Monday, March 10, 2014

MH370 - Time required to solve a mystery

It's quite sad that currently at such a tragic time some people seem to find comfort in lambasting our aviation agencies (DCA, MAS etc) of poor performance.

Criticisms are common and at times helpful but the ones I have read on the media interactive forums and also on my blog have been excessively abusive and venomous, and sometimes misdirected, thus making them nonconstructive. I suspect this could be due to the deep toxicity of our politico-social environment.

One of my blog visitors have condemned MAS for not acting until 5 hours past the 'lost contact' point. He has also condemned me for writing like RPK, which I take as an undeserved compliment, wakakaka. But alas, I regret he saw fit to label RPK with a racist term. I'm afraid I can't help him with his sad prejudice.

Anyway, I explained what could possibly be the reason for MAS not IMMEDIATELY announcing publicly its fears for MH370 at the time of 'lost contact' as my blog visitor had angrily complained about, as follows:

Nobody is too eager to condemn ANYBODY & yet the truth of the matter is the sloppiness in MAS/DCA/MAHB have no sense of crisis management, This comes out fast & clear in ALL their official press release, as compared with the Asiana incident in San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The biggest blunder was the closed to 5 hrs delay in acknowledging the 'accident'. The subsequent coordination was pathetic to say the least, as if NO LIFE was involved.

For a start, can we equate the Asiana incident in San Francisco International Airport, which was an accident on land, with the missing MH370 where a multinational force of more than 40 ships and 20 aircraft drawn from China, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (shortly to be joined by Australia) have been searching the suspected area in the South China Sea for a couple of days?

But I doubt he/she wants to know because I suspect he/she's already dead set on hentam-ing (bashing) our own authorities.

In any such aviation situation where an aircraft has been deemed to be 'missing', as aviation experts will tell you, there would be stages in escalating the required actions.

The initial stage is technically known as INCERTFA or Uncertainty Phase. It's when the normal aircraft monitoring authority, Air Traffic Control (ATC) believes a situation has occurred in which there could be nascent doubts about the safety of an aircraft, and which then needs close monitoring and more information on the situation. In MH370 case, I suspect this would have occurred when it didn't contact Vietnamese ATC who would have then counter-checked with KL ATC.

Usually in such a situation, ATC would coopt the assistance of other aircraft flying in the area to contact MH370, because aircraft optimum radio communication (usually in what is described as Very High Frequency range or VHF) relies on direct line of sight where the higher one is the better would be the communication connection (transmissions and reception). Thus another aircraft which would be higher than the ATC radio antennae would find it easier to contact the aircraft which ATC wants contacted (for information or for assurance it's safely flying).

An anonymous pilot had claimed he did so while flying to Narita. He even offered the information he could recognize the voice of the MH370 copilot which implied he would be a Malaysian and perhaps even one from MAS. He stated that the communication with MH370 had been noisy with static interference (a normal occurrence in aircraft communication) and what he believed to be 'mumblings'. But MAS has come out to deny any MAS pilot had been in contact with the pilots of MH370.

That pilot did everyone a disservice by insisting on remaining anonymous, which is MOST unusual for a professional pilot in such a life-and-death situation, and which has led me to believe it's just plain bullshit.

The next phase is ALERTFA or Alert Phase when those nascent doubts mentioned in INCERTFA above have then developed into concerns, or when the operating efficiency of the aircraft has been believed to be impaired though not to the extent of requiring immediate assistance or imminent danger.

At this stage, Search & Rescue (SAR) authorities would usually initiate communication searches (including checking with Chinese aviation authorities regarding Nanning airport where it was rumoured that MH370 had landed, or with the Vietnamese DCA on any likely Vietnamese airports where it might have) and make preparations to search.

The final stage is DETRESFA or the Distress Phase where there is now certainty that the missing aircraft MH370 was in imminent danger ('imminent danger' is a technical term), 
and where communication and other forms of investigation have failed, as mentioned, like checking on Nanning airport etc.

