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Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

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    The mystery deepens.... the pings previously "heard" now appears as if they came from other ships in the search, or the unit they towed after themselves when listening for the black box.
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      I have tried to not connect MH370 with Silk Air flight 185 of December 1997 but cannot avoid the possible connection. The US NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) thought the accident was most likely caused by a member of the crew purposefully pulling the circuit breakers for the flight data and cokcpit voice recorders then forcing the plane into a dive. The Singapore government denied the ruling stating that the cause could not be known. I think the data recorder systems were turned off and the aircraft crashed on purpose. Almost seven years later another aircraft disappears and the guilty had knowledge of how much could be learned from the 185 crash and worked accordingly. No motive implicating the flight crew has been found but I think turning off a transponder and flying in a different direction is very easily achieved even by someone that has searched the Internet.


        I personally think that there can only probably be two or three possibilities why the transponder stopped communications, - either a deliberate act by a person or persons wishing to either hijack or harm the plane, or maybe an accidental act by one of the pilots whilst he was suffering from hypoxia. Either that or fire disrupted either the power or output from the unit. (The unit may well have been operating the whole of the flight, but with it's links with the antenna broken).

        Last night the BBC transmitted an Horizon program about the flight, it concentrated a lot on the information from Inmarsat. The top boffin at Inmarsat was explaining exactly how they determined which path the plane took, and where they thought the plane came down. Surprisingly, according to the program, the area of ocean where the Inmarsat data suggests the flight ended, is still to be searched, it was not one of the areas in which they listed for the data recorders pings. It would seem that the Australians were intending on following that final part of the flight path whilst listening for pings, but were led away by what turned out to be a wild goose chase when ping's were reported elsewhere. A chance missed i think.

        But, from what i could make out from what the boffin from Inmarsat was saying, their data was based solely on the last reported position of the plane being accurate. That information came from the Malaysian military, it would seem that it is their radar information alone that says that the plane made a sharp turn to the west from it's normal flight path. I personally cannot help but wonder how reliable that crucial bit of information can be. After all, the planes transponder was not working, so the military radar would have only seen an unidentified blip. I cannot see how they can be so certain they were actually looking at MH370. Again, it would seem that all of Ithe Inmarsat data was calculated from the position given by the military, if that was wrong, the Inmarsat data would also be incorrect.
        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


          This is very much in line with my thinking as well. They have an unidentified target on their screen and it disappear as it gets under radar horizon somewhere to the North west of Sabang at the tip of Sumatra. This could be any plane coming from points east and heading to India or Middle East. From the distance at which it disappeared it is possible to determine the altitude reasonably accurately. Unfortunately the data obtained from Malaysia Military radar does not appear to be consistent with other information available, or be very logical.

          Besides, why would a suicidal Pilot, a terrorist or a highjacker fly on for several hours before ditching the plane?
          Or, in the last two cases; why ditch it in the middle of nowhere and without making a claim?

          When it lost communication MH 370 have been reported as making a turn to return to Malaysia. The initial course reported by the radar was towards Penang, which would make sense, since this is the nearest major airport and a maintenance hub for MAS. I don't believe in the theory that the plane rose to 45,000 ft. or dropped to 5,000 ft. simply because the radar does not detect altitude of targets within range, unless it is locked on to a specific target.

          Assuming that the communications were knocked out by loss of the main antenna, and also causing a drop in cabin pressure, this would cause the crew and passengers to become unconscious after a short time. The plane would keep on flying at the course, altitude and power setting last dialed into the Autopilot. It would thus be flying onward until running out of fuel, somewhere over the Indian Ocean. The big question is WHERE???


          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            The problem with that is that if the plane continued on a course as indicated to reach Penang, it would have come down closer to Mauritius then Australia.
            It would also have flown relatively close to the major American base at Diego Garcia, where it should have been picked up on US surveillance radar.
            If the plane seen heading west over Penang was another fight and not MH 370, it is possible that they had been heading back to KLIA, in which case it makes sense that the ending point would have been in the Southern Indian Ocean, near the area indicated by Inmarsat.
            As said before; how could an unidentified plane cross the most densely populated and strategically important part of Peninsular Malaysia without being spotted by military radar, or civilian air traffic control?? Saya tidak tao!!

          I think the military identification is largely a case of we saw something go that way. It shows the level of their continuous monitoring capabilities and what they can do when an unidentified plane crosses their path. In a time of peace... not much.


