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  • Smith
    EE147
    • May 2004
    • 1336

    Disclaimer ... I know nothing about flying a 777 but confess to being morbidly fascinated by this mystery.

    I've just read Chris Goodfellow's theory (per post above) and as you say, at face value it reads like Occam's Razor.

    Questions:
    (1) Would the aircraft be on one of these arcs (the Southern I suppose) 6+ hours later (following Chris' theory)?
    (2) How do you explain the meandering path seemingly tracked on radar?
    (3) If the answer to those things is: "it was meandering out of control". Is it at all feasible for a 777 to fly on autopilot in a meandering way, or keep on flying with no autopilot, perhaps just an automated ground avoidance pull up?

    And the one that's top of my mind, with an ergo:
    (4) If it overflew the Southern Maldives at 6:15 am (local?) ... how the hell did it end up on one of these "pinged" arcs?
    Therefore ... (5) how reliable are these satellite derived arcs?

    cheers Don
    Last edited by Smith; 19th March 2014, 08:26. Reason: Maldives time?
    never fear, Smith is here

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    • Kiwiguy
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Feb 2014
      • 29

      I've seen his theory and mostly agree except that he believed the pilots were still trying to control the aircraft after it dropped from 45,000ft.

      I differ that I think the pilots were incapacitated. Somehow for whatever reason the catastrophe left throttles wide open causing an involuntary climb until it stalled and recovered without human intervention. This B772 was written off by a fire in the avionics bay. Egyptair Flight 667:





      Post Script:

      This addresses 1) suddenness, 2) lack of distress call, 3) depressurisation, 4) crew incapacitation
      Last edited by Kiwiguy; 19th March 2014, 07:05. Reason: Post script added

      Comment

      • Alpha Bravo
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2012
        • 620

        The problem with the cockpit fire scenario is that it must have been a very very sudden flash over type of ignition for it to have given absolutely no chance for the pilots to issue some form of distress call, and I'm talking seconds here. If the crew were struggling to contain a fire, then they should have been able to issue a distress call, of some form, at least. Unless it was some form of mild explosion that immediately incapacitated the pilots, but kept the aircraft flying. However, that wouldn't account for the change in heading would it?

        Comment

        • hawkdriver05
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Mar 2005
          • 1372

          If this is never found..........wow.

          Comment

          • Bmused55
            Aaahh Emu!
            • Oct 2003
            • 11136

            Kiwiguy, that 777 fire started precisely where that big hole is. It was beside the co-pilots oxygen bottle, in the cockpit. It was not in the avionics bay, which is several feet down and behind the flightdeck.


            I still do not believe this was a fire event for these simple reasons:

            1. A fire, unless explosive, would give the pilots time to issue a mayday
            2. An explosive fire would lead quite quickly to the destruction of the aircraft
            3. It is highly improbable a fire erupted, incapacitated everyone on board, selectively killed the Transponder and ACARS, re-programmed the FMC to send the plane on a different course and then self extinguished to allow the aircraft to fly on for 7 hours.


            If the plane had flown the expected route then either continued in a straight line after the destination or entered a holding pattern, I could consider a fire on board, forgetting of course the illogical point that the aircraft was not destroyed by this fire while still aloft.
            Last edited by Bmused55; 19th March 2014, 13:17.
            Bmused55

            Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

            My Blog
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            • Argonaut
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Dec 2011
              • 304

              I am not one given to conspiracy theories, but am I the only one looking at Diego Garcia. Now that there have been reports of a low flying aircraft south of the Maldives, would put it in the right area. Of course we would have to accept that our colonial cousins were involved !!. Diego GarCIA is in range and out of radar contact with almost all surrounding countries. Only thing is I cannot come up with a reason for it.

              Comment

              • Newforest
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Apr 2005
                • 8879

                Files have been deleted from pilot's flight sim.

