Malaysia: Flight 370 went down in south Indian Ocean – with no survivors

posted at 10:41 am on March 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Malaysia’s prime minister held a press conference today to positively affirm what most have concluded over the last several days — that Flight 370 was lost at sea in the Indian ocean, and that there are no survivors from the flight. The government of Malaysia offered the press conference as a way to get ahead of the rumor mill:

New satellite data revealed that missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 “ended” in the south Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said today.

“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. 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,” Razak said at a news conference.

However, prior to the press conference, Malaysia Air chose a rather odd way to inform the families:

The families of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines jet have been sent text messages telling them that the plane been “lost.”

“We have to assume beyond reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived,” the message said. “We must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Katie Harbath asked on Twitter, “This can’t seriously be what the airline sent the families[?]” Apparently so, although the airline had called an emergency meeting in Beijing to discuss it with the families — complete with paramedics on hand:

Shortly before Razak’s announcement, relatives of the passengers were booked on charter flights to take them to Australia, sources told  Sky News. An emergency meeting between families and Malaysia Airlines officials took place in Beijing, Razak said. Paramedics were on scene there, according to Sky News.

“For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking. I know this news must be harder still,” Razak said.

The government has determined that the last known position of Flight 370 was over the southern Indian ocean near Perth, although an explanation of that conclusion has not yet been offered. Several days ago, the search efforts started concentrating in that area, which suggested at the time that investigators had found more data to track the plane’s course. The discovery of debris by Chinese and Australian planes has apparently given enough confirmation to Malaysia’s government to declare that they are no longer operating in rescue mode.

Razak credited a new analysis of satellite data for reaching the conclusion:

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak says new analysis of satellite data in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 indicates that the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.

The analysis was provided by British satellite company Inmarsat and UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Razak said.

“Based on their new analysis….MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth,” Razak said Monday. “This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that according to this new data that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

That may answer the question of what. It still doesn’t answer the question of why, and unless the black box is found, we may never know that answer. With the plane so far off course and no particular reason for it being so, though, the possibilities of catastrophic failure and disaster look at least a little more likely than deliberate action.


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RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Thank you. I could see an insidious issue with toxic fumes, but I wouldn’t think Li batteries would produce low-odor fumes. (I honestly don’t know.)

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

It really doesn’t matter, since they weren’t getting data, only a ping. (Unless more information has come out, contradicting that original claim.) all they know is the engines were running, not what condition/state they were in.

oscarwilde on March 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

He was addressing captjoe’s statement that mentioned low-earth orbit satellites, and making the point that Inmarsat is geo-stationary.

Malaysia wants those families out of its hair.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

This is very true.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I have a problem with the non-conspiracy idea for one simple reason – explaining the very odd (decidedly not conducive to recovering a broken jet) flight pattern after it went NORDO. (Yes, I am assuming the Malaysian AF radar track is the missing aircraft, and is accurate as portrayed relative to position and altitude.) That becomes hard to deal with if you assume the crew is dead/unconscious, or that they are trying to get the plane into a position to recover to terra firma.

I don’t want to debunk anything except incorrect statements made by commenters.

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

But look up Swiss Air Flight 111. The smoke filled the cockpit, the pilots shut down all electrical systems and tried to make to land in Halifax. The plane crashed about 8 miles from shore.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:00 PM

But didn’t those pilots tried to dump fuel in the ocean first before they attempted to land?

sentinelrules on March 24, 2014 at 2:05 PM

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 1:35 PM

If I were a Mod, I’d delete your comment due to “not contributing anything of value” to this discussion.

bluefox on March 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

blink on March 24, 2014 at 1:54 PM

If a hijacking was the case (doubtful considering where the search is now concentrated), western governments and at least Inmarsat would be complicit in a conspiracy to divert attention away from where the plane would be. Unless it really was heading to the secret nazi base in the Antarctic.

It could have been a hijacking. It could have been a hijacking that went wrong. In the case of hijackings, there was evidence of such on the ground, discovered very soon after the event to point to a hijacking. In this case, there hasn’t been.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 2:08 PM

I just wonder why you are so afraid of it being in the Indian ocean without some huge consspiracy.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Who is afraid of it being in the Indian Ocean? I have never disputed the fact that it may or may not be there. It’s how it got to wherever it is that is the question. Fire? Possible. Unforseen and unpreventable catastrophic failure? Possible. Hijacking/Terrorism? Possible. Pilot suicide? Possible. In fact, I hope it is in the Indian ocean so the families can know the fate of their loved ones. The fact is, right now it could be any of a handful of scenarios. What some of us are trying to do is to apply common sense and logic to the scenarios, and speculate. Nothing more, nothing less. You seem every defensive when it comes to the possibility of a hijacking, and unless you have CNN-psychic powers, you’ve got nothing.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 2:08 PM

It really doesn’t matter, since they weren’t getting data, only a ping. (Unless more information has come out, contradicting that original claim.) all they know is the engines were running, not what condition/state they were in.

I don’t want to debunk anything except incorrect statements made by commenters.

