking the plane without a transponder.  So, if MH370 was so close it showed up as a single image then it would have been a single image with the transponder signal from the Singapore flight.  If the planes were far enough apart to bring up the Singapore flight and also MH370 then there would be radar data showing the rendezvous and we wouldn't need to speculate.

  •  The ocean is gigantic (10+ / 0-)

    and as large as this plane is to a human it's nothing compared to what it was flying over. The speculation about what happened is insanity.

    •  I agree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Colossus, pixxer, mamamedusa

      Although I participate as well so what does that say about my state of mind?

      I believe that eventually it will come out that someone, probably a Chinese Ally if not China themselves, mistook the communications disabled aircraft (disabled either purposely or through malfunction) and shot it out of the air thinking it was a threat.  

      There was initially thought to be diplomats on-board and the cover up was at first "operation CYA" but became more high level when it was realized that it could be more useful as a mystery and another scare tactic.  The phrase, "Never let a tragedy go to waste" was probably uttered and the rest is non-history.

      However, the fact is that we just do not know and all we can do is speculate.  Every popular theory thus far has problems but that usually comes from trying to assign rational thoughts to irrational people and that never works.  If it was suicide, maybe the guy just wanted to freak out for awhile and have some time to think before he plummeted into the ocean.  Maybe, he started seeing enemy MIGS or UFOs in his delusional state and was trying to avoid them after killing the body snatching co-pilot that had infultrated his cabin.  We just do not know and sitting here thousands of miles from wherever the plane is trying to figure it out using offical reports and our stellar media is just pure insanity.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:55:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  100% guarantee MH370 is on land (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, bananapouch1, Creosote, Bisbonian

    but does it have blue sky above it or 15,000 feet of blue water?

  •  Putting on tinfoil hat... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, Creosote

    Sympathetic pilots are bribed to deliver the plane to a certain location.  They are promised mucho dinero and new passports. Life insurance for their families left behind.

    Co-pilot or accomplice releases some sort of gas CO? while pilots and accomplice wear oxygen masks.

    They shadow the other plane through India and Afghanistan.

    The right people in Pakistan are bribed to look the other way at the right moment.

    Plane lands on a newly constructed runway or roadway.  Maybe not up to commercial airport grade or quite as long as desired.  But a step up from a desert floor.

    Someone now owns a pretty long range missile.

    ...I'll just take off this hat now.

    If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

    by trillian on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:28:09 PM PDT

  •  Any theory is based on the data given to work with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nisi Prius

    Since the data provided is continually changing and corrected I suspect a very large cover-up.  Although, this may be for security reasons and the geo-political implications we are not getting the truth that is known.

    Just think about it.  The  Milasya/Bowing/RR dance we watched.  RR was getting data all along and can probably give the nano-second the engines stopped.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:37:33 PM PDT

  •  In Which Country Are You an Instrument Pilot? (0+ / 0-)

    Just curious.

  •  Um, wouldn't the Singapore airliner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi

    be alerting ground control that there was a plane right next ot them, that shouldn't be there???!?!?


    "Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks." - Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:41:28 PM PDT

    •  Only if they saw them-- which they (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zbob, DRo, davidincleveland, Bisbonian

      probably wouldn't have.

      I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:44:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the airplanes themselves are (0+ / 0-)

        equipped with no radar?


        "Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks." - Al Franken

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:24:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't think so (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steve15, AlyoshaKaramazov

          Airplanes are equipped with TCAS - which alerts pilots when other planes are near to prevent mid-air collisions, but if MH370's transponders were off, the Singapore plane wouldn't see it.

          If this theory is true (and it really is just a theory at this point) then it was even more wreckless because it could've put the Singapore plane at risk too if it was that close. It's like tailgating - if ATC tells Singapore to slow down, then MH370 rear ends it, except it's not a minor fender bender. And it's not like planes have brake lights or anything.

          But, I think this theory is way too far fetched to be true.

          "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

          by yg17 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:52:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Weather radar looks forward from the nose (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo, eyesoars, Creosote

          And the TCAS system is dependent on ModeC interrogations with other transponders.

          MH 370 had its transponder off and, according to the theory that I like but don't believe, was directly behind SIA 68 where no one could see them.

          As I said in the diary, shadowing the Singapore flight actually works, logically and in terms of the aviation aspects. It breaks down elsewhere, in my opinion.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:27:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my theory about exactly where the plane (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    concernedamerican

    could have landed and stored.

    That missing MA370 plane could have been taken to Indonesia where terrorists groups frequently kidnap and hold foreigners, sometimes for years. If so, it is not unusual that they haven't made any demands yet because they need to travel on land with that large group of people deep into the mountains to hide where the government can't find them. They could be in the Phillipines or Indonesia.

    The US should be using satellites to search all remote airports in Indonesia that could support a Boeing 777. There are not that many. I believe that the plane landed and is being stored for later use or sale, perhaps to a terrorist organization.

    That plane was headed straight toward the northern tip of Sumatra (before it zig zagged out back over the ocean) which has a remote airport that was recently upgraded to allow the landing of larger jets. The airport is Sultan Iskandar in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It most likely would have been closed at night. The pilot/hijackers would have had to have help on the ground to hide the plane and move the people. The airport is far enough out of town and surrounded by open land (with no homes) that no one would have necessarily noticed activity before it opened during the daytime.  The airport also has a large storage hanger for the World Food Programme after the 2005 tsunami.  But, it was handed over to local officials in 2010 when the program ended.  It is most likely abandoned and empty.  It is right off of the runway and could easily be used to hide a plane.  You can see it on Google Earth if you search for Banda Aceh Airport, Indonesia.  The building is off of the SE end of the runway and has large letters painted on top "WFP".

    The zig zag that appears on the flight path radar hits near the northern tip of Sumatra is probably because the plane would have been arriving after 2AM but before dawn. So, the plane would have had to circle back around over the Andaman Sea of even out in the Indian Ocean for a couple of hours to wait for some light to land at dawn. It would have been too dangerous to land at a closed airport in total darkness, especially with a large plane.

    It is interesting that the Malaysian search leaders are telling other countries not to bother looking there because their radar would have seen it. That's baloney, just like all the other mis-communication they've been given to the search teams. Their radar did not pick the plane up when it flew right over Malaysia!  But, their military radar has three hits in the Andaman Sea consistent with a plane circling back out over the open water to circle and pass time to avoid detection.  I believe that no other radar detected the plane after the third radar ping in the Andaman Sea because it probably travelled out to the Indian Ocean to circle for a few hours, and then landed at first light right there in Banda Aceh at Sultan Askandir Airport.

    I don't know where that plane is ... but it could be sitting in Indonesia with a group of terrorists moving those poor people. Those groups have been kidnapping large groups of foreigners by boat from beach resorts all over that area for twenty years now. "Jemaah Islamiyah" is the name of the Islamic Movement in Indonesia, but in the Phillippines it's "Abu Sayyaf". The groups merged a couple of years ago.  The one in Indonesia is active all over that area (Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore and the Phillippines); but, they operate out of Aceh, which is exactly where the plane was last headed. These groups often work together (along with Al-Qaeda) support themselves primarily through kidnappings.

    •  The Satellite Ping Data Completely Contradicts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidincleveland, julesrules39

      this theory.

    •  You're also asserting that the pilot(s) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39

      was (were) in on it, because somehow they allowed this to happen without squawking or radioing a distress call.

      Regardless of the end game of any theory, nobody has yet convincingly explained to me how in this post-9/11 world, terrorists break through a reinforced cockpit door without some sort of action by the pilots to alert the outside world.

      How long did it take the hijackers to actually get through the door? One minute? 30 seconds? 15 seconds? Five?

