S. Martin Shelton

Retired U.S.Navy Captain, Novelist

Archive for the tag “Flight 370”

Review – Someone Is Hiding Something: What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

51YQf3hanAL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_

Four Stars

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has disappeared—vanished completely. The Boeing 777 Extended Range aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur airport early in the morning of 8 March 2014 outbound for Beijing. Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah sent a routine radio message about thirty-eight minutes later to Malaysia air traffic control (ATC). The aircraft was then over the South China Sea. Shortly, all transmissions from Flight 370 ceased, and its image failed to appear on ATC radar screens.

This book is the most comprehensive and objective narrative that I’ve read regarding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It’s a clinically precise exploration of the evidence extant about Flight 370. The authors have integrated these facts into various scenarios that posit the fate of Flight 370.

Unfortunately, the organization of the narrative is a hodgepodge of unrelated facts/evidence and explanations of their consequences. Accordingly, I found this lack of coherence militates against a comprehensive understanding of what happened to Flight 370. For example, the discussions of catastrophic failure are spread throughout the book. If all the text regarding catastrophic failure were presented in one chapter, we might know that it was responsible for the fate of Flight 370.  It would explain the immediate failure of all communications from the flight and its disappearance from Malaysian and Vietnamese radars. On the other hand, we would know that a catastrophic failure could not be responsible because there was no debris field on land or water—an essential element of a catastrophic failure—and because reconnaissance satellites tracked Flight 370 for seven and one-half hours after the communication cessation and the plane’s absence from radars.

The lack of a debris field is key to this mystery. An airliner falling into the ocean is the same as it hitting a brick wall. It would explode into thousands of pieces. The Boeing model 777 aircraft has approximately three million parts—many of which float.  Additionally, luggage and body parts float. It is inconceivable that an aircraft would crash on terra firma or the sea and not leave a large debris field several miles wide.

Lack of coherence also applies to the discussions of missile shoot-down, skyjacking, remote control attack, sabotage, pilot suicide, weather, aliens, etc.

The authors pooh-pooh the investigation: it was sabotaged, some things are hidden. Pundits aver that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) knows what happened to Flight 370 and won’t tell. Ditto for the National Security Agency (NSA). “It’s not possible that NSA does not know where Flight 370 is.” NSA says nothing.

Flight 370 is missing, and its location is a mystery. Though not stated directly, the subtext of this narrative is that Flight 370 was diverted to an airstrip somewhere in Central Asia and is being prepared for some evil deed.

“The inescapable conclusion is that Flight 370 simply vanished in some way that we do not understand.” This is nonsense. Airplanes just don’t disappear. Satellites track everything. Airplanes want to be seen. They just do not disappear.

There is much more information—too much to repeat in this review. I heartily recommend this book.

FIN

N.B. To date, I’ve posted 20 comments on the mystery of Malaysia Flight 370 on my blog (sheltoncomm.com). The day that Flight 370 was reported missing, I formed a scenario about the cause of the mystery. For the first time, here is my supposition. One or more of the crew took control of the aircraft anddiverted it to a remote airstrip in Sinkiang (Wade-Giles spelling) Province in Western China for the dissidents among the Uighur to use for an attack on some city in China.

Read more by S. Martin Shelton!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Review – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Why It Disappeared—and Why It’s Only a Matter of Time Before This Happens Again

41rgvfQNd0L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Five Stars

Soucie’s goal in this narrative was to explore the mystery of the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370. He writes in an easy professional style for a knowledgeable audience. With deft skills he details the facts known about the disappearance of Flight 370. He tackles this task with concise reasoning coupled with statistical analysis of the facts of this flight and their inferences. He does not offer conjectures. He relies on the facts in developing the narrative and he challenges the readers “…to make an informed judgement about the fate of Flight 370. The facts speak for themselves.”

Here is what we know (as of 2015, the year of this book’s copyright). Flight 370 departed Kuala Lumpur Airport at 0041, 8 March 2014, outbound to Beijing, China. On board were 227 passengers and twelve crew members. The captain was Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53 years old, who had 18,000 flight-time hours. The copilot was Abdel Hamid, 27 years old, with 2,700 flight-time hours.

