March 8, 2014

"Malaysian officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane Saturday said they were not ruling out terrorism..."

"... as reports emerged that two Europeans listed on the passenger manifest were not aboard and may have had their passports stolen."

38 comments:

PB Reader said...

777's just don't "disappear". I believe there is monitoring of flight conditions that is communicated to airline operations to optimize flight path and fuel conditions.

If it were terrorism, the Malaysian government wouldn't say so.

Michael K said...

It can't be terrorism because our president told us al Qeada is on the run. Benghazi was a movie review. Fort Hood was workplace violence.

Curious George said...

Thank go we have the TSA employees, with civil service protection, safeguarding us.

rhhardin said...

It's not terrorism if nobody claims credit.

It might be human-caused for some other reason.

The religion of the co-pilot would be my first suspicion. Low time pilot, Malaysian, would account for no distress call if the pilot went to the john.

MisterBuddwing said...

I actually found myself hoping the plane had been hijacked - that way, there'd still be a chance everyone was still alive.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's not terrorism if nobody claims credit."

EgyptAir 990.

MisterBuddwing said...

It's not terrorism if nobody claims credit.

If memory serves, no one ever credibly claimed responsibility for Pan Am 103.

virgil xenophon said...

No radio calls means either a bomb or a suicide ala that Egyptian pilot flying out of Canada (EgyptAir Flt990) in 1992. NO other explanation except for rhhardin's (which is really a variation on the EgyptAir event)

rhhardin said...

Yeahbut the EgyptAir was the same sort of deal I'm thinking of.

It wasn't terrorism but just a nutball copilot.

rhhardin said...

The photos of grieving mothers are a nice tough.

Back when airplanes crashed, that was always the story as news crews descended on the airport.

Then the story was of grieving families being protected from reporters in special rooms, so that you at least get a taste of their grief, grief so great that they must be protected from the reporter who's reporting.

Soap opera women are never satisfied.

Alas, airplanes suddenly get very safe, so that entertainiment was denied to them.

Whether the conventions have been forgotten, or perhaps the rest of the planet is still in the stage 1 story phase, I can't say.

It's still all entertainment.

rhhardin said...

For guys, the entertainment is stuff going wrong.

For women, it's watching grief.

The former has always been acceptable. Guys need it to fix stuff/

Hagar said...

Years ago, a guy blew up a plane with his wife on board to collect on her life insurance.

gspencer said...

Muslims have caused me to think this way. Anytime some thing untoward happens my first thought is Muslim involvement. In the case of this plane this thought is further undergirded because it came from Malaysia, a solid Muslim country.

cubanbob said...

I say let's wait for the recovery of the wreckage before comming to conclusions. Planes have disintrigated in flight for reasons other than terrorism or pilots commuting suicide such as the TWA flight off Long Island or the AF flight off the coast of Brazil.

rhhardin said...

I say let's wait for the recovery of the wreckage before comming to conclusions

You obviously know nothing of the game of figuring odds from evidence.

The AF flight wasn't terrorism from the outset. It was in huge thunderstorms and transmitting data showing itself shutting down.

Turned out to be copilot error, holding it in a stall.

Too many copilots.

alan markus said...

Hagar said...
Years ago, a guy blew up a plane with his wife on board to collect on her life insurance


June of 1972, six people from Wisconsin died in that one (ironically, the plane crashed in South Vietnam, Bangkok to Hong Kong bound. South Vietnam officer (ex-military or police) suspected but never convicted. Original speculation was terrorist event.

Cathay Pacific Flight 700Z

cubanbob said...

" You obviously know nothing of the game of figuring odds from evidence."

Tell us about the TWA flight off Long Island.

David said...

Uh oh.

The pilot had over 18,000 hours. The co pilot not so much.

I'd look there too.

Most of the dead are Chinese. If it's terrorists they may regret creating another alert and powerful enemy.

Although I guess that's what they would be trying to do.

David said...

virgil xenophon said...
No radio calls means either a bomb or a suicide


Hardly. But it does raise a question that needs an answer.

Michael said...

Cubanbob

Ah, TWA! Yes the one that blew to pieces because a "spark" ignited a fuel tank on a 747. Yep. Happens all the time. I remember pilots calling attention to it in the 1980s: off to your right, ladies and gentleman, you saw a big flash a few moments ago. Another spark induced air explosion. Hopefully we will be OK

Not a conspiracy theorist myself, but a very very frequent flyer, I think the story of the TWA explosion has not and provably wont be told. Planes dont just blow up.

chuckR said...

Can't blame TSA for this one. Although, diverting some money from TSA to create a database of stolen passports would be a much better use of the money than how TSA uses it.

chuckR said...

Can't blame TSA for this one. Although, diverting some money from TSA to create a database of stolen passports would be a much better use of the money than how TSA uses it.

Robert Cook said...

"Muslims have caused me to think this way."

Yes...the devil made you do it.

Michael K said...

"Not a conspiracy theorist myself, but a very very frequent flyer, I think the story of the TWA explosion has not and provably wont be told. Planes dont just blow up. "

The subject of a great Nelson De Mille novel, Nightfall. One of his best although that is tough to choose.

heyboom said...

Ah, TWA! Yes the one that blew to pieces because a "spark" ignited a fuel tank on a 747. Yep. Happens all the time. I remember pilots calling attention to it in the 1980s: off to your right, ladies and gentleman, you saw a big flash a few moments ago. Another spark induced air explosion. Hopefully we will be OK

Not a conspiracy theorist myself, but a very very frequent flyer, I think the story of the TWA explosion has not and provably wont be told. Planes dont just blow up.


