Archive for March 22nd, 2014

5 things MH370 has taught us about aviation

By Alex Pearlman | March 19, 2014
Boston Globe

The continuing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has consumed the world’s attention for almost two weeks now. The mad quest to find the Boeing 777 has yet to answer the main questions on everyone’s mind: Where is that plane, and what happened to the people on it? Yet the search and the surrounding news coverage have revealed some surprising — and in some cases unsettling — facts about an industry the average person likely takes for granted.

We expect to fly and land safely, and these days, most flights do. But the system isn’t perfect, and in the time we’ve been engaged in the mystery of the lost plane, we’ve learned some noteworthy details about commercial aviation, technology, and national security.

1. Systems that collect information about flights have significant limits.

On Flight 370, a key communications system aboard the plane was somehow shut down. But that can happen for safety reasons. Read the rest of this entry »


Kajang voters, Malaysia’s destiny is in your hands!

P Ramakrishan
The Malay Mail Online
March 22, 2014

MARCH 22 — As you go to the polling booth on Sunday, 23 March 2014, remember that in your hands lies the destiny of this nation.

When you hold the ballot paper in your hand, remember that you are going to determine the future of our country. It is a heavy responsibility that you have been entrusted with but no generation of voters has ever been tasked with such a duty or been given such an opportunity.

What you do on 23 March must surely be the beginning of a new change that will provide the impetus for a new government.

It is not so much as casting your vote in favour of Pakatan or Barisan Nasional. You cast your vote in favour of fairness, justice, rule of law and democracy.

You are casting your vote to determine how this nation should be governed. You are going to express yourself very diligently and bravely, and let it be known in no uncertain terms what is best for this country.

The present government has failed to curb corruption which is the scourge of this nation. Corruption has become so rooted in our everyday life that it flourishes rampantly without any serious attempt to curb it. Read the rest of this entry »


MH370: what are the obstacles in the search for Malaysia Airlines plane?

by Jon Henley
The Guardian
20 March 2014

Even if the two unidentified objects shown on satellite images floating in the southern Indian Ocean are debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, finding them could prove to be a long and difficult process that may rely on good luck as much as on advanced technology, oceanographers and aviation experts warned on Thursday.

If the objects are recovered, locating the rest of the Boeing 777 on the ocean floor could turn out to be harder still. And if the fragmented and scattered remains can eventually all be collected and pieced together, working out exactly what happened to flight MH370 may be the toughest job of all.

“You know, we may never actually see anything,” said David Learmount, operations and safety editor at aviation news specialists Flightglobal. “It may simply not be feasible. That was actually my first thought when I heard of the flight’s disappearance: we may never find it. We may never know what happened.” Read the rest of this entry »


Forensic experts find nothing suspicious in pilot’s flight simulator, says report

The Malaysian Insider
March 22, 2014

As the search for missing MH370 enters the third week, forensic experts examining the flight simulator which was seized by police from the home of Malaysia Airlines pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah have found nothing suspicious, The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported.

The simulator has been one of the main focuses of investigators as they worked to solve the mystery of the plane’s disappearance.

Investigators became suspicious after they discovered that Zaharie, 53, had deleted logs on a computer linked to the simulator on February 3, almost five weeks before the Boeing 777 with 239 people on board disappeared from the radar during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

It was reported that the computer hard drive was sent to FBI experts in the US for further scrutiny as investigators look into the possibility that the plane was hijacked. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to show national and international leadership by giving full support for the establishment of Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370

Ten days after my speech in Parliament proposing a Parliamentary Select Committee on the missing MH370 crisis, with 239 passengers and crew on board in the early hours of March 8; three days after the Pakatan Rakyat press conference on Wednesday in Parliament on a formal proposition to set up a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370 by way of an amendment to the pending Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address currently undergoing debate in the Dewan Rakyat and two days after the Pakatan Rakyat MP for Seremban Anthony Loke having moved the formal proposition in Parliament on Thursday for the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370, there is still not a word from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether the government would support a Parliamentary Select Committee on MH370.

The search for the missing MH370 Boeing 777-200 aircraft is already the longest in modern passenger-airline history, as the previous record was the 10-day search for a Boeing 737-400 with 102 people on board operated by Indonesia’s PT Adam Skyconnection Airlines, which went missing off the coast of the country’s Sulawesi island on January 1, 2007.

The MH 370 search has entered the third week with today being the 15th day of the missing aircraft, but despite the deployment of the world’s largest-ever 26-nation multi-national air-sea search-and-rescue (SAR) operation covering two vast tracts of territories totaling 2.24 million square nautical miles (about the same size of Australia), there has been no clue as to what happened to the aircraft and the 239 passengers and crew in the early hours of March 8, how and why it happened! Read the rest of this entry »

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What happened to MH370? A pilot and a flight attendant give their views

Carmen Fishwick
21st March 2014

Speculation about what really happened on missing flight 370 has been rampant. A commercial long-haul pilot and an experienced cabin crew member discuss the possibilities

We may never know what happened to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the 239 people on board.

The Guardian spoke to a long-haul commercial pilot and a former Thomas Cook flight attendant – people who understand aeroplane emergency procedures and rules about access to the cockpit and communication systems – about key details in the competing theories doing the rounds about the plane’s fate.

Commercial long-haul pilot for a major airline (anonymous)

In what circumstances would you communicate with the ground to say there was an emergency?

In an emergency all pilots are trained in a golden rule: ANC, which is to aviate, navigate, communicate, in that order. Read the rest of this entry »

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Retired judges should stay out of politics, say lawyers, ex-judge

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
22nd March 2014

Retired judges must refrain from making remarks of a political nature or get involved in politics as such conduct touched on their integrity, said lawyers and a former judge.

