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Thread: Malaysian Boeing 777 crash

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Malaysian Boeing 777 crash

    I am sure most of you have seen it in the news. Terrible tradegy and my thoughts are with the families of the passengers.

    Every time there is a aircraft crash, be it commercial, military etc I wonder why its often such a mystery? I mean its XXI century so why airplanes do not stream real time data and alerts to ground control centres? This way emergency services would have been alerted immediately. Or even make planes talk to each other. We have distributed computing so why couldnt planes collectively track each other.

    Any people in the know on the forum know why current systems are so unreliable?

  2. #2
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    Not sure what you mean by mystery?

    Aircraft already 'talk' to each other with Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS), ADS-B is also starting to be rolled out across the world, and is being mandated by the FAA.

    As for the current aircraft, the second it went off radar it would have become an emergency, so unsure of what you mean by saying it wouldn't alert immediately?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Argee1977 View Post
    Not sure what you mean by mystery?

    Aircraft already 'talk' to each other with Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS), ADS-B is also starting to be rolled out across the world, and is being mandated by the FAA.

    As for the current aircraft, the second it went off radar it would have become an emergency, so unsure of what you mean by saying it wouldn't alert immediately?
    Would it be on the radar?

    From the reports I've seen it went missing over the sea about half way between Malaysia and Vietnam (looks to be about 300 miles). Would the radar have such a range?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Would it be on the radar?

    From the reports I've seen it went missing over the sea about half way between Malaysia and Vietnam (looks to be about 300 miles). Would the radar have such a range?

    I haven't read into this one yet, but if it's over a large body of water then it might not have been on radar, although it should still be tracked.

  5. #5
    Grand Master VDG's Avatar
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    Not by any civi radar. Terrible news, thoughts an prayers with all concerned and their close ones.
    Do they all hum the Mission Impossible tune when they assemble for their Cobra meetings to give the whole thing more intense and sombre mood so they do not piss themselves laughing while squandering taxpayer hard earned as nothing usually comes out of it? Just curious.

  6. #6
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    Their is always huge media attention around a "flying" vehicle crash than any other vehicle!.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    Their is always huge media attention around a "flying" vehicle crash than any other vehicle!.
    Not surprising - the potential for loss of life is obviously much greater.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Would it be on the radar?

    From the reports I've seen it went missing over the sea about half way between Malaysia and Vietnam (looks to be about 300 miles). Would the radar have such a range?
    I don't know about this area of the world but unlike UK, European and American domestic airspace it is probable that most air traffic flying over large bodies of water (and land too) is not under radar surveillance as it isn't in the North Atlantic or Pacific. Radar is line of sight technology and due to the curvature of the earth aircraft will disappear over a radar horizon at some point depending upon their height. Regardless of this aircraft mostly remain under air traffic control and will follow a pre-agreed routeing. If an aircraft has an incident over UK airspace then non-compliance with its clearance will either be noticed by the controller on his or her screen, or alerted to them. In the event of an aircraft crashing it's position will be triangulated and notified to a distress and diversion cell who will supervise the appropriate response. If however the aircraft is outside radar controlled airspace then this type of facility will be unavailable and ATC, rescue and emergency services will be most likely reliant on the aircraft or pilot reporting its position. If the aircraft suffers catastrophic failure or crashes as a result of human error then it is unlikely that such a report will be sent. As a result it may be difficult to pinpoint the crash site with more accuracy than retracing the planned route of the aircraft. This is why it took so long to find the Air France aircraft that crashed into the Atlantic en route from Brazil recently.

    Future systems that are being pioneered in the North Atlantic are using satellite communications to allow aircraft to report their position to ATC and these will become more and more common in a very near future. Once these are generally available they will replace much of the need for radar surveillance although I predict that this will be retained for redundancy in domestic airspace where separation is closer.

    TCAS is a collision avoidance system. Unless there was a second aircraft involved then TCAS would not be a factor in this case.

    This is a broad outline and any ATC experts might be able to provide more accuracy and detail.