The aircraft was a Boeing 777-ER (Extended Range). It had last been maintained on 23 February 2014. Its range was about 8,000 nautical miles, and its cruising speed was Mach 0.48 (640 mph). The Boeing 777 aircraft have had an excellent safety record.

After liftoff, Flight 370 progressed routinely. At 0119, Lumpur Radar transmitted, “Ma- laysian three seven zero, contact Ho Chi Minh one two zero decimal nine. Good night.”

Captain Shah responded, “Good night. Malaysian three seven zero.”

This was the last voice transmission from Flight 370. At 0121, Kuala Lumpur Area Traffic Control Center radar observed Flight 370. Five seconds later, the Model S-Enhanced transponder on Flight 370 ceased transmitting to air traffic control radar and disappeared from the screen. No May Days, no distress transmission, nothing. This model transponder transmits in- formation regarding aircraft identification, altitude, roll, track, ground speed, air speed, magnetic heading, and rate of climb/descent, concurrently. Flight 370’s radar glyph vanished from the ra- dar at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, ACC. Immediately afterwards, the aircraft appeared to have changed course—it was now heading west.

Regarding “why” Malaysia Flight 370 disappeared, the author posits two assumptions:

  1. “Either the aircraft was commandeered by one of the pilots or an assailant, or
  2. there was a fire in the cockpit or in the equipment and electronic compartment.…”

No need to relay the details of Soucie’s investigation. It’s compelling, chronological, and cogent. I was particularly impressed with his posting in Chapter 26 a comprehensive timeline from the transponder failure on 8 March to 18 June 2014, when an Australian research vessel joined the search in the Indian Ocean.

Soucie’s recurring theme in his narrative is, “Aircraft want to be seen. They do not just disappear.” Civilian and military radar and satellites track aircraft.

Read more by S. Martin Shelton!

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia Flight 370 One Year Ago

Boeing_777-200ER_Malaysia_AL_(MAS)_9M-MRO_-_MSN_28420_404_(9272090094)Malaysia Flight 370, a Boeing model 777-200 ER (Extended Range) disappeared 1 year and 45 days ago—one of aviation’s biggest mysteries. Notwithstanding extensive searching by temas from Malaysia, China, and Australia in the Indian Ocean off the coast of western Australia, not a trace of this aircraft has been found. In a Press Release, dated 16 April 2015, Malaysian Transport Minister Mister Liow Tiong said that these three countries are “…committed to the search.” Should the aircraft not be found by the first of May, the searches will expand the target area by 23,000 square miles. In total, therefore, the search area will be expanded to 95 percent of the flight path of the plane.

China’s transport minister, Yang Chuantang said that China might contribute more vessels and other assets in the search. (Most of the passengers were Chinese.)

In January, the Malaysian authorities formally declared that the plane’s disappearance was an accident, and that all those on board are presumed dead.

The mystery surrounding this calamity is why the aeroplane was so far off it intended course. We need to know the “why,” “who,” and “where.” Is it in fact in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia?

Many relatives of the passengers posit a host of conspiracy theories including one that the aeroplane was highjacked and landed somewhere safely. I wonder.

Malaysia Flight 370

Boeing_777-200ER_Malaysia_AL_(MAS)_9M-MRO_-_MSN_28420_404_(9272090094)The saga continues re Malaysia Flight 370 that disappeared a year ago this past weekend. Notwithstanding the labor and equipment employed, not a scintilla of a clue of this aircraft or its 239 passengers and crew has been found. The search extended to the Asia mainland and in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. The investigation continues. Currently, three Dutch oceanographic ships are exploring the seas. Unfortunately, several large cyclones and particularly nasty weather has seriously hampered the search.

What happened to Malaysia Flight 370? Officially, no one knows. Some of the relatives of those missing and others are convinced that the entire search effort is a ruse to divert attention from what really happened to the flight. Others have formed a committee that offers a “substantial reward” for truthful information.

Indeed Watson, the plot thickens.

Malaysia Missing Flight

It’s now thirteen weeks since Malaysia Flight 370—a Boeing model 777 aircraft disappeared.  It’s not where the searchers heard the pings in the Indian Ocean: about one-thousand miles off the coast of western Australia.  Searchers are at a loss.  Flight 370 seems to have vanished into the ether, or elsewhere.