      It takes literally two seconds to squawk 7500. One sweep from any secondary radar anywhere in range and there are alarms going off all over the region.

      But that's not what happened. MH 370 went from ALTITUDE reporting straight to OFF.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:41:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am asserting that one or more of the pilots was (0+ / 0-)

        involved and planned this.  But, it's just a theory.  Also, the plane does not have to be at that particular airport.  There's quite a few airports like that in Indonesia.  But, I would think that it would have to be on the west side of Java or Sumatra if it was passing time in the Indian Ocean to avoid radar.  If you want to choose one along the red lines that the satelite gave us as their location at 8:11 AM, it would have to be one under construction or the plane would already have to have been parked there because once the airport opens in the morning, they'd be detected.  There's an airport that takes large planes in Java with that's only open a couple of hours during the day, Abdul Rachman Saleh, under normal operations.  But, I read that a lot of Java's airports were shut down a few weeks ago because of the volcanic eruption.  

  •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)

    I tend to think it was pilot suicide as well.  No other explanation really makes sense at this stage.

    Btw, MH has confirmed that it was the first officer who made the last transmission.

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

    by Dem Beans on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:52:53 PM PDT

  •  Does Answer One Question Been Bugging Me (6+ / 0-)

    Experience: Private Pilot, Instrument Rated.

    Why would a hijacked plane (whether hijacked by the crew or a passenger) follow a standard route as defined by the intersections? That's been gnawing at me since Day 1. If you're gonna commit suicide, just plow the plane into the ocean. Hijack the plane to some locale? Just go GPS direct and assume that nations like India and Pakistan aren't going to shoot you down.

    But follow intersections and come in behind another aircraft?

    OK -- the theory is so totally far fetched as to be far fetched.

    But it makes as much (if not more) technical sense as anything else I've seen.

    The one assumption the diarist makes with which I disagree is that there was always the intent to fly the plane again after it landed. I posit that the number of scenarios involving a landing with no subsequent takeoff are greater than a re-fly.

    •  It might make sense (0+ / 0-)

      What if this isn't terrorists?  What if this is actually a state-sponsored action undertaken by some world government and they wanted to hide their actions as much as possible?   What if there was something on that plane that someone REALLY wanted?

      I mean, if someone really pulled off the kind of James Bond stuff this diary talks about, you'd have to think they were working with people at a higher level than some terrorist organization.

    •  I'm the diarist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zbob, snacksandpop

      and I think the pilot is suicidal. The author of the SIA68 theory might think the plane was intended to fly again. But the diary above was written by someone who believes the pilot wanted a very mysterious death where his body would never be found.

      As to the question of airways, one reason might be simply the manner in which FMC-equipped planes navigate the sky. Sure you could put the autopilot in HDG mode and pick a heading and just kind of guess where you were with a stopwatch and so forth. But 777s don't have the big, color moving map you and I have on our G1000. They don't have any indications of coastline at all. Which means you fly by the specific stuff they give you in the FMC, which is intersections.

      So if a suicidal pilot really, really had an agenda to disappear into a specific part of a deep dark ocean hundreds of miles away from where he started, he's going to navigate in a way that's specific and probably one that's already familiar to him.

      If he looks at oceanic charts while he's plotting his own death, he's going to have a readymade system of highways in the sky, every point of which is already contained in his little green CDU. Why would he manually input lat/lon when he can just dial up a few intersections just like a normal flight?

      That's a potential reason for using airways.

      The potential reason for making

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:30:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why such a ritualistic suicide (0+ / 0-)

        that takes hundreds of others with you and destroys the lives of thousands? What kind of demented narcissistic psychopath does that who doesn't present as such, even in the sorts of psych tests I assume pilots have to pass?

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:55:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You could have asked the 9/11 hijackers (0+ / 0-)

          the same question.

          Not one of them left a suicide note that I'm aware of.

          And no, there are no psychiatric evaluations to become a Part 121 pilot, aside from whatever would otherwise disqualify someone from obtaining a 1st Class Medical Certificate (depression, anxiety or drugs for those conditions, for example).

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:16:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No comparison (0+ / 0-)

            The 9/11 "note" was the targets. The hijackings were just the means, the ends being mass destruction and terror. None of that happened here. 9/11, as evil as it was, had an obvious logic to it. This, to our knowledge, does not. Certainly not as a suicide into the sea.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:05:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Chuckle. I Have No G1000 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julesrules39

        I have an old Mooney on steam gauges.

        I would certainly know enough about the surrounding land masses that all I would need to do is put SW in the HDG and put the plane on auto pilot, drone on for 6 hours while I made peace with my god, myself, or the flying spagehetti monster until the fuel ran out.

        I just can't imagine a pilot who is suicidal making all those waypoint entries like the ones required to fly the path as determined by the satellite. I mean, that's a lot of work. To fly that path, whether north or south, is inconsistent with someone about to end his life (and about 300 others).

        •  Who knows what is "inconsistent" with that? (0+ / 0-)

          "We must become the change we want to see." -Gandhi    PublicChristian.com

          by larryrant on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:02:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like I said... (0+ / 0-)

          ...there's a human element to my theory that I can't answer. I find humans to be much more complex than airplanes, which is why I'm inclined to think that the aviation angle is simple and the human angle will be the hardest to understand.

          So my theory involves a guy who has a very specific idea of how he wants it to end and who goes to great lengths to avoid the sort of radar and airspace that might foil his grand plan.

          If there are holes in my theory, they are holes in the perception of how human beings think and behave.  My theory has the least aviation holes of any of the ones I've come across.

          And that's why I wrote the diary. And why I've posted so many comments.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:13:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Could it have been a matter of delivering (0+ / 0-)

            something in the plane's hold? Something perhaps more valuable delivered intact than the plane itself? My hypothesis originates from a comment somewhere upthread that mentioned a snag of some kind in the initial loading.

      •  iPad? (0+ / 0-)

        If you have an iPad, you can get an ADS-B IN unit for < $1k. That gives you your moving map, virtual cockpit window and all those fancy features. All you need is a cigarette lighter or charger, and you're good for anything.

        I think it will also plot other aircraft for you, and paint them in your virtual cockpit window (dunno if it uses mode S or TCAS or ... data). Which would make following another aircraft dead simple, even at night.

  •  This is a salvage operation (0+ / 0-)

    That could cost 100 of million of dollars  if  not done right,it can be   made cheap by using drones , you will need about 3 aircraft carriers since ,you have to constant suppy fuel  and supplies too those involve in the search ,China should take the lead  since the majority of the victim were Chinese ,Malaysia got  so many internal political problem and limited resourses ,that they should give this operation over to the Chinese  , drone can fly 24 hours without any  problems and fly greater distances than a plane,GPS coordinates are the best route ,,because it the known ,known  and area  above  (20 degrees South  100 degrees East  )should be the GPS reference point,

    •  Gotta wonder how feasible and expensive (0+ / 0-)

      it would be to require all airliners to have parts that in the event of a water crash would remain afloat, with some sort of electronic beacon so they could be found and indicate the approximate area the crash took place in, even allowing for currents and such.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:54:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Occam's Razor is laughing at you. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Lily O Lady, pixxer, terrypinder


    "Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks." - Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:25:06 PM PDT

  •  What the Taliban has to say... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, Hastur, Creosote

    is found in this article.

    Money quote is:

    A commander with the Pakistani Taliban, a separate entity fighting the Pakistani government, said the fragmented group could only dream about such an operation.

    "We wish we had an opportunity to hijack such a plane," he told Reuters by telephone from the lawless North Waziristan region.

    If this is a hijacking, it is an extraordinarily complex one and it would require more knowledge and expert resources than any terrorist organization would likely be able to muster.  

