(UPDATED) Australian Maritime Safety Authority reports 10 aircraft searching for debris from Malaysian Alirlines Flight MH370

UPDATE: Missing plane ended in southern Indian Ocean: Malaysian PM

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean based on fresh data from a UK satellite company, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said tonight (March 24).

Mr Najib said British satellite company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) had used a new system to calculate MH370’s flight path.

“I was briefed by representatives from the United Kingdom AAIB today and Inmarsat, who had performed further calculations on their existing data,” Mr Najib told reporters.

“They had used a new type of analysis which had previously never been used before in an investigation like this,” he said. The analysis concluded that MH370 flew along the Southern Corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, West of Perth.

“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing site,” said Mr Najib. “It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he said.

http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/mh370-malaysia-pm-najib-razak-holds-press-conference

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I still get the news-feed from AMSA since the Chris Turney Ships of Fools trapped in ice event, and today it looks like they are going all out with an international effort, so I thought I would pass this on for interested readers. Here is the press release, and a map and satellite imagery follow.

clip_image002

24th March, 2014: 11am (AEDT)

Ten aircraft are involved in today’s search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Two Chinese military aircraft departed about 8.45am and 9.20am respectively. A RAAF P3 Orion departed for the search area just after 9am.

Two ultra-long range civil jets departed about 10.10am and 10.30am respectively. A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart about 11am.

A third ultra-long range jet is scheduled to depart about midday.

A US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft is scheduled to depart about 1pm. The two Japanese P3 Orion aircraft are scheduled to depart after 4pm.

Media Note: Updated search area charts are now available in AMSA’s media kit for this search. These can be accessed at the following link under Day 7 search area charts: http://www.amsa.gov.au/media/incidents/mh370-search.asp

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Source: http://www.amsa.gov.au/media/media-releases/2014/

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Here is the current search area. Click to enlarge.

MH370_search_status

Satellite imagery of debris. Click to enlarge.

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80 thoughts on “(UPDATED) Australian Maritime Safety Authority reports 10 aircraft searching for debris from Malaysian Alirlines Flight MH370

  1. That all these souls have not been accounted for is sad. I applaud the international effort to correct this problem. My hat’s off to all those who have participated in the search.

  2. Is a sudden decompression (brought on by climate change perhaps?) theory possible? I hope they find passengers alive but realistically I hope they find the plane and bring closure to the families.

  3. Many news channels, bloggers, commenters are questioning the capabilities of modern day surveillance capabilities not realising that the Earth is not only vast but also treacherous where human and its technology fails.
    Yes, failure of airborne electronic system is intriguing and some rumours have been added by media savvy ‘experts’ but whole issue demands new ways of search and rescue and survivability of on board, post crash electronic alarms, transmission!
    Hope the ill fated Malaysian aircraft MH370 is located asap and gives us valuable inputs for future operation!

  4. for better or worse, hopefully there will soon be an answer to the dissapearance of the plane.

    meanwhile, Ben Maddison, who accompanied Turney on the Ship of Fools, more concerned about his own/passengers’ schedules than grateful for the rescue:

    23 March: Illawarra Mercury: Joshua Butler: UOW academic recalls ice ship drama
    It was one of 2013’s most talked-about news stories, and University of Wollongong academic Dr Ben Maddison will this week recount his experiences aboard the trouble-plagued Antarctic research ship Akademik Shokalskiy.
    From Antarctica to the pub, Dr Maddison will speak at the Uni In The Brewery event on Wednesday from 5.30pm, sharing stories from aboard the Spirit of Mawson voyage…
    “We were quite philosophical about the situation,” he said in response to criticisms in the media about the boat’s mission and the resources expended in the rescue. “It was inconvenient more than anything, it messed up our schedules,” he said.

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2169365/uow-academic-recalls-ice-ship-drama/?cs=300

    28 Feb: Guardian: As Antarctica opens up, will privateer explorers be frozen out?
    Alok Jha, who was on the vessel, reports
    In the short term, arguments over whether or not the AAE was a scientific expedition will be settled by its outputs. Longer term, persuading the scientific community that projects not funded by national agencies can still do good science could be a long, uphill struggle…
    The Antarctic Treaty requires all expeditions to be authorised by government authorities but countries differ in how they implement the rules. For example, British citizens, planes or vessels going to Antarctica are assessed on environmental grounds, whether the expedition will be operated safely and if it is properly insured. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) adds that the UK examines whether or not a proposed expedition is self-sufficient, not just in terms of food and fuel but whether or not the people can get themselves out of trouble without relying immediately on help from a national Antarctic programme.
    In contrast, the Australian system only looks at the environmental impact of a proposed expedition, not an expedition’s safety or self-sufficiency…
    AAE leader Turney said he had learned lessons but had not been discouraged from working on ways to bring private money to future research expeditions to Antarctica…
    The scientists agreed there would be work to do in persuading the wider scientific community that the research aims of any future private expeditions were robust…
    To mitigate such criticisms in future, Turney suggess that private expeditions could seek endorsement from an independent scientific panel, perhaps overseen by a learned society, which ran in parallel with their logistical planning…
    Turney: “If we hadn’t got caught by that sea ice, and that was an extreme event, we’d achieved almost everything we’d set out to do,” he said. “And that’s the frustration because this model potentially works so well.”…

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/28/-sp-antarctica-privateer-explorers-scientific-research-territory-polar-code

  5. With multiple satellite sightings of debris it is looking likely this is the crash area.

    This remote location on route to nowhere combined with the early radar plots does indicate some incident other than human intervention, a “flight of the dead” scenario. This has happened before with a private jet in the US and with a twin engine King-Air in Australia when de-pressurisation occurred and alarms failed to sound.

    Of note is the aircraft rising to over 45,000′ then making a staggering uneven decent. This matches uncontrolled flight out of the flight envelop into “coffin corner” where the speed of aerodynamic stall converges with the speed of supersonic shock stall and the resulting uncontrolled loss of altitude.

    Currently this vessel the Ocean Shield –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADV_Ocean_Shield

    -is sailing to the area. The Ocean Shield can support ROV operations that will be able to attain the 3600m depth required to recover debris. Even if the black(orange)box cannot be recovered, it should be possible to determine if a lithium battery cargo fire disabled the aircraft.

