air crashes

Mar 21, 2016

Hippy Girl breaks MH370 news for Australia’s ATSB!

Updated* The two possible fragments of MH370 found on Mozambique shores arrived in Australia on Sunday morning from Kuala Lumpur according to an apparent media statement

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Another barely legible Twitter text image
Another barely legible Twitter text image

Updated*

The two possible fragments of MH370 found on Mozambique shores arrived in Australia on Sunday morning from Kuala Lumpur according to an apparent media statement by Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai posted on social media overnight by Hippy Girl.

Confirmation, however belated, is expected from Australia’s ATSB sometime today, perhaps even with a press conference by Liow’s new counterpart in Australia, Darren Chester.

The fragments were rested in Kuala Lumpur on their long journey to Canberra, where they will be examined by the ATSB, Malaysia officials and Boeing, which made the Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER which vanished on 8 March 2014 with 239 people onboard on a red eye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

One fragment, found in last December by Liam Lotter, is stenciled with a number that matched the Boeing parts number for an access panel to the outer right hand side of a 777 wing.

Another, found in February by Blaine Gibson, appears to have been torn from the right hand side horizontal stabilizer of a Boeing 777, that being the stubby wings seen at the base of the tail which houses the vertical stabilizer.

Both fragments bore few traces of marine life.

It is assumed that the ATSB made sure that Australian Customs hasn’t seized the two potential parts of MH370 and cleansed them of all surviving vestiges of marine life colonization, which could prove critical to determining their provenance, and would in Australian law, apparently constitute unlawful interference with the wreckage of a plane crash prior to an official investigation.

Further developments are awaited.

Updated *

The ATSB has responded to Plane Talking and Hippy Girl as follows:

Both pieces of debris were packaged in Africa and remained that way until arrival.  They will be opened today with investigators from a range of countries and organisations in attendance.  Procedures appropriate to maintain the integrity of this potential evidence have been followed.  We do not anticipate any statements on the findings of the examination until the process is complete.

 

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20 comments

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20 thoughts on “Hippy Girl breaks MH370 news for Australia’s ATSB!

  1. comet

    The biosecurity aspect is an interesting conflict of interest with the aviation investigation.

    Australian customs will want to spray the 777 part with insecticide, and/or irradiate it, potentially changing the evidence.

    Then again, corrupted Malaysian authorities have already had their hands all over the evidence, with a proven record of intent to mislead the search for MH370.

  2. Ben Sandilands

    But just think of all of bio security risk posed by the entire shoreline of the Indian Ocean, fearfully washing our island home with all of the substances flowing unchecked over the sea floor wreckage of MH370.

    Canberra really has no option left but to glad wrap the entire country. Let MH370 be a warning!

  3. JH 1969

    Rather than relying on assumptions based on photographic evidence only, now a thorough forensic analysis of these parts can take place. Hopeful we will get an answer soon.

  4. Michael Fogarty

    “It is assumed that the ATSB made sure that Australian Customs hasn’t seized the two potential parts of MH370 and cleansed them of all surviving vestiges of marine life colonization, which could prove critical to determining their provenance, and would in Australian law, apparently constitute unlawful interference with the wreckage of a plane crash prior to an official investigation.”

    Indeed

  5. En Quiry

    Where is Sir Angus when we need him.

  6. comet

    It’s called biofouling.

    An object that has been floating around in mid-ocean and on an African beach could be infested with:

    Algae
    Protozoa
    Bacteria
    Flukes
    Nematodes
    Black striped mussels
    Polychaete worms
    Parasitic barnacles
    Killer shrimps
    Invasive insect eggs

    It would be interesting to fire off a question to the authorities to find out if they sprayed and irradiated a potential piece of MH370 before investigating the aviation side of things.

    They had to compromise either the biosecurity or the aviation investigation. It really makes Australia an unsuitable place to send recovered aircraft crash debris.

  7. Juanda

    Correction Bruce, the American lawyer who found the ‘No Step’ part is Blaine Alan Gibson; not ‘Blaine Wilson’ as you have written in your article.

  8. Ben Sandilands

    Not sure how I did that, but it has been corrected.

  9. GeorgeD

    Interesting.

    Meanwhile, fragments are turning up from FlyDubai 981. I wonder what they will reveal.