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Nothing is there to contradict! The ACARS is NOT in constant contact. I never made any claim about the condition of the engines. At their last ping they were running we know that. A shutdown cycle was never pinged to my knowledge. Which would debunk the theory that it is sitting on some jungle landing strip. It merely quit communicating, meaning it would have had to have crashed for that to happen. So your intent while laudable was incorrect.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Um no. I have stated it could be a hijacking. It is just that a reasonable person would have to jump through too many hoops to come to that conclusion.

And you are so quick to jump on any theory that does not include hijacking.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Thank you. I could see an insidious issue with toxic fumes, but I wouldn’t think Li batteries would produce low-odor fumes. (I honestly don’t know.)

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Take the defective batteries on the 787′s for example. Those aircraft were at cruising altitude, the cabin crew got warnings from the aircraft that something was wrong and some passengers smelled something funny, and the crew declared an emergency and landed safely. The crew of the UPS flight which had smoke in the cockpit had nearly an hour to attempt to return to their airport of departure before the crash, so the MH370 crew being overcome with the noxious fumes or smoke seems unlikely, as they would have had time to put their oxygen masks on.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

But didn’t those pilots tried to dump fuel in the ocean first before they attempted to land?

sentinelrules on March 24, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Yes they did, since the flight was just out of JFK. There would have been no way to safely land the plane with so much fuel on board.

The same scenario would have applied to MH370, assuming there was an emergency. After only an hour into the flight, the plane would have been too heavy to land with all the fuel on board.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

PolAgnostic on March 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM

GPS satellites have nothing to do with INMARSAT. What’s your point?

There are 1 I-2, 5 I-3, 3 I-4, and 1 I-4A satellites in the INMARSAT constellation. They are all in different orbits. You are correct, they are all not in LEO, that was the old system, mostly gone now.

I am a professional mariner, I use both systems, and your backhanded insult is appreciated for its demonstration of your arrogance.

captnjoe on March 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

the Rolls Royce engines on this missing 777 jet were pinging back the data from the engines from this missing plane directly back to Rolls Royce !! This data showed the plane flew for 7 1/2 hours & the engines performed perfectly & were shut down NORMALLY !!!!

Everything he says hinges on the veracity of this statement.

oscarwilde on March 24, 2014 at 1:15 PM

They were not transmitting data! They were simply pinging to establish a ‘handshake’ to allow the engines to send data to the satellite. No data was ever sent, since ACARS was not operating.

If it weren’t for wrong facts, you’d have no facts at all.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

A fire on the aircraft would have triggered a ACARS instant ping alerting the ACARS system that their was a critical systems failure on the aircraft.

oscarwilde on March 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

1. Really? Any fire on the aircraft (even a galley fire) would have been immediately reported via ACARS?

2. What if it was an ACARS system box that was the source of the fire?

blink on March 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

The ACARS system being referred to relates ONLY to the engines. So he’s wrong that a fire would have triggered an ACARS ping. That system only monitors the engine and it’s performance and a cycle. That’s all it’s for. If the fire effected the engine than it would ping an alert but that’s it. I haven’t heard any mention of ajn engine problem and or a shutdown (cycle) The only thing we know is that they were running and at some point stopped communication.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Nor a ping for a normal shutdown. It simply stopped communicating at some point (again the reports of how long vary greatly) So if it was in the ocean or had crashed destroying the system it couldn’t communicate anything. Nobody has said it communicated a shutdown cycle.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I haven’t followed this as much as you and others have, since I have no qualifications to comment. Trying to determine just the facts is difficult at times.

What you said, I don’t doubt. So, as long as the plane was in flight, that ping would be sent/received then.

Thanks again.

bluefox on March 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Yeah, I’m surprised to see oscarwild claiming that the Inmarsat system showed that the engines were shut down normally. I’ve never seen/heard this anywhere. I’ve only ever seen claims regarding the fact that no data was being reported and that only the handshaking signals were being exchanged.

blink on March 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM
.Thank You! That’s what I was trying to convey. You did it much more succinctly than I did.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:24 PM

You’re another person who seemingly likes to spew ‘definitive’ statements without having facts to back you up.

There has been at least one experienced current 777 pilot who has appeared a few times on Megyn Kelly’s show who does support the fire theory and denigrates all the other theories. So, I don’t know what you mean by “ANY of the networks”.

All us pilots (anyone with common sense) knows the primary task is to land the plane ASAP under any emergency. But look up Swiss Air Flight 111. The smoke filled the cockpit, the pilots shut down all electrical systems and tried to make to land in Halifax. The plane crashed about 8 miles from shore.

So don’t tell me or other more sane people here that these can’t happen.

Also, try to ensure you know something about the subject before appointing yourself an expert.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:00 PM


Untwist your panties, ZG
, and instead of selectively quoting my posts – point out ONE where I have defined MYSELF as an expert …

How, pray tell, does Megyn Kelly’s pilot explain the 7+ hours of flight time at varying bearings AND altitudes in conjunction with the ZERO attempts to approach ANY of the airports ANY pilot would seek out in a crisis situation??? While he is denigrating “all the other theories???

Here’s my complete post from a bit futher up-page from your rant.

My earlier post was specific to the smoldering fire/fire theory. The BIGGEST problem with the fire theory is the duration & direction of the the planes flight, based on the engine pings to the satellite, long after the deviation from the flight path first occured.

