Skip to comments.What Pilots Think About The Crazy New Theory That The Missing Malaysia Jet Used Another Jet To Hide
Posted on 03/17/2014 1:37:17 PM PDT by blam
What Pilots Think About The Crazy New Theory That The Missing Malaysia Jet Used Another Jet To Hide
March 17, 2014
Not surprisingly, the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 with 239 people on board more than a week ago has led some people to come up with very interesting theories about what might have happened.
On his Tumblr, self-identified hobby pilot and aviation enthusiast Keith Ledgerwood put forward the most elaborate and interesting suggestion we've heard yet.
He argues the 777 could have flown over India and Pakistan, avoiding military radar detection by turning off its communications systems and following a Singapore Airlines 777 so closely the two aircraft "would have shown up as one single blip on the radar."
In the post, Ledgerwood established that the Singapore Airlines flight was in the area.
The collision avoidance systems installed on all modern airliners operate using the transponder, which someone on the Malaysia flight could have turned off. So the Singapore crew wouldn't have detected a plane on their tail, Ledgerwood speculates.
"Once MH370 had cleared the volatile airspaces and was safe from being detected by military radar sites in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan," Ledgerwood writes, "it would have been free to break off from the shadow of SIA68 and could have then flown a path to its final landing site."
We asked Michael G. Fortune, a retired pilot who now works as an aviation consultant and expert witness, if that would be possible. After a lengthy pause, he gave us a skeptical "maybe." It would depend on what kind of radar equipment the Singapore 777 had on board, he said, and would require some serious aviation skill to find and stay behind the plane.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Recently after this happened I saw on Flightracker an Airbus 380 on its way to England, it would have been sufficient of size to hide in its baffles.
Did the pilots simulator have a program on how to do mid air refueling? That would be quite a feat to pull off being that close for such a long time.
That theory reminds me of “Forging a birth certificate and using stolen SSNs to pose as ‘Christian’ and American.”
It’s so crazy, it just might work.
Assuming you’ve got enough NSA dirt on certain Senators, judges and approx 5 media CEO’s.
Maybe MH370 will resurface as the 2016 October surprise, giving BHO an excuse to suspend the election. Think: major US city hit.
Old WWII trick.
And now Australia is being called into the search, maybe this guy for some reason went south, maybe to Oz, maybe further.
Who would dare consider looking toward the South Pole?
But how would the Malaysian Air flight 1) know that the Singapore Air flight was there? Was it planned in advance? What if the Singapore Air flight was delayed?
Ping to thread.
Also may be of interest:
Malaysia Flight 370: What Didnt Happen.
If somehow they landed the plane, how are they going to fuel it?
I glanced at this “theory”, and I think it lacked the factor of altitude.
Presuming a normal airliner at normal altitude of 30,000+ feet, and one well below trying to follow it, there is an
immediate problem. The lower a/c will have a much lower airspeed and be MUCH less fuel efficient.
If there is a tailwind at the lower altitude, perhaps the 370 can “keep up”, or slow down to not overtake. But, perhaps there is a much bigger tailwind that the higher aircraft takes advantage of... so the 370 is out of luck keeping up.
Then there is the issue of endurance. The numbers I saw along the way had a normal altitude aircraft going for 7 hours, whereas at much lower altitude, only for 5.
What would happen if the pilot in the first plane pulled a “Crazy Ivan?”
Wouldn’t it have been simpler to bribe a handful of Air Traffic Controllers into looking the other way for some 4 hours?
“Hey you guys, take lunch early today. Ahh, just punch out and go home.”
If they landed it, it would probably have to be somewhere that has the infrastructure necessary to refuel and otherwise maintain a large commercial airliner.
That might narrow it down a bit.
It seems ∅™ turned off his transponder and ACARS before he ran for pResident.
Flying in formation is a military skill, If the pilot or co-pilot were former military I could see it happening.
As far as the radar is concerned, Most of the current ‘radar’ systems in used to track aircraft are actually transponder systems. A beam from the air traffic control ‘radar’ activates the transponder to cause it to transmit a IFF signal in return. The reason for doing that is obvious, it makes the automation of air traffic control much easier as each flight and aircraft is self-identified.
What if the host to flight MH370 aircraft was in on the plot?
Thanks Maggie, I saw this put forth early, civilian radar would allow this but if any military was tracking it would not work, then again they would have to have it turned on LOL
Someone has been watching too many episodes of “The X Files”.
Investigators should at least interview the flight crews on any other flights in the same traffic corridor that might possibly have gotten a visual sighting of SIA68.
Obviously, if they had seen two planes flying together presumably they would have reported it at the time, but if anyone happened to get a visual on SIA68 flying alone it could eliminate this theory, at least as to that location.
Form is not easy - but a constant speed and altitude on the Lead would make it easier.
The mode C transponder is the only active part of the system, AFAIK, otherwise it functions passively.
I dunno. Gotta go down the basement and practice that scenario on my cobbled together 777 simulator.
It would be interesting to see what kind of flights the pilot was doing on his home simulator.
It would have been possible for them to find out if the flight was delayed before they went green for the operation. Simple phone call to someone at the airport.
What would need to happen to make it full crazy is to get a foreign student ID and then have the year book and the publisher of a senseless biography write that the person was born in a foreign country and never mention it or seek to correct it.