    It would not be the first time what should have been considered cargo only suitable for a dangerous goods flight has ended causing disaster for a passenger flight. On 11 May 1996 Valujet flight 592 was lost due to hazardous cargo (old aircraft oxygen generators) causing an intense fire.

  6. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is doing what would be expected given the circumstances. The SW portion of Australia is the only suitable point to launch a search to the region being searched. I feel confident that all is being done that can be done.

    Now for the injection of bullshit from MotherJones http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/climate-change-malaysia-airlines-370-search

    A couple of yappy dogs Stephen Rintoul, Joellen Russell, and Mathew England are trying to get in on the press action claiming CAGW is hampering the search operations by causing changes to the currents in the area being searched. We messed up the currents!

    So I opened the following link to ocean currents http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/orthographic=-271.70,-31.10,855 and in another tab looked at the search area and it appears that the current search area (day 7) per the AMSA is located in an area with a lesser amount of surface currents. There is probably better ocean current sites but this one was handy.

    I think Rintoul, Russell, and England need to shut up this one as they look foolish and it is not the time to pitch their CAGW nonsense.

    I would appreciate anyone who could provide a link to a better ocean current/surface analysis.

  7. Mark and two cats wrote, [‘Mark and two cats’ comment was stupidly insensitive and has been removed – Mod]

    That was an ignorant and xenophobic comment. China Airlines has ten Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on order plus four options with deliveries starting in September 2014. Air China began operating the first of its 19 Boeing 777-300ERs in mid 2011. Air China also operates 10 Boeing 777-200 which are scheduled to be replaced by Airbus A330-300s.

    And finally …

    “Today’s agreements, in full compliance with U.S. and Chinese export regulations, offer a continuing example of the important and growing role in China on the 787 and participation in the 777, 747 and 737 airplane programs,” Corvi said. ” China’s aviation industry is providing outstanding technological capabilities and resources that help us meet quality, cost and delivery imperatives in our programs – particularly on the new 787. China has been a reliable partner to Boeing for many years and we are honored that they are part of our future with the 787 airplane.”

    http://www.netcomposites.com/news/boeing-finalise-600-million-in-contracts-with-chinese-suppliers-for-787/3022

  8. I would like someone with expertise to answer my question. It has to do with this debris in the south Indian Ocean.
    Satellite images have found some debris. OK. Based on the wind and ocean currents over the last 14 days, where was this debris when the plane landed/crashed?. Then, how does THAT location compare to the flying range of a fully loaded Boeing 777 flying not at 32,000 feet but at 2,500 feet altitude as reported?
    As I see it, if this is farther than the plane can travel, they are wasting their time.

    By the way, if it was a hijacking, couldn’t the plane have landed in Bangladesh, also a Muslim country, without crossing the air space of India radar?

  9. My Summary:
    Transponder turned off prior to final comms indicates plane was hijacked. If a typical terrorist plan, they would fly into some large building along the route or in Beijing.
    If hijacked and something went wrong and it went down, the group responsible would have lit up the airwaves immediately.
    Why hijack a plane and drop it in the most remote location possible, maybe to never be located?
    If flown to one of the “Stans”, wouldn’t it have to cross Indian air space for hours?
    What if the cargo no one apparently wants to talk about was fuel?

    Are US flights the only ones with armed marshals?

    My greatest fear is that it is someplace being readied for a horrific event, a true WMD….

    God help those onboard…

  10. @Konrad and others

    “Of note is the aircraft rising to over 45,000′ then making a staggering uneven decent. This matches uncontrolled flight out of the flight envelop into “coffin corner” where the speed of aerodynamic stall converges with the speed of supersonic shock stall and the resulting uncontrolled loss of altitude.”

    The immediate rise to 45,000 ft and very rapid descent later is consistent with the pilot-in-control depressurizing the cabin and deliberately asphyxiating the passengers. The O2 supply that drops from the ceiling lasts for about 30 minutes (being a burning little block of material that produces O2). If the pilot held out at 45,000 feet ft for longer using both the available pilot O2 supplies, he would outlast the passengers.

    As his own supply failed, he would dive to regain breathable air and/or re-pressurize at 20,000 ft. There is no sensible reason to have performed such a maneuver, literally on the limit of the height capability other than to prevent the passengers from somehow storming the cockpit.

    I am sorry we have so many competing militaries in that region. It is unbelievable that they do not know where the flight was headed/ended, literally unbelievable. The US has a radar capability that can be parked in Los Angeles and track the movement of a baseball in New York City. The reason I am sure they have an automatic recording of all flights in the region is that CNN put someone on TV to specifically deny it. They did the same immediately after Snowden announced the massive domestic surveillance programme: bring out a codger to announce no one could pull off such a technical feat. Right… No military wants to reveal their capabilities. You think Chinese satellite picture resolution shows a 71 ft object with 15 pixels?

    When KAL 007 was shot down over Kamchatka the US produced (a month later) a recording of the pilot receiving orders to pull the trigger. The capabilities of tracking aircraft are far better than they were 27 years ago. Gimme a break, this is embarrassing. Find the tapes; go get the black box.

  11. Brad says: “My Summary:
    Transponder turned off prior to final comms indicates plane was hijacked.”

    Very likely a hijacking, which was then aborted by a country that has history of confrontations with planes, a very tight control over negative information, and a shoot first mindset.

  12. It find it utterly fascinating how this event has acted as a kind of nucleus around which all kinds of whacky conspiracies have coalesced to form a giant ball of nuttiness; even here on WUWT which is mostly pretty sane.
    What amuses me most is how each of the scary scenarios is constructed on the smallest fragments of actual evidence. Remind you of anything?

  13. The Chinese have also spotted something in the ocean north of the initial site, they have sent military aircraft and the ice breaker along too.

  14. It may be this is the wreckage: maybe not. Time will tell.

    I do not subscribe to conspiracy notions.

    In my flying days, a long time ago, there was a useful fellow called George, a very simple autopilot who could fly the aeroplane straight and level. So if you got yourself into serious difficulties, as I did a couple of times, you pushed the tit and George took over while you sorted out the problems and George minded the shop. Certainly George saved my life at least once. .

    I do not and cannot know what happened here but I do suspect that something overwhelmed the flight crew and in fairly short order too. It might have been a fire or a decompression caused by structural failure. Or something else. I doubt we will ever find out.

