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Todd Wright
Worked at Computer Sciences Corporation
Attended Balgowlah Boys High
Lives in Sydney, AU


Todd Wright

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After 10 years of having a Youtube account, I'm finally making videos. I've started a Let's Play series, playing a new game, Transport Fever. I need to improve and make better videos, but its not bad for a first attempt.
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Todd Wright

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1:22:08 "The next checklist is Landing... and we'll do that with the gear down."  LOL. I know what you meant, but it cracked me up at the time.

Great videos. Im very intereted in VATPAC, unfortunately my PC has some issues and cant seem to stay powered up for a full flight (probably heat). Im working my way up to trying out the milk run one day.

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I'm so frustrated by the misinformation I see in the press, and coming from both Malaysian and Australian officials.  I'm really not in the mood to write a proper article, stepping through the logic and supporting facts with references as I usually do for this kind of thing. Im just going to make a few points and see where it goes from there.

I posted here on G+ on 18th of March defending the lack of information being shared immediately by the Malaysian Authorities. It takes time to verify information, and the few times something has slipped through, it has come back to bite them, requiring a correction a few days later.

The latest news that new analysis of the satellite data has led to the conclusion that #MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean is based on yet another "fact" that cannot be verified. They are essentially saying "Trust us". They have not released the satellite data for independent analysis as far as I am aware. I am not at all surprised that China is now demanding a copy of this data.

The "satellite arcs" on which so much of the search has hinged, are derived from only one single ping out of perhaps six or seven which were received. I have already stated my opinion on the accuracy of these arcs somewhere deep amongst the comments on the post by +chris goodfellow which has been so widely circulated.

"New analysis" is not the same as "new data". I can only assume that any new conclusion is based on someones alternate interpretation of the same original data that created these arcs almost two weeks ago. What changed?

Based on the new conclusion, #Australia was quick to say that the operation is moving from the search phase into the recovery phase. This would indicate that they have located some debris, (no longer searching) and are about to recover it. As of 5pm AEST today, I have not yet seen a report that any debris had been physically located. The unfortunate truth is that until a ship has located the debris and can begin to haul it aboard, this is still very much a search operation.  Language is important here, a fact I would have imagined all politicians would be well aware of.

Even after the first pieces of wreckage are recovered, I would still expect it to take at least 48 hours for investigators to confirm with Boeing that they are indeed from 9M-MRO. Sadly I predict this announcement will come while it is still lying wet on the deck of HMAS Success.

I haven't been watching all of the press conferences from Malaysia, but as I understand it the Malaysian Prime Minister has made an appearance only twice, each time to break important news. I cant help but think he has thought to himself (on both occasions) "This has gone on long enough. Its time to correct the record".

By announcing that the flight is now presumed "crashed into the Indian Ocean" he provides some measure of closure for families, and at the same time effectively turns the spotlight on Australia, since there is not a lot more that Malaysian Authorities can say at this stage. He has been very careful with the language he has used, on both occasions, and on both occasions he has steered the investigation on a firm course when it had been beginning to flounder.

Finally, I'd like to remind +Malaysia Airlines that its generally considered bad form to break up a relationship with ones partner by text message, so who thought it was a good idea to inform families that their loved ones were presumed dead in the same way? I accept that you may have wanted them to hear the news from you first, but this is not a race. It is not about coming first. Shame on you!
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+chris goodfellow I must admit I hadnt seen your recent posts, but Im all caught up now. I think that after the first few days, the authorities learned that they had to be more careful about what they released, and they have kept things back at times. I remember when the SAR switched to Malacca Strait they initially said they couldnt tell us why, at that point... only that they had a reason, and as you mentioned, it took them some time to confirm the cargo of batteries.

If they released more detailed information (ie: the satellite ping data, radar data etc), I think it would help correct a lot of misconceptions, but at the same time it may also spark more debate and even more theories. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

I guess what I am more concerned with is the media's use of language. Changing a single word can have a dramatic effect on the interpretation. Anyone who makes a living using words (ie: journalists or politicians) should be aware of this. Apparently many are not - at least not from what I have read. It has been very difficult trying to corroborate various pieces of the puzzle, when you consider the use of language (ie: "new analysis" vs "new data") and the lack of data.

