Deriving the Dimensions of the Rodrigues Debris

Though the piece of debris discovered on Rodrigues Island has not yet been definitively linked to MH370, the distinctive pattern applied to one of its sides seems to match perfectly the interior of a Malaysia Airlines 777, as Don Thompson has so astutely pointed out. Therefore, pending confirmation from the authorities, it seems highly likely that this represents the fourth piece of MH370 debris to be recovered from the Indian Ocean since the start of the year.

The first three pieces have been studied in Australia and handed over to the Malaysians. Apart from confirmation that the two Mozambique pieces almost certainly did come from MH370, no further information about them has been released, and it seems unlikely that any will be before Malaysia issues its final report, which is slated to take place after Australia calls off the seabed search in the middle of this year. Therefore anything we are going to learn from these pieces is going to come from studying photographs and videos taken before they were ushered away into official secrecy.

In today’s post I’d like to discuss my attempts to determine the exact size of the Rodrigues debris fragment, and what its dimensions tell us about the size of the marine organisms growing on it. This is important in determining how long the piece floated in the ocean.

 

1- side view
Figure 1

 

In Figure 1 we are looking at the top of the piece, with the “back” of it (the part not facing toward the cabin interior) upward. I’ve marked in blue 12 inches on the ruler visible in the foreground. Based on the relative number of pixels, I calculate the length of the edge in yellow to be 11.5 inches, and the thickness of the piece (red line) as approximately 1 inch. The purple circle shows the approximate location of the “Lonely Barnacle” which I’ll talk about in a little bit.

In Figure 2 we see a close-up of the bottom edge of the piece. Although the object appears to be of uniform width, the hex cells at the bottom have a different orientation from those elsewhere in the piece: their longitudinal axes are vertically oriented, rather than back-to-front:

2- bottom view copy
Figure 2

 

In a comment on an earlier post, reader Ken Goodwin identified the honeycomb material as most likely being 1/8 inch 3 lb Nomex. This would match well with the width of the piece as measured in Figure 1. If the seven cells I’ve outlined in blue above have a total length of 7/8 of an inch, then the total width of the honeycomb portion (green line) is 0.8 inches.

Figure 3 shows the Lonely Barnacle mentioned above. Based on the hex cells it is lying next to, its length appears to be almost exactly 1 inch, or about 25 mm. (Note that what we’re measuring here is the length of the capitulum, in other words the shell.)

3- lonely barnacle small
Figure 3

 

Note that the barnacle might not be lying exactly flat; if its main axis is skewed in relation to the camera its actual size will be somewhat longer, perhaps 26 to 28 mm.

In Figure 2 it’s possible to see that quite a lot of barnacles are growing in area where the surface has become separated from the honeycomb in the inboard portion of piece (the right-hand side in Figure 1). Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find any good pictures of this area. The best images showing barnacles are of an area at the top of the front of the panel, on the outboard side:

5- vertical
Figure 4

 

4- barnacle farm
Figure 5

 

Based on their apparent size in these images, the largest barnacles appear to be, again, approximately 25 mm in length.

I ran these images past Cynthia Venn of Bloomsburg University, who is perhaps the most knowledgeable person in the world about Lepas growth rates. She identified these barnacles as being Lepas anatifera, with some smaller Lepas anserifera perhaps thrown in as well. She was unable to determine whether the anatifera belonged to the subspecies striata (which reach a maximum length of 35 to 40 mm) or anatifera (which can reach up to 50 to 60mm) but at any rate they are significantly smaller than their maximum size, which they usually reach in six months to a year.

Of their observed length, Venn told me: “They can get that size in a couple of months.”

Note, too, that most of the barnacles that are visible are substantially smaller than the largest ones; if the piece had been floating in the ocean for two years, we would expect a large community of full-sized barnacles, as is seen on tsunami debris of comparable age. Note, too, that the barnacles on the Rodrigues piece are significantly smaller than those on the Réunion piece, the largest of which measured 39 mm.

