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The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: How Long is Too Long?

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Preparations for the flight, boarding, and take-off, and the first hour of the flight itself, were largely unremarkable, in dramatic contrast to the very remarkable over two- week-long search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that departed Kuala Lumpur on March 8 and never reached its destination in Beijing. While some searches do sporadically go on forever (the case of Amelia Earhart comes to mind), it is worth noting that the original search for Earhart and her Lockheed Electra aircraft… (www.frequentbusinesstraveler.com) More...

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bbabis
bbabis 4
They must search until it is absolutely positively shown to have crashed into the ocean. Only then can some governments rest assured that it is not somewhere to be used later as a weapon. If wreckage from the aircraft's interior is recovered it may also forensically reveal what happened leaving only the Why to be answered. The CVR and FDR would be nice to find only if the wreckage does not tell the story.
btweston
btweston 2
But if it crashed in the ocean and everything sank during the course of the past several weeks... You're saying we just look forever?

This whole weaponized stolen plane theory is preposterous, by the way. There is no evidence whatsoever to support such an idea, and the logistics involved would render such a plan impractical. You can't just land a 777 on some jungle runway, with no maintenance support, and expect to fly the thing to the United States and blow something up with nobody noticing.
nearLAX
nearLAX 2
...I just got a mail about this due to the fact that I had a picture of the plane posted on flickr (but I don't think, here on FlightAware) and the person was asking me to write about background etc of that picture...but there's not much to write...
...my "feelings" are still that plane may not be "lost"...it could have reached a number of locations in the Indian Ocean and the initial reports (I read) were "confusing"...
...I have very little faith in the reporting about this, so far....if someone really wanted to "steal" the plane, it could have been done, I believe...it all happened in the darkness of night...but plane was still "alive" after dawn....?
...I need to see some evidence that something was found still floating in the ocean...or I'll keep thinking plane may be intact....somewhere....south of the Maldives....(on the Maldives I found several large planes casually stored away and apparently abandoned...you can find them too...)
magicelle78
Ella Talbott 2
Well written article.

I have to agree, or at least at some point ask the question, when is enough, enough?

At the end of the day, it seems Australia gets lumped with the cost of most of the search and recuse effort for the mere fact that the suspected crash zone is off its west coast.

Not only that, I cannot understand in this day and age, as pointed out in the article, that we are looking at grainy satellite images. To add further, information on those images take up to 3 days to reach anyone of significance and then a further 2 days for search teams to reach the location. Seems preposterous that with all this debris spotted, not one iota has been pulled from the ocean......nada, not a thing.

At some stage you have to just say, RIP to all those on board and hope that in the future it can be solved when technology improves AKA finding the Titanic. In a world so advanced, this currently seems beyond us, sadly.
bbabis
bbabis 1
Many good points there. It seems no country wants to divulge their satellite's capabilities, good or bad, in this search. In their bravado they say that they can read serial numbers on parts from space, but when it comes down to demonstrating something, they really can't do sh!t. The one thing they have done is show that something is there. I can't believe that a ship has not recovered something yet. The seas must be awful.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
This attitude is absurd. Anyone who has worked with a zoom lens knows that you get detail at the cost of coverage, or vice versa. In the case of MH370, what's needed is both. Until we have both, though, it's likely the wide angle, large coverage area that gets the most use. Once something is found and positively located, the high detail narrow field view can be used. If Ella's point about the delay is true, that very delay precludes the ability to do this.

What's needed is for there to be a coordinated effort, not unlike a jumping spider spotting prey. Jumping spiders have two forward facing eyes with a very narrow field of view that can see high detail. Those are they eyes they use for final targeting. However, they use their other, low resolution, wide angle eyes to locate the prey in the first place. Once the prey is located, they must rotate their bodies so the two high resolution eyes can pinpoint the subject.

Same with the satellite views. The high resolution narrow view satellites can be used only if they have a good location to look. As far as I know, that hasn't happened yet.