Actually, some times they do. A very similar incident to the TWA accident occurred at an AFB when a KC-10 exploded on the ground. The cause was ascribed to suspected fuel vapors in an empty center tank igniting. One life lost and aircraft destroyed.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Not a conspiracy theorist myself, but a very very frequent flyer, I think the story of the TWA explosion has not and provably wont be told. Planes dont just blow up. "

I just can't figure out that way of thinking. Conspiracy engaged in by whom? How did "they" do it?
Who was "in on" the coverup? The FBI and the NTSB? TWA? Why has no one spilled the beans, Snowden like, over the years?


Or is this a conspiracy "so vast" that thousands are involved, and all have remained mute about it the past 18 years?

As for planes not just blowing up: TWA 800 was built in 1971, and was in service for 25 years when it went down; aircraft design has vastly improved since then, in part because fuel tank design and wiring have changed based on the TWA 800 explosion itself.


**********

"It's not terrorism if nobody claims credit."

If memory serves, no one ever credibly claimed responsibility for Pan Am 103.

*****************

What is this? The "Schroedinger's cat" theory of terrorism?

If forensic evidence determines that a bomb blew up the plane, it's terrorism, full stop QED, even if no one owns up to planting it.

Rusty said...

Two passengers were flying on stolen passports.
My money is on terrorism.


Ah, TWA! Yes the one that blew to pieces because a "spark" ignited a fuel tank on a 747.

According to the accident report the main center fuel tank was empty. There was a electrical short and the fumes ignited.
there is a problem with that theory.
Why was the center main tank empty on a transatlantic flight.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

I flew Malaysian Airlines (MAS) to Kuala Lumpur from Newark in 2006. It was nice, except that it hit the edge of a front over the Andaman Sea and dropped instantaneously at least ten feet. That was no fun.

Because it was a US-built aircraft, the FAA is going to be participating in the investigation. it will be interesting to see where the black box turns up.

MAS is going to be stopping its remaining US flight next month. It's always hard for state-owned carriers to make money, since the very reason for their existence is political and not commercial.

Scott said...

To Rusty. As per the fuel diagram of a 747 http://www.meriweather.com/flightdeck/747/over/fuel-layout.html it looks like the center tank would be feeding initially into the main 2/3 wing tanks (to keep aircraft trim). Under the circumstances, I could see the center fuel tank being low/no fuel early in a flight very easily. Center is 'last to fill and first emptied' as per the discussion here http://us.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/50952/

TL;DR, it's not implausible for the center fuel tank to have had fumes 12 minutes into flight if the plane was not completely fueled prior to takeoff (which the NTSB report should note, that's documented on ground) since that would be the first tank emptied. Also airlines tend to try to save fuel/operating costs by not filling over what is 'needed' for a flight. Bottom line the NTSB report's certainly plausible, using my experience in USAF aircraft maintenance (with the caveat that a F-16 is a different beast than a 747)

heyboom said...

Why was the center main tank empty on a transatlantic flight.

That wouldn't be at all unusual because of the relatively short distance of the flight with respect to the MD-11's range capability. The flight would also have the benefit of traveling with the prevailing wind which would add to fuel efficiency.

Airlines won't put fuel on an airplane that doesn't need to be put on, quite simply.

heyboom said...

Let me add a correction, I conflated two different incidents when referring to the MD-11. My error. However, the principle remains the same. Backing up what Scott said, there wouldn't necessarily have been a need for that tank to be used for this flight.

Illuninati said...

Can anyone pronounce Uyghurs?

geokstr said...

Crack award-winning investigative reporter Brian Ross is on the case, googling Tea Party sites for names like Mohammed, Ahmed and Osama, because Harry Reid told him he heard a rumour from the same friend who knows Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in ten years, so he's sure there must be a connection.

Dr Weevil said...

I asked the only Uyghur I ever met - he sold me some Uyghur fast food in Munich a few months ago - and the way he said the first syllable sounded to me a lot like French 'oui' - sort of halfway between one-syllable 'wee' and two-syllable 'ooey' (as in 'ooey gooey').

Drago said...

Cookie: "Yes...the devil made you do it."

Yes. Of course Robert Cook.

One must never ever evah take into considerations events of the recent and very recent past to look for clues in the events of the day.

On the other hand, if you're like cookie and a bit of a rabid lefty, well feel free to assign terrorist like status to each and every tea party member based on.......nothing.

Consistency.

Not exactly a calling card of the left.

CatherineM said...

First, as of this morning CNN was suggestingits a Boeing problem by the Asiana flight that crashed in San Fran was the same model (although that was pilot error, CNN was anxious to blame Boeing for some reason. Thought that was strange. )

TWA ... I learned 20 years ago that it's not fuel that ignites, even over a barrel of gas, it's the fumes. The fuel tank wasn't empty. It had very little fuel. There's a difference. Electrical shorts and fires have brought down many planes. I bet if it weren't for together illinformed pronouncements of Pierre Salinger, I doubt there would be such conspiracies with that crash.

Rusty said...

heyboom said...
Why was the center main tank empty on a transatlantic flight.

That wouldn't be at all unusual because of the relatively short distance of the flight with respect to the MD-11's range capability. The flight would also have the benefit of traveling with the prevailing wind which would add to fuel efficiency.


It was a 747. it is my understanding that the main body tanks are preferred on a long because if the flight has to turn around and land the wing tanks won't have to be dumped. Most modern passenger jets cannot land with full wing tanks.


Airlines won't put fuel on an airplane that doesn't need to be put on, quite simply.

Why fuel in airplanes is measured in pounds.

3/8/14, 4:35 PM


Can kerosene fumes ignite in such a closed space.