About That MH370 Inmarsat Data…

Earlier this month France announced that it will reopen its investigation into the disappearance of MH370:

French newspaper Le Parisien reports that investigators are keen to verify data from Inmarsat — the British operator of a global satellite network — which tracked the aircraft’s pings to the southern Indian Ocean off Western Australia, where it is believed to have crashed.

I was happy to hear that, because for the last four years I’ve been making the case that there is one known way by which the Inmarsat data could have been falsified as it was being transmitted from the plane. This falsification would make the plane look like it was heading south when it was really heading north, and would explain why an exhaustive quarter-billion-dollar search of the southern seabed found no trace of the plane.

Of course, there are other reasons to suspect that the plane went north. One of the less probative but more elegant is the simple fact that when it was last spotted, that’s where the plane was turning. The above image comes from page 4 of Appendix 1.6E of the latest Malaysian report, entitled “Aircraft Performance Analysis,” prepared by Boeing. I think this appendix is one of the most important sections of the whole report, as the authority of the source is unimpeachable and its assertions are laid out with such clarity. In this image we see a summary view of what is known about the first two hours of the plane’s flight, based on a combination of secondary and primary radar as well as the first ping from the Inmarsat data. It shows, as I and others have pointed out, that after an aggressive turnback at IGARI, and a high-speed flight over peninsular Malaysia and up the Malacca Strait, the plane disappeared from primary radar and then turned to the north.

Some have proposed that this is best explained by the assumption that whoever was in charge of the plane wanted to avoid conflicting traffic on the airway, but that is absurd–there was no conflicting traffic, and anyway it would be very simple to avoid any such hypothetical traffic by flying at a nonstandard altitude. A simpler explanation is that they turned to the north because they were heading north.

The report has another similiarly compelling illustration that combines fuel-burn data with ping-ring distances to illustrate the various routes the plane might have flown, assuming a constant altitude and turns only at ping arcs:

This picture neatly illustrates a point that the DSTG arrived at more conclusively through the heavily application of mathematics: namely, the only straight-ish flight paths that wind up at the 7th arc at the correct time and distance for fuel exhaustion are ones that fly around 450 to 475 knots, and at relatively high altitude. This is where the Australians originally looked for the plane, and really it was always the only rational place to look.

The absence of the plane in this area could have told the authorities two years ago that something was up–and that would have been the right time to start being suspicious about the Inmarsat data.


479 thoughts on “About That MH370 Inmarsat Data…”

  1. @SteveBarratt

    The Geosciences Australia presentation at the ESRI conference revealed that there were quite a lot of “data holidays” due to difficult terrain that Fugro’s towed sleds couldn’t get at.
    There is the nagging worry that MH370 might be in one of them.
    The presentation also showed a “postman’s dilemma” analysis of how to most efficiently revisit those areas, as “spot targets” with AUV’s.

    I think that OI should at least consider doing that, before pushing on out into less likely areas, either further north of 25S, or wider than 22nm in the already searched 25S to 39S.

    As for re-searching the entire Fugro area, and Einstein’s definition of stupidity, I agree that you can’t expect a different result doing the “same” thing again, which implies with the same methods. However, if you use “different” methods and technology that are better (or assumed to be) you may get lucky. If the two technologies are in fact similar or the same in terms of their sensitivity given a clear “view” of the bottom, then I agree there would be no point in redoing areas where you had a high confidence that the result would be the same as the initial result.

    However, that still leaves two points.
    One, we must survey the “data holidays”, for which there is no data at all, thus a different “method” of search, by AUV, which can maneouver down into those difficult areas, that the towed sleds could not access, is an obvious “first step” requirement, as I see it.
    Two, we need “confirmation” that the original “sled data” is “good”, particularly “at the margins” of those data holidays.
    If the AUV’s surveyed a certain amount of “overlap” around those holidays, you would have two sets of data to compare for those “fringe areas”, that would either confirm the quality of the sled data, or otherwise.
    If “all good”, then well and good.
    Proceed with the holidays with the AUV’s until they are all done.
    Then, at the end (if not found), at least we will have a complete, seamless data set for the whole area, and I presume, a much higher confidence then, that it definitely is not in the searched area.

    This is a search, and given the time, cost and logistics of ever widening the search into less probable areas, I think we should not “duck” the “data holidays” issue”.

