Posts Tagged ‘MH370’

MH370: Too mysterious a disappearance to be accidental

October 3, 2017

I wrote quite a few posts about the MH370 vanishing when it happened almost three and a half years ago.

Australia has now ended its search and  Australian investigators “have delivered their final report into missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, saying it is “almost inconceivable” the aircraft has not been found”.

BBC: 

“It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said on Tuesday.

“Despite the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of people involved in the search from around the world, the aircraft has not been located.”

Their final report reiterated estimates from December and April that the Boeing 777 was most likely located 25,000 sq km (9,700 sq miles) to the north of the earlier search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

But some people somewhere know what happened, but they are not telling. The aircraft and its 239 passengers and crew just vanished in March 2014.

Little has changed since I wrote this:

MH370: One year on and those who know still aren’t telling

March 8, 2015

Some few do know what happened to MH370 a year ago.

My post from April 13th last year speculating that this was a state sponsored and highly successful hijacking, is just as valid or invalid as it was then. There has been much speculation since but no new, certain, evidence has appeared. In fact even the “handshake” tracking which places the plane in the Southern Indian Ocean turns out to be fairly speculative in itself.

Whatever happened to MH370 was no accident. In one year there has been no evidence to alter my belief that this was the most successful hijacking and “disappearing” of a commercial airline and its 239 passengers and crew. And the objective – which was clearly achieved – was to prevent some passengers or cargo or both from reaching Beijing.

MH370: Emirates CEO suggests plane’s flight was controlled, October 11, 2014

MH370: Further indications of a deliberate event to prevent technology reaching Beijing, June 22, 2014

MH370: Very short preliminary report issued – could have been “laundered”, May 2, 2014

MH370: The most successful, state-sponsored hijacking ever?, April 13, 2014

MH370: The altitude excursion which could have rendered most unconscious, April 1, 2014

A deliberate excursion?


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MH370: Rolling in the deep

March 24, 2016

From somewhere in the depths of the Indian Ocean two pieces of debris have found their way to the shores of Reunion Island and Mozambique. It is thought highly likely that they are from MH370.

The Guardian: Debris found in Mozambique is “almost certainly” from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Australian government has confirmed, fuelling belief that the remains of the plane will be found in the coming months.

Blaine Alan Gibson, an American lawyer who has given over much of the past year to his independent search for the plane, found a metre-long piece of metal washed up on a sand bank in Mozambique on 27 February.

Coverage of his find led South African teenager Liam Lotter to come forward with the similar item he found on a beach while on vacation in southern Mozambique in late December.

MH370 debris AFP

MH370 debris image AFP

We are maybe one millimetre closer to finding MH370 but we are still not much closer to finding out what happened to MH370. At least all theories which had the aircraft ending up on land (on Diego Garcia or in Uzbekistan) can be discarded. But all the many theories about how it ended up at the bottom of the sea in a deep and inaccessible part of the Indian Ocean are still alive.

My favourite theory that this was the most successful, state-sponsored, hijacking ever remains my favourite theory:

There were 20 Chinese software experts on board. They had been working for Freescale Technology in Texas on technology which could convert ordinary aircraft into “stealth” aircraft. Patents had been applied for but have not yet been granted. MH 370 was carrying a “large” package as a Chinese diplomatic package and was therefore not subject to any search or security procedures. The speculative, uncorroborated but plausible and most parsimonious explanation becomes:

  1. The Chinese software engineers “stole” technology on behalf of the Chinese government from Freescale.
  2. Freescale was slow in picking up the theft and alerting the authorities.
  3. US intelligence and security agencies were unable to prevent the engineers and their package from reaching Malaysia.
  4. They were also unable to prevent the engineers boarding MH370 bound for Beijing or the precious cargo from being loaded as diplomatic cargo.
  5. The operational arm of a US Security Agency took the decision – without recourse to their political masters – to prevent the engineers and their cargo from reaching Beijing, at any cost.
  6. Since collateral damage would be high it was imperative that all evidence be obliterated.
  7. With the probable assistance of Boeing, and soon after take-off, the in-flight computer was remotely re-programmed.
  8. The auto-pilot was remotely put into uninterruptible mode.
  9. The Malaysian military was “persuaded” – without the knowledge of their political masters – to ignore the plane’s turn-back and flight westwards over Malaysia for a few critical hours.
  10. The passengers and crew were all “executed” by the excursion up to 45,000 feet implemented by the autopilot.
  11. The remainder of the flight path was to get the plane and it’s cargo into an as inaccessible a location as possible.
  12. The aircraft was allowed to run out of fuel such that the auto-pilot made as soft a  ditching as possible in as remote a place as possible. This increased the probability of the plane sinking intact with little or no debris.
  13. The location was deliberately chosen to be over deep ocean so that any black-box evidence would be almost impossible to come by.