The experienced pilots willing to go on TV and make statements based on their experience are, for my money, the most informed sources. One of those gentlemen said he would go with the “shadow flight” concept before the smoldering fire/fire theory … and he thought the “shadow flight” concept was impossible.

Leaving out the “internet sources” – there hasn’t been ONE experienced pilot who has agreed with the “simple solution” of a plane fire on ANY of the networks. They have routinely dismissed it because it doesn’t fit the facts of what ANY trained pilot is going to do – get the plane on the ground ASAP.

Even if ALL the comms are down, which they don’t buy into either, the rules are simple – the ONLY way to survive is LAND the plane.

They have also been very dismissive of the ” … If these things all went wrong in precisely this order …” narratives that have been added to substantiate the “simple solution” since they are very remote and very complex in order to get to the “simple solution”.

PolAgnostic on March 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

PolAgnostic on March 24, 2014 at 1:27 PM

.
Ah yes, SwissAir 111 – except you didn’t tell the whole story accurately in that case, either, did you?

At 22:10 Atlantic Time (01:10 UTC), cruising at FL330 (approximately 33,000 feet or 10,100 metres), the flight crew (Captain Urs Zimmermann and First Officer Stephan Löw) detected an odor in the cockpit and determined it to be smoke from the air conditioning system, a situation easily remedied by closing the air conditioning vent, which a flight attendant did on Zimmermann’s request.

Four minutes later, the odor returned and now smoke was visible; the pilots began to consider diverting to a nearby airport for the purpose of a quick landing. At 22:14 AT (01:14 UTC), the flight crew made a “Pan-pan” radio call to ATC Moncton (which handles trans-Atlantic air traffic approaching or departing North American air space), indicating that there was an urgent problem with the flight, but not an emergency (denoted by a “Mayday” call) which would imply immediate danger to the aircraft, and requested a diversion to Boston’s Logan International Airport, which at that time was 300 nautical miles (560 km) away. ATC Moncton offered the crew a vector to the closer Halifax International Airport in Enfield, Nova Scotia, 66 nm (104 km) away, which Löw accepted.

The crew then put on their oxygen masks and began their descent. Zimmermann put Löw in charge of the descent while he personally ran through the two Swissair standard checklists for smoke in the cockpit, a process that would take approximately 20 minutes and become a later source of controversy.[9]

At 22:18 AT (01:18 UTC), ATC Moncton handed over traffic control of the plane to ATC Halifax, since the plane was now going to land in Halifax rather than leave North American air space. At 22:19 AT (01:19 UTC), the plane was 30 nautical miles (56 km) away from Halifax International Airport, but Löw requested more time for the aircraft to descend from 21,000 feet (6,400 m). At 22:20 AT (01:20 UTC), Löw informed ATC Halifax that he needed to dump fuel. ATC Halifax subsequently diverted the plane toward St. Margaret’s Bay, where it could more safely dump fuel but still be only around 30 nautical miles (56 km) from Halifax.

In accordance with the Swissair checklist entitled “In case of smoke of unknown origin”, the crew shut off the power supply in the cabin, which caused the recirculating fans in the ceiling to shut off. This caused a vacuum in the ceiling space above the passenger cabin which induced the fire to spread into the cockpit, causing the autopilot to shut down; at 22:24:28 AT (01:24:28 UTC), Löw informed ATC Halifax that “we now must fly manually.”[10] Seventeen seconds later, at 22:24:45 AT (01:24:45 UTC), Löw informed ATC Halifax that “Swissair 111 heavy is declaring emergency”[10] repeated the emergency declaration one second later,[10] and over the next 10 seconds stated that they had descended to “between 12,000 and 5,000 feet” and once more declared an emergency.[10] The flight data recorder stopped recording at 22:25:40 AT (01:25:40 UTC), followed one second later by the cockpit voice recorder. The plane briefly appeared again on radar screens from 22:25:50 AT (01:25:50 UTC) until 22:26:04 AT (01:26:04 UTC). Its last recorded altitude was 9,700 feet. Shortly after the first emergency declaration, the captain could be heard leaving his seat to fight the fire, which was now spreading to the rear of the cockpit; the Swissair volume of checklists was later found fused together in the wreckage, indicating that the captain may have attempted to use them to fan back the flames.[9] The captain did not return to his seat; whether he was killed from the fire, asphyxiated by the smoke, or killed in the crash is not known. Physical evidence provides an indication that First Officer Löw may have survived the inferno only to die in the eventual crash; instruments show that Löw continued trying to fly the now-crippled aircraft and gauges later indicated that he shut down engine two due to an engine fire warning approximately one minute before impact,[9] implying he was still alive and at the controls until the final moments of the flight. The aircraft struck the ocean at 22:31 AT (01:31 UTC) at an estimated speed of 345 mph (555 km/h, 154 m/s, or 299 knots) and with a force of 350g, causing the aircraft to disintegrate[11] into millions of pieces.[12] The crash location was approximately

44°24′33″N 63°58′25″WCoordinates: 44°24′33″N 63°58′25″W, with 300 meters’ uncertainty.[13]

TSB recommendations

The TSB made nine recommendations relating to changes in aircraft materials (testing, certification, inspection, and maintenance), electrical systems, and flight data capture, as both flight recorders had stopped when they lost power six minutes before impact. General recommendations were also made regarding improvements in checklists and in fire-detection and fire-fighting equipment and training. These recommendations have led to widespread changes in FAA standards, principally impacting wiring and fire hardening.