                Maybe a clue maybe normal behaviour.

                http://www.aol.com/article/2014/03/1...6pLid%3D455424
                http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

                Comment

                • Bmused55
                  Aaahh Emu!
                  • Oct 2003
                  • 11136

                  Originally posted by Argonaut View Post
                  I am not one given to conspiracy theories, but am I the only one looking at Diego Garcia.
                  One small problem with Diego Garcia:

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                  Bmused55

                  Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

                  My Blog
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                  • Bmused55
                    Aaahh Emu!
                    • Oct 2003
                    • 11136

                    Originally posted by Newforest View Post
                    Maybe a clue maybe normal behaviour.

                    http://www.aol.com/article/2014/03/1...6pLid%3D455424
                    Normal behaviour. They're grasping at straws here.
                    Bmused55

                    Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

                    My Blog
                    My Designs

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                    • Bmused55
                      Aaahh Emu!
                      • Oct 2003
                      • 11136

                      Courtesy of "Suninmyeyes" on PPruNe. A certified 777 Pilot:

                      I am a 777 pilot and have waded painfully through all these pages.

                      Just a few points:

                      To be pedantic the 777 transponder cannot be turned off in flight from the flight deck. ie depowered with digits blank. There is no off switch, however there is a standy position which will stop it radiating. You would have to pull the circuit breaker to totally depower it. In flight on the 777 you never go to standby if you are given a change of squawk.

                      The suggestion of taking off with main tank fuel pumps off is not a valid possibility. The electronic checklist would not tick itself off, and there are clues on the eicas screen. If you did take off like that and the engines failed in cruise you would get low pressure fuel warnings first and your radios would still be working normally.

                      As to who made the last radio call. If the Captain is handling pilot the copilot would normally make the radio calls. However for various reasons i.e. the copilot out of the flight deck, copilot on the intercom to cabin crew , the Captain may have made the call. So role is not definitive proof.

                      In the event of a fire you do not climb to snuff out flames.

                      The 777 does not have a mach trimmer.

                      Can a 777 get to FL450? In true mythbuster spirit we put this to the test in a 777-2 simulator. A 777 with a full load of passengers has a zero fuel weight of between 170 and 180 tonnes, say 175 tonnes. 8 hours of fuel is approximately 52 tonnes. So a takeoff weight of approx 227 tonnes minus a bit of taxi fuel. At that weight the FMS says Max Alt FL409. The plane will climb easily to FL410.

                      Now it gets interesting. At FL410 There is a very small gap on the airspeed tape between the VMO and the yellow which is minimum manoeuvring speed. If you disconnect the autothrottle and firewall the thrust levers, then wait until the speed is about to trigger the VMO warning and then disconnect the autopilot and raise the nose you can do a zoom climb. Although into the yellow pretty quickly there is still a long way before you get to the red digits on the airspeed which is the point at which the stick shaker activates.. The elevator gets incredibly heavy as it is made artificially heavier as the Boeing 777 really doesn't want you to do this. With P2 pulling with all his might he still could not raise the nose to anywhere near 10 degrees. Putting the flight controls into direct mode made it easier. We got it to FL 443 at which point the stick shaker activated and P2 gratefully reduced the back pressure. This sim had GE engines. RR are a bit more powerful and if they had used an hour more fuel than our simulation I think it would have been feasible. Interestingly at FL440 the cabin alt was still at 8000 feet as per normal, so it must have used a higher diff than normal but still had not reached the max diff where the relief valve opens.

                      As regards the possibilities:

                      I believe the event probably started with the flight deck door opening and either a pilot exiting or someone else entering. I suspect someone with knowledge then deliberately disabled transponder, acars and satcom.

                      As for the gradual depressurisation theory. I cannot buy that because the normal cabin alt is 8000, if it gently depressurised it might not be noticed but at 10,000 feet cabin alt there is a very loud horn and red "cabin Alt" warning. No pilot should be unconscious by this point, the passenger masks don't even drop until a cabin altitude of 14000 feet so they would have seen the warning at 10,000 feet and taken action.

                      The rapid depressurisation theory and the pilots unconscious due to either failing to put masks on or failure of the oxygen system. This might have been a possibility except the transponder stopped radiating. In an emergency descent you do not touch the knob of the transponder switch. I have never put a 777 transponder to sby in flight and it would be totally alien. The transponder selector knob is not part of the emergency descent checklist.

                      A massive electrical failure or smoke in the flight deck? Possible but extremely unlikely for it to all happen at once with no chance to get even a radio call out. Also flying for 5 more hours. Would it not be better to head for land then circle and get attention?

                      A great mystery.
                       