    We need to either find it, or be certain that it definitely is not there (where the ISAT data says it should be).

  2. Posting these links separately so Jeff will not have to manually approve.
    All regarding 1MDB, all worthy of reading.


    *Hussain Ahmad Najadi
    Arab Malaysian Banking group Chairman, CEO
    AIAK Group KL
    Assassinated July 29, 2013
    (9 months prior to MH370)



  3. @Craig
    Don’t quite know where you were headed with the 3/7 thing and 911 is old, old news, but your comment reminded me of a bizarre connotation.

    9M-MRD (had Heliconia livery from ’05-’08)
    Shot down on 6/17/2014
    17 years to the day it was delivered

  4. @Susie Crowe
    Hi Susie
    I’m not a conspiracy theorist nor have any idea what happened to MH370. It was purely an observation. Sometimes putting forward small snippets triggers others thoughts etc. Strange coincidence sometimes aren’t coincidence so I just thought I’d post it with no expectations or any other line of thought 🙂

  5. @Craig
    I’m sorry if my comments appeared harsh, that was not my attention, As you said, your observation did “trigger” my thoughts but my response was uncivil. I agree there may be too many coincidences surrounding MH370 for none of them not to be something different

  6. @David: “That depends on what you would expect of an pilot unqualified enough to be surprised …”

    You don’t need a particularly qualified pilot to cover a large distance from 40,000 ft altitude. Just consider the distances covered by the unpiloted airplane in the simulations.

    To shorten the gliding distance the pilot must increase the airplane drag to dissipate energy more quickly, for example extend speed brakes, maintain the airplane in a stall, maintain airpeeds above Mach 0.9, maintain a large sideslip angle with opposite rudder and aileron.

  7. @Ventus45

    Agree with all your points. Sonar sensitivity and specificity would be similar between Furgo and OI but with the AUVs used by OI sonar could be more obliquely placed to exclude ‘data holidays’ compared to the more limited maneuverability of a towfish.

    To corroborate your point Furgo had to rescan suspect areas which I don’t think OI did.

    But Furgo did produce some stunningly detailed images at great depth eg sunken sailing ship.

    Maybe rescan the ‘data holiday areas’ only? And how much is that? Maybe ~1% of the total data set??? ATSB signed off stating “NOT FOUND”.

    But I do take your point.

  8. Correction, I jumped to quickly. The folliwing:

    9M-MRD (had Heliconia livery from ’05-’08)
    Shot down on 6/17/2014
    17 years to the day it was delivered

    It was 17 years to the day it was first FLOWN, July 17, 1997. It was delivered on July 29, 1997 (my above 6/17 was meant to be 7/17).

    9M-MRD was first flown 7/17/1997
    Was shot down as MH17 on 7/17/2014

  9. @Jeff: it occurred to me that, in the course of researching your book – which advocates for the “northern route” – you yourself may have accumulated verifiable military radar coverage data for fixed sites along that path.

    Did you?

  10. @Gysbreght. “Was able to recover efficiently…” was also part of it. Fair enough if he did that he might well be up to gliding some distance even if well off maximum L/D; though unless there was some place he was aiming for that may not be straight.

    As to whether he could recover and not lose a lot of energy height in doing that still looks doubtful to me. The BFOs have him at a very high descent rate at over 2 mins after the last engine generating AC failed and 2 mins after the autopilot disengaged. If you have a pole forward with wings level stall recovery in mind, why would that result in such a descent rate and would the descent be in that time frame?

    Besides, is such a scenario likely? There would have been a relight, or attempts, to deal with and roll due to residual trim.

    More likely IMO a descent rate like that and with that timing would be accompanied by roll, bank and pitch change.

    Having been unable to prevent the aircraft getting into that high rate of descent, which could well be in a disorientating situation, would he be able to recover and efficiently, with that not being followed by other departures?

    I imagine you have something like Helios flight 522 in mind?

  11. @ Susie Crowe (posted August 31, 2018 at 6:01 PM)

    “Najadi says he fled Malaysia for the last time on March 8, 2014……..”
    A curiously weird coincidence at the very lest and great find!
    Who was he “fleeing”?
    How did he flee?
    Did he (or his team) use decoy transport booking guises to confuse pursuers – such as multiple flight bookings.
    Was one of those bookings a “no-show” on flight MH370

    I repeat again: PM Najib Razak’s first Press conference explaining the MH370 situation was weird on many levels. His appearance was one of utter, utter dread – way and beyond how he ought to have reacted. Why was he personally involved at the Press conference ? Why the dis-information (lies)?