          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            If you look at the plots that has been shown lately, based on Malaysian military radar, it is consistent with their target being another commercial aircraft en route across Peninsular Malaysia to destinations North West. The plot shows a course alteration overhead Penang, which is normal if they are using ground navigation aids. The target then disappear off radar when reaching radar horizon, which is also very normal. This position is what is given to Inmarsat as their starting point.

            On the plot, which is now based on Inmarsat data, the plan then make a sharp turn and heads South, which is not normal for any commercial airliner on a regular flight. Since the starting point of the Inmarsat plot is likely to be wrong, their calculated end point is also likely to be wrong.

            If the starting point is moved to where MH 370 is like have been at the same time as the other plane disappeared from radar, and assuming it was on a heading consistent with a return to KLIA, it should be possible to recalculate the flight path and end point, based on Inmarsat's data.
            Has this logical assumption been investigated by all the various experts involved?? I don't know. Does anybody know??

            Remember the debris field that was spotted by Thai satellite well to the South West of the search area?? This is consistent with this theory.

            Another surprising fact is that until now no floating debris has come ashore anywhere, or been spotted at sea. Even with the remoteness of the area and very little traffic. Something must have floated up and be still afloat somewhere? (Refr. debris from the Tsunami crossing the Pacific)

          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            Shortly after I wrote the above comments I heard on BBC World News that when they are starting up the search again, using commercially available vessels and equipment, they will be searching a lot further south then last time.
            In fact the Fugro Explorer is on it's way to map the seafloor over 60.000 sq. n.miles along the estimated flight path. (Refr. Today's Maasmond Newsclippings)
            A Chinese research vessel is already in the area doing the same.

          Malaysian police special criminal investigative branch focused the inquiry on Captain Zaharie Shah, 53, after intelligence checks failed to substantiate any suspicions about the other people on board the Boeing 777-200 airliner, which was lost on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew.

          The logic been; if nobody else can be blamed, the Pilot MUST have done it. Malaysia boleh


            Although I obviously have nothing to contribute I follow this discussion keenly - interesting news that they are restarting the search.

            "To thine own self be true.......
            Thou canst not then be false to any man."


              I read an article in the news today concerning a company called 'GeoResonance', the company was wanting to know why the authorities were seemingly ignoring information that they had given them that seems to have identified the wreckage of a commercial jet liner in the Bay of Bengal.

              Link to the article in the International Business Times - here.

              This got me interested in the company GeoResonance, so i took a look at their website. I read through the press release they made on the 29th of April. They had found what appears to be the wreckage of an aircraft whilst they were looking through satellite data that was collected on the 10th of March. (I personally have no idea how accurate their methods are). After finding evidence of wreckage from a large aircraft they then checked the same area using data taken on the 5th of March, in that data they found no evidence of aircraft wreckage. So, whatever it was they had detected, it had appeared sometime between the dates of the satellite images, the 5th and the 10th of March.

              I think i agree with GeoResonance, somebody should go take a look.

              Link to their website and the press releases, so far i have only read the April 29th statement. -

              Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                It appears to be ignorance of the capabilities of modern search methods and resources available on part of both Malaysian and Australian authorities, incl. the ATSB and AMSA teams involved in the hunt for the missing MH 370. If somebody have pinpointed a position in the Bay of Bengal as a possible wreck site of something with a "signature" similar to that of a B777, why not send a research ship with a high capacity echo sounder, multi-beam and an "eye ball ROV" installed. If it is anything there it could be identified within a day or two and at a relative low cost, at least compared to what is planned for the Southern Indian Ocean.

                How the aircraft could end up there is of cause a question that need to be asked. If this should be MH 370 it will open up again the theories of terrorism, or hijacking, as it is not far enough from the last reported position by military radar to be explained by "running out of fuel". But if so, why has nobody claimed responsibility?

                From that last position to the reported wreck site "190 km south of the Bangladesh coastline" the heading would be abt. 345 degr. Continuing that line would lead across the Himalayas and into Tibet. Maybe "somebody" were planning a spectacular crash into Mt. Everest?

                I stick to my theory that the plane plotted by military radar was another airliner and that MH 370 tried to return to KLIA, but the pilots lost consciousness before reaching a low enough altitude.
                The plane would thus continue on into the Southern Indian Ocean, where it run out of fuel and ditched.