    Modern autopilots are very sophisticated, you set in the way points and all the rest and they fly the plane. But all that takes time. I do not think the flight crew had much time. So in desperation they set in a basic course on the autopilot, presumably to what they thought was their nearest emergency field, and then succumbed. And the autopilot simply flew the aeroplane on until it ran out of fuel.

    I may of course be entirely wrong, We shall see if the wreck is found and anything useful can be recovered. But I am not hopeful that we can or will ever know.

    Kindest Regards

  15. Mark and two Cats (Mar 23 @ 8:16am);

    [‘Mark and two cats’ comment was stupidly insensitive and has been removed – Mod]

    How would you feel, or would you say the same comment had any family/relatives, friends or work colleges had been on-board of Flight MH370?

    I find your comment disgusting and un-called for. You should hang your head in shame.

    I also find it offensive to the comments comparing this to the ‘Ship of Fools’. This is a completely, unrelated issue to the ‘Climate Change Wars’ and should have NO references to CC/AGW.

    Please people, leave your differences of CC/AGW aside on this very tragic and mysterious incident.

  16. A Boeing 737-31S flying from Cyprus to Athens in 2005 was lost from radar and did not respond, planes scrambled and they would have shot it if it were pointing into the city,but it stayed at 33000 feet on a holding pattern over the airport until its fuel ran out and it crashed in an uninhabited area north east of Athens . The fighter pilots saw a steward who had also piloting knowledge trying to gain control of the airplane a few minutes before the fuel ran out and it crashed.

    I still cannot find the reason for the decompression ( the black boxes were sent to France for analysis is all the greek wiki tells me) , but there must have been a decompression that killed the pilots, some of the passengers were found with oxygen masks still on their face.

    So accidents and mechanical failures happen , it was not the Turks ( our eternal enemies :) ) nor a terrorist plot.

  17. I found the result from the boxes. A switch that controlled the pressure of the cabin had been left on manual and the pressure gradually dropped until the pilots got hypoxia.
    btw the holding pattern was over the aegian, not the airport.

  18. The US Navy says it is sending a black box locator to an area of the southern Indian Ocean being scoured for the missing Malaysian jet, following a cluster of weekend debris sightings.

    The navy called the move a “precautionary measure” in case those sightings confirm the location of the aircraft which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

    “If a debris field is confirmed, The Navy’s Towed Pinger Locator 25 will add a significant advantage in locating the missing Malaysian aircraft’s black box,” Commander William Marks, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said in an e-mailed statement.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/chinese-spot-objects-in-search-for-missing-flight-mh370/story-e6frg95x-1226863350195

  19. @ Speed

    Nicely put. My thoughts exactly. Thank you

    Speed says:
    March 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm
    Mark and two cats wrote, [‘Mark and two cats’ comment was stupidly insensitive and has been removed – Mod]

    That was an ignorant and xenophobic comment. China Airlines has ten Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on order plus four options with deliveries starting in September 2014. Air China began operating the first of its 19 Boeing 777-300ERs in mid 2011. Air China also operates 10 Boeing 777-200 which are scheduled to be replaced by Airbus A330-300s.

    And finally …

    “Today’s agreements, in full compliance with U.S. and Chinese export regulations, offer a continuing example of the important and growing role in China on the 787 and participation in the 777, 747 and 737 airplane programs,” Corvi said. ” China’s aviation industry is providing outstanding technological capabilities and resources that help us meet quality, cost and delivery imperatives in our programs – particularly on the new 787. China has been a reliable partner to Boeing for many years and we are honored that they are part of our future with the 787 airplane.”

    http://www.netcomposites.com/news/boeing-finalise-600-million-in-contracts-with-chinese-suppliers-for-787/3022

  20. latest… most will remember the chinese icebreaker, Xue Long – it is on its way to the area:

    Malaysia Airlines MH370: Chinese search plane finds ‘suspicious objects’ in Indian Ocean, reports say
    Searchers discovered “two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometres”, Xinhua said, citing a reporter on board a Chinese Ilyushin-76 plane.
    The larger objects were “white and square”, it added…
    “The crew has reported the coordinates to the Australian command centre as well as Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, which is en route to the sea area,” Xinhua said…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-24/chinese-search-plane-finds-suspicious-objects-in-indian-ocean/5341692

  21. NucEngineer says:

    I would like someone with expertise to answer my question.

    Actually, I have expertise in many areas that encompass this search effort. Aviation, navigation, navigation systems, search-and-rescue planning, over-ocean airborne search operations, military air-defense radar systems, military air defense procedures and processes, electronic communication systems, etc. In fact, this case is almost perfect for my combination of expertise.

    I have never in my life witnessed a more pathetic circus show over the past 2 weeks. Far too much speculation has been asserted as facts. People with a single area of expertise are opining about issues they really don’t understand. I had to stop counting the number of erroneous statements I’ve heard and read.

    Your question is good. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to answer given that I have zero confidence in any of the information that’s been previously reported. There is no foundation of facts that exist.

    For example the supposed range circles that were previously provided didn’t indicate the assumed altitude of the aircraft (which is what you seem to be asking) or the winds at such altitude. It’s difficult for me to believe that range would be a circle – instead of ovals that are oriented according to the winds that night.

    Officers that man Rescue Coordination Centers (RCCs) are very good at calculating drift, etc. The problem is that they probably don’t know anything about satellite handshaking systems. Therefore, they might be overly reliant on what the Inmarsat engineers are claiming. I really don’t have any confidence in the “range arcs” that have been provided. I haven’t seen or heard anyone scrutinizing the claims being made by the Inmarsat engineers. I’d love to get one of them on camera and start asking about the consistency of the aircraft system’s latency during the handshaking process, about their satellite’s ability to accurately measure the time between handshake interrogation and response, about their system’s ability to record these times with enough precision, about the aircraft’s ability to continue handshaking with the satellite while floating intact on the surface of the ocean while running on battery power, etc.

    I’m also incredibly disgusted by 75% of the claims regarding something being impossible or absolute. For example, I think it’s possible to penetrate many countries’ airspace undetected (the likelihood being dependent on the country). I’m also not convinced that the aircraft even made the 100+ degree left turn after the transponder stopped functioning. In order to be convinced, I would need to be shown the recording of how well the raw military radar returns matched up with ATC’s transponder returns while the transponder was operating – and then continue to scrutinize the quality of the recorded military radar returns.

