Malaysia Airline MH370 enroute to Beijing DISAPPEARED

I don’t understand how a plane with advance technology these days could just disappeared? If they can track my puny iPhone and locate me on the street, I don’t believe a plane could disappeared like that. No debris, no crashes… just disappeared. Is there any sense to this?

My thoughts are with the family… sad news…

It’s called accidents for a reason.

The sudden cutoff indicates something very rapid happened, before the pilots could radio for help.

The plane disappeared over the South China Sea. If you don’t know when it disappeared, that’s still a lot of water to hunt for something. It looks like the Vietnamese Air Force spotted oil slicks this morning.

Now what could be ominous is that I’m reading news reports that two of the passengers listed on the flight were Europeans who had their passports stolen recently, and that they are actually being reported as alive and well back in Europe. What we don’t know is what the average number of stolen passports are on every international flight? Is this a common occurrence? If not, then that would put the spotlight on an act of terror/sabotage. And that would explain how an advanced aircraft can crash like that.

Yeah, and watching too much movie didn’t help my imaginations either. Now I am imagining some murder took place by two people who are using stolen passports.

Even if it crash into the sea, aren’t airplanes designed to float on water? That is why we have those lifejackets and you are shown the exit so you can slide your way down the ‘chute’, or whatever it is called.

If the hull is intact, and the pilot can glide it in, then, yes, a plane can float briefly on water, Airbus even builds in a special ONLY IN DITCHING SITUATIONS button that basically closes all the ports to keep the hull as airtight as possible if it ditches. We saw that with Captain Sully on the Hudson. But this is the extremely rare scenario. In fact, Captain Sully is the only occurrence I can think where a jetliner landed on the water and everyone got out like that.

But if a plane breaks up in the air, we’re talking about billions of pieces floating down to the sea. Or, if it slams in the ocean intact, it’s still going to shatter in a billion pieces. Remember, water doesn’t compress. Slamming into water at high speed is essentially no different than slamming into concrete. The latter is what happened to that Air France flight about 6-7 years ago. If you want to be terrified, read the detailed articles about that. The senior pilot took a break, so the co-pilot and a junior pilot were at the helm. They ran into a rare weather pattern that essentially froze the airspeed tubes, so the autopilot lost sensor data as to how fast the plane was going and shut off. The co-pilot and junior pilot suddenly find themselves in manual control, and they’re trying to find out why their altitude is suddenly dropping. All this time, the computer is telling them “STALL STALL STALL.” Now, if you know anything about flying, you know that if you’re in a stall, you have to get the nose pointed down to pick up airspeed, because you need air flowing over the wings to generate lift. The co-pilot was pointing his control stick down to go into a dive, but the junior pilot panicked and fucking yanked his stick up, which is something someone who isn’t a pilot would do, because up means up, right? The damning thing is that they weren’t really communicating this fact to each other, and the flight computer basically took in their opposite commands and neutralized them, but without telling them, either.

It wasn’t until the senior pilot got back to the cockpit in an alarm and asked what’s happening that the junior pilot said, “I don’t know, I’ve been pulling up this entire time!” The senior pilot and co-pilot started screaming “NO NO NO NO” at the junior pilot, but it was too late. And that’s how two pilots unwittingly flew a perfectly functioning jetliner straight into the ocean, killing everyone. The plane shattered on impact.

The morbid joke and reality is that all those tiny life preservers and seat cushions are for is to create flotsam on the surface that helps searchers find where the bodies are at.

We’ll have to see the state of the plane before we can figure out what happened. The fact that they haven’t found debris yet doesn’t mean anything. Even the South China Sea is a big-ass body of water when your’e trying to find something.

They’ve found a couple of oil slicks now, but that’s it. I don’t think there’s any best-case scenario here.

The fact that they got no distress signal or call from the pilots indicates something incredibly sudden and catastrophic. Obviously. The easy knee-jerk reaction is to assume a mid air explosion of some kind, which leads to other obvious speculation (though which terrorist group would want to blow up a plane full of Chinese is not clear.)

But that is all wild speculation at this point. The pros are usually quite good at reconstructing exactly what happened, and it is amazing how often they find the black boxes and pieces.

It hasn’t really been in the news, but the South China Sea has been kind of a global hot spot lately. I really hope this isn’t related and doesn’t make things worse.

If you wonder why there hasn’t been a lot of news, it’s been night over there. They’re coming up on dawn soon. They should be able to narrow the location down once the sun is up.

(I use Earthdesk for my wallpaper. It’s basically a virtual Geochron; it’s very useful to gauging what the rest of the world is doing at a glance.)

There were seven Australians on board so it’s first page news here - although most of it is also just wild speculation and/or contradicting reports currently.

While the Gulf of Thailand is not that big, contact was lost pretty much in the middle - they should have been in radio range of someone at cruise altitude, but if they lost a lot of height dealing with some issue before they had a chance to get on the radio, there’s a chance they were below the horizon to a ground station.