PolAgnostic on March 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

If I were a Mod, I’d delete your comment due to “not contributing anything of value” to this discussion.

bluefox on March 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Well, thank you for posting your non-contributory “If I were a Mod” comment, doofus.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

But didn’t those pilots tried to dump fuel in the ocean first before they attempted to land?

sentinelrules on March 24, 2014 at 2:05 PM

True. But you don’t dump the fuel until you are approaching where you have to land. If you have some distance to go you keep it on board, just in case. In an emergency most flights will dump fuel a few miles out from the landing airport, not hundreds of miles out over open ocean.

patches on March 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Nothing is there to contradict! The ACARS is NOT in constant contact. I never made any claim about the condition of the engines. At their last ping they were running we know that. A shutdown cycle was never pinged to my knowledge. Which would debunk the theory that it is sitting on some jungle landing strip. It merely quit communicating, meaning it would have had to have crashed for that to happen. So your intent while laudable was incorrect.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Pay attention, please. The ACARS data source was turned off around the same time (or before) the transponder was turned off. There was no engine data going to the satellite after that. What was happening was the satellite was pinging for the data and the aircraft returned “thank you for your call, I am currently unavailable; please leave a message at the beep.” What that tells RR is that the engines were running, or they wouldn’t have even responded to the pings. No data was being sent (and, based on what pilots have said elsewhere, it wouldn’t have sent an engine-shutdown data block either) since the data source was shutdown. I don’t think you can say that it had to have crashed based on the ACARS information we have.

Admittedly, I am presuming that the information that has been posted is complete and accurate. The contradiction of which I spoke is between the posted information (the ACARS data source was shut off around the time the transponder was shutdown) and any other information revealed that is 1) more authoritative or 2) more recent (that would say the ACARS data source was not shutdown).

I never said the ACARS was in constant contact. I know it is not. Do not put words in my mouth.

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 2:33 PM

In an emergency most flights will dump fuel a few miles out from the landing airport, not hundreds of miles out over open ocean.

patches on March 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

It’s relative and depends on circumstances. “Hundreds of miles” is maybe half an hour, depending on speed. (And, some emergencies you keep a LOT of speed on, until you get close to landing.) Half an hour out is landing preparations in some circumstances. If you have the time, you want the plane directly overhead and circling while it dumps fuel, then it can simply spiral down to land (that “spiral down” is simplified, of course). In some cases, you start dumping fuel hundreds of miles out because you’re extremely heavy and you’re scorching in as fast as you can to a straight-in landing to get down on the ground ASAP. (But, yes, you said “most”.)

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 2:38 PM

never said the ACARS was in constant contact. I know it is not. Do not put words in my mouth.

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 2:33 PM

You said to me…

all they know is the engines were running, not what condition/state they were in

.”
And I never said anything about the condition of the engines as you asserted so it would be nice if you could do the same and not put words in my mouth. Thanks!

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Um no. I have stated it could be a hijacking. It is just that a reasonable person would have to jump through too many hoops to come to that conclusion.

And you are so quick to jump on any theory that does not include hijacking.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Um yeah. The simplest explanation is that the pilot or co-pilot was the one who commendeered that aircraft. It is the simplest, because he already was in control of the aircraft. Is the simplest explanation the right one? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not saying it is, and I am not saying it isn’t because nothing to this point indicates it was or wasn’t. Why am I so quick to jump on any theory that doesn’t include hijacking? It’s not that I am so quick to jump on any theory to dispute them, but rather to apply logic and common sense to them, because at this point there is no evidence or eyewitness accounts to indcate anything, except that the plane went off course. I am not ruling out anything at this point, but you seem to think I am. Read your own posts and you’ll see you’ve been quick to smack down any theory that does include hijacking, but, to each their own.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Cozmo,

From the link you provided. (Thanks for that BTW)

“We worked out where the last ping was, and we knew that the plane must have run out of fuel before the next automated ping, but we didn’t know what speed the aircraft was flying at – we assumed about 450 knots,” said McLaughlin. “We can’t know when the fuel actually ran out, we can’t know whether the plane plunged or glided, and we can’t know whether the plane at the end of the time in the air was flying more slowly because it was on fumes.”

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:42 PM

PolAgnostic on March 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

I didn’t intentionally leave out the entire story. Unlike you, I felt the readers who were interested could use my cue to look into a smoke related crash that still ended up with everybody getting killed while the pilot was trying to get back to land.

I don’t think it wise to waste posting by cutting & pasting from Wikipedia, when most people can go to the sources and draw their own conclusion. I’m not even implying that the scenarios are identical. I’m just saying that anyone, including your “network pilots” who claim that if A happens, then B follows, and everybody lives to see another day.

As far as the satellite pings, and radar tracks after the transponders went off, I’m remaining skeptical. I feel that at this point it’s more inference than evidence.