  12. @Cargo Handler
    “…PM Najib Razak’s first Press conference explaining the MH370 situation was weird”

    CH are you in reference to the 15-March speech (“deliberate action”) or something earlier?

  13. @David

    As I’ve maintained all along, drift studies iro MH370 are misleading, confusing and irrelevant. The Malaysians must be rubbing their hands with glee!

    It’s not rocket science, surely? The Final Report is final proof that the Malaysians are intent on covering up the Captain’s murder of 238 innocent people. Can you put forward a cogent argument that convincingly refutes the above statement? I’m sure Victor would agree with me. The writing has been on the wall for a very long time now. An example; Not long after the flaperon washed up, there was a press conference in KL with the Transport Minister presiding. Ross Coultart (60 Minutes) had the nerve to ask if the Minister would comment on the speculation that the condition of the flaperon’s trailing edge condition was evidence of a piloted ditching. The reaction was telling to put it mildly. Ross was effectively shut up and the subject was quickly changed. Now whatever one’s views are on the flaperon might be, the big takeaway from that meeting was that the Malaysians weren’t interested in letting the outside world get to the truth.

    The ATSB’s hands were tied. They were handed a poisoned chalice when the Malaysians reluctantly asked them to search for the plane. And incidentally the Malaysians would dearly loved to have wrung INMARSAT’S necks for opening Pandora’s box. But I digress… To cut a long story short, this meant the ATSB were prohibited from searching any useful distance downrange of the DSTG hotspot, which in turn meant that they had to turn to CSIRO and ask them to create a diversion in the direction of S35 (something that will prove to be to CSIROs perpetual embarrassment) with some very dubious drift studies aided and abetted by some grainy satellite images of unidentified ne identifyable flotsam. Well, at least it kept the Malaysians happy. But oops, who should come along but OI offering to search at their own expense. The Malaysians couldn’t refuse, could they? A sad saga indeed. Enter the well intentioned but totally missioned band, the so called Independent Group (nothing Independent about them – they were originally formed with the mission to exhonorate the Crew from all misdemeanors). They were in the ATSB’s pockets almost from the start. They have duly painted themselves into a corner and been forced ever further north, until they find themselves in a desperate situation. No wonder Victor is loosing patience! I told him he had backed a looser, and what did I receive for my troubles? I was called a lunatic and an asshole! Just for pointing out the reality of the situation.

    So to recap: The debris does not, repeat, does not point to a high speed uncontrolled impact. A high speed uncontrolled impact would have given us 2 million pieces, to quote Larry Vance. There is a very limited suite of debris items, and there will be no fresh important finds that counter the evidence of a controlled impact. And the Malaysian’s attitude toward the debris would be considered scandalous in any other situation. Not in this one, however, because they are merely following form and toughing it out.

    David, your have suppressed your better judgement and gone for in-flight break up,just to keep sweet with Victor and his insane project designed to salvage something by plugging north of S25. It is doomed to fail.

    Victor’s other favourite argument is that an extended,piloted glide makes for an impossibly large search area. Arrant nonsense!
    I will repeat what I’ve said many times before – the DSTG got it right first time. The BTO points to S38. No need to invoke prior unseen manoeuvring between 1828 and 1941. The Malaysians are laughing so loud, I can hear them from here. Minimum prior manoeuvres is a totally logical assumption in the situation where a rogue Captain is bent on getting as far into the SIO’s deep south as far as the fuel will take him. The one and only reason they didn’t find him at S38 was because they were being leant on by the Malaysians.

  14. @Rob
    I agree Malaysia must have known from Day-1 what had probably happened to MH370. Why turn on the SDU at 18:25? So that Razak could not hide the expertly-flown radar flight path over Malaysia. Enter Inmarsat on Sunday 9-March trying to get word to MY that the radar cover-up was not going work for too much longer. The only true mystery is, where the heck is the aircraft.

  15. @David

    Oh, and one more thing.

