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View Diary: ABC: U.S. believes Flight 370 communication systems shut down separately, hinting a deliberate act (202 comments)

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  •  Latest info from WSJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa

    Looks like WSJ has an inside source, but still take this with a grain of salt.  

    Their latest report is that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, continued to ping satellites for five fucking hours before the pings ended.  These "pings" were not simple "Here I am" querys, they included altitude, bearing, and location.  The last ping occured at cruising altitude, suggesting that someone in the plane finally disabled the ACARS system.  The WSJ article mentioned that the data was being analysed to determine if the plane had landed at any point.

    If true, this suggests that the US authorities know much more than they have divulged, including the last location of the plane.  The only explanation can be foul play, and there is a tiny chance that the passengers are still alive.  Since no ransom demands have been made, my own hunch is that the hijackers slaughtered the passengers so they wouldn't have to deal with food and security for over 200 pissed off mofos.  But then I'm a glass is half empty guy so hopefully I'm fucking wrong.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:26:09 PM PDT

    •  big grain of salt w/that. (0+ / 0-)

      the malaysians are the ones who found the pings and they arent sure if they even came form the lost plane or another plane.

      •  Nope, Malaysians are adament that (0+ / 0-)

        there were no signals after the first 27 minutes of flight.  The ping info is from American investigators, probably with the help of Boeing or RR.  

        Given the threat posed by this plane having been hijacked (remote, but still existent), I suspect the Pentagon is now involved.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:35:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Forgot the link: (0+ / 0-)

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:35:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well i have a link too! (0+ / 0-)

          this really has become a rabbit hole...

          cnn claims that the malaysians came up with the pings today.
          right now i think everyone is grasping at straws
          even the "new ' cnn report has changed since i read it initially-2 hrs ago
          http://www.cnn.com/...

          •  Strange article, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth

            It seems internally inconsistent:

            Malaysian authorities believe they have several "pings" from the airliner's service data system, known as ACARS, transmitted to satellites in the four to five hours after the last transponder signal, suggesting the plane flew to the Indian Ocean, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
            Earlier Thursday the Malaysian government denied a Wall Street Journal report that the plane was transmitting data after the last transponder signal.
            But U.S. officials maintained Thursday afternoon that the information from the airplane's data system was being actively pursued in the plane investigation.
            Analysts from U.S. intelligence, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have concluded that the pings likely came from the missing aircraft, the senior U.S. official said.
            I still suspect we're seeing US intelligence being laundered through the media.  The next update will probably prove me wrong.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:26:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Other linkage: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth

          From the avherald:

          On Mar 13th 2014 afternoon Malaysia's Transport Minister said in a televised press conference, that the last ACARS transmission was received from the aircraft at 01:07L (17:07Z), there were no later transmissions via ACARS

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:48:35 PM PDT

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          •  AVHerald (0+ / 0-)

            AVHerald has pretty much gone to 2/day updates on this incident.  Reasonable since the site operator prefers to be a factual record rather than a newscycle discussion board, but it does mean AVH is behind on actual changes in the situation as well as behind on false rumors.

            sPh

            •  The point is that (0+ / 0-)

              the source of the info on satellite pings is not Malaysia.  

              "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

              by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:20:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Reasonable guesses (0+ / 0-)

                Two reasonable guesses for the discrepancies:

                1 - the people who know aren't in the habit of giving out detailed information to outsiders (lot of closely held information in the aviation and satcom worlds)

                2 - Inmarsat actually didn't have the data - since it wasn't a communication and wasn't needed for billing they might have discarded it - but some other entity did:  NSA or Australian signals intelligence.  Those entities needed to find the information and then figure out how to launder it back through Inmarsat to avoid revealing their capabilities.

                sPh

    •  That WSJ article isn't even internally consistent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      First it says the pings gave:

      the plane's location, speed and altitude for at least five hours after it disappeared from civilian radar screens ....
      Then, only a few paragraphs later, it says:
      U.S. aviation investigators said they were analyzing the satellite transmissions to determine whether they can glean information about the plane's location or status.
      Which is it, WSJ? Did the transmissions indicate the plane's location, speed and altitude, or didn't they?

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:25:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Latest info (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        Latest info is that the subject aircraft had maintenance ACARS installed but no subscription for the satellite service (outside of radio range).  The engines did have a full ACARS subscription but were configured only to report key events.  The last key event the engines reported was going from climb power to cruise power.  After that there were up to 8 more keepalive messages to the satellite network at 30 minute intervals, but no data was transmitted.

