Screaming at the TV again…

I get SO damn tired of listening to the ‘so called’ experts…

There are THREE and only three ways to present things-  Facts (hard, provable, documented, etc.), pseudo-facts (maybe true, depending on ‘interpretation’) and speculations (wild ass guesses)…

The 24 hour news cycle has put us in a position of having to watch endless ‘replays’ of an incident, or situation or (insert item here)…  And even more so if they want to keep ‘other’ things off the air.

Malaysia 370 has brought out some of the worst coverage I and others that know a ‘bit’ about aviation and the military have ever seen, if lunch today was any indication.  All of us were laughing about how far ‘out’ some of the speculation by some of the so called experts were offering, and how absolutely stupid some of the questions were that were asked by the ‘commentators’…

All designed to ‘fill’ that air time… To put it in perspective, very few real ‘facts’ are known.  The acft took off, it made one position report, the IFF was turned off shortly thereafter, and the ACARS data feed was partially disabled some 10-15 minutes later.  And it didn’t “drop off Radar”; it reverted to a skin paint return (much harder to track if you’re not watching the radar) vs. the transponder which gives a nice big information laden return.  And no you can’t track the plane by the pings from the satellite… Unpossible… They’re saying on some stations that the airplane climbed to FL450 immediately after the transponder was turned off…  Unpossible… Gross weight would be too heavy to allow the engines to provide enough power (and that report was supposedly based on a radar skin paint)… Having been a radar operator in a previous life, I will tell you getting a range and bearing to a radar contact is not too hard, but getting an altitude is a SWAG…

IF, big if, you buy the 4-5 hour timeline ‘after’ the transponder went off, that gives a radius of about 2500nm, or something around 19.5 MILLION square mile search area (e.g. bigger than the six USAs). That’s it…

EVERYTHING else is speculation until the acft is found, either on the ground somewhere, or in the water.  Once the black boxes can be retrieved, the rest of the story can then be known.  But the media is still putting this ‘speculation’ out there as fact.  They are all hoping they guess right, and can claim a ‘scoop’…  Ratings and all that crap…

The other thing that bothered us, was the amount of information that was being spouted that ‘could’ lead to other exploitation of other flights, all to fill airtime.  Not going into detail, if you know what I’m talking about, you know…

It’s NOT the first time, and every network has been guilty.  We had a ‘good’ track on Bin Laden until a media outlet outed as a ‘scoop’ the SPECIFIC way we were tracking him in Tora Bora.  That particular source was shut off within 4 hours…  and led to years of fruitless hunting…

And if they DO find 370, depending on where it is, THAT may become an issue in and of itself… Boeing (US) acft, territorial impact point (or on land) vs. open ocean (international waters). Face saving may impact access, or blame, or recovery of the black boxes.  I’m betting NTSB is sitting on go, waiting for the call, along with Boeing and a whole bunch of others.

I hope they DO find the bird soon, if for no other reason than giving those grieving families some closure in knowing what did happen to their loved ones…

Note to self- Dig out plans for TV screen protector.  Could make self rich… sigh


Screaming at the TV again… — 29 Comments

  1. One thing I thought about with the theory of an explosion was my memory of Columbia’s radar signature. It was a huge line of returns on the screen.

    I’d think an explosion at high altitude would be more than noticeable on radar, and be tracked from long distances.

  2. I’m still leaning towards air piracy.
    Too much Terry and the Pirates in my youth.
    But then it would be a trick learning what the secret cargo was.
    I’ll bet the movie is being scripted as we talk.

  3. I also am getting a kick out of the “OMG, the transponder was turned off!!!” you can still track the booger, just not going to have those fancy lines behind the video. You have seen what IFF looks like in heavy traffic areas, it’s a gaggle of crap. Whenever I was controlling 1V1, 2V2, etc, i would have IFF on when they checked in, but turned that crap off as soon as they started playing. If I needed info, all I had to do was flip a switch on, then off.

  4. So for 8 solid days we’ve been listening to the same half-dozen guesses about what happened, and no one actually knows anything. That’s the sum total of the coverage, and they could do us a HUGE favor by saying that, and then moving on to actual news.

    But it won’t happen.

  5. First off, I don’t know anything about what I’m talking about. If engine performance is being transmitted to satellites, is the time hack, and the specific satellite known? If received by more than one satellite, is triangulation possible? If you have transmissions hourly, can you establish a rough track?

    Going further into things I don’t know, can’t military satellites track heat traces? Read somewhere the Soviets could track the heat traces of our submarines. Of course, that could have been disinformation. Seperating heat traces along airways might be very difficult, but one going out into the Indian Ocean where aircraft seldom fly might stand out.

  6. Space Aliens sucked it up into the mother ship.

    This theory makes a lot of sense because if you’re an alien and you want humans for experimentation, why not make this sort of wholesale haul? Why wait for Billy Joe to be driving home, drunk, on a lonely road in Kentucky to snatch him?