I am becoming convinced that this was all deliberate and a highly successful operation with a very high level of collateral damage – 239 dead.


 

 

MH370 – Two years on

March 8, 2016

Two years ago, today, MH370 disappeared. There were 239 people on board and not a trace of any thing has so far been found. After enormous search efforts – which still continue – we are no closer to knowing how or why this modern jetliner vanished without trace.

The theories are many. A new theory which I have seen recently is that the lithium-ion batteries on board over-heated, knocked out all electronic and electric systems, and started a fire which eventually caused the plane to crash.

Maybe the “burning plane” that an oil rig operator thought he saw over the South China Sea was MH370. But still no remains or debris has been found.

The search continues.

MH370: To believe “with certainty” remains “not certain”

September 3, 2015

UPDATE! I have just seen another report and it seems the “belief” is mainly in the BBC report. The French prosecutors (in another translation) have “stated with certainty”…


 

To believe with certainty does not convert a belief – which lies in the space of ignorance – into the space of knowledge.

BBC: French prosecutors have said they believe “with certainty” that a wing part found on Reunion Island in July came from missing flight MH370. ……

……. Prosecutors in Paris, who had until now been more cautious on the provenance of the debris, said a technician from Airbus Defense and Space (ADS-SAU) in Spain, which had made the part for Boeing, had formally identified one of three numbers found on the flaperon as being from MH370.

It does seem highly probable that the flaperon comes from a Boeing 777 and the identifying number which would specify it came from MH370 has now been “formally identified”. In which case I wonder why it is still a “belief”. Presumably there is some lack of certainty in this “identification”. 

It seems very probable now that that it comes from MH370 but as long it is a belief it remains in the space of ignorance.

And assuming it is certain that it definitely comes from a Boeing 777 then there are still 4 remaining alternatives (excluding MH17), as CopperNickus pointed out a month ago:

43 Boeing 777’s are no longer in service. If the flaperon is not from MH370, it could be from one of these

5 are no longer in service because they were damaged and written off:

SU-GBP damaged beyond repair. Wings intact. 

G-YMMM damaged beyond repair, flaperon intact. 

HL7742 damaged beyond repair, flaperon possibly damaged. 

9M-MRD (MH17) Shot down, flaperon likely destroyed, no photo of right flaperon. Left flaperon shown in top photo here: …

9M-MRO (MH370) Missing, flaperon status unknown, possibly found on Reunion Island. 

32 are in storage

6 have been scrapped

 

Another theory: MH370 nosedived into the ocean with no resulting debris

June 10, 2015

Another theory about the MH370 disappearance. Mathematics shows that if the pilot nosedived vertically into the ocean, it might explain why no debris has been found.

“The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until someday when its black box is finally recovered and decoded. But forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.”

Goong Chen, Texas A&M mathematician

Texas A&M University at Qatar mathematician Goong Chen has theorized the ill-fated plane plunged vertically into the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014.

The researchers’ computer simulations lead to the forensic assertion that a 90-degree nosedive explains the lack of debris or spilled oil in the water near where the plane is presumed to have crashed. The research was the cover story in the April 2015 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society (see the team’s paper here.)

Chen is an applied mathematician teaching and researching at Texas A&M at Qatar who has been a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University’s main campus in College Station, Texas, USA since 1987. He led the interdisciplinary team of collaborators from Texas A&M, Penn State, Virginia Tech, MIT and the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) in simulating and modeling what might have happened to the plane. His research is supported by the QNRF National Priority Research Project Grant #5-674-1-114.

The researchers used applied mathematics and computational fluid dynamics to conduct numerical simulations on the RAAD Supercomputer at Texas A&M at Qatar of a Boeing 777 plunging into the ocean, a so-called “water entry” problem in applied mathematics and aerospace engineering. The team simulated five different scenarios, including a gliding water entry similar to the one Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger skillfully performed when US Airways flight 1549 landed in the middle of New York City’s Hudson River, a feat that’s referred to as “the miracle on the Hudson.”

Chen said based on all available evidence — especially the lack of floating debris or oil spills near the area of the presumed crash — the mostly likely theory is that the plane entered the water at a vertical or steep angle.

……. The fluid dynamics simulations indicate, for a vertical water entry of the plane, that there would be no large bending moment, which is what happens when an external force, or moment, is applied to a structural element (such as a plane), which then causes the fuselage to buckle and break up. As the vertical water-entry is the smoothest with only small bending moment in contrast with other angles of entry, the aircraft is less likely to experience “global failure,” or break-up on entry near the ocean surface, which would explain the lack of debris or oil near the presumed crash site.

Based also on the suggestions of other aviation experts, Chen said in such a situation the wings would have broken off almost immediately and, along with other heavy debris, would have sunk to the bottom of the ocean, leaving little or no trace to be spotted.

MH370 nose dive -- Daily Mail

MH370 nose dive — graphic by Daily Mail

 

MH370: One year on and those who know still aren’t telling

March 8, 2015

Some few do know what happened to MH370 a year ago.

My post from April 13th last year speculating that this was a state sponsored and highly successful hijacking, is just as valid or invalid as it was then. There has been much speculation since but no new, certain, evidence has appeared. In fact even the “handshake” tracking which places the plane in the Southern Indian Ocean turns out to be fairly speculative in itself.

Whatever happened to MH370 was no accident. In one year there has been no evidence to alter my belief that this was the most successful hijacking and “disappearing” of a commercial airline and its 239 passengers and crew. And the objective – which was clearly achieved – was to prevent some passengers or cargo or both from reaching Beijing.

MH370: Emirates CEO suggests plane’s flight was controlled, October 11, 2014

MH370: Further indications of a deliberate event to prevent technology reaching Beijing, June 22, 2014

MH370: Very short preliminary report issued – could have been “laundered, May 2, 2014

MH370: The most successful, state-sponsored hijacking ever?, April 13, 2014

MH370: The altitude excursion which could have rendered most unconscious, April 1, 2014

A deliberate excursion?

The calculations leading to the search area are speculative

 

 

MH 370: Anything but an “accident” as Malaysian government abandons reason

January 30, 2015

I have been traveling for the last few days and blogging will be light for a few days yet.

Yesterday the Malaysian government declared the vanishing of MH370 to have been an “accident”!

There are many theories, but the one thing that is certain is that this was no accident. It is entirely impossible that the aircraft could have changed direction and flown westwards or that it could have performed its altitude changes by “accident”.

The Malaysian government has done many, many silly things, but this announcement abandons reason. It also assumes that all the world is a fool.

Deliberate action was involved.

QZ8501: All presumed lost but why no wreckage yet?

December 29, 2014

Air Asia’s QZ8501, Airbus A320-200 most probably flew into a violent thunderstorm which it could not or did not avoid and suffered a catastrophic structural failure. This is plausible and pilots avoid violent thunderstorms if at all possible. Flying through a storm is most inadvisable and usually aircraft fly around them. Just this year, this could be the third aircraft (the others were cargo aircraft) to have been lost to a thunderstorm near the equator. But why no wreckage yet?

The pilots had requested permission to increase altitude from 32,000 to 38,000 feet to avoid bad weather but this change was denied by air traffic control presumably because of other traffic on this busy route. The denial is not unusual but the storm may have had a much greater vertical spread than expected. Thunderstorms in the Java Sea can sometimes have plumes (towers) extending up to 50,000 metres feet. In emergencies, commercial pilots are trained to first control the plane, then to navigate and only then to communicate. So the lack of a distress signal – is worrying – but not a reason to rush to conspiracy theories or to invoke magic. It does suggest that whatever happened happened fast. There were 23 no-show passengers booked on the plane but this also does not seem extraordinary for a flight leaving in the early hours.

BBC: He said the captain had more than 20,500 flight hours, almost 7,000 of them with AirAsia. The flight left Surabaya in eastern Java at 05:35 local time (22:35 GMT) and was due to arrive in Singapore at 08:30 (00:30 GMT).

The missing jet had requested a “deviation” from the flight path to avoid thick storm clouds, AirAsia said. Indonesia’s transport ministry said the pilot had asked permission to climb to 38,000ft (11,000m).

Ministry official Djoko Murjatmodjo said the request “could not be approved at that time due to traffic, there was a flight above, and five minutes later [flight QZ8501] disappeared from radar”.

Map

QZ5801 planned route

This morning one of the rescue officials said that the aircraft was probably at the bottom of the sea. But I have difficulty to reconcile a “catastrophic failure” with the absence of any wreckage. The weather is still bad in the most likely location. Perhaps more time is needed. The chance of survival for the 162 people on board is diminishing very fast.

The loss of 162 lives is tragedy enough but the thought of another “vanishing act” like MH370 without any wreckage or any other physical evidence is somehow even more disturbing. Can there be a catastrophic failure without the plane breaking up into smaller pieces where some would surely float? To be “at the bottom of the sea” would surely need that the aircraft went down largely intact or in very large pieces. Then why no “distress call”? Even an implausible lightning strike which disabled all power instantaneously may have caused the plane to descend very fast but it should not have disabled all communication devices.

Only questions about QZ8501 right now. But almost every question about MH370 is still open. The loss of life is deeply tragic. That Malaysian aviation could be singled out to be hit by 3 tragedies in one year is perplexing.  But the idea that the open questions will never be answered is terrifying.

 

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 goes missing

December 28, 2014

It is a dismal and tragic year for Malaysian aviation. If I were superstitious 2014 would be a cursed year.

After MH30 and MH17, Air Asia’s QZ8501 has gone missing on its way from Surabaya to Singapore. AirAsia is a Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur.

UPDATE: QZ8501 is believed to have crashed at the location 03.22.46 South and 108.50.07 East, in waters around 80 to 100 nautical miles from Belitung. Not confirmed.


Reuters:

Indonesia’s air force was searching for an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people that went missing on Sunday after the pilots asked to change course to avoid bad weather during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus 320-200, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. (6.17 p.m. EST), officials said.

“The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost,” the airline said in a statement.

No distress signal had been sent, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at Indonesia’s transport ministry. Indonesia AirAsia said there were 155 passengers and seven crew on board. It said 156 were Indonesian, with three from South Korea and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France.

MH 370 to be declared “lost” and search to end by year-end

November 12, 2014

It has been over 8 months now since MH370 vanished on March 8th with all its 239 crew and passengers.

That the mystery continues, in these times of almost universal surveillance, where even distant comets passing by Mars can be observed in real time, is unfathomable. To say that black magic was involved is almost as irrefutable as any other proposed explanation. But it was not black magic. It was almost certainly a “black operation”, an “engineered affair”. Somebody knows what happened. And what I find equally disturbing is that the world can so easily put the whole unexplained, chilling episode aside and move on.

The relatives of the victims and the unfortunate Malaysian Airlines cannot find any kind of closure. But by the end of the year the plane could be officially declared “lost” and that would allow the search to be ended. That would allow Malaysian Airlines to make “final” compensation and then calculate a liability cap and draw a financial line.

NZ HeraldSpeaking to The New Zealand Herald today, the airline’s commercial director, Hugh Dunleavy said that it was waiting for the aircraft to be officially declared lost after going missing in March with 239 people on board. It is thought to have flown into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. 

The Australian and Malaysian governments were working together to set a date to formally announce the loss of MH370 and that was likely to be set by the end of the year.

“We don’t have a final date but once we’ve had an official loss recorded we can work with the next of kin on the full compensation payments for those families.” ….. 

Dunleavy said the Montreal Convention had set the ceiling on compensation at around US$175,000 although passengers could take legal action to pursue higher payments.

“We will ensure we do compensate them for the loss of their loved ones through our insurers,” he said. ….. 

“We are trying to hurry (compensation)it up as much as we can but some of these things are outside the scope of the airline itself. If they’re not happy with the compensation then they seek legal advice and move ahead, then once they come in our people will assess them and respond.”

Paying out relatives of those killed aboard MH17 over the Ukraine was more straightforward.

“We know exactly what happened with that aircraft and we can move ahead with the full compensation of family members aboard that aircraft,” Dunleavy said at the end of his visit which included meetings with travel agents and the tourism bodies.

I can understand the Commercial Director’s frustration at not knowing what happened and not being able to assess the final liability. Dr. Hugh Noel Dunleavy is the Head of Network, Alliance & Planning and Director of Commercial at Malaysian Airlines and was appointed in January 2012.

 

MH370: Theoretical Search Area

Even the calculations of the “theoretical search area” could just be a red herring. Nothing is believable and therefore everything is possible.


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