But, to each their own.

I’m kind of with cozmo and other more circumspect skeptics on this. I’m just not willing to chase every new acorn the media puts out.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Read your own posts and you’ll see you’ve been quick to smack down any theory that does include hijacking, but, to each their own.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Well, I remember what I wrote but did any way.

And it was the usual back and forth with sw OW because he is so sure it was a hijacking.

And basically didn’t pay any attention to you until you claimed I didn’t understand the fuselage of a 777.

I guess this is what set you off:

I mean, the fact I have to explain all this to you borders on laughable.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

No, it means you have wed yourself to a theory and cannot accept any information contrary to you biases.

Therefore you grasp at straw men to keep your pet theory alive.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 12:37 PM

And I’ll stick with that. As it was you who grasped the fire as your straw man.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 2:54 PM

True. But you don’t dump the fuel until you are approaching where you have to land. If you have some distance to go you keep it on board, just in case. In an emergency most flights will dump fuel a few miles out from the landing airport, not hundreds of miles out over open ocean.

patches on March 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Not quite so true. It can take a long time to dump fuel from an airliner that has nearly full fuel tanks. The maximum fuel capacity on 777-200ER is just over 45,000 gallons. Added to that, most countries won’t allow fuel dumping over populated areas. It usually takes quite a long time to get an airliner down to it’s maximum safe landing weight.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

You were responding to a comment (in your 1:20 comment) that asserted data was flowing (without any reference made to the frequency thereof), without contradicting that point. That was why I made my “irrelevant” statement. It didn’t matter whether the data was constant or intermittent, because the fact is that no data was flowing, only the ping. The original assertion to which you responded was unfounded (unless contradictory information has come to light – which you do not seem to be asserting), regardless of the frequency of contact.

You did make a statement (IMO) about the condition of the engines, when you stated (in your 2:10 comment) that no engine shutdown data was sent. If the data system is shut down, how would the engines send a shutdown packet? If they do this (regardless of the condition of the data system), then I would like to hear that stated definitively. (It seems counter-intuitive, and is not in the information I have about ACARS.)

It also seems you’re taking from my statement that they knew the engines were running that I am claiming the ACARS was in constant contact. I am confused by that, since that statement does not make that claim at all. (And, it would contradict the rest of my comment, there.) If I am wrong about your referenced comment, please explain it for my benefit.

I think you took my statement on the 1:20 comment as a contradiction in fact about your statement. It was not. It was challenging the focus of that comment. And, I apologize if my 2:33 comment was too curt.

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 3:02 PM

I didn’t intentionally leave out the entire story. Unlike you, I felt the readers who were interested could use my cue to look into a smoke related crash that still ended up with everybody getting killed while the pilot was trying to get back to land.

.
You inferred SwissAir would provide more support for the “fire theory” and, FYI, you didn’t provide a link. I posted the info from Wiki which underscored the first priority is get the plane on the ground – In this case, Halifax rather than Boston.

I don’t think it wise to waste posting by cutting & pasting from Wikipedia, when most people can go to the sources and draw their own conclusion. I’m not even implying that the scenarios are identical. I’m just saying that anyone, including your “network pilots” who claim that if A happens, then B follows, and everybody lives to see another day.

.
Yet again, ANOTHER false statement on your part – go back and READ and then point out where any of the pilots I quoted said ANYTHING which says or could be inferred to say “… if A happens, then B follows, and everybody lives to see another day.”

As far as the satellite pings, and radar tracks after the transponders went off, I’m remaining skeptical. I feel that at this point it’s more inference than evidence.

But, to each their own.

I’m kind of with cozmo and other more circumspect skeptics on this. I’m just not willing to chase every new acorn the media puts out.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM

.
Gosh, I guess MY first post on this thread being skeptical of the Malaysian PM’s statement (i.e. the media’s latest acorn) was too far back to read.

And the same must be true for my post on the “pings” representing more of a channel than a single line and my post on “‘rocket scientists’ who ‘augured in’ a Mars mission by not keeping track of their unit of measurement (metric vs Imperial)” were just too hard to keep track of.

Strange how someone so “circumspect” went off with regard to me “spewing” and passing myself off as an expert”, isn’t it?

PolAgnostic on March 24, 2014 at 3:06 PM

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 3:02 PM

No harm no foul. Same here. Sometimes it’s hard to get a sense of what someone else is responding to so I understand. My opinion and this is strictly an opinion of my own based on my background. I wouldn’t rule out anything as we simply don’t know enough yet. My hunch still goes to the pilot and or a crew takeover as there didn’t seem to be any attempt to do what almost any pilot would or should do during an emergency which is to get your aircraft on the ground ASAP. After last ARTC contact they basically went dark and made a sharp turn. The altitude changes have been bandied about (but we won’t know until /if they get the FDR.) They then flew for quite some time after that and in fact seemed to be doing what they could to avoid radar. Also if there was a fire, the LAST thing you do is head out to sea. Again, just like a you know what that everyone has, it’s just my opinion. I hope they do find and recover it either way.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Wouldn’t it do both? More atmospheric drag at lower altitudes? I don’t know a whole lot about aviation, but it seems logical.
whatcat on March 24, 2014 at 12:04 PM

That hasn’t stopped many from commenting upon this tragedy.
Another Drew on March 24, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Meh. As long as a person doesn’t get himself to worked up over his own or others’ speculation it’s no big deal. We do a lotta speculatin’ here at HA on most everything. If the black box is found that should provide most of the answers that’ll close this case.

whatcat on March 24, 2014 at 3:17 PM

My reading of the news and the comments indicates:

1. Nothing new has been discovered, except the announcement that the northern track is not one the plane took. This was apparently conveyed to Malaysia on March 15 IIRC, and just now announced by Malaysia.

