Missing Malaysian Aircraft – is it possible…

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  • Missing Malaysian Aircraft – is it possible…
  • wobbliscott
    Member

    The transponder doesn’t mean the aircraft disappears from radar. All it does is provide information about the aircraft, speed and altitude to the ATC, so even if the transponder is turned off the aircraft can be tracked by radar unless it heads into an area of no radar cover.

    rebel12
    Member

    Or maybe it was hijacked and flown until it ran out of fuel and crashed

    Unlikely – no wreckage spotted anywhere and we’re a week in? If it was a catastrophic failure in flight then the wreckage should be somewhere near the last known position.

    Don’t see why the hijackers would run out of fuel and crash – these people clearly knew what they were doing and if they were going to crash then they would have had a specific objective in mind surely? It seems unlikely the hijackers would have crashed it into a completely remote area – I mean what would be the point if there’s no one there to see?

    If it had crashed in a random location for whatever reason then there’s a good chance that some debris or other evidence would have been found by now. I’d have thought here’s not many places in the world that are so remote, including the open sea, that an aircraft of this size could crash and go completely un-noticed for a whole week.

    Not sure I believe the conspiracy theory that it’s landed somewhere

    Why not, a week in and there’s zero evidence that the aircraft has crashed?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    njee20 » You know you’ve posted photos of the tail vertical stabilizer though, right…?

    No, you’re trying too hard to be pedantic and clever. A) stabilizer is the Americanism (as Duffer pointed out, and as is in your own link…) and b) the tail is the type of vertical stabiliser that A330 had. Bit like saying “my bike has Rocket Rons”, You’ve just said “no, it has tyres”. Smug pedant fail.

    Back OT, it’s very weird, but I can’t see that it’s sat on an island somewhere, just seems too far fetched.

    bencooper
    Member

    even if the transponder is turned off the aircraft can be tracked by radar unless it heads into an area of no radar cover.

    Yes, but loads of junk pops up on radar – very easy to lose one blip among many other blips.

    It’d need a pretty long runway to land – not something you can build in secret and keep hidden. Unless, yes, North Korea, but why would they kidnap an airliner flying to their only friend left on the planet?

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Well it is possible that the aircraft landed intact and sank without a trace – look at the United A320 that landed in the Hudson river, that sank without a trace. Unlikely I know as the passengers would have got out. I’m not sure they have searched the whole of the open ocean areas that were covered by the range of the aircraft. I think they’ve been taking guesses at the direction the aircraft was going and focussing their searches. I think there is a huge expanse of ocean to look at and no clues where to start looking. Even with the AF case where the vertical stabiliser and floating luggage was found within a few days, it still took years to find the aircraft. If we didn’t have those initial signs floating on the surface of the ocean to pin-point an area, then how long would it have taken to find the AF aircraft? Would it ever have been found?

    Its difficult to land a 777 anywhere without someone noticing. Those pesky plane spotters are everywhere.

    Rockhopper
    Member

    That’s not totally true. Air traffic control radar is called secondary radar and it works by interrogating the transponder so if you turn off the transponder the aircraft will indeed vanish from the radar. Military radar is primary radar and works by detecting the reflected radar energy from the target aircraft so it can detect aircraft without transponders.

    rebel12
    Member

    It’d need a pretty long runway to land – not something you can build in secret and keep hidden.

    I believe that with the right conditions, low speed approach, maximum braking and reverse thrust applied (and depending on how much weight the aircraft is carrying) that a 777 can come to a full stop from the point of touchdown in somewhere between 600m and 900m. That’s not a very long runway.

    pondo
    Member

    That’s not totally true. Air traffic control radar is called secondary radar and it works by interrogating the transponder so if you turn off the transponder the aircraft will indeed vanish from the radar. Military radar is primary radar and works by detecting the reflected radar energy from the target aircraft so it can detect aircraft without transponders.

