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China Deploys Satellites In Search For Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the eye-in-the-sky dept.

China 142

EwanPalmer writes "China has begun using its orbiting satellites in a bid to find the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. The Xi'an Satellite Monitor and Control Center is said to have launched an emergency response to search for Flight MH370 after it went off radar over the South China Sea in the early hours of Saturday. The center is reported to have adjusted up to 10 of its high-res satellites to help search for the plane."

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Check small airports (2, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 9 months ago | (#46448955)

Sometimes big airliners can get lost at those.

Re:Check small airports (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449251)

Sometimes big airliners can get lost at those.

While that happens once in a while with US flights, I don't think there are very many airports in that lane where an errant 777 could go unnoticed. The route, as described on the BBC is a very heavily traveled air lane and the flight should have been easily tracked, particularly if it had veered off course.

No floating debris is perplexing as that should have been soon spotted had the flight broken up.

Re:Check small airports (2, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 9 months ago | (#46449329)

I'm not joking. If this thing landed at some tiny landing strip in the boonies with a serious electrical problem (or having been hijacked), it could just be sitting somewhere. Not likely, but I wouldn't rule it out.

Re:Check small airports (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#46449361)

How many 'tiny landing strips' can handle a 777 so damaged that it can't send out a radio distress signal? I would think that the numbers would be vanishingly small.....

Re:Check small airports (1, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 9 months ago | (#46449757)

I didn't say it was a *successful* landing.

Re:Check small airports (0)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 9 months ago | (#46450577)

Chinese using satellites? I was thinking that the chinese thought to look up high. That's were you hide things from children. Makes sense.

Re:Check small airports (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 9 months ago | (#46451323)

How many 'tiny landing strips' can handle a 777 so damaged that it can't send out a radio distress signal? I would think that the numbers would be vanishingly small.....

In addition to this, there are few places where a 777 could land, safely or otherwise in SE Asia that doesn't have mobile reception or people.

Re:Check small airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452991)

Has anyone considered they may have crashed in some uncharted island where there are polar bears and some secret possibly-governement-run research facilities involving magnetic sciency stuff and time travel?

I don't know, but these people may be lost...

Re:Check small airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450147)

Floating debris is not perplexing.

Rulebook is try to land on water intact. If you do that your plane is a) both soaked and out of radio horizon anyways b) will sink fast.
If you do not land perfectly, you will break up, probably just in two pieces. You will also flood and sink. And
depending on weight, flooding and end-up distribution, there is no guarantee that you will emit significant
debris from your cabin or hold.

Sorry to say it but these dudes are goners.

Problem is there was no distressing call ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452311)

Rulebook is try to land on water intact.

That plane, at last tracked, by radar, had achieved the altitude of 35,000 ft.

The time it takes the plane to plunge down 35,000 ft (let's say it nosedived) still will take couple of minutes - enough time for the pilot (and/or the first officer) to issue at least one distress call.

But there was no distress call, no nothing. The plane just vanished, just like that.

But I shouldn't be surprised either. Both the pilot and the first officers were Malays and both of them were graduates of that infamous diploma mill - MARA college, of Malaysia.

The Malays are "famous" of being negligent in their line of duty - and it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody if it turns out that when that plane started to drop out from the sky, there was no one inside the cockpit as both would have gone out for a "coffee break".

Ask anyone in Malaysia and they can tell you about the "work ethics" of the Malays.

Re:Check small airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450193)

The NRO has already located the crash site, they're just figuring on a way to parallel construct it out to the search team who will eventually 'find' it.

Re: Check small airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450449)

You mean the NWO?

Re: Check small airports (0)

strstr (539330) | about 9 months ago | (#46450487)

he means NSA because they pretty much got the same capability as the NRO. and there's also the US Air Force and the Geospatial whatever group.