Today, I received an email written by Colonel Bryant Beebe, USAF (ret.).  Now, he flies a Boeing 777 for American Airlines. I’ve added a few explanations of his abbreviations in red parentheses.  After reading Colonel’s Beebe’s email, what are to conclude?

Here’s the Colonel’s email.

“Just a quick update with what I know about the Malaysia 777 disappearance.  The Boeing 777 is the airplane that I fly.  It is a great, safe airplane to fly.  It has, for the most part, triple redundancy in most of its systems, so if one complete system breaks (not just parts of a system), there are usually 2 more to carry the load.  It’s also designed to be easy to employ so 3rd world pilots can successfully fly it.  Sometimes, even that doesn’t work…as the Asiana guys in San Fran showed us.  A perfectly good airplane on a beautiful, sunny day…and they were able to crash it.  It took some doing, but they were able to defeat a bunch of safety systems and get it to where the airplane would not help them and the pilots were too stupid/scared/unskilled/tired to save themselves

There’s many ways to fly the Boeing 777 aircraft and there are safety layers and redundancies built into the airplane.  It is tough to screw up and the airplane will alert you in many ways (noises, alarms, bells and whistles, plus feed back thru the control yoke and rudder pedals and throttles.  In some cases the airplane’s throttles ‘come alive’ if you are going to slow for a sustained period of time)  All designed to help.  But, it’s also non-intrusive.  If you fly the airplane in the parameters it was designed for, you will never know these other things exist.  The computers actually ‘help’ you and the designers made it for the way pilots think and react.  Very Nice.

Now to Malaysia.  There are so many communication systems on the airplane.  3 VHF (Very High Frequency) radios. 2 SatCom (Satellite Communication) systems.  2 HF (High Frequency) radio systems.  Plus Transpoders and active, ‘real time’ monitoring through CPDLC (Controller to Pilot Data Link Clearance) and ADS B (Air Data Service) through the SatCom systems and ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) thru the VHF, HF and SatCom systems.  The air traffic controllers can tell where we are, speed, altitude, etc as well as what our computers and flight guidance system has set into our control panels.  Big Brother for sure!  However, most of these things can be turned off.

But, there are a few systems that can’t be turned off and one, as reported by the WSJ, is the engine monitoring systems (not sure what the acronym for that is, but I’m sure there is one….it’s aviation…there has to be an acronym!).  The Malaysia airplane, like our 777-200’s, use Rolls Royce Trent Engines (as a piece of trivia….Rolls Royce names their motors after rivers….because they always keep on running!)  Rolls Royce leases these motors to us and they monitor them all the time they are running. In fact, a few years back, one of our 777’s developed a slow oil leak due and partial equipment failure.  It wasn’t bad enough to set off the airplane’s alerting system, but RR (Rolls Royce) was looking at it on their computers.  They are in England, they contact our dispatch in Texas, Dispatch sends a message to the crew via SatCom (Satellite Communication in the North Pacific, telling them that RR wants them to closely monitor oil pressure and temp on the left engine.  Also, during the descent, don’t retard the throttle to idle…keep it at or above a certain rpm.  Additionally, they wanted the crew to turn on the engine ‘anti ice’ system as the heats some of the engine components.

The crew did all of that and landed uneventfully, but after landing and during the taxi in, the left engine shut itself down using it’s redundant, computerized operating system that has a logic tree that will not allow it to be shut down if the airplane is in the air…only on the ground.  Pretty good tech.   Anyway, the point was, that RR monitors those engines 100% of the time they are operating.  The WSJ reported that RR indicated the engines on the Malaysia 777 were running normally for 4 to 5 hours after the reported disappearance.  Malaysia denies this.  We shall see.”

Here are my thoughts.

  • It’s extremely difficult for an aviator to make a serious error in piloting the Boeing model 777.
  • To shut down all the communications system requires an aviator to have in-depth knowledge of the basic design of this aircraft.
  • One or both of the aviators of this aircraft colluded to divert this aircraft away from it’s intended course—to Beijing.
  • One or both of the aviators pirated Malaysia Flight 370.
  • This aircraft is elsewhere.  (I have an educated guess, but will refrain from disclosing it for now.)

