Disappearing Aircraft 5127

I had fairly well concluded that the most likely cause was a fire disrupting the electrical and control systems, when CNN now say the sharp left turn was pre-programmed 12 minutes before sign off from Malaysian Air Traffic control, which was followed fairly quickly by that left turn.

CNN claim to have this from an US official, from data sent back before the reporting systems went off.  It is hard to know what to make of it: obviously there are large economic interests that much prefer blame to lie with the pilots rather than the aircraft.  But if it is true then the move was not a response to an emergency.  (CNN went on to say the pilot could have programmed in the course change as a contingency in case of an emergency.  That made no sense to me at all – does it to anyone else?)

I still find it extremely unlikely that the plane landed or crashed on land  I cannot believe it could evade military detection as it flew over a highly militarized region.  Somewhere there is debris on the ocean.  There have been previous pilot suicides that took the plane with them; but the long detour first seems very strange and I do not believe is precedented.  However if the CNN information on pre-programming is correct, and given it was the co-pilot who signed off to air traffic control, it is hard to look beyond the pilots as those responsible for whatever did happen.  In fact, on consideration, the most improbable thing is that information CNN are reporting from the US official.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5,127 thoughts on “Disappearing Aircraft

1 167 168 169
  • Pink

    That works for me not sure the marriage problems are proven or even the phonecall depends on who I read .
    In order for it to work would this flight be significant or could it have been pulled off with a number of flights and would he be able to put this scenario into play on the hoof so to speak ?
    So that day he’s pissed off so his critical thinking says I know I will bump off a plane full of people and then hide it from all the tracking, crash it where no one can find it making sure theres no wreckage for S and R to find he then goes on to troubleshoot the reboot problem ,which I assume would mean leaving no one flying the plane as he must have already bumped off the co pilot .

  • Q

    James, is there some element of saving face in your scenario? If someone was controlling the pilot by way of a bribe, threats against his family or extortion, would his wife and family benefit by way of an insurance policy, etc.? I remember reading that his daughter lived in Australia, and thought that might be important at some point.

    Also, I thought it interesting that the private investigator who retracted his statement in the Malaysian “submarine murder” case was forced to leave the country under a combined threat against his family/bribe. He later died of a heart attack (shades of Jim Thompson in the al-Hilli case, with “heart disease” as the logical explanation). His widow went on to sue the Malaysian government, then retracted her lawsuit and statements about the case upon receipt of a bribe, which was supposedly for her children’s education. I’m not sure if the puppets in these dramas have any choice other than to follow orders, no matter how it makes them look.

    Would a pilot take his own life and hundreds of others because of a threat on his family? Maybe, if he was a Malaysian pilot. It’s all bribes, threats, murders. So yes, James, the culture of fear cannot be ignored in the motive and outcome of this story.

  • James


    For “MAS” coming out of “home-base”, it’s pretty “standard” where Long Haul would be.
    Everything goes “North West” or “North” or “North East”.
    Southern routes are to Australia or South Africa.
    From where ever he is, (or other northern routes) he just needs to get to Banda Aceh.
    Or south….. just turn out into that great big ocean.

    Flying up towards Banda Aceh would be pretty “straight forward” (with a bit of previous planning).
    The “turn due south” would be his “party trick”.
    Even with a “fighter or two” following you, you’d be pretty confident. The range you have (out in “wide open ocean” would be tremendous advantage) verse his, would soon make him turn back (or shoot you down).


    I’m only trying to “line up the holes (as I see them) in the Swiss cheese.
    Culture-Wise, all of South East Asia is different to The West. More different than we even suspect.

    Pilot culture is “different again” (even in The West).
    You think a “young First Officer” has the balls to question the decisions a “company Chief Pilot” makes, if they flew together ? Imagine “that” but “10 fold”. Then you have “South East Asian culture”.

    How would a “Senior Capt” get a “Junior First Officer” out of the cockpit ?
    I say, he could have said “Bring me a coffee”…..and the other guy would.
    Believe you me, I have had “flaming arguments” when another (more senior) Capt has decided “he’ll have a rest in the back and a bite to eat” on a “ferry flight” (no pax). And this is “in The West” !!!!