-_-

They know where all objects are at all times. Maybe they even crashed the plane with directed-energy like they did all the Bermuda Triangle planes with the Puerto Rican radar field, and covered it up by making it look like an unexplainable paranormal thing, or hardware/equipment malfunction. :D

http://www.oregonstatehospital... [oregonstatehospital.net]

Re: Check small airports (1)

distilate (1037896) | about 9 months ago | (#46453017)

They need some time to collect all their drone remains mixed in with the 777 remains before anyone else finds the 777

Re:Check small airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46451815)

Suppose a meteor strike took out all electrics including radio and navigation, but left the plane flyable (I believe that bird uses hydraulic servos, I don't think that was a fly by wire plane).

In this kind of supposed event, you've got an experienced cockpit crew having to navigate by dead reckoning but having several hundred miles of fuel on board. They might well have decided to head to territory that they knew well, where they felt they had the best possibility of finding someplace to land or ditch successfully. They may be sitting on some deserted WWII airstrip, or on an empty beach, far from where they disappeared.

Re:Check small airports (4, Interesting)

rapiddescent (572442) | about 9 months ago | (#46452965)

This aircraft had modern rolls royce trent engines - these come with an online 24x7x365 service back to Derby in the UK where all engines that are flying around the world are monitored in close-to real time using an independent comms facility to that of the rest of the aircraft. They will know if the engines powered up/down and what their status was at the last moments before contact was lost. I imagine the Malaysian Authorities are keeping a lot of the data under-wraps at the moment and I would assume that a lot more is known about the aircraft than is being released to the public right now.

Re:Check small airports (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 9 months ago | (#46452903)

I'm totally not an expert, but I do have some questions that the news do not answer:

If the 777 took a rapid dive to nearly ground level, and then changed course, and continued flying at an elevation of mere meters above the water, would the radars in the area have picked it up? And once such an airplane is hundreds of kilometers off course, would anyone notice if it increases its altitude to a few hundred meters, before attempting a landing on a straight stretch of road somewhere in Cambodia, Borneo (in Indonesia), or Myanmar (aka Birma)?

I admit that it is unlikely, but then, so is everything else. Can this be ruled out completely?

Looking at the population density of the area, there is a chance that a low-flying airplane does not attract too much attention. There are bits of land that are very empty.

Re: Check small airports (1)

Mangap (3568397) | about 9 months ago | (#46449977)

If the plane crash and buried into the deep ocean. What is the chance satelit can help? Visual things maybe very limited help. Can the Blackbox signal transmit good signal from the bottom of the ocean? How deep? I think aviation world need to think to use better technology (communication and signaling) in the plane to improve plane safety. Current technology are old

Re: Check small airports (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450049)

Five dorrar, me love you long time!

Re: Check small airports (1)

mikael (484) | about 9 months ago | (#46451041)

If it crashed into the water, it breaks up and stuff floats to the surface. If it glides to the water, it might break up into a couple of pieces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re: Check small airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46451405)

If they were able to glide to the surface they should've been able to transmit a distress call.

You have neglected a small detail ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452375)

If they were able to glide to the surface they should've been able to transmit a distress call

The small detail that you have forgotten is that both the pilot and the first officers are Malay Muslims.

As Malays, their English is so poor nobody know what the fuck they were trying to say even if they did send out a distress call.

And as Muslims at real emergency they will kneel down and pray to their fucking pedophile Allah.

Re:You have neglected a small detail ... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 9 months ago | (#46452557)

Ignore the gods, ignore the cultures; consider their screaming cries, on the wrong frequency.

Re:You have neglected a small detail ... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452725)

The pilot that you're talking about was an awesome guy that frequently posted on flight sim forums, posted youtube videos about how to save you money on your air conditioner and had a daughter, a family. He was a better human being then you'll ever be.

Re:Check small airports (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 9 months ago | (#46450371)

Maybe the plane is on an alien planet with a bunch of metallic alien stingrays! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

How high... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46448957)

...can a drone fly? Don't ask me why, the answer is nigh.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46448961)

Sounds like there was a very important person of Chinese descent on it.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449093)

Sounds like there was a very important person of Chinese descent on it.