    The “official” ATSB line was spun that retracted flaps meant an unpiloted descent. More arrant nonsense! And they even persuaded David Griffin (yes,he told me he found the evidence that flaps were retracted, very convincing). So the pilot wasn’t planning a soft ditching. Big deal! What rogue pilot who has just murdered 238 innocent people, eould be planning a soft ditching? It beggars belief that we are expected to swallow such abject rubbish. The ATSB must be a bunch of inept, incompetent, unprincipled jobsworths.

    So where do we go from here? Your guess is as good as mine.

  16. @David: ““Was able to recover efficiently…” was also part of it. “

    The point is that he doesn’t have to do anything “efficiently”. If he manages the bank, and does nothing that drastically increases the drag, the airplane will cover a long distance before it hits the ocean.

  17. @TBill

    “….where the heck is the aircraft.”

    Maybe you should speak to General Sutarman, Indonesia’s chief of police who is alleged to have made the following comment in a September 2014 Huffington Post article;

    “I spoke with the Chief of Police of Malaysia Tun Mohammad Hanif Omar, I know what really happened with the MH370,” he is cited as saying by Indonesian news site Kompas.”

    Indonesia may have some useful information.

  18. Most of us are in agreement about we are trying to achieve and we strive for answers, ending this story with an explanation.

    Looking for a location has beaten looking for a motive,
    by a landslide.
    It has mostly been an ass backward approach of tailoring data or motive, to fit arbitrary scenarios.

    I believe the likelihood of MH370 is the result of a criminal or political retribution rather than the result of a crazed Captain Zaharie.

    I believe the logical basis supports this as an act of punishment, instigated by highly skilled individuals, rather than
    murder/suicide by a characteristically normal, middle aged pilot.

    The answers have already been created, its only the manner of finding them.

    If time and resources had been applied to the motive, equal to the data, our lives might now be free of the self imposed burden of MH370.

    Either way, the constant of committed individuals remains viable and for the nok, there is no solace in abandonment.
    The involvement of people has evolved to a life of its own which relies on unwavering support.

    @Cargo Handler
    Thanks, more on that later.

  19. Craig
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 6:32 AM

    Did anyone else notice that September 11 = 9/11 = 911 Emergency Number

    That when MH departed KL, the date in NY was March 7 = 3/7 = 37 (0)

    Just an interesting observation

    What is 37(0) ?

  20. @Gysbreght. I think he has to recover too from that descent even if unbanked. Supposing the BFOs resulted from fuel exhaustion, Holland has the descent rate at log-on as between 14,800 and 25,300 fpm. Quite possibly in that scenario it would have been accelerating still.

    However at an assumed rate of say 20,000 fpm, at 35,000 ft he would have 1¾ mins before crashing, which would not take him beyond a 25nm search width even if he flew straight.

  21. @Rob. “The Final Report is final proof that the Malaysians are intent on covering up the Captain’s murder of 238 innocent people. Can you put forward a cogent argument that convincingly refutes the above statement?”

    No Rob. Its an allegation as are those about the ATSB, CSIRO, Malaysians elsewhere and the IG.

    When you say I have ‘gone for’ an in- flight break up, my conclusion was not as firm as that. It reads, “This specific hypothesis is somewhat tenuous but provides a better fit with the evidence than alternatives.” You will find that a flaps up descent is included as a possibility (as discussed above) though for my part there is no convincing rationale as yet in support that.

    You have had a flaps up ditching in mind after a glide down south as I remember it, to maximise distance, but I remember no explanation for why he would go all the way out to IGARI then return and jink about if distance was the priority, or not take a flight of a longer scheduled distance so more fuel.

    You say, “Victor’s other favourite argument is that an extended, piloted glide makes for an impossibly large search area. Arrant nonsense!” I do not think you can take that general observation to apply necessarily to one hot spot as you seem to and anyway your support of that heated remark is in that distance-as-a priority assertion, which itself needs support.

    The ATSB in its analysis concluded that the flaperon separated from the neutral position or close to and the flap separated from retracted. It made no conclusion from that in the analysis that there was no pilot. In the Executive Summary of that document, the Search and Debris Examination Update dated 2nd November 2017 it says, “….the wing flap debris analysis reduced the likelihood of end-of-flight scenarios involving flap deployment.” In other words, the flaps were retracted.

  22. @Rob. Line 6. “..descent …” should read, “… ditching…”. That, like the in flight ‘break up’ you describe, entails a wing break.