                Here is the best Time Line I have seen for what happened and when: (First 3 lines are distorted)
                Elapsed (HH:MM) Time Event
                MYT UTC
                00:00 8 March 7 March Take-off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport
                00:41 16:41
                00:20 01:01 17:01 Crew confirms altitude of 35,000 feet (11,000 m)[42]
                00:26 01:07 17:07 Last ACARS data transmission received;[43][44]:36 crew confirms altitude of 35,000 feet, a second time[42]
                00:26–1:22 01:07–2:03 17:07–18:03 Satellite communication link lost sometime during this period.[44]:36
                00:38 01:19 17:19 Last Malaysian ATC voice contact[45]
                00:40 01:21 17:21 Last secondary radar (transponder) contact at [IMG]file:///C:/Users/ombugge/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png[/IMG]6°55′15″N 103°34′43″E[46][47]
                00:41 01:22 17:22 Transponder and ADS-B no longer operating.
                00:44 01:25 17:25 Aircraft deviated from planned route[17]:2
                00:49 01:30 17:30 Voice contact attempt by another aircraft, at request of Vietnam ATC; mumbling and radio static heard in reply[39]
                00:56 01:37 17:37 Missed expected half-hourly ACARS data transmission[43]
                01:34 02:15 18:15 Last primary radar contact by Malaysian military, 200 miles (320 km) NW of Penang, at position 6°49′38″N 97°43′15″E (Occurred at 02:22, per ATSB[17]:3
                01:44 02:25 18:25 'Log-on request' sent by aircraft to satellite. Satellite communication link is reestablished after being lost for between 22–68 min.[44]:39[17]:18Sometimes referred to as the first hourly 'handshake' after disappearing from radar.[48][49]
                01:58 02:39 18:39 Ground to aircraft telephone call via aircraft's satellite link unanswered.[44]:40[17]:18
                05:49 06:30 22:30 Missed scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
                06:32 07:13 23:13 Ground to aircraft telephone call via aircraft's satellite link unanswered.[44]:40[17]:18
                06:43 07:24 23:24 Malaysia Airlines pronounces flight missing in statement released to media[4]
                07:30 08:11 8 March Sixth and last successful automated hourly handshake with Inmarsat-3 F1[48][50]
                07:38 08:19:29 00:19:29 Unexplained 'log-on request' sent by aircraft to satellite.[44]:41[17]:18 Sometimes referred to as a 'partial handshake' transmitted by aircraft.[51][52]
                07:38 08:19:37 00:19:37 After the ground station responded to the log-on request, the aircraft replied with a 'log-on acknowledgement' transmission at 08:19:37.443 MYT. This is the last transmission received from MH370.[44]:41[17]:18
                08:34 09:15 01:15 Aircraft did not respond to a scheduled, hourly handshake attempt by Inmarsat.[48][44]:41
                From Wikipedia:

                And here is the latest plot as published by Reuters, with my assumed route in red:

                From the above a lot of facts (or fiction??) can be derived:
                The plane left KLIA at 0041 hrs. and lost contact at 0122 hrs. after having flown on the intended route for only 41 min. The first 20 min. was used to reach the intended altitude of 35000 ft. the next 20 min. in level flight. The distance covered to the given location (6°55′15″N 103°34′43″E) is only abt. 250 n.miles. The average speed is thus abt. 330 kts. Which is as expected during a climb. When exactly it turned is not proven, but the time is given as 0125 hrs. in the above time line.

                The plot assumes that the target flew at 465 kts. and made a turn over Penang, which leads me to believe that they were plotting another plane, not MH 370.
                My assumption is that this is because now the data is all from Inmarsat’s and based on a wrong starting point. If so, the end point is also likely to be wrong.
                If they were trying to reach Penang, but passed out before getting there, the plane would not have made any turn when passing over Penang, but continued on the same heading, in which case it would have come down somewhere closer to Mauritius than Australia.

                Continued below.



                  The last "known" position 6°49′38″N 97°43′15″E is based on data retrieved from Malaysian radar days later and under pressure to come up with a result. (Could they have plotted another plane???) This position was given as to Inmarsat as their starting point and was the basis for all their calculations thereafter. If this position is wrong, all of their calculations may also be wrong.
                  The plot shows MH 370 making a sudden turn towards the South at this point. Why? Unless there were somebody there controlling the plane, that is not possible.

                  If we in stead assume that they were trying to return to KLIA and that the turn took approx. 5 min. before reaching the reciprocal heading of 201 degr. (required to return to KLIA) and assuming a speed in level flight at 35000 ft. of 450 kts. (which is abt. normal cruising speed for a B 777) the plane would have passed KL at around 0200 hrs. (If they had come down to a lower altitude it would have flown even slower and passed KL later)
                  They would be somewhere over central Sumatra at 0215 hrs. when the plane plotted on Malaysian military radar disappeared to the NW of Pulau Wee/Sabang.