It is difficult to explain how a piece that has been adrift for two years can have substantially smaller barnacles than another piece that has been floating in the same stretch of ocean–experiencing, that is, the same temperatures and nutrient levels–for only 1.25 years.

 

96 thoughts on “Deriving the Dimensions of the Rodrigues Debris”

  1. Just something on the spoofing that I don’t quite get. A lot of it actualy for it’s technicaly so complicated. But what I mean is the complicated way of introducing all kinds of people who could be involved in this.
    Were I think it could be more simple if it ever was done.
    For there was actualy one expert on the plane we know for sure, who probably was capable of executing this kind of spoofing and that was the captain.

  2. ALSM and I don’t really talk so I offer an observation about his objections to BTO spoofing. As I’ve said before it’s all civilian centric. You really would need to have had “TOP SECRET” next to your name to answer this question and have experience in the relevant area.

    “man years of senior engineers working on it”. Check.

    “insider knowledge of how the Inmarsat system works”. Check.

    “$$$$”. Check.

    Outside of the civilian orbit is another realm. They would have tried everything to track planes sitting outside of radar coverage over a long period and they will be sitting on capabilities/technologies.

    Why wouldn’t you assume that every electronic trace the plane left will be dissected at high levels?

    Only a few years ago BTO’s were used to locate AF447. Would this be of interest to would be hijackers? Well trained pilots are not aware of how to manipulate the SDU in any way, agreed, but there is not much stopping them from finding out. All it needs is premeditation. As someone with minimal technical grounding I would always assume that a satellite had me and that I needed to sever to stay dark.

  3. Michael John,

    Your timeline is off. At 16:28:17 the plane was still backing out of the gate (from ACARS OUT Report). Wheels up was at about 16:41:43 (from ACARS OFF Report). At 17:07 the plane was heading towards IGARI at FL350. The BFO jumped during the climb (which ended about 17:01) because the Doppler correction algorithm does not correct for vertical motion of the aircraft. When one does quantitative calculations, combining the ACARS position report data with the FR24 ADS-B data, the measured BTO and BFO match reasonably well.

  4. @SK999

    A trip down memory lane. That was the first mistake of many (not realizing that ROC was uncompensated by the AES) I have made relative to MH370 analytics. It is good to maintain a historical perspective.

  5. Matty – Perth,

    The BTOs were NOT used to help locate AF447. They were not being recorded. They were added to the recorded data stream by Inmarsat in response to that accident after realizing that they could have been useful. The addition at Perth did not happen right away but was done as part of an equipment upgrade (either 2012 or 2013, if I recall properly). The BFOs were never thought of as being useful for aircraft tracking. I believe they were recorded for AF447, but obviously contributed nothing of value.

    I do not understand the obsession with the spoof theory. It makes a great story in a work of fiction, but that is all. It is utter nonsense here.

  6. The change in cell orientation at figure 2 is where the lavatory wall meets the lavatory floor.

    OZ

  7. @Michael John. It looks to me your timeline could be correct as also your data timeline. But if you start with the presumption the plane took off at 16.28 from that point on all interpretations of the data go wrong I guess.

  8. Ge Rijn

    The two air turbine pumps you refer to are driven by bleed air from either the engines (when running) or from the APU. These air operated pumps are called demand pumps, which means they only operate at times of high demand.

    The flaps and slats are operated by the central hydraulic system which is powered by two electric motor-driven pumps, with the air pumps contributing at times of high demand. The bottom line is that the flaps can only be extended if either the engines and/or the APU is running. The APU supplies electric power at any altitude and bleed air (when below 22,000ft) so the APU can power the flaps by itself.

