Flight 370: Pilot’s flight simulator and deleted files are focus of investigators

posted at 10:01 am on March 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not exactly breaking news to say that no one knows still what happened to Malaysia Air Flight 370, and no one seems to be getting much closer. In fact, we still aren’t sure that what we do supposedly know is correct about the flight. Yesterday a pilot offered a simple explanation for the sharp left turn and the apparent direction of the plane after contact was lost, which then swept the Internet for its simplicity. In Chris Goodfellow’s scenario, a fire broke out on the flight killing the communications and forcing a rapid change in the flight to the nearest emergency landing field capable of handling a Boeing 777. The altitude changes can be explained by a last-ditch effort to put out the flames, with the flight then going into a similar dead-stick finale as seen in the death of golfer Payne Stewart.

Not so fast, John Dickerson argues at Slate. While that might cover a few of the known facts about Flight 370′s actions, it leaves out critical points — such as course changes that deviated away from that airport:

Goodfellow’s account is emotionally compelling, and it is based on some of the most important facts that have been established so far. And it is simple—to a fault. Take other major findings of the investigation into account, and Goodfellow’s theory falls apart. For one thing, while it’s true that MH370 did turn toward Langkawi and wound up overflying it, whoever was at the controls continued to maneuver after that point as well, turning sharply right at VAMPI waypoint, then left again at GIVAL. Such vigorous navigating would have been impossible for unconscious men.

Goodfellow’s theory fails further when one remembers the electronic ping detected by the Inmarsat satellite at 8:11 on the morning of March 8. According to analysis provided by the Malaysian and United States governments, the pings narrowed the location of MH370 at that moment to one of two arcs, one in Central Asia and the other in the southern Indian Ocean. As MH370 flew from its original course toward Langkawi, it was headed toward neither. Without human intervention—which would go against Goodfellow’s theory—it simply could not have reached the position we know it attained at 8:11 a.m.

Not only that, but new reports indicate that the first, sharp course change got entered into the navigation system twelve minutes before the last communication from the flight crew:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

An NBC News report that sources familiar with the investigation say data from the plane’s communications systems indicate someone manually programmed a turn into the Boeing 777′s navigation system 12 minutes before a voice from the cockpit said “all right, good night,” to Malaysian air traffic controllers.

If that is what happened, it could mean that whoever was at the controls had already planned a sharp turn to the west — well off the jet’s planned Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing route — before the seemingly routine sign-off.

That turn is why the search for the jet has extended thousands of miles south across the Indian Ocean and thousands of miles north into Central Asia.

The focus on the pilots, therefore, looks at least appropriate. Malaysian officials earlier noted that the captain had a flight simulator program in his home computer, which isn’t terribly unusual. Overnight, though, they updated that part of the story to note that some files had been deleted from that system, and officials want to see whether they have any bearing on this mystery:

Malaysia’s defense minister said Wednesday that files were recently deleted from the home flight simulator belonging to the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian airliner, while a massive multinational search unfolded for the jet in the southern Indian Ocean.

Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference Wednesday that investigators are trying to retrieve the files. He also said that the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, is innocent until proven guilty of any wrongdoing.

It’s hardly unusual to delete files from a computer either. If the captain was trying to hide his actions, it would make more sense to get rid of the flight simulator program entirely.

Meanwhile, some of the families of the missing passengers staged a demonstration today over Malaysia’s poor handling of the crisis:

Frustration with the search for missing flight MH370 boiled over into chaotic scenes as Chinese relatives were dragged away from journalists.

They were attempting to speak to Chinese journalists outside the daily press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

A BBC reporter was pushed away from the relatives, who were carrying banners criticising the handling of the case.

Teams from 26 countries are trying to find flight MH370, which went missing on 8 March with 239 people on board.

One of the relatives, a middle-aged woman, cried: “They give different messages every day! Where’s the flight now? Find our relatives! Find the aircraft!”

Who can blame them? The mystery has been intensified by errors, miscommunications, and a lack of international coordination that didn’t get addressed until days into the search. Officials still vacillate on results of their investigation, creating more and more confusion. We still aren’t even sure which direction to look, but the longer this goes without any sign of the passengers, crew, or potential malefactors becoming visible, the worse this looks.


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Comment pages: 1 2

This is starting to shape up as a design flaw in the 777, allowing a single person to pre-program almost anything into the plane’s systems without detection.