2. Malaysia is tired of dealing with the families and anxious to hand them off to Australia.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Dude, your ignorance is bugging me. Here is how INMARSAT works:

A constellation of LEO satellites on different geosynchronous orbits.

captnjoe on March 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Clearly captnjoe is one of the more expert opinion givers at HA…

DarkCurrent on March 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM

My original theory still stands correct.

Murphy9 on March 24, 2014 at 4:08 PM

“But did they base that determination on the Inmarsat information,…”

Based on analysis of the data, yes.

No mention of anything else.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I don’t understand. You think they made a sharp turn. I assume you think they turned towards the alternate field.

blink on March 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I don’t think I would assume that, based on the rest of his statement.

Also, do you believe they descended?

blink on March 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

The one set of ‘data’ says they didn’t descend, but climbed. An attempt to put the aircraft on the ground would have involved descending to an altitude that would put you on a glide path to an appropriate landing. (If all else fails, you can glide to a safe location for a “controlled descent into terrain”.)

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I don’t understand. You think they made a sharp turn. I assume you think they turned towards the alternate field. Isn’t that some attempt at getting the aircraft on the ground?

Also, do you believe they descended? Wouldn’t that also be some attempt at getting the aircraft on the ground?

blink on March 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Not sure about altitude as what they did have seems to be reliable and changes all the time. What we do know id that they made their sharp turn shortly after they were handed off to the Vietnamese. If they were having troubles, the LAST thing a pilot would do is head out over open ocean which is what he did for a time. I don’t think the sharp turn was due to an emergency. I think it was taken over or it was the pilot or co-pilot. Again I could be wrong, maybe they had systems failures that were unprecedented. But that they made the sharp turn very soon after being handed off by ARTC, That the ACARS and Comms were shut off and or non-existent would be a system failure never seen before. Again, it could have been. But too many things would have had to have failed and the pilots done everything wrong for it not to be an intentional act. If it was a massive failure the pilot would have or should have reversed course to find Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia isn’t exactly chock full of big airfields as far as I know.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 4:28 PM

The new information came from British satellite maker Inmarsat, which used a new type of analysis never before used to try and pinpoint the plane’s last known location, Razak said.

“[Inmarsat] has been performing calculations on the data using type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort and they have been able to shed more light on MH370. Based on the new analysis, Inmarsat and the [British] Accidents Investigation Branch have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that it’s last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth,” Razak said.

—-
Re the question about the satellite data on the projected paths…

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 4:29 PM

i feel sorry for the victims’ loved ones, but i genuinely don’t understand why they were so shocked when this news was announced. hate to say it but i don’t understand where those people got the idea that anyone on the plane was alive. it seemed pretty obvious that no one survived whatever happened. and it was already obvious the plane is in the indian ocean- if it had been on land it would have been found by now.

With the plane so far off course and no particular reason for it being so, though, the possibilities of catastrophic failure and disaster look at least a little more likely than deliberate action.

no, i still think it was deliberate. there are several clues pointed out in previous articles that point to it being deliberate. and i just don’t think that a gigantic plane with 200+ people on it would just mysteriously disappear like this, completely by accident!

what i have been thinking for many days is that someone tried to steal the plane… and that someone failed. the person had a plan, but for some reason they messed up, or were stopped by someone else on the plane. but then the plane ended up crashing later.

Sachiko on March 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

The same scenario would have applied to MH370, assuming there was an emergency. After only an hour into the flight, the plane would have been too heavy to land with all the fuel on board.

If I had a confirmed onboard fire, I would risk an overweight landing and subsequent gear inspection, etc. over losing the entire airplane and all souls on board while I’m circling around dumping fuel. As in the case with the Swissair flight, perhaps if they proceeded direct to the airport rather than diverting to a dump area as the report stated, that would’ve given them the extra few minutes needed to make the field.
I believe the MH pilots were incapacitated due to an onboard fire and after they made the decision (and programmed the FMS)to return to the airport. What doesn’t make sense is, if the fire was that severe as to incapacitate everyone, how did the airplane continue to fly for another 6-7 hours? Surely if it was burning all along it would have spread and affected flight controls or another critical system that would have brought it down sooner.

AZ_Mike on March 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM

This thread is positive proof that human beings will argue over damn near anything.

Hijacking scenarios make for interesting discussion but there’s never been a single shred of credible evidence that the plane was hijacked.

I’ve always thought that the most likely scenario is the plane ended-up in the ocean, somewhere (it’s vast).