    I have seen a few interesting articles on the possibility of a cyber hijacking, although, once again, who is doing it and to what purpose?

    But all things are possible...while I think it likely MH370 is in the Indian Ocean somewhere, I do hold out hope until the final answer comes in, if ever.

    •  This is pretty good too: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa
      Indian defense officials rejected the possibility of a plane flying for hours above the country undetected.

      "The idea that the plane flew through Indian airspace for several hours without anyone noticing is bizarre," a defense ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

      "These are wild reports, without any basis," he said, adding a pilot would have to know the precise location of all Indian radars and surveillance systems to be able to get around them.

      Explaining why this was unlikely, he said surveillance was so tight on India's border facing its nuclear arch-rival Pakistan that the air force scrambled a pair of Sukhoi fighters last month after an unidentified object showed up on the radar.

      It turned out to be a weather balloon drifting towards the Pakistan border.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:46:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are probably right. BUT (4+ / 0-)

        if I were going to play CT, I would say that that is of COURSE what they are going to say, because what country is going to admit that a rogue 777 flew threw its airspace undetected?

        The whole theory of this diary is not that the plane wasn't on radar.  The theory is that the plane hid in the radar signature of another plane and therefore didn't attract any attention because it looked like it was that other plane.  If no one was looking for it, it might have escaped any notice.  

        You would obviously notice a rogue plane that was out of place.  Would you notice this plane if you thought it was the other plane that was right where it was supposed to be, completely normal and everything?  Unless you saw TWO separate radar blips, I'm not sure you would.  So the question is, just how hard would it be to fly that jet to keep in the shadow of the lead jet?

  •  All the speculation ignores (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, jan4insight

    a trivial solution for the future. Why not require every flight to transmit the flight recording data and the cockpit voice recorder  to a ground location? That information would be destroyed when the plane lands safely. If it does not land safely, it would provide an instant "black box" instead of having to search for it at great expense.

    Maybe one of you techies could tell me if such an idea could be implemented and whether there is a reason not to adopt this idea.

    Too soon old, too late smart (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:03:31 PM PDT

    •  There's no "ground" in open water (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tim DeLaney

      You'd have to either set up a huge and expensive network of water-based receivers, transmit using shortwave or such, or transmit to satellites. I think the last one makes the most sense, but I've been told that it would be too heavy, expensive, unreliable and dangerous. Which I don't for a second buy, but every established industry is dominated by hyper-conservative types who actively resist change because it would threaten their toehold.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:51:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As far as I know, planes can communicate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, kovie, happymisanthropy

        with ground stations throughout their flight. Even if it took a satellite link, we have had communications satellites for decades. If a plane can "ping" a satellite, then why could it not send a data stream? OMG, we can send a TV program by satellite; why not a cockpit conversation?

        Too soon old, too late smart (-7.25, -6.21)

        by Tim DeLaney on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:17:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm certainly no expert (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tim DeLaney

          But I'm sure that all modern commercial aircraft have a whole slew of communications equipment that transmits on many different frequencies within many different bandwidths using many different protocols both analog and digital, some of which are for very close communication such as control towers during takeoff and landing, others for anywhere from several miles to several dozen or hundreds of miles, some for thousands of miles, and some up to satellites. So, yeah, I don't see why, in theory, some of these longer-distance devices couldn't be used to send real-time vital information, such as location, altitude, direction, speed, 3-axis inclination, temperature, O2 and smoke levels in the cockpit and passenger compartment, etc., and for all I know the pilots' vital signs. Some might be useful in case of emergencies, others useful to collect data to help improve safety, efficiency, reliability and comfort.

          We're living in the era of big data and ubiquitous communication, both of which are becoming quite inexpensive. I don't see why aviation should be excluded.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:41:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This will absolutely be on the docket soon. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tim DeLaney

      All over the world. I'm sure of it.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:21:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have means & opportunity. Still missing motive. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julesrules39

    What I mean is, at this point, the simplest explanation is probably the true one: That due to the total lack of mayday or other hijack indication before communications were (apparently) deliberately turned off, it seems one or both of the pilots were involved.

    So that leave motive. Why? We still don't have a clear explanation on this.

    "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

    by Technowitch on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:20:53 PM PDT

    •  no. the simplest explanation is an accident. (0+ / 0-)

      or pilot error or both.

      •  2 pilots made a 6-7 hour error (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamamedusa

        that takes them thousands of miles off-course and over obvious landmarks?

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:49:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. Accident used to be simplest. Not now. (0+ / 0-)

          I sided with 'accident' for a long while for those very reasons.

          Now, after learning the plane went through any number of apparently deliberate course changes and was in the air for ~7 hours, accident no longer seems likely.

          "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

          by Technowitch on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:54:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Either a profoundly weird suicide (0+ / 0-)

            or a hijacking, either by the pilot or pilots or someone else on board. No other explanation seems to make sense given how long it flew off-course without any transmissions. What I don't understand is why it's possible for a modern airliner to go so rogue. Why no transponders that can't be turned off or destroyed--or GPS beacons constantly transmitting to earth or a satellite? Why no ability to monitor the cockpit, either audio or video or both? As we've all come to find out, these planes are potentially lethal weapons and it makes no sense that it's possible for them to go off the grid.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:01:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Technowitch, a Boeing 777 is worth about (0+ / 0-)

      $300 million dollars.  The plane alone is motive.  Kidnappers can get over a million per head.  There were over 200 people on that plane from many countries.

      Money could be the motive.

      Then again, maybe a government did this to find out the other ones' capabilities (technical).  Putin's gotta be laughing his ass off in that both China and the US are looking for this plane like chickens with their heads cut off.

      •  It would be hard for anything (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julesrules39

        less than a government to pull this off.

        Not so much the disappearing angle, but landing one, hiding it, and (eventually) (re)using it.

        Selling one would be near impossible, and there are too many serial numbers recorded for far, far too many parts to make it even plausible to break it up for parts to sell.

        A government might be able to make secret use of it.

        The other possibility would be to use it as a missile.

        •  It would likely be to use the plane in a future (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote

          terrorist act.  But, the pilot could be worth a lot of money to help deliver the plane and train the team that would use it.  The one pilot assembled his own flight simulator before.  He could do it again for someone else.  Or, he could have already been working to train someone.  

          I don't know how credible the 8:11AM satellite ping is or whether the arcs with the plane's location at that time is accurate.  But, if it is, then it is unlikely that the plane flew out in the middle of the Indian Ocean and crashed.  It seems possible that the plane was diverted on purpose and that the passengers may still be alive. On the southern arc, Java or Sumatra are the most realistic destinations.

  •  Some observations contra the diarists's reasoning (4+ / 0-)

    1.  The diarist rejects Ledgerwood's theory in part because he says the pilot wouldn't react in the way reported if someone else tried to hijack the plane, but then the diarist turns around and posits that the pilot hijacked the plane to commit suicide.  You can't have it both ways.  Let's dispense with any arguments against Ledgerwood that involve skepticism as to the pilot's reaction to a forced hijacking by someone else.

    2.  The diarist appears to assume that because India and Pak are nuclear states engaged in a cold war with each other, their radar defenses are uniformly impenetrable. Why?

    3.  The diarist also appears to assume that the hypothetical pilot-hijacker would have had to have peeled off in India or Pak. Again, this assumption is invalid. The route also goes over Nepal, Krgyzistan, Tibet, and Turkmenistan. What do we know of radar defenses in all these areas that justifies ruling them out as landing areas?  Probably nothing.

    4.  The route goes over the Himalayas and other high ranges. Mountains cast radar shadows depending on the placement of the radar. What do we know about all the radar shadows vs. the radars that are in play? Again, probably nothing.