                  Assuming the above scenario, the heading of approx. 201 degr. would take them out into the Indian Ocean, crossing the coast of Sumatra around Padang. The plane would have continued flying on this course until it run out of fuel and then probably glide for another several miles before hitting the water.

                  I note that Inmarsat is operating with a speed of 350 kts. which may indicate that it was flying at a lower altitude than 35000 ft. in which case it would have run out of fuel somewhat short of the extreme range that can be assumed, based on the reported fuel load on departure.

                  The plane was said to have been loaded with fuel for 8 hrs. normal flight. From the timeline we can see that last contact with the IO Satellite was at 0811 hrs. or 7 hrs. 30 min. after departure from KLIA. An unexplained “log on request and acknowledgment" at 0820 hrs. is last contact with the satellite, 7 hrs. 38 m. after take-off.
                  The scheduled “hand shake” at 0911 hrs. did not happen. That should indicate that the plane lost power and ditched somewhere after 0820 hrs. and before 0910 hrs. Most likely around 0840 hrs. or 8 hrs. from departure KLIA.

                  Using these assumptions the plane could have reached as far as 3,000 n.miles from passing over KL at abt. 0200 hrs. Assuming level flight at 35000 ft. and 450 kts. this would have it ditch to the South West of Perth, WA and close to the Mid-Indian Ridge.

                  If we use the Inmarsat speed of 350 kts. and the same time frame, the distance from KL would be approx.. 2,300 n.miles, which put the ditching position that much further north, but along the same assumed flight path.

                  This does not allow for any strong jet stream affecting the speed, or course made good, but weather data for the time of this flight should be available to those who is tasked with finding this plane.

                  From the latest new and the report issued by ATSB I got a feeling that the thinking is more along these lines then to find some terrorists, or deranged pilots to blame.

                  It will be interesting to see how close my assumptions are, if and when they find the wreckage.


                    Whatever route it took, it is surprising it was not picked up by radar and queried. Especially if it did double back over Malaysia. If any government anywhere are holding back a little bit of information, then no doubt it would be because they do not wish to announce to the world that their airspace is very badly protected. (Which they would be doing if they admitted that a 777 overflew their country without being detected).

                    With regards to my post concerning the Bay of Bengal, i also realised that there was a discrepancy when taking into account how far the plane could have flown with the known fuel aboard. I did wonder if this could be accounted for by the plane coming down early due to failures caused by a spreading electrical fire, but soon dismissed that idea because the inmarsat data showed that the plane did indeed seem to have carried on flying until it's fuel was exhausted.

                    If we believe in the assumption that loss of cabin pressure was indeed to blame for the loss of the plane, we should ask how on earth could it have happened? I am presuming that a Boeing 777 is fitted with alarms to warn of loss of cabin pressure, and i would also assume that these alarms would sound long before the lack of oxygen became critical for the flight crew? I would then also assume that the normal reaction to such an alarm would be for the flight crew to use their emergency oxygen supply. That supply should then be capable of lasting long enough for the crew to descend to a safe altitude, and send a distress call detailing their problem.

                    If my above assumptions are correct, what on earth could have gone so terribly wrong on MH370? If lack of oxygen was indeed to blame, then i can only imagine that either the alarm did not sound until it was already too late, or, the flight crew did not follow procedure upon the alarm sounding. I personally believe it must have been a failure of the alarm system to alert the crew in time - before hypoxia had already taken affect. But what caused the failure of the alarm? Electrical fire perhaps?

                    Hopefully the wreckage will be found, and then maybe we shall have some answers.

                    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                    • ombugge
                      ombugge commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Malaysian military radar surveillance of their air space is obviously not very good, since it took several days before they managed to come up with a track for a plane claimed to be MH 370 flying over the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia, based on recorded data stored in a computer somewhere.
                      Nobody noticed an unidentified aircraft flying in their air space at the time?? If he did, the Radar Operator did not alert anybody to the fact??
                      The excuse, given days later, when questioned by the media, was that; "it was not regarded as any danger to security". Presumably that judgement was made after the stored data was examined then?

                      Somewhere along the line it was also stated that the plane was flying low across the Peninsula, but a radar does not detect altitude, unless locked on to a target. How do they know??
                      The distance covered in the one hour they tracked the plane is approx 465 n.miles (860 km), which indicate that whatever they were tracking was flying at normal cruising speed for jet airliners at normal cruising altitude, above 30.000 ft. This would not be the speed if it was flying at a low altitude.