    When any tragedy of this kind happens it affects those involved in the aviation industry deeply. Aviation takes great care to learn from it's disasters and those who work in aviation in human sciences, safety and engineering are regarded as being amongst the world leaders in their disciplines which means that aviation remains by far the safest way to travel. When I first started working in air traffic control in 1988, the Lockerbie and Kegworth disasters both happened in short succession. They had a deep impact in the aviation community and are still talked about today, the Kegworth disaster is still taught as an example in safety courses.

    My sympathy and condolences are also with those lost and their families.

  9. #9
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    I believe it is considered protocol to save condolences and use of the word crash until and unless that status is confirmed. At the time of this post I believe it is still "lost contact". Respectfully,

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    I believe it is considered protocol to save condolences and use of the word crash until and unless that status is confirmed. At the time of this post I believe it is still "lost contact". Respectfully,

    Paul
    That is quite correct, point well made and taken.

  11. #11
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    Very sad news indeed. I have a number of Malaysian friends and am due out there in the summer to visit them. I wish there was some prospect of good news but looks very unlikely.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    I believe it is considered protocol to save condolences and use of the word crash until and unless that status is confirmed. At the time of this post I believe it is still "lost contact". Respectfully,

    Paul
    I would think considering the time passed with no contact or confirmation of it " landing" then crashed is the only plausible thing to accept tbh.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac83 View Post
    why airplanes do not stream real time data and alerts to ground control centres?
    An increasing number of aircraft models do exactly this, as far as I know. They stream data via satellite direct to the operator's or even the manufacturer's support services.

    I don't know whether or not the 777 involved in this incident had this capability or was using it or even if there would be any kind of instant alert if it stopped. I'd expect that gaps in the data are quite common (and it wouldn't need to stream constantly), so it wouldn't necessarily be sensible to trigger an instant alert anyway.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tuttle View Post
    I don't know about this area of the world but unlike UK, European and American domestic airspace it is probable that most air traffic flying over large bodies of water (and land too) is not under radar surveillance as it isn't in the North Atlantic or Pacific. Radar is line of sight technology and due to the curvature of the earth aircraft will disappear over a radar horizon at some point depending upon their height. Regardless of this aircraft mostly remain under air traffic control and will follow a pre-agreed routeing. If an aircraft has an incident over UK airspace then non-compliance with its clearance will either be noticed by the controller on his or her screen, or alerted to them. In the event of an aircraft crashing it's position will be triangulated and notified to a distress and diversion cell who will supervise the appropriate response. If however the aircraft is outside radar controlled airspace then this type of facility will be unavailable and ATC, rescue and emergency services will be most likely reliant on the aircraft or pilot reporting its position. If the aircraft suffers catastrophic failure or crashes as a result of human error then it is unlikely that such a report will be sent. As a result it may be difficult to pinpoint the crash site with more accuracy than retracing the planned route of the aircraft. This is why it took so long to find the Air France aircraft that crashed into the Atlantic en route from Brazil recently.

    Future systems that are being pioneered in the North Atlantic are using satellite communications to allow aircraft to report their position to ATC and these will become more and more common in a very near future. Once these are generally available they will replace much of the need for radar surveillance although I predict that this will be retained for redundancy in domestic airspace where separation is closer.

    TCAS is a collision avoidance system. Unless there was a second aircraft involved then TCAS would not be a factor in this case.

    This is a broad outline and any ATC experts might be able to provide more accuracy and detail.

    When any tragedy of this kind happens it affects those involved in the aviation industry deeply. Aviation takes great care to learn from it's disasters and those who work in aviation in human sciences, safety and engineering are regarded as being amongst the world leaders in their disciplines which means that aviation remains by far the safest way to travel. When I first started working in air traffic control in 1988, the Lockerbie and Kegworth disasters both happened in short succession. They had a deep impact in the aviation community and are still talked about today, the Kegworth disaster is still taught as an example in safety courses.

    My sympathy and condolences are also with those lost and their families.
    thanks - very helpful post.

    Regarding the failure of the systems mid flight or explosion - in my view there should be a real time notification issued by an independent system the moment something goes wrong (temperature peak, loss of pressure, loss of electricity, sudden change of altitude). I'm sure its not difficult to gather this information and issue a SOS with exact coordinates using satellite connectivity.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac83 View Post
    thanks - very helpful post.