    5.  A pilot-hijacker can track the location of SIA 68 with an iPad. No Bondian secret agent tech needed. Who's to say the hijacker didn't make certain SIA 68 was on time and in the expected location before pulling off the hijacking? Suddenly what appears "Bondian" becomes feasible by a trained hijacker.

    6.  "At night."  Airliners use some pretty bright navigational lights.  Once the hypothetical pilot-hijacker maneuvered within 10 miles or so SA 68's lights should have made it as easy to follow as day time.

    7.  The best argument against Ledgerwood seems to me to be the diarist's point re. needing a long runway. (The diarists's pushing the minimum needed out to 8000 feet seems unreasonably generous to himself, though.) Still, I don't know why we can so easily dismiss the notion that some terrorist organization didn't either (1) build a landing strip somewhere remote, or (b) install landing lights along some remote strip of highway.

    So...I'm not saying Ledgerwood's hypothesis is right...It still seems pretty unlikely.  I'm just saying the diarist's reasoning for ruling out Ledgerwood's hypothesis seems to be full of holes.

    You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

    by Simian on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:25:15 PM PDT

  •  A technical question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    This from a no longer active VFR pilot.  How far behind the Singapore airliner could MN 370 fly without being detected?  The radar return from a transponder is much stronger than the return from the skin of a 777.  There was a comment about tailgating, and I don't think that would be required.

    •  Dunno about mil pilots/radar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve15, Bisbonian

      But I've flown a Cessna behind both other Cessnas and Pipers, usually 200' - 400' behind.

      ATC has always asked me to turn off my transponder, and ISTR that they usually couldn't distinguish between me and my lead from the primary return.

      I would also strongly suspect that it depends on distance from the radar -- the farther from the radar, the less a small angular difference between the aircraft would matter.

  •  Question for the Diarist. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, mamamedusa

    What if the purpose of the Highjacking was to seize individuals onboard, rather than the plane itself?

    There was that tech group. What if they were the targets for capture, and they're interested in something this group either knows or can do for them?

    You mentioned bending the plane.

    Making it no longer airworthy.

    Would they be able to hide that plane? Bury it in the desert?

    I'm not asking because I believe it, I'm asking because you seem to imply that if they DID land in central asia, there's a good chance that the plane would no longer be airworthy.

    But the plane, potentially, could have made it there in one piece, it seems.

    Now, if that is indeed plausible, what's the likelihood of a safe landing being made if the guys are trying to stay low and avoid the radar?

    I'm assuming in this scenario that the pilot or copilot is responsible.

    Just, flush that out a bit more for me if you can? Trying to wrap my head around all the possibilities here.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:46:06 PM PDT

    •  Bending the plane (6+ / 0-)

      pertained to an attempt at a soft field landing (on dirt, or grass, or desert floor). Lots of potential for damage doing that.

      But could they land and come to a stop without injuring anyone inside? Absolutely! A BA 777 did it  on the grass at Heathrow a couple years ago.

      Shit, the Asiana pilot who hit the seawall at SFO basically TRIED to kill everyone on board and the big Boeing, tumbling ass over tea kettle down the runway, protected all but three souls inside. (And I hear one of those three may have been run over by a fire truck.)

      The plane will do unimaginable things to protect its occupants. The problem is when you want to unstick it from the terrain, turn it or, harder yet, take off again. All the stuff it sacrifices to protect everyone in a crash becomes unusable.

      If your theory is simply about an abduction, then following SIA68 into that part of the world and making an ugly and  essentially "final" landing on an unimproved strip is perfectly possible.

      Or I should say, on the James Bond side of plausible.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:19:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        And that's not really my theory.

        My theory is that a plane vanished most likely because someone inside did things to make it vanish.

        More than that, I can't say, because I don't know.

        It is, however, valuable to me to have information. I like to be aware of the full range of possibilities in situations like thi.

        So thanks again!

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:28:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, one of the three victims (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, Creosote

        of the Asiana flight was a young woman who was run over, twice, by the SF Fire Department. She was thought to be dead, but not checked closely or her location marked, and two fire-fighting rigs ran over her after she was covered in foam. Very sad...

        "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

        by tubacat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:24:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wouldn't the other pilot have seen this flight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    larryrant, Random Brainwaves

    through his rear-view or driver's side window? Don't modern airliners have tailgate detectors and don't pilots carry pistols to deal with air road rage?

    And most of all, wouldn't an air trooper have seen it all and pulled it over?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:47:54 PM PDT

  •  What if it is not a hijack at all? (4+ / 0-)

    We all know about hypoxia as the result of decompression, but there is DCS and other altitude sicknesses.

    Decompression sickness(DCS), also known as the bends, can cause a wide variety of symptoms including mental deficiencies and death depending on where the nitrogen bubbles wind up. There is a well known case of a U2 pilot that started developing problems as he passed 28000 feet. He was breathing pressurized O2, but he still suffered brain damage from the bends. His vision and his hearing had degraded so badly that he was barely able to fly the plane and was unable to communicate. Luckily, he made it back after trying to land on the wrong runway twice, but he never flew again.

    The reason I mention this is that an Egyptian Air 777 had fire in its oxygen system which happened on the ground, it burned a hole in the side and the avionics bay was exposed to the outside air. Supposedly, this problem was solved, but what if it wasn't? And, they had a fire that happened in the air on the way to cruising altitude?

    As I imagine it, it started out as a slow burning fire in the avionics bay under the cockpit and that's what progressively disabled each communication system until it hit the oxygen system. Then, it turned into a intense fire that breached the cockpit. Although they got fire out, the crew was badly injured and some of the navigation instruments were damaged. So, without communications and with significant mental impairment either due to injury or DCS, the person in control tried to get the plane back to an airport anywhere, but wound up wandering around the sky for hours until the fuel ran out.

    The point is there are so many hypotheses out there that still fit the dots of what we think we know that I don't know if I buy the hijack hypothesis in its entirety. My feeling is that whatever happened is probably stranger than anyone including myself could have imagined.

    •  I believe it'll be disappointingly simple (7+ / 0-)

      from an aviation perspective. And hauntingly complex from a human perspective.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:27:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll buy that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2013

        NT

      •  I agree. And here's the best theory I've seen: (5+ / 0-)

        http://www.theatlantic.com/...

        It's #2 in this article.

        2) The Pulau Langkawi possibility. Over the weekend Chris Goodfellow, an experienced pilot, offered via Google+ a very different sort of explanation. Far from carrying out an elaborate scheme, he says, the pilots may have been caught by surprise by an inflight fire, a major systems failure, or some other genuine emergency. At that point they called on the reflex nearly all pilots develop: the constantly updated awareness of where the nearest airport is, if they should suddenly need to get back to the ground. As he puts it:

        We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don't want to be thinking what are you going to do - you already know what you are going to do.

        When trouble arose, Goodfellow says, the pilots tried to head for what they knew to be the nearest very long runway, with an unobstructed over-water approach, on the Malaysian island of Pulau Langkawi. (Pulau means "island.") Here's the Google Earth idea of how the Langkawi runway might look in daylight, although the plane was of course approaching at night. That runway is 13,000 feet long -- enormous.

        But they never made it. Before getting the plane down, Goodfellow suggests, the pilots could have been incapacitated -- and the plane would fly on until it ran out of fuel. This view is notable for the light it casts on the MH 370 flight crew. Far from being villains, schemers, or the objects of a hijacking plan, he says they were in fact heroes, struggling until the last to save their aircraft, themselves, and the 237 other souls on board. Referring to the senior pilot, he says:

        This pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that immediate turn back to the closest safe airport....

