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Thread: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

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    Default Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Everyone seems to have an opinion on what might have happened here. From space aliens to catastrophic explosions.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    I wonder if we will hear from our resident commercial airline pilot Biscayne?

    I'm wondering why there was no discussion about cargo being ruled out as a possible factor and reported as such.

    Maybe Saffie Air 295 and/or those odd ghost flights that have occurred on occasion(incapacitation of flight crew) and continuing on flying for a period could give a clue.

    I have read that there was a catastrophic and very fast moving fire in an EgyptAir 777 on the ground a few years ago with a wiring fault that affected over 200 airframes.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Maybe a Malcolm Gladwell "wisdom of crowds" Bayesian search effort to find it like USS Scorpion might have some luck.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    We now have motive for a deliberate takeover of the jet:

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

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Interesting. When I first read that they were investigating the pilots, I thought that it was a standard tin-pot dictator maneuver - blame the pilots. The Malaysian government is clearly sitting on more information than they have let on. They've spent over a week trying to figure out how best to spin this event; maybe this is their solution.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by lakedaemonian View Post
    I wonder if we will hear from our resident commercial airline pilot Biscayne?

    .
    There is very little I can add. For every hypothesis, no matter if it is plausible or even implausible, there is a set of facts refuting the likelihood. The only thing I can add is that it is likely human intervention of some sort. The airplane, by itself, would not act in the way the news is reporting. Also, personally I don't think the airplane was stolen for nefarious purpose. The 9/11 attackers had it right. you steal an airplane and then your commit your crime right then and there. A 777 requires a lot of highly trained technical support to land and then takeoff again along with lots of specialized ground equipment. Terrorist groups do not have that sort of equipment or expertise readily available. Not to mention trying to hide a great big airplane like that with worldwide publicity surrounding it. It's not like stealing a Ferrari and hiding it in a warehouse.
    Greg

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Greg,
    Thank you for your comments. I'm not sure a dedicated and motivated group couldn't land, hide, refuel, possibly load and then takeoff with a pretty minimal footprint.
    Assume for now that the pilot is the culprit. Decompression at 40-45,000' will leave a Time of Useful Consciousness of under 10 seconds for the pax. Oxygen masks will do for the flight crew but the decompression would have to be partial because fast would really be physically....unpleasant. (I flew T-37's with oxygen to 25,000 feet routinely.) Stay at 40K with slow decomp and the entire pax load will expire definitely within 30 minutes, just to be sure. Hypoxia is a very pleasant way to go, and it's the middle of the night so it'd be fairly easy.
    Next, incapacitate whoever on the crew is not friendly to your plans. Do whatever it takes. Then, pilot pulls a couple of circuit breakers accessible in the cockpit to stop power to the various transmitters. (News guys say that would take "highly specialized knowledge. Bullcrap.) Operator manuals would have that information--we had to nearly memorize what each CB did for our planes. Turning off the IFF/SIFF transponder is just a knob on the control panel. (What he missed was the engine data transmitter, but luckily the airline didn't pay for actual data, just basic beep. Maybe pilot knew that.) Next step is a fast descent to get off radar, or at least make skin painting difficult and confusing. Head for whatever land has been prepared. Any road could be at least temporarily widened to take the 36' wheel tread width. A few guys with some road maintenance equipment could erase tracks enough in a couple hours so satellite would have a hard time finding them. For camouflage, I'd try lots of blow-up bags and plywood junk because some hard structure would be too well known. All you need is a few days to hide from airborne searches. It's BIG haystack. Fuel could be from an offshore barge or fishing vessel with extra hoses. If you pump continually with over the wing fueling, you'd get in what you need. Even a 5 hp small engine with 2" hoses will move 1000 gal/hr easily. For turning around, just a large farm tractor or small crawler with cables or chains would do. This ain't fancy stuff--unless it rains, then the mud will get ya. For loading a nice nuke for EMP use or to make a point, a good forklift and some winches. No need for release mechanism! Again, this is rough but it uses just ordinary machinery that wouldn't catch people's attention while gathering it. If you just have minimum fuel and a small payload, those planes will have plenty of power for short takeoffs. Starting is by battery starting the APU in the tail. That runs enough juice to start the first large engine and then the second. No external power required. (Some guessing on that, but most work that way.)
    Well, you asked. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I do not think it needs much ground support at all for a one-time turnaround. It would definitely NOT be "by the book" procedures. Remember, a lot of the Russian fighters were designed to be flown off dirt or gravel if needed. In VN, I flew O-2A's off that crappy perforated steel planking (PSP). Ugh. But it worked--wouldn't be tough to lay down a few thousand feet of that stuff and take it back up again before sunrise so you'd never see the landing strip until 'way too late. Surprising what can be done when you get motivated and have an some outside funding, some local low-key support and an engineering mindset to just 'git 'er done.
    Hope somebody else has a better scenario. Mine is not pleasant in its implications.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Malaysia is China’s largest Southeast Asian trading partner, with total trade reaching $88 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About a fifth of Malaysia’s exports, including palm oil, went to China in 2012, making it the country’s biggest overseas market, the data show.
    They signed a security partnership as well.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-1...raps-trip.html