    Regarding the failure of the systems mid flight or explosion - in my view there should be a real time notification issued by an independent system the moment something goes wrong (temperature peak, loss of pressure, loss of electricity, sudden change of altitude). I'm sure its not difficult to gather this information and issue a SOS with exact coordinates using satellite connectivity.

    You mean like a Health and Usage Monitoring System, already done on aircraft like the 777 i believe.

  16. #16
    Anyone thinking this could involve terrorists?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Would it be on the radar?

    From the reports I've seen it went missing over the sea about half way between Malaysia and Vietnam (looks to be about 300 miles). Would the radar have such a range?
    SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar) operates at 1030 MHz (interrogators) and 1090 MHz (transpoders) which means the range of radar ''line of sight''. But it also depends on atmospheric condition, Maximum Theoretical Range (MTR) of specific radar, flight level of the target, and of course, the funcionality of transponder of the target. If the transponder in the target is shut down the target is not visible on civil radar screen.
    For example MTR for primary Radar with Pulse interval of 2500 microSeconds is 202 nautic miles.
    So the a. for your q. is that a radar can have such range (PI of 3700 MicroSeconds) , but considering upper variables the answer, if the plane could be noticed on the radar is : Good only knows.
    Last edited by NenoS; 8th March 2014 at 22:15.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexaff View Post
    Anyone thinking this could involve terrorists?
    Well it's clearly too early to be jumping to any conclusions but.....
    Yes.

  19. #19
    On one of the forums I'm on it was mentioned the last height of one of those internet trackers was 0 feet....

  20. #20
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    Two passengers travelling on false papers, apparently.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexaff View Post
    Anyone thinking this could involve terrorists?
    Most definitely with all the "chatter"about iffy passports
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

  22. #22
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    They are saying 4 possible false passports and the plane turned back? Pentagon saying that satellites haven't detected any flashes from space indicating a crash. Mystery!

    Rod

  23. #23
    Seams strange there is no wreckage been spotted any where, if it crashes or was the result of terrorist activity. Interesting reading the radar coverage discussion. Is it possible for the aircraft to have it transponder disabled so it can fly undected?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyMilts View Post
    Seams strange there is no wreckage been spotted any where, if it crashes or was the result of terrorist activity. Interesting reading the radar coverage discussion. Is it possible for the aircraft to have it transponder disabled so it can fly undected?
    I woud guess that is possible but if your line of reasoning is that it was diverted somewhere else then if the destination had radar coverage it would turn up as a primary radar return, unless flown under radar cover, which might take some doing. If the aircraft were already outside radar cover I don't see that turning the transponder off would achieve much because I think that SSR relies on the aircraft being interrogated by primary radar. Others may know better of course.

    If the pilot had attempted to ditch in the sea and had been successful in that the aircraft had landed more or less in one piece then I suppose that the aircraft might have sunk rather like a boat leaving little or no trace. The oil slicks reported by Vietnamese pilots maybe a trace of such an event, but would not mark the location of it as they'd be subject to tide and current.

    Unfortunately, all of this is sad supposition in absence of hard information. It is almost always better to wait for any facts to become apparent before resorting to this type of reasoning. I suspect that those involved in search, rescue and investigation will be very aware of the broad possibilities from hijack and diversion, through catastrophic mechanical or electrical failure, through human error to terrorism etc. Not all of these will be fatal and not all will involve a crash. But at the moment most or all of these may be possible but nothing can be substantiated. I suspect that any video, photographic or documentary evidence relating to the passengers will be being explored in lieu of other information, this may in time be successful, but it wasn't much use in identifying the perpetrators in the Lockerbie incident from what I know. Another line of research might be to examine the current Boeing Fleet to see if there are any previously undetected faults.

    Again we should really be thinking of those lost and waiting patiently for those in the area who know what they are doing to establish the facts as best they can. I guess my reason for posting was to answer the point that others found it difficult to understand how an aircraft might disappear undetected even with today's technology. It's still possible, but as in the case of the Air France 447 the wreckage was eventually found, the reason for the crash established and lessons learnt. I'm pretty confident that the same will be the case here, not withstanding the fact that the aircraft is at the moment considered to be missing rather than lost and other hopefully happier information may become apparent in due course.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    They are saying 4 possible false passports and the plane turned back? Pentagon saying that satellites haven't detected any flashes from space indicating a crash. Mystery!