Conspiracy theories tend to acquire a life of their own (Kennedy assassination anyone?). This one’s going to die hard, and sooner rather than later.

It’s probably just a matter of days before some debris is recovered and the aircraft is positively identified.

Archer on March 24, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Just because they didn’t mention anything else doesn’t mean that they only based their conclusion on satellite data. This government has been dreadfully careless about the statements it’s made.

Can’t argue with that. Guess a statement direct from the satellite company is needed. Haven’t seen them disavow the comments.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 4:59 PM

But didn’t those pilots tried to dump fuel in the ocean first before they attempted to land?

sentinelrules on March 24, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Yes they did, since the flight was just out of JFK. There would have been no way to safely land the plane with so much fuel on board.

The same scenario would have applied to MH370, assuming there was an emergency. After only an hour into the flight, the plane would have been too heavy to land with all the fuel on board.

ZeusGoose on March 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

The Swissair flight was first going to attempt to divert to Logan in Boston, and could have dumped the fuel on its way there, but that was 300 miles south. The plane was instead trying to land at Moncton in New Brunswick, but never made it that far.

Always wondered why the Swissair crew didn’t think of diverting to Pease on the New Hampshire seacoast; that runway is long enough (11,321 feet) to easily accommodate a fully fueled airliner. In fact Pease was a designated landing site for the Space Shuttle due to the length of the runway.

Del Dolemonte on March 24, 2014 at 5:04 PM

And basically didn’t pay any attention to you until you claimed I didn’t understand the fuselage of a 777.

Yep, and you apparently still don’t. Not surprising.

I guess this is what set you off:

I mean, the fact I have to explain all this to you borders on laughable.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

No, it means you have wed yourself to a theory and cannot accept any information contrary to you biases.

Therefore you grasp at straw men to keep your pet theory alive.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 12:37 PM

And I’ll stick with that. As it was you who grasped the fire as your straw man.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I don’t recall anything setting me off, but if that floats your boat, sail on Seaman. Riiiight, a straw man. Mmmkay. So, in the absence of any physical evidence, hypothesizing about possible scenarios, and explaining basic metallurgy to you to explain that, although possible, the fire on-board – large or small – and flying for 7+ hours after contact is lost theory starts to have some holes punched in it. It’s my fault you didn’t understand. Next time I’ll draw pretty little pictures for you in crayon.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM

“The new method “gives the approximate direction of travel, plus or minus about 100 miles, to a track line”, Chris McLaughlin, senior vice-president for external affairs at Inmarsat, told Sky News. “Unfortunately this is a 1990s satellite over the Indian Ocean that is not GPS-equipped. All we believe we can do is to say that we believe it is in this general location, but we cannot give you the final few feet and inches where it landed. It’s not that sort of system.”

Quote from the Guardian. This isn’t a red herring from Malaysia.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Regardless of why you think the sharp turn occurred, you can’t say that their actions weren’t consistent with getting the aircraft on the ground, since the reported sharp turn seemed to take them straight to an alternate field.

blink on March 24, 2014 at 5:09 PM

You’ve mentioned this before. What alternate field are you talking about?

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I think they will find plane parts this week and that part of the mystery will be solved. The statement from Imnarsat is the most important information yet.

The fact that the US has sent the black box detector to the area tells me they are feeling confident that’s where the plane went down. It travels by ship and takes a while so they’ve been waiting.

As to the “rest of the story” I’ll leave that to the experts above, heh.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 5:18 PM

It’s my fault you didn’t understand. Next time I’ll draw pretty little pictures for you in crayon.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Bless your heart. You stick with that.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 5:19 PM

GWB on March 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I have landed without any engine power and first thing you do is trim/pitch/set-up for best glide speed…which is usually Vso times 1.3. At the same you turn to an alternate landing/crash location. You save your altitude, unless a fire or catastrophic decompression has happened, and a couple of times I had to circle over the off airport landing location to lose altitude. There is other stuff you do like try to restart, but I only mention this because somebody will find the nit to pick in my post. I know what CFIT is, but not sure what “controlled descent into terrain” is unless you are just talking about a controlled descent at best glide speed, but I learn new stuff every day that I forgot years ago!

Dumping fuel is another discussion that pilots debate over. I am not talking about company procedures, I am talking about what I would do if that was an issue. Me….. I like fuel and keep it unless there is a very compelling reason to dump it. You compute weight and balance for each flight and compare that to max take-off weight for example. Reason I bring this up is that max takeoff weight is higher than max landing weight. Thus, if you have a problem right after takeoff, and given the circumstances of the problem/emergency, I might or might not dump fuel to get to or below max landing weight. If I was on fire or such, and I have had an engine fire before, I would land ASAP and not worry about company procedures or such.

Not disagreeing at all with your post…..just joining the discussion without yapping about what happened to flight 370. All the above is very general, thus it can be picked apart like a vulture getting the last speck of meat off a dead animal. Example, I am sure there is a bird where max landing weight is higher than max takeoff weight….I just don’t remember flying one.

Still taking cosmo’s suggestion about not giving my opinion on what I think happened to Malaysian Heavy 370 (MH370).