It probably won’t bankrupt Boeing but I would be selling my Boeing stock right about now. Also the stock of any parts suppliers with big Boeing contracts.

This is a very big mess, beyond the lives of the people on board.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

What a charlie foxtrot of epic proportions….. Head spinning. Those poor families who want some answers. Malaysia and their airline are “stuck on stupid” at every turn. This investigation needs a kickass leader and there are none to be had.

ted c on March 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Platypus:

Boeing makes the airfram. It buys engines and instruments from other vendors. Jeppson or any number of avionics companies design and make the computers and what not. Instruments and computers are pretty standard across airplane manufacturers.

parke on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

It’s hardly unusual to delete files from a computer either.

My understanding is if he didn’t overwrite the files of do a multi pass security erase. The files are recoverable. Sure has taken them a while to get to this. Seems like it would have been an early starting point for the investigation. The whole affair seems very muddled.

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

It’s not a design flaw to allow the pilot(s) to fly the aircraft.

Based on the INMARSAT arc it appears very likely that the plane splashed down in the Indian Ocean. For what purpose? I don’t know. I genuinely hope we get the full story some day. I doubt that it will be any time soon.

GAbred on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

or

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Important clue:

“What Winston Churchill said.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

There is so much conflicting information, or at least unverified information, I don’t know what to believe.

I like Goodfellow’s “Occam razor” scenario but what the hell do I know.

WisRich on March 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

It’s entirely possible that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming heated the Earth so much that it created a massively powerful updraft – of the sort only seen on Venus until now – which caught the 777 and is, as we speak, still holding the plane aloft.

Global warming. There’s nothing it can’t do and no problems that can’t be attributed to it.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

It’s not a design flaw to allow the pilot(s) to fly the aircraft.

GAbred on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

It’s a design flaw to let muslim pilots fly big aircraft.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM

…while it’s true that MH370 did turn toward Langkawi and wound up overflying it, whoever was at the controls continued to maneuver after that point as well, turning sharply right at VAMPI waypoint, then left again at GIVAL. Such vigorous navigating would have been impossible for unconscious men.

…the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, is innocent until proven guilty of any wrongdoing.

Pilot Shah is sounding like he is among the best pilots to be found anywhere. If we can only find him.

Lourdes on March 19, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Time to simply admit the plane is gone. If this were a Malaysian ferry with an American onboard that disappeared there would be a single paragraph and that would be it.

But, in the absence of facts, the media has taken to asking absurd questions. One of the profiles on that pilot’s computer was the US facility at Diego Garcia. Jay Carney was actually asked and had to answer the question is the US hiding the plane on the atoll.

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM

This plane may never be found…

PatriotRider on March 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Yesterday a pilot offered a simple explanation for the sharp left turn and the apparent direction of the plane after contact was lost, which then swept the Internet for its simplicity.

Unfortunately it was completely implausible.

In Chris Goodfellow’s scenario, a fire broke out on the flight killing the communications and forcing a rapid change in the flight to the nearest emergency landing field capable of handling a Boeing 777.

Except that it wasn’t the nearest landing field capable of handling a 777.

The altitude changes can be explained by a last-ditch effort to put out the flames

You would never climb, and you would descend immediately to attain a particular airspeed for that aircraft.

db on March 19, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Based on the INMARSAT arc it appears very likely that the plane splashed down in the Indian Ocean. For what purpose? I don’t know. I genuinely hope we get the full story some day. I doubt that it will be any time soon.

GAbred on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

For what it’s worth, the Indian Ocean is where the US thinks the plane splashed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1086813.html

Wonder why the US would move assets to that area unless they know something?

BigAlSouth on March 19, 2014 at 10:22 AM

An NBC News report that sources familiar with the investigation say data from the plane’s communications systems indicate someone manually programmed a turn into the Boeing 777′s navigation system 12 minutes before a voice from the cockpit said “all right, good night,” to Malaysian air traffic controllers.

Which means, unless the co-pilot was absent from the cockpit, the entire crew was involved.

And the speculation they were diverting to another airport due to a potential cockpit fire or emergency is empty nonsense. There were no distress call and the comprehensive crew actions suggest a more sinister ending- probably somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Ultimately, the public is not being told everything investigators know. The dribble of information is simply to satiate peoples information needs and distract from the truth.