    ATC have both primary and secondary, I think – we’ve had one on this thread already talking about it.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    I’ve just remembered from the United aircraft crash that aircraft have automated EPIRBs so that they fire up and transmit the aircrafts position if the aircraft ditches in water, so if this aircraft did go down in water it must have been a catastrophic crash for the EPIRBs not to activate. Again, they didn’t activate in the AF case.

    Most if not all large airports also have primary radars working in conjunction with secondary radar, so ATC should still get a complete picture of what’s up there.

    sharkbait
    Member

    look at the United A320 that landed in the Hudson river, that sank without a trace.

    Eh? No it didn’t, they pulled it out – in fact I’m not sure it even fully sank (not deep enough)

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    I believe that with the right conditions, low speed approach, maximum braking and reverse thrust applied (and depending on how much weight the aircraft is carrying) that a 777 can come to a full stop from the point of touchdown in somewhere between 600m and 900m. That’s not a very long runway.

    But doesn’t that conspiracy theory also require it to take off again ?

    sv
    Member

    But doesn’t that conspiracy theory also require it to take off again ?

    Conveyor belt, obviously.

    tpbiker
    Member

    all a bit baffling

    My bet is it being at the bottom of the sea somewhere. Would love to be proven wrong however. Fingers crossed for all on board, until they find it crashed there is still some hope

    rebel12
    Member

    But doesn’t that conspiracy theory also require it to take off again ?

    Not a 777 but similar performance – click on ‘show more’ tab below video for info

    antigee
    Member

    seems a bit like a primer in international diplomacy

    majority of passengers Chinese and as far as I can see zero comment from Chinese officials
    a handful of US and Au passengers and both countries allowing Malaysia to take the public lead despite access to high tech resources and would usually take stance that their nationals are their concern

    question in my mind is if a hijack and communication from plane was with China when will the US stand up and say so – 2 days of leaks before Malaysia confirmed plane flew on

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Ok, on the video rebel12 posted, what’s the (what looks like) puff of smoke from the tyres at about 46 seconds in. Looks like the wheels locked (which would be silly during take off.)

    (Edit) Or is the brakes going on to help rotate?
    (Edit again) but that wouldn’t help.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Water on the runway.

    Duffer
    Member

    I believe that with the right conditions, low speed approach, maximum braking and reverse thrust applied (and depending on how much weight the aircraft is carrying) that a 777 can come to a full stop from the point of touchdown in somewhere between 600m and 900m. That’s not a very long runway

    In perfect conditions perhaps.

    But this aircraft had 239 POB – that’s nearly 20000kg, at a conservative estimate. Add to that another 6000-8000kg for baggage and 40000ish kg for fuel (8200kg per hour burn, and it was 2 hours into a 6 hour flight – plus a bit more diversion fuel) and you’ve got a significantly heavy aircraft. And this doesn’t account for any freight in the holds.

    Plenty of slack handed estimates on my part. But this isn’t an empty aircraft we’re talking about.

    rebel12
    Member

    Ok, on the video rebel12 posted, what’s the (what looks like) puff of smoke from the tyres at about 46 seconds in. Looks like the wheels locked (which would be silly during take off.)

    (Edit) Or is the brakes going on to help rotate?
    (Edit again) but that wouldn’t help.

    Not sure but looks like its just run through a patch of dust, water or similar on the runway, or on a taxiway crossing the runway.

    allthegear
    Member

    There’s another related video that shows the plane from the other side. Looks like the pilot started off the end of the concrete runway! Dust as the plane hits concrete.

    Interesting the plane is unmarked. Did they reprint it before attempting take-off, just in case it became a YouTube hit for a different reason??

    rebel12
    Member

    Plenty of slack handed estimates on my part. But this isn’t an empty aircraft we’re talking about.

    Obviously these things are all dependent on a number of factors but the following extract from the 777 testing programme shows that:

    “A 777-200 at the Maximum Takeoff Weight of 288 tonnes (288,000 kg, or 545,000 lb) was accelerated to a V1 speed of 210 mph/183 Kt, at which point maximum brakes were applied. Despite using badly-worn brakes, the aircraft stopped in 4000 ft.”