  7. Jess- Those radar tracks were at less than 10 miles… NOT hundreds of miles… I’ve tracked ‘big’ airplanes at 120nm and barely seen the skin paints…

    Ed- It’s as good a ‘guess’ as anything else…

    Gerry- Marko is dead on as usual!

    Senior- Concur

    Rev- Correct

    WSF- You can’t triangulate off one Sat… And they are not geo-synchronous so there are 45-90 minute gaps in coverage…

    LL- As good a theory as most out there… sigh

  8. First, thanks for posting some sanity. You would be my go to guy for this because of your experience and history.

    You’re absolutely correct about the “fill the airtime” boobs on the TV Snews networks. Boobs both literally and figuratively, but I digress.

    As I used to say at work when someone will tell me something that was outlandish, “Those who are talking don’t know and those who know aren’t talking”.

    Unless and until the plane is found, it’s all verbal masturbation meant to sell air time for advertising.

    One of the funniest tin foil hat theories I read was that the CIA had taken the plane and was hiding it on Diego Garcia.

  9. Insty links to article suggesting Central Asia as possible landing spot – Kyrgyzstan is the Mid-Asian “Horn of Africa” w/major civil-unrest and anti-Chinese sentiment is rampant.
    Somebody been practicing MS Flight Sim a lotta hours in the tent?

  10. I quit watching network news (hell, pretty much all TV) about 5 years ago. Did wonders for my blood pressure.

  11. TOTW- We’ve HAD that conversation… 🙂

    NC- Possible…

    Dammit- Yep! It’d definitely save the BP!!!

  12. There was a gov’t agent aboard carrying a super secret bio weapon. He broke the vial, thus-zombie outbreak on a plane. Super spy satellite beamed in Samuel L. Jackson, but since they weren’t snakes, he was infected. Interplanetary alliance was contacted about the situation. They deployed a portal to a parallel universe where zombies are pets and the most popular thing on their version of the internet (similar, but signals are received through an ocular implant).
    It’s the only reasonable explanation.

  13. Oh! And they’ve replaced Samuel L. Jackson with an android. The language banks could only be loaded with profanity on such short notice, but it should take a while before anyone catches on.

  14. Hi Jim, My son just came over and asked me would it be possible for the transponder to be hooked up to a micro switch in the wheel well somewhere, so that when the wheels come off the ground, the transponder comes on and NO ONE has access to it while in the air! Turns off when down and locked and weight back on the gear. Sound viable? I couldn’t think off a why not.

  15. Several people have asked me where this plane is over the past few days. I tell them all the same thing: I don’t have it.

  16. ORT- Found your comment!!! 🙂

    Jenn- As good as any other right now… and they DO have snakes down there…

    Ed- LOL

    Ev- It would work, but as you and I both know, ALL electronics has to be on breakers… So they would still be able to secure it via the breaker.

    Murph- Heh…

    ORT- Me neither!

  17. Shipmate, this plane has been taken, maybe for use as a delivery weapon for something bigger in magnitude. I either suspect north Korea, since they can’t get a Missile to fly without splashing, or terrorists. They want to go big with a possible EMP. Whoever it is, they need a delivery vehicle. Just my thoughts. If I am wrong, thank god I am.

  18. 24/7 news coverage moved it firmly out of news and into entertainment. So making things up as they go along has become acceptable. No real info – make it up. As long as there’s no dead air it’s acceptable.

    While it’s been a fascinating, if sad mystery, I rather think this plane was allahu akbared into the water days ago and as big as we think a 777 is the sea is so much bigger that it might take years before pieces of it are found. If ever. Bit of a failure as a terrorist act, though, since everybody is scratching their heads and saying “Huh?” rather than digging out rubble.

  19. I’m holding out for SPECTRE, has anyone inventoried the Bond villains in the area?

  20. Senior- “That” is making the rounds in certain circles…

    PH- Agree! And terror that impacts families and never knowing the fates of their loved ones DOES impact families forever…

    Shadow- Why not??? 🙂

  21. Talking this over with my father (P-3/P-2 pilot) this morning and he had a interesting take on things.

    Paraphrasing: It seems to that the biggest issue is lack of facts about the flight; specifically where it went after the transponder was turned off.
    The problem is what the late Senator Hayakawa once wrote about in his career as a linguist. There is no such thing as an “information vacuum” because rumor and speculation will fill a developing information vacuum, if there is public interest.

    I suppose we will all have to exercise great patience.

  22. I never watch TV news. MH370 is a prime example why.

    We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
    comes on at five.
    She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam
    in her eye.
    It’s interesting when people die-
    Give us dirty laundry.

  23. Rick- “We” seem to be the minority… sigh…

    SA- Excellent point!

    CM- Dead on, no pun intended!!!