                      The data presented by Inmarsat does indicate a slower speed of 350 kts., which COULD indicate a low altitude flight. But it can also be because this was the speed indicated to Inmarsat, together with the point of disappearance from radar, used as the starting point of their calculated track.
                      Since the satellite does not detect directions from where incoming signals is coming, only signal strength to indicate how far the transmitter is from the satellite, the starting point is crucial for all further position estimations. They also reportedly used the Doppler effect as part of their calculations.
                      Initially they could not say if the plane flew in a Northerly or Southerly direction. The Northerly "corridor" was only eliminated because that would lead them into Indian and Chinese air space, where military surveillance radar is supposedly manned by alert Operators 24/7.

                      If the cause of the problem was indeed loss of cabin pressure, why didn't the Pilots send a mayday transmission, and why did they not take the plane down to 10-12,000 ft. while emergency oxygen supply lasted?? The first can be explained by the root cause being loss of the antennas, also causing a breach of the pressure hull, but the second is more difficult to understand. If they had been able to get down to 10-12,000 ft. there would have been no major accident and no mystery.

                      The other theory; electric fire knocking out communication equipment and causing toxic fumes to knock out the pilots, but only after they had turned the plane around to head either to Penang (the nearest 24 hr. airport) or back to KLIA (the most likely scenario) They must also have been able to control the fire, otherwise the plane would have come down in a fire ball somewhere over the South China Sea.

                      If they did not turn around, but just continued on their planned route towards the North East, the plane would have ended up somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, not the Indian Ocean. It would also be outside the coverage area of the Indian Ocean Satellite.

                      A mystery indeed.
                      Last edited by ombugge; July 5th, 2014, 06:29.

                    I've had some ask about the "pings" and if the aircraft and and satellite were communicating why more information can't be learned. It is important to understand that there is a separate system responsible for keeping the aircraft's satellite dish pointing at the satellite. The dish takes data from the aircraft such as airspeed, attitude and heading to keep the dish aimed at the satellite. The pointing system also pings the satellite as needed to aid pointing and maintain proper alignment. Then the satellite performs minute adjustments for the doppler shift in the signal before re-transmitting it to ground stations. So, even though the satcom system is receiving information about the aircraft's flight data it is not actively broadcasting it. It's just using it to help point the dish.

                    Reading in industry publications it is funny to learn that even they are shocked at what they don't know simply because nobody has tired. 20 years ago a cell phone user's location was largely unknown. Then they developed the technology to triangulate and locate the phone based on the signal from several towers. Now it's commonly done with cell phones but has not been done previously with aircraft using satellites. Most acknowledge that the pieces are there to solve the puzzle but this is the first time anyone has tried.


                    • ombugge
                      ombugge commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Satellite communication from ships and planes should in principle be the same, or similar in as much they move around the world. They also do roll and pitch motions, although not to the same degree and frequency.
                      The antenna disk for a ship station is gyro stabilized to always point at the satellite it is locked on to. The satellites send out a homing signal to aid in this process. Once locked on the antenna will follow the movement of the ship to maintain the strongest possible signal at all times. If the homing signal is lost for some reason, the antenna will start searching for a signal of the right frequency and optimum strength and lock on.

                      On jack-up rigs, where there are no movement while on a drilling location, it was common to dispense with the gyro stabilization for the antenna and do the searching manually. This was done by turning the antenna to the approx. settings required, based on relative position of the rig and the satellite, then fine adjust until eventually finding the correct azimuth and inclination for optimum signal strength. When moving satellite communication was lost.
                      With the introduction of GMDSS this process was eliminated for Satcom C, but V-Sat communication still required manual adjustments, as did the disk for taking down TV etc.

                      PS> Here is a link to a typical Satcom Antenna array for air crafts and ships/boats:
                      Last edited by ombugge; July 8th, 2014, 08:02.

                    Yes, it is rather surprising just how little information is given away by a modern airliner once the main transponder is switched off for whatever reason. A big lesson learnt i hope. I believe that MH370 was nothing more than a tragic accident, but i think it just goes to show that if someone did want to make a commercial jet liner disappear for whatever reason, then they now know that it would take the authorities quite a while to track them down if they did hijack one.