They said unlike retired civil servants, the public still expected retired judges to have the traits of serving judges.

Their response came following the revelation that retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah had campaigned for Barisan Nasional in the Kajang by-election.

On Wednesday, Noor told a group of Umno members at a ceramah in Taman Koperasi, Kajang that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not have absolute power to influence the judiciary to set aside the sodomy acquittal of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »


Manifesto vs Moneyfesto in Kajang

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
March 22, 2014

Last night, I attended the launching of Reformasi 2 at Kajang stadium. The stadium was filled to the brim. It was a huge crowd. As usual, this morning, after waking up with arithmetitis, mainstream media will downplay the size of the huge crowd. Maybe 232 attended.

There were so many speakers. So we ended up mostly making rallying calls. The political platform has been explained widely throughout the campaign period.
That Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail shall go on to win this by-election is just a formality. The question is how big will her majority be.

How big will depend on the voter turnout. I believe the voter turnout will not be as large as it was during the general election in May 2013. Be that as it may, Wan Azizah’s majority will be bigger than that one obtained by CC Lee.

The non-Malays will come out in big numbers to vote Wan Azizah. They are motivated by one reason only. The Umno people can challenge them to explain their conduct and ask once again what the Chinese want, that will be an irrelevant question. The question will be simply ignored. The basic desire and motivation is just to see BN get its butt kicked. They don’t like BN and its a subjective choice. Nothing much to explain.

Malays, on the other hand, complicate their own decision making and will be motivated by multiple considerations. They face a tougher decision but their difficulty is caused by mixed emotions. The Malays who did not vote Pakatan the last time because they didn’t want to vote a CC Lee, will come out to vote this time. They will vote Wan Azizah. Read the rest of this entry »


5 Eyes in the Sky: The TRUTH about Flight MH370 and SPOOKSATS

By Simon Sharwood
The Register
21 Mar 2014

Comment That the US and other nations operate spy satellites capable of taking very detailed photographs of Earth is not in doubt. But the idea that those satellites have been pressed into service to find downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, and that it is therefore possible to infer some of the satellites’ capabilities, is very debatable.

That’s not stopped some of the media from suggesting that the reason Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority did not mention the source of the images it used as the basis for its decision to explore the Southern Ocean, was because to do so would reveal that they came from a military satellite.

In these post-Snowden days, such hints are serious stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

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Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: What We Know Now

by Colleen Curry
abc news
March 21, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur on the morning of March 8, but lost contact with air traffic control an hour later and disappeared off the radar.

No trace of the plane and the 239 people on board have been found and few details about what could have happened to the plane have been determined.

Here’s what we know now as of now about the investigation into missing flight MH370. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian jet saga highlights doubts over air traffic radar

The Malaysian Insider/Reuters
March 22, 2014

The ease with which a big jetliner melted into the ether after vanishing from Malaysian radar illustrates an uncomfortable paradox about modern aviation: state-of-the-art airplanes rely on aging ground infrastructure to tell them where to go.

While satellites shape almost every aspect of modern life, the use of radar and radio in the cockpit has, for many pilots, changed little since before the jet engine was first flown.

Even though Malaysia suspects someone may have hidden its tracks, the inability of 26 nations to find a 250-tonne Boeing 777 has shocked an increasingly connected world and exposed flaws in the use of radar, which fades over oceans and deserts.

“It’s not very accurate. The world’s moved a bit further along,” said Don Thoma, president of Aireon, a venture launched by US-based mobile satellite communications company Iridium and the Canadian air traffic control authority in 2012 to offer space-based tracking of planes.

“We track our cars, we track our kids’ cell phones, but we can’t track airplanes when they are over oceans or other remote areas,” he told Reuters.

Satellites provide the obvious answer, say experts. Read the rest of this entry »


In mystery of MH370, some answers may never come

The Malay Mail Online
March 22, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — One of — if not the — safest planes in the world, plying a busy commercial air route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, on a clear night devoid of inclement weather, and piloted by a captain with over 18,000 hours of flight experience is now missing for exactly two weeks.

What at first appeared an improbable aviation disaster is now an “unprecedented” mystery in which the answer to most important question — where is Malaysia Airlines flight MH370? — remains firmly locked away.

Over the course of the last 14 days, the world was given vital clues about what transpired on the Boeing 777-200ER with 239 people including the two pilots and 10 crew members onboard.

Investigators piecing together events using bits of information now know that at 1.07am on March 8, 26 minutes after it departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the plane’s the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), sent its last transmission. Another, scheduled 30 minutes later, was never made. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another fruitless day as Indian Ocean search fails to show any sign of missing plane

The Malaysian Insider/AFP
March 21, 2014

Spotter planes spent a second fruitless day scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean for wreckage from a Malaysian jet today, as Chinese relatives of the missing passengers clashed with Malaysian officials.

Australian and US military aircraft usually used for anti-submarine operations criss-crossed the isolated search area 2,500km southwest of Perth, looking for two floating objects that had shown up on grainy satellite photos taken several days before.

Although the images were too indistinct to confirm as debris from flight MH370, Australian and Malaysian officials said they represented the most “credible” leads to date in the hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers and crew.

Today’s search concluded “without any sightings”, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said in a statement.

The planes flew low under the cloud cover rather than rely on radar, after poor weather the day before hampered the search.

“We replanned the search to be visual, so aircraft flying relatively low, with very highly skilled observers looking out of the windows,” said Amsa official John Young. Read the rest of this entry »

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