    Anyway, there’s not way to stop the circus now. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

  22. What is strange is the sudden jump to 40k feet, then dropping. Was this to try and get over a thunderstorm? Or the plane going crazy on its own or with someone at the controls who was having problems handling it. The strong currents in the roaring forties may have swept debris way past where a plane went down. They’ll find it eventually, but maybe they hit really bad weather. But I don’t think they will find any survivors unfortunately.

  23. Speed says:
    March 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm
    Mark and two cats wrote, [‘Mark and two cats’ comment was stupidly insensitive and has been removed – Mod]

    The contents of his website clearly explain his propensity for crass comments. Engage brain before punching keyboard.

  24. One needs data to start with and then find theories that best fit the data. The problem is that to many start with a theory and then select data that best fit this theory. Just like climate science? Theories that fit the facts we have so far can be many. We simply need more facts before we can start on theories?

  25. TBear says:
    March 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    “Could we please stop cracking jokes about this? It is just not funny.”

    TBear, I see you have included yourself among the jokesters, but are now rightly calling a cessation. What goes?

  26. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    March 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm
    “The immediate rise to 45,000 ft and very rapid descent later is consistent with the pilot-in-control depressurizing the cabin and deliberately asphyxiating the passengers.”
    ——————————————
    Crispin,
    no, such an action (climb to 45000) would not be required, and no pilot planning your scenario would attempt it. The reason is even though oxygen systems are better for pilots, they have limited efficacy at that altitude. Water vapour filling the lungs prevents oxygen being much use at this altitude. If a pilot were planing such an action, any altitude above 30,000′ would do. No need to climb.

    Secondly the same thing would kill the pilot as the passengers long before their oxygen ran out. That is hypothermia. 30 min at 45,000′ de-pressurised? You’re dreaming. A sudden de-pressurisation of the cabin causes intense adiabatic cooling, means the only way for any, including the pilot, to survive is immediate decent.

    Thirdly the radar plots of uneven decent indicates an aircraft out of human control falling out of “coffin corner”. No smooth decent.

    The evidence points to accident.

  27. ‘A Chinese plane hunting for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has spotted “suspicious” objects, state media say, as more nations joined the search.

    Searchers saw two “relatively big” objects with “many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometres”, Xinhua news agency said.

    Australia said it had been informed and would try to locate the objects. ‘

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26678492

  28. Retired 777 pilot here.

    Mostly looks like the captain hijacked his plane. Bumped off the copilot, accounting for the unusual climb to 45 thousand, or locked him out of the cockpit after a restroom break. Turned off the transponders and pulled the remaining comm circuit breakers. He forgot about the engine reporting system, as I would have. The 777 has just too many redundant features for it to be some mechanical failure.

    The 777 can store a backup flight plan, so the captain could have programmed that in at any time, then switched over once he’d dealt with the copilot. Just a few waypoints and a gradual decent to down low, then off into oblivion.

    NucEngineer has a good point about the range being reduced if they were flying down low to avoid radar. I don’t think they could land anywhere without being noticed, though. The scenarios where they land somewhere northwards takes them through far too many military radars not to be seen.

    No cell phone calls is a mystery. If he blamed the sudden climb on turbulence, then smoothed out after the copilot was deceased, no one would notice they weren’t heading in the right direction, so no distress cell phone calls. Once out over the ocean, no cell phone towers.

    Depressurization can be done by opening the outflow valves and cutting off the air conditioning packs, but that would drop the passenger masks, good for 20 minutes at least, and it would get really cold, so you get cell phones again. The flight attendants are on the same oxygen system as the pilots, so they’d survive and squawk no matter what.

    No debris field means no mid-air breakup. The only way to get no debris for certain is to make a water landing and let the plane sink in one piece, but then you get life rafts and locator beacons. A less certain way would be to take the plane in straight down and hope nothing floated to the surface. It would be nice if there were a bunch of life rafts bobbing away out in the Indian Ocean filled with a bunch of PO’d passengers waiting to be found, but that’s a slim hope.

    The Gulf of Thailand is only a couple hundred feed deep, but once you get west of Sumatra and the Andamans, the Indian Ocean can run to three miles deep. The 777 is a big plane, but the Indian Ocean is Big, really Big. Finding the airliner out there is orders of magnitude more difficult than the needle-in-a-haystack problem.

    Listening to the “experts” in the media expounding on this has been akin to listening to Algore expounding on climate. Black holes, indeed.

  29. Why has anyone claimed that the aircraft climbed to 40+K feet? How do they supposedly know this?

  30. Looking at earlier incidents, I note that an Egypt-Air had a cockpit fire while on the ground. It was reported to have immediately forced the pilots out of the flight-deck, destroyed the controls and the communications systems, put a hole in the aircraft skin and (because the fire involved the oxygen bottle) been unable to be put out by on-board extinguishers. Luckily, it happened on the ground.

    The reported movements of MH370 are generally consistent with a cockpit fire, the pilots reversing the plane direction towards the nearest airport in the early stages, then being forced out of the cockpit, and everyone being killed by hypoxia or smoke/fumes shortly afterwards.

    No specific cause for the fire seems to have been established, and there were no precautionary changes made to the Boeing fleet as a result…

  31. MikeMcMillan= I agree. The pilot is involved and with a plan. His motive I think has to do with the recent unrest in China with the Oeigoere. So another suicide fundamentalist killer.

  32. If it was a suicide bid, perhaps the pilot wanted to make the plane disappear without trace so his family could collect insurance, which would be impossible if it could be proved he committed suicide. Hence his direction into the southern ocean.

  33. @Mike McMillan

    …Depressurization can be done by opening the outflow valves and cutting off the air conditioning packs, but that would drop the passenger masks, good for 20 minutes at least, and it would get really cold, so you get cell phones again. The flight attendants are on the same oxygen system as the pilots, so they’d survive and squawk no matter what….

    The pilot is in control of all system circuit breakers, so he can probably disable deployment of the passenger masks if he wishes. In any case the mask deployment must be able to be disabled for testing the pressure detection circuits.

    I thought that the cabin staff had portable oxygen equipment, which they would need to do their work properly. However, these would be short-lived and the flight-deck door is reinforced. And, of course, if the mask deployment and warnings are disabled, they would never know to put the masks on before they fell unconscious…

    Mass murder by hypoxia is a credible scenario which explains all the communications failure and later maneuvering which we believe to have occurred. That might be terrorism or some other illegal act. But a long straight path towards Antarctica sounds more like a plane where all are dead – perhaps suicide, perhaps an accident. At the moment I incline towards a cabin fire accident.