                      Bmused55

                      Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

                      My Blog
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                      Comment

                      • Argonaut
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Dec 2011
                        • 304

                        Bmused55 only a problem if the operators of DG were not involved, just saying. At this stage anything is possible, this is I think the strangest missing aircraft for a very long time, if not ever. The end result ( if there is one) will be interesting.

                        Comment

                        • Bmused55
                          Aaahh Emu!
                          • Oct 2003
                          • 11136

                          I doubt the US Air Force had any part in this
                          Bmused55

                          Keep thy airspeed up, less the earth come from below and smite thee.

                          My Blog
                          My Designs

                          Comment

                          • jonheyworth
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Dec 2013
                            • 6

                            A) Several hundred people are missing

                            B) a $300 million aircraft is missing

                            C) No one knows what occurred

                            D) The aircraft, or wreckage from it, will be discovered one day, it's just when that one day will be, tomorrow, or in 50 years ? BUT there has to be a time limit on a concerted search mission

                            E) There may never be a proven cause of the loss

                            F) Anything other than the above is, in my humble opinion, just informed speculation, pure guesswork, or outright rubbish. If it cam happen, it will, if the Egyptian 777 had caught fire 30 minutes later ? Then what ? If the BA 777 had fuel starved 30 minutes earlier ? Then what ? Much evidence would have been damaged or destroyed ? What conclusions would have been reached, as I say, there may NEVER be a proven cause of loss. What a position for relatives to be thrust into though !

                            G) You are of course, entitled to disagree with me
                            Last edited by jonheyworth; 19th March 2014, 15:57.

                            Comment

                            • TomcatViP
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Nov 2011
                              • 6048

                              Definitively an on-board fire is the most plausible conclusion. Chris Goodfellow with "his" theory is right. The pilot would have turned toward that airport as soon as the fire was identified.

                              We know from source here that the day before it flew to Dhaka and Mumbaio. It would be interesting to know if departing from Kuala, that airport is commonly used way point to join the flight corridor. If the pilots did used teh AP to stir the plane then it can explain why the plane flew along waypoints with precision.

                              Regarding the fire, a 777 is not a DC8. With a new battery (and reported corrosion), a tank fuel, O2 bottles and an immerged fuel pump, there is enough to set a fire if something goes wrong.

                              What is the most probable is that the fire grew slowly in the eq bay, damaging connections and shutting-off equipments.

                              Comment

                              • Kiwiguy
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Feb 2014
                                • 29

                                Originally posted by Alpha Bravo View Post
                                The problem with the cockpit fire scenario is that it must have been a very very sudden flash over type of ignition for it to have given absolutely no chance for the pilots to issue some form of distress call, and I'm talking seconds here. If the crew were struggling to contain a fire, then they should have been able to issue a distress call, of some form, at least. Unless it was some form of mild explosion that immediately incapacitated the pilots, but kept the aircraft flying. However, that wouldn't account for the change in heading would it?
                                It is not a problem unless you make it a problem by over complicating your objections with superfluous unnecessary qualifications. Occam's Razor is a direct result of basic applied probability theory. Occam's Razor is a process of stripping away superfluous arguments.

                                Occam's razor theory: one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything
                                Or, as we would put it today, don't make any more assumptions than you have to.


                                There was no distress call... ipso factor... there must have been a sudden and dramatic event overtaking the crew, or one in which actually flying the aircraft took precedence over making a distress call.

                                An electrical arcing flashover, or explosion is not unknown in aircraft. Indeed I just published photos of a fire in a Boeing 777 at the gate in Jedah in 2011.

                                A Tupelov Tu-154 at Surgut on 1st January 2011 was totally destroyed by arcing caused by overloaded generator bus relays.

                                En-route, Northern Sudan, 24 August 2010, an Airbus A321-200 operated by British Midland, suffered loss of cockpit displays and un-commanded turns which vanished with de-selection of No.1 generator.

                                An Airbus A319-100 at London Heathrow, 15 March 2009, on pushback lost all cockpit displays and developed smoke causing evacuation.

                                The fifth prototype Boeing 787 test aircraft suffered a generator fire on approach to land 10 November 10, 2010 10:01am, knocked out cockpit displays and disabled autothrottle.