Famous Missing Flights

Malaysia Flight 370 disappeared over six weeks ago. The primary search instrument is damaged, and for now, the hunt for this airplane is on hold.  Some of the searchers wonder if this airplane is in the wide area in which they are looking.   Meantime, let’s review some of the more famous aircraft disappearances.

 

8 May 1927.    Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli

Charles Nungesser, French flying ace with 43 aerial victories, and Francois Coli, his expert navigator, departed Le Borget airport, Paris, bound for New York City in their biplane dubbed L’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird).  Their goal was to be the first persons to complete a successful transatlantic flight.  Sometime after they cleared the Irish coast, they disappeared somewhere in the North Atlantic.  Researchers did not fine the bodies or wreckage of the aircraft.  The fate of Nungesser and Coli has spawned a raft of conspiracy theories and is called the “Everest of aviation mysteries.”

1

Charles Nunesser

2

L’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird)

 

8 November 1935.  Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and his co-pilot John Thompson “Tommy” Pethybridge.

 

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, the famous Australian aviator and his co-pilot John Thompson “Tommy” Pethybridge were attempting to break the England to Australia speed record in their Lockheed Altar dubbed the Lady Southern Cross.  Currently that record was held by C. W. A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black.  The pair disappeared on their leg from Allahabad, India, to Singapore, somewhere over the Andaman Sea.  Searchers did not find wreckage or were bodies were recovered.

3

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

4

Sir Charles Kingsford Smih and the Lockheed Altair, Lady Southern Cross

 

 

2 July 1937.  Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.

 

 Image: Amelia Earhart

During the summer of 1937, Amelia Earhart (famous aviatrix) and Fred Noonan (expert navigator) attempted to fly around the world in her Lockheed Electra model 10E.  Her planned course was to track as close to the equator as possible.  On 1st of June 1937 she departed the Oakland Airport.  After numerous stops en route. she landed at Lae, New Guinea, on  29 June.  Completing minor repairs, she departed Lae on 2 July, at 1000 hours, local time.  Her goal was Howland Island, a spec in the Pacific, about 2,200 nautical miles east.  She made several en route position reports.  But on her approach to Howland, some 300 miles out, and for reasons we do not know, she became disoriented.  She tried to communicate with the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, her guide ship stationed at Howland, but failed to get a bearing on this ship.  No trace of the Electra or her or Noonan have been found.  [For a more detailed story regarding Amelia Earhart please see my anthology titled (Aviators, Assassins, and Adventurers).]

 

18th March 1937, American aviator Miss Amelia Earhart is pictured with her ,Flying Laboratory in which she is attempting to fly around the world from her oakland, California, USA base

Amelia Earhart and the Lockheed model 10E

 

 

29 July 1938 Pan American World Airways, Martin M-130 Flying Boat

Early in the morning of 29 July 1938, Pan American World Airways Martin M-140 flying Boat Hawaii Clipper lifted off from Apra Harbor, Guam, bound for Manila—about 1,400 nautical miles west and about a twelve-hour flight.  Hawaii Clipper’s registration number was NC14714 and its call sign was KHAZB.   On board were nine crew members and six passengers

 

 

7

Pan American World Airways, Martin M-130 Flying Boat

 

 

 

Every half-hour, William McCarty, the Flight Radio Operator and Navigator, transmitted to Manila and Guam a position report and weather conditions. His last report, at noon, was routine: altitude is 9,100 feet, ground speed is 112 knots, scattered rain, and cumulus clouds with tops at 9,200 feet. At the time, the Hawaii Clipper was about 680 nautical miles out from Manila. During the next several minutes, Eduardo Fernandez, radio operator at Radio Panay (Manila), tried to raise the Hawaii Clipper—to no avail. His numerous radio requests for information during the next ninety minutes to the aircraft went unanswered. At 13:30, Pan American officials in Manila declared the Hawaii Clipper missing and broadcasted the distress call on 121.5 mega-cycles to all stations. This distress call was repeated every five minutes for twenty-four hours.  No trace of this flying boat has been found.

 (To read more about this story please see my anthology titled Aviators, Adventurers, and Assassins.)

