have your say

Why do you think that passengers on board the missing Malaysian Airlines plane didn't make mobile phone calls when they realized something was wrong? Authorities say there were no phone calls, Twitter


©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

First of all was it possible to do so in the plane at high altitude? We need a control model of a normal flight to compare whether no activity was normal or not.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can you get a network connection inside a cruising airliner? The flight was a red eye, so nearly everyone would be asleep in a darkened cabin. They couldn't see anything out the window, so they didn't know anything was wrong. Anyway, during daylight, can you look out at a plane at 30,000 ft, spot the nearest hill or river and know exactly what it is?

Anyway, Asians tend to be able to sleep really well on planes, based on my casual observations.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I don't think they have coverage in planes, especially if they are travelling over vast areas of ocean, where cell towers are nowhere close to be found. That said, about 10 years ago a plane went down in Greece (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helios_Airways_Flight_522) for they had wrong air pressurization settings, leading all passengers and crew to lose consciousness. The plane circled above Athens on autopilot for several hours, and finally plunged to the ground. Jets were actually scrambled and they saw a cabin attendant trying to operate the aircraft (he had been switching between several canisters of air and was able to survive longer). Without proper training of course he was not able to do a thing (he did have a pilot's licence and was hoping to become an airline pilot one day, but the complexity of the large commercial aircraft proved too much).

This is to say that there are ways of incapacitation, accidental or otherwise.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They have all been gassed.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I read on another site that, the plane suddenly ascended, followed by a sudden descent, for no known reason yet. That would have knocked out all the passengers for sure, if they were not already asleep.

If It was a cyber hacking it would have been easy for them to block all cellphone or wifi signals. . . if they can take over a plane, an internet connection is nothing.

I think we will maybe never find out...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not allowed ti use mobile devices on the plane.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Those that took control probably opened the cabin to the outside atmosphere, (depresurized), quickly disabling everyone onboard that was not wearing a mask.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Langoliers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Allowed? That doesn't factor into it. Did they have internet service in that aircraft? Doubtful. If not, moot point. Passenger cell phones don't work at 35,000ft, which is almost 10 kilometers high, no matter where they are and this plane was over the ocean.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Or, the plane was full of cellphones but had no actual passengers. I dunno, but at the moment, it feels like "Grand Theft Airplane."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Authorities" necessarily say all that they know ? Either the plane dislocated and really nobody knows where... or it went somewhere on this planet, and there are necessarily people that saw it pass over their territory if it kept flying 7 hours as they say.

Authorities say there were no phone calls, ....after it was apparently diverted.

And before there were any ? At night, a plane can possibly change of route without passengers or crew noticing anything weird... for a while (not more than 2 hours in this case, as after they would wonder why they are not arriving yet !). That would be if the pilots diverted it. But why would they do that ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My guess is that there was no cell phone reception.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have tried many times to use my cellphone on an airliner at cruising altitude, over the seas, over America, and over Europe, and I have never been able to connect or get a signal. At lower altitudes when a phone is within a couple of kilometers of a tower, I can get a signal, never otherwise.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The WashPost reports that one of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online. A migrant worker in the room said that several other workers from his company were on the plane, including his brother-in-law. Among them the QQ accounts of three still showed that they all were online Sunday afternoon. Adding to the mystery, other relatives in the room said that when they dialed some passenger's numbers, they seemed to get ringing tones on the other side even though the calls were not picked up. Thus how did the electronics devices on a commercial flight that vanished still appear to be connected to the internet? Therefore the explanation for this defy everything they think they know about reality.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How many planes have cellphone and roaming service??? Personally I have never being on a plane with Cellphone service. I know of on board wifi service but there are very limited of availability and most of them cost too much.

As for the "we are going the wrong way"... unless you are trained cartographer and have nightlight goggles I doubt people will notice that they where going on the wrong way.

Finally, how many "tweets" and "fb comments" you post during a flight?....

I think this question is a dumb question.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'll go with the sleeping gas / nerve agent theory. If this was planned and excecuted by professionals, replacing the Oxygen with sleeping gas, or even adding it to the mix would incapacitate all. As for the 'Online' mystery, as the airplane probably flied low to avoid radar, it could have been close to a cell tower to be able to connect.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Probably because:

1) They didn't realize they were being diverted 2) They were over land for only a short while, at altitude, in an area with very poor coverage 3) Have you ever tried to make a connection at altitude? Almost impossible to get signal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

First of all, the plane would have had to have been configured to relay cell phone signals. Most aircraft aren't configured to do that. Those phones in the aircraft you can use with a credit card are actually satellite phones, not cell phones.