    My answer has always been “that’s okay, if you want to be an arse about it…. I’ll just file a Safety Report when we land” At that point it is “bye bye his career”. BUT Senior Capts have “tried” to pull this stunt on me.

    How easy is it to get the “New First Officer” out of a cockpit in South East Asia ????
    Just “tell him” to go. And he’ll most likely go.

  • James

    …. oh, gaining entry to a cockpit on a B777, if you’re locked outside, is pretty easy (but a bit “messy”).
    The door has a “default”.

    But you can easily (and quickly) over-ride that default (on the inside).

    Lastly, the “endeavour” was probably to cause “the complete and total loss, without discovery” of the aircraft.
    The pax and remaining crew were likely dead by the time the crossed Malaysia (I suspect), if not before it reached the coast (on it’s inbound journey to the coast).
    Maybe that will “come out” once they find the aircraft (and then, I suspect it is already known now). I think “finding the aircraft” is more an exercise in “confirming” theories that are already “known”.

    The “classic” “Known, Knowns” !

  • Pink

    @Jasmes does this mess with your theory ?

    Posted April 22, 2016 at 11:48 AM


    Yes, I am aware of that as I initiated that discussion at that time.

    The one problem remaining is that the ACARS traffic log expires at 18:25, but according to FI, p. 47, it was retransmitted until 18:43. Obviously there was an SDU reboot in between and it therefore remains somewhat inconclusive whether the message by MAS OPS ever reached the aircraft (as the controller claimed it did). As the Inmarsat logs confirm that there was no ACARS traffic via SATCOM after 17:07 (and contain only the two text transmission attempts of 18:03 and 18:05), this suggests further retransmission attempts occurred via VHF.

    At least it seems to be a contradiction.
    Posted April 22, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    @Nederland: This has all been discussed several times before. The log-on status of MH370 in the (SITA) ACARS server timed out from inactivity prior to 18:03. Therefore, no messages were received by MH370 by either SATCOM or VHF.


    • Q

      Not necessary to put a hijacker on board in order to commandeer MH370. Not necessary to remotely control the plane with costly EW gear. The cultural norm under the present government of Malaysia involves a threat combined with a bribe. Then, as with the PI in the “submarine murder”, silence the extortee. Was the mystery phone call from the pilot to check with someone after certain terms and conditions were met…or variations on this theme? Once met, the deal, and the flight ended. Or if not met, the plane did not crash into a target as planned, but ” vanished”. Of course the Australian search is off track. Is Australia complicit or clueless?

  • James


    Yes and No (is the simple answer).

    I am guessing you get SATCOM and VHF carried transmissions ?
    You basically use SATCOM when you can’t get VHF (so “out of range/over sea etc, etc).
    ACARS receives via “either” channel, depending where you are.

    At “some point” MAS370 crossed the “mainland” so would be on VHF.
    INMARSAT would only log comms sent by SATCOM (no VHF).

    I guess it depends how the comms were “blocked” (or rendered inoperative) on the aircraft…and how that whoever on the flight deck believed the efficiency of that “block” was.

    The question really revolves around “the SDU became active/unblocked/performed a logon…why was that?”.

    Did “at or around Banda Aceh and prior to the turn south” whoever have a reason to perform a “re-check” of the communication “block” (for some reason or not) which caused the sys to perform a “logon”.

    Maybe whoever just performed a “re-check” (as the turn south was the “next big thing” in their plan).
    Lets face it, they got to Banda Aceh “untouched”. That would have been stressful (after going “dark”).

  • Pink

    I personally do not think Captain Shah was responsible he seems to me to have been a very interesting decent man not that what I think matters as I am just an observer ,I would prefer to think he did his best to save the situation what ever it was
    It is heartening that people are still trying after all this time to get to the bottom of what happened and I have a lot of faith in Victor to oversee whats going on and test every relevent titbit that comes his way, it does not look like answers are going to come easily having said that I have seen mention of a cyclone that may bring some more debris ashore, every bit may add a little bit more and as Q said people are more alert I think a few are primed and ready to get out and search for anything new coming ashore.
    Q On the daughter I did wonder early on if finding himself in a hopeless situation Captain Shah turned towards Aus to send a final message the only way he could a bit fanciful I suspect .

