MH370 – Another theory on where it could be

Many of you reading the media and its explanations on primary and secondary radars would get the impression that once the transponder is switched off, the radar would no longer see the aircraft. This is not true. The aircraft will still be on the radar screen as a blip minus the squawks. A transponder, when it is switched on is like the aircraft wearing a name tag to say this is who I am. Without the transponder/name tag on, it will appear as a blip just like any other aircraft on the radar screen. And if the emergency switch is on, four squawks will appear behind the blip to indicate an aircraft having an emergency situation.

The reason why the transponder was switched off has a purpose if one is knowledgeable about how the radar works. A Keith Ledgerwood wrote about a theory of radar evasion only those who are in the business would know. Let me explain this theory. All commercial aircraft are expected to switch on their transponders to identify themselves when they are airborne. On the radar screen you will see a blip followed by a couple of squawks or a numeral identifying the aircraft.

When two aircraft fly very close together, in formation, the radar may only see one blip for the two or more aircraft in close formation, giving the impression there is only one aircraft. Another way is to fly above or below the other and the radar, being two dimensional, will only show one blip instead of two. Get the picture? So, if MH370 were to switch off its transponder and fly beneath another aircraft, the radar will pick up one aircraft and one transponder signal. And MH370 could fly under the shadow of another aircraft without being detected.

According to Keith Ledgerwood, there was a flight SQ68 flying from Singapore, passing Penang and onwards over India, Pakistan to Europe. MH370 could intercept SQ68 and fly beneath it to conceal its presence to the radar controllers and break away somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan towards central Asia and no one will know anything amissed.

And the westerly path taken by MH370 to Penang then starboard on a northwesterly direction fits this theory. And MH370 could be in central Asia.

The unexplained and questionable part of this theory was the path of MH370 towards Penang evident to radar and its subsequent flight under SQ68 would also be seen by radar. This defeats its intent to hide its presence and radar controller could see what it was doing. If it could avoid the Butterworth radar altogether by flying 280, it might be able to sneak under SQ68 undetected, then it makes sense.

So, this theory requires expertise knowledge of radar operations and radar coverage in the area. The flaw is that MH370 flew into radar cover and was seen and tracked, which made a fool of what it was doing. If its intent was to hide, why showed its face to everyone? Why conduct a stealth manoeuvre for all to see?


Anonymous said...

There has been rumour that the plane carried tons of gold...not just mangosteens. Nowhere was it mentioned in press yet. Someone is not talking.

Hijackers will only go for 3 things
1) an important person/or group
2) cargo
3) plane

Anonymous said...

Question is will all the effort result in finding the plane. I sincerely hope so and wish all govts involved be very open to all sensitive info. Every passing day seems to open up new surprises. I pray one of the new surprises will be finding all the passengers alive.

Anonymous said...

If MH370 flew under another aircraft to conceal itself, then this could only happen by chance, a chance that there was another aircraft at that time for it to conceal under lah.

And how could a professional pilot (hijacker) took chances into planning? If no luck, sure die what, tio bo?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The best outcome is that the hijackers were after money or gold, abandon the aircraft after taking the loot and fled and leave the passengers alone to find their way back. Or they could tip off the authorities to pick them up.

It is about time the hijackers would start to talk or they have been negotiating all this while like Matilah had said.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

With so many red herrings being thrown up hinting that the aircraft could be flying westward, the whole of South China Sea and the islands in the Philippines have gone untouched and should MH370 be there, it could do anything it wants without any hindrance.

Though the Malaysian authorities claimed to be searching everywhere, there seems to be a deliberate intent not to search anywhere near the Philippines it is a sacred ground not to be touched.

The said...

This episode says a lot about the Malaysian air defence - which is probably why they took so long to admit that there was a blip on the military radar. Those in the radar control room must have been sleeping on the job. And it was only after a review of the recorded data 3/4 days after 8 Mar that they admit the plane has turned westwards.

And this is not the first time that they allow unauthorized intrusion into their airspace.



Anonymous said...