    Rod
    Presumably information about stolen passports isn't shared between countries.

    If someone turns up with a foreign passport that looks ok there's no way of checking number/validity etc?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Tuttle View Post
    I woud guess that is possible but if your line of reasoning is that it was diverted somewhere else then if the destination had radar coverage it would turn up as a primary radar return, unless flown under radar cover, which might take some doing. If the aircraft were already outside radar cover I don't see that turning the transponder off would achieve much because I think that SSR relies on the aircraft being interrogated by primary radar. Others may know better of course.
    ......
    Civil radars can,t "see" primary radar return, only transponder.
    Is it possible that the plane was hijacked, and with transponder switched off, landed somewhere ??? Big plane, I know, where to land incognito, who knows how much fuel?
    Very low possibility, but ...?
    What the others think about that?

  27. #27
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    I know it sounds unlikely but is it possible they glided to a small island and either crashed there or somehow landed without a catastrophic end?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    I would think considering the time passed with no contact or confirmation of it " landing" then crashed is the only plausible thing to accept tbh.
    It hasn't the legs to still be in the air, and it didn't land anywhere... I think it is pretty safe to say it has crashed.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarto View Post
    I know it sounds unlikely but is it possible they glided to a small island and either crashed there or somehow landed without a catastrophic end?
    Stranger things have happened, and these aircraft are designed to glide under control even without main power systems... but in all likelihood they suffered something catastrophic - either mechanically or at the instigation of the pilot or a hijacker - and the aircraft was lost in a relatively short period of time.

    It is still possible there may be survivors though, and that is to be hoped for.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NenoS View Post
    Civil radars can,t "see" primary radar return, only transponder.
    Is it possible that the plane was hijacked, and with transponder switched off, landed somewhere ??? Big plane, I know, where to land incognito, who knows how much fuel?
    Very low possibility, but ...?
    What the others think about that?
    That is true in modern areas of the world - I don't know if this area of the world still uses active radar or not for civil control, but it does seem it was being tracked (if not actively) by military radar systems in the area which noted it attempted to turn about. Not sure what to make of that...

  31. #31
    Why would these supposed 2 terrorists using stolen passports both book an onward flight from Peking.

    To arouse less suspicion? Would be less suspicious if they had booked different onward flights.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mart broad View Post
    Most definitely with all the "chatter"about iffy passports
    Quote Originally Posted by alexaff View Post
    Anyone thinking this could involve terrorists?
    Quote Originally Posted by Glamdring View Post
    Two passengers travelling on false papers, apparently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    They are saying 4 possible false passports....
    The 'false passports' thing is much more likely to be an immigration issue.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakeColdplayHistory View Post
    The 'false passports' thing is much more likely to be an immigration issue.
    I can confirm, that it happens many times on a daily basis.

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Why would these supposed 2 terrorists using stolen passports both book an onward flight from Peking.

    To arouse less suspicion? Would be less suspicious if they had booked different onward flights.
    Because if they got off in China their passports would have had to have a Chinese visa which would have meant a passport check in a Chinese Embassy beforehand. If it was a transit flight why would you take that route back to Europe...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    That is indeed odd... unless the local phone network has some quirk that results in disconnected phones appearing to ring; I assume that it would be relatively easy for the mobile providers to locate one or more of the handsets to within a cell, so the fact that they don't appear to have done so suggests it is a technical issue.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzler View Post
    Because if they got off in China their passports would have had to have a Chinese visa which would have meant a passport check in a Chinese Embassy beforehand. If it was a transit flight why would you take that route back to Europe...
    Thanks, hadn't thought of that.