  9. Michael John,

    In detail, I don’t think what you noticed is all that useful. You need to get the timelines synchronized, and you need to be able to calculate what the BTO and BFO ought to be doing, given the events that are occurring. For example, the event “descending toward the Malacca strait” happened at a time when there were no SATCOM communications and thus no BTO/BFOs to examine. A simple shift of 10 minutes is not enough.

    However, in general, the idea of cross-comparing the logs and other sources of information is very useful, and while I have done a lot, it is always useful to have other eyeballs looking. The information sources include the SATCOM logs, the ACARS logs (including time stamps of all messages), the ATC transcripts, the ADS-B logs (which I recently reconstructed using data collected by Paul Sladen), the radar track from various ATSB reports, the Kalman filter reconstruction of the radar track from Bayesian Methods, the Lido radar image, the DCA radar tracks from Factual Information, and the narratives of the flight from Factual Information and various ICAO reports. Additionally, I have been trying to fill in gaps, such as estimating the speed and time duration that happens during aircraft push-back, the time it takes from when engines are spooled to take-off, and so forth.

  10. @Ge Rijn,

    The air driven pumps you are referring to are driven by engine or APU bleed air; so you need engine or APU operation to make them work.

    OZ

  11. @Michael J.

    You have a misunderstanding of Doppler. It is hard to know where to even begin to get you straightened out. Maybe start with Wiki and move on from there. It is not a trivial calculation, and involves the projection (vector dot product) of the aircraft velocity and the vector between the aircraft and the satellite. The AES compensation is another matter that will require you to bone up on that subject.

    You have some work to do.

  12. Oleksandr:

    I’m really sick of your personal attacks and troll behavior here. I suspect I’m not the only one.

    Stop making untrue statements about what I have written. Stop taking words and phrases completely out of context to create distorted, wrong impressions to smear me and others. You know you are doing it deliberately, so knock it off.

    If you are actually confused about a position or statement I have taken, ask politely for clarification instead of spreading lies about what I have said and haven’t said.

  13. sk999 – fair enough, if finding AF447 did not involve BTO recording I believe you. It has been peddled from everywhere that it did – I took it as fact.

    Why the obsession with spoofing/data corruption? It should be pretty obvious by now things aren’t going so well regarding the search. The debris so far is confusing, the behaviour of all govts involved is confusing as well as bothering, and of course there are no guarantees with the data – unless you want to be the first to provide one?

    If you were in the lab and an instrument outage revealed data spearing off in an illogical way you would check that instrument immediately? Then you find someone has been fiddling with stuff. Is it time to worry? Do we have any way of verifying to the highest level that the data is good apart from finding the plane?

    The reboot/FMT will be the ball game. People are happy to put that down to human factors in the cockpit it seems – that’s the elastic in the equation. Before this episode those human factors implied by the SIO narrative would have passed for wild fiction also.

    Some people have great difficulty envisaging state actors being involved here, clearly I’m not one of them.

    Littlefoot – sophisticated terrorism – Iran is the biggest sponsor of terror globally by a mile and has developed considerable technological expertise. They are now the very proud owners of a slightly dented state of the art US drone.

  14. @trond @all
    A simple google search will point to a lot of topics, which have been already discussed in previous posts on this blog.

    Just type in the search box something like

    jeffwise.net MH370 followed by the topic you are interested.

  15. Inmarsat’s recording of BTO’s.

    If this was not restricted info then it isn’t remarkable at all that a state actor/perp would have known about it. If it was restricted info then it’s only slightly remarkable.

  16. @retiredf4

    That only showed the topics from the blogs, which was the malaysian and indonesian radars.

    So you gave me an advise you hadnt tested out for yourself first.

    I wanted to know if the people on this forun have discussed why the two american military radars didnt pick up mh370 in the sio, from diego garcia or australia.

  17. Airlandseaman,

    As long as your behaviour became offensive and arrogant, you are forcing me to defend myself.