There are many points I have been unable to verify and corroborate in my own mind, such as the reported altitude changes and the confidence level in the so-called "satellite arcs" simply because there is little data offered as evidence, and many conflicting versions of the reported story. Most of these I have set aside to be resolved later.

This troubles me, since I am an Analyst. This is what I do. The core of your theory, as you laid out in bullet points recently, I fully agree with... Im just havinf trouble parsing the media reports to determine what is fact and what is fiction.

Sorry for the long reply. Keep the discussion alive! :)
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While I think that progress in the search for #MH370 is a good thing, as an Australian, I am disappointed that #TonyAbbott  chose to use the opportunity to score a few political points by announcing on public record that wreckage may have been found before he had informed the Malaysian Authorities who are coordinating the search.

The head of Malaysia's civil aviation authority, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said he was yet to receive any information from Australia.
"What have they found? They have found something? We have not received anything yet from them," he said.

Dont get me wrong. I dont follow politics and have no political preference one way or another. I am also equally disappointed in AMSA officials who have been quoted in the press today saying that planes have been dispatched to the area where satellite images may show wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean.

It is a generally held convention that information relevant to the search  be released by the body that is leading the search effort. It is simply wrong for the Australian government to release any information they may have obtained, without clearing that release with Malaysian authorities beforehand.

China was criticised for releasing information for this reason in a similar situation only last week when satellite images were released which were claimed to show debris, and look how well that turned out.

I do hope the plane is found soon, if only to give families of those on board a sense of closure.
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In all fairness to Malaysian Officials, no-one is prepared for an event like this - it is unprecedented. Im sure co-coordinating 25 countries and countless media journalists is not an easy task, especially when you are the Defense Minister who is only ACTING as the Transport Minister. This isnt even his usual portfolio.

Sure there have been a few blunders, such as refuting early reports that the plane flew for hours, saying this was untrue. At the time, none of us, not even other pilots understood fully how ACARS worked and that even when disabled, the aircraft's SATCOM system would continue to respond to pings from satellites on its behalf.

Or reporting that the ACARS system had been switched off at 1:07am, BEFORE the last contact with ATC at 1:19am. Again, this is a complex system. This was, later corrected, a fact that I had queried in an earlier G+ post. ACARS transmits periodically. They only know that it was turned off sometime between the last transmission at 1:07am and when the next one was not received at 1:37am.

These slips are natural. A few mis-steps are bound to happen in such a complex investigation, but then when they withhold information until it is properly verified, so that these kind of mistakes do not happen, they are slammed for not telling us everything immediately.

I'm as puzzled and as frustrated as the next person over this disappearance, but please give them time to properly process information before releasing it. It takes time to check facts and verify sources, or send ships to investigate a bunch of logs that someone thought was a tail fin.

They also have to deal with countless so-called "Experts" or "Unnamed Sources" selling all kinds of whacky theories to journalists with little or no aviation knowledge, who write stories prompting all kinds of questions and accusations from the public.

Allow them to do a very difficult job and to verify the information they release. Have a little patience.

I remember on the first or second day that they said they were moving the search to the Malacca Strait, they said they couldn't say why they were looking there, but as it turned out they had some unverified information and thought it better to go look immediately than to sit on it until it had been verified. Once verified, it was clear that this was the Military Radar data, and they said so. 

Just because they havnt told you what they're up to right away, doesn't mean they are not actively doing something.

#MH370, #Avation
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I never thought I'd be an advocate of ADS-B, given the security concerns surrounding this new FAA mandated "Next Gen" ATC system, but a lot of people are calling for the streaming of black box data to ground stations.  How about a compromise?

The cost of streaming Black Box data would be prohibitive, not to mention the amount of data needing to be captured from thousands of active flights worldwide.  We know from #mh370 that the avionics continued to ping satellites for hours even after the transponder and ACARS system was turned off.

What if ADS-B was not linked to the transponder, but was wholly within the avionics bay, unable to be turned off, sending position, speed, and altitude at all times while the aircraft has power?

It would be impossible to "lose" an airliner. There is no need to stream black box data, since the plane could be found quickly, and the bulk of the flight recorder data simply downloaded from the black boxes as usual.