Usually, in the absence of any reliable information like a distress call (either by MH370 or a relay by another aircraft or ship or ground observer), or a found crash site (whether on land or sea), the DETRESFA would have been declared at the end of the aircraft’s fuel endurance, or even earlier as assessed by the search authorities.

Unfortunately all these steps take time - maybe 5 hours or even more. Aviation authorities around the world don't make knee jerk reactions to the way my reader had wanted of the Malaysian DCA or MAS, because they (DCA, MAS) didn't have the advantage of armchair hindsight like my reader has.

They couldn't simply press the panic button PREMATURELY and scare the shit off everyone's pants especially the NOK of the passengers and crew. There have been cases where such premature and false alarms had been more harmful than helpful. All these incremental SAR action-stages have been developed by aviation experts after distilling years of experience shared worldwide.

There are set professional procedures to be followed which in MH370 case would have included pre-search cross checking with various authorities along the route of MH370, to wit, Vietnam, China and more if necessary.

That MAS and the DCA have even scoured the Straits of Malacca have been an indication they covered every possibility including the highly unlikely probability of MH370 flying in the opposite direction, not when it's equipped with modern navigational aids and that it was already reported over the South China Sea off our peninsula east coast.

But desperate for information, they did the desperate act. I can't blame them for covering every conceivable angle including the 'backyard'.

Chinese search vessel

As mentioned, already a multinational search force comprising dozens of aircraft and ships have been searching the suspected areas and it's only today that Vietnamese authorities claimed its navy has found fragments believed to be the composite inner door and tail section of the B777 about 50 miles south-southwest of Tho Chu island.

UPDATEReports on debris of missing aircraft not true, says civil aviation chief who said Vietnamese authorities has denied it.

The mysterious disappearance of MH370, while already being suspected of crashing somewhere, has confounded worldwide aviation experts, who offered a variety of possibilities but no definite answer.

Let's not muddle the sad tragedy further by politicizing it with extreme toxic prejudice.


  1. So many countries have joined in the search for the missing MAS plane.From the US,Singapore to China.The FBI has also joined in the investigation.In times like this,we have to forget our differences and come together as a people.

  2. So u r opening a bigger can of worms.

    Do read my replies in the previous post!

  3. My prayers for all those lost on MH370.
    We don't have confirmation this moment, as the plane or any part of it has not been found, but most likely a terrible tragedy has occurred.

    Now is not the time for recriminations. There will be plenty of time for that later.

  4. Now, is stating a fact about one's family root racist?

    '...But alas, I regret he saw fit to label RPK with a racist term. I'm afraid I can't help him with his sad prejudice.'

    Presumably, that racist term is half anmoh!

    Now pray do tell how racist is that compare with when KT is addressed as half Ozzie. Or more close at home - half toew-chiu/half hokkien/half bugis etc etc....

    I can ONLY conclude that's the character display of someone been caught red-handed & trying to twist out of his self-made cesspool. Ha.. KT a closet racist!

    U still got a lot to learn from yr sifu!

    1. wakakaka, I'm not your "half toew-chiu/half hokkien/half bugis", but 75% teochew and 25% Tomyam, though god knows what other 'spices' my family has accumulated through thousands of years. But nonetheless I'm 100% Malaysian

  5. I'm really, really puzzled why even the 777's emergency locator beacon has not been detected.
    It transmits a steady emergency radio signal, as well as ultrasound ping, if the aircraft electrical power is lost, or it gets immersed in water.

    It is solidly built like a little tank, meant to survive an air crash. It , and the 2 black boxes should survive any air crash that destroys the rest of the aircraft....but they haven't detected the beacon...


    1. I wonder whether their transmission are shielded by some ledge or overhanging rocks deep in the sea

    2. If they are looking under the seas (they can hear a ping)

      If the plane crashed landed on land (they have to check the lands surrounding the South China Sea)

  6. Ktemoc has been getting really edgy with loess74....maybe ban him soon....

    1. aiyah I won't ban him lad as I love him so much, wakakaka - maybe just won't publish his sillier out-of-thread comments.