HonestLib on March 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

blink on March 24, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Perhaps it would help you to read the actual article which was too long to copy. It’s easy to find, search the company name.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

blink on March 24, 2014 at 5:12 PM

The Guardian and the Telegraph both have articles, btw.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

no, i still think it was deliberate. there are several clues pointed out in previous articles that point to it being deliberate. and i just don’t think that a gigantic plane with 200+ people on it would just mysteriously disappear like this, completely by accident!

what i have been thinking for many days is that someone tried to steal the plane… and that someone failed. the person had a plan, but for some reason they messed up, or were stopped by someone else on the plane. but then the plane ended up crashing later.

Sachiko on March 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Agreed. An accident is still possible but the events would have had to have been quick and the crew immediately incapacitated, but switching off the transponder, the hard turn to the west then west-northwest, and pinging from the engines that they were active for 7+ hours, tells me it looks more and more like either a hijacking gone bad, or pilot/co-pilot suicide. I am curious to hear, if possible, what this new technique inmarsat used, because i recall it being reported that the pings were not geo-locational. Curious.

RandallinHerndon on March 24, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Still taking cosmo’s suggestion about not giving my opinion on what I think happened to Malaysian Heavy 370 (MH370).

HonestLib on March 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Evidently at some point or other, I didn’t.

Oh well, I like getting yapped at.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 5:27 PM

The sharp turn was direct towards the peninsula and towards the fields, Alor Star and Kota Bahrun.

blink on March 24, 2014 at 5:31 PM

So are you saying that you think that’s why they turned that direction? Do you think they were going to try and land there? They obviously made landfall again but apparently never attempted to land. But looking at their path, they went over a few cities in Malaysia. I am not sure of the size or availability or runway lengths of any airports there. I would think if it was that catastrophic that they would have made the first possible airport. Maybe they were incapacitated by then? They apparently turned again after that so that makes me think someone was still at the controls.

Minnfidel on March 24, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Yeah, they just reiterate the Prime Minister’s claim. Neither mentioned doppler.

blink on March 24, 2014 at 5:35 PM

The BBC one was the most in depth. And even it didn’t go into much detail.

They suggested that a lot of it had to do with other aircraft pings and comparing those tracks to what MH370′s were doing.

Gleaning from the different articles, comparing known tracks to their model is what gave them the confidence.

They did this in partnership with the UK government agency that investigates aircraft accidents.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Neither mentioned doppler.

blink on March 24, 2014 at 5:35 PM

My bad memory. The BBC one did mention Doppler.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Recovering the data flight recorders is no easy task. Given the location and depth, along with the tidal currents, it may be no greater than 50%. So this is one air crash, were the why may never be answered.

flackcatcher on March 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Evidently at some point or other, I didn’t.

Oh well, I like getting yapped at.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Nah, in my book you are all good. You guys are way more in the weeds than I am on the data. Sorry about spelling your nic wrong.

HonestLib on March 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

HonestLib on March 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

If it wasn’t for that silly girly magazine it would be cosmo.

cozmo on March 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

flackcatcher on March 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM
That said, I hope I’m wrong. How and what are crucial, but the why is important to fill in the gaps. Something happened on flight 370, recovering the data flight recorders will go a long way to provide the answers.

flackcatcher on March 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Malaysian PM might say anything just to put an end to the grief he’s taking over it. I’ll believe what he says when I see reliable confirmation.

If a suicide mission, why go all that way to end it? Makes no sense.

If headed for Perth (as someone speculated), why so far south and west out to sea of it?

petefrt on March 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Malaysia’s PM & MH370 = Obama & Benghazi

Dasher on March 24, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Another piece of info….

One more unique thread of evidence has been woven into the tapestry of missing flight MH370. Investigators discovered that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah received a two-minute call shortly before take-off from a mystery woman using a mobile phone number obtained under a false identity…..

Meanwhile, investigators are now ready to question Captain Shah’s estranged wife, Faizah Khan, in more detail. So far, they have waited two weeks out of respect for cultural considerations.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/03/24/Flight-370-Captain-Took-Call-from-Mystery-Woman%20-ust-before-Take-Off

Not much new, other than the mystery woman.

bluefox on March 24, 2014 at 10:08 PM

The ship that carries the black box detector has just been sent to the area , which indicates some confidence in the latest events.

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 10:51 PM

“The new calculations, McLaughlin said, underwent a peer review process with space agency experts and contributions by Boeing.

It’s possible to use this analysis to determine more specifically the area where the plane went down, Myers said. “Using trigonometry, engineers are capable of finding angles of flight.”

The great thing about this is, if the calculations are correct, plane debris will be found, and fairly soon.

Anybody got a better place to look?

Meremortal on March 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Meanwhile, investigators are now ready to question Captain Shah’s estranged wife, Faizah Khan, in more detail. So far, they have waited two weeks out of respect for cultural considerations.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/03/24/Flight-370-Captain-Took-Call-from-Mystery-Woman%20-ust-before-Take-Off

Not much new, other than the mystery woman.

bluefox on March 24, 2014 at 10:08 PM

2 + 1 = broken marriage
Not too hard to connect these dots.

AesopFan on March 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Taqiyya.

Opinionator on March 25, 2014 at 2:23 AM

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