    Of course, this is speculation with very little data to go on. Let us hope we get more soon…

  34. Missed out a few words – the Egypt-Air plane was a Boeing 777 of exactly the same model…

  35. Why no drones in the area? They can stay aloft for many more hours than manned aircraft and can search day and night. Sadly, I think we are possibly seeing a crew mutiny/hijacking suicide. The idea of an on board fire that disabled all communications and tracking without destroying the plane seems unlikely. I find it difficult to think that the plane was pirated away to some BFEistan for weaponizing without intel picking up any evidence by now.

  36. As someone who has carried out and organized SAR operations I do hope that someone is overseeing these multinational aircraft in the search area. We do not want a mid air collision to add to the problem.

  37. Without facts all this speculation about terrorism, hijacking, conspiracies and plots is nonsensical. Don’t support Lewandowsky’s thesis please. Or don’t ‘skeptics’ need evidence any more?

  38. Why not put a water soluble sea dye pack in all aircraft? Similar to military pilot rescues.

    And Chris there is plenty of evidence we are aware of so speculation based on that is perfectly acceptable.

  39. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 24, 2014 at 3:07 am
    “At the moment I incline towards a cabin fire accident.”
    ——————————————————————
    I would concur that this is the most likely scenario. Few would be fool enough to intentionally risk hypothermia spending more than 180 secs at 45000 de-pressurised. Radar plot does not show an even decent of human controlled flight.

    Add to this the unwillingness of Malaysian airlines to release cargo manifest to Australian search and rescue. The AMSA is desperate for cargo manifest so floating debris can be identified. Malaysian Airlines are making excuses about “in the hands of local police” and the big red BS flag goes up.

    How did Valujet 592 go down? Internal airline transport of HAZMAT for maintenance purposes. Just what were those “small lithium batteries” on MH370?

    The only other unusual cargo was 4 tonnes of expensive Mangosteen fruit. Unlike lithium batteries they are not noted for their spontaneous combustion properties. And the worlds most audacious Mangosteen heist seems implausible for two reasons –
    1. No one on the passenger manifest resembles John Lithgow or Alan Rickman.
    2. There has been no unusual spikes in world Mangosteen prices.

  40. One other important aspect of plane crashes etc in general.
    Don’t speculate about any causes until we have found the wreckage and retrieved the black boxes.
    We have aviation specialists with tons of experience and we should let them do their jobs without all the media hypes.

  41. @ R. de Haan
    …What’s the problem, we loose on average 1.2 aircraft with more than 14 passengers every year since 1948 without any trace…

    A little cherry-picking here I think?

    That data is for planes CAPABLE of carrying 14 or more passengers. Looking at the graphs, I see that losing big passenger planes was fairly common in the 1950-70s, but became much less common after that. There was a little bulge of planes lost over the last 5 years – drilling into the data shows these to have often been larger older aircraft being ferried to a destination with only a single pilot, over water, in a third-world country like Africa which has no Search and Rescue capability. Old DC3s (probably badly maintained and bought cheap) are the largest single type.

    Losing a full modern airliner in a sophisticated country is not common at all. Oh, and many of the data items on that list are for aircraft which were missing inexplicably at the time, but have since had crash sites identified…

  42. I wonder why we have heard nothing more of the report of the woman who saw, or thought she saw, a plane down in the water near the Andaman islands:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2586013/Malaysian-woman-claims-seen-missing-MH370-water-near-Andaman-Islands-day-disappeared.html

    Or, for that matter, of the witnesses in the Maldives who claimed to see a large white plane flying very low right over their island:

    http://www.haveeru.com.mv/news/54062

    That’s on the route to the Sudan, though off the ‘ping’ arcs. Then there is the ‘northern’ arc that could put the jet in Kazakstan or somewhere. . .

    Maybe these other possibilities are still being investigated, but the news reports suggest all efforts are being concentrated on the southern Indian Ocean gyre, reportedly a “garbage dump” with lots of flotsam and jetsam.

    /Mr Lynn

  43. Aircraft are OK for searching, but what they really need are ships + aircraft, each aircraft searches an area around a ship, if something is seen the ship can go and investigate.

    I wonder what the rate of spotting general debris is for a random place in the ocean, pretty big judging by all the junk that washes up on my local beaches.

  44. I can’t help but think the planes computers were hacked from the ground..
    Before this, there were complaints about this birds computer systems not being protected enough

    Everything that they know happened…happened exactly like it would happen if they were hacked.

    Pilots didn’t know tracking was turned off when they made their last verbal contact, oxygen masks were reconfigured to read 5000 ft at 50,000 feet so they didn’t deploy (not turned off, reconfigured which you can do with a hack), plane navigates to known waypoints (exactly what you would have to do from the ground), etc

    If this was a hack…it was a dry run

  45. Does anyone know if it is a fact that, just one day before the flight, the pilot attended the trial of a Malaysian political opponent of the present government, a trial in which a previous acquittal was overturned and he was found guilty, and therefore unable to run in the next election.

    The trial occurred, it was a political opponent, and he was found guilty in a double jeopardy situation, but did the pilot attend as previously alleged?

    If the pilot was distressed enough over the situation that he attended the trial, that would lend credence to the possibility that he “lost it” the next day and commandeered the plane. But did he attend the trial? I’ve seen no followup to the original claim that he did. I’ve also seen very little followup to the original claim that his family deserted his home within a day of the trial, or why they did so, or even if they actually did so.

    Instead, the news media is filled with black holes and conspiracy theories, another indication of the sad state of journalism today. Why, for instance, aren’t reporters digging for the ping information for the hours before 8:11? That information would be quite useful in determining at least how far the plane could have traveled after it went off radar.

  46. USA TODAY just reported this from a news conference a few within the last hour,

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razar said Monday that a new analysis of electronic data shows that the missing Malaysian airlines with 239 people aboard went down in a remote area of the Indian ocean and indicated there were no survivors.

    This was stated in the past hour prior to verifying any MH370 debris from the Southern Ocean.

    I think, if the plane is verified to have crashed in the Southern Ocean by identification of its debris there, then this looks like a planned human act (whether successfully achieving its goals or botched) and not an accident.

