Sunday, July 06, 2014

Aviation Update

Not much fanfare as this was announced..
The National Transportation Safety Board has refused to reopen its investigation into the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800, turning down a request from a group that believes the jet was shot down by a missile. 
Conspiracy theorists or those who generally don't believe that airplanes can climb thousands of feet without their nose may also notice the announcement was made after the departure of NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman and during the time of an interim chief, for what it's worth.

They may also note the dismissal admitted 1) there were problems with the FBI as to which agency 'owned' the investigation, 2) the CIA acted completely on its own in producing their 'zoom climb' cartoon, and 3) they have no idea why the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office has never identified the cause of death of the victims.

The report also dismisses the contention that a dog-training exercise in St. Louis never occurred because the petitioners presented no new evidence to discount it.  The investigators used that exercise as a possible explanation for the explosive traces found on the wreckage. Ironically they've previously claimed the contamination could have also come from the boots of those recovering the wreckage out of the water, yet have never provided any conclusive evidence of such a thing.     

Meanwhile, there's some irony in an NBC News report of the event. Back in 1996 their fledgling leftist offshoot network MSNBC was just getting started and allegedly became the recipient of a bombshell tape from a civilian--someone peddling a video of what was purported to be the plane crash:
For hours the previous evening, Fox News had reportedly been involved in a bidding war for an amateur video tape of the 747 being destroyed by what appeared to be missile fire. When the electronic bidding war reached $50,000, Fox was eliminated from the process.
The high bidder seems to have been NBC and/or its new sister network, MSNBC. This makes market sense in that MSNBC had been launched just two days prior, and the publicity would have been well worth the cost.
Still, I say “seems” because my sources here will not speak on record, nor will MSNBC follow up on queries. Here is exactly what I know, no more, no less.
The video tale later became the theme of Nelson DeMille's novel "Night Fall", loosely based on the crash. But the video, presuming it exists, remains in hiding just like the Obama Khalidi going away party video. Nobody at NBC ever mentions it, nor does anyone in the media ask them about it.  The petition mentioned it though, which triggered this response:
The NTSB has requested that the FBI provide copies of any photograph or video evidence it may have. As of this writing, the response from the FBI is pending.
Pending?  Not "doesn't exist"?  Why would such a thing be pending if the plane was brought down by accident?  Seems a simple task to hand over any video or photographic evidence from a file.  Maybe Scully and Mulder still have it.  Not sure why the board would deny the petition outright without knowing whether any such evidence existed somewhere, but like the pathological information they referred to the ME's office, it wasn't their agency and they only speak for themselves.


Meanwhile, as TWA 800 fades into oblivion the mystery around MH370 deepens, which means conspiracy theories will rule the void until something concrete is discovered.   This video represents a very good summation of events so far..

This program introduces a few things not widely known to date. The first is that somebody on-board messed with the in-flight entertainment system. It's always been perplexing as to why there were no tweets or calls or anything from the passengers after the plane went off course. Does this fully explain at least part of that mystery?  

The second is the curious reaction of Malaysia Airlines operations personnel after the flight went "NORDO" (no radio). Such a thing is fairly common in aviation, where a flight crew will not check in on a new frequency after being 'handed off' between control facilities or sectors within such facilities. Protocol is to try to contact the flight on the last good frequency; call other aircraft and have them relay a message; or call the airline and have them try to communicate via satellite phone or ACARS.

Of course this aircraft also had a loss of transponder, which if both occurred in this country--after 9/11--would raise major suspicions and result in the scrambling of fighter jets. The interview with the Malaysian Civil Aviation minister was very weird on this point, him admitting that America would not hesitate to shoot down such a target but Malaysia considered the primary target as 'non-threatening' because it originated inside their airspace and they were 'not at war with anyone'. Very curious comments considering the threat of terrorism around the world.   Perhaps this laid back attitude can at least partially explain why no red lights were flashing in places they should have been.

In the same vein, the revelation that Malaysia ground ops told the Vietnamese the aircraft was in 'Cambodian airspace' when they first inquired may be weird, or it may not be. A supervisor later blamed it on erroneous flight tracker info, which makes sense if someone tasked with answering the question only looked at a projected flight plan, not actual tracking info.  That said, flight trackers would no longer be showing the plane, which should have been a concern for operations.  When combined with the Vietnamese saying they had never worked the flight after the handoff failed this should have raised alarm.

Yet despite such weirdness the show claims the Malaysians made the first AND ONLY attempt to contact the aircraft via satellite phone, without success (apparently).  Why wouldn't they keep calling?

Finally, the Malaysians themselves first admitted that Penang control center had lost contact with the aircraft after 2:30am.  The aircraft actually stopped communicating over an hour before. This discrepancy was discussed a lot in the beginning but still doesn't make much sense, especially after it was confirmed the plane turned west and flew right over Penang around 2:15am then out into the Indian Ocean. What exactly do they mean by lost contact? 

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