Yeah, this is a weird incident. The fact that they’ve had ships and planes scouring the area for almost two days and there’s been no wreckage spotted is puzzling. The South China Sea isn’t that big, and it tends to be very crowded with ships and planes on any typical day, and so far nothing? Air France 447 went down way beyond radar coverage over the middle of the Atlantic, and they still found wreckage faster than this.

They’re testing the oil from those huge slicks to determine if it was aviation oil or perhaps from a ship.

No wreckage would indicate that the plane was able to come down relatively intact, and that would indicate something of a controlled descent. But if that’s the case, why no distress signal? A modern jetliner can glide for hundreds of miles if it’s at cruising altitude and the engines suddenly go out, plenty of time to call for help.

The missing passport thing is troubling, but it could be nothing more than illegal immigrants. The Guardian tweeted a report that there was a crash in India (runway overshoot) that had 10 illegals using stolen passports.

Then again, the Malaysians are now saying that their radars shows that the plane may have turned around before it disappeared, which is very odd if true. Why? Was there a threat onboard? Was there an issue with the plane? If the latter, why no calls for help?

This CNN post was pretty good read:

I use EarthView on my Windows PC.

Ooooh nice, I think I will give this a try too!

The thing that is confusing here, is even if there was a bomb on board, in many circumstances there would be an immediate distress signal sent out unless the blast took out the cockpit as well. A shoe bomb would blast a hole in the side but still give pilots time to send a Mayday. I don’t know if the Boeing 777 has the same autonomous reporting capabilities as the Airbus 330?

It appears the door has been found.

I’m not sure why anyone would target a Malaysian airline for a suicide terrorist attack with Malaysia being a primarily Muslim country where Islam is part of the Constitution. Very odd.

If a bomb created a catastrophic structural failure, everyone would be dead before they realized it. You’re 6 miles up and suddenly there’s a huge hole in the hull? We’re talking instant neck snapping. That’s what happened to a lot of passengers on TWA 800. But the problem in that case is that you’d have debris spread over a huge area, and we’re simply not seeing it. Plus, the oil slick wouldn’t have happened, because the fuel and other liquids would have dispersed for a large part during a 6-mile fall.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. A band of Uigers killed dozens of people with knives in a Chinese train station last week. Most of the passengers on that plane were ethnic Chinese. I’m not saying they did this, but if want a group that wants to kill Chinese people, it’s Uiger terrorists.

The lack of a debris field is making me think of SilkAir and EgyptAir, though we won’t know for sure until we find the plane and the recorders. But in those cases, there was overwhelming evidence that a pilot deliberately crashed their plane on purpose, but due to a ton of political pressure, the foreign governments refused to accept that conclusion by the NTSB/FBI and had their own investigations blame it on a mechanical issue.

I was not aware of those being pilot forced crashes. Never even crossed my mind a pilot with 30 years experience would do something like that. Though catastrophic decompression would indeed be like its own bomb going off, it’s hard to wrap one’s head around a 777 having such a large equipment failure to allow this to happen. Do you remember TWA Flight 800 which blew up off of Long Island? There was quite a rift of people blaming vapors and a short circuit vs. a missile or a terrorist. Can see the exact same scenario forming here, and the potential area where they crashed is really deep.

Passports/ID being stolen off vacationers in Thailand is quite common - more-so than being reported. When my sister and her family vacationed there, they were warned to never let their passports, license or other photo ID out of their sight. I think a lot of the stolen ID’s and passports are used for illegal drug, plant, and animal smuggling as opposed to anything else.

What people around here (Malaysia) is talking about is that this is a vengeance attack on the Chinese because of the recent killings that happened. Remember this is a code-share with Southern China airlines.

(my comment is to answer on why terrorist would attack Malaysia, a primarily Muslim country)

I mentioned TWA 800. The conclusion was that one of the fuel tanks exploded. Now, keep in mind, the tank was empty on purpose, because the plane did not need that much fuel to go from NYC to Paris, and fuel weighs a lot, so if you don’t need it, you don’t fill up the tank. The problem is that what they had was a fuel tank that was full of fuel vapor and it sparked. You know how grain silos can explode? Basically, you get a lot of fine grain dust in the air, and it magnifies the explosion because it’s a perfect mix of fuel and oxygen. Sort of the same thing here. The tin-foil set still says it was a missile, but there was never any evidence. Remember, they dredged up the pieces and reconstructed the plane in a hanger, and it exploded; there wasn’t any shrapnel damage to the plane, nor any shrapnel damage to the bodies. (Antiaircraft missiles don’t actually directly “hit” a target; that’s asking a lot of something flying thousands of miles an hour to hit something flying at hundreds of miles an hour. What they do is get close and then explode, sending a cloud of shrapnel out in every direction at supersonic speeds.)

But there are thousands of Chinese-only flights, so why take one down with Malaysians on it too?

I’m trying to find your definitive theory of what happened. Is it a bomb them? The flight was short, so the atomized fuel from an empty tank could have still been a culprit in this case if regulations were not following to precision.