        IF VERIFIED, that would imply the aircraft was in cruise for 4 hours after the last known position fix.

        However, assuming the aircraft was in cruise with the pilots incapacitated (Helios 522 situation) that still leaves the question of why when the plane ran out of fuel the engine system did not report an event.  

        And again, assuming this news is verified.  Which nothing so far has been.

        sPh

      •  My guess? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        A.  The article is bullshit.

        B.  The information was obtained by the Pentagon using classified means, and so they are trying to launder it for the public.

        Also, noted by the Maddow show, the WSJ article was changed during the day.  Initially it reported that the pings originated from the ACARS system.  The article now makes no mention of ACARS, instead referring to "satellite transmissions" and "data 'pings'".  This suggests the B explanation of info laundering.  

        If I were feeling lucky, I'd bet that the Pentagon knows precisely where the plane is at this very moment, but we will only find out about it after the Kidd or some other US ship "finds" the missing plane.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:41:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, ACARS does not use satellites. (0+ / 0-)

      ACARS works with VHF radios (above the FM band) and on shortwave when out of range of the VHF stations.

      The data could have been delivered two ways: 1) the data would have been automatically sent via shortwave to a ground station at Hat Yai, Thailand, only a few hundred miles from Malaysia, or 2), to ground stations within the area. Aeronautical Radio Inc. (ARINC) runs the system on behalf of the airlines and air traffic controllers everywhere (for a fee, of course).

      ARINC would be able to easily tell from the recorded data where it was received and on what frequency.

      It does make it harder: shortwave can carry for thousands of miles, meaning that in those five hours it could have been far from the search area. VHF radios are much shorter range, generally only about 100 miles or so (to the visible horizon), and if the data was received on VHF only, that would mean it didn't go far in those five hours.

      ACARS does report flight data such as altitude, position, and speed, so if that data is available it should give an idea of the direction of travel of the aircraft. Generally ACARS transmits every 30 minutes IIRC, so you would have ten locations to give the search parties a better idea of where it went.

      And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

      by itzadryheat on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:32:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  AIRINC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean

        From AIRINC's ACARS web site:

        = = =   ARINC is the world leader in air-to-ground communications
            Automatic and manual data link messaging
            Very high frequency (VHF), Inmarsat satellite, and high frequency (HF) provide seamless coverage around the world = = =
        •  I stand corrected. (0+ / 0-)

          The INMARSAT connection is newer than my recollection. A caveat with such a connection is that it only works where the INMARSATs have coverage: they are fixed systems, and if you fly out of their coverage, there is no coverage using satellites. Hence the backups. I see ARINC is also selling coverage over the Iridium satellite system, so they are covering many bases on their end.

          The costs associated with satellite usage are also higher, and some airlines may not use that version. The shortwave and VHF ACARS systems use already installed and required equipment, so the cost to the airlines is much lower to implement.

          Reading between the lines on ARINC's website page that covers ACARS, it sounds like they are not emphasizing satellite usage. Oddly enough, they highlight information about the shortwave version (their term: High Frequency Data Link) and how "it has grown 20% a year for the last 10 years." That is not how you sell satellite time... They may be de-emphasizing satellite because ARINC has to buy satellite time from INMARSAT, while shortwave is much cheaper and very reliable, and ARINC does not have to pay anyone else for airtime.

          And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

          by itzadryheat on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:23:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why do you suppose (0+ / 0-)

        the WSJ is now reporting only "satellite transmissions" rather than ACARS data?

        My guess is that we are seeing Pentagon info laundering.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 08:18:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good question. (0+ / 0-)

          Could be simple technical illiteracy, I suppose. There's a bit of an epidemic of that going on right now when it comes to this missing plane.

          I personally don't trust the WSJ on straight news, much less anything with a technical bent. They typically don't win awards for their science and technology reportage.

          What I have heard was sent was that data messages containing information about the performance of the engines was sent at least twice, maybe more. This is a feature of Rolls Royce, the engine manufacturer, as the data goes to them as part of the engine care package. Boeing apparently offers a similar system (for $$ of course) that would make similar reports on the entire aircraft, but Malaysia Air had declined it. This type of data would be sent out on the ACARS system very easily, as that is what it was designed to do. It is also designed to do it automatically, invisibly even, so the air crew doesn't have to worry about it.

          The engines are the most expensive parts of any aircraft, and while I couldn't find a price for a Trent 800 on the internet, I'd hazard a guess they cost somewhere near $15 million each. Hence the care package...

          And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

          by itzadryheat on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:41:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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