Several. Quite a few movers and shakers, including holiday takers. China takes care of its own.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450427)

> China takes care of its own.

True, their own self interest. Seeing how a multinational naval operation coordinates operations is 100 percent something about which they'd be interested.

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46448973)

We're talking Malaysia and China here. Nobody of any consequence ever came from either.

Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46448981)

So - these are Chinese spy satellites? Given the region, hasen't the US got similar facilities in zone?

Another thought. How low does a plane need to fly to "drop off the radar"? I appreciate that civil radars might have a lower limit (but how many thousand feet?) but how low can the regional military powers see, and would they be telling anyway?

Re:Thoughts (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449111)

Nooooo. Not spy, just, y'know, observing ... stuff, yeah observing stuff, that's the ticket. All just hanging around up there, just in case they're needed for something like this.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450331)

Yep, it's not "spying" until they actually look at the pictures.

Re:Thoughts (5, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 9 months ago | (#46449169)

Another thought. How low does a plane need to fly to "drop off the radar"? I appreciate that civil radars might have a lower limit (but how many thousand feet?) but how low can the regional military powers see, and would they be telling anyway?

Radar is line of sight. So a plane at 11000 meters, can be seen about 375 km away from the radar installation, assuming a radar at ground level.

If your radar is within 200km of the plane, the plane would fall below the radar horizon at about 5km altitude.

Given the description of the plane's flight path, if it was being tracked by radar from Kuala Lumpur, then "dropped off the radar" would have been closer to 10km altitude than to 5km.

Re:Thoughts (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449273)

If you look at a map you'll see this flight path takes you past some pretty well monitored territory - though obviously there are a few bugth in the thythtem.

Re:Thoughts (2)

aphelion_rock (575206) | about 9 months ago | (#46449341)

Radar is line of sight. So a plane at 11000 meters, can be seen about 375 km away from the radar installation, assuming a radar at ground level.

If your radar is within 200km of the plane, the plane would fall below the radar horizon at about 5km altitude.

Given the description of the plane's flight path, if it was being tracked by radar from Kuala Lumpur, then "dropped off the radar" would have been closer to 10km altitude than to 5km.

Why do they not have satellite location based reporting on the planes providing the planes position every five minutes? Expand the ACARS system to give the position of the plane. This would help the searchers narrow down the location where the plane was lost.

Re:Thoughts (2, Insightful)

CKW (409971) | about 9 months ago | (#46449531)

I was thinking about this yesterday. Doesn't the vast majority of modern aviation tracking radar systems depend pretty heavily, not just for identification but for returns at all at at long distances, on the planes own IFFtransponders for replies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

Could it not "drop off" the long range radar simply by turning off it's transponder? At that distance the radar return might be low enough that without the transponder response, it'd "disappear"...

Re:Thoughts (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 9 months ago | (#46449841)

Yep. That's been true for decades.

Re: Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450063)

Why can a transponder be "turned off" anyway? On a civilian plane there is no reason whatsoever for a pilot to turn off the transponder.

Re: Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450467)

On a civilian plane there is no reason whatsoever for a pilot to turn off the transponder.

Obviously you've never fucked up and cut a chord through the edge of someone's Class A airspace without clearance. Extremely stupid, careless, etc. I know, but the one time I screwed up while threading the needle through all of the nearby controlled airspaces, thank powers that be that my transponder was off as I beat feet out of the area.

Re:Thoughts (3, Informative)

JumboMessiah (316083) | about 9 months ago | (#46450305)

IANAATC, but...

Most center surveillance radars have a range of 200 - 250NM (ARSR-3, ARSR-4, AN/FPS-117, AN/FPS-67B). Secondary beacon radars have a range of about 190NM for 1090ES equipped transponders.

You are correct in assuming most high altitude center control ops, for aircraft in cruise, rely heavily on MODE-S data. This is transponder data and not primary radar echo return data.

Terminal radar, the kind you see at your local airport, mostly relies on primary radar data. But at a shorter range (~50NM).