        Fire in an aircraft demands one thing - you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible....

        Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.

        Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:13:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But (0+ / 0-)

          how would that explain that the transponder was turned off BEFORE his last communication with flight control?  He didn't indicate anything was wrong in that communication.  

          If something horrific onboard knocked out the transponder, don't you think the pilot would have maybe mentioned it?  Could the transponder really have been knocked off-line without the pilot having been aware of it?

          •  Yeah, the theory doesn't answer that question (0+ / 0-)

            On the other hand, it's very likely that, whatever we eventually find out about this flight, there will still be some unresolvable contradictions and unanswerable questions.

            Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

            by MJB on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:37:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's not the current timeline. (0+ / 0-)

            Today's version is that the transponder was turned off about 2 minutes AFTER the communication with ATC.

            •  Part of the problem (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              teresahill, JVolvo, patbahn, DRo

              is that no one can trust the info we are getting from the Malaysian government because it keeps changing.

              Ok, so let's say the transponder didn't go off until after the last comm, but ACARS was off before.  Could ACARS have gone off line because of an impending problem that the pilot was not yet aware of, say a cargo fire that was about to bring down additional electrical systems?  Could the pilot have been unaware that ACARS was offline?

          •  ACARS off before (0+ / 0-)

            xpdr off after

            In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

            by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:01:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Malaysia has walked that back. They now say the (0+ / 0-)

            ACARS system did a regular "ping" before the co-pilot said good night to Malaysian air traffic control. And it was set to ping every 30 minutes. It did the 1:21 a.m ping, the good night came about 1:40, transponder went off soon after and ACARS never did the 1:51 ping.

            Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

            by teresahill on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:44:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's the timeline I've seen (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DRo

              from a frequently updated and apparently reliable source (click on the homepage link to be taken to the latest thread with an updated "sanity check" -- I recommend the sanity check for good explanations and updates on what is confirmed, probable, speculative, and wacko on all aspects of this incident):

              •    1.07 am - Last ACARS transmission.
              •    1.19 am - Last verbal communication "All right, good night" from the plane; believed to be the co-pilot
              •    1.21 am - Transponder stopped transmitting (turned off or failed)
              •    1.30 am - Civilian (primary) radar lost contact
              •    1.37 am - Expected ACARS transmission; not received
              •    2.15 am - Last military primary radar contact
              •    8.11 am - Last (hourly) satellite handshake
              Can you identify your source for your different times? I haven't seen a press conference since the early Monday morning (PDT) one, so maybe there's new info and rcair1 hasn't updated yet.

              As far as I know, we have no idea what happened to ACARS or precisely when, only that it did not transmit the engine data expected at 1:37. (And, as far as we know, did not transmit any engine data after that either.) That observation is consistent with either deliberate action or equipment failure (by fire or otherwise). As an aside, the shorthand "pings" may confuse readers, because the 1:07 and expected 1:37 events would be actual transmissions of engine performance info, not just the "handshake" or "ping" between the satellite and the aircraft that's been used to derive location data to figure out where to search.

            •  Uh... link? n/t (0+ / 0-)

              In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

              by alysheba on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:05:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Malaysian transportation minister press conf. (0+ / 0-)
                These findings were drafted together with representatives from the lead international investigators, based on the information available at the time. Yesterday Malaysia Airlines clarified that we cannot determine exactly when ACARS had been disabled, only that it occurred within a specific time range: from 01:07 – approximately when the aircraft reached the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, and the last ACARS transmission occurred – to 01:37, which was the next scheduled reporting time. That is indeed the case.
                The Guardian

                Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

                by teresahill on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 03:41:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  And you're totally confusing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote

              pings with transmissions of usable data.

              ACARS was transmitting data until either 1:07 or 1:21, depending on which timeline you go by.

              It ceased sending DATA and sent only empty pings thereafter, meaning data reporting had been turned off, yet the unit still had electrical power.

              In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

              by alysheba on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:09:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What was that you were saying ? (0+ / 0-)
                “I think it’s very possible that this is what happened,” says Bruce Rodger, the president of the aviation consultancy Aero Consulting Experts. “It’s my favorite analysis because it means there wasn’t a bad guy doing something bad to an airliner.”

                The fire scenario could also explain the loss of communication systems. Either the pilots started killing electrical busses in order to contain the fire, or an electrical fire caused the gradual collapse of various systems on board.

                “Taking busses offline is a big process, and it may leave you without computer and navigational instruments,” says Rodger, who believes it is more likely that a fire took down the aircraft’s communication systems.

                The team’s career specialists include professional pilots, engineers, maintenance technicians, accident investigators, aerodynamic experts, meteorologists, flight-training simulation and human factor experts.

                "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                by indycam on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:40:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did a fire do this? (0+ / 0-)

                  Look at the specific flight path that was revealed today by Reuters.

                  As I have been saying from the beginning: I would LOVE to believe the Goodfellow theory. I'm a fucking pilot and we're in deep shit if this mess plays out according to my scenario. In fact, I really hate my scenario.

                  It's just that nobody can make the series of Z turns revealed today (which has been known for some time, only with less specificity) fit into the theory of incapacitated pilots being carried along by autopilot until the fuel ran out.

                  Open your eyes. Look at the plot. The Goodfellow theory is done. It's done.

                  And I'm just as sad as anyone about it.

                  In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                  by alysheba on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:54:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here you have an expert opinion , (0+ / 0-)

                    stated in clear words , but you as a "fucking pilot" can't grasp it .

                    Open your eyes. Look at the plot. The Goodfellow theory is done. It's done.
                    I never claimed Goodfellow was correct . Do try again when you feel up to it .

                    A little info for you .
                    My father was trained as a flight engineer , he worked for Hughes aircraft as a prototype guy , he retired an engineer from Hughes/Raytheon , he was my teacher , I went on to be a technician , people who could not get the job done brought me their problems to fix , I got the big bucks to help them get their equipment fixed . I stated to take flying lessons from a Vietnam war jet jockey , I found him to be to fucking stupid to continue taking lessons from .

                    Open your eyes.
                    Right back at you .
                     

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                    by indycam on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:30:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You obviously have issues. (0+ / 0-)

                      I'll leave those alone entirely and just ask again:

                      Did a fire do this?

                      Did a fire/smoke/cascading mechanical crisis cause an autopilot to fly to pre-programmed waypoints that were never on the scheduled flight path?

                      Like this?

                      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                      by alysheba on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:19:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You have issues . (0+ / 0-)

                        You need to ask yourself questions .
                        Your insulting / wrong comments have been shown to be faulty , deal as best you can .

                        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                        by indycam on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 10:26:52 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  let the record show (0+ / 0-)

                          question unanswered twice. Wanna make it a three-fer?

                          How does an autopilot fly Z turns and then jump onto an airway (and then possibly make a hard left turn and crash in the ocean off Perth) without a human commanding it to do so?

                          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

                          by alysheba on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 11:19:18 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  "Let the record show" ? (0+ / 0-)

                            So now your a lawyer ?

                            Did I ever make the argument that no one was trying to fly a plane that was suffering from cascading / snowballing failures ?
                            Or have I said all along that the pilots were doing the best they could with a plane that they were struggling with ?  

                            Did you say ?

                            I just keep coming back to the lack of a distress call. It is the deciding factor in all of this for me.

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...
                            The fire scenario could also explain the loss of communication systems.
                            This was said by an expert , not some numb nut hanger pilot .
                            It's funny that you said what you said , it shows a real lack of understanding of the real world , it shows that you have not got a grasp on what really goes on in the real world .
                            ................
                            Did you say ?
                            I have yet to come across a pro pilot who believes the cascading failure angle. In fact, it's one of the most far-fetched scenarios in my opinion.
                            “I think it’s very possible that this is what happened,” says Bruce Rodger, the president of the aviation consultancy Aero Consulting Experts. “It’s my favorite analysis because it means there wasn’t a bad guy doing something bad to an airliner.”