  38. #38
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    Needless to say, the conspiracy theorists are having a field day.

    http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-...y-2460452.html

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzler View Post
    Because if they got off in China their passports would have had to have a Chinese visa which would have meant a passport check in a Chinese Embassy beforehand. If it was a transit flight why would you take that route back to Europe...
    According to someone on the radio this morning Malaysia to Amsterdam via China is a known route for people using stolen passports to seek entry into the EU. Apparently it means that close checks of entitlement to enter the EU are less likely until after landing in Amsterdam, although they pick quite a few up on landing.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by fiddler69 View Post
    According to someone on the radio this morning Malaysia to Amsterdam via China is a known route for people using stolen passports to seek entry into the EU. Apparently it means that close checks of entitlement to enter the EU are less likely until after landing in Amsterdam, although they pick quite a few up on landing.
    Reports are saying the 2 weren't of Asian appearance which suggests illegal entry to EU seems unlikely.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    They are saying 4 possible false passports and the plane turned back? Pentagon saying that satellites haven't detected any flashes from space indicating a crash. Mystery!

    Rod
    If it turned back, surely the pilot would have advises air traffic control / the authorities ?

  42. #42
    Master Harry Tuttle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerUK View Post
    If it turned back, surely the pilot would have advises air traffic control / the authorities ?
    Not necessarily and only if able. In the North Atlantic if an aircraft suffers an emergency it is most likely to use pre-determined procedures to turn back between routes in the track structure, and then when able inform the controller via the best available facility. As there is no radar coverage, currently the controller will only know when the pilot reports the change of route. Radio communication can also be difficult (for the same reason that there is no radar coverage. It may be possible for the crew to use a satellite phone but I don't think that this is a primary system and they might have too much difficulty and too little time to contact the controller using this method.

    If the aircraft is fitted with the Future Air Navigation System (FANS), or a similar system capable of providing a datalink, then deviations in the level, direction or speed of the aircraft might be reported to the controller if their equipment is capable of receiving and displaying this data. This type of system is only recently becoming available to traffic in the UK flight information region. It is used elsewhere but is not yet standard mandated equipment (as far as I know). I have no idea whether the ATC providers in the area of this incident have this sort of facility.

    As far as the pilot is concerned, they will only be able to contact ATC if they know they have a problem before the consequences of the problem become apparent, or have time either during a crisis or afterward, or if their equipment remains operational.

    Aviation incidents (and those in most other safety critical industries) are complex and normally result from a number of dynamic, complex and co-conspiring factors concatenating to produce some sort of catastrophic failure or event. There tend to be a number of factors which lead to an aircraft going missing rather than a single cause. When something goes wrong then it can sometimes happen so quickly and decisively that for those involved there is very little time to involve or inform a third party. This at least is a possible explanation for what may have happened in this incident. There was an excellent documentary on the Air France accident which shows how complex some problems are for flight crew to diagnose and remedy an it may provide interested viewers with an angle on how difficult these problems are to predict for the aircraft manufacturers and investigate for those picking up the pieces after an incident.

    I was listening to the Captain of an American ship involved in the search this morning who said that there is still hope of rescue up until and possibly past 72 hours after an incident. Let's all hope that this sentiment is successful and survivors are located.

  43. #43

    Malaysian Boeing 777 crash

    U.S. investigators suspect missing airplane flew on for hours

    http://m.europe.wsj.com/articles/SB1...86282?mobile=y
    Last edited by Bozza; 13th March 2014 at 08:25.

  44. #44
    Are you reading this, Boeingdriver?

    Don't you fly 777s? If so, I'd be interested in your take on things...

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
    Are you reading this, Boeingdriver?

    Don't you fly 777s? If so, I'd be interested in your take on things...
    Has he posted since the plane has disappeared? Just saying'...

  46. #46
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    I can't, despite the tragic nature of events, be the only one thinking 'Lost'...

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKlaus View Post
    Has he posted since the plane has disappeared? Just saying'...
    Erm, yes. But I know where you're going with that...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Glamdring View Post
    I can't, despite the tragic nature of events, be the only one thinking 'Lost'...
    Nope, you're not. I've been waiting for the Beeb to mention a polar bear in one of their reports...

  48. #48
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Is nobody else surprised that an aircraft can simply disappear?

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  49. #49
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    As an aside, whatever happened to the Bermuda Triangle? That thing was all the rage when I was a kid — books, movies, TV documentaries. You never hear about it any more.

  50. #50
    I find it very odd its disappeared.
    Somebody knows exactly whats happened but isn't talking

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