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New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path 227

Posted by timothy
from the not-that-hard-to-lose-a-plane dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes with this excerpt from Slate on the still-missing Malaysian Airline flight "In a case that is swirling with uncertainties, a few pieces of evidence have stood apart for seeming reliability. Among them was the revelation last Saturday by Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak that his country's investigators, in collaboration with U.S. authorities, had analyzed an electronic ping that MH370 had broadcast to the Inmarsat satellite at 8:11 a.m. on the morning of the disappearance. Based on this data, the investigators had determined that at that moment MH370 must have been somewhere along one of two broad arcs: one which passed through Central Asia, and the other of which covered a swath of largely empty Indian Ocean, far to the south. The revelation left a burning question unresolved: what about the six earlier pings, which had been exchanged between the aircraft and the satellite about once per hour? Could any position data be deduced from them? Today, Inmarsat revealed some crucial information. 'The ping timings got longer,' Inmarsat spokesman Chris McLaughlin stated via email. That is to say, at each stage of its journey, the aircraft got progressively farther away from the geostationary satellite's position, located over a spot on the equator south of Pakistan, and never changed its heading in a direction that took it closer—at least for very long."
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New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

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  • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @04:53AM (#46549901)
    Why pay millions for a system that can track a U2 then configure it so that it can not detect a U2? All the military systems available would track a commercial plane, and you'd be asserting that they bought a commercial system, then disabled it. Or built their own, costing more than the commercial systems, and built it "worse" than the commercial systems.

    Much more likely, they have expensive systems that they don't know how to work, and they spend most of their time off or broken, and they feel too embarrassed about it to explain why they didn't have coverage.

    Sort of like why Saddam had a "chemical weapons" program. If everyone knew he didn't have it, then he expected a revolt or invasion. So he pretends to have one (apparently so well that he fools the President who can't be fooled again). Indonesia may be doing the same with their military capability.

Air is water with holes in it.

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