    John

  47. The Keystone Kops of Kuala Lumpur have made the tragedy of MH370 far more painful than it already was, with their constantly changing series of scenarios.

    The media with all their “experts” have not made matters any better.

    Now that all efforts are focused on the deep Indian Ocean scenario, the only thing that will satisfy will be recovery of the black boxes to settle, once and for all, what happened.

  48. @David Schofield. actually what you have are a few items of information of highly dubious accuracy and a whole lot of hypotheses, some reasonable many completely crazy. As you point out it’s speculation. Nothing against reasonable speculation, but some of the conspiracy theories aired on here and other sites do nothing but support Lewandowsky.

  49. http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/03/24/high-tech-us-military-search-plane-finds-nothing-in-indian-ocean-after-chinese-plane-spots-suspicious-objects/

    PERTH, Australia (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — Malaysia’s prime minister said Monday that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight “ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
    It has been “concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said at a press conference. . .

    He’s basing this statement on new analysis of the satellite ‘ping’ data from the aircraft engines, not from identification of any wreckage or debris.

    Jumping the gun?

    /Mr Lynn

  50. @John Whitman

    I think, if the plane is verified to have crashed in the Southern Ocean by identification of its debris there, then this looks like a planned human act (whether successfully achieving its goals or botched) and not an accident.

    The Inmarsat data also suggested that the plane did not alter altitude, and simply turned and flew south. The most likely explanation which is consistent with this news item is a sudden cockpit fire, as happened with a similar EgyptAir 777. Such a fire might allow pilots time to adjust course, but might drive them from the cockpit before any communication could take place, and might also cut power to automatic reporting services. If the crew and passengers then succumbed to fumes or hypoxia as the fire burned through the aircraft skin, MH370 would just continue on the preset course..

  51. Dodgy Geezer says: March 24, 2014 at 3:07 am
    … The pilot is in control of all system circuit breakers, so he can probably disable deployment of the passenger masks if he wishes. In any case the mask deployment must be able to be disabled for testing the pressure detection circuits.
    I thought that the cabin staff had portable oxygen equipment, which they would need to do their work properly. However, these would be short-lived and the flight-deck door is reinforced. And, of course, if the mask deployment and warnings are disabled, they would never know to put the masks on before they fell unconscious…

    The pilots can’t disable the passenger oxygen system. It triggers on high cabin altitude, then pressurizes the lines which pop the masks out. We have a light up front that says the masks deployed, and that’s about it.
    There are portable bottles for walk-around use, but the flight attendants also use the same oxygen system that the pilots use.

    Here are the panels and controls that the pilot would use to depressurize the aircraft:

    The pilot would first turn off the left and right air conditioning packs using the square button switches-

    http://www.meriweather.com/flightdeck/777/over/air.html

    Then he would open the forward and aft outflow valves by clicking the two square button switches, then toggling the two valves to the open position.

    http://www.meriweather.com/flightdeck/777/over/bleed.html

    Then he would helplessly look at the “Pass Oxygen” light that came on when the automatic system dropped the passenger masks. There is no on/off control for the system.

    http://www.meriweather.com/flightdeck/777/over/heat.html

    Rapid decompression in a 777 isn’t exactly rapid. The outflow valves are a couple square feet in size, but the cabin has a huge volume of air.

    Here’s the circuit breaker panel where you could disable other items:

    http://www.meriweather.com/flightdeck/777/aft-777.html

    Back in the last century, I was climbing out of Guadalajara in a 727 when we blew a cabin door seal. Not dangerous, but extremely noisy. The cabin altitude started climbing, so we turned back to the airport, but the minimum enroute altitude over the mountains was above the passenger oxygen trigger, so we had to watch the light come on before we could descend to land. After we landed, we opened the cockpit door to see the masks. The term rubber jungle comes to mind. The subsequent unscheduled layover in Guadalajara was fun for us, but the mechanics were up all night stuffing 150 oxygen masks back up into the overhead panels.
    .

    Konrad says: March 24, 2014 at 12:35 am
    … no pilot planning your scenario would attempt it. The reason is even though oxygen systems are better for pilots, they have limited efficacy at that altitude. Water vapour filling the lungs prevents oxygen being much use at this altitude. If a pilot were planing such an action, any altitude above 30,000′ would do. No need to climb.

    At high altitudes, the pilots’ oxygen system supplies 100% oxygen at positive pressure, enough to force the oxygen into the bloodstream. Your lungs fill up without effort, then you have to affirmatively exhale, sort of the reverse of how we normally breathe.
    .

    Latitude says: March 24, 2014 at 6:47 am
    I can’t help but think the planes computers were hacked from the ground. … Pilots didn’t know tracking was turned off when they made their last verbal contact, oxygen masks were reconfigured to read 5000 ft at 50,000 feet so they didn’t deploy (not turned off, reconfigured which you can do with a hack), plane navigates to known waypoints (exactly what you would have to do from the ground), etc

    The oxygen system isn’t attached to the computer. A change in altitude requires pilot permission, and any turn can be overridden by the pilots.

  52. The absolute maximum altitude at which a pilot can fly without a pressure suit but with supplemental O2 is called the Armstrong Limit. This is the altitude (about 63k ft) at which water at body temperature would boil. Even so, pressure suits are recommended for flights at above 49k ft.
    See: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/research/AirSci/ER-2/pshis.html
    So, with supplemented O2 supply, flying a depressurized 777 at 45k ft for 30 minutes should be quite do-able. As for flight characteristics of the 777, the plane could probably fly safely at 45k ft anyway since the FAA had certified it for 40k ft – there would always be a significant margin for safety. The same should probably be true of the cabin pressurization system, so the whole idea of the plane going to 45k ft to asphyxiate its passengers seems a non-sequitor, since it would have been equally effective if the cabin was depressurized at the nominal flight altitude

  53. How is it that this is never mentioned as a possible motive? It’s well-known that passengers from Huawei and ZTE were on board. Both Chinese companies have specifically been declared U.S. national security threats for spying and connections to the Chinese military. Oh, and
    selling technology to Iran. There were 20 employees from Freescale Semiconductors a U.S. Dept. of Defense contractor) on board as well. Read this from the New York Times and process how threatening these Chinese spies are for the U.S.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/us/us-panel-calls-huawei-and-zte-national-security-threat.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  54. @Mike McMillan and Dodgy

    Mike:”Depressurization can be done by opening the outflow valves and cutting off the air conditioning packs, but that would drop the passenger masks, good for 20 minutes at least, and it would get really cold, so you get cell phones again. The flight attendants are on the same oxygen system as the pilots, so they’d survive and squawk no matter what.”