Second, over land a plane at 35,000 feet would have so many towers "in view" that a phone on the plane trying to use them would constantly bounce from tower to tower, resulting in a poor connection even if one was actually made. There are no cell towers in the ocean. No towers, no cell phone service.

In the dark over open ocean there's hardly any visual references for a passenger as to what the plane is doing. The odds of someone noticing a turn of grater than 90° away from their intended course are remote, and even if it WAS noted, the passenger wouldn't know whether the reason for the turn was to avoid a storm cell or something criminal.

If the pilots were planning this from the beginning, then the passengers and most of the crew are already dead. The easiest way to do it was suggested by ebisen. The first officer enters the cabin and removes the portable oxygen bottles in the front of the plane (there's five near the cockpit door), brings them back into the cockpit, then the pilots switch cabin pressure from "Auto" to "Off" then open the cabin pressure regulating valves (there's two of them). Cabin pressure would rapidly be reduced to the plane's altitude and the oxygen masks would drop. Those masks only provide 12 minutes (or 22 minutes if the option was purchased by the airline) of chemically-produced oxygen. Normally after that it is assumed that the pilots would have already reduced altitude to 10,000 ft where the air is still thin, but at least breathable. In the case of intentional depressurization, however, the plane will remain at altitude until all the portable bottles remaining in the cabin have been exhausted. Those five bottles taken by the flight crew, combined with their emergency oxygen, should allow the flight crew to outlast anybody with portable bottles back in the cabin. After all have died of hypoxia, the flight crew can re-pressurize the plane and continue on to their destination - where people waiting will remove the bodies and render them unidentifiable. Now the plane is available for whatever plans the group committing mass murder have.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's say the pressure system failed and the cabin slowly lost oxygen. It would be like that Olympus Air flight a few years ago where everyone, pilots included, gradually fell asleep and were none the wiser.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If you want some plausable theories, look up " Jim Stone Freelance Journalist. " He used to work at the NSA and has extensive technical knowledge and well versed in the fields of electronics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cellphone towers on earth are not designed to connect to phones in the sky. Rather, antennas are optimized that as little energy as possible is wasted to unintended directions. Even if the phones could still catch a signal at cruising altitude, the phones are too weak to transmit a signal back to the tower. What makes it even more difficult is that the body of the plane is a good shield for radiofrequency signals.

Passengers can only use satellite phones on board and when that is turned off, whether by intention or caused by technical difficulties, then there is no way for the passengers to communicate to the outside world. Some planes, but not this one, are equipped with a micro base station as relay. Still, that connection is routed through a satellite link.

Even during 9/11 according to my knowledge, most calls from the plane were made through the in-plane satellite phones. Some direct mobile phone connections were possible because the planes were flying at very low altitudes. Compared to 13 years ago, today's mobile standards (3G, LTE) have significantly smaller ranges of coverage for the base stations and more optimized antenna designs, making connections outside the intended areas on ground even more difficult.

So, as a summary, the fact that there were no mobile communications from the passengers indicates that the plane didn't fly low enough over any inhabited areas, that the passengers didn't notice anything special was going on or that they were dead before they could use their phones.

The WashPost reports that one of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.

This is normal behaviour of mobile networks. The roaming information is only updated when someone tries to establish a new connection. During the time the network tries to locate the phone, which can be quite long, a normal ring tone is provided to the caller as initial response so that he doesn't think the network is dead. This is exactly what happened here, nothing eerie at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's say the pressure system failed and the cabin slowly lost oxygen. It would be like that Olympus Air flight a few years ago where everyone, pilots included, gradually fell asleep and were none the wiser.

Can't find "Olympus Air" There's an "Olympic Air" but there are only 4 crashes listed for Olympic Air and the most recent was in the 1970's - back when the airline was called "Olympic Airlines".

Regardless, such a scenario is not possible on a 777. Once cabin pressure reaches the equivalent altitude of about 14,000 ft, aural and visual alerts go off in both the cockpit and at the flight attendant stations. Also, the oxygen masks drop automatically without needing any action by the crew.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Coz they were on a plane in the middle of the ocean?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites