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Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by exiledgator, Mar 10, 2014.
I don't think he had a point, was just a Zoolander reference.
NO ONE is buying that the plane simply "went down" in the Indian Ocean.
There is a LOT more to this story and it hasn't really even started to come out yet.
You write this in such a sinister way. I think its safe to assume that the plane went down in the Ocean and everyone is dead. Of course no one will know what happened and why untill the black box is recovered or further investigation uncovers something.
Yeah, I've been saying for weeks this plane is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. How it got there, we may never know.
Looks like a debris field may have been found via satellites in the same area that they've been concentrating on.
Appears as though we may have the "where" taken care of....
Even with that, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) is **supposed** to only record the last 30 minutes of sound in the cockpit. Now, some are saying that it will give you the last 2 hours of sound, but I am skeptical. Originally, it was to record 2 hours, but the airline unions complained, so the airlines reduced it to 30 minutes. The rumor is, and always has been that the airlines only told the pilots it was the last 30 minutes, but in reality, it recorded the original 2 hours.
The Flight Data Recorder (FDR) should have recorded the entire flight, unless there was an interruption in the power supply.
Even the last two hours will be of no help, except perhaps in the last 30 minutes or so, the sound of the engines winding down (due to fuel starvation), stall warnings, GPWS sounds, then the final impact as the jet crashes into the Southern Indian Ocean.
Personally, I believe that they experienced a "Smoke or Fire of unknown origin" which specifically instructs the crew to eliminate electrical circuits, one by one (transponders and ACARS) until the source of the smoke is located (in this instance, I believe it came from the cargo hold ala ValuJet). Why they didn't tell anyone of their problems, I don't think we will ever know. Before passing out, the crew selected HDG SEL (heading select) and slewed the heading bug in a general direction of land, perhaps to the west initially because the tip of the peninsula was there, then to the south in a general direction of Kuala Lumpor. The noxious fumes eventually overtook them and they were either rendered unconscience, or killed. The airplane continued on that heading -- on autopilot until the engines quit, and the airplane, and all the souls on board, fell into the South Indian Ocean.
Just my 2 cents.
Comes to the same thing as the theory that guy, "Captain Luke", I think, has proffered -- his scenario is a hijacking by one of the two pilots resulting in a struggle between the two over what he claims is a small fire axe in the cockpit that ultimately resulted in both dead or mortally wounded, with the latter having reengaged the autopilot. Ending is the same -- ghost plane flying south for hours before it runs out of fuel and goes down. Although I don't care for versions of this where it's a plane full of doomed and frightened passengers at the end
In either version, the voice recorder will be worthless, since it's a plane being piloted for a few hours by dead men.
Only reason I hope they find the black box isn't really for forensic purposes, but so that they can slam the door on all but the most irrational people still insisting this plane is somewhere or the passengers alive. And they have... 12 days left to get a bead on its signal before its gone for good?
I can guarantee you that in 8 hours of flying, I could gain access to the cockpit through that reinforced door. Guarantee.
Dave, what about the report of ascending to 45K feet for more than enough time to extinguish the passengers ?
Could be someone did -- problem is, did it take so long the plane had already passed the fuel event horizon to where anyone could have got it back to land anyway? I'm sure you've gamed this out with far more insight than most of us would have though. Is the debris search area consistent with it having gone the maximum fuel range, or might someone tried to regain control of it mid-flight and ended up taking it into the water?
Is the 777 designed to compartmentalize a fire and contain it? I have a hard time concluding a fire would not take down the plane if it was bad enough to take out the pilots (especially if they were not able to communicate a mayday) long before fuel was an issue.
Here's a good article by a Canadian pilot, who also thinks it was fire:
So how does the plane get way the heck out in the Indian Ocean down around Australia, if that particular runway was the target ?
I guess because the pilots were unconscious or dead.
This to me is the fundamental problem with the fire scenario. Okay, you program the auto-pilot to go towards the north and west and then you pass out/die from asphyxiation. If the auto-pilot shuts off or malfunctions, it seems to me that the plane would get into a circular pattern and then run out of fuel and that would be WAY further north than where they are talking.
I, personally, don't place a lot of credence on these reports. It's the transponders that transmit the airplane's altitude, and the story is that they were disabled (pulled circuit breakers) prior to the altitude excursions. This would mean that the only way to determine its altitude would be through triangulation from returns from the primary radar target. This would take a lot of time. However, if the climb actually did happen, AND the crew has disabled the automatic deployment of the oxygen masks (something that is possible to do I. The 727 and 737's that I fly, not sure about the 777 though), then yes. The time of useful consciousness at 45,000 feet is about 9 to 15 seconds. Death would occur within 5 minutes.
It is, for its ETOPS (Extended range Twin Operations). I believe that they are designed to contain a -- fire -- not fumes, for a minimum of 180 minutes. May be longer in the 777 as their ETOPS limit is longer, but that's standard. We have an automatic extinguishing system that will, upon detection of flames, send an initial burst of extinguishing agent into the effected cargo zone. Then, will slowly disburse agent, over a 180 minute period, into the same zone.
A requirement to fly within the airspace above 29,000 feet is an operating autopilot. They just don't fail all that often. The pilots were likely on LNAV (Lateral Navigation) which, when engaged, will command the autopilot to follow the route that was programmed into the FMS (Flight Management System. This would have gotten the airplane TO the Beijing airport area where an arrival (one of dozens in Beijing) would be assigned by ATC, and then programmed into the FMS. The airplane can also land itself, but again, it must be programmed and initialized (by the pilot) before the autopilot will fly the approach; this can not be done before arriving at the airport itself.
In my scenario, the crew initially slewed the manual heading bug to a westerly direction (knowing there was land there) and selected the HDG SEL mode of lateral autopilot navigation. ALT (Altitude hold) had already been selected, and their cruising altitude was selected (VNAV - Vertical Navigation). Then, after doing whatever caught their attention (a fight, perhaps?), the heading bug was then slewed in a general direction that would take them back to KL.
Dave would they have programmed KL in when they slewed back in the general direction back to KL in your fire scenario? If so would they not circle KL?
It would have taken more time than to simply select HDG SEL and slew the heading bug around. They would then (presumably) have had time to key in the airport, the arrival and the runway into the FMS, then re-select LNAV and VNAV once they handed whatever 'event' they were facing at the time. All told, that would take about three minutes. Not a great deal of time, to be sure, but an eternity if you are trying to handle some other issue.
Personally, I wouldn't bother.
What's most perplexing to me is why they didn't talk to someone? The emergency frequency is 121.5. Everyone monitors that frequency (local towers, enroute ATC, other aircraft...). It doesn't make sense that someone didn't say something. Even if you lose ALL electrical supplies (engine and APU generators, the RAT...) you still have enough to aviation, navigate and communicate on residual battery power. The airplanes I fly give you a minimum of 30 minutes when you're down to Standby (battery) power. More, if you start reducing the electrical draw.
If the autopilot reaches its clearance limit (the last waypoint programmed into the FMS), it reverts to basic wings-level and altitude hold state. It will maintain the same altitude and heading that it had approaching the last waypoint... Until it runs out of fuel.
Also, I would imagine that the airplane had satellite telephone available to both the crew AND passengers (in First Class, at least...). Why no phone calls by either the crew or passengers - yet another fact supporting the total loss of electrical power...