The reasons for the difference are many, but come down to accuracy and overlap. Center controllers use a mosaic of data from multiple radars that must average primary returns, this leads to slight disagreements on the true location of the aircraft. The MODE-S data is constant though, so it is preferred. In terminal environments, there's usually a single radar set. So the primary data is more useful in terms of accuracy for spacing the aircraft (they can pack them in tighter more safely). Terminal radar sets also have a higher scan rate.

MH370 was over the Gulf of Thailand and was under coverage of about three different radars. Even if the transponder was turned off, primary return data would still be available for the track. CrimsonAvenger has a valid point, but the last known location of the flight was far off shore and at a cruising altitude. So we could possibly speculate that line of sight was not a big factor.

There's a lot of big mysteries and speculation at this point, but we just need to give it time. They will eventually find the wreckage and hopefully determine they cause. There are many historical crashes that required more searching than has been applied to MH370 (AF447). In the meantime, grab some popcorn and enjoy the conspiracy theories...

Re:Thoughts (2)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 9 months ago | (#46449579)

Radar is line of sight.

Sure thing?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-horizon_radar
.

Re:Thoughts (5, Funny)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 9 months ago | (#46450537)

So NOW do you see the advantage of a flat Earth?

Re:Thoughts (2)

NickFortune (613926) | about 9 months ago | (#46452923)

So NOW do you see the advantage of a flat Earth?

OK, You win.

How soon can you implement changeover?

They do have radar installation near crash site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452407)

Given the description of the plane's flight path, if it was being tracked by radar from Kuala Lumpur, then "dropped off the radar" would have been closer to 10km altitude than to 5km.

The KL radar station can not track the plane flying on the South China Sea.

Looking at the map of the Peninsular Malaya, KL is at the West side of a mountain range, and the plane was flying on the airspace on the South China Sea, which is on right side of the same mountain range.

Assuming the plane has crashed, and has crashed into the South China Sea on the east coast of Peninsular Malaya, they do have other radar stations - based in Kuantan.

In fact, in Kuantan they have several radar stations. Some civilians (for aviation, for example), some military, as they have an air force base there as well.

Re:Thoughts (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 9 months ago | (#46449171)

"So - these are Chinese spy satellites? Given the region, hasen't the US got similar facilities in zone?"

You know that satellites don't orbit above a fixed point on the earth. (well except for geostationary ones that are 25,000 milrd up, and generally you want your spy satellites closer than that..

" How low does a plane need to fly to "drop off the radar"?"

That depends on how far away from the radar it is. Sonce it was pretty far away, I would expect the radar not to be able to see it if the plane dropped to below 10000 ft, which the crew would try to do if there was sudden depressurization.

Re:Thoughts (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#46449219)

Of course the US has satellites that can look at that part of the world. And they may well be doing so. It's just China is trying to score a couple of PR points by showing that they can act like a Big Important Country and task their surveillance satellites to suit their interests.

We of course know that they can - spy satellites don't do much good if you can't spy on people. The US is also spending assets [globalsecurity.org] in the search. So will everyone else who is involved.

Re:Thoughts (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449283)

Of course the US has satellites that can look at that part of the world. And they may well be doing so. It's just China is trying to score a couple of PR points by showing that they can act like a Big Important Country and task their surveillance satellites to suit their interests.

We of course know that they can - spy satellites don't do much good if you can't spy on people. The US is also spending assets [globalsecurity.org] in the search. So will everyone else who is involved.

Your left shoe is untied.

Re:Thoughts (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#46449965)

China is the big and important country. Only the dumbest of the dumb would try to deny.

Notably US is not dumbest of the dumb, that's why they're shifting their military to counter its growth.

Re:Thoughts (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46449357)

If military hardware (spy satellites) are being invoked anyway, then I suspect that if the plane were detected by technologies they didn't want to admit to they would use that knowledge to target more admissible sources of evidence.