    • michael norton

      Urgent repair for nearly 200 Dreamliner planes over engine failure fears
      BOEING’S popular Dreamliner planes are being recalled for urgent works following a shocking midair incident.
      The warning from the Federal Aviation Administration Authority (FAA) comes after an engines on a Japan Airlines 787 Dreamliner shut down mid-flight and could not be restarted.

      Luckily the pilot was able to land the plane safely using the remaining engine but the terrifying incident has prompted the FAA to give airlines until the first week of October to complete repair work for the “urgent safety issue”.
      Until the planes are fixed, pilots have been told to carry out special ice removal procedures during flights.

      The worrying issue is the latest in a series of problems the 787 has experienced, despite it being billed as the most sophisticated aircraft ever made.

      Its maiden voyage was delayed by two years after it was plagued by issues.

      Guess what – not R/R engines!

        • michael norton

          In March 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States ordered emergency fixes on the GEnX-1B PIP2 turbofan engine system, due to issues met on in-service aircraft flying in icing conditions. The airworthiness directive affects 43 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the US, and other nations are expected to follow suit.
          The fix involves using fan-grinding machinery.

          Letting them carry on flying until October
          seems a “bit” risky?

  • James

    There we have it folks. They haven’t said this before….

    “In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area,” (ATSB 27.04.2016)

    “Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China in April last year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated this will be completed around the middle of the year”

    So far, they have covered 100,000 square kilometres, so 20,000 to go …and if there’s nothing, then they “pack up” and go home.

    I understand that some of the search teams haven’t been happy with the way things have been conducted.
    There method is, not to search for something….but to take a search area, divide it in to segments and the systematically “rule out” each segment. That’s “completely and utterly” rule out that area. I’m not sure that has been done. There have been “re-searches” of areas.
    That will “muddy the waters” (pardon the pun) when the fall-out comes, later on…if nothing is found.

    Then it’ll be down to “the debris” (that which has been discovered….and that which is to be discovered). I’m not sure if outside/independent sources will be allowed to analyse that wreckage. Or “test” the findings of the relevant authorities and report writers. No doubt that will be seen later on.

    Of course this will include the analysis of the marine life found on the debris. So far, noting is known about that yet (officially), but there are “rumblings” that it doesn’t look like there is “sufficient” marine life on the debris.
    Again, we’ll see what the reports conclude and how that evidence is presented….and if it can be scrutinised or not.

    I would also like to see a B777-200 carrying the same equipment (satcom wise) fly the proposed route of MAS370 (with the SDU only sending out “handshakes”) and for that data to be compared. Obviously there will be differences, but it would “test” the Inmarsat data, especially when the position of that aircraft could be precisely plotted and it position compared to Inmarsat calculations of it’s location.
    That would be “costly”, in so much as “pounds, shillings and pence”…
    ….but it would be a “speck in the ocean” (pardon the pun) compared to the money so far spent.

  • James

    To add…..

    It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, when you don’t even know where the haystack is…
    …..and you’re wearing a blindfold whilst stood on the moon (on the dark side !).

    Variables include (for Inmarsat calcs) velocity of a/c, changes in that velocity, over that period, altitude of that a/c, changes in altitude over that period, rate of altitude change, head winds affecting velocity, tail winds affecting velocity, any course changes of that a/c during that flight…….then there’s systemic “noise” in that data (assuming you can calculate all of the above). Short‐term variations in RF oscillator frequency.
    ….and the list goes on.

    So you’re left with a arc, the size of Jupiter !
    Or at least one that spreads itself from somewhere North East of Christmas Island to somewhere miles of the South West of Australia.

    Maybe “logging on” again, was an “intentional” good idea ?
    A few “alterations” in flight, and the “ping data” is useless.
    That would add “insult to injury” as well as tens of millions more spent on a search.
    Now there’s a thought.

    • michael norton

      Dreamliner GE engines to be disc-cut off a ladder without removing the engines,

      I expect they’ll get a gypsy to do it?