    Thanks for thre expert opinions. I don’t agree with Konrad’s 3 minutes at 45,000 ft but I agree with yours. RE the cell phones: I checked to see the distances involved and at the point where the turn was made, cell communication was not possible. I am not clear if it would have been possible within the lifetime of the O2 packs. Probably not. Someone trying to use a cell phone after 20-30 minutes on a mask is unlikely to find service based on where they started. People climb to the top of Mt Everest without O2 but would not survive at 45,000 ft. Cold, people would cope with, especially for 20 minutes.

    On the other hand I agree that the cockpit fire scenario is more plausible than a pilot wiping out the passengers. Maintenance issue? People have too much complacent confidence in complex modern machinery. But if it was a piloted aircraft with a ditching end as the goal, getting rid of the passengers early would have been a move to prevent someone working out how to get through the cockpit door.

    The flight path seems to have headed for Jakarta. Could the pilot have done a quick look-up in a smoke-filled seat and picked Jakarta by mistake instead of Kuala Lumpur (which is alphabetically close) and flipped to auto-pilot? The climb could have been initiated to try to put out a fire (oxygen starvation) whether in the hold or the cockpit – standard procedure. There are lots of cargoes that cause fires. Remember the Helderberg and the ammonium perchlorate story. The aircraft depressurised and dived, not climbed.

    “The ‘smoke evacuation’ checklist calls for the aircraft to be depressurised, and for two of the cabin doors to be opened. No evidence exists that the checklist was followed, or the doors opened. A crew member might have gone into the cargo hold to try to fight the fire. A charged fire extinguisher was later recovered from the wreckage on which investigators found molten metal”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Airways_Flight_295

    But none of that explains turning off the transponders manually.

  55. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

    John Whitman said, ” I think, if the plane is verified to have crashed in the Southern Ocean by identification of its debris there, then this looks like a planned human act (whether successfully achieving its goals or botched) and not an accident.”

    The Inmarsat data also suggested that the plane did not alter altitude, and simply turned and flew south. The most likely explanation which is consistent with this news item is a sudden cockpit fire, as happened with a similar EgyptAir 777. Such a fire might allow pilots time to adjust course, but might drive them from the cockpit before any communication could take place, and might also cut power to automatic reporting services. If the crew and passengers then succumbed to fumes or hypoxia as the fire burned through the aircraft skin, MH370 would just continue on the preset course..

    – – – – – – – –

    Dodgy Geezer,

    This is a challenging mystery.

    I think it is a planned human act (whether it achieved its goals or was bungled) and not an accident based the evidence that after last voice contact with MH370 at 1:19 am Mar 8 there were two drama course changes which occurred more than 2 hours apart. The first dramatic course change was an ~120 degree left turn to a heading of approximately west-southwest that occurred at little after 1:21 am (1:21 am is the time the transponder stopped transmitting). Military radar then about two hours later spots the plane several hundreds of miles to the west a little north of the Strait of Malacca. In that very general area or further west there is another dramatic course change of an ~90 degree left turn on an approximately south-southwest heading to the vast empty Indian Ocean toward nothing.

    If the fire occurred at the time of the second course change then what were the crew doing for several after the first course change? They did not do any redirect to an airport or ‘help me’ kind of manuevers.

    In addition, there is a problem if one argues that the pilot or co-pilot, before they were disabled by a fire around the time of the first dramatic course change, managed to reprogram the auto pilot to automatically make the second dramatic turn which happened several hours later. The problem is the second dramatic course change was a strange one because it was away from help or hope to the south-southwest toward the vast empty South Indian Ocean. Why would they program that before they became disabled?

    I do not think the black box, if found, will tell the story of what happened during the first critical dramatic course change over the South China Sea because I think the box only records the last ~2 hrs of flight deck info and communications. The plane, if it did go down in the Southern Ocean, went down more than 3 hours later. But, on the other hand, if found it might tell us if there was rational human activity on the instrumentation /controls or crew member communication in the flight cabin right before it crashed . . . . if there was then it is a very chilling thought.

    John

  56. I doubt the following has any significant role, but it might be worth mentioning. The location off the coast of Australia is pretty close to Beijing with a negative latitude value.

  57. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    March 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    But none of that explains turning off the transponders manually.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Crispin in Waterloo,

    If by manually turning off the transponder you mean someone just reached over to the switch on the pilot’s normal display console to turn it off, then that would not be supportive of the fire / accident theory but would support the malicious intent theory.

    But how can we know that is how the transponder stopped transmitting? Could they tell from the ground control that that is how it was turned off?

    Or was it an electrical distribution panel circuit breaker that disabled the transponder? That could support either fire / accident theory or a theory of planned malicious intent. Would one be able to tell from the ground control if it was by de-energizing the electric distribution panel?

    John

  58. Mike McMillan says:
    March 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    “At high altitudes, the pilots’ oxygen system supplies 100% oxygen at positive pressure, enough to force the oxygen into the bloodstream. Your lungs fill up without effort, then you have to affirmatively exhale, sort of the reverse of how we normally breathe.”
    ———————————————————-
    Fair point, I had forgotten that the flight crew masks were positive pressure not demand. (It was over 8 years ago when I went through the manuals when building the 777 cockpit for “superman returns”)

    The issue of temperature still remains. Air temp could drop below -50C at that altitude. Crispin was suggesting an extended stay at that altitude. This seems very unlikely to be a planned action.

    As a former 777 pilot do you feel that “coffin corner” would be adequately handled in simulator software?

  59. If they had turned off their transponder before speaking with ground, wouldn’t the ground controllers say “who are you?” since their ID code would be absent?
    And don’t Global Express aircraft fly at 50,000ft?
    @John Whitman – good point about the voice/data recorders…hadn’t thought about the time loop.
    Discouraging as I’d had hope it would solve the mystery if/when found.

    For me I’d be demanding that all previous and most recent maintenance records be scoured and scoured again. Based on Malaysian gov’s of handling things – leaves me in doubt about their competency in this arena all together.