  10. comet

    What we know from recent events such as FlyDubai is that onboard flight recorders can be next to useless after a high speed impact.

    These are primative devices. The aviation industry is quick to adopt fuel-saving ‘moonshot’ technology such as plastic airframes, but for technology that has a safety-only function, such as satellite data transmission, the industry moves at a glacial pace.

    Some of the evidence suggests MH370 might have suffered a high speed impact. Hopefully it’s flight recorders, wherever they are, will be in better condition than FlyDubai’s.

  11. discus

    Comet : Quoted from the Aviation Herald re FlyDubai’s recorders:

    “On Mar 20th 2016 the MAK reported both recorders received substantial mechanical damage, the memory modules are being removed from the recorders and are being prepared for read out, the preparatory work is expected to be finished by end of Mar 20th 2016.”

    “Late Mar 20th 2016 the MAK added, that the flight data recorder has been successfully read out and contains the data in good quality until impact of the aircraft, works to analyse the data have already started. The cockpit voice recorder memory module has received mechanical damage requiring repairs, checks of whether the non-volatile memory is still readable are going to commence after the repairs”.

    “In the evening of Mar 21st 2016 the MAK reported that the repairs were successful and the cockpit voice recorder has been read out and contains good quality recordings until impact. The recording is now being transcribed and analyzed”.

    Plastic / composites and now complete airframes have been a work in progress for decades and has benefited every carrier with lower fuel costs.

    Full time tracking may only have benefited one recent high profile case at considerable cost across the entire industry. Also consider that if a pilot or persons unknown wish to disable the tracking, it is very hard to stop them if they know what they are doing. Spend all that money and possibly bypassed anyway.

  12. Ben Sandilands

    If in fact Malaysia Airlines had subscribed in full to the ACARS suite the flight would have reported its position with as much accuracy as AF447, and the point of impact would have been known with considerably more precision than now, and there would be a clear understanding of what exactly it was that occurred after it crossed the Malaysia Peninsula.

    The sunk wreckage of AF447 took almost two years to find, despite that head start, during which many bodies and floating items were recovered from the mid-Atlantic.

    However AF447 never attracted the same extent of resources as MH370, so it is possible that the sunk wreckage could have been found by now, and floating items would most likely have been recovered before they were dispersed or sunk.

    The airline business can achieve a great deal by actually using the automated status reporting process that are available today in terms of flight tracking. However there was an apparent intervention to disable even the limited ACARS information being transmitted by MH370 some 12 minutes before it ceased to be a transponder identified object.

    It is reasonable to conclude that those who disabled the ACARS server on board didn’t realise it would continue to send standby pings or that it was hardwired to send signals indicating fuel exhaustion induced attempts to restart the APU and deploy the ram air turbine.

    Nor did that party realise that a sat phone ringing out in the cockpit would also provide clues as to the direction of the flight in relation to a communications satellite, although if we wish to indulge the conspiracists, perhaps the airline did realise this, in only making limited calls to that phone.

  13. comet

    discus said:

    “Full time tracking may only have benefited one recent high profile case at considerable cost across the entire industry.”

    The burden and cost of searching for the MH370 was borne by government. If it was paid for by airlines they’d be rushing to install full-time tracking.

    discus said:

    consider that if a pilot or persons unknown wish to disable the tracking, it is very hard to stop them if they know what they are doing. Spend all that money and possibly bypassed anyway.

    I think it would be quite easy to install a full-time tracking device that was inaccessible to persons on the aircraft.

    And satellite handling of data and voice logging doesn’t have to replace a traditional FDR/CVR.

    discuss, the airline industry no doubt agrees with your opinion. That’s why they’re not moving quickly towards satellite based systems.

    So maybe it’s time to send airlines the bill for searching for their aircraft. I find the current situation unacceptable. That 300+ people can go missing for years, and their airline contributes nothing towards the search. That missing humans is not enough to get the airline motivated. That ‘black boxes’ often get damaged, with all or part of the data unreadable.

    AF447… MH370… no doubt in a few years there’ll be another wide-body aircraft missing, no tracking available.

  14. Tango

    In fact there is one company that has trialed a tracking device that has its own battery, power goes away, it kick in giving basic speed and direction information.

    One thing to consider, any operation sophisticated enough to take over an aircraft and then did not know to turn the satellite pinger off?