Marcus Traianus on March 19, 2014 at 10:23 AM

It’s at Area 51 being retrofit with alien technology…

PatriotRider on March 19, 2014 at 10:23 AM

parke on March 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Of course but that is not what I meant. The 777 was designed by Boeing and no one else. The component parts and subsystems were made by others but the specs were all Boeing. How they all fit together and functioned together is all Boeing.

Does it matter that there are an awful lot of libs/progressives at all levels of Boeing? Probably not but who’s to know whether it influenced decisionmaking; say, for instance, to lessen counter-terrorism concerns during the concept and initial design phase?

We all know about the CIA-FBI wall that directly allowed 9/11 to happen. These stupid value-based decisions by progs somehow always seem to get innocent people killed.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

a very bad over reaction.
pilot MUST have the ability to fly the a/c, besides turning the autopilot off (which is ALL this stuff is) and flying by hand does the same thing.

dmacleo on March 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Oh boy!

Another day of pulling conspiracy theories out of y’alls…hats.

This should be fun.

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

It’s also possible the pilot and/or co-pilot simply ‘went rogue’ with an initial plan that was thought out, but with an end point that was more based on variables that turned out to be faulty. So the detour was programmed in and the diversion accomplished, but the ensuing evasive actions may have resulted in the person flying the plane using too much fuel and misjudging the 777′s revised flight range. He may have been planning a land destination, but ended up short and either in the ocean or crashed the fuel-less jet in a remote mountainous region within the flight arc.

jon1979 on March 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

zzz

corona79 on March 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Ultimately, the public is not being told everything investigators know. The dribble of information is simply to satiate peoples information needs and distract from the truth.

Marcus Traianus on March 19, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Why keep the story alive? With China and Malaysia involved it isn’t like a free and open press is a concern. Just declare that this is “one of those things,” pay off the families, and move on.

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

I keep coming back to this…man, right out of the box too.

Super engineer platypus…

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Even in this disfunctional country the first thing they would do is scrub the computer. They can recover deleted files. When you delete them they don’t really go away unfortunately.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

“It’s dead, Jim.”

vityas on March 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Heard yesterday that the co-pilot, the guy who sent the “all right, good night” message, was a “Very pious [Muslim] man.”

The media if focusing so much on the pilot – on his having a flight simulator in his home (which is apparently not unusual), of him being a political supporter of the opposition (also, not unusual), but not on the guy who sent the last message — after the new course had been programmed.

Pretty much every major terrorist attack & attempted attack in the past decade has been made by “Very pious” Muslim men. In a sane world, that would be the first direction anyone looked.

29Victor on March 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM

And could we please have more unpauseable video-ads with audio? Pweeeese?

29Victor on March 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM

If the plane could have flown for 8 hrs, I saw all the countries within the curve that they were talking about where it could have ended up. But a couple of countries that no one is talking about is, Iran and Afghanistan. It is very possible with their radar system off, a plane could follow in another’s path/wake if they knew the flight plan of the other plane. I think it is one the ground somewhere

ConservativePartyNow on March 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

When you delete them they don’t really go away unfortunately.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

But that area of the disk is marked as free and may get overwritten.

There are techniques for recovering even data that has been overwritten, but not many folks have that capability.

db on March 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

This is starting to shape up as a design flaw in the 777, allowing a single person to pre-program almost anything into the plane’s systems without detection.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Well meaning but you don’t know how aviation works. Either pilot has full autonomy to control the plane. No pilot would fly a plane with those kind of restrictions.

CW20 on March 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM

I keep coming back to this…man, right out of the box too.

Super engineer platypus…

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

cozmo, are you mocking me? I only ask because I’d rather respond in the spirit of the moment rather than go off on some snipe hunt.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM

According to General McInerney the 777 is in Pakistan and our government knows it. He said if Pakistan doesn’t come clean pretty quickly they will be seen as complicit in the hijacking. He also said Boeing knows it is there.

KayK2 on March 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM

The mystery has been intensified by errors, miscommunications, and a lack of international coordination

OK, that’s just a weird statement.