Put another way, you can sight a needle in a haystack with a long enough lens, but you have to know where to point that lens. If you don't, you might be looking at the wrong haystack or even the wrong field.
magicelle78
Ella Talbott 1
I understand there are limitations, but of the debris located, and they have had serval sightings now, none of it has been pulled from the ocean for identification purposes. Some images were taken on a Sunday for example and search teams were not at the location until the following Friday. By then it's probably sunk or washed 100's of km away from its last know location. Surly we can do better than this?
bbabis
bbabis 1
They have found plenty to turn their spider eyes towards. The problem is they can't or won't use their capability.
glen4cindy
Glen England 1
I think this is IT in a nutshell. Nobody anywhere wants to show their hand at exactly how much detail they are capable of seeing from space. Really? It's like everybody knows everybody can see everything, it's time for someone to just drop the ball and release the high detail photography already!
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
Note that the search area has now shifted by over 100 km. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/28/flight-mh370-search-zone-moved-based-on-planes-fuel-consumption

How much detail do you think can be imaged while covering an area of millions of square kilometers?
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
They have found plenty with wide angle view in a timeline that didn't permit a view with high resolution because of location uncertainty.
NolanMiddlemas
I think its in the Ocean. You just cant hide a 777. They are just way too big. Also, many of the islands are to small to hide or even land a 777.
indy2001
indy2001 2
Considering the fact that it took 2 years to eventually gather the information to make a final judgement about AF447 and 1 year to bring up the significant parts of TW800, I'd say it's way too soon to be talking about ending this search. Yes, the Malaysian government and airline would like it to end quickly is as possible. Unfortunately, the aircraft seems to have disappeared into one of the least monitored, and least accessible, areas of the globe. Currents and weather are also conspiring against the search.

If nothing is found and the satellite photos stop revealing potential evidence, then the search will gradually wind down. But it's too soon to be putting artificial time limits on it.
magicelle78
Ella Talbott 0
AF and TWA were known locations and look how long it took those investigations. 2 years to find AF black boxes, this is the whole point. In reality, we have no known location of MH370, just assumptions. Are we going to pour millions of dollars annually for the next, let's say, 5 years just to 'find' the aircraft??

At this point, 2 weeks in, naturally we keep looking but I guess this article brings up a question we will have to ask at some stage if on a constant basis, nothing is being found.
stevooz
steve rogers 1
how do you hide a 777 ? and who or what airport in this world would agree to such a thing , and by now someone would have said ...hey isn't that the plane they are looking for ? it takes a lot of people to run an airport , I don't think you can get all these folks to participate , they will find pieces floating soon , but as far as finding the actual plane , that's another story ,like the guy said , needle in a haystack but first we got to find the farm .
akayemm
Yes, for every time based activity some time limits HAVE to be fixed.
Even for a missing person " presumed dead " ?
Same attitude and thinking have to be applied to any and every SAR mission.
How when and who discovered ' Angel's Fall ' in Venezuela ?
Long after the normal SAR was given up .
BUT not the HOPE !
Same principle will play vital role here too .
So, let's hope for the best .
fpk2
I wanna see on TV the parts´#´s of at least half a dozen pieces of that particular 777. So far it seems like sea trash only. In my opinion it is taking too long to fisically recover at least 01>>one piece of evidence.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
This entire event is reminding me of the TV series "LOST".
nearLAX
nearLAX 1
...why wouldn't one allow for the possibility that the plane was remotely taken over and flown to a pre-determined destination...it's not science fiction and so far, consistent with available evidence...
...this morning we learn "they" have selected a new rectangle in the ocean to search...what might have prompted that I wonder....
nearLAX
nearLAX 1
...it's getting to difficult to navigate this thread now...finding new posts among all the rest...
TiredTom
Tom Bruce 1
you look, and you look, and you look...until you find it.... we must know what happened... in case there is a defect in the 777... or in case there was something else going on... gotta' solve it to protect the rest of the flying public.... millions? tens of millions? doesn't matter
nearLAX
nearLAX 1
...are we allowed to post links...?
...lot's of pertinent information in this WSJ article...for those interested...just days until the "pings" go silent...

