Oct 092014

38187aa - MH370 Report: "Boeing 777 Spiraled Into Indian Ocean Upon Last Engine Flameout"

NBC News and The Daily Mail (U.K.) confirm today the “Independent Group” expert findings submitted last week to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau that Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, Registration Number 9M-MRO, performing as flight MH370 early morning on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, spiraled out of control into the southern Indian Ocean, as the airliner’s engine shutdowns upon exhausting their fuel supply happened “one after the other.” This development has been later confirmed by USA Today.

“MH370 investigators have revealed the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight may have been in the wrong area up until now,” The Daily Mail (U.K.) reports.

In a flight path analysis released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on Wednesday, the details report what experts believe they may have finally found where MH370 resides at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean, further confirming the Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss’ statement earlier this week, “not as much a question of where but when,” we would reach a final outcome of the MH370 missing airliner mystery.

“Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went into a slow left turn and spiraled into the Indian Ocean when its fuel ran out, an interim report concluded Wednesday, pointing investigators towards the southern section of the current search zone,” reports NBC News.

Flight simulations recreating the final moments of MH370, suggest the Boeing 777-200 entered “a descending spiraling low bank angle left turn” and hit the ocean “a relatively short distance after the last engine flameout,” the ATSB said in an update report.

According to NBC News, the ATSB analysis confirms the Boeing 777-200ER airliner crashed in “relatively close proximity” to the well-known British firm Inmarsat seventh arc, where investigators on Monday launched the huge Malaysia-contracted GO Phoenix survey vessel to begin the underwater search for MH370, the ATSB said.

However, the ATSB flight simulation report said a “better understanding” of data from an unanswered ground-to-air satellite telephone call — details of which emerged and reported by NBC News back in August — “indicate that the next, underwater, phase of the search should be prioritized further south within the wide search area.” It was not immediately clear to NBC News, if there would be changes to the underwater search plans, which were published Tuesday.

The ATSB report narrows the slice of ocean in which there is strong probability the Boeing 777-200ER airliner wreckage of MH370 resides in a 400-mile stretch of the southern Indian Ocean. Drawing upon scenario planning of autopilot flight patterns, human factors error, and probable aircraft attitudes and speeds prior to crashing, and operating from the assumption the airliner turned south into the Indian Ocean after flying over the Strait of Malacca, the ATSB report focuses on a 350 nautical mile (400 statue mile) stretch of ocean as the most likely underwater search plan going forward.

Emirates Airlines Chief Suspects Otherwise About MH370 Fate on March 8

Meanwhile, Emirates Airlines president and chief executive, Sir Timothy Clark, recently knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, told Aviation Week in July: “Something is not right here and we need to get to the bottom of it,” the Australian News Service reports Friday, October 10.

Interviewed by the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Emirates Airlines chief executive “challenges the ATSB’s conclusion this week that MH370 flew south over the Indian Ocean on autopilot for five hours until it ran out of fuel and fell out of the sky, forcing 239 passengers into a watery grave,” reports the Australian News Service.

2856b87 - MH370 Report: "Boeing 777 Spiraled Into Indian Ocean Upon Last Engine Flameout"

Photo Credit: Simon Dawson, Getty Images. Emirates Airlines President and Chief Executive, Sir Timothy Clark

Instead, Sir Timothy Clark holds it is probable that “MH370 was under control, probably until the very end.” He further questions the “so-called electronic satellite ‘handshake’” used by analysts to pinpoint the probable crash site and insists the mysterious cargo in the hold (removed from the manifest by Malaysian authorities) is a crucial clue to the puzzle.

The Malaysian authorities were accused of being slow early on back in March in publicly releasing the MH370 cargo manifest, which is available here, “insisting the document was with the police, who were conducting their own investigation into the cause of the plane’s disappearance,” reported the Australian News Service on March 24.

Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya on March 18 revealed the aircraft was carrying “three to four tonnes” of mangosteen.

Four days after that, the flag carrier chief also confirmed press reports that the plane was carrying some small lithium-ion batteries, cautioning they were transported according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules.

Professor Jason Middleton, head of the school of aviation at the University of New South Wales, said to the Australian News Service, “a severe fire caused by lithium-ion batteries would require “gallons of fluid to put it out”, but said if this was the cause of the aircraft’s disappearance it would be unlikely it could have flown all the way to the southern Indian Ocean.”

I have also discussed this particular crucial aspect in an earlier post of June 15 on LinkedIn Pulse.

