CNN source: Yes, the Malaysian jet sent engine data hours after it disappeared; AP source: No, it didn’t

posted at 5:21 pm on March 13, 2014 by Allahpundit

I know most readers are hard at work and not following the news minute to minute so I thought I’d do you a solid by bringing you up to speed on the missing jet. To sum up: Everything is completely farked.

Here’s what Vaughn Sterling, Wolf Blitzer’s producer, tweeted four hours ago:

Bombshell. The splashy WSJ story this morning about the jet flying on for hours after it went missing was wrong.

Now here’s CNN again, as of about two hours ago:

New information, U.S. officials told CNN, indicates the missing airplane could have flown for several hours beyond the last transponder reading.

Malaysian authorities believe they have several “pings” of engine data from the airliner’s service data system, known as ACARS, transmitted to satellites in the four to five hours after the last transponder signal, suggesting the plane is believed to have flown into the Indian Ocean, a senior U.S. official told CNN. That information combined with known radar data and knowledge of fuel range leads officials to believe the plane may have made it to the Indian Ocean.

Wait a sec. It was Malaysian authorities who dismissed the Journal’s story earlier today. Maybe they’ve changed their minds. The jet did fly on! They do have engine data, just like the Journal said!

No, wait. The Journal’s not saying that anymore. There is data, just not engine data:

Corrections & Amplifications
U.S. investigators suspect Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flew for hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, based on an analysis of signals sent through the plane’s satellite-communication link designed to automatically transmit the status of onboard systems, according to people familiar with the matter. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said investigators based their suspicions on signals from monitoring systems embedded in the plane’s Rolls-Royce PLC engines and described that process.

So, er, the plane was transmitting data from some of its systems afterward, but not the engine systems specifically as the Journal claimed earlier. Well, okay.

Wait, scratch that. Nope, it wasn’t transmitting anything once it dropped off radar. So says a different source to the AP:

A U.S. official says there were no data transmitted on the status of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet’s engines after contact was lost with the plane…

The official said there was information about the Boeing 777-200’s engines sent via a digital datalink along with other information on the functioning of the plane before contact was lost.

Wait — so it wasn’t transmitting engine data after it dropped out of contact or it wasn’t transmitting any data? We don’t care which data it was precisely. All we’re looking for is a heartbeat here, regardless of which onboard system it’s coming from, to show that the jet was functioning in some way after it went off the communications grid.

Actually, I think ABC’s gotten to the bottom of this. CNN’s second report quoted above is basically right. There’s something onboard (not an engine system but something else) that checks in with satellites hourly. Sounds like they detected four or five satellite “pings” from the plane after it dropped off radar, ergo they assume it flew on for four or five hours afterward.

No, wait. Scratch that too:

It’s not clear what the indication was, but senior administration officials told ABC News the missing Malaysian flight continued to “ping” a satellite on an hourly basis after it lost contact with radar. The Boeing 777 jetliners are equipped with what is called the Airplane Health Management system in which they ping a satellite every hour. The number of pings would indicate how long the plane stayed aloft…

The official initially said there were indications that the plane flew four or five hours after disappearing from radar and that they believe it went into the water. Officials later said the plane likely did not fly four or five hours, but did not specify how long it may have been airborne.

I wonder why they’ve now reconsidered that. Maybe they think … the plane landed in the Indian Ocean intact and kept transmitting for an extra hour or two before it sank? Could it have stayed afloat that long?

Exit question: How long before the “History” Channel turns this into a special about alien abduction?

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Lourdes on March 13, 2014 at 8:11 PM

At least I don’t libel like you.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 8:37 PM

faraway on March 13, 2014 at 8:12 PM

It could also be that nobody knows.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 8:39 PM

My iPhone app ‘Map My Run’ shows where I am, where I’ve been,even tracks me walking in real time. It knows when I stop and get a drink of water. I paid $4.99 for it. Can they embed it into the plane’s system so that it can’t be turned off? I will donate the $4.99 for the next plane I fly on.

soozer47 on March 13, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Gee how come Boeing did not think to add an app that only costs 4.99 to their airplane that costs millions, what stupid people they are…

This is part of the problem…most citizens (including news people) have no clue how their apps/smartphones/GPS works that they think a 4.99 app or a 500.00 smart phone can find an airplane.

Which causes stupid stories like “his cell phone still rings so he must be on land.”

Do everyone a favor shut the hell up on your speculation because your 4.99 app is not going to find a plane in the future.

Most likely…

This plane is crashed and all people have been killed sad to say. The only focus at this time should be finding the “where” and only then can we begin to addressing the why.

F15Mech on March 13, 2014 at 8:46 PM

Ted Cruz and Cory Booker ate dinner together last night and are going back and forth on twitter setting up the next dinner. So yes….Anything is possible.

Ted is probably planning on driving to Hawai’i for his vacation, and was looking for some good road-food recommendations from Corey.

Pless1foEngrish on March 13, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Ted is probably planning on driving to Hawai’i for his vacation, and was looking for some good road-food recommendations from Corey.

Pless1foEngrish on March 13, 2014 at 8:48 PM

You can get some good fresh Calimari just west of San Francisco…

trigon on March 13, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Exit question: How long before the “History” Channel turns this into a special about alien abduction?

No, it’ll be on SyFy and they’ll be from the future.

Jeff Weimer on March 13, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Jeff Weimer on March 13, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Hey, at least we had Cheryl Ladd to look at. The book was just as dumb without the eye candy.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 9:17 PM

itsspideyman on March 13, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Thank you, itsspideyman. Not to worry – the dungeon is cold, damp and dark :)

Schadenfreude on March 13, 2014 at 11:19 PM

FWIW, the boards on noted within hours of the initial reports that the engines should continue to transmit. This is not surprising to those in the industry and serious enthusiasts. I view it as highly likely and credible.

321mdl on March 13, 2014 at 11:55 PM

This is a hard one. When receiving information from two propaganda sources that contridict which do you believe.

Knowing that the aircraft had the system but did not institute the maintenance function but would still get the interigation request from the satelite is a fact but it is not reported by the people that monitor that system.

AP though usually propaganda does report real news when it suits its purpose.

CNN all propaganda all the time and not capable of providing fact based news ever.

I guess AP wins this round

John21 on March 14, 2014 at 7:46 AM

At least I don’t libel like you.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Wow. That’s rich, given your name-calling on the first page.

Likely possibilty:
Environmental malfunction causes insidious hypoxia. Crew turns off communication devices and plugs in new route (a lot are pre-programmed into the computer) during hypoxia. Everyone passes out as plane begins flying to New Delhi. Everyone eventually dies, and plane flames out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, gliding down to crack apart on contact with the water, rapidly sinking.

That is solely based on current “known” information. And I welcome any knowledgeable debate on that possibility.

GWB on March 14, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Newest theory:

Plane went missing shortly after iOS 7.1 released; massive overload of aircraft systems as hundreds of onboard smart devices attempted to download the operating system. Engine management and flight control systems affected after “hanging” on download.

(ok…I just made that up)

BobMbx on March 14, 2014 at 11:35 AM