Those upset with Malaysian government actions are complaining about evidence and facts being withheld from groups participating in the search, causing unnecessary and misdirected efforts. I suppose you could call that “a lack of international coordination” if you were a national spokesperson trying to be diplomatic, but one would think a blog would be more aggressive. Call it evidence being withheld, like the US and the Chinese have done, or information being chaotically managed, like many others have called it. But why be diplomatic?

MTF on March 19, 2014 at 10:35 AM

While I would usually be the last person to defend an Islamist government like that in Malaysia, it is a government and is disorganized and ineffective as all governments are. Malaysia has no reason to be up to evil in this case. I’m sure they are doing the best they can do–just as the Obama-led government in the United States is doing the best that it can do.

thuja on March 19, 2014 at 10:38 AM

…another squirrel…while everything else is going to he11!

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Well meaning but you don’t know how aviation works. Either pilot has full autonomy to control the plane. No pilot would fly a plane with those kind of restrictions.

CW20 on March 19, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Okay I am ignorant. But you cannot tell me that a system cannot require two people to set up. For example, look at what is required to launch a nuke missile. One step is two people simultaneously turning keys located about 20 feet apart.

Having one person able to program and also to conceal what he does is a terrorists dream. It is a concept flaw and we shall just have to see if my speculation has any validity.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Goodfellow’s account is emotionally compelling, and it is based on some of the most important facts that have been established so far. And it is simple—to a fault.

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Simple is almost always the right answer but not when it embraces the impossible.

Rocks on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Malaysia has no reason to be up to evil in this case.

But they may have plenty of reason to try to cover up incompetence and liability.

db on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Oh boy!

Another day of pulling conspiracy theories out of y’alls…hats.

This should be fun.

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Yup…

OmahaConservative on March 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM

If the plane could have flown for 8 hrs, I saw all the countries within the curve that they were talking about where it could have ended up. But a couple of countries that no one is talking about is, Iran and Afghanistan. It is very possible with their radar system off, a plane could follow in another’s path/wake if they knew the flight plan of the other plane. I think it is one the ground somewhere

ConservativePartyNow on March 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Neither Iran nor Afghanistan are on the proposed arc or, realistically, within 59 minutes of it. There is a lot of radar to avoid to the north, not so much to the south.

GAbred on March 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM

They can recover deleted files. When you delete them they don’t really go away unfortunately.
crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM

If you just hit “delete”, that’s true. But if you encrypt them first and wipe the disk with data destruction software, it would be mighty hard to get anything much from it. People who are serious just remove the drive and destroy it.

whatcat on March 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Here is a visual of the proposed arc, for those interested.

http://ogleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MH370_Mar17.jpg

GAbred on March 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM

The media if focusing so much on the pilot – on his having a flight simulator in his home (which is apparently not unusual)
29Victor on March 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Not to mention he even posted a YouTube video of it. Not exactly secretive.

whatcat on March 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

so one polit has a heart attack and everyone on a/c may die due to the 2 man rule?

dmacleo on March 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM

so one polit has a heart attack and everyone on a/c may die due to the 2 man rule?

dmacleo on March 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM

We aren’t going to design an aircraft on a comment thread. Boeing spent years asking and answering questions about the 777 and the result is flying all over the place. I have full confidence that if a decision was made to have a fail-safe system, your hypothetical would have been solved.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:55 AM

cozmo, are you mocking me? I only ask because I’d rather respond in the spirit of the moment rather than go off on some snipe hunt.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Well, if he’s not, I am!

You lame-brained “vast left wing conspiracy” theory about Boeing engineering is totally off the rails.

I think you forgot your meds this morning.

ZeusGoose on March 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Boeing s/b Boeing designers

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Having one person able to program and also to conceal what he does is a terrorists dream. It is a concept flaw and we shall just have to see if my speculation has any validity.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

.
If it required two people to make any changes, the scenario where one pilot is out of the cockpit to use the bathroom wouldpreclude the possibility of the other pilot taking manual control to avoid a small plane in their flight path.

If you want “perfect safety” – hide under your covers. It doesn’t exist in the real world.

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 10:57 AM

zzz

corona79 on March 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Exactly.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

This news from ABC is much more important.

at 1:28 a.m., Thai military radar “was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane,” back toward Kuala Lumpur. The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca.

This supports one theory of hijack, head toward Twin Towers in Kuala Lampur, then Malaysian AF chases it and splashes it, then coverup begins.