As for going under the radar, I expect that a decent sized civilian aircraft probably doesn't have that option, especially over the ocean where *everything* above water is easily trackable (if boats show up on radar, a plane can't fly under it). I haven't been following the details of the story - but if this truly disappeared over the open ocean I think a far more relevant question would be range - from ground level the horizon is only about 50 miles away. Long-range radar as commonly used for air traffic control can apparently push 230 miles, but I suspect that's for high-altitude aircraft only, flying under the radar is much easier when you can hide behind the curvature of the Earth, and even 230 miles is pretty short range by ocean scales.

Re:Thoughts (5, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about 9 months ago | (#46450039)

Another thought. How low does a plane need to fly to "drop off the radar"?

First, Civilian radar depends on transponders, a small transmitted signal from the aircraft that is triggered by the Radar signal. This transponder responds with a "squawk code" (a 4 digit number assigned by ATC) along with some other basic information like altitude. Transponders make it unnecessary to get a "primary" return (i.e. they don't have to get the actual radar signal return) for the aircraft to show up. In fact, most civilian radar installations run with primary returns filtered out because they create visual noise for controllers, because weather and other noise shows up.

Second, the aircraft in question was at the far reaches of radar coverage. This tells me that a primary return was unlikely. In fact, the radar coverage for this aircraft was expected to end right about where it did. I"m told that radar coverage did not start back up for the next controller for a few min of flying time so a short time out of coverage was expected. They will pull the tapes and review for any primary returns, but I'm guessing this has already been done an it provided little information.

So, this tells me that something happened to the aircraft during the short time it was outside of coverage. What ever it was, it must have disrupted the flight controls and likely their communications ability, but it seems that the aircraft stayed largely in one piece, at least until it impacts the surface. If it was generally in one piece with say the vertical stabilizer disabled it could have flown a LONG way from the last position report.

It did NOT break up at altitude. Something rendered the aircraft uncontrollable. A loss of hydraulic pressure or power does this for a 777. Decompression at 35,000 feet can do significant damage to an aircraft's systems, plus it can incapacitate the flight crew in less than 10 seconds. Decompression can do this, without causing the aircraft to come apart in the air. Metal fatigue, fuel tank explosion, small explosive device, uncontained engine failure are all possible things that can cause decompression and all of these have happened before.

My guess is that they will find the aircraft tens even hundreds of miles away from the last known position, largely in one piece under water. The longer this takes, the further away from where it was last seen it will likely be. This is because they have found nothing yet. Much of an aircraft floats, so it sank in one major chunk with out spreading debris too far. This is not totally inconsistent with past aircraft crashes. KAL 007 flew nearly 20 min in a slow descending circle after being shot down. They will find it in a day or two.

Re:Thoughts (5, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 9 months ago | (#46450975)

It did NOT break up at altitude. Something rendered the aircraft uncontrollable. A loss of hydraulic pressure or power does this for a 777.

A loss of hydraulic pressure or power does not do this for a 777. It has a RAT (ram air turbine) which pops out in such cases. Basically a big propeller which gets turned by the wind as the plane glides at 500 mph and generates enough power rudimentary electronics (including radio) and hydraulic pressure. That's what happened with the Gimli Glider [damninteresting.com] - a 767 mistakenly loaded with insufficient fuel (the original boneheaded imperial vs metric conversion foul-up before the Mars Climate Orbiter). which basically turned into a 100 ton glider when it ran out of fuel mid-flight. The RAT popped out and allowed the crew to control the plane to a safe landing. (Which of course means if this did happen on MH370, the search area needs to be much larger than where they're currently looking).

Hydraulic failure usually involves structural damage which compromises all the hydraulic lines. Most commercial aircraft have 3 independent hydraulic systems; some have 4. If there's damage which severs lines in all of those systems, the plane can "bleed" hydraulic fluid until there's not enough left to control the flight surfaces. I believe the 777 used a hybrid fly-by-wire + hydraulic system though, where pilot commands are transmitted to the flight surfaces by wire, and a hydraulic pump there moves the flight surface. So severing the hydraulic lines may have killed one control surface, but not all. (Severing the wires OTOH...)