                                Furthermore applying Occams Razor yet again none of us know how or why the heading course change occurred. There is no evidence it was programmed into the autopilot. There is no evidence the autopilot was even functional. Indeed if we accept that there was an electrical fire under the cockpit or in the cockpit, then there is strong likelihood none of the systems including autopilot were functioning at all.

                                There is no logical explanation why the aircraft climbed to 45,000ft however there is a logical assumption that at some point cruise speed ceased to overcome stall speed and the plane would have dropped quite violently from 45,000ft therefore it is a rational assumption that a course change may have resulted from nothing more than the violent process of tumbling in a stall from 45,000ft.

                                Post Script:

                                I understand from Malaysian press that the 45,000ft altitude (or the claim of that) was established by radar trigonomentry from RMAF Butterworth.
                                Last edited by Kiwiguy; 19th March 2014, 22:24. Reason: adding Post Script

                                Comment

                                • Kiwiguy
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Feb 2014
                                  • 29

                                  Maldives sighting

                                  The Malaysian Government has rejected several independent sightings by people in the Maldives of a "jumbo jet" flying low from north to SE at 6:15am on the morning of the disappearance on grounds that the Maldives government dismissed the reports.

                                  The Maldives discounted the claims because it was not detected on their radar however the last departures were 2.20am and first arrivals just before 9am

                                  Can anyone confirm for us if the Maldives ATC switch off their radar between 2.30am and 8.30am?

                                  Comment

                                  • Alpha Bravo
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Mar 2012
                                    • 620

                                    Originally posted by Kiwiguy View Post
                                    It is not a problem unless you make it a problem by over complicating your objections with superfluous unnecessary qualifications. Occam's Razor is a direct result of basic applied probability theory. Occam's Razor is a process of stripping away superfluous arguments.
                                    It is a problem when you either don't know what Occam's Razor is or how to apply it in this case.

                                    Originally posted by Kiwiguy View Post
                                    Or, as we would put it today, don't make any more assumptions than you have to.
                                    You mean like all the assumptions you've just made? Is there any data or evidence to suggest a fire? Is it any more or less likely to assume it was a human factor at play? Why should we assume a fire is more likely to have occurred than human intervention? If you're applying Occam's Razor and come to the most likely conclusion being a fire, doesn't it also imply that an SOS call of some form would also be the most likely event to follow?

                                    Originally posted by Kiwiguy View Post
                                    There was no distress call... ipso factor... there must have been a sudden and dramatic event overtaking the crew, or one in which actually flying the aircraft took precedence over making a distress call.
                                    And yet the data also suggests the aircraft flew for a significant amount of time after this catastrophic event taking place, which managed to incapacitate both pilots, knock out multiple electronic systems, but yet at the same time wasn't too catastrophic enough that led to the cockpit and the rest of the aircraft disintegrating? Really?! Occam's Razor at work?!

                                    Originally posted by Kiwiguy View Post
                                    An electrical arcing flashover, or explosion is not unknown in aircraft. Indeed I just published photos of a fire in a Boeing 777 at the gate in Jedah in 2011.
                                    A fire that occurred while the aircraft was on the ground. Really?! More of Occam's Razor at work?!

                                    Here's a thought, how many instances have there been of a cockpit fire which disabled both pilots, comms and other equipment, and then resulted in the aircraft flying for over 6 hours? I mean applying Occam's Razor, you would expect there to be loads of examples right, given that this is the most likely explanation, right?!

                                    Originally posted by Kiwiguy View Post
                                    Furthermore applying Occams Razor yet again none of us know how or why the heading course change occurred. There is no evidence it was programmed into the autopilot. There is no evidence the autopilot was even functional. Indeed if we accept that there was an electrical fire under the cockpit or in the cockpit, then there is strong likelihood none of the systems including autopilot were functioning at all.
                                    Applying Occam's Razor, there is no evidence of a fire, so why should we accept there was a fire? Even if we did accept there was a fire, why then should we accept that this fire was severe enough to disable both pilots and vital equipment, without causing complete breakup of the aircraft....for over 6 hours?!

                                    Comment

                                    • Kiwiguy
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Feb 2014
                                      • 29

                                      Originally posted by Alpha Bravo View Post
                                      It is a problem when you either don't know what Occam's Razor is or how to apply it in this case.