  23. @David:

    By the way, in your flaperon separation theory, on the trailing edge damage pattern, and the DGA finding that top skin and bottom skin both failed at the rear spar in bending upwards – have you considered the possibility that top skin and bottom skin separated from each other where they join at the trailing edge when pressure was applied to the lower surface of the flaperon, considering that there are apparently no ribs aft of the rear spar other than the flaperon end ribs?

  24. @Susie Crowe

    “…I believe the logical basis supports this as an act of punishment”. I agree with your reasoning.

  25. @Gysbreght. “Time to stop”. Yes, pleased to.

    On the separation of the trailing edge skins, no honeycomb fill either. Yes I noted (p14) that would explain the bending of the two, “….unless attachment sheared and they became separate sheets, they could not bend together”.

    Since the DGA did not conclude that happened or mention the possibility I think their double-bending conclusion remains to be confirmed.

    They should receive a copy of my paper, which might be of use should the subject still be active.

  26. To save confusion, by “no honeycomb fill” I mean between, like the outer flap and aileron trailing edges, not within.

  27. @Gysbreght. Four cracks in the flaperon leading edge are discussed in the DGA report, without conclusion as to cause (page 22) except maybe an impact after separation. Page 78 illustrates the cracks. Here is another angle of those:

    As they say there are two structural members above the flaperon when in neutral (page 79) though not enough or the right spacing. They do not look to me to be from impacts anyway.

    Torsion? Ideas?

  28. @MH. Lost there. What do you mean? (Wikipedia – “Hydronics is the use of a liquid heat-transfer medium in heating and cooling systems.”)

    Another idea is tension in the l.e. when its outboard end received its whack.

  29. @MH. Hard to see that matching.
    I had thought of it being dropped and damaged in its a transport but the marks are there at water’s edge.

  30. @David
    re the “four cracks in the flaperon leading edge”.

    I think tat the French have been deliberately vague about those cracks, ie, how, and what, caused them. They have been careful to imply that they could not have been caused on wing, or during an in flight separation event, and are “as found – as beached”.

    David said “I had thought of it being dropped and damaged in its a transport” presumably thinking during transit from Reunion to France, but since that interval in time is no longer viable, how about a prior interval, prior to “beaching” ?

  31. @Ventus45. The DGA (report p.22), noted one possibility was that the cracks could be from, “… a secondary impact, i.e. after that which caused the separation of the flaperon.”
    The summary at p.25 says, “In its central part, the leading edge had inexplicable dents and vertical cracks.”
    Is that what you construe as being deliberately vague? To me it conveys that they just do not know.

    Since it would not have been fitted like that I surmise you are suggesting a planting. With serial number evidence that it came from MH370 I imagine you see it removed at some time before this flight or from the aircraft after it landed at the end of it?

  32. @David

    The French serial number evidence established the Reunion Island flaperon as being the item fitted to 9M-MRO at build by Boeing as line number 404, but nothing more.
    Nothing proves it was still fitted to 9M-MRO on the morning of 8th March 2014.
    Indeed, it was previously stated that there had been evidence of some “repair”, and an apparently botched attempt to comply with an AD.
    Furthermore, the Malaysians (when they inspected it in France) came out and said it was definitely theirs because they recognized MAS maintenance markings on it.
    So, to answer your question, I think it had been removed as the result of a taxi accident that damaged the right wing in August 2012, in Shanghai.
    See https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=147571
    I think it was damaged (along with the outboard flap) in that taxi accident, removed and replaced by another spare part, then crated and transported from shanghai back to MAS at Kuala Lumpur for repair, and incorporation of the AD.
    The same goes for the inboard section of the outboard flap found at Pemba Island.
    The ATSB report also established (by serial numbers) that it was the item fitted at build by Boeing as line number 404, but nothing more.
    See https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/5773387/debris-examination-update-3_amended.pdf as Item 5.
    It is interesting that on page one, the ATSB says: “Based on the above information, the part was confirmed as originating from the aircraft registered 9M-MRO and operating as MH370.”
    I can not accept the last bit as definitive, ie “AND OPERATING AS MH370”, particularly when they drop that from the conclusions on page three:
    It was confirmed that Part No. 5 was the inboard section of a Boeing 777 right, outboard flap, originating from the Malaysia Airlines aircraft registered 9M-MRO.”
    Note:- no mention now of MH370.
    If people want to believe that both the Reunion Island flaperon and the Pemba Island flap were actually fitted to 9M-MRO when she pushed back from Gate C-1 early on the 8th March 2014, that is their choice.
    I choose otherwise.