    Here is what you wrote:

    Posted April 12, 2016 at 7:41 PM
    “It is not possible to fake BTO values with only a laptop and an AES. ”

    When I asked why impossible, you replied:

    Posted April 13, 2016 at 10:07 AM
    “As I have already explained, it is *technically possible* to do it.”

    After I thanked you for this correction, you accused me in personal attack and trolling. What is this?

  18. Matty,

    “Outside of the civilian orbit is another realm. They would have tried everything to track planes sitting outside of radar coverage over a long period and they will be sitting on capabilities/technologies.”

    I have some sympathy with this view. I remember watching the C4 documentary ‘The Lost Tapes’ on the military response to the 9/11 hijackings. I strongly recommend it.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P4Tj4XN6U_w

    The simple trick of disabling the transponder created untrackable flying weapons. Fighters were eventually scrambled but they had no idea where to send them. The helplessness and panic is obvious.

    It seems unlikely that they would allow this state of affairs to persist. The US and other nations would need to be concerned not only with domestic air traffic, but also flights originating outside of domestic airspace with destination in or near the country in question.

    Hard to know what the solution to this problem would be, or even how feasible it is in principle, but a safe bet that it has attracted a lot of attention.

  19. @Matty, as to the slightly dented US drone, now owned by Iran: word of mouth has it, that a Chinese delegation of engineers and scientists performed an autopsy on the bird. Although, maybe the word autopsy isn’t the correct expression, since the drone might be still functional.

  20. @Trond

    “That only showed the topics from the blogs, which was the malaysian and indonesian radars.

    So you gave me an advise you hadnt tested out for yourself first.

    I wanted to know if the people on this forun have discussed why the two american military radars didnt pick up mh370 in the sio, from diego garcia or australia.”

    Did it cross your mind, that i gave a general advice and left it to you to insert the required search topic and alter the search terms to lead to the desired results?

    Concerning Jorn you might try – Jeffwise.net jorn- and it comes up with hits on the first page. Sure you have to go through the posts to find your desired information. I didn’t check the other pages and I didn’t check for Diego Garcia for obvious reasons. But I know we discussed those topics more than once.

    If those results are not answering your first more general questions regarding these radars, it would be helpful to elaborate with more detail what you want to know, maybe garnered with some new information from your side, and you might get a more suitable answer than my first one. Which by the way was not intended to offend you in any way. If it did so, then please accept my appology.

    But I see no sense if we start with Adam and Eve for the uptenth time on topics, which have been covered in the last two years, except new evidence or information is available. That sure is just my personal oppinion though.

  21. Warren, thanks for interest, I’ll try to get something brief out shortly, life is getting in the way a bit at the moment.

  22. Ge Rijn Posted April 13, 2016 at 1:16 PM: “Beside the position of this piece is a flightattendant seat. ”

    That probably defines the design loading condition for the lavatory partition. The cabin attendant seat and its supporting structure is designed for the load resulting from a 170 lb person with seatbelt and shoulder harness fastened subjected to a forward acceleration of 9 g with a factor of safety of 1.5.

    The partition is probably held in place by attachments in the cabin floor and ceiling. AFAIK there are no attachment points for that kind of loads in the cabin sidewall. That is because the main structure must accomodate flexible cabin layouts to support variable customer specifications.

  23. M Pat – I hadn’t thought of 9/11 but on the past study of signals for detection/tracking purposes the cold war could yield? For a large chunk of it nukes were deliverable by plane only. Just before ICBM’s came online in about 69 they had a Mach3 bomber in testing called the Valkyrie – worth a look – stunning project. But point is any old plane could be carrying a payload so you would expect that they were scrambling for any way possible to detect/track each other. They were also testing each others limits all the time so I can imagine them playing with any data they could get hold of. You could be looking at a screen but knowing there are aircraft just beyond it on any day.

  24. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/malaysia-airlines-mh370-aviation-expert-wants-australia-prove-plane-indian-ocean-1493391

    https://96rosevaleplace.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/mh370-jorn-radar-lights-on-but-no-ones-home/

    So basicly the ‘worlds police’ is the one holding back information, including rolls royce.