    4,000ft in new money is 1,212 metres. The maximum landing weight for the 777-200 is 213,000kg, a lot less than in the test above, and the test above was using wheel brakes only – not reverse thrust also.

    MH370’s likely approach speed and landing weight would probably have been even less than the figures shown above.

    Typical approach speed for the 777-200 is 160mph/139 Kt.

    Empty weight of the 777-200 is around 138,000kg so say allowing for 6,000kg fuel remaining, 20,000kg of passengers and another 15,000kg cargo that would make 179,000kg (as a pure estimate of course).

    Duffer
    Member

    Fair point, well made.

    I still think it’s unlikely to have been landed anywhere. Time will tell, i suppose.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    James Thomas wrote:

    Don’t see why the hijackers would run out of fuel and crash – these people clearly knew what they were doing and if they were going to crash then they would have had a specific objective in mind surely? It seems unlikely the hijackers would have crashed it into a completely remote area – I mean what would be the point if there’s no one there to see?

    Hijackings quite often don’t go to plan for obvious reasons.

    If it had crashed in a random location for whatever reason then there’s a good chance that some debris or other evidence would have been found by now. I’d have thought here’s not many places in the world that are so remote, including the open sea, that an aircraft of this size could crash and go completely un-noticed for a whole week.

    I’m not sure you appreciate quite how vast and empty the open sea is. Maybe if they had some idea where it went down and had narrowed the search, but they don’t.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Nick Evans wrote:

    No, you’re trying too hard to be pedantic and clever. A) stabilizer is the Americanism (as Duffer pointed out, and as is in your own link…) and b) the tail is the type of vertical stabiliser that A330 had. Bit like saying “my bike has Rocket Rons”, You’ve just said “no, it has tyres”. Smug pedant fail.

    Well not really. A lot of aviation stuff uses “americanisms” as standard. Meanwhile vertical stabilizer is actually a far more specific term than tail (which would tend to include the horizontal stabilizers, part of the fuselage and typically the APU among other stuff). The photos posted are of the vertical stabilizer, not the tail. The tail isn’t actually a type of vertical stabilizer at all – if that was the case, what other types of vertical stabilizer do you think there are? A better analogy might be you posting a picture of a tyre and saying “here’s a photo of my wheel”.

    edward2000
    Member

    I think if the plane had landed, somebody, somewhere would have received some communication from a passenger, what with mobile phones and all that. I think it has crashed in waters somewhere. A totally mystery at the moment, but so was AF447 which was eventually explained, and I think this will be too.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned here, but one suggestion which seems to be taken as realistic on the pprune thread is that all the passengers could have been disabled through hypoxia (or possibly CO2 poisoning amongst other possibilities) quite early on. Hence it could have landed somewhere but full of dead people. Not that I think it’s likely, but it certainly seems more plausible that it could have landed somewhere with the latest information about how long it flew for.

    hora
    Member

    Daily Express headline today on front pg: Plane taken by Pirates.

    I thought how do you get a Parrot through customs and hide your accent?

    gogg
    Member

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned here, but one suggestion which seems to be taken as realistic on the pprune thread is that all the passengers could have been disabled through hypoxia (or possibly CO2 poisoning amongst other possibilities) quite early on. Hence it could have landed somewhere but full of dead people. Not that I think it’s likely, but it certainly seems more plausible that it could have landed somewhere with the latest information about how long it flew for.

    Wasn’t that the start of Mission Impossible II, or III or IV?

    Junkyard
    Member

    Meanwhile vertical stabilizer is actually a far more specific term than tail (which would tend to include the horizontal stabilizers, part of the fuselage and typically the APU among other stuff). The photos posted are of the vertical stabilizer, not the tail. The tail isn’t actually a type of vertical stabilizer at all – if that was the case, what other types of vertical stabilizer do you think there are?