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304418404579466891707691738?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304418404579466891707691738.html
ADXbear
ADXbear 1
We must find that Hull number to be assured that this aircraft is not used in a 9-11"ish" method in the future. I believe this is the worlds concern at this late date.. Condolences to all the families..
btweston
btweston 2
That plane will never fly again. I don't know how you expect a few miscreants to take a highly sophisticated aircraft and hide it somewhere (the jungle? or something...) and magically put it back in the air. Where do they get the fuel? Where do they get the maintainers? How are they going to sneak a huge piece of metal past our radars?

Where do people come up with this stuff?
magicelle78
Ella Talbott 1
Those that believe what Governments say! I'd imagine Mr Horton believes 9/11 was planned and carried out by Islamics with box cutters hence his reference to 9/11.
speedbird347
Derek Vaughn 1
The airplane crashed into the ocean. You can't hide an airplane of this size for very long. Most of the islands in the Indian Ocean, while remote, could not hide a 777 from satellite and most couldn't accommodate the aircraft anyway. Most of the islands and atolls don't have runways, or inhabitants, let alone airports. A 777 gets picked up by military radar if an attempt to make the Asian mainland occurs. I think debris will be spotted and extracted from the ocean eventually, but the search for the "black box" could be the most difficult undertaking in maritime search history.
nearLAX
nearLAX 0
...I would like to disagree...the aircraft, large as it is, could very easily and quickly be hidden ...and there are several places where it could have landed...but it's interesting that they concentrate on the area west of Australia...hopefully, rock solid evidence of something will be made available soon...
NolanMiddlemas
Have you ever stood next to a 777? Im not saying your wrong because I am just as unsure as you but from what I have seen, they are HUGE. The engines are also huge. It would be very hard to hide it I THINK. The tail is really tall and getting like a huge camo mechenism to cover the tail, wings and all is hard.
magicelle78
Ella Talbott 1
Not only that, if they landed on a remote island....!!! (I say this for my argument, not that I believe it): A) what Island with a long enough airstrip? And B) who is going to cater for 239 people? Even if you don't kill them you have to feed them and even if you don't feed them they die. If they die who is going to bury them? Even if they don't die you have 239 people on an island you have to 'contain' with order. If 239 rise up in good human spirit, the so called 'captors or terrorists' have a fight on their hands. You can't contain 239 people inside the plane......I mean 239 people needing bathrooms etc over the course of 2 weeks, only so much human waste those tanks on the plane can hold and then, even if the passengers start doing their business in the isles etc, what 'terrorist' would want the plane ruined if they are going to 'use it as a weapon' at a later date?

......I mean seriously, how does common sense not prevail in some people on this forum?
nearLAX
nearLAX 1
...mmm...just because one doesn't have "the answer" doesn't mean that an answer cannot be had, so to speak...yes...I have been close to a Boeing 777 and they are in the neighborhood of a jumbo as far as fuselage goes...(this was a 777-200, so not the longest...)
I don't for a second believe it went to India...I do believe odds are it did go down in the ocean, but...all the available evidence leave room for other possibilities...until they don't...
If it wasn't an accident...why would one assume they wanted to keep people alive...? – ..it's a horrible thought, but at this point, all alternatives seem horrible....
speedbird347
Derek Vaughn 1
Where could it have landed? I can guarantee you it didn't land on any island and it didn't breach Indian airspace undetected
guymed03
Guy Medlock -1
Wouldn't it be cool if it landed in Beijing tomorrow morning at precisely the original arrival time? And, everyone got off the plane and didn't know anything was wrong, couldn't understand why no relatives there to greet them etc., And the pilots thopught everything went normal except for a fog in the middle... Great movie.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -1
Do I sense a mockery out of misery of relatives of the dead ?
I hope I am wrong.
And if not, God help you ! And make a human out of the devil that you have become .
This is no scene for testing people's sense of humour !
guymed03
Guy Medlock 1
No mockery intended. Hoping for a miracle.
akayemm
It's all far too late for miracles !
Sadly !
No ?
btweston
btweston -1
People die all the time. Do you cry all day?

Me neither. Lighten up.
akayemm
Let's pray wait and see, when you loose a near and dear one ! Mother, a brother, a sister, a son,a daughter .....
Then .......
" People die all the time. Do you cry all day? "
I will lighten up .
Nay, never ! !
Not me.

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