14 December 1944.  Glenn Miller (famous big-band leader of the 1930s and 1940s)

8

Major Glenn Miller, USAAF

 

Major Glenn Miller boarded the Noorduyn UC-64 “Norseman” shortly before it departed from the Royal Air Force Base at Clapham, Bedforshire in the United Kingdom bound for Paris.  Glenn Miller was to lead his Army Air Force band in concerts for soldiers.

 

9

Noorduyn UD-64

 

 

The Norseman disappeared over the English Channel.  No trance of Miller, the pilot, or the aircraft have been found. There are no tangible clues to this tragedy.  The Glenn Miller Orchestra was one of the most famous of the big-bands.  His signature tunes were: Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, String of Pearls, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Tuxedo Junction, In the Mood, and Elmer’s Tune

 

5 December 1945.  Navy Flight 19

 

It was a bright, sunny day.  At 1410 on 5 December 1945, five Grumman TBM Avengers, comprising Flight 19, departed Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale.   Turning east, the formation headed out over the Atlantic on the first leg of a routine training exercise. The flight leader was a flight instructor and the other well-qualified pilots had between 350 to 400 hours flight time.

10

Grumman TBM Avengers

 

At 1545 hours the flight leader transmited, “Cannot see land,” he blurts. “We seem to be off course.”   A few minutes later he said, “We cannot be sure where we are,” the flight leader announced. “Repeat: Cannot see land.”  Shortly another aviator said, “We can’t find west. Everything is wrong. We can’t be sure of any direction. Everything looks strange, even the ocean.”  Later the tower operators heard, “It looks like we are entering white water.  We’re completely lost.”  For a few moments, the pilot rambles incoherently before uttering the last words ever heard from Flight 19.

Radio contact was lost before the exact problem was determined, and no traces of the planes were ever found in the Bermuda Triangle. Nothing from Flight 19 has been found.

Adding to the mystery of Flight 19, a Martin PBM seaplane with a 13-man crew was launched to search for the missing TBM aircraft.  For reasons we do not know, it also disappeared and has no trace has been found.

 

23 November 1953.  Northrop F-89C.

On the evening of November 23, 1953, operators at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Air Defense Command Ground Intercept radar identified an unusual target near the Soo Locks. The Duty Officer ordered an F-89C Scorpion jet from Kinross Air Force Base scrambled to investigate this radar return.  First Lieutenant Flex Eugene Moncla was the Scorpion pilot; Second Lieutenant Robert L. Wilson was the Scorpion’s radar operator.

Wilson had problems tracking the object on the Scorpion’s radar, so ground radar operators gave Moncla directions towards the object. Flying at 500 miles per hour, Moncla eventually closed on the object at an altitude about 8000 feet.

11

Northrop F-89C Scorpion

                                                      

Ground Control tracked the Scorpion and the unidentified object as two “blips” on the radar screen. The two blips on the radar screen grew closer and closer, until they merge into one radar return.  Assuming that Moncla had flown either under or over the target, Ground Control thought that the Scorpion and the object would again appear as two separate blips Rather, the single blip disappeared from the radar screen, then there was no return at all.  Attempts were made to contact Moncla via radio, but this was unsuccessful. A search and rescue operation was quickly mounted, but failed to find a trace of the plane or the pilots.

Some wags claim that the Scorpion was captured by a Unknown Flying Object (UFO).

 

16 March 1962.  Lockheed L-1049. Super Constellation.  Flying Tiger Line, Charter Flight 739:

Lockheed Super Constellation

Lockheed L-1049. Super Constellation

This U.S. military flight departed Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, bound for Air Force Base, Clark Field in the Republic of the Philippines.  On board were approximately 96 passengers and eleven crew members.  Flight 739 disappeared over the Western Pacific without a trace.  The pilots did not broadcast a distress radio call. If they used visual identification methods, such as flares or markers they were not seen.   The U.S. Civil Aeronautics board ruled that it was “unable to determine the probable cause of the incident.”  All 107 souls were declared missing and presumed dead.

FIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Missing Flights

Malaysia Flight 370 has been missing for 41 days.  Best deductions from all data indicates that Flight 370’s Boeing 777 aircraft is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean about 1,200 nautical miles  west of Perth, Down Under.  It’s black-box is dead—no longer transmitting locating pings.  Experts in the field speculate that it may years or perhaps never that they’ll find this aircraft.