    And of course what would be the point? Take it over and drive it around for a joy ride? Sort of a bad ending for that.

    Again smacks of an inside job of someone who thought they knew it all but did not.

  15. discus

    Another possible piece of MRO has apparently been found on a South African beach bearing Rolls Royce logo.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CeFKDrsW0AAioFf.jpg

  16. Fred

    Ben (#12):

    “If in fact Malaysia Airlines had subscribed in full to the ACARS suite the flight would have reported its position with as much accuracy as AF447, and the point of impact would have been known with considerably more precision than now, and there would be a clear understanding of what exactly it was that occurred after it crossed the Malaysia Peninsula.”

    That assumes, of course, that MH370’s demise was caused by unlawful interference and not by technical failure. If, and I admit it’s a big IF, the transponder and ACARS transmissions stopped because of a technical failure, then we still wouldn’t be any the wiser about the aircraft’s fate.

    In the short term, I agree that all airlines should be compelled to make use of existing technologies to track their aircraft. Unfortunately, however, those technologies are not fail safe, especially in the event of a technical failure or unlawful interference. Longer term solutions are required.

    Comet (#10):

    “…but for technology that has a safety-only function, such as satellite data transmission, the industry moves at a glacial pace”.

    That might be true, but over the last two years ICAO and IATA have done a huge amount of work on developing both short and long term solutions. Unfortunately it is not simply a case of bolting on another box to the aircraft, and as with anything related to aviation, the bureaucracy takes a long time to implement change. The following links show some of the work that has been done to date and might help illustrate the complexity of the required changes:

    http://www.icao.int/safety/globaltracking/Pages/Homepage.aspx

    http://www.icao.int/Meetings/HLSC2015/Documents/WP/wp002_en.pdf

    http://www.icao.int/Meetings/HLSC2015/Documents/WP/wp011_en.pdf

    http://www.icao.int/APAC/Meetings/2015%20APSARTF4/IP04%20Presentation%20GADSS%20Overview.pdf

  17. comet

    Fred, the ICAO is moving at a snail’s pace because they want to produce the cheapest system possible. They want to save the airlines money.

    Pings at 15 minute intervals are too far apart. When the pilot switches on an electronic flag to indicate the aircraft is in distress, the pings increase to 1 minute intervals.

    As I said, send the airlines the bill for the search and rescue, then they’ll see the economic benefits of a high quality tracking system.

  18. Fred

    Comet:

    1. Although I’m sure there’s a cost element, the proposed system is anything but ‘cheap’ and I dispute that cost is the reason for the lengthy development process.

    2. In ‘normal’ mode the system will provide position updates at least every 15 minutes. In many parts of the world the normal update rate will be higher. That is far better than the current system, where position reports in some parts of the world only occur every 30-60 minutes.

    3. The ‘abnormal’ mode activates automatically, although it can be activated manually if necessary. If distress conditions are detected, a tamper-proof autonomous distress tracking system automatically sends tracking data to rescue services.

  19. Dan Dair

    comet,
    Whilst I agree in principle with constant tracking,
    the biggest problem I perceive would be in installing anything on an aircraft which CAN NOT be switched off.
    If that item or system has a catastrophic failure, no matter how unlikely that may be, if it can’t be switched off &/or isolated, that device could potentially bring-down the aircraft. (I’m thinking of fire or smoke, but I’m sure there are other potential scenarios.?)

    How would it look to the general public if a device designed to ensure their safety, was actually responsible for the destruction of the aircraft & the consequent loss of passenger lives.?
    .
    .
    Incidentally, if some kind of tracking was made compulsory, I’d definitely go for a 3D tracking/imaging system where the position was known in 3 dimensions.
    In that context, perhaps as little as a 5 – 10 minute ping separation might well be enough to successfully ‘join-the-dots’ in the event of an aircraft disappearing without trace.?

  20. Fred

    Dan:

    The system that’s been proposed is 4D: lat, long, altitude & time.

    The problem with a 5-10 minute update rate is that the aircraft could move 45-90nm between position updates. The crash site of AF447 was known to be within 40nm of its last known position and it still took two years to find the wreckage. The current proposal is for 15 minute position updates for normal operations, with an automatic increase to 1 minute updates in the event of an abnormality. The 1 minute update rate would significantly narrow down the search area in the event of a disappearance.

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