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

We aren’t going to design an aircraft on a comment thread. Boeing spent years asking and answering questions about the 777 and the result is flying all over the place. I have full confidence that if a decision was made to have a fail-safe system, your hypothetical would have been solved.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:55 AM


First rule of when you are in a hole:
Stop digging

The 777 has been in service for 19 years – so out of millions upon millions of miles, this incident hardly qualifies as “flying all over the place”.

If you DON’T stop digging, I’ll tell you ALL kinds of real life dangers you face EVERYDAY and don’t even know about. /s

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

ZeusGoose on March 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Well okay then. But it wasn’t a theory – it was a query about attitudes subtly influencing value decisions when setting priorities. Just now on Fox News there was a guy whose company is marketing an active ID system that utilizes existing technology to make a plane always identifiable no matter what else happens or doesn’t happen.

Now why would something that can can be just added to any plane not already be on every plane? Because airplane companies made a choice not to do it.

The only question I asked is why was the system designed the way it is. The lawyers will find out after the lawsuits are filed, anyway.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM

This supports one theory of hijack, head toward Twin Towers in Kuala Lampur, then Malaysian AF chases it and splashes it, then coverup begins.

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM


STDJ – they’re multiplying!

And the pings to the satellite detected along one of the two long arcs … those were from alien spaceships in cahoots with the Malaysians?

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM

First rule of when you are in a hole: Stop digging

The 777 has been in service for 19 years – so out of millions upon millions of miles, this incident hardly qualifies as “flying all over the place”.

If you DON’T stop digging, I’ll tell you ALL kinds of real life dangers you face EVERYDAY and don’t even know about. /s

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Re-read time. I said that 777s are flying all over the place or as you put it millions and millions of miles for 19 years.

And you jump on me as if I said the opposite.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 11:06 AM

The lawyers will find out after the lawsuits are filed, anyway.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Um, no. The lawyers would understand what a silly notion this is.

db on March 19, 2014 at 11:06 AM

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM

You saved me an obvious reply.

Shy Guy on March 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Okay I am ignorant. But you cannot tell me that a system cannot require two people to set up.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Obviously it could. However if one pilot was disabled or sleeping while on a long trip which is allowed. What happens. The cure here is to screen pilots. Not hard to figure out where the current problems are. A plane is not a nuclear weapon.

CW20 on March 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Malaysia has no reason to be up to evil in this case.

But they may have plenty of reason to try to cover up incompetence and liability.

db on March 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

They aren’t the only country around this that is apparently looking to hide incompetence, liability, or even probable gaps within their military / defensive effectiveness.

For example, Thailand sat on information until yesterday that their radars had apparently picked up MH370 after the transponder was turned off. And I suspect that the ‘radar coverages’ of a number of countries in the region is far less effective and comprehensive than they would like people to believe.

Athos on March 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM

I don’t see how a flight management system’s ability to correctly receive information a crewmember and then appropriately cause a flight director to act on a command given it, is much concern for litigation. People that may be liable …

Pilot committing pilot error in the input.
Pilot deliberately inputing incorrect data.
The ground based station for not acting on flight plan entries they monitored knowing it would disrupt the crafts flight path/scheduled flight plan.

Until something else emerges, I’m still not seeing a Boeing fault.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

If the captain was trying to hide his actions, it would make more sense to get rid of the flight simulator program entirely.

It’s kind of a minor point but he didn’t simply have a flight simulator application installed on his home computer. He had a control yoke, several pieces of instumentation and three 32″ (or thereabouts) monitors setup. Hit the links below, the first one shows Shah with a partial view, the second one shows the full extent of what he was using:

http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/78/590x/Captain_Zaharie_Ahmad_Shah-465677.jpg

http://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/zaharie-ahmad-shah-flight-simulator.jpg?w=869

It’s not a crazy thing for a pilot, especially one who supposedly had some sort of certification for reviewing flight simulators to have such a thing but it wasn’t merely a program to be deleted.

Long Legged MacDaddy on March 19, 2014 at 11:13 AM

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Why yes, I am.

I would deconstruct your theory, but I would hope that you have seen the error on your own by now.

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 11:13 AM

A plane is not a nuclear weapon.

CW20 on March 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM

.
One of the reasons the Israelis have increased their alert status is because a 777 can be loaded up with enough high explosives to give an effective explosion the size of the weapons we used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM

This news from ABC is much more important.

at 1:28 a.m., Thai military radar “was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane,” back toward Kuala Lumpur. The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca.