Missing Malaysia Flight 370 is not unique.  Over the years there have been a number of well-publicized missing flight that have not been found.  Let’s review six.

 

  1. On 8 May 1927, Charles Jules Nungesser, a French World War One flying Ace and his wartime comrade François Coli, took off from Paris in their PL-8 biplane, the’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird), in an attempt to fly non-stop to New York.

1

 

Several people in Ireland spotted them flying overhead.  They disappeared without a trace.

 

2. On 1 July 1937, Aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, in her Lockheed Electra model 10E, departed Lae, New Guinea, headed for Howland Island, some 2,300 miles to the east.

2

 

This was to be the next to the last leg of her around the world flight across the equator.  Her goal was to land at Oakland, California on 4 July amid a gigantic celebration engineered by her husband, George Putnam. She tried to communicate with her short-range radio with her guide ship, the Coast Guard Cutter, USGS Itasca, stationed offshore Howland.  Unfortunately, radiomen on Itasca could not communicate effectively with her because she was unskilled in the radio procedures required.  Speculation is that she crashed into the Pacific some 200/300 nautical miles northwest of Howland.  No trace of her, Newman, or the Electra has been found.  Nonetheless, to this day, searchers are looking for a positive evidence of her remains and for the parts of the Electra—members of the TIGHAR organization have centered their search on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro in the in the Republic of Kiribati—about 400 nautical miles southeast of Howland.

 

  1. At 0608 hours, on 29 July 1938, Pan American World Airways, Martin M-130 flying boat, the Hawaii Clipper. lifted off the placid waters of Apra Harbor, Guam, headed for Manila—about 1,400 nautical miles west. Onboard were six passenger and nine crewmembers.

 

3

Pan American World Airways, “Hawaii Clipper”

 

The aircraft’s radioman transmitted his position was at noon.  The flight was routine: altitude is 9,100 feet, ground speed is 112 knots, scattered rain, and cumulus clouds with tops at 9,200 feet.   Nothing else was heard from the flight.  No trace of aircraft was ever found–no bodies, no wreckage, no oil slick, nothing.

 

  1. On 14 December 1944, the famous big-band leader Captain Glenn Miller, US Army and his pilot disappeared over the English Cannel. They were on a flight from Royal Air Force Base Twinwood Farm in Claphan to Paris in an Army Air Corps utility aircraft. Noorduyn UC64.

 

4

Noorduyn UC64

 

No trace of Miller, pilot or aircraft has ever been found. Miller’s status is “missing in action.”  The army awarded him posthumously the Bronze Star.

 

  1. The “Lost Patrol.” On a bright, sunny day at 1410 hours, 5 December, 1945, five Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, with 14 crew members, lifted off from the Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a routine patrol off the Atlantic coast.

 

5

Grumman TBMs

 

About an hour later, the tower heard the flight leader say, “We seem to be off course.”  Then they heard, “We cannot be sure where we are.  Repeat: cannot see land.”  Later. “We can’t find West.  Everything is wrong.  Everything looks strange.”  Finally, the last transmission was, “We’re completely Lost.”  This was the last transmission from Flight 19.

The Operations Officer orders a Martin PBM Marnier flying boat to launch and search for the missing Flight 19.  On board were 13 men.   Ten minutes later the PBM radio checks with the tower.

Neither the 5 TBMs or the PBM were ever heard from again. They disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.

 

 

  1. On 5 March 1962, Flying Tiger Lines flight number 739, in a Lockheed Super Constellation, lifter off from Anderson Air Force Base, Guam en route to Clark Field, Philippines. 107 souls were onboard.
6

Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation in Air France Colors

 

No distress call was heard and no trace of the aircraft have been found.

 

Malaysia Flight #370: People’s Republic of China’s Search Activities

We’re now in the 40th day of the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370. There were 228 passengers onboard—152 were Chinese citizens.  Accordingly, the People’s Republic of China has an extraordinary interest in locating the missing aircraft—to maintain national prestige and to assuage the families of the missing.  Daily, over 200 family members are pressing Malaysian and Chinese officials for information.  There is none.

