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Tue Mar 11, 2014, 09:51 AM

Hunt for missing jet widens to distant waters

Source: Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Authorities are expanding their search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane to the Malacca Strait, far from its last confirmed location, the airline said Tuesday, injecting new mystery into an investigation that so far has failed to come up with any answers.

...snip...

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that search and rescue teams expanded their scope to the Malacca Strait between Malaysia's western coast and Indonesia's Sumatra island — the opposite side of Malaysia from the plane's last known location.

To reach the strait, a busy shipping lane, the plane would have had to cross over the country, presumably within the range of radar.

An earlier statement said the western coast of Malaysia was "now the focus," but the airline subsequently said that phrase was an oversight. It didn't elaborate. Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the search remained "on both sides" of the country.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/search-widens-missing-malaysian-passenger-jet

34 replies, 4005 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hunt for missing jet widens to distant waters (Original post)
herding cats Mar 2014 OP
Voice for Peace Mar 2014 #1
herding cats Mar 2014 #2
jakeXT Mar 2014 #3
Berlin Expat Mar 2014 #4
jakeXT Mar 2014 #6
Berlin Expat Mar 2014 #8
stranger81 Mar 2014 #12
Berlin Expat Mar 2014 #21
cbdo2007 Mar 2014 #5
brooklynite Mar 2014 #7
Sunlei Mar 2014 #15
JimDandy Mar 2014 #9
RobinA Mar 2014 #10
blackspade Mar 2014 #13
SoapBox Mar 2014 #22
Beacool Mar 2014 #14
JimDandy Mar 2014 #16
Beacool Mar 2014 #17
undeterred Mar 2014 #18
JimDandy Mar 2014 #19
countryjake Mar 2014 #32
herding cats Mar 2014 #27
JimDandy Mar 2014 #28
herding cats Mar 2014 #30
jakeXT Mar 2014 #31
undeterred Mar 2014 #11
Corgigal Mar 2014 #20
Hell Hath No Fury Mar 2014 #23
Corgigal Mar 2014 #24
Hell Hath No Fury Mar 2014 #25
wercal Mar 2014 #26
onecent Mar 2014 #29
Chemisse Mar 2014 #33
Omaha Steve Mar 2014 #34

Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 09:59 AM

1. Thinking of the families and friends, how hard not knowing,

 

and with every mention of "mystery" I'm sure many are still hoping.

kicketyrec

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Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:07 AM

2. My first reaction when I heard of this earlier was what if some of them are alive?

And they've just been searching in the wrong place for where the plane went down? It's not a stretch to imagine if it crossed my mind, every single person who has a friend of loved on on that plane is thinking the same thing. It's heartbreaking what they're all going through.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:14 AM

3. Phones are working

Adding to the mystery, other relatives in the room said that when they dialed some passengers’ numbers, they seemed to get ringing tones on the other side even though the calls were not picked up.

The phantom calls triggered a new level of desperation and anger for some. They tried repeatedly Sunday and Monday to ask airline and police officials about the ringing calls and QQ accounts. However unlikely it was, many thought the phones might still be on, and that if authorities just tracked them down, their relatives might be found. But they were largely ignored.

According to Singapore’s Strait Times, a Malaysia Airlines official, Hugh Dunleavy, told families that the company had tried calling mobile phones of crew members as well and that they had also rang. The company turned over those phone numbers to Chinese authorities.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/vanished-malaysia-airlines-flight-leaves-relatives-with-anger-and-phantom-phone-calls/2014/03/10/fdb78642-a862-11e3-b61e-8051b8b52d06_story.html

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Response to jakeXT (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:30 AM

4. The phones are ringing

but that doesn't mean there's anyone on the other end.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/11/288998085/ringing-phones-do-not-mean-malaysian-passengers-are-ok

"When a customer calls another number," he said, "the carrier has to decide what to do next."

Basically, it starts searching for the phone that's being called.

While the phone company's doing that, it sends a ring — or two, or three, or more — to the person who initiated the call. The phone company does that, Kagan said, "so that the customer doesn't hang up" while the search for that other phone is underway.

This happens to him quite frequently, Kagan told us. "My wife will call me and say she heard it ring two or three times. But I picked it up on the first ring [that he heard]." She was hearing the "rings" that the cellphone carrier sent while it was searching for his phone.

Kagan says he understands why grieving families might get some comfort from or be confused by the "rings" they've heard. But he wishes their expectations weren't apparently raised needlessly. "I hate that they have hope" because of this bit of technology, he said.


It all depends on the carrier, apparently; sometimes if a phone is switched off, it'll automatically go to voicemail. In my particular case, with my carrier, if I switch off my phone and call it from another phone, I get a ringtone as well; it doesn't go to voicemail until after five rings.

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Response to Berlin Expat (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:45 AM

6. And it depends how often it rings

Some reports claim the phones are just ringing and ringing though. How is this possible?

Telecoms expert Alan Spencer told MailOnline that if the phones are really ringing, they can categorically not be under the sea.

He added that the phones will only be ringing if they are ‘switched on, not in water, the battery is charged, and [they are] near a mobile cell site.’