    In the meantime the occultic west is busy worshipping baal and his planet x by raising portals.

    To anyone reading into too much feelings and emotions from my inputs it is just i try to get to end-goals. But it is important that people let me know if they sense i come across that way. That is how i am in real life as well. The common way of thinking, ‘iam at a, i want to get to b’.

  25. Littlefoot,

    When the audio recording first came out I listened to it strictly as a linguist, picking out intonations, accent changes, number slurs and so noting them on Duncan Steel, having no idea what bearing that had on the overall mystery. I don’t believe I over interpreted it linguistically at all, those things exist in the recording. It still needs a forensic voice analyst to compare it to other flights of the two pilots as we also noted on DS.

    I agree that perhaps what RetiredF4 is suggesting that the sloppiness in the recording is not an alert to ATC. I do still find it quite odd that both men are forgetting the flight number, one maybe, but both? It all could be as Jeff says, low arousal of both men on a ho-hum red-eye to Beijing but since they were never verbally heard from again that we know of and disappeared for the “first” time shortly after sign-off, something has to be amiss on that flight either prior to IGARI or for sure at IGARI. SK999’s finding is interesting as well.

    I looked up what early signs of hypoxia could be and found that anxiety and restlessness are signs. Anxiety perhaps, or anxious over not getting the flight level they wanted? I have no idea but since ATSB seems to be going with the hypoxia/or perhaps controlled flight after FMT theory, I wonder if they had a forensic voice analyst study the recording? I’d love to speak to Steve Barber on it but cannot find a way to contact him as yet.

  26. Littlefoot,

    Addition to above. Fariq’s level of arousal should have been a bit higher, at least “Yeeha no supervisor behind me!” And wanting to impress the older Zaharie I’d think, more adrenalin in him, boring maybe to Zaharie.

  27. @Gysbrecht. Thanks for the more specific info. If I get you well do you mean it’s hardly possible the cabin attendant seat could have been ripped out leaving the Rodrigues-piece separated as we see it now? Someway it got separated from that part of the lavatory wall next to this seat. And other features seem to point at a forward separation also. If you look at the bottom edge of the piece you can see the attachment holes are broken off at the back and not at the front. The holes on the cabin side are largely intact which points to a separation from the cabin wall sideways. So a separation forward-sideways seems more obvious imo. Does this makes sence in your opinion?
    And assumming a ditch event at a speed of lets say 300km/h could that exceed a forward G-force of +10G?
    I realise the Rodrigues-piece is still not confirmed MH370 and so is its position in the cabin. Maybe its too soon to speculate over this too much in this stage.

  28. @jeff
    thanks jeff for the great job as host of this forum. I’ve been following since the beginning. I commend you on your patience.

    @trond
    after 2 years, most topics have been discussed at length here and summarized well in featured articles. There is some really great stuff if you have the time to start from the beginning.I recommend reading Factual Information and the IG paperwork. I’ve gone down every rabbit hole with this group and find it helpful to know who is talking.

  29. @Rob&@OZ. Thank you for clarification on the air turbine pumps. Somewhere in this youtube series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oyWZjdXxlw
    a person (pilot) states flaps can be lowered on air pressure when all other power is lost. That got me searching and come up with these air turbines.
    The series is about building a 777 and takes almost 5 hours (!). Will try to find the scene when I have time and look again what he might have meant. I must have misunderstood.

  30. @Ge Rijn
    in this forensic guestimation, how the Ridrigues piece came detached, you should also consider compression loads from the floor. The final report of AF 447 would be a good reference for comparison.

  31. @Oleksandr, In @airlandseaman’s April 12 comment, he was talking about what it would take to spoof the BTO value from the ground:

    It requires some fairly complex microwave hardware, an AES, a 429 to USB adapter and a laptop w/ complex custom software. BTO’s cannot be simulated in software (but BFO values can be). I won’t go into the microwave hardware requirements, but it is not simple or cheap.