This supports one theory of hijack, head toward Twin Towers in Kuala Lampur, then Malaysian AF chases it and splashes it, then coverup begins.

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I never said that.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

What about the pilots family moving out the day before the flight? Was that ever confirmed? I keep thinking of that fact and wondering what the story is there… if they really did move the day before I’d think that’d cast a very suspicious shadow on a lot of the other theories.

Free Indeed on March 19, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I never said that.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM


“Now, THAT’S funny – I don’t care who you are.”

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:19 AM

I never said that.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

No, no. “hijack”, you know, with a little “h”.

db on March 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM

And the pings to the satellite detected along one of the two long arcs

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Where is the bottom of the Northern arc?

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I never said that.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

No, no. “hijack”, you know, with a little “h”.

db on March 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Yes, I know. Just having a little fun.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

If ya’ gotta’ explain it…

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Yes, I know. Just having a little fun.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Yeah, me, too. I guess I needed a smiley or /s.

db on March 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I never said that.

HiJack on March 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Hilarious.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM

The headline is flat out wrong, but I get the need to “Drudge” the headline to get views. The body of the story does talk about a simulator program, thus the context is clear. To be pedantic, the FAA has three classifications in FAR 141.41 that explains the difference between flight simulators, flight training devices, and training aids and equipment. For the eagle eyes out there, I know part 141 relates to pilot schools.

I know you guys here understand the differences, but I have heard many talking heads yapping like the pilot had a 3 degree freedom of motion system at home. They talk about XPDRs, ACARS, Simulators, GPS, Way Points, HSI, Terminal Mode, Enroute Mode, Approach Mode, like they have a clue. Makes you wonder if they know anything other than being a parrot. Oops, they now will be yapping about turning off the XPDR as squawking the parrot. Chuckle!

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Here is a visual of the proposed arc, for those interested.

http://ogleearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MH370_Mar17.jpg

GAbred on March 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM

.
The media has hung thier hats on the red arcs which are based on Immarsat’s statement that the “ping angle/intervals” remained the same throughout the flight duration which would require the plane to remain on one of the two proposed arcs.

Unfortuntely, several experts in the satellite field have stated the measurement accuracy of the “ping angle/intervals” available to Immarsat is NOT precise enough to support the red arcs interpretation.

This has not stopped the Malaysian government from treating it as the word of God, however … which makes it even more suspect.

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I would like you a whole lot more if you would cut down on the three dollar words. It kind of disrupts the flow of reading when I keep having to look up words.

Could you maybe get a “thesaurus for rednecks”?

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I’m an idiot that needs to use preview. Strangle the parrot.

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I hate all of these speculations and guessing games. I know that know-it-alls need to pontificate. It is what sells ads and stuff but it is unseemly.

I only hope that an innocent explanation can account for all of the facts when we learn what we can.

MJBrutus on March 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Yeah, me, too. I guess I needed a smiley or /s.

db on March 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Or point out that the idea was shamelessly stolen from a M*A*S*H episode:

Maj. Winchester: Margaret, on this occasion, allow me to be frank.
Hot lips: Frank? I beg your pardon?
Maj. Winchester: No, no. I meant Frank with a little “F.” I didn’t mean that other Frank.

db on March 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Platypus, a couple things about your questions on this thread. Every governing agency in the world of civil aviation requires some manner of aircrew coordination training. If a crew member entered a coordinate after the flight plan was initially programmed into an FMS, he or she would need a reason. Different programs of instructions term things slimly differently but the theories of inter crew dynamics and objectives are the same. In the Army, this would be considered a failure to cross monitor.

“Captain, I’m going to make a change to the flight plan in the FMS.”

“Sure, go ahead”, wouldn’t be the proper response.

The Captain would “cross-monitor” and ask why it was necessary and then confirm the validity of the new entry. The kicker? It’s the Co-pilot responsibility to do the same thing if the Captain initiated the action.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

And the pings to the satellite detected along one of the two long arcs

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:04 AM

And why do we think there are 2 ‘arcs’ anyway? It’s a circle. Inside that circle is Malaysia.

Now that we know that the plane headed back to KL, then turned right again, we can likely discount the ‘plane headed in a straight line for hours because the pilots were passed out/dead’ theory.