Anyway, I'm skeptical that it broke up at altitude too. That usually generates a lot of floating debris (papers, luggage, clothing, bodies, etc.) scattered over a wide enough area that the crash area is quickly located. The pingers [benthos.com] should be firing away so it's just a matter of one of the search boats traveling within a few miles from the plane's resting location. (KAL007 wasn't located because the Soviets knew from their radar tracks where it went down, and set up decoy pingers far away to get the U.S. and South Korea to search the wrong location).

Why then the crews never made any distress call? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452967)

A loss of hydraulic pressure or power does not do this for a 777. It has a RAT (ram air turbine) which pops out in such cases. Basically a big propeller which gets turned by the wind as the plane glides at 500 mph and generates enough power rudimentary electronics (including radio) and hydraulic pressure. That's what happened with the Gimli Glider - a 767 mistakenly loaded with insufficient fuel (the original boneheaded imperial vs metric conversion foul-up before the Mars Climate Orbiter). which basically turned into a 100 ton glider when it ran out of fuel mid-flight. The RAT popped out and allowed the crew to control the plane to a safe landing. (Which of course means if this did happen on MH370, the search area needs to be much larger than where they're currently looking).

IF what happened to the Gimli Glider happened to the MH370 flight, the crews ought to have plenty of time to make the distress call.

Why then there was no distress call from that plane?

Could it be that when emergency strike the crews panicked and started praying on their knees to their Allah and forgot to call for help ??

Re:Thoughts (1)

JumboMessiah (316083) | about 9 months ago | (#46451023)

Primary return data is most likely available for the initial part of the descent (maybe down to 10,000 AGL), regardless of SSR MODE-S data. The Gulf is covered pretty well radar wise (not counting military sets) Ref: See page 2 [icao.int] . The difficulty is collecting, combining, and analysing all the CD2 data from the primary returns. Even then, the general public may not be advised of the outcome of the analysis until well after the search.

I concur that it did not break up at altitude, otherwise the debris field would of been located relatively close to the flight path.

Other notable [wikipedia.org] water crashes [wikipedia.org] took many years [wikipedia.org] to determine their final outcomes. I agree with the sentiment, we need to be patient and let the experts do their work.

Re:Thoughts (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 9 months ago | (#46451039)

First, Civilian radar depends on transponders, a small transmitted signal from the aircraft that is triggered by the Radar signal. This transponder responds with a "squawk code" (a 4 digit number assigned by ATC) along with some other basic information like altitude. Transponders make it unnecessary to get a "primary" return (i.e. they don't have to get the actual radar signal return) for the aircraft to show up. In fact, most civilian radar installations run with primary returns filtered out because they create visual noise for controllers, because weather and other noise shows up.

That might be relevant if it wasn't in an area heavily monitored by military radar. There is some overlap between where it's expected to be visible on Malaysian and Vietnamese military radar. This does use primary returns, and a B777 is very visible. It must've fallen rather quickly to disappear from military radar so suddenly.

Up to 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46448983)

Notorious number usually signifying a feel good answer without counting.

Auto-play video on linked article (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46448987)

There's an auto-playing video embedded in the linked article's page - just in case you hate that sort of thing.

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 9 months ago | (#46449073)

Tools -> Add-ons -> Plugins -> Shockwave flash -> Ask to Activate. Those pesky little things won't ever again auto-play.

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449119)

Helps to do that for MP4, as well.

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46449139)

That's not an option for me, you insensitive non-Internet-Explorer-using clod!

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (-1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449153)

Putin, is that you? No Russian citizens on board? No reason to inv^H^H^Hannex^H^H^H^H^Hliberate Malaysia?

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 9 months ago | (#46449197)

Well, I just have "Always" and "Never", but no "Ask" :-(

Of course, your answer seems to assume everyone uses your particular browser. Perhaps you were unaware that there are others out there even if you have never used them?