    In the April 13 comment, he is acknowledging that it is technically posssible to carry out such a ground-based BTO spoof, not reversing himself on whether it can be accomplished with just a laptop and an AES. However, what I think really needs to be underlined in this discussion is that you both are talking about the wrong kind of spoof. No one has put forward a scenario in which the BTO values are spoofed from the ground. Some people have floated the idea of using a second aircraft or drone to “pretend” to be MH370 after IGARI; what I have proposed (and Victor Iannello has significantly developed) is the idea of changing a single parameter in the SDU so that it creates the BFO values recorded by Inmarsat while flying north rather than south.

    This is an important distinction if, as I think is likely, the focus of the inquiry shifts to spoof scenarios.

  32. Ge Rijn Posted April 14, 2016 at 6:06 AM: “Does this makes sence in your opinion? ”

    Not very much, I’m afraid.

    “And assumming a ditch event at a speed of lets say 300km/h could that exceed a forward G-force of +10G?””

    As I’ve written earlier, the impact forces are defined by the vertical speed, not so much by the horizontal speed. Also important is the airplane’s attitude, as shown in the video of ET-961. According to the accident report, that plane disintegrated on impact, and some parts ended up later on a reef. Despite its speed of 200 kt that could have been a neat ditching, if it had not cartwheeled due to the left wingtip plowing into the water.

    ” Maybe its too soon to speculate over this too much in this stage.” – Agreed.

  33. @Cheryl, the problem with the notion that hypoxia related drowsiness and forgetfulness might’ve induced the slurs, is, that these little hickups start far too early. Heck, they have already difficulties to get it right while they are still on the runway. If you construct a timeline, it should start a lot later and should get worse the higher they climb. But that’s not a pattern I can detect here. They also don’t noticeably slur other words.
    As to linguistic oddities: they may well be there. But in order to extract any conclusive information we would need to listen to other cockpit recordings of their voices. Only then we can calibrate and distinguish between idiosyncrasies or mannerisms and what might’ve been truly different in comparison to other flights.
    Frankly, I’m more worried about the apparent tell tale signs of editing several experts have detected, and the fact that Shah’s voice in the recording seems to be different and with a noticeably stronger American accent than his voice on his YouTube videos. Add to that the strange fact that it took investigators quite a while to settle on Shah as the one who spoke the last words. Remember: early announcements said that the copilot spoke them, and the words he allegedly said were different ones. How could they get this so wrong?
    There are harmless explanations for all of this. I heard. quite a few, and Shah’s relatives allegedly identified his voice. So, this is probably a dead end. But I’m more worried about these details – and the failure to read back the frequency – than about the intermittent forgetfulness/slurring of the flight number, which started even before they took off.

  34. I should emphasize that the apparent editing has been explained by a procedure where they fairly primitively spliced several different tapes together by sounding off tapes from one device and recording it with another one. In this process all sorts of different background noises in the recording room would be captured inadvertently. From a forensics point of view this would be bordering on criminal negligence, but it would explain the tell tale signs of crude editing. The problem is of course that it would be impossible to exclude that the recording has been tampered with.

  35. Jeff,

    Thanks. I totally agree with your arguments. You can call me pedantic: my concern was only about “impossible” vs “improbable” [[incendiary language removed by JW. Oleksandr, no ad hominems on this forum, please.]]

  36. When one is not sure the last spoken words are not from the pilots, excluding probability. It is way too different from their normal way of talking.