                    It really is madness, these days you can have satellite tracking devices hidden in your car, if your car gets stolen you get the satellite company to look for your car. Lots of fleet vehicles have them these days so that your employer knows exactly where you are. Surely something similar should be fitted to all commercial aircraft - something that cannot be turned off whilst the plane is in flight - and make sure it does not rely on the planes main communications dishes and aerials. Either that, or how about having the planes current system ping more than one satellite? When you consider the vast amount of satellites that are up there now, i am sure there must be a cheap and simple solution to the problem.

                    On a different point, does anyone here know what a planes auto pilot would do if for instance you set it to head for a certain way point, but upon reaching that way point the auto pilot failed to receive any further input from the flight crew. Obviously i imagine that warnings would be sounding, but other than that, what would an auto pilot on a modern jet liner do? Just carry right on in the direction it was travelling in to reach the way point? or would it do something else? I was just wondering about the change of course MH370 made, if the flight crew were trying to tackle some emergency on the flight deck, i wonder if they would have simply input a known way point into the auto pilot, rather than working out a heading. A way point for instance that would have taken them back towards an airport. When getting to the way point, what would the auto pilot do if it received no further input? Carry on the heading it was on, even though it would take it away from the way point it was instructed to go to?, fly around in circles?, carry on to the next nearest way point? Just a thought.
                    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                    • ombugge
                      ombugge commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Interesting question about the Autopilot functions and what will happen if there is nobody there to make alterations, or switch it off and take manual control.
                      I don't know for sure, but assume that MH 370 had a fully integrated "Flight Management System", which included both traditional Auto Pilot and the possibilities to enter way points for the planned route.

                      What happened when the plane was turned around at abt. 0125 hrs. is obviously not known. Did the pilots take over and make a manual turn, or did they just dial in a new way point and leave the Auto Pilot to execute the turn? Did they also go into a steep decline, whether manually or by auto pilot?
                      If the last; were they still conscious when the plane reach the set course and altitude? (It appears not)

                      What happened when the plane reached the last entered way point is something to ponder. The Flight Management System obviously could not just shut itself down, but without any further direction it appears obvious that it would just keep on the last set heading, altitude and speed.

                      Is it possible that stored data from last visit to that same way point would trigger it to follow whatever route had been input at that time?
                      Sounds far fetched, but that could explain a turn over Penang and a NW'ly heading from there.
                      In that case the tracking by military radar appears plausible, but at a high altitude. It does not explain the sudden turn to SSW and then South, as shown on the plot in Post # 69. It would also make Inmarsat's plot irrelevant.

                      I stick to my assumption that they tried to return to KLIA, but at what altitude and at what speed?

                      PS> All you ever wanted to know about Flight Management Systems:
                      Last edited by ombugge; July 8th, 2014, 08:54. Reason: Add PS

                    With the new Nano satellites it should be relatively cheap and easy to have enough simple satellites for world wide coverage in low orbit, similar to Iridium, GPS etc.
                    If dedicated to a single task of tracking air crafts in flight and based on data from a separate and "tamper free" GPS system with a separate power back-up, it should be possible to down-load and store positions of all commercial air crafts in flight at regular intervals.
                    The data could be stored for a given period of time and brought out whenever necessary. No need for costly monitoring.

                    If this should be expanded to an international and mandatory system to record and store all the data that is now recorded in the "Black boxes", the system would require a lot more elaborate satellites and administration. (And harder to control access to the data)
                    Last edited by ombugge; July 8th, 2014, 08:32.


                      First it is important to note that there are very many autopilot and auto throttle modes. What the aircraft does will depend very specifically on what autopilot mode is selected and what conditions occur. In general I would say there is an "indication" that the aircraft has reached a waypoint but not an alarm. If a route is programmed and selected the aircraft would likely proceed to the next waypoint. If a route is not programmed and selected then I assume the aircraft would simply proceed on the same heading as when it passed over the waypoint.

                      Most automatic modes (autopilot and auto throttle) will automatically disconnect under certain conditions. This has been noted in some accidents or near accidents when the crew was not aware of a problem until things got very bad and the automatic systems said "I quit" with little or no warning. Generally though I don't think it happens with something benign like passing a waypoint. I think it most often applies to altitude hold and throttle control not for heading or course.

                      Talk in the industry is building for tamper resistant data recorders and for broadcasting aircraft telemetry and health information. Whether it happens... we shall see. Many great safety advances have been buried and lost in bureaucracy. Two major accidents within years of each other with aircraft missing over open ocean is a strong message. Nano satellites no, as there is capability in orbit already and it is available on the commercial market. The satellites and technology are not the problem. Developing an international standard and creating or appointing an overseeing agency is the big problem.