      But looes is a wee like Auntie Rosie, ultra thin-skinned sensitive in his inability to take as much as he loves to give, wakakaka, and probably is merajuking now, wakakaka - kissy kissy & make up lah, wakakaka

    2. Hahahahaha! Me try to pull you & your good friend to battle it out on MH370 mystery

  7. In any accident or crisis, besides perception of what is or not being done is important including chain of command and dissemination of information. Msians waking up on Sat morning around 8am were informed that MAS had "lost" a jet.

    Even later that morning, the word lost was still being used. Perception: Msia air control was waiting for the allotted arrival time in Beijing to double confirm by phone or otherwise. Reality: Based that the plane was off radar after 2 hours in flight, protocol should be in place like you mentioned. Contact with other air controls should start in order to track or retract flight path.

    By 4am, head of control/operations either informs superiors who in turn either informs CEO of MAS, head of air traffic etc. By 7.00am when confirmed flight has not arrived, various ministers need to be updated, including stand-by of navy & RMAF. 9.00am, control center should be set up with communication open to other countries. PM should have been briefed. PM with his ministers, various armed forces heads & MAS should make decision by noon.

    SAR was only dispatched late afternoon when daylight hours already diminishing.

    In hind sight, its true that all of us can talk... Nobody is blaming anyone especially MAS etc and now hopes for the best. However, perception of situation was negative from onset and it looked like authorities were waiting to verify with BJ by phone before initiating protocol.

    Reuters reports that home affairs minister angry that border control allowed two people who looked like Asians to pass with European passports. This is something not coming from the mouths of citizens.

    All are praying & hoping for the best.

    PS. This just in - now people will start saying the Chinese are @#$%$#& but if people look over the flight manifest, including Msian passengers names... I think Msians all share in this tragedy due to possible human lost.

    1. It's not PM who initiate SAR but an operational chief - not sure who in Malaysia? As it's a civilian aircraft, it could be (just guestimating) the DCA following reports from ATC and receiving a request from MAS.

      The Home Minister is an idiot for imagining that Europeans (or Australian or Americans or Canadians) have only Caucasian features; who knows, maybe his stupid statement had been based on his personal belief that Malaysians have only UMNO-Malay features?

    2. Totally agreed but in US, although there are no national carriers the President would have been briefed and updated on regular basis, even if it means waking him up. Partly because he is the commander in chief. Second he will eventually need to make a press statement which needs to be informed & intelligent and lastly (which is the worst), it makes good politics.

      Just saw DCA DG give press statement. He is still using words like "we are puzzled". Then 5 passengers didn't show at gate and luggage off loaded. It took reporters to ask him about this but he was evasive. While searching for the plane, every effort needs to be piece together starting from ticket purchase, flight boarding etc. Have the 5 missing passengers be located and interviewed? Have their luggage being reclaimed, forwarded on the next flight with them? Or its it still in the possession of authorities and what is in the luggage? Where were the two criminals sitting in the aircraft? How did they arrive at the airport?

      Piecing things together will help paint a clearer picture and dislodge misinformation besides dispelling doubts on Malaysian check-in security.

      Beside making "bodoh" statements like Europeans need to look white or whatever, like Bangladeshi looking Malaysians to Bermuda triangle statements... the two passports were already in Interpol database. So no need subjective facial checks.

      The important fact is slow respond time. Good question - who is suppose to initiate SAR. Our guess - everyone was looking at each other while #1 & #2 was in Janda Baik attending course. These are timeline facts.

      The Chinese government is most concerned because beside losing its citizens is the fact that their internal struggles have gone a notch up and it has been internationalized. Therefore, they need to take new contingency plans.

      On our end, we never suspected anything sinister since we are a "friendly" country to all and there is an unsaid agreement not to use Malaysia as a base of any operation. Even known bad elements are welcomed home by the home minister as in your older postings. We never thought this will happen to us... it only happens to the syaitan & devils. Reasoning with mad men will never work. Outsyed the Box has constantly reminded us of this.

    3. I don't dare to say that being a friendly nation, one would not subject itself to terrorist attack. I have to agree with the slow respond time but then again, now the focus would be on the search & rescue of MH370.