How could a 777 follow another Plane so closely without Wake Turbulence being a Factor.?
If you read the “theory” then flight mh370 could have used the transponder in the other plane to establish a vector to that plane and come up behind it. Apparently, according to the theory, these planes have some means of telemetry to avoid collision, the theory is they used this to precisely hone in. MH370’s transponder being off the other plane would never know it had a tailing plane.
Some recreational boats have arrays that can establish the direction of a radio transmission, you only need they antennas in a triangular pattern and exacting time measure for each signal received.
I read that it first went up to 45,000 ft for a while
Is there enough oxygen for the passengers at that altitude?
Yes it takes practice. The biggest problem with the theory is that at night, it would be very hard to track down the singapore jet; especially with the transponder turned off. With the transponder on they could track the singapore jet with TCAS up to about 30 miles. With the transponder turned off, it would not be so easy.
Above and slighty behind.
Follow it from slightly above and slightly to its right.
I can assure you that no transatlantic flight crew looks behind them.
Lights out in the cabin and nav lights off, no passenger on the tracked aircraft would see it.
As for how close he could hold it to the tracked aircraft, he had a large non radar area to practice before he got to an air defense zone, that is if what I have read is correct.
Maybe it went down like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUiYztXpbDQ
Using the transponder to track down the plane to tail behind => It’s the same principle by which a cell phone tower can approximate the location of you cell phone. Capture the signal from three points (an antenna array) and it’s just physics and trigonometry to calculate you location.
“How could a 777 follow another Plane so closely without Wake Turbulence being a Factor.?”
Excellent question, Mr. Linville. The vortices coming off the wingtips travel out and down. You would be out of the vortices if you were directly behind or slightly above the preceding aircraft.
“Wake Turbulence” opened for Boston back in the day
Listening on departure and center frequencies would get him close, and if he studied this for weeks ahead, he could listen to the center and aircraft transmissions and develop a plan.
Actually, this had occurred to me as well, independently. ATC primary radar and a lot of surveillance radar have about 1 microseconds = 150 meters ~ 500 feet (two way ranging time) resolution. Two aircraft separated by less than 500 feet in range, will look like one aircraft to the radar. The primary radar is the only way to detect an aircraft without a transponder. Flying 500 feed directly below and slightly behind the other aircraft, he’d probably be undetectable.
Well there was that one scene in “Air America” where they hid this plane in a barn and the bad guys (American CIA) couldn’t find it.
With the transponder on they could track the singapore jet with TCAS up to about 30 miles. With the transponder turned off, it would not be so easy.
I’m confused here, mind you its been years since I was up on the latest technology. But the Malaysia Flight 370 could have turned off it’s transponder, thereby eliminating the primary way of tracking it.
But it in turn shouldn’t have needed it on to utilize the weather/search radar in the nose of the aircraft to find the Singapore jet and follow it.
The transponder is a separate piece of equipment from the on-board radar and the on-board radar can, (well they used to anyway), be set to receive only and not transmit. It’s the transmitter that makes them easy to track. If they needed to they could turn on the radar transmitter for a couple of sweeps and then turn it off and look at the returns on the stored memory in the cockpit instruments.
In any case I would say it was an amazing feat of flying for any pilot today who has been trained to rely on so much of the modern equipment in the planes they fly today.
Interesting but wouldn’t the plane be noticed by the one in front? Do commercial planes have “rear vision” video? Or would the aero be affecting the plane in front?
How could a 777 follow another Plane so closely without Wake Turbulence being a Factor.?
They do it all the time - it’s call landing !
Ever been to a busy airport in the evening? You can see the planes lined up one behind the other as they make their final approach with a couple of miles separation.
In this case the lead plane is traveling at assigned altitude, navigation lights/beacons working.
Then tailing plane is flying without any lights and would be very difficult to spot at this time of the morning. Tailing plane approaches from behind, stays 500 ft above the lead aircraft and maybe a mile or less behind. The tailing plane can follow the lights ahead all night.
At those distances radar might just paint a single contact, depends on how far off the military radar site is. At that time of morning it might not get much attention.
I don’t know what the pilots or passengers in the lead aircraft would see. He doesn’t have to be anywhere near the same altitude, as long he is approximately the same distance from the radar antenna, give or take 500 feet.
Aerial refueling is not possible.
For the 40 plus years I flew, I flew behind airborne radars for maybe 30 of those years..
I never heard of a civilian radar that could see anything other than weather, primarily because its beam is a very narrow “pencil” beam.
It mus be narrow so that the exact size and location of large storms can be seen in a manner that allows circumnavigation. A wide beam sufficient to see aircraft would paint the ground and make two cells look as though they are one, thus making it impossible to plot a course between them.
Obviously fighters have a means of intercepting aircraft, but airlines are not designed for that purpose.
Intimate knowledge of airline schedules, the TCAS and carefully monitoring center frequencies during the planning period would have been his best means.
Stepped down and in tight would work, as well. Like aerial refueling. Stepped up would make it hard to see the aircraft you are flying form on.
Except once you’re over land, all the passengers’ cell phones would have worked again.
I am a Pilot as well, I’ve never seen planes follow that closely, even at Lax there’s plenty of seperation.
Remember the La Guardia Aircraft Crash that ended up in a neighborhood for taking off to quickly after another planes Wake. An Airbus I think.