  60. I don’t believe that anybody would fly the unlucky plane – and passengers – to the middle of nowhere deliberately. Or that the plane would fly there by itself, after developing a huge problem exactly at the border crossing between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace.

    It is a rescuer’s duty to cover the search area, however unlikely it is. But I suspect the northern route more. True, there are military radars there, but it was around midnight, the best crews were probably not on duty, and no military boasts of a failure to detect a huge aircraft.

  61. I don’t know how long they were up that high, but the temperature drop would certainly persuade me to descend. We never took the flight sim up above the certified limit altitude, so we never ran the coffin corner scenario. Even at that, a full stall would merely point the nose down and get you back in the flight envelope within a few thousand feet. The 777 is so aerodynamically clean it recovers flying speed very quickly.

    I don’t think the cockpit fire theory is likely. The EgyptAir fire was on the ground, at the jetway, and was caused by an electrical glitch and electrically conductive oxygen lines. The safety board recommended inspection and replacing the lines with non-conductive material, so I’m sure that’s been ordered done on all 777’s. If it did happen, that would have brought the plane down in the Gulf of Thailand, not the Indian Ocean.

    Fire is the one thing pilots don’t mess around with. It’s land at the nearest capable airstrip, regardless. The flight display for the pilots will have the nearest emergency airport highlighted, changing as you fly along your route. Re-routing directly to it is a simple matter of punching a couple buttons.

    I’m guessing a political, not religious, suicide, trying to embarrass the current Malaysian government.

  62. My heart goes out to kin and friends of the lost, and to those on ships searching the most cold, stormy, rough and miserable quarter of the bounding main.

  63. [‘Mark and two cats’ comment was stupidly insensitive and has been removed – Mod]
    ————
    My post was not about the passengers, rather it was an admittedly cynical comment about the Chinese propensity for technology theft.

    It was certainly not intended to upset anyone, but as it appears that it did, I apologise.

  64. I suppose you already know but the air search did find debris, but has been called off because of the weather in the area, but the American ship is ready to find the black boxes. As far as the suicide accusations, I think we should find out what the black boxes reveal.

  65. Seems funny but the Chinese found debris yesterday from the air, then the Australians RAAF somewhere else. The Chinese have been silent seems there is some political stunt going on with the media of both sides. Those roaring forties is a high wind and waves area. So I don’t know how this will affect a big ship? Maybe recovery might be harder, but I was in a storm in the Bay of Biscay, and we had huge waves, it was frightening as the ship had no stablilizers, the old Dunera troop ship. When the ship was down in lowest point of the swell, the waves were at least higher than the ship very much higher. So six or seven metres to a larger boat would be manageable.

  66. I heard an interesting scenario yesterday from a pilot:

    A fire erupted due to dangerous cargo , the captain took the plane to 45000 feet to put out the fire at the same time changing course towards a nearest airport . The pilot said it was the best thing to do to put out a fire as there was not enough oxygen at 45000 to sustain a fire. The fumes from the fire were toxic and together with hypoxia pilots and passengers were asphyxiated and the plane continued on automatic pilot which had been reset during the up and down. manoeuvring..

    Has anybody else heard such a scenario?

  67. Until we get a confirmation of wreckage first, then the black box recovery… its all just guessing. I have trouble with the pilot did it theory. If you wanted to make a political statement or even wanted to commit mass murder.. what would be the reasoning behind not leaving any communication about your actions. This whole thing reeks and my BS meter has been off the edge since they first reported it. I have however seen flights full of rowdy LV tourists put to sleep by something the pilot did with the pressure in the cabin.. it wasn’t done with a sudden decompression and it seemed to work better on folks with alcohol in their system, the masks never dropped but the steward knew what was going on because we asked about it.
    Still, we can guess all day and reality can be so much different then the myriad of things our imagination can create.

    If the debris turns out to be cruse ship garbage then what?

  68. The 777 has fire suppression in the cargo bay. Any toxic fumes from a fire there would vent overboard, not into the cabin. I don’t know if going to high altitude would bother a lithium-ion battery fire, but other fires would be suppressed by the system..

    If they find the flight data and voice recorders, we’ll know what the plane did, but the cockpit voice recorder won’t have anything on it unless the pilot was talking to himself. It may be that intercom transmissions such as flight attendants calling the cockpit might be on it, but only the last two hours are recorded.

  69. I have heard about fire being extinguished by increasing height, but that is a very risky business, but just recall WA is three hours behind in summer time to NSW. Normally 2 hours. Until they find the black boxes we will not know. Lithium batteries have caused fires on planes before, why they carry them and not by boat I don’t know?

  70. One TV expert – who sounded reasonable plausible, posited (1) that there was a small electrical fire and the pilots turned off all non-essential electrical systems to try to eliminate the cause before dealing with the fire. The explains the switching off of the transponders – whether by design or accidentally in switching off as much as possible. (2) fire was extinguished, and communications switched on again, then Pilots reported “All right now” or words to that effect. However, transponder not switched on again. (3) pilots decided to make for Bangkok, and headed west. (4) Nav equipment was up the creek and a mistake was made, pilots decided to head south to KL, not realizing how far west they were. (5) Pilots overcome by smoke as fire smouldered, rendered unconscious, ditto passengers. Remember local time 0100 – 0200, so all passengers asleep, dozing, even if awake not having any idea they were heading for Antarctic instead of Beijing. (6) Plane continued on autopilot till fuel finished, then glided down, hit sea, wings and tail broke off, (7) as fuel tanks were empty, wings continued floating for many days. Fuselage sank quickly.
    (8) debris about 24 m would be similar to length of each wing, but I doubt that they could have measured 13 m wide, as was reported for debris. Plausible that one liferaft floated to surface – if the crash had actuated the inflation – could easily by the 5 m object.

    All passengers strapped in, ditto stewardesses when having nap. Nothing to float to surface, lifejackets not inflated, very few objects which would have a SG less than one. Hence no debris field.

    Speculation that the 24 m object was a container fallen off a cargo ship – phooey – 24 m = 78 ft, no cargo containers are that length. Any object that large would have been well reported as having been lost and would be noticed by SAR authorities. The small = 5 m object, could conceivably be a 20 ft container = 6.1 m.

    Regrets unless the ‘wing’ is sighted again, there can be little hope of finding anything.

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