The Chinese deployed over a dozen ships, several aircraft, and satellites in the multi-nation search.   Unfortunately, the effort of the Chinese on station in the Indian Ocean have hindered the search efforts instead of helping or they have remained silent.

For example, on Friday, 4 April (27 days after the dissapearaance), the Chinese Xinhua News Agency reported that the sailors on the Chinese patrol ship Haixum 01 heard electronic pings at 3.5 Kilohertz and at one-second intervals—the frequency that the Flight Data Recorded (“black box”) would transmit and the correct interval.  Such electronic signals are similar to those of the black box transmissions but were not confirmed as such.   Please note that it was the official new agency of the People’s Republic of China that made the announcement—not the ship on station.  Nevertheless, the ships location in the south Indian Ocean was reported as a spot in the Indian Ocean is about 950 miles west of Perth, Down Under.

Within a few days, the lead searcher discounted this Chinese claim as bogus.  Senior searchers speculate that this false report by the Chinese probably was intended to project competence and regain lost prestige. Actually, investigating this false report distracted and delayed the search effort for several critical days while the batteries on the black box were fresh and transmitting strong signals.

China’s rush to be first with search results by report bogus signals signifies incompetents or dissembling.

Marty Shelton Photo Captain (ret) S. Martin Shelton has a lifetime fascination with Far East Studies.

Malaysia Flight 370 New Information?

Perhaps, maybe, possibly, if the “kreek don’t rise,” the searchers might have enough apocryphal evidence to conclude tentatively that Flight 370 is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.  Searchers estimate is position is located within 16,000 square nautical miles.  This center of this area is about 1,500 nautical miles west of Perth “down under.”

Last Thursday (10 April), the US Navy’s TPL-25 (Towed Ping Locator) device, towed by the Royal Australian Navy ship Ocean Shield, detected two black-box type ping signals.  That is the last signal reception made that has any credibility, however slight.  For example, last Thursday a Royal Australian Air Force Orion P3 aircraft detected ping type signals from one of it dropped sonar buoys.  However, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston said that scientific analysis of the signals confirmed that they were not black-box type.

Flight 370 has been missing since 8 March—thirty-five days ago.  The battery powering the black box is either exhausted or nearly so.    U S Navy Captain Mark Mathews, on- site coordinator of Navy equipment, said that if they do not receive any more credible ping signals within the next two days, they will abandon using acoustic search equipment.  Then they’ll use the Navy’s Bluefin-21, an underwater towed autonomous vehicle that maps the ocean floor.  It can map about twelve square nautical miles a day. Accordingly, it will take the Bluefin vehicle 1,333 days to map this area—all factors considered.

On Saturday, Saturday 12 April, ten aircraft and fourteen ships are searching for the missing flight 370.  Significantly, we’ve had no report from the Chinese ship Haixum 01 since 4 April.

Malaysian Flight #370…What Next?

This is the 38th day of the search Malaysia Flight 370.  Yesterday, eleven aircraft and “about” as many ships were searching in an area about 24,000 square-miles: In an area located about 1,400 miles northwest of Perth.  (The search area seems to change almost daily.)  Here’s the update: the searchers have not heard any pings from the Flight 370’s black box for six days.  They’ve concluded that the black box’s battery is dead.  Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, head of the search effort, noted that acoustic searching is terminated, and that because they have no visual clues he’ll terminate visual search efforts in the next few days.

Yesterday, sailors on the Australian ship Ocean Shield launched the US Navy’s Bluefin-21, an underwater towed autonomous vehicle that maps the ocean floor.   It takes twenty-four hours to complete a Bluefin-21 mission: two hours to descend to the Ocean’s floor, sixteen hours to map, and two hours to ascend; then it takes four hours to download the information, and I cannot estimate how long it takes to interpret and plot the data.

About six hours into its first mission, controllers maneuvered the Bluefin-21 to exceed its maximum safe depth, about 14.800-feet deep (2.8 miles), and they terminated the mission.  (How about telling us why.)   The Bluefin-21 was returned to the surface.  As of this afternoon, there is no information regarding the next Bluefin-21 operation—if any.   What’s next?

I did find an article in which Houston noted that HMS Echo has equipment that can help map the seafloor and is in route to the search area,   He did not give an estimated time of arrival or what is the operations plan.

Read More

Post Navigation