You really get a sense of how parts of Africa is like the wild west.
I am not sure what the solution to the writing dilemma is - exclude everything but a couple of people central to the story, fill in the rest with sidebars, work in an info-graphic...not sure.
That is interesting. I would have guessed that it be impossible to turn off the transponder on a commercial grade aircraft.
> Controllers track airliners such as the four aircraft hijacked on 9/11 primarily by watching the data from a signal emitted by each aircraft's transponder equipment. Those four planes, like all aircraft traveling above 10,000 feet, were required to emit a unique transponder signal while in flight.
> On 9/11, the terrorists turned off the transponders on three of the four hijacked aircraft. With its transponder off, it is possible, though more difficult, to track an aircraft by its primary radar returns. But unlike transponder data, primary radar returns do not show the aircraft's identity and altitude. Controllers at centers rely so heavily on transponder signals that they usually do not display primary radar returns on their radar scopes. But they can change the configuration of their scopes so they can see primary radar returns. They did this on 9/11 when the transponder signals for three of the aircraft disappeared.
Sorry I don't remember which aircraft model or episode this was.
But yeah, transponder is just a piece of equipment. Jumbo jets can't really hide from radar, though, and if you're flying low enough to do so, somebody is going to notice.
But it didn't. The Malay flight disappeared within the radar range of at least two independent radar nets.
That can happen if a plane were bombed or disintegrated mid air. Maybe.
Editing my post.
Edit: Too much time has passed and I can no longer edit my original post. :(
They have made vague statements about military radar but nothing conclusive.
The problem I have with the above statement is that radar is unambiguous. Either the aircraft turned back, continued on, descended rapidly below radar coverage or broke in to bits. They all have different returns so you can't say "it may have possibly..."
Thanks for the specific statement.
I rather have the impression that, especially under less-than-ideal conditions (range, terrain between radar site and target, weather, etc.) radar is not unambiguous.
The US located the cargo door that departed from UA 811 in 1983 using radar analysis to find the part. They could see a 6meter piece of metal fall from the aircraft at 25,000 feet. 100km off shore.
> Yes, I am Joseph B. Padilla, SR. I live in Pensacola, Florida - U.S.A. I am the Brother of Ben Charles Padilla Jr.
Seems an important piece of information.
The US Government sometimes allows limited parts supplies as part of ongoing negotiations.
Personally I vote for insurance fraud as (1), then theft for parts as (2). Either case doesn't need a 'proper' landing (ie, one where the plane has to take off again). I'm sure there are plenty of places where you could put a plane down if you didn't need to get it back up again, and then strip it for parts. I'm sure the fuselage will turn up somewhere, someday.
GODAMMIT PRESS Y
A US Navy Cruiser (Aegis type) has a maximum radar tracking range of about 200-300NM for an airliner. If they were tracking MH370 then they'd have a good idea where it went down. When AF447 disappeared, there was little Naval activity in the region. When TWA800 went down, the US Navy turned over volumes of radar data to investigators that somewhat confirmed how the aircraft broke apart.
(1) Because a 777 has only a slightly better chance of landing on a freighter as a snowball has of landing -- still frozen -- on the surface of the sun, and
(2) Because there isn't satellite video being recorded of every point on the Earth's surface, including the oceans, 24/7, contrary to what one might infer from certain kinds of (deliberately fictional) movies and TV shows.