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Thank you. Knowledge is power, and I’m grateful to get some of yours.

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Where is the bottom of the Northern arc?

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

.
It dawns on me that you have NO understanding of the information that has been released since the plane disappeared.

The bottom of the Northern arc is NORTH of Thailand and immediately adjacent to CHINESE AIRSPACE… so you are suggesting the Malaysian Air Force pursued the plane the Chinese KNEW contained mainly Chinese citizens nearly into China & definitely into Chinese radar coverage and then sat back and watched it be SHOT DOWN ???????

You should have “gone with the aliens” concept – it is a LOT more plausible.

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Until something else emerges, I’m still not seeing a Boeing fault.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

What makes you think reality has anything to do with it. Lawyers will find a reason to fault them.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I’m an idiot that needs to use preview. Strangle the parrot.

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM


“He is an EX-parrot!”

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM

faraway on March 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

My understand is that the arcs describe an area of points equidistant from a satellite that the plane had temporary communications with.

MJBrutus on March 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Being an old freight dog, it took a while to adjust to another pilot in the cockpit. Had my share of CRM and CLR training and sort of got used to call and response. Some pilots yap so much when flying in high work load situations, like hand flying an approach in wind shear conditions, that I often wondered if they were trying to convince me or themselves they could fly the dang bird!

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The best answer so far is GLOBAL WARMING.But, albeit slowly, the pieces of evidence are leading us to an Henri Poirot-type solution. Key here is the Maldive Island report describing the plane traveling south and the Thai report describing the plane traveling north.

From this striking evidence we can conclude that a giant thermic lense sliced the plane in half, longitudinally preserving one pilot and one engine per half. The pilot bent on suicide flew his half deep into the southern Indian ocean where it will never be found and the pilot with the terrorist bent flew his half north into Pakistan where it is being loaded with nukes as I type.

MaiDee on March 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I can’t follow this story any more. It’s like Lost, where they held information back and over-promised each episode. The story changed constantly.

PattyJ on March 19, 2014 at 11:49 AM

platypus on March 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Sure thing. And your question was not that far out there in the first place.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:49 AM

I would like you a whole lot more if you would cut down on the three dollar words. It kind of disrupts the flow of reading when I keep having to look up words.

Could you maybe get a “thesaurus for rednecks”?

cozmo on March 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM


The easiest part to put in redneckese …

“… but I have heard many talking heads yapping like the pilot had a 3 degree freedom of motion system at home.”

The idjits on TV are talking like a home computer game is the same as riding the bull at Gilleys. Sheeeeee-it, them fools don’t know nothin’!

;->

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:50 AM

One of the reasons the Israelis have increased their alert status is because a 777 can be loaded up with enough high explosives to give an effective explosion the size of the weapons we used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

PolAgnostic on March 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM

I mentioned a few days ago chem/bio agents. Someone else mentioned an EMP.

Shy Guy on March 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

OK Hercule Poirot.

MaiDee on March 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Maybe Stephen King is a fortune teller and not a fiction author.

Langoliers

airupthere on March 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Being an old freight dog, it took a while to adjust to another pilot in the cockpit. Had my share of CRM and CLR training and sort of got used to call and response. Some pilots yap so much when flying in high work load situations, like hand flying an approach in wind shear conditions, that I often wondered if they were trying to convince me or themselves they could fly the dang bird!

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 11:46 AM

That’s the beauty of aircrew coordination. When you expect everyone to act in a similar manner, it shouldn’t matter who you’re assigned with as a crew. Everyone has a reasonable expectation how someone should act in a given circumstance. The example you give sounds like a time to call for a sterile cockpit. We’re required for take-offs and landing to do that. Communications specific to the operation only.

hawkdriver on March 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Perhaps O/T:

It may have been said before, or elsewhere, that IF the a/c was ditched, it wouldn’t necessarily break up leaving a debris field. If you recall, Captain Sully landing his a/c on the Hudson River in one piece. From that, it also could have sunk in one piece with passengers.

So, if we’re into conspiracy mode, yes, the plane could have been put down somewhere within the range of that plane. What hasn’t been said is whether it’s possible the plane was refueled and took off again. It could be much further than the circle we see repeatedly on TV.

freedomfirst on March 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM

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