  33. @Ventus45. Thanks but lots of questions

    Do you think MAS/MABs with others’ connivance have been hiding that it and the flap were replaced?
    Since there would be aircraft records of the wing repair and what parts were replaced do you think these have been deleted from those?
    There would be a log card for both components containing a modification and repair record. Would these have been altered retrospectively?
    The stock records of issue or of obtaining a replacement were erased and removal of the repaired item from these records covered up too?

    Since the flaperon’s recovery is about consistent with a crash near the 7th arc would the vessel carrying this and other debris items have been at the 7th arc on 8th March to cast these overboard?

    My guess is that if the wing was bent far enough to damage those 2 items it would be deformed and that would also require repair or replacement with parts and probably Boeing expertise being brought in, so most likely the records of that would need to be concealed too? That would be completed before next flight so all done in Shanghai?

    The Malaysian debris summary item 1 lists it as, “Confirmed by French Judicial Authority belonging to MH370 on 03 Sept 2015” so the deception included the French?

    Item 10, a left outboard flap part was also confirmed as being from MH370 according to the debris summary. Where does that fit in?

  34. @David I seem to remember a report of a fire that affected records of maintenance and parts?
    If this is correct, it could be a cover far activity to obscure the repair history somewhat.

  35. @David

    The aviation industry is extremely sensitive and secretive about accidents and their repair costs. For example, try finding out anything significant, let alone the full extent of, the repairs to QF1, the QF 747 runway overrun in Bangkok.

    Try finding the accident reports for the Shanghai bingle.
    The other aircraft was an A340 B-6050. The French BEA know what happened, as does the NTSB, and Airbus, and Boeing, and of course the Chinese Authorities, and both the airlines, MAS and China Eastern Airlines, and their insurance companies.
    The repairs were done in Shanghai to both aircraft before they could fly again. Boeing and Airbus engineering teams were obviously involved in both. Neither will talk, then, or now, about the damage, or repairs, just like they don’t for any other similar job, all commercial-in-confidence, yadda, yadda.

    Regarding the logistics records, it is far simpler to destroy them in a convenient fire, than to run the risk of forgery, and slipping up, and getting caught out doing so, or having done so.
    There was of course the mysterious fire in the MAS workshop, that fortunately did little physical damage, but did destroy significant amounts of records. How convenient. How significant ? Well you might consider this. What do you think was the real reason for MAS phasing out it’s 777 fleet ? Only a few were sold, all the rest went to scrap. Connect the dots.

    The French have NOT confirmed the flaperon came from FLIGHT MH370 of 8th Mar 2014.
    They confirmed it came from “the accident aircraft” 9M-MRO, which is NOT the same as confirming that it came from “the accident flight”, as I explained in a post above.
    Think like a lawyer.
    The devil is in the semantic detail.
    What the Malaysians said the French said is questionable at best.

    As for the other items of debris, I do not see any slam dunk proof that any OF THEM (including item 10) came from 9M-MRO. Lots of assumption and assertions, but no proof.

    As for your “casting overboard on the 8th March” comment, please get serious.
    The drift models are a black art AT BEST, and full of imponderables. Find two, let alone three, that agree with each other.
    To say that the flaperon’s recovery on Reunion “is about consistent with a crash near the 7th arc” is little more than wishful thinking.
    If nothing else, the barnacle studies have thrown more than enough doubt on that.
    If they are to be taken at face value, my take is that the flaperon had only been in warm subtropical waters AND for less than a year.
    Again, connect the dots.

  36. @ventus45
    “…..I choose otherwise.”

    I think you are saying that you believe ZS did it, and the location is known to you to be 38S or further south. So you question the flaperon because the drift analysis conflicts with the 38+ South proposed crash location.

    If true I am thinking that is Motivated Skepticism, per my layman’s analysis of 25 MH370 denial modes. In your case you are probably not questioning the ZS suicide, but you are challenging the drift data. And you are not alone, there is a significant group of Aussies with you in that boat.

    Apologies in advance if my diagnosis above is incorrect as I am an engineer not a psycologist.

