63 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2014 5:45 PM by anadyr RSS

Malayisan Mystery Motives

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As a novelist I sometimes play what if

 

With all the news about the missing 777 I was wondering if anyone out there had considered that the cargo hold was the real reason: something there was valuable enough to divert the plane, perhaps parachute the thing out and then ditch the plane.

 

Pilots at MRI speak up on this--can you reach an altitude for parachuting and then open a cargo door without turbulence being an issue. Can you subdue the pasengers by oxygen deprivation combined with depressurization?

 

Lastly am I as usual crazy?

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    I'm not a pilot but I did some research on the Payne Stewart (a close friend was his college roommate) flight.  If -- as the reports today suggest -- they actually reached an altitude of 45,000 --2,000+ above acceptable if that -- almost all those aboard would have died quickly to depressurization/hypoxia. The crew would have had at least 20 minutes more of oxygen under normal circumstances.

     

    I think you'd have to be at a pretty low altitude to parachute out without destroying the structural integrity of the plane and leaving debris, but I'll leave others more knowledgeable to answer that. In view of the Aloha blowout several years back, any quick depressurization by either opening a door or part of the plane blowing out is fairly catastrophic.

     

    There's also been brief mention today about the 787 plague - ion lithium batteries, but no one seems to be putting too much value in that in view of all the other anomalies that distinctly point to purposeful action.

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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    One analyst on TV last night kept saying that he wanted to know what was in the cargo.  He was alone but maybe had a point.

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      It's possible, but it seems that EVEN the Malaysians (who have made a hash of this, as I think the Brits in our group would say) seem to be focusing on the cockpit.

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      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
        californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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        From what I read today, it was definitely hijacked. 

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        • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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          I think it depends on whether you define hijacked as someone from outside or inside the cockpit (and they are definitely focusing inside right now).  Hijacking also usually implies taking the plane to a destination to land.  That may be if it was indeed a NW direction (and if so I stand by my guess of the Xinjiang province of China). Much is being made in favor of an Indonesian Sea crash because of the lack of pings over China, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan or Kyrzystan. Most US analysts are dismissing that possibility out of hand because they have more advanced radar and ping facilities.  But there is also the possibility (just like Vietnam does not seem to have reported the expected radio contact) that such countries do not feel the need to monitor these things as closely as Western countries.

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          • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
            californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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            Now the question is where is the plane?  Has it landed or crashed?

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            • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
              Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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              Pakistan is my guess.  Also the breaker for both transponders is above the pilot's head and clearly marked as such. The plot thickens.

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              • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
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                Interesting thread.  I said the other day that I wonder if someone stole the plane for something.  The cargo surely could be a reason, you never know what's on these things really.  The other things I've thought of is a 777 makes one hell of a flying bomb if someone was looking to do something extraordinarily stupid.  It would never be allowed to cross US fly zones or likely any EU, China or Russian ones.  Full of passengers or not I suspect all 4 groups would blow it out of the sky, assuming no one in those groups had a hand in it.

                 

                So if not a bomb against the big players, would you ransom the passengers?  Most of them were Chinese and well I'm guessing China wouldn't really deal well with that play.  No big names have emerged so would ransom really be a play?  Even the plane would be a tough sell back to the airline.

                 

                So it goes back to cargo or the plane itself if it was hijacked.  A 777 can't just roll into your local regional airport or land in some back jungle dirt runway and expect to get back out so where could they have made it unseen?

                 

                It is a mystery but one I hope gets solved soon.  Flying every week makes you wonder just how safe the process is these days.  IF it was the stolen passports that were used to board, does TSA really keep that stuff sorted?  I see foreign nationals run through the TSA Pre line all the time these days, do we really know who's getting on planes?  What if this was the dry run for the next big act of stupidity?

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                • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                  profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                  Sadly, IF the plane actually climbed to 45,000 the passengers will already be gone.

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                  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                    We may see the plane appear as a threat sans passengers of course.

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                    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                      I think that's unlikely, though if it is terrorism, to me Western China makes the most sense in Xinjiang, where (if it is Chinese-directed) the reception would be best.  I don't buy Pakistan at all because there are too many US operatives and radar in the region.  As for the -istans to the west, it's possible, because Malaysia has proven how utterly incompetent some regions can be in terms of control of radar, their planes, following up on leads, etc.

                       

                      Even so, I am not generally a conspiracy theorist, so I think this was either pilot suicide in the Indian Ocean (in which case we may never know) or Western China, and a plot.

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                  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                    californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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                    This has been mentioned on the TV.  It appears likely that is why they took the plane up to this high altitude.  I feel for those relatives who most likely are holding hope that they are still alive.

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                    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
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                      As do I. Seems that one person (if true that the pilot was the one) can commandeer a craft and then endanger or kill an entire planeful of people,  Very sad and distressing for all of us.

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                    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                      But it is also possible that one of the pilots struggled with the other pilot, which would make (again, believing the Malaysians to the degree that is possible) the huge leaps/drops in flight altitude possible. The pilots did not ask to be assigned together, and have different backgrounds, experience and age.

                       

                      I too feel for the relatives, because I feel they're being given false hope (always assuming the 45,000 ft is accurate).  Oxygen masks are only made to last a few minutes until a flight can be brought down to a more pressurized altitude.  By contrast, pilots have 20+ minutes at least of extra oxygen at their disposal, especially if planned.

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              • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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                Pakistan came out today saying the plan never appeared on their radar, no word on military or civilian... Of course Pakistan can't be trusted... they did harbor Bin Laden after all...

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                • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                  profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                  While I agree they can't be trusted, there is such a large US presence in the region I think our own forces and satellites would have detected activity.

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
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    Interesting theory anadyr, and definitely fodder for another novel. 

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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      They write themselves sometimes.bpelican.

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      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
        californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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        Most likely, there were others involved in this.  No one has suggested that the plane might have had more fuel that needed for the fairly short flight for a 777.  Much of the theory is based on the distance they could have gotten on the fuel on board.  Any thoughts?

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        • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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          I am not a pilot but would assume doing a higher flight, watching speed are considerations in range extensions.  Anyone else want to weigh in?

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          • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
            shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
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            Has anyone explored an extra-terrestrial connection? 

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            • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
              Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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              Well the Roswell connection is alive in the minds of many.

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              • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
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                great!  no good conspiracy theory conversation is complete with ET being mentioned…...

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            • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
              profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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              hI Shoeman,

              The voice of reason as always!  Some of the stuff being broadcast is just too bizarre.  Ockham's Razor -- the simplest explanation is usually the right one.  In this case, that (to me) points to pre-determined pilot suicide.

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            • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
              foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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              That venerable "news" source, The Onion, has weighed in, saying that Malaysian civil aviation authorities are expanding the search area to include all of space and time: "...the airline confirmed it had expanded its active search area to include a several-hundred-square-mile zone in the Indian Ocean as well as each of the seven or 22 additional spatial dimensions posited by string theory."

               

              The "spokesperson" continues: "...at this stage, we can’t rule anything out: not crew interference with the transponders, not a catastrophic electrical failure, not the emergence of a complex topological feature of space-time such as an Einstein-Rosen bridge that could have deposited the flight at any location in the universe or a different time period altogether, nothing.”

               

              It has to be either that or the meteor.

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              • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                Maybe even an asteroid that left no other traces?

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                • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                  foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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                  Exactly! An asteroid like 163 Erigone, which will blot out Regulus in the constellation Leo for a short while Thursday night. (Or at least that's what they want us to believe.)

                   

                  Actually, you folks in New York and New England will have a good view of the occultation. Sadly, though, it will occur just after 2 am, and it will probably be a little chilly for star gazing.

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              • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                What about a wormhole to the Alpha Quadrant?

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                • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                  foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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                  Raise shields! Arm the photon torpedoes! The Boeing triple 7 does come with photon torpedoes, doesn't it?

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                  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                    Yes installed by the Federation on Alpha Centuri in 2020

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                    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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                      I was going to add a cloaking device but then realized our military figured that out quite a while back...

                       

                      (BTW for any who feel this is insensitive, that is not the intention.  I think we are all satirizing the extreme conspiracy theorists, news media coverage, and the Malaysian government response.)

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                      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                        foxglove Silver 3 Reviews
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                        Definitely no insensitivity intended. Sometimes it takes a little humor to remind us that the media rush to get something out there as quickly as possible, with little regard for accuracy or truth. And as a journalism major who learned the ropes in the days of Walter Cronkite et al., I'm constantly amazed at the outright falsehoods put out by once respectable media outlets. The thread on these boards from back in November, recalling the day of JFK's assassination through the earliest video and audio reports from that day -- the vast majority of which turned out to be pretty darn accurate -- was a reminder of just how far corporate media have fallen. The current coverage of the missing airliner serves to remind us to watch and analyze with healthy doses of both hope and doubt.

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                        • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                          Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                          What I find interesting in all this is the number of "experts" whom the media dig up, some of whom seem to be quite addled (being addled I am allowed to say that) and often incoherent, to tell us what they think (but do not know).

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        • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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          According to Malaysian authorities (take it with a grain of salt), there was only enough fuel (+ a little extra as always) to get to Beijing.  As for others, now that the FBI, NTSB, Interpol and some others have finally been involved, they've done more serious scouring of the passengers.  To do what was done needed some aviation or avionic skills.  There was an aviation engineer on board, though the details have not been publicized.

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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      Bet that somebody is already craftng that into one.

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    I think we need to look at this in the sequence of events, given the incapacity of the Malaysian authorities to have provided important information and given conflicting reports:

    1) normal takeoff

    2) transponder manually turned off

    3) ACARS turned off - more difficult

    4) one of the pilots signs off Malaysian air space "All right, good night" -- very atypical.  Sould have been more like MH370 heavy…whatever…good night…check in with Vietnamese air traffic controllers, which didn't happen

    5) deliberate left turn into radar-free zone until it reached the spot of convergence between going north and south

    6) commercial satellite pings (that many pilots apparently didn't know the 777 did aside from transponders and ACARS) that didn't communicate aircraft info but did signal it was in the air that traced a fairly wild course for up to 7 hours.  The ' up to ' is key because they could in theory have landed and let the plane keep running till it was out of fuel.

    7) satellite info that showed (from what I have heard around hour 4-5) wild altitude fluctuations of 45,000 [NEVER allowable -- it will kill the passengers quickly] to 23,000.

    8) then the speculation begins.

     

    I think they need to do voice analysis on the send off to see who said that and whether it is normal to use an abbreviated version for Malaysian Air.  All US and European sites in Western China and the -istans need to be rechecked for radar on such a large plane.  In the absence of such info, the Aussies need to get seriously involved in what is almost certainly now a recovery rather than rescue mission.

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
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      Prof

       

      I like your analysis.  Facts are facts, and the rest is wild speculation.  The simplest summary seems to include pilot suicide, or a struggle in the cockpit between the pilot and an intruder.  It will be interesting to see the changes made to avoid this type of mystery again….

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      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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        There are two serious things I would want to know if I were an NTSB investigator:

        1) What is the typical sign off in SE Asia as a plane changes air space.  Is it the same as in Western countries, which I referred to above, or is it informal?

        2) Voice analysis.  That sign off is the key moment when criminal activity began (or earlier by days or weeks or months), because at that point the plane veered left (west) into the no radar zone, which had to be planned.  So who spoke those words (either of the pilots or someone else), were they normal for the region, was there stress indicated in voice patterns, etc.

         

        Everything else IMHO depends on the answers to these basic questions, yet we have heard nothing about voice analysis or sign-off patterns.  So like Shoeman, I think speculation about what happened after can't really begin until we know how things started.

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        • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
          californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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          I was just listening to TV and a man said the same thing.

           

          I think, we as Americans, expect instant answers and don't wait well.  On the other hand, the terrorists are patient and wait and plan for years.

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          • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
            profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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            I think you're exactly right, californian, which is why they have all these talking heads spouting theories.  While I know 'something' about aviation and avionics (combo of Air Force first husband, Coast Guard flight engineer long-term boyfriend, and looking into the Payne Stewart/Mike Kling crash for a friend [Kling had a Maine connection].

             

            Most of all, I am reacting as a historian.  You cannot know or analyze what may have happened in the future if you don't know what preceded it.  If US authorities know something about the voice recognition, they certainly aren't saying it.  So-called experts keep bringing up the captain's flight data simulator with sinister implications, yet I would bet a whole lot of American pilots also own one.  We NEED to know who made that voice communication and whether or not it was normal for Malaysia/Vietnam.

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            • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
              californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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              The talking head said they need to take all the communications on that flight and compare them to previous flights to compare looking for stress, etc.

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              • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
                Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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                I also just heard that the pilot was a follower of the anti-government fellow just jailed for homosexuality (illegal there), which might have triggered this as a a protest?

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      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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        We specualate Shoeman you decide as I always say.

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
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    And you are doing a great job!  I'm especially impressed with you bringing sexuality into the conversation.  You should consider msnbc….

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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      I consider it but reject it as too conservative for my tastes

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    ABC News has just answered one of my main questions -- it was the co-pilot who radio-ed that last odd sign-off (again unless that is typical in the region).  But they added that they haven't done or released information on voice stress tests.

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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    This may be one of the worst excuses ever.  Thailand gives radar data 10 days after plane lost - Yahoo News

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
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      Amazingly bad

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Hi IAHFLYR,

      Thanks for answering my other question about the signoff.  When I lived on Cape Cod over two decades ago, my ex-boyfriend and I used to listen to the radar transmissions of flights taking off from and landing from Logan.  Talk about being a nerd!

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      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
        iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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        LOL, Prof that's great.....I did the exact same thing when I was in high school before I got my private license, but then I found myself making those transmissions on both sides of the mic so I stopped listening to it when not at work or flying.

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      • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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        professor,

         

        At least you weren't a "Coin nerd"!

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        • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          No, definitely not that.  When we'd travel, he'd always making a point of getting on military bases to take photos of planes (not possible these days), and once when I was in Paris I went alone to Le Bourget's amazing Air Museum.  Jerry, if you haven't been it's worth a visit -- the Concorde alone makes it so, but it's a very cool place if you like aviation.  I've been to Oshkosh too (what an odd duck I am!)

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          • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
            iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            I guess that puts a few of us out on the "odd duck farm" then!!!   One can also see a Concorde in SEA at The Boeing Field Museum of Flight, it might even be the one Lady Coin has flown on.

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            • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
              profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              I was once lucky enough to be on a transatlantic flight long ago when the pilot announced for people on the left side of the plane to look out the window to see a rare sight -- two Concordes passing in opposite directions.  It's amazing how tiny and birdlike they look on the ground.

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  • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
    aje5837 Silver 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

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    • Re: Malayisan Mystery Motives
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Could have, yes!

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