Sunday, March 23, 2014

Malaysia 370- Follow up analysis of possibilities

My previous article was an analysis of the Malaysia 370 situation. It wasn't meant to provide new information, but rather highlight the likelihood of certain scenarios and the key questions that should be answered. However, analysis isn't the full responsibility of a strategist- there comes a time where he must also decide on a plan of action.

Possible routes of the Plane
In this article, I ponder the methods I would employ in order to find out what happened to the aircraft/recover it and the people.

This will be written from the current situation and point of view.

Current Situation

Chinese satellite photo of "possible debris"
Currently the International community is essentially acting upon the assumption that the plane had crashed within an hour of the last ping. Thus, they are engaging in attempts to find the wreckage. Satellites used by China and Australia have caught sight of several large pieces of wreckage. There are constant flights back and forth, scanning the depths for evidence of a crashed plane.

I will admit, this does seem like the most likely scenario given what I know. Given the difficulty of the whole scenario, it seems difficult to deny it. The satellite pings from the plane were an indicator that the plane was still "aloft". So the lack of an eighth ping suggests that the plane is no longer in the air. Officials assumed that this meant that it had crashed. Which, I admit, is probably the most likely scenario.


But what if it hadn't? Is it possible for the satellite pings to stop happening and for the plane to either stay afloat or not have crashed?

Let's take a look at what this would entail (assuming everything said up till now was accurate).

Something had to have stopped the satellite pings, this could include signal jamming, a ping system failing, a failure to connect to the satellite, and the plane no longer being afloat (but not crashed).
  • Signal Jamming- This would require either powerful technology, or certain conditions.
    • I would do research in how the ping system works, and what could block it. I would then look at the difficulty and expense in creating a machine that would block those signals. Given that the ping system went on for so long, it would mean that the pilot didn't have the signal jammer or forgot to turn it on until then.
    • It would also be telling of who could have done such a task. If it the plane was trying to fly into a signal-jammer zone, then it means there are signs of cooperation. In order to build a signal jammer of that range and size might also require suitable wealth. Perhaps it would suggest the type of person or group we are looking for.
  • Ping System Failing- plausible. Though highly unlikely. The Boeing 777 is typically considered one of the safest and most well-made planes. For the Rolls-Royce designed engine to just fail like that is unlikely, but possible.
    • This would basically consist of researching the ping system inside the engine and looking at the possibility of a failure in normal conditions.
  • A Failure to Connect to the Satellite- Similar to signal jamming, this could have been caused by things like weather, going out of the satellite's range. From what I understand, the satellite's range was quite large, which leaves weather. I am sadly unfamiliar with how well the pinging system sits with weather.
    • Look at the current weather conditions, the satellite range, and possible satellite and ping system blockers.
  • Plane no longer being afloat (but not crashed)- This basically means the plane landed somewhere. If this happened, it would imply that there were helpers as well as a large strip for the plane to land (make that, an enormous strip). This basically means that it would have had to make contact with a tower that allowed space for landing a Boeing 777.
    • Well, I would look on the land to see possible places in which a plane of that size could land. Additionally, there would be a need in order to hide the plane, as well as guide it to a landing without it crashing. If you look on the map, you might notice some possible spots and locations- I would seek those out. The question here is: what would it take to land a Boeing 777.
    • Additionally there's the issue of the people. How do you keep them quiet? Do you round them up and hide them away? Or do you keep them quiet through more violent means? Perhaps you even dump them out mid flight, but that may be too risky.
    • Of course you might say "it could have landed on the water". Well... if it did, it would likely sink. So the search method would be the same as if I had assumed it had crashed. But if you assume that it landed on water on some sort of landing platform, well you'd be assuming a VERY large landing platform. I imagine it wouldn't be too easy to move that around unless it was pieced together in parts.
Basically in short, I feel as though those possibilities are not quite as likely. But they are possible. But if the plane stayed afloat and the ping system died, what then? The plane failed to show up on any other radars, so it would have literally vanished into thin air. We're talking about a Donnie Darko plane vanishing here.

I'll be watching the news closely.

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