    Likely, the Chinese show little interest in "democracy" in Malaysia and actively support the current regime.

    Will China send in troops to "bring justice to those responsible" for kidnapping their citizens?

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by BiscayneSunrise View Post
    There is very little I can add. For every hypothesis, no matter if it is plausible or even implausible, there is a set of facts refuting the likelihood. The only thing I can add is that it is likely human intervention of some sort. The airplane, by itself, would not act in the way the news is reporting. Also, personally I don't think the airplane was stolen for nefarious purpose. The 9/11 attackers had it right. you steal an airplane and then your commit your crime right then and there. A 777 requires a lot of highly trained technical support to land and then takeoff again along with lots of specialized ground equipment. Terrorist groups do not have that sort of equipment or expertise readily available. Not to mention trying to hide a great big airplane like that with worldwide publicity surrounding it. It's not like stealing a Ferrari and hiding it in a warehouse.

    Cheers!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/98...pilot-defended

    I saw this on the pilot.

    If that's his wife and kids at the 2:48 or so mark in the video, then I'm thinking he couldn't possibly do it.

    His kids are too cute, and his wife is too hot.

    But then, not much surprises me anymore.

    I'm hoping that if the pilot felt the need to do something crazy, he'd use his IT/flight simulator/remote controlled aircraft skills to make a bad guy UAV rather than turn a 777 with several hundred people on board into an intentional lawn dart.

    Really, really strange…and sadly quite compelling……right when we probably need to focus our ultimately limited free time on more financially/economically/geopolitically important news.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Stetts, Thanks for the well thought out scenario. I agree that everything you describe is possible. To me, though, that seems like an awful lot of covert effort, with a lot of things that have to go exactly right, all of which would have to be conducted while the bad guys were the object of a worldwide search. Why not just steal one of the many low profile cargo airplanes that inhabit Africa? Or maybe better yet, just buy a used airplane on the open market? And of course, all this assumes, one has ready access to a nuclear device. In of itself, not an easy thing either. And if I did have a nuke, I think the easiest way to deliver it would be via sailboat into the harbor of one's target city. Stealing a 777, to me seems like a scene from a 007 movie where the Dr. Evil guy has an entire industrial complex at his disposal to carry out his scheme: Makes for good movies but the logistics are improbable. As for me, I like Occam's Razor: the simplest explanations tend to work best.
    Greg

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by BiscayneSunrise View Post
    Stetts, Thanks for the well thought out scenario. I agree that everything you describe is possible. To me, though, that seems like an awful lot of covert effort, with a lot of things that have to go exactly right, all of which would have to be conducted while the bad guys were the object of a worldwide search. Why not just steal one of the many low profile cargo airplanes that inhabit Africa? Or maybe better yet, just buy a used airplane on the open market? And of course, all this assumes, one has ready access to a nuclear device. In of itself, not an easy thing either. And if I did have a nuke, I think the easiest way to deliver it would be via sailboat into the harbor of one's target city. Stealing a 777, to me seems like a scene from a 007 movie where the Dr. Evil guy has an entire industrial complex at his disposal to carry out his scheme: Makes for good movies but the logistics are improbable. As for me, I like Occam's Razor: the simplest explanations tend to work best.
    Back in the early plane hijacking daze, a guy got on a plane, threatened the pilot with a gun, a knife or a bluff, and asked to be flown somewhere else, often Cuba. He didn't know how to fly the plane, had no elaborate infrastructure backing him, etc.

    Sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one. A disaffected pilot decides to fly away . . .

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...detection.html

    777 flew at 5,000 feet to avoid radar.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    as much as I like your 'hot wife' theory, Occam's Razor may still apply . . .

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Suppose the Malaysian air force shot it down? Could the Malaysian navy clean it up before anyone noticed. Might explain the "incompetence" of the gvt. Could they clean it up while people were looking for the downed aircraft. Would pieces, fuel etc continually surface so this would not be possible?