  37. @TBill
    1 – ZS did it – yes.
    2 – 38S (inside the 7th arc) – yes.
    3 – Drift analysis – I reject the drift studies as way too rubbery to be of any use at all.
    4 – Motivated Skeptic – of the official line – yes.

  38. @ventus @david @rob

    re fire at the avionics facility in KL. Do you really believe that in the aerospace industry in this day and age, that a fire could destroy a 1950’s style card based maintenance record recording system? Or would you think these things are stored electronically with backup’s at hand?

    Work in progress maybe, but not work completed. Oh and BTW, it was an avionics workshop, not related structural engineering records.

    That doesn’t mean to say those components were on wing at the time, but I think you need a more evidential based argument to counter that proposal. As you say, good luck finding that information.

  39. Ventus45 said:

    “Regarding the logistics records, it is far simpler to destroy them in a convenient fire, than to run the risk of forgery, and slipping up, and getting caught out doing so, or having done so.
    There was of course the mysterious fire in the MAS workshop, that fortunately did little physical damage, but did destroy significant amounts of records.”

    Yes, it would be convenient, but doesn’t seem to have happened here unless the ‘fire’ (such as it was) was simply used as an excuse to destroy records.

    The fire was tiny – no building burnt down, no blackened shell remaining with firefighters in attendance – the incident and smoke shown was in an internal office where avionics instruments were being serviced on a desk/bench by technicians.

    The pics show an office worker walking into the room with a fire extinguisher, and other office workers around.

    It would seem the ‘fire’ happened during office hours with people in the room.

    A soldering iron setting some paper on fire?

    The service records would very likely be kept centrally on the main MAS service database for planning and logistics purposes, not paper records in a filing cabinet. The most there would likely be are job cards.

    And this was only an avionics servicing room – no other aircraft systems.

    See the pic on this page:


    If it’s thought suspicious, the emphasis should be on why MAS / MYG would want to ‘destroy’ *avionics* records? What might they show?

    “Only a few were sold, all the rest went to scrap. Connect the dots.”

    What’s your conclusion?

    “The devil is in the semantic detail.”

    Absolutely – important to ensure plausible deniability and wriggle room later on if needed?

    “1 – ZS did it – yes.”

    Then why not simply keep going straight ahead past BITOD to the Mariana Trench? Much more simple and nearer. Why risk the turn back?

    Yes, the aircraft would have been tracked by the Philippines but at 35k it would be obviously overflying and not a threat. And there’s not much else en-route.

    Perhaps because the perps needed the aircraft to be on the other side of Malaysia?

  40. @David and @All

    Guys,firstly there is a Troll in our midst! The “Rob” who posted at 8:42am this morning is nt me. I am the old and original Rob, the short tempered but infuriatingly well informed Rob you learned to put up with because you are such a tolerant and accepting bunch (in the main). This other “Rob” is an imposter. Now, I suspect its either one of those by now desperate IG guys trying to disrupt the proceedings and put their words into my mouth, or possibly it’s the dastardly Russians up to their usual underhand tricks,or perhaps the Malaysians and/or the ATSB?

    Now, on to the matter in hand
    David, you said “You have had a flaps up ditching in mind after a glide down south as I remember it, to maximise distance, but I remember no explanation for why he would go all the way out to IGARI then return and jink about if distance was the priority, or not take a flight of a longer scheduled distance so more fuel.”

    David, you cannot be serious? I know you are a clever guy, but with all due respect, you are not thinking these things through. Firstly,yes, maximum distance was very important part of the plan, but not being tracked in real time was equally, if not more important. He didn’t want to be busted before he even got beyond the Malacca Strait, which is why he had to wait until the ATC signoff. It was four hours before ATC/MAS realized something was seriously amiss. He knew this would be the case. Now, if he had turned left on takeoff, all eyes would have been on him, transponder on or transponder off! As I suggested some time ago, he waited until he was established in the cruise before going dark, including turning off the SATCOM in order to make it look as if he has suffered a catastrophic accident or been blown apart by a bomb. The ruse worked because they were searching the SCS for several days.

    Secondly, a longer flight would probably have been a 3 flight crew job, more difficult for one man to hijack all by himself. This flight was a redeye, with a relatively inexperienced and very junior FO for company. An ideal flight to hijack, especially as it came straight after the Anwar court decision.

    Are you really thinking things through? It’s worrying that you seem to be subconsciously still hoping the guy is innocent of this appealing crime?

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