                                      You mean like all the assumptions you've just made? Is there any data or evidence to suggest a fire? Is it any more or less likely to assume it was a human factor at play? Why should we assume a fire is more likely to have occurred than human intervention? If you're applying Occam's Razor and come to the most likely conclusion being a fire, doesn't it also imply that an SOS call of some form would also be the most likely event to follow?
                                      Keep up with the program:

                                      IN what could be the last chilling sighting of missing Flight MH370, an oil rig worker believes he spotted the Malaysia Airlines jetliner burst into flames on Saturday morning.
                                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news...ectid=11218622

                                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news...ectid=11218622

                                      The oil rig worker also noted he saw the flames go out and the aircraft continued to fly.

                                      In answer to your question first priority is to fly the plane. I already answered your question when i noted:

                                      ....a sudden and dramatic event overtaking the crew, or one in which actually flying the aircraft took precedence over making a distress call.
                                      ....in which case either crew were incapacitated quite suddenly or were incapacitated more gradually whilst struggling simply to control a flight control issue.

                                      And yet the data also suggests the aircraft flew for a significant amount of time after this catastrophic event taking place, which managed to incapacitate both pilots, knock out multiple electronic systems, but yet at the same time wasn't too catastrophic enough that led to the cockpit and the rest of the aircraft disintegrating? Really?! Occam's Razor at work?!
                                      Occam's Razor is applied like this:

                                      If the aircraft did not issue a distress call then there was some reason why not. You make an unwarranted assumtion that because pilots were required to issue a distress call therefore they should have been able to... there is no evidence they were able to and it is a mute point because they didn't and would have if they could have.


                                      A fire that occurred while the aircraft was on the ground. Really?! More of Occam's Razor at work?!
                                      I normally only have to explain this slowly for babies and the impaired...

                                      Egyptair Flight 667 was almost finished loading and was about to be pushed back. It is an example of how fast a fire can spread and destroy the cockpit in particular rupture the pressure hull.

                                      Had this aircraft become airborne the evidence would not have been preserved.


                                      Here's a thought, how many instances have there been of a cockpit fire which disabled both pilots, comms and other equipment, and then resulted in the aircraft flying for over 6 hours? I mean applying Occam's Razor, you would expect there to be loads of examples right, given that this is the most likely explanation, right?!
                                      The existence of identical previous examples, or not is not proof that it could not happen that way ... Occam's Razor



                                      Applying Occam's Razor, there is no evidence of a fire, so why should we accept there was a fire?
                                      There is evidence of an aircraft sighted on fire high in the sky in the same area at the same time and no other aircraft was lost to explosion and fire at that time, ergo that aircraft was MH370.

                                      Also Occam's razor inverts the burden of proof to require you to disprove this.

                                      Even if we did accept there was a fire, why then should we accept that this fire was severe enough to disable both pilots and vital equipment, without causing complete breakup of the aircraft....for over 6 hours?!
                                      Because as you point out there was no distress call... duh
                                      Last edited by Kiwiguy; 20th March 2014, 01:33.

                                      Comment

                                      • Kiwiguy
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Feb 2014
                                        • 29

                                        And yet the data also suggests the aircraft flew for a significant amount of time after this catastrophic event taking place, which managed to incapacitate both pilots, knock out multiple electronic systems, but yet at the same time wasn't too catastrophic enough that led to the cockpit and the rest of the aircraft disintegrating? Really?! Occam's Razor at work?!
                                        There are several possible explanations which you are unable to disprove and have not even attempted to disprove yet.

                                        I already previously cited an onboard electrical incident, en route Northern Sudan, 24 August 2010, an Airbus A321-200 operated by British Midland, suffered loss of cockpit displays and un-commanded turns which vanished with de-selection of No.1 generator.

                                        There is no proof that Pilots did not somehow succeed to fight the fire either by isolation of the cause or extinguishment of the fire or both, and/or by the lack of oxygen at altitude.

                                        Comment

                                        • J Boyle
                                          With malice towards none
                                          • Oct 2004
                                          • 9751

                                          I think it's interesting how all the armchair experts assume that there has to be a fire...
                                          There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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