      According to the FAA document, “Susceptibility to heavy fan blade rubs, if not corrected, could result in engine damage and a possible in-flight non-restartable power loss of one or both engines.”
      “The potential for common cause failure of both engines in flight is an urgent safety issue,” the FAA document said.


      All of the work is done on-wing with no engine removals.”
      The specific engine type is the GEnx-1B PIP2. The order affects about 176 Dreamliners at 29 airlines worldwide, the FAA document said.

  • Pink

    @Q What do you think of this idea ?

    Erik Nelson
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 8:20 AM
    @ everybody

    Any chance that the pilots were somehow trying to communicate, via their radar track ? Please consider, if only once:

    Kota Bharu = Hamid
    Penang = Shah
    N571 to IGOGU = A2157 @ IGARI
    ANOKO = no
    NOPEK = no
    POVUS = power

    MH370 flew an “M” shaped route, through the hometowns of both pilots, and onto an air route with a name alot like their assigned transponder code, to a terminus waypoint with a name alot like “IGARI” where some crisis developed.

    Kota Bharu = Hamid
    Penang = Shah
    N571 to IGOGU = A2157 @ IGARI
    ANOKO = no
    NOPEK = no
    POVUS = power

    “This is HAMID & SHAH of A2157 who turned at IGARI, we have NO repeat NO POWER…”



  • James

    Supersonic to reach the “hostile”.
    Man, that is a “special order” from the QRA.
    They were certainly “hauling ass”.

    Add that one to last weeks BA flight (DXB to LHR) intercepted by the Hungarians when it was “no comms” entering their airspace…and they didn’t call in, couldn’t be raised ATC and couldn’t be contacted by other aircraft in the area (on 121.5).
    That’s an invite into the office for “tea and biscuits” whilst you explain why you’re a “half wit” as they fill out your resignation letter for you.

    So… it begs the question, yet again, why didn’t Malaysia send up interceptors ?

    1. No hand-over to Vietnam. That wouldn’t register at first, but would be re-checked once the alert goes off.
    2. No ID displayed on Secondary Radar. It’s crashed then. Contact SAR immediately.
    3. An “unidentified inbound aircraft” on Primary Radar, not displayed on Secondary Radar. That’s QRA.

    Points 2 and 3 necessitate that SAR are alerted for one possible event AND Interceptors are scrambled, to deal with the second event. You wouldn’t need to “suspect” that the two events were linked (at that point).

    The minister they kept wheeling out, kept saying “We’re not at war, do you expect us to shoot down an airliner”.
    Noooo minister ! What we expect, what happens, what the SOP worldwide is (apart from the bizarre events in America on “9/11”) …… you “scramble” aircraft for them to “investigate”. They intercept the aircraft and try and make contact with it….. and flash it their “shoot down” capabilities, strapped on the under belly !

    Later….you can make other decisions. The idea is, you have at least “eyes on” a situation (radio comms from the interceptors to ground) and that gives you time to make plans or consider other options”. I guess the Defence Minister” didn’t attend the course on that day !

  • James

    Was MAS370 a “here’s how it’s done” for 9/11 ?

    I believe aircraft were hijacked that day.
    And I believe that aircraft crashed into targets in America.

    But I don’t believe the “two” are linked.

    Is this the answer to the “logoff/logon” event (“black” with VHF then back to SATCOM …and gone) ?

    The unreleased “28 pages” is making a big “hornets nest” in the U.S.
    No wonder Trump is getting “Dem” and “Rep” voters (and “I have never voted”) people to his cause ?



  • Pink

    James I have no idea what this means what has it to do with 911 and what “two”don’t you believe are linked.?
    I don’t understand the satcom comment either can you explain please?

    “James said
    May 4, 2016 at 03:11

    Was MAS370 a “here’s how it’s done” for 9/11 ?

    I believe aircraft were hijacked that day.
    And I believe that aircraft crashed into targets in America.

    But I don’t believe the “two” are linked.

    Is this the answer to the “logoff/logon” event (“black” with VHF then back to SATCOM …and gone) ?”

1 167 168 169