Much of what we already know up to seven-months of the international aviation safety and security saga has been adequately reviewed and chronicled (see “MH370 100th Day: Jets still don’t fall out of the sky,” as featured June 15, and see “MH370 Six Months Later: What Have We Learned?“, as featured September 8, both on LinkedIn Pulse Airlines & Aviation Channel). This is outside numerous additional conspiracy theories proposed, as explanation of the Boeing 777-200ER airliner’s mysterious disappearance in the dark early morning hours of March 8. Additionally, here are six conspiracy theories on why MH370 vanished, reported recently in The Telegraph (U.K.).

That an enormous Boeing 777-200ER, performing as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, can simply vanish without a trace, “not even a seat cushion” was downright “suspicious”, Sir Timothy Clark said.

The Emirates Airlines president has vowed that he will not rest until the truth be told, adding: “I will continue to ask questions and make a nuisance of myself, even as others would like to bury it.”

Furthermore, the Emirates Airlines chief declared, as the head of the largest operator of the Boeing 777 in the world (Emirates Airlines has a fleet of 127), “I need to know how anybody could interdict our systems”.

A general consensus so far by government officials and aviation safety investigators suggests the massive Boeing 777-200ER’s tracking systems were deliberately disabled by somebody with extensive aviation knowledge in order to take it off radar.

Read the complete interview by Sir Timothy Clark here.

MH370 search is now confirmed to be further south in the Indian Ocean.

The ASTB report noted that “ongoing refinement may result in changes to search asset deployment.”

According to the International Business Times Australia, a group of experts naming themselves the Independent Group have put forward to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) that the search should be concentrated “further south in the Indian Ocean.”

According to Malaysia Kini report, these independent experts claim their findings are based on “extensive analysis” and the plane may have ended some 2,554 kilometers southwest of Perth, Australia. The report identifies the team of Independent Group investigators as 13 experts, including satellite communications expert, Tim Farrar, astronomer, Duncan Steel, and science writer, Jeffery Wise. This group is reportedly trying to trace the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 based on “publicly available data.”

Last week, the Independent Group presented an eight-page report to the ATSB. Their report claims that the plane’s location “is some 900 kilometers (559 miles approximately) southwest from the priority search area.”

Contrary to the theory stating that the missing Boeing 777-200ER Trent 800 engines ran out of fuel simultaneously, the Independent Group suggests that the airliner’s engine shutdowns happened “one after the other.” The Group holds that this conjecture may have led the airliner to “spiral dive towards the ocean” at 287 kilometer (180 miles approximately) per hour. The findings of the experts are allegedly based on their study of “final transmissions,” International Business Times Australia reports.

Conventional thinking now holds that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 remained along the British firm Inmarsat’s “seventh arc,” the priority search area where the missing plane was last positioned, when the Boeing 777-200ER airliner last made its final “hello” or “handshake” communication with the Inmarsat satellite.

0f109e5 - MH370 Report: "Boeing 777 Spiraled Into Indian Ocean Upon Last Engine Flameout"

Photo Credit: AFP/ASTB/JACC

The ATSB said on September 24 that further refinement of communications and flight data from MH370 would be used to determine the first areas to be scoured by the ships, “which will most likely extend south” of the previous priority zone.

The team has also hired a sonar specialist, who worked with Air France AF447’s Airbus 330-200 recovery team after that airliner crashed in the mid-Atlantic Ocean in 2009, with many similar challenges in that underwater search as inside the southern Indian Ocean – such as deep sea depths and mountainous terrain, ATSB’s Peter Foley said.

“We are totally focused on finding that aircraft and we’ve got really expert help, so optimism is high,” he said.

New underwater phase of MH370 search may continue south this week.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is now more clearly expected to be found on the southern Indian Ocean floor, officials say. Beginning Monday, the next 12 days of continuous deep sea scouring, unabated by harsh hurricane-like underwater oceanic weather conditions, is critical to uncovering the whereabouts of the massive Boeing 777-200ER airliner.

Wreckage or debris must be found during these critical 12 days before the underwater sea vessel equipment employed in this next search phase has to return back to shore for refueling and restocking. During this time as the deep sea vessel equipment is away, the conditions of the “priority search area” could change drastically. This could severely hamper and impede the ongoing MH370 search that could delay recovery of the missing Boeing 777-200ER for years.

Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss believes the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 239 people on board is “not as much a question of where but when,” reports the Australian News Service and Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

“It’s not clear how long that search will take. We would hope, obviously, to find the aircraft on the first day, but it could in fact take a year to search the entire area and weather conditions will have an impact,” he said.