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46449303)

Good ol' farcebook is ensuring we have the ability to block just about everything in our browsers because they are so damn insidious.

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46449245)

Awesome, thanks.

I can't think of my password for some reason so AC it is!

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#46449159)

There is?

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (0)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46450465)

Yes, there is, your smug sense of self-superiority in having disabled the same notwithstanding.

"Having Flash disabled," much like "knowing what RMS stands for," are not actually mandatory for being allowed to read Slashdot.

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

quenda (644621) | about 9 months ago | (#46452469)

"Having Flash disabled," much like "knowing what RMS stands for," are not actually mandatory for being allowed to read Slashdot.

That's fine, but unfortunately they are not necessary for posting either.

Re:Auto-play video on linked article (1)

antdude (79039) | about 9 months ago | (#46451163)

Thanks God for my Flash blocker. :)

They were already deployed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46449167)

I think you have misunderstood what the word "deploy" means.

Deploys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46449203)

I'm pretty sure the satellites were already in orbit.

Re:Deploys? (1)

Quila (201335) | about 9 months ago | (#46449243)

Once a spy satellite is in orbit, you deploy it for specific tasks. Once a ship is deployed for the Arabian Gulf, it can be deployed to the Indian Ocean without having to first return to port.

Re:Deploys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46449309)

Incorrect. It was initially deployed, it was then redeployed. Quit making shit up.

Re:Deploys? (0)

Quila (201335) | about 9 months ago | (#46449425)

Deploy: to arrange in a position of readiness, or to move strategically or appropriately

The start position or status is irrelevant. Either is appropriate in this case.

Re:Deploys? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46452397)

Yes, but each requires filling out entirely different forms. In triplicate.

Oh, sorry. I thought these were Indian satellites we were talking about.

Win-win for China (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 months ago | (#46449293)

1) China has successfully tested the ability of their stealth interceptor to take down a plane.
2) China demonstrates near-instantaneous ICBM launch capability.

They'll never find the island it landed on. (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 9 months ago | (#46449299)

Unless it happens to flash into this time period. All the passengers are there now, running from polar bears, avoiding smoke monsters - that sort of thing.

Re:They'll never find the island it landed on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46449387)

If they're lucky they actually died, instead of having to sit through another five seasons of that

Re:They'll never find the island it landed on. (2)

styrotech (136124) | about 9 months ago | (#46450315)

Time periods? Polar Bears? Smoke Monsters?

I disagree. The plane is hidden on a deserted volcanic island that's part of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia.

The planes occupants (including Mik Kanrokitoff) are currently aboard a flying saucer. Most will reappear in due course suffering from amnesia.

what about Ben Charles Padilla (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46449463)

have they found him or the Boeing 727-223 that he was last on and has not be found.

Why aren't big planes PERMANENTLY monitored? (1)

cpotoso (606303) | about 9 months ago | (#46450289)

I am not talking RADAR, but rather satellite-linked transponders relaying (at least) once per minute the plane "vitals" (coordinates, velocity, altitude, attitude, cabin pressure and temperature, fuel levels, any error codes or warnings). I mean, this may not be cheap, but it is meaningless cost-wise compared to the operational cost of a plane.

Re:Why aren't big planes PERMANENTLY monitored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450335)

If they can have in flight phones, there's no reason not to have this.

Re:Why aren't big planes PERMANENTLY monitored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450947)

Getting the equipment up into orbit is expensive. The next generation Iridium satellites will have ADS-B receivers on them. These satellites will start launching next year, according to http://www.aireon.com/AboutAireon/AnIridiumInnovation.

Re:Why aren't big planes PERMANENTLY monitored? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 9 months ago | (#46451855)

Because the pilot needs the means to be able to shut off power to any system for safety.

WiFi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452503)

So, did this plane have in-flight WiF - if so, when did it go offline, and also why weren't there any tweets from passengers?

If there was working WiFi, we can probably assume the passengers became suddenly incapacitated. Even a catastrophic decompression would get a "Whoa, my seat totally got blown out of the plane. LOL. OMFG!" before going out of range.