  37. @Trond, oddly the Malaysian invesigators first said, that the copilot had said:”Good night, alright”. I don’t remember how long that information was out (at least a week, I think) before it was corrected into “Good night, Malaysia 370”, allegedly spoken by Shah.It’s another one of this niggling oddities surrounding the case. Even if they couldn’t immediately identify the speaker – how could they get the last words so wrong? They aren’t mumbled or unclear at all on the recording.
    The NZ journalist Ewan Wilson spoke in person to Shah’s brother-in-law. The brother-in-law said that he hadn’t reckognized Shah’s voice, but his sister (Shah’s wife) had personally identified her husband’s voice. Therefore he didn’t quibble with the findings.
    As I said, all this is probably a dead end. But it’s vexing nevertheless.

  38. There should be means available to the official investigation body to establish without much doubt, who was speaking during the questionable monents of the flight.

    I caution though the attempt to find this out by comparing the ATC recordings to available youtube voices. In aviation pilots tend to adjust unintentional their wording and their verbal expressions to the situation at hand. They tend to sound cool and relaxed like being Chuck Yeager. Sally in the hudson event is a good example.
    My wife would not have recognized my voice over the radio , and in fact she and her sister didn’t on an occasion where they were sitting on the control tower and were watching me take off and land an hour later.

  39. Oleksandr:

    As Jeff notes, both terms (“impossible” vs “improbable”) were used by me, but as as you know full well, they were not in reference to the same discussion. You deliberately take words out of context to create false impressions. You do this for the sole purpose of creating controversy where there is none.

    To all the fair minded folks on this thread…

    It is impossible to change BTO values (round trip propagation delay) by simply hooking up a laptop to an AES in flight or on the ground. The AES internal delay is controlled by embedded FPGA code, limited by design requirements to a max of 300 usec, which cannot be changed. If you can’t change the internal delay, you can’t spoof the BTO values. Moreover, even if it was possible, the values could only be increased, not decreased, so creating a spoofed path to some arbitrary spot would be impossible by this method. This is why it is physically impossible to spoof BTO values using nothing more than a laptop and a normal AES.

    OTOH, it is physically possible, but for all the reasons already noted, highly improbable that anyone spoofed the BTO values using custom ground based equipment. I don’t care if one had unlimited resources and the Russians and CIA working together on the project, it would be exceedingly challenging and bizarre at best. Surely the Russians and the CIA could find much, much easier ways to mislead people if they wanted to do so. (Jeff, I did put forward this possibility in 2014 and explained why it was extremely unlikely.)

    BFO values are different. Conceptually, the BFO values could be altered in one of two ways. If one makes a long string of far-fetched assumptions about how the AES config parameters can be changed in flight via a laptop, it is conceivable that the inclination angle could be changed, as Victor has described, or the OCXO bias offset could be changed. Having been involved with DO-178 code certification, I think it is extremely unlikely that any AES could be hacked in either of these ways. The DO-178 requirements are extremely rigorous. To meet this standard, firmware must be tested exhaustively to demonstrate that an item works only as intended, and is not easily altered, intentionally or unintentionally. It is very hard to imagine how the AES could have ever been granted a DO-178 cert if it was so easily hacked. Thus, in my opinion, it is extremely unlikely that the BFO values were hacked to create the illusion that the plane went south instead of north.

  40. per voice recordings — I wonder if the pilots alertness/sloppiness was impacted by either a drugging or alcohol? possibly given to them from a 3rd party? it does seem to occur far too much in these records.

  41. @Gysbrecht. Not too much speculation on the the Rodrigues-piece in this manner but some speculation is on topic and therefore allowed I presume.
    The topic takes the supposition the Rodrigues-piece is from MH370 and from that specific position in the cabin as I understand it so some speculation shouldn’t be a problem. If so I gladly hear it.

    Regarding the attitude I was thinking of a neat ditching in which the horizontal speed is much greater than the vertical speed as in that case would be the forward G-forces related to the vertical ones depending how fast the mass is horizontaly decelarated.

    Anyway the Rodrigues-piece does not seem to have been pushed in by a watercolumn or something else. This does not fit with the features seen on the back and sides of the piece imo.

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