RB, I am curious in the airplane design, why would the plane design allows the pilot to switch off the identification device? Why give pilot that option?

Matilah_Singapura said...

I suspect that the aircraft is in central Asia as RB suggested -- probably in Pakistan or Afghanistan, and if that were the case my "hush hush need-to-know" theory gets stronger. A Malaysian passenger plane taken hostage, flown by 2 Islamic pilots into Islamic states....wah, very sensitive situation lah.

I was a little bemused about K Shanmugam's latest speech about "good intel and close cooperation". Hmmm...does he know something? Hmmm...

I doubt MH370 is near Perth. But what the heck, come on over and do some SAR, then take a break and relac-lah-brudder in our little over-priced kampung here. Plenty of lobster, steak and booze, and horny locals to bang. SAR teams: Uncle Matilah will come and have a beer with you.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Just like the emergency squawk, it can be switched on and off. They could have made it compulsory then there will be no more issue on this. I am not current but as what was reported, it was designed not to be switched off and it needed some electrical knowledge to cut the wires. I can't confirm on when it has been redesigned not to be cut off.

In a tense situation the transponder could be a life saver as the military could engage and shoot it down without a positive transponder signal. With no positive identification it could be labelled as a hostile.

Anonymous said...

If pilot want to commit suicide, should make it fast what, tio bo?

Why fly for hours to do so?

If the pilot became mad in the cockpit, how come there was method to his madness?

So I believe it is a planned hijack. With the plane safely landed and hidden, and with enough food and water, they just have to wait for a right time to announce their demands and ransom.

So not so soon lah. The weeks ahead should be exciting.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The media is just generating a lot of news for sale and repeating a lot of theories that are no longer credible. One of them is pilot suicide, lone hijacker, etc etc.

To do a disappearing act like this and untraceable for so many days requires a lot of planning and a lot of manpower.

The said...

/// Matilah_Singapura said...
I suspect that the aircraft is in central Asia as RB suggested -- probably in Pakistan or Afghanistan ///

Yes, it is parked with one of the Tan families - Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkemnistan & President-Tan.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Like your tans. Now where is Suntan?

With everyone being led by the nose to search west, China should reassign a couple of satellites to look at the islands in southern Philippines. No rocks unturned.

Anonymous said...

I suspect a Uighur connection somewhere. In February, 6 Uighur asylum seekers were deported from Malaysia to China. 200 Uighurs were fined by Thailand for illegal entry - maybe deportation to China. Over the last few years many Uighur asylum seekers were sent back to China from Asia. And China has been cracking down on Uighur separatists, and holding many of their leaders. A few weeks ago about 10 Uighur terrorists slashed 29 China nationals to death at a Kunming railway station, and injured over a hundred. Tit for tat, and hostage exchange?

Anonymous said...

Uighurs are high tech meh? How many Uighurs are qualified pilots who can fly Boeing planes?

And they slashed people with knives to kill, not by guns or bombs.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Correction to my comments on transponders at 11:33am. Ok, there is no change in switching on/off of transponder. Just a switch.

I was confused when Najib mentioned someone had to cut the wires. He was referring to the ACARS system. They could make the cutting a bit more difficult to do so.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Agree with 3:10. Uyghurs are tribal people unless they went to US or europe for their education or training.

If they are involved in this hijack they would probably be the soldiers while the technical stuff were handled by some westerners that would have disappeared from the scene by now and not leaving any clues behind.

If the aircraft is found, it would be done by some terrorist or political groups but no signs of western intervention or participation.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

'All right, good night'. This is not normal RT. Maybe commercial pilots have their own casual RT practices. I would thought it would be 'Mike Hotel 370, goodnite, roger and out. Or simply, 'Roger, out' if they were already talking to each other.

Could this be the voice of the hijacker that had already taken control of the aircraft?

English in Paris said...