This means that if the phones are genuinely ringing, the plane needs to have landed on land – not in the sea – and be in a location where there is cell service, rather than landing in the middle of a jungle, for example.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2578020/Why-cellphones-missing-Malaysian-Airlines-passengers-ringing-Family-members-claim-loved-ones-smartphones-active.html

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Response to jakeXT (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:55 AM

8. It may depend on the

carrier. As an example, if I call a friend of mine here who has a prepaid service, it just rings over and over again. She's never set up her voicemail. So when her phone is off, it just rings and rings. Most of those who've described this noted that when they called, it would ring a number of times, and this disconnect, meaning the recipient couldn't be found. Bear in mind that the carrier sends a tone to the transmitting phone until the receiving phone connects; either they pick up or it goes to VM. This tone does not correspond to “ringing” at the other end, although people have long been conditioned to believe that it does.

As far as others saying that their relatives phones were showing up as active, this will explain it:

Some of the relatives have said passenger QQ accounts (a Chinese web chat service like Gmail Chat) are still online. Tencent, the company that administers QQ, says if a user has not logged out of QQ, but merely turned their phone or computer off, they could still seem to be there, even if they are not.


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Response to Berlin Expat (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:11 PM

12. Even if there's no one on the other end, why can't they triangulate the signals

to figure out where the phones are currently located?

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Response to stranger81 (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:08 PM

21. That might work

if the phones are on land in an area with cell coverage; if the phones are at the bottom of the Malacca Straits, or in an area with no coverage, the most you might get is to see where the mobile phones last pinged a tower. This is a good article from Wired magazine, and it explains very well how even today, with all our tech, an airplane can still disappear into thin air.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/malaysia-air/

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:33 AM

5. "Plane veered off course with tracking system disabled for an hour"

From this article:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/missing-malaysia-airlines-flight-man-stolen-passport-identified-iranian-asylum-seeker-article-1.1717414

"The latest scenario puts Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Strait of Malacca with all its tracking systems inexplicably disabled. The new flight path came as authorities said Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29, were not suspected of terrorist ties despite traveling with stolen passports. In the absence of any answers, some distraught relatives found hope that the missing passengers’ cellphones still rang nearly four days after going missing."

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:54 AM

7. Map of the search area



The landmass to the left is Indonesia; the land to the right is Malaysia.

The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur (approximately the bottom left part of Malaysia on the map), flying north. It was tracked on radar over the water in the upper right corner of the map for about two hours. To end up in the Malacca Strait, it would have had to turn west and fly a considerable distance back over the Malaysian landmass.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:20 PM

15. very low population in this part of the map and out towards the waters. 11.093399, 99.081987

If the plane did break up very high, (on it's flight path) they may not find any bits for quite a while.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 11:05 AM

9. Military radar had detected the plane

near the approach to the Malaca Strait, which is why they are now searching in that area. It's being reported that at the time of the plane's last radar position, the planes transponder was already off. That is unusual, because pilots (or some human) have to physically flip a switch to turn it off. The plane then dropped off the radar.

A possible scenario I heard on NPR is that the transponder was turned off, the plane flew to a level below radar detection, and turned back in the opposite direction of its designated flight path.

If the plane turned around and flew that low over a landmass, phones on board might have contacted cell towers. Maybe that is what authorities are also working with to determine where the plane's flight path ended up being.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 11:31 AM

10. This Just Gets

weirder and weirder.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:13 PM

13. You got that right!

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Response to RobinA (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:37 PM

22. Ditto.

Am I over the top to start thinking that this was no "ordinary" implosion, bombing or hijacking?

Something is seriously not "right".

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:19 PM

14. Hmmm, that could indicate a hijacking.

If that was the case, what happened to the plane? The whole thing is very strange.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:25 PM

16. Apparently this was a military area that the plane

would have flown near/over. Wonder if the Malaysian military shot it down for some reason. Could explain lack of public info all this time. Hate to even speculate this scenario.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #16)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:30 PM

17. If the plane was shot in error by some country,

wouldn't they have admitted the error by now? We did the same some years ago, and so did the Soviet Union.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:32 PM

18. Kim Jong Un

would not admit anything.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:42 PM

19. It took the Malaysian military 3 days to even admit

Last edited Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:51 PM - Edit history (1)

publicly that they had located the plane on military radar, hours into its flight and way off course from where it should have been, so admitting anything in a timely manner, error or not, doesn't seem to be a high priority to them right now.

Eta: I think the Malaysian military can expect a more harsh reaction than a thrown water bottle from the public and the families of the passengers when all is said and done.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 04:40 PM

32. Their Air Force did say almost three days ago that the plane turned back...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4633214

So now they're searching on the west coast of Malaysia, too. ~ posted by countryjake Sat Mar 8, 2014

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Flight MH370 could have made a turn back, says Hishammuddin
http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/se-asia/story/missing-malaysia-airlines-plane-flight-mh370-could-have-made-turn-back-a

"Our main focus is to find the aircraft. There is a possibility that the plane had to make an air turn back so we have to expand the search area," he said.