                            The fire scenario could also explain the loss of communication systems. Either the pilots started killing electrical busses in order to contain the fire, or an electrical fire caused the gradual collapse of various systems on board.

                            “Taking busses offline is a big process, and it may leave you without computer and navigational instruments,” says Rodger, who believes it is more likely that a fire took down the aircraft’s communication systems.

                            .............
                            Did you say ?
                            Do you understand? Continually trying to get me to acknowledge that equipment fails is pretty asinine, dude. Equipment fails, ok? Satisfied?
                            How long would you try to keep a failing plane up in the air ?
                            How long would you do your best to not crash ?
                            My point wasn't that equipment fails , you failed to catch the point or you intentionally failed to admit the truth .
                            But can't we live in the realm of statistical probability?
                            I've provided you with many statistically improbable things that have happened in real life . This isn't a game . Real life , things happen , tails fall off planes , things that never should happen to a part 121 , happen , that's just what you are trying to cover over .
                            It has been shown to you that "things" happen , some cause instant loss of control , some cause the plane to behave in very odd ways , some that should make the plane uncontrollable are controllable to some extent by pilots who do there best with what they have left of an aircraft .  
                            ...............
                            Did you say ?
                            My point - taking basically all of your examples into account - is that these catastrophic snowball things generally end up in a crashed airplane in short order.
                            "generally" ? Well isn't that helpful . I have yet to read a single incident report that contains the explanation , "generally".
                            ..............
                            Stop asking me your "pretty asinine" questions , its not working for you , all you are doing is making yourself look small and unable .

                            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                            by indycam on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:01:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Not necessarily... (0+ / 0-)

            Nigerian 2120 had fire in the wheel well that eventually brought it down. The crew of that plane didn't know that they had a fire onboard until smoke started leaking into the cabin.

            What they saw up in the cockpit were a sequentially progressing series of problems as fire cut through each system. First, they developed a pressurization problem. Then, later they started having seeming unrelated electrical problems and control problems as the fire cut through portions of the electrical and hydraulic systems. The had declared an emergency when they had control problems and were on the way back to the airport when smoke and fire breached the cabin, and they never made the airport.

        •  It's a fine, fine theory. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo, Creosote

          However, it doesn't convincingly deal with the transponder angle.

          And it really falls apart when you add 7 hours of flying after the supposed cockpit fire began. The example he himself uses results in a crash shortly after the emergency begins:

          They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply  overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time.
          Remember, this theory was written on the 13th.

          We didn't know about the certainty of the 7 extra hours of flying.

          In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

          by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I thought Goodfellow made a lot of sense. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alfred E Newman, Miniaussiefan

          Early on, here at DK, the pilots who comment here kept saying it was a fire, had to be a fire.

          And I said, could you have a fire so extensive it took out multiple transponders and all communication equipment and the plane still fly for a long time? Because that seemed like it couldn't happen.

          And a lot of other pilots kept saying they lost oxygen somehow and were unconscious and the autopilot kept flying the plane.

          But then we kept hearing about all those deliberate-seeming turns the plane made, which made it seem like someone had to be flying the plane to make it do all that stuff.

          But now the Malaysians say the transponder and the ACARS system weren't necessarily disabled 15 minutes apart. Oops.

          That's the first big seemingly factual data we had that pointed to someone deliberately taking the plane off-course and had people saying hijacking or pilot-suicide.

          But if that's not true, it seems like fire has to come back into play. Goodfellow says if you have a fire, the first thing you do is head for the nearest airport (engage auto-pilot, so you're clear to work the fire problem) and start pulling fuses to cut power to different systems in hopes of shutting down whatever part of the electrical system is on fire. That accounts for the transponder and ACARS being disabled.

          I guess he may have done enough to put out the fire, but had already inhaled enough smoke that both pilots died.

          The plane was smart enough to keep making adjustments to stay in the air, even altitude changes, that might make it seem like someone was flying it when they weren't, and it becomes a Payne Stewart situation, which is another thing a lot of pilots suggested.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:59:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  even an unguided plane is pretty stable. (0+ / 0-)

            JAL 007 lost all hydraulics and flew around for 3 hours.

            UAL 103 lost hydraulics and an engine and did a
            thrust vector controlled turn to Souix city.

            they could have had a fire and blow out and flown
            in circles for hours.

          •  According to the NY Times yesterday, (0+ / 0-)

            new waypoints far off the flight path to Beijing were added to the route in the Flight Management Computer before ACARS stopped transmitting data. According aviation experts, it has to be someone familiar with the systems of Boeing 777 that did that and makes it unlikely to be a passenger. If that doesn't change, it points right back to the hijack/suicide theories again according to them with the crew at the top of the list of possible suspects.

            While I agree it's not likely for a passenger to know how to program the FMC for 777. It's not that hard to acquire the knowledge. 55 USD gets you the FMC manual for the 747, 757, 767, and 777. I learned to program the FMC from a commercially available detailed ground simulator back in the 90's for the 747-300. There are sims out there for extreme aviation buffs that are extraordinarily detailed system sims and not the powder puff Microsoft Flight Simulator stuff. You couple that with commercially available Jeppessen flight planning software, and you can come up with everything the FMC needs to enter a new route.

            Even with that info from NYT, there is another possibility that doesn't involve hijacking, and that is that one of the crew was fooling around with the FMC when disaster struck. The FMC has both an active and an inactive route. It could be one of them was practicing programing the FMC on the inactive side when they had a problem and switched routes. According to everything that I have read, aircrews are not supposed to do that, but I have read about at least one accident where the crew was experimenting on the autopilot that resulted in the death of one passenger.

            I think the point is everyone seems to be really hot on hijack theories these days, but I have yet to hear convincing evidence that puts all other competing theories beyond doubt.

          •  I just read Goodfellow's piece (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Creosote

            and found it very persuasive. It makes more sense to me than the notion that the pilot  or co-pilot had a hand in taking down the flight deliberately.

            I deeply hope the plane will be recovered so that we might begin to get the answers we (naturally) seek. And if Goodfellow's theory is correct, the pilot - far from acting criminally - was indeed heroically trying to save the plane by following established procedures.

            Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

            by Miniaussiefan on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:57:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The amount of time the plane flew after (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shigeru

    loss of communication suggests that, whatever the initial intent, something went wrong in the cockpit, and pilots were overcome, and the plane just flew straight - presumably south over the ocean - on autopilot till it ran out of fuel.

    •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      Someone killed the ACARS and then said goodnight to Malaysia. Then they turned off their transponder.

      Then something went wrong and turned them around to the west? Which straight are you talking about? Straight from the path they were on? That's northeast toward China.

      We know they didn't do that and we know they made a series of turns. One major turn to the west, one to the north over Pulau Perak in the Malacca Strait and another one to either the north or the south over the Andaman Islands.

      I'm having a helluva time deciphering what you mean. Sorry.

      In case it isn't clear, I loathe conservatives.

      by alysheba on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:26:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The theories about this flight (12+ / 0-)

    are getting almost as crazy as if I made up a story about a German teenager stealing an airplane and flying it undetected to Red Square at the height of the Cold War.

    Sheesh!!

  •  Pilot suicide maybe. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx, waterstreet2013

    Nothing else makes sense. If they tried to land it somewhere, they would inevitably run into problems. And it's not easy to hijack it in the first place.