Plane is Burma. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450493)

The plane was hijacked by the pilots and flewn to burma under the radar and is being parted out.

Distress Beacon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46450793)

So it disappeared from Radar ! So we thing the plane is "lost".

Planes have a distress locator beacon that goes off when it detects that something is not right. They are shielded (against explosion/water etc) and have their own independent power supply. Satellites tend to be able to pick these up.

So what do we not know where the beacon is....because it's not transmitting, or at a depth that can not be detected (think plane crash off Brazil a few years back).

Perhaps the plane turned of its transponder, and dropped below radar and has landed someplace. Given the interesting passenger manifest issues there is likely more to this then a plane crashing.

Tin hats please...

International Charter on Space and Major Disasters (1)

kencf0618 (1172441) | about 9 months ago | (#46450955)

It hasn't been activated for Malaysia Airlines Flight 307, nor was it activated for Air France Flight 447 in 2009 --one would think that they'd be all over this sort of thing like a cheap suit. Does anyone know why not? A computer search for a debris field that wasn't there during the previous pass would seem like a no-brainer.

http://www.disasterscharter.or... [disasterscharter.org]

Re:International Charter on Space and Major Disast (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 9 months ago | (#46451241)

It hasn't been activated for Malaysia Airlines Flight 307, nor was it activated for Air France Flight 447 in 2009 --one would think that they'd be all over this sort of thing like a cheap suit. Does anyone know why not? A computer search for a debris field that wasn't there during the previous pass would seem like a no-brainer.

http://www.disasterscharter.or... [disasterscharter.org]

One plane going down is a tragedy.
100 planes all going down at once is a major disaster.

Re:International Charter on Space and Major Disast (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 9 months ago | (#46451523)

Simple. This doesn't meet the criteria [disasterscharter.org] required to activate a giant global collaboration of space agencies. There needs to be more than 200 people lost to invoke the charter.

Re:International Charter on Space and Major Disast (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 9 months ago | (#46452565)

You don't need global collaboration. There are privately owned imaging satellites with enough resolution 1m to detect anomalous debris floating around.

As opposed to (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 9 months ago | (#46451401)

their non-orbiting satellites?

Re:As opposed to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452529)

Source?

Terrorist Attack (1)

Badblackdog (1211452) | about 9 months ago | (#46451531)

Muslim terrorists using stolen passports smuggled a bomb on the plane. The tickets were purchased with cash by an Iranian for the users of the stolen passports. Smells fishy.

Re:Terrorist Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452735)

Source ?

this is not possible (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#46452181)

This is absolutely mind-boggling. I'm fairly certain that the US knows were every plane in the air is at any given millisecond. It is IMPOSSIBLE to simply lose a gigantic plane. What the hell does Asia do differently?

Re:this is not possible (2)

quenda (644621) | about 9 months ago | (#46452487)

The planes are not tracked by simple radar, but by responses. If it stops responding, and is not close to an airport, it is lost.
It will be found, but the sea is big, and they did not have the courtesy to plummet from the last known location.

A lot of effort is being expended... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452499)

To find this plane.
China has sent at least 4 navy ships (is the Chinese navy showing off or just to show that "this is their area" and that they can do whatever the US can do?)
China is deploying satellites.
The USA has deployed two destroyers with helicopters to the search
Australia has offered up two P-3C Orions.
Seems a bit disproportionate.

Where is the US effort? (1)

kyoko21 (198413) | about 9 months ago | (#46452573)

So the US isn't repositioning its satellites? It seems to me that China these days are doing the things that America used to at the drop of a hat without a whim...

Re:Where is the US effort? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46452861)

And especially in Asia!
China is trying to show that it can fulfil the role of the USA in Asia and that the USA is not needed there.

The conclusion of that is that Asia would look to China as the "regional COP" rather than the USA and that then China would get what it wants ... for example those islands that Japan also wants ... without any competition.

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