    If I remember Air France 447 disappeared from the sky too.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by don View Post
    as much as I like your 'hot wife' theory, Occam's Razor may still apply . . .
    Operation MILF -

    Minor
    Issue
    Lost
    Flight.

    Poor taste, I know, but hey. It's rant and rave and I can't sleep.

    If I might try and redeem myself, the AF447 story is a reminder that these things happen for the most mundane reasons. In the case of the Paris bound flight, it was a momentary buildup of ice on a critical instrument measuring airspeed followed by a literal flick of the wrist that initiated a series of events terminating minutes later with the flight's impact into the sea.

    And even if the speculation is true and MH370 was lost due to a depraved criminal act, it's still a one in 20 million chance that any of us will be taken down by terrorism under any scenario. The chances of your number coming up due to a plane crash is significantly higher at 1 in 7,229. Yet driving to a restaurant and ordering a steak is far more dangerous an act; walking there only slightly less so.

    Life is a precious, fleeting thing and the randomness of death is terrifying if we dwell on it. It turns on a crystal of ice and the flick of a wrist and all our personal, financial and technological power can't do a damn thing to stop it sometimes. You'd think knowledge of this would humble us and make us more gentle and grateful people. But it doesn't seem to.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
    The chances of your number coming up due to a plane crash is significantly higher at 1 in 7,229.
    Not sure where you got that from - I believe it's closer to one in 11 million in the first world and a little under one in 1 million in the 2nd & 3rd world airlines.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by vt View Post
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...detection.html

    777 flew at 5,000 feet to avoid radar.

    Neither of the stories from the Daily Mail have been especially credible or corroborated in other news sources. It's a tabloid rag of a publication; I wouldn't give it much credence.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat Currency View Post
    Not sure where you got that from - I believe it's closer to one in 11 million in the first world and a little under one in 1 million in the 2nd & 3rd world airlines.

    The stats are mostly from the National Safety Foundation and I included the link to an excerpt from their report (behind paywall). They are a pretty reliable outfit and an organization I worked with decades ago relied on their data for some rather sensistive work. Still, it was oh dark thirty when I wrote the post and all errors are mine and mine alone.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
    The stats are mostly from the National Safety Foundation and I included the link to an excerpt from their report (behind paywall). They are a pretty reliable outfit and an organization I worked with decades ago relied on their data for some rather sensistive work. Still, it was oh dark thirty when I wrote the post and all errors are mine and mine alone.
    I know a lot about how aircraft are built, and flight simulators too … hence my interest in this thread.

    Plane crash odds of roughly 1 in 7,200 doesn't even pass the smell test for me. Taking an average plane load of 200 people - you'd have a plane crashing every 36 flights. I must be missing something, or sorely in need of some more coffee.

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    Default Re: Lets hear your flight 370 theories

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat Currency View Post
    I know a lot about how aircraft are built, and flight simulators too … hence my interest in this thread.

    Plane crash odds of roughly 1 in 7,200 doesn't even pass the smell test for me. Taking an average plane load of 200 people - you'd have a plane crashing every 36 flights. I must be missing something, or sorely in need of some more coffee.
    Coffee would be great and I'm just about to step out for a cup, now that you mention it. I wont dispute your numbers, FC, but to be clear the stats refers to lifetime odds of death in accidents in the US, not the odds of a plane crashing anywhere.

    My source was the NSC's 2013 Injury Facts., specifically page 43 in the figure "Lifetime odds of death for selected causes, United States, 2009." The relevant portion reads "Air and space transport accidents 1 in 7,229" and references a table on pp 41-42 of the document. That data is sourced from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics - Mortality Data for 2009 and also the WHO's ICD-9. The ICD-10 is online, if you're interested.

    I too have a lifetime interest in aviation but can only claim a few hours as PIC in the Cessna 150 and 172 and the Piper Cherokee. Time and competing resources always seemed to keep me away from the cockpit long enough to lose proficiency. And before long diminished eyesight and high blood pressure made passing a medical more or less out of the question. I've also been flying a desk via flight sims since my first copy of Flight Simulator on my Apple II in 1980 and have over the past three decades spent stupid amounts of money buying and building PCs to run what is essentially a $60 game. If you're a simmer, you know the sickness of which I speak. Of late, I've been enjoying/struggling with Prepar3D since LMC bought the rights to MS Flight Sim and also enjoy X-Plane.

    That said, none of this makes me anything more than an aviation dilettante and qualifies me to do little more than express an opinion.
    Last edited by Woodsman; 03-18-14 at 01:52 PM.

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