  •  my vote for plausibility (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, FrankSpoke
    Whether it was the captain or the first officer, we're on record that MH 370 is a pilot suicide, involving the elimination of the other pilot, pulled off by a a guy who had a dying wish to not ever be found and to leave his mark as the perpetrator of an enduring mystery. He probably thought about the Marianas Trench as the best place to crash the plane and never be found, but he'd have had to cross the Phillipines to get there and with the amount of US military hardware there, too likely a chance of intercept, which would blow his entire agenda. So he chose the next deepest, most difficult ocean to search and put it down there.

    Why wait for 7 hours? Why not just do what the EgyptAir guy did? I can't answer that. It's a human element that we may never know. Except perhaps the guy was thoroughly attached to the notion of disappearing forever, even if it meant taking 238 others with him.

    The other theories are very involved, very difficult to pull off and require either the cooperation, or the incompetence, of lots of people. My theory is the simplest one I've come across, and it's the one my pilot friends agree with.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:09:25 PM PDT

    •  Re: "Why wait for 7 hours?" .. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, annieli, NYFM, mamamedusa

      To maximize the geographical area required for a comprehensive search, thereby increasing the likelihood that the "black box" locator beacon expires, the debris field disperses/sinks, and the mystery remains exactly that.. possibly forever.

      Disturbing, frustrating, but possibly logical, in a very unfortunate way, if the description of the pilot's or copilot's state of mind and purpose, as described above, is accurate.

      So sad, if true, for all the families involved.

      ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

      by FrankSpoke on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:09:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing I was alerted to is apparently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, waterstreet2013

    the hatch in the floor of the 777 outside the cockpit that you can just open and descend a ladder to a space that contains all of the circuit breakers and avionics equipment. There is no key entry to this space. There is a circuit-breaker there that unlocks the cockpit door too, so I am told. The link to the YouTube item is here.  I wonder what you make of this.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:27:31 PM PDT

  •  From my Flight 370 diary last night. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013

    Regarding a place for hijackers to land:

    It would have to be a place with a long enough runway. Also, if the hijackers wanted secrecy, that airstrip had to be one where they could land secretly. It would have to be someplace remote where the facility would be, basically, closed at the time of landing. Then it would be necessary to hide the aircraft while the passengers were transferred in secret. Ideally, it would be a location rich in support among the local population. For purposes of speculation and discussion only, I have identified a place like that.
    Look to Hotan Oasis, a stop on the ancient Silk Road, a tiny dot of green in the vast Tala Makan Desert of Central Asia. The local population is nearly 100% Uighur with no religious, ethnic, cultural, historical or linguistic loyalties to China or the Chinese people. The local commercial airport is shuttered from about midnight until after sunrise, with no flight operations. The airport sits on the edge of and is open to a vast, uninhabited desert extending southward to a more or less uninhabited Mountain range far away.

    If hijackers intent upon secrecy wanted a secret landing place, that could be infiltrated by a small cadre of zealots with careful planning, patience and, possibly inside help, offering a place to hide the aircraft while sequestering the passengers, the airport at Hotan Oasis is such a place, complete with a local population riddled with dissidents, separatists and jihadists.

    This may be more movie screenplay thinking than real world thinking. The speculation is nevertheless interesting.

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by LeftOfYou on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:38:18 PM PDT

    •  Or a place that had been evacuated by the gvmt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftOfYou

      After the huge volcanic eruption in Java on Feb 13th over 200,000 people were evacuated/displaced as the ash covered most of the island.  Seven airports were closed.  I know that at least three were reopened fairly quickly.  But, maybe one or more are still closed in an area that was evacuated.  That would be a great place to unload and move people as well as land and hide the plane.

  •  What if they didn't care about the plane at all? (0+ / 0-)

    My thought is that they did follow the Madrid bound plane, and crash landed it anywhere.  The motive was simply to rob the passengers. You fly up to 45k feet (as has been indicated), depressurize to kill the passengers and cabin crew.

    Then Pilot or Co-Pilot or both steal all cash and goods upon crash landing (flying as far as possible to use fuel and/or dump fuel before landing).

    Alternately, Pilots could have stowed parachutes? Stole cash and goods, then jumped out.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:16:29 PM PDT

  •  How about homicide? (0+ / 0-)

    There was recently an episode of The Blacklist where the bad guy needed to make it look like his clients were dead so he staged their "death" via airplane and parachuted out.

    I'd think it's more likely a hitman/hitwoman would have no qualms about taking out hundreds of extra, innocent people than someone committing suicide. Could be wrong but it seems more logical.

  •  I wonder if we had not spent the 10's of (6+ / 0-)

    trillions on tracking everyone's internet use and phone calls we might have been able to develop something that could track a plane AND give a heads up that Russia was about to invade the Ukraine.

    It does seem prudent as 9/11 seemed to have something to do with planes. Right?

    And I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine. And I damn all gentlemen. Whose only worth is their father's name And the sweat of a workin' man Steve Earle - Dixieland

    by shigeru on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:33:14 PM PDT

  •  What do the Aussies have out at the Cocos ??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julesrules39

    One helluva blown out volcanic atoll. Also called the Keelings.

    12.1167° S, 96.9000° E. Not big: 14 km2.

    If MH370 went south, it went damn near right over them.

    600 residents, but any of them looking at a radar screen?

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:41:16 PM PDT

  •  I'd say it's plausible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, RiveroftheWest

    Depending on how close they Keith Ledgerwood thinks they flew to SIA 68. He doesn't seem to mention that. A mile? Half a mile? 500 feet? 50 feet?

    He's also not quite accurate as to how TCAS works. It doesn't really show you the other plane's direction. It shows relative position, altitude and whether the target is climbing or descending. To get direction you'd have to watch the target long enough to see which way it's traveling.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:44:46 PM PDT

  •  And btw: if it's not the pilots then can I (0+ / 0-)

    put a bet on either snakes of the Stargate Goa'uld persuasion (with a ring-based 777 grabber) or some other alien abduction scenario ???

    They got Homer Simpson didn't they? And he's O.K.

    There should be a prize for the mostest of the wack-job theories.

    (Meanwhile... the audio beeper has another 20 days to go and if there's a USN attack sub in the area, that's not a problem. Assuming it's in the ocean, they'll find it.)

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:57:19 PM PDT

  •  Last, why ne'ery a reference to KAL007 ??? (0+ / 0-)

    The Russkies shot her down. Another of the Reagan presidency snafus.

    Any chance of a parallel event?

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:07:49 PM PDT

  •  Is there any place in the cockpit (0+ / 0-)

    where hijacker(s) could hide prior to the pilots boarding the plane?

  •  This is the most likely theory I've seen to date: (0+ / 0-)

    plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z13cv1gohsmbv5jmy221vrfyiz3vdhbop04 …

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:57:17 PM PDT

  •  I'm not going to click-through (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    And give the guy traffic because this is far-fetched speculation and a form of public masterbation based on a goulash fascination with disasters.

    All kinds of things are possible. What he proposes is highly unlikely and promoting it verges on CT.

    And how the fuck do you come to the conclusion the "pilot pirated the plane"?

    While it is certain the plan was deliberately diverted, the reasons and situation are not known so there is no reasonable basis for your conclusion.

    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

    by koNko on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:10:18 PM PDT

  •  Uighurs or Other Muslims (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote
    either against Beijing if it's a Uighur or against the West if it's a typical Islamic fundamentalist

    There are a lot more terrorist groups than just Uighurs or other Muslims. There are a lot more bad people who might want a 777.