Truss added: “I remain cautiously optimistic that we will locate the missing aircraft within the priority search area.”

The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 disappeared mysteriously from all radar shortly after takeoff on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing International Airport.

On Sunday, October 5, 2014, the search for MH370 continues after scientists for over three months have carefully mapped out the seabed surveys of the key features of the southern Indian Ocean floor for what is being called the “priority search area” – about 1,120 miles off the western Australian coast.

The new deep sea phase of MH370 search follows the mapping of some 110,000 square kilometers (44,000 square miles) of the remote area’s vast sea floor since May – by Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen and the Australian-contracted survey ship Fugro Equator.

278b479 - MH370 Report: "Boeing 777 Spiraled Into Indian Ocean Upon Last Engine Flameout"

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images — After the mapping of some 110,000 square kilometers of the remote southern Indian Ocean’s mountainous sea floor at Broken Ridge (at depths ranging from 2500-5300 meters below sea level), several Fugro autonomous underwater vehicles will be launched from the Australian-contracted survey ships Fugro Discovery and Fugro Equator, including the Malaysia-contracted survey ship GO Phoenix, as part of a new high-resolution deep sea search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 now ongoing this week.

Scientists have explored the depths of the priority search area where the missing plane is expected to be found. Such deep sea three-dimensional survey images created by Geoscience Australia of the targeted search area cutting across Broken Ridge – a mountainous sea floor terrain formed by spreading plate margins – have revealed new ancient volcanoes, towering peaks and ridges, and 1,400 meter deep trenches. The changes in height, with ridges up to 300 meters high and trenches some 1,400 meters deep, point to the tough job ahead.

The new images underscore the shear complexity in scope and large-scale nature of the search for flight MH370. Since the Boeing 777-200ER disappeared nearly seven months ago this week with 239 people on board, 26 countries have helped with the missing airliner search and investigation. However, no trace of the airliner has been found.

Unless otherwise, remarkably, the deep sea phase of the MH370 search ongoing this week in the priority area uncovers any wreckage or debris from the airliner. Then, we will all know not only where, but also when MH370 is found.

The 23,000-square-mile priority search area was determined through analysis of a series of eight so-called “hello” or “handshake” messages sent by the Boeing 777-200ER airliner and received by a satellite owned by the British firm Inmarsat before the airliner disappeared during the early morning hours of March 8.

The Malaysian-contracted GO Phoenix arrives today as the first of three vessels to begin a deep ocean search on Monday, October 6, 2014, Australian Broadcasting Company reports, spanning more than 1,500 kilometers (about 932 miles) off the western Australian coast. Two more vessels, the Fugro Discovery and the Fugro Equator, are expected to join the search in the coming days. Australia contracted Dutch company Fugro to search for MH370 using sonar technology on a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean.

According to the ATSB, the Malaysian sea vessel GO Phoenix is expected to search for the missing plane along a defined arc in the southern Indian Ocean with the use of sensitive sonar equipment and video cameras. Martin Dolan, ATSB’s chief commissioner, said that the sonar equipment and video cameras will be dragged along the ocean floor on the end of very long cables. Dolan believes that GO Phoenix sea vessel is new technology that will not miss anything in its wake.

“When they get going, they will deploy an underwater sonar in on the end of a very long cable, about eight kilometer. They will tow that sonar in on a toefish, which contains sonar equipment, close to ocean floor, at about 100 meters. From here they send out sonar signals, and get them back, spanning a width of about 1.5 kilometers, that will then go up the cable to [the sea] vessel and crews to look at and analyze [back on shore at Perth, Australia] for anything of [probable] interest [connected to the lost airliner]. It will be recorded and transferred in batches, and re-analyzed so nothing is to be missed.”

“The complexities surrounding the search cannot be underestimated,” Dolan explained. “It involves areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information.”

The $57 million search operation for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is financed by Australia and Malaysia. The GO Phoenix has the capacity for continuous operations for 12 days before the sea vessel must head back to shore for refueling and restocking. Experts say if MH370 is not found in these next 12 days, then the Boeing 777-200 airliner could be lost for years.

Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss hopes to find the missing plane as soon as possible. “It’s not clear how long that search will take. We would hope, obviously, to find the aircraft on the first day, but it could in fact take a year to search the entire area and weather conditions will have an impact. I remain cautiously optimistic that we will locate the missing aircraft within the priority search area.”


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