    4. First time you haven't caught the intonations of "friendly". Southern Philippines, southern Thailand, Indonesians and our contribution to Bali and the pilots of twin tower. Then the guys who blew up the Israeli embassy in Bangkok exiting through KLIA. If Thai authorities did not give information, they will be nicely back in their country. We know that we are considered a friendly "gateway".

      How did the two false passport holders enter Malaysia from Pattaya? Was it coincidental that the Italian was in Phuket when someone entered Thailand, then exited to Malaysia using his stolen passport while he was partying? Probability of winning lottery is even lower than this "coincidence".

      While the search continues, we need to look at any angles and determine all possibilities, thereby establishing either a cause or maybe motive.

    5. I am looking at the signal intelligence voiced by one of Kaytee's alter ego called CL Flamiaris. Hahahahaha! Some say that satellites can detect any visible items in south china sea.....Time for kaytee to explain what he knows about SIGINT......Hehehehe

  8. We could do with some super duper SAR assets right now - those choppers equipped with Infrared vision, thermal imaging, Doppler Radar, able to search at night, bad weather, as well as daytime, inflight refuelling so they can stay on the search for hours if needed.

    I thought Malaysia bought the Eurocopter 725 with advanced SAR capability ?

    1. there was a defence proposal which was strongly condemned by the opposition and those who were pro Russian helicopter, the Kazan 172, wakakaka. but I think gomen ta'ada moolah so canvcelled liao - see my Dec 2008 post

    2. Hehehehehe......Just like the scopene submarine can only be used for combat & hence need to rely on singapore for the so called more advanced submarine or submissible vessel for search & rescue......Hahahahaha!

  9. In 1977, MH653 from Penang to Subang Airport was hijacked, and crashed in Tanjung Kupang, Johor.
    The Malaysian government covered up large parts of the incident, like the identity of the gunman, who was known, and officially linked. Many, many years later, an insider told me the full story. That's when I realised the Malaysian government is willing to cover up the truth of even such a terrible tragedy.

    A lot of things about MH370 don't make sense and don't connect up logically.
    Now I suspect somebody , somewhere knows more than they are giving out, and will not allow the truth to emerge.

    Is it possible the authorities "don't want" the actual wreckage, especially the Black Boxes to be found ?
    The plane is definitely gone, , but its not where they are looking ?

    1. In 1977 I believe most Malaysians then knew "who" was on board and thus the events leading to the fatal crash was (you're right) covered up.

      But today regarding MH370, was there any person of "special interest" on MH370? I don't believe so. By person of "special interest" I don't include the two passengers using stolen passports. The verdict is still out on whether they were terrorists or just criminals on nefarious missions (drugs etc)

  10. Thank you for taking the time to bring some meaningful awareness to the situation, instead of the rubbish sensationalism I've been getting over the weekend.

  11. I am a mathematician. Have just simply used a mathematical principle to help predict the location of flight. Found distance of 3170.6 km from KLIA. Not sure if this calculation could help the search.

  12. That's great. That's approximately the distance from KL to Changsha in Hunan. I like Changsha and the Wulingyuan Scenery located near Zhangjiajie City, about 265 km away from Changsha,

    Maybe you can explain to us how you worked out that distance?

  13. MAS - and Malaysia - will do irrepairable damage to its reputation if it flops its response to this crisis, or is found to be covering up key aspects of the event.

    KAL and later, Korean Air was terribly damaged by the loss of KAL 007, which was shot down after straying into Soviet territory over Kamchatka and Sakhalin. Though the direct blame has been placed on the Soviets for shooting down an unarmed civilian plane, KAL never properly answered the incredible "navigational error" which led to the plane, equipped with sophisticated Inertial Navigation systems, to overfly Soviet territory.

    1. Friend, it depends on how MAS handling the situation. All I can say is that MAS should have handled much better. No need to defend MAS or DCA about this


    The Dragon starts to roar.....

    The China government, like so many of us , are getting the feeling that the Malaysian government is not being transparent about the the search...

