The Great Ongoing General Aviation Thread

Just ran across this article about MH370:

To be honest, I didn’t follow much of the MH370 saga past the point of “it disappeared somewhere in the Indian Ocean and while it was probably a murder-suicide by one of the pilots, no one knows for sure.” And indeed, that’s still basically where things stand, but the article contains a ton of details about exactly what happened, how we know those details, and why pretty much any other theory is unlikely at best.

Right after it happened I attended a lecture on aviation accidents. I asked the person giving the lecture what he thought about finding it and he said that the US military would have tracked it with over-the-horizon radar. I have no way of verifying that statement.

I’ve wondered if weather satellites would have seen the contrail particularly at different angles of sunlight. It’s hard to believe we couldn’t track or find this plane.

In not-General Aviation news…

“The ground crew reported that a safety briefing was held about 10 minutes before the airplane arrived at the gate. A second safety “huddle” was held shortly before the airplane arrived at the gate, to reiterate that the engines would remain running until ground power was connected. It was also discussed that the airplane should not be approached, and the diamond of safety cones should not be set until the engines were off, spooled down, and the airplane’s rotating beacon light had been extinguished by the flight crew.”

According to the NTSB, despite these multiple warnings, video surveillance footage from the airport shows the unnamed ramp agent walking around the Embraer airplane and stepping in front of the number-one jet engine while it was still running.

‘Don’t walk in front of the engines!’

‘Don’t walk in front of the engines!’

[Walks in front of an engine]

Stupid should have consequences. It did.

Contrails often don’t form at all, so it wouldn’t be surprising if there was nothing physical to see.

Hiya, kid!

Wow, possibly the swankiest birth, ever. I used to know a stewardess for Emirates, they’re not messing around when it comes to luxury.

Is there any way to update the souls-on-board number midflight?

The US’s OTH radar does not cover the globe. It covers the likely approaches of 1960s USSR bombers to the USA. For sure it won’t reach the area around Malaysia.

The Australians have an OTH radar on their north coast aimed more or less towards China. I don’t know whether it was within their range. OTH radars have a long minimum range too; they’re blind inside of 500 - 1000 miles from the antenna IIRC.

The MH flight took place at night. Kinda hard for satellites looking down at the black ocean to see contrails at night. Much less, as @Richard_Pearse said, whether contrails formed or not.

I’ve been on ramp crews before and if you started to do something stupid people would seriously scream at you.

This could have been a suicide.

Suicide by jet engine? I’m seriously doubting that. Reminds me of a scene from Double Indemnity:

Great scene!

And now this:

Cool. I new the plane existed but I didn’t know it was in the 70’s and I didn’t know the Legendary Burt Rutan was involved.

I got to meet Burt Rutan right after he set the record with Voyager. Got a couple of autographed pictures and everything. Just can’t remember if it was at Edwards or JPL.

Are you sure that wasn’t Dick Rutan, One of the pilots of Voyager? Burt is his brother and designer of the plane.

I’ve seen Burt Rutan at Oshkosh a number of times but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dick Rutan.

Met both of them. Probably at Edwards. Met Dick several times thereafter. I have the signed photos around here somewhere.

TBH, I was initially thinking of Dick Rutan, but then remembered I met both brothers.

This is getting more real every day:

Key design decisions here are conventional propulsion, unconventional airframe design, and remotely-monitored piloting leading to fully autonomous ops as the tech develops.

Or so they fervently hope.

They’re actually manufacturing full scale parts for this thing now; it’s not just “artist’s conceptions” angling for seed capital.

Nice. Unrelated story but I was at a grocery store and went down the toy aisle by mistake. I looked up and saw Bur Rutan’s “Boomerang” plane as a toy. I couldn’t believe Matchbox made a model of it. had to buy it.

One Thanksgiving (I think – It may have been Christmas) my friend was visiting his mom in Lancaster. He and his brothers went to a nearby park to toss a football around, and I went to find them. Near them, Burt Rutan and his then-girlfriend were flying a kite.