    Someone has been googling 😉

    Interesting how debates on here make you read up and learn stuff though – its not really a criticism to say hey you went and educated yourself on the subject though …it may even be a straw man 😛

    bencooper
    Member

    The latest educated opinion (i.e. pilots, not just people on the internet) seems to be that the aircraft flew a waypointed course, and that’s something that could really only be done by someone certified to fly the aircraft – i.e. the pilot, basically.

    Looking like it headed down over the south Indian Ocean, for who knows what reason.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I think it was Bane.

    My opinion may be ignorant and uninformed but damnit, I am entitled to it!!oNE!

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    Now we know acars and the transponder were switched off, we’ve came to the conclusion that it couldn’t have been hijacked (no hijack squawk) and that one of the pilots has went mental. He’s offed the other pilot and tried to make his way to afghan for some good smack.

    Well the smack bits a lie, but if the pilot is suicidal, the above scenario is plausible. Passengers wouldn’t know a thing about it so no one would be trying to phone relatives etc.

    rebel12
    Member

    I’m not sure you appreciate quite how vast and empty the open sea is. Maybe if they had some idea where it went down and had narrowed the search, but they don’t.

    True, however it’s likely that if this happened then the much floating debris that would result, would now, after a week, have dispersed far and wide – so it’s still strange that no one’s seen anything, especially considering how much publicity this has had, and considering how heavily fished most waters are now.

    You also have to ask the question, why would the hijackers crash land at sea where no one would know? The polar opposite of almost all other hijackings where publicity or some other demands were sought/made.

    You have to remember that if the plane carried on flying for several hours then a) the people flying it were fully competent and trained, b) the plane was fully working without mechanical problem and c) there’s no likely reason why it should have been crashed, either deliberately or as an accident.

    Of course there’s a chance I’m totally wrong. It’s just my opinion from the evidence we seem to have.

    chewkw
    Member

    Whatever the outcome I am sure it is related to terrorism. If the plane did not disintegrate mid air or dive into sea but flew towards Northern India or Central Asia then it’s definitely in the hand of fanatics now planning their next move.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    junkyard wrote:

    Someone has been googling
    Interesting how debates on here make you read up and learn stuff though – its not really a criticism to say hey you went and educated yourself on the subject though …it may even be a straw man

    Just for a change, no, it’s a subject I happen to know a bit about – I have done some work with real aircraft (I think some of the kit I helped put together is still flying around) and also fly models. You do make a good point in general though.

    edward2000
    Member

    So the plane, once it went missing, flew a way marked course and it appeared to have more fuel than necessary on board….

    http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/535538-malaysian-airlines-mh370-contact-lost-199.html 3980

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    James Thomas wrote:

    True, however it’s likely that if this happened then the much floating debris that would result, would now, after a week, have dispersed far and wide – so it’s still strange that no one’s seen anything, especially considering how much publicity this has had, and considering how heavily fished most waters are now.

    Not necessarily that much floating debris – it took a while to find anything of AF447 and they had a much better idea where that went down. Meanwhile plenty of water out there which nobody goes near. One of the most plausible theories is also pilot suicide, and as I mentioned above the hijacking could have gone wrong. We’re just guessing though – I’m sure we will find out more eventually. As I suggested a bit earlier it now seems clear that they knew a lot more than they have been telling us.

    bencooper
    Member

    Even pilot suicide would be odd – to apparently load more fuel, then deliberately fly a course that avoids detection. Much easier to just fly into a mountain. Unless it’s some weird fantasy thing.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I think the issue is that anything is odd given the available evidence.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    considering how heavily fished most waters are now.

    Once you get off the main shipping lanes the Indian Ocean is a pretty empty place. I worked on a survey boat out there once for about three weeks. I think we saw one other boat on the horizon and that was it. This is a plot of shipping density, some big holes…

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