The search area had expanded to the west coast of Malaysia.

He said Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation and the Royal Malaysian Air Force were looking into the reasons for the turn back, and would announce their findings later.

He also said he spoke to Singapore's Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen on Saturday who agreed to deploy three Singapore vessels to help with the search.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:24 PM

27. Are they sure the transponder was turned off and not just malfunctioning?

Just yesterday there was an incident where the transponder in another Boeing 777 went on the blink forcing the plane to return to Deli.

An Air India flight had to make a precautionary landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday morning after a transponder defect was detected. The Delhi-Chicago flight, a Boeing 777, returned within three hours of take off.

Air traffic control (ATC) uses an aircraft’s transponder to identify it and aircrafts with defective transponders are not allowed to enter the European airspace, prompting the Air India flight to return.

The incident, airport sources said, was reported at 2.15 am when the flight AI 127 was scheduled for take off to Chicago. Sources said that there were 313 passengers and 16 crew members on board.

“The flight took off at 2.15 am but when it entered Afghanistan airspace, it developed a snag in its transponder whereby the signal transmitted by the ATC to the aircraft was not visible in the aircraft. The transponder assists ATC in identifying aircraft within its radar and can give collision warning to the pilot if it gets dangerously close to another aircraft in air. Though pilots are in constant touch with the ATC, the transponder helps give distress signals in case of an emergency,” a senior airport official said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/transponder-fault-forces-ai-flight-to-return-to-delhi/


What I'm asking is if there's a way to tell a malfunction from it being turned off? I'm not saying this is what happened, of course, since none of us really have a clue. After having read this yesterday, and now today hearing so many media outlets saying the only way they can be turned off is by hand, I'm left wondering if the media has the right of things.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #27)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:42 PM

28. I don't know, but

personnel in the missing plane did not report a transponder malfunction like the Air India plane did, so the only other option is it was switched off.

For now, we don't have any info that there was radio communications from the plane while it was on it's unplanned flight path. I can't imagne that the Malaysian military would notice a not-planned-for plane pop up on its radar and then not try to contact the pilot to demand it identify itself and to know what it was doing in that air space.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #28)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:55 PM

30. I considered that also.

I also considered the possibility of the communications also going down. I honestly have no clue as to what happened and know little to nothing about aviation. I do think there are a few too many oddities in one place here. Such as how the airline misreported at first that the plane fell off radar at 2:40 AM which was later changed to 1:30 AM, and now it's being reported the military possibly had the plane on radar until 2:40 AM. Could well be just a freakish coincidence there, but it still felt odd to see it.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #27)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 03:56 PM

31. In January a newer 787 lost it's transponder

(Reuters) - A Boeing Co (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner operated by Air India Ltd AIN.UL this week returned to London due to a communications problem, but has since been operational, the Indian state-run carrier said on Wednesday.

The aircraft's transponder failed during the flight on Sunday from London to New Delhi, Air India spokesman G.P. Rao said, adding there was no immediate safety concern. The plane was back in operation on Monday after engineers fixed the transponder, he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/22/us-airindia-dreamliner-idUSBREA0L09R20140122

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 11:34 AM

11. ok now I am thinking I should widen my search for my ....

fill in the blank with whatever you've lost recently

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:53 PM

20. Cnn is reporting

a actual map of where the plane is. Turn it on if you can.

The plane traveled almost the same distance after taking a turn near Vietnam and now it's in the strait.

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #20)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:53 PM

23. There was also a report --

 

the plane was flying low when it was at the strait.

This is looking more and more like a take-over of the plane. I saw that map -- there is no way no how a captain would make that kind of radical change in flight without a serious reason/notifying authorities. Someone had to turn the transponder off. With that said, I can't imagine one or more passengers not trying to use their cell phones in case such a thing was happening.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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Response to Hell Hath No Fury (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 01:56 PM

24. Not only that

but a commercial pilot said that the 777 has a satellite phone. So even with all the transponder systems off, the pilot might have been able to call someone.

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #24)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:06 PM

25. Exactly.

 

And, if there was a mechanical problem, they were closer to Vietnam than Malaysia -- it would have made more sense to keep going than to turn around. I was on a flight from NYC to London that had to turn back due to an engine issue -- we had been flying for several hours when we were notified by the captain we were going back. If we had been a bit further along we would have just kept going. I was on a red-eye and the turn was so subtle I might not have noticed if we hadn't been told about it.

I'd also heard an interview yesterday where there redundant electrical systems onboard. What type of electrical problem takes the transponders and out all communication systems but allows the plane to keep flying as it did?

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:18 PM

26. Why do they assume it stopped in the strait?

It could be in the middle of the Indian Ocean...a failed attempt to hijack and fly to Somalia, etc. I don't think the Malaysians have the foggiest idea where this plane is.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 02:51 PM

29. Isn't there anyone among us that believes

this whole thing could be a diversion so we won't pay attention to what is
REALLY GOING ON IN our world??????

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Response to onecent (Reply #29)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:03 PM

33. Ummm, no.

If this was not in the news it would be all Russia, Ukraine, and children in Syria.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

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