  15. This fragment is creating a lot conspiracy theories in the Internet.

    It implies "something" happened in the 1 hr 10 minutes in between which Malaysian authorities are trying to cover up. Both times are Malaysian government statements, mind you.

    And also implies the plane was flew another 1200 kilometers further (at 777 cruising speed) - but in which direction ?

    1. Helen who is now officially Bukan Cina (finally she woke up after Munching away her avatar), is just as stupid as all of us. We are not experts, neither is she. While this tragedy happen, she was busy attacking Christians and cutting & pasting articles from Africa or how influential are Christians in Singapore or why one Selangor ADUN looks fat & ugly.. But she redacts a lot like when people attack Christians and burn the church down while people inside. Surely HRH latest advice is applicable to the pro-BN hacks like her.

      Laws should criminalize institutional hate, propaganda and fear mongering, ad nauseam especially through the internet.

      Maybe she should have some critical to say about this article since their name sounds like Christians (she like dissecting names):

  16. Mr. Maths (1.20pm), let us play a bit of arm chair Tom Clancy detective work. Jet has only 7 hours fuel before it crash. So based on your calculations, could even be parked in Aussie outhouse (sorry folks for being crass but this is one better than the Bermuda thingy) where no one can get phone signal.

    But now on to the facts and other probabilities. Transponder was shut off or disable due to mid-air explosion. Pilot was unable to radio back control tower of malfunction or possible hijacking. All other communications was cut immediately, again denoting mid-air explosion.

    Military personal indicate that plane may have tried to fly back. Latest radar reports may indicate this plus on board explosion. 2 hours into flight would have place the crew at meal service. Undeniable fact is that two people of unknown origin & reasons were on board.

    Did the captain know something was amiss and tried to turn back to Malaysia airspace for landing - maybe negotiation if there were criminal elements taking control of the flight during meal service? Did the jet nose drive or exploded from front of plane (since all communicated ceased immediately) which appeared it was turning around?

    Again, who were the two persons and where were they sitting?

    By day end, the pilot and crew will be known as national heroes. The faster authorities can establish facts (and better still find the plane), they will appear less idiotic to global audience by using words like "lost" and "puzzled" (even CNN reporters in KL & BJ sound more credible than our representatives), put at rest the families by telling the truth and declaring the crew as true Malaysians.

    1. Looking at effectiveness of the satellites. Some times I do wonder if it can accelerate on the findings of the MH370. But then it took 2 years to fully recover the Air France 447. Either the plane kinda disintegrated & can't be detected by the satellites. Anyway, I am still hopeful that DCA has taken that steps. If not, it would be a horror!

    2. Air France 447 was lost over a very large water mass - ocean. MAS MH370 is supposedly lost over a smaller area - gulf. In any crisis, quick & faster response is called on. First responders and how fast they work will make a difference. As mention, the plane cannot sink immediately but by the time SAR was over the area - 4pm Sat, there was a time lapse since 2.30am when it was last detected. If Malaysia had asked other air controls assistance must earlier, triangulation of search area could have given better chances of search & possible rescue. "Don't know", "lost" & "puzzled" is for people who really don't know what to do. Even "experts" and authorities saying it took two years for AF 477... Are they trying to psycho us?

      This is the point we are trying to make.

    3. That's why it would be a tragedy if DCA did not utilise whatever means in locating the wreckage. If there is any.......Perhaps, kaytee the self proclaimed aviation expert can explain more.......Aiyaaa......

    4. Calling in Bomohs and Pawangs may not be bad idea right now....since everything else is failing.

  17. "Amid missing plane crisis, Islamic groups want Muslim rules on MAS flights" - See more at:

    And to help us forget the missing flight and passengers:

    "Najib announces RM200m Bumiputera Business Expansion Plan" - See more at:

    Malaysia Megah!!

    1. time the aircraft PA system will say doa before take off.
      And the stewardesses have to wear burka-style uniforms....
      For consistency, Air Asia will be required to do the same.....

      Now anyone can fly....