    People keep blaming this on Uighurs without any evidence whatsoever. The same goes for any Muslims. Or anyone else in particular.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:12:41 PM PDT

    •  The reason is because, when you go to terrorism, (0+ / 0-)

      the first question is "Who has a motive to kill 150 comparatively-wealthy Chinese citizens?" and the answer is "Most likely Uighur fighters."  Al Qaeda and other mainline organizations have shown little-to-no interest in China and Tibetan freedom organizations have largely resorted to self-immolations, with tragic and scary results :(.  The Uighur groups were largely peaceful until recently, but the memory of that knife attack are fresh in their memories right now.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:44:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "I can't answer that." (0+ / 0-)

    Very good analysis of the shadow theory. Expertly describes why it is an outside theory. But,…as long as we are using phrases like "theory" and an implied use of logic and reason…

    "Why wait for 7 hours? Why not just do what the Egypt Air guy did? I can't answer that."

    You lost me when you asserted the "pilot suicide" theory and casually discounted the 7 hour hide and seek game. It is part of the puzzle and needs to fit in any reasonable plan. You yourself expressed the pilots desire to bury the plane without outside knowledge, yet the pilot would have jeopardized that goal with every excess minute he was airborne. It is a significant element of this mystery and no credible theory can ignore it.

    I have no theories because I can't fit all the pieces. And no one else has as yet accounted for all the pieces.
    My guess is it was terrorist suicide.

    •  no evidence (0+ / 0-)

      for terrorists - and I don't think they'd do a suicide trip where everyone ends up talking about it for a week or more. Big flashy suicide, yeah.

      Pilot suicide isn't unheard of. Remember Egyptair?

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:45:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what i haven't seen mentioned is any possible.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...connection between this missing plane with predominately Chinese passengers and the recent knife attacks in China that have killed more than two dozen people.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:48:52 PM PDT

    •  not likely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote

      since the Uighurs or their sympathizers would have to get to Malaysia - they're a minority in China, and much watched. The flight crew and their politics are far more likely, if you're going to invoke political reasons.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:47:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm betting on a high risk hijacking (0+ / 0-)

    or something along those lines that went bad.

    If you kill yourself in such a way that nobody knows it's a suicide, you do it because you don't want to hurt your family or anyone else.  You wouldn't take 200+ people out with you.

    The goal here involved the plane. The lives of everyone involved, including the person hijacking the plane, were viewed as disposable.

    We want to build cyber magicians!

    by VelvetElvis on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 12:05:33 AM PDT

  •  Buying Time.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    If we tweek the possible goals of the hijackers of MH370 a wee bit, Ledgerwood's theory may still be good enough.

    Let's say they don't care of the jet is found. They just don't want it found right away.

    Let's say they landed it somewhere and aren't worried about it taking off again. This greatly expands the possible landing places.

    Let's say they landed it as soon as possible to maximise cover of night on the night they stole the plane.

    Assuming the radar shadow idea works at all, it would be a good start to enabling any plan with the caveats above.

    What we don't know is why. Suicide? OK...Time will tell.

    But for any OTHER goal, it must be around the plane itself, someone(s) on it, or something in it. The political motive is diluted by not being able to take off again.

  •  What about a stretch of highway? (0+ / 0-)

    It wouldn't be completely unthinkable to have people posing as police block off a stretch of highway (both lanes, in two different places) and then land. Of course you would need to have a way to get the plan off an "exit ramp" and then hidden by tarps or such fairly quickly.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:04:50 AM PDT

  •  This morning they are saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    They found five simulated Indian ocean landings on the pilots home flight computer.

    (CBS crawler this morning)

    You can't take the sky from me!

    by wrights on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:43:52 AM PDT

  •  Also they are saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    That flight computer was pre programmed to divert off course.

    You can't take the sky from me!

    by wrights on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:48:13 AM PDT

  •  Many were involved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    Sure the pilot was in on it. He had been training on his basement flight simulator for months on how to time the rendezvous with flight SIA68. How to settle in just behind it as quickly as possible... after a carefully timed disappearance window. Not an easy task for sure, and he would also have to know the flight path of the plane he was going to attempt to shadow. He probably had tried the move on his simulator with a dozen or more other possible shadow targets before settling on this one. The whole 45,000 ft to 23,000 ft move was all just to get in line with SIA68. Then the Iranians on board were needed to talk with the air traffic controllers in Iran. That's all they needed to do was speak Farsi, not fly the plane, that's the pilot's job, let him do it. I wonder if flight MH370 left exactly on time, or slightly delayed? Tabriz Iran is right on the flight path they would have taken, and also on the arc of the Inmarsat signal for how far away the plane's last siganal came from, exactly where both paths cross... Plus keep in mind the pilot's wife and children moved out of his house the day before the plane disappeared.

  •  Im waiting for an ep of ANCIENT ALIENS (0+ / 0-)

    to cover this.

    Because that plane is never going to be found. Its going to be our century's Amelia Earhart. Or Flying Dutchman. (Just you wait.)

    You have to give this scheme an A for ingenuity however. The author should sign up to write the next Bond movie

  •  Ledgerwood's idea made the cut in BBC's (0+ / 0-)

    10 "theories" (I'm a scientist, I can't think of these with such a grand word as "theory!) about the disappearance of MH370:

    http://www.bbc.com/...

    In fact, this idea was one of the few that didn't have a "but..." attached to it. I guess the big question for me is how the heck you actually find the plane you're looking to hide behind. It's a big sky.

  •  "G1000 Cessnas" ? (0+ / 0-)

    "I'm a 14-year, instrument-rated private pilot" ?
    http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/...

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 05:11:31 PM PDT

Meteor Blades, skybluewater, Pat K California, Thumb, Alfred E Newman, dwellscho, Ducktape, mwm341, Timaeus, Geenius at Wrok, PeterHug, Shockwave, liz, ericy, grover, Creosote, concernedamerican, BlackSheep1, whenwego, mrblifil, farmerhunt, pedrito, larryrant, NYC Sophia, pat bunny, ranger995, MA Liberal, NYFM, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, annetteboardman, Timbuk3, BlogDog, zdefender, rambler american, sawgrass727, Bluesee, Tinfoil Hat, jrooth, caul, Explorer8939, saralee, Alice Venturi, BCO gal, dewtx, snacksandpop, reflectionsv37, lennysfo, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, Overseas, kaliope, PinHole, Tunk, Pluto, kkjohnson, Embassy, profundo, bastrop, KenBee, jguzman17, CF Perez, onionjim, doingbusinessas, Stripe, tegrat, Sapere aude, Habitat Vic, psychodrew, la urracca, wildweasels, Matt Z, joedemocrat, SeaTurtle, Timmethy, homerun, craiger, chicago minx, rmonroe, jwinIL14, MKinTN, revm3up, pdkesq, VelvetElvis, BobBlueMass, GAS, Steve15, amyzex, OleHippieChick, mamamedusa, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, NewDealer, KJG52, mikeconwell, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, Gentle Giant, billybam, sydneyluv, Louisiana 1976, Rhysling, Ran3dy, LeftOfYou, mkor7, petral, geebeebee, Tortmaster, Livvy5, joe from Lowell, Larsstephens, BlueOak, FogCityJohn, brunoboy, Susan Grigsby, leftywright, voracious, 2questions, kenwards, Colorado is the Shiznit, La Gitane, California06, Teiresias70, marleycat, wintergreen8694, Joe Jackson, Marihilda, Hayate Yagami, greenotron, DRo, Sky Net, airportman, SuWho, anodnhajo, IndieGuy, dog in va, Mr Robert, lunachickie, databob, Portlaw, BobTheHappyDinosaur, Greenfinches, MarkW53, Lily O Lady, RiveroftheWest, Smoh, nice marmot, ET3117, Kombema, northcountry21st, julesrules39, richardvjohnson, waterstreet2013, AWilson, Bookends

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site