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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    I had a similar question. How far can a radar station track a plane? Maybe it was hijacked and the pilots were forced to make a U-turn and then fly "under the radar" to some undisclosed destination.
    Yeah, with the new info, this is becoming a bit more likely....apparently the pilots (if forced by a hijacker) can turn off their transponders, which makes the aircraft invisible to civilian radar but it can still be seen by military radar. So maybe it was hijacked and forced to turn around to go somewhere else.

    The effect of turning off the transponder is to make the aircraft inert to secondary radar, so civil controllers cannot identify it. Secondary radar interrogates the transponder and gets information about the plane's identity, speed and height. It would however still be visible to primary radar, which is used by militaries.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...t_spotted.html

    One question....would passengers be able to text or email, would that be picked up anywhere? (Or would the hijackers turn off the wifi or whatever?) Because it sounds like the plane made a drastic change in course, probably under duress (whether mechanical or human-made), and flew in a different direction for at least an hour.

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    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by susan6 View Post
    Yeah, with the new info, this is becoming a bit more likely....apparently the pilots (if forced by a hijacker) can turn off their transponders, which makes the aircraft invisible to civilian radar but it can still be seen by military radar. So maybe it was hijacked and forced to turn around to go somewhere else.
    I'm not sure that turning off the transponder necessarily makes the plane invisible to civilian ATC; I think it means that they will be working with a lot less data since what they can get from primary radar is more limited.

    Turning off the transponder also means that the collision avoidance system is turned off, though that's not relevant to this case (or we'd have two missing planes...)

  4. #64

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    Sad that one aspect of the technology should be giving family members false hope.
    Lady 2: there isn't anything about me on goooogle, I mean, I must take it off if there is.....
    Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)

  5. #65
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    The Malaysian government is handling this strangely to say the least.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    Sad that one aspect of the technology should be giving family members false hope.
    It is sad. It would never occur to me that hearing a phone ring when I call it would have anything to do with the phone ringing on the receiving end. I guess a lot of people have no idea how the technology works.

    In the absence of any meaningful information families are understandably clinging to whatever hope they can find. It must be just terrible knowing deep down that your love ones are probably dead, but still not knowing. What a nightmare!
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  7. #67
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    There is a report on Australian television that the co-pilot allowed two young Australian women into the cockpit during in 2011 and she has pictures to prove it. Aeroflot flight 593 crashed with no survivors in 1994 when the pilot allowed his children into the cockpit. They accidentally turned off the auto pilot which sent the plane into a steep dive. The pilot realized what was happening too late to do anything about it. So maybe the pilots allowed someone into the cabin and was too distracted to keep a close eye on the controls.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ight-2011.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroflot_Flight_593

  8. #68
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    The more information we get, the less it makes sense. If you look at the map, the last recorded position of the plane via military radar was way off course: http://news.yahoo.com/malaysian-mili...1719.html?vp=1
    But local newspaper Berita Harian quoted Malaysia's air force chief, Gen. Rodzali Daud, as saying that radar at a military base had tracked the jet as it changed its course, with the final signal at 2:40 a.m. showing the plane to be near Pulau Perak at the northern approach to the Strait of Malacca, a busy waterway that separates the western coast of Malaysia and Indonesia's Sumatra island. It was flying slightly lower, at around 29,528 feet, he said.
    What was it doing there and why didn't it notify ground control? Rhetorical question at this point.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  9. #69
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    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    The more information we get, the less it makes sense. If you look at the map, the last recorded position of the plane via military radar was way off course: http://news.yahoo.com/malaysian-mili...1719.html?vp=1

    What was it doing there and why didn't it notify ground control? Rhetorical question at this point.
    The only explanation I can think of is that the airplane was hijacked and the pilot forced to change course. Then, at some point the pilot or pilots figured out what the hijackers intentions and decided that crashing the plane was the better option. Or, the passengers tried to over power the hijackers and the plane crashed into the ocean.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  11. #71
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    From the beginning i thought it might be a hijacking. If so, i would assume negotiations would take place without the public knowing. So the lack of info would be something i would expect in such a case.

    Course anything could have happened, but i wouldn't expect the media to be told anything regarding the plane's possible whereabouts if hostages were involved.

  12. #72
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    That would be a lot like one of the 9/11 planes, that the passengers forced down. If they thought the plane would be used as a weapon.

    Of course, hijackers, if they planned to hold it for ransom, may have just accidentally crashed the plane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    The only explanation I can think of is that the airplane was hijacked and the pilot forced to change course. Then, at some point the pilot or pilots figured out what the hijackers intentions and decided that crashing the plane was the better option. Or, the passengers tried to over power the hijackers and the plane crashed into the ocean.
    But no plane has been found in those relatively shallow waters so far despite the massive search effort involved, that's what's puzzling.
    And if the government is aware of the plane's whereabouts, why continue the widespread search effort involving international military and rescue teams?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  14. #74

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    Could North Korea have orchestrated this somehow?
    They have no gripes with Malaysia, AFAIK, but their relationship with China has been rocky lately. And they've been known to do bizarre things, ie kidnapping Japanese citizens and South Korean filmmakers.

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    Aren't most planes programmed to follow a route? If so, could someone have hacked into the route and altered it?
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post

    Maybe this will end up being a case of moronic hijackers like the ones on Ethiopian 961. That flight famously ended up in the water off the coast of Grande Comore, though I doubt Malaysia 370 managed anything similar.
    That pilot showed amazing presence of mind during crisis.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    That pilot showed amazing presence of mind during crisis.
    Yes, even when he must have realised the plane was doomed because the hijackers were too stupid to understand that just because the plane was capable of carrying that much fuel, it didn't mean it WAS.

    He did an impressively good job; it was just such a horrible shame he got caught by the water.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    But no plane has been found in those relatively shallow waters so far despite the massive search effort involved, that's what's puzzling.
    And if the government is aware of the plane's whereabouts, why continue the widespread search effort involving international military and rescue teams?
    Actually it looks like there's a huge drop-off not far from the place now marked as the last place it was seen on radar (a depth of 5000 feet just a little northwest of that point, and deeper in the more open waters outside of the Strait of Malacca). If it didn't crash in the Gulf of Thailand or the southern part of Strait of Malacca, it could be really hard to find. Not to mention that if it actually was hijacked, it could be anywhere - radar coverage would be really spotty past that point where it was last seen. The caginess of the Malaysian authorities almost has me wondering if they might have shot the plane down. I think with this new turn of events, hijacking of course looks possible but could also be some kind of profound loss of the plane's electrical systems that resulted in the pilots trying to blindly navigate their way back to Kuala Lumpur by trying to hug the west coast of the peninsula. If they lost the ability to communicate, maybe the military got alarmed by an unidentified aircraft that doesn't communicate, heading toward KL, with the Petronas towers a possible target? Just a crazy theory though. The strait is so heavily trafficked with boats it seems like somebody would have seen something if that plane went down there, so maybe not.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    That pilot showed amazing presence of mind during crisis.
    Agreed - even if he couldn't save the whole plane (and it looks like he came close to doing so) he did save the lives of 50 people with his quick thinking.

  19. #79
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    The shooting down of the plane idea has occurred to me as well.

    I have been hearing that the shutting off of the transponder would have involved deliberate and competent action as there are many layers of redundancy on this plane.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  20. #80
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    I didn't see this posted anywhere: a crowd-sourcing search of the ocean. Though I don't know if it's in the original search area or in the new area:

    http://www.tomnod.com/nod/challenge/malaysiaairsar2014

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