Can anyone with an aviation/tech background think of a single reason why a commercial aircraft should ever be in a situation where they need to disable the transponder? In my humble opinion, and to thwart future attempts to do something similar, it should be made impossible for the pilot (or anyone else on board) to switch off the transponder.
They showed on a British documentary just how easy it is (like switching off the gas or electricity on a domestic cooker). To disable the other communication system would have required IT skills (rewriting computer code) as I have heard it reported (not cutting wires).

Anonymous said...

Does anybody find it strange that all the telcom, satelites, avionics, radar, military technology executives happened to congregate in one single flight?

20 freescale employees
1 Huawei employee (ban by US)
1 ZTE employee (ban by US)
1 Utel employee (ukrainian)
1 China Telecom



Anonymous said...

If we cannot trust pilots or cannot prevent hijacking, then there must be CCTV in the cockpit that must transmit constantly back to ATC or to satellites.

Outsiders must be able to see what is going on when contact is lost.

IATA, Boeing, Airbus must make aircrafts safer and to prevent manual intereference to key communication systems.

I expect big lawsuits arising from this incident and should be directed against Boeing for failing to provide fail-safe systems.

PSS said...

@ 5.15 pm 18 Mar 2014 // Can anyone with an aviation/tech background think of a single reason why a commercial aircraft should ever be in a situation where they need to disable the transponder? In my humble opinion, and to thwart future attempts to do something similar, it should be made impossible for the pilot (or anyone else on board) to switch off the transponder.
They showed on a British documentary just how easy it is (like switching off the gas or electricity on a domestic cooker). To disable the other communication system would have required IT skills (rewriting computer code) as I have heard it reported (not cutting wires). //

One aircraft, 200 plus lives, the hopes and anguish of their families, friends, colleagues, society etc .....

In the cockpit, piloted by the captain and his assistant, the "fate" of those on board, the agonies, hopes and anguish of those related and unrelated .....

One used aircraft ( maybe $100 million market value or less ) and 200+ lives and ......

In nation states, also "piloted" by "captains" and their "assistants". Millions of people "on board". Billions or even trillions of assets among its "cargo".

How about nation states "captains" switching off "its equivalent transponders" and "evading radars" ..... ?

PSS said...

For their own sake, the world citizens should worry about how to prevent an entire nation state becoming "hijacked" by their own "pilots" ......

Remember the last GFC ( Global Financial Crisis )? The world was almost brought to its knees supposedly by a bunch of "crooked mathematicians and engineers" among others "piloting" the financial system ....... by tinkering with its “detection mechanism” and manipulating it for their own “greed, thrill and adventure ” ....... in the expense of millions at the cost of billions and trillions?

When everyone is "so alarmed, concerned and excited" about a missing aircraft, down the road, some things many, many scales the size of a jumbo might be amiss and "hijacked" by "pilots" in the system ......

Where is the "transponder" in the nation state system?

Where is the "radar" in the financial system?

PSS said...

Wouldn't it be too late?

Do we search the planet, the solar system or the entire galaxy?

If a "missing aircraft" cannot be condone, how about "when nation states" are being "hijacked" by their own "pilots"?

Should not the world citizens be many multiple "zillion" folds more "concerned, alarmed and distressed"? Here, the effects are about millions of citizens and billions and trillions of assets ...... Isn't that much, much more discomforting ...... ? Does the world have such a mechanism in-built to take care of such a situation?

Virgo49 said...

Now Thailand joins in the bandwagon circus and said the plane on their Radar moved down Penang, KL and further south.

Wah Piang, Sin City billions S$$$$$ AWACs and our RSAF radar no use liao.

Unable to detect this flying object down the Straits of Malacca and our outer air space.

So just like the SPF in Little India's riots, just for show only.

No wonder, they want to built a Corp of regular SAF personnel on the excuse that they can trained the NSF faster and better to release them by a few weeks earlier.

When the foreign armies marched in, cannot form another COI liao.

Change the flag already.

Anonymous said...

Flag change it shall.

Anonymous said...

Me no god nor bomoh, but, I like to tell the World that Flt MH370 Aircraft is still on Earth. Either broken up or intact. Its' passengers maybe dead or living.