Just a thought.
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Todd Wright

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Just watched the whole thing, a bit late (4 months later)... That controller did inform you of a RWY 27 approach on initial contact (you missed that) but it was still not the one assigned (which Ive noticed before - I guess they dont check each others notes in the plan sometimes - or however they do it). The vectoring kinda reminded me of spilt milk (the industrial action one) where you went back n forth between Albury and Avalon for a while. It was interesting to see how you handled it.  Ive just joined VATSIM (have yet to log in - may be a while due to PC issues) but the scariest part for me is how to deal with unexpected stuff like that. Seeing the oceanic procedures in action helps too, and the differences between the ditch and the pond). Keep up the great work! Its hard to find an easy "introduction" to VATSIM, it seems so daunting at first. Being able to watch it in action sure helps encourage people to get started.

Todd Wright

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It's just after 2am. For the past hour or more I have been hearing an aircraft flying a large anti-clockwise circle over Parramatta and Westmead. From the sound, Im guessing its a multi-engined turbo-prop. I went outside at around 1:20am just in time to see four Black Hawk helicopters literally fly over my house at a very low altitude, probably less than 1000ft. In the still night, they were very LOUD. Good thing I wasn't sleeping.

Checking a few places, it seems there is a military exercise going on. The course flown suggested they came from Richmond, RAAF (Air Force) base. Searching Google, I found a post on the Air Services Australia web site which said: "Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel will conduct training exercises in several locations in Sydney from 17-28 March 2014."...   OK so far.

I saw in my search results a link to a Youtube video showing a Black Hawk helicopter weaving its way between buildings in the Sydney CBD on March 20th. (pictured).

The Australian Army web site had this to say: "The exercise is necessary to ensure aircrew are trained for flying in all conditions in both urban and rural areas. Flights will occur during the afternoon and evening, finishing no later than 11:00 pm."

Wait.... 11pm? I had to check my watch. It's now 3 hours after 11pm, and I just got off the phone with Parramatta Police who confirmed this was part of a training exercise. The Army web site went on to give a schedule. Of the many dates and locations listed, the only reference to Parramatta was for the 8th March (2 weeks ago) and there were no exercises at all listed for the inner city on 20th March, or anywhere else.

So much for time-management skills. I hope that is part of the training.

Co-incidentally, this comes at a time when I have recently started to notice a lot of videos on Youtube showing an increased domestic military build-up in many cities of the USA, as well as a large number of videos showing "Exercises" carried out in busy areas in the middle of the day (again, in US cities).

The US are stock-piling equipment (and presumably troops) around the country, as shown in these videos, ostensibly under the FEMA disaster recovery regulations.... in case of emergency.

Now I see Australia buying into this as well, doing exercises in the middle of the night, in the city, and surrounding suburbs.

Taken together with recent documentary films, such as "The Four Horsemen", and other government funded reports which predict the inevitable failure of the world economy, one has to wonder if they might be preparing for this, and the possibility of martial law that would ensue from such a collapse.

It concerns me, and should probably concern you too, but I wouldn't have bothered to write about it, if 4 Black Hawk helicopters hadn't flown low and loud over my house, only to return around 10 minutes later (I was still outside) flying back the other way.

It's a scary sight. One does not expect to see multiple helicopter gun-ships over their house at 1:30 in the morning.
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Having grown up in the military my father being a soldier you think this is out of the ordinary or a cause for concern. Try living on a military base especially during multi-national exercises, be concerned if you hear shooting if you dont then you got nothing to worry about. Personally I take it all in stride just another day in paradise.

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I think this pilot might have nailed it - Time will tell.
#MH370, #Aviation
MH370  A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.

A lot of speculation about MH370. Terrorism, hijack, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN - almost disturbing. I tend to look for a more simple explanation of this event.
Loaded 777 departs midnight from Kuala to Beijing. Hot night. Heavy aircraft.  About an hour out across the gulf towards Vietnam the plane goes dark meaning the transponder goes off and secondary radar tracking goes off. 
Two days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca.
When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.
The left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN didn't pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don't want to be thinking what are you going to do - you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala  Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.
Take a look on Google Earth at this airport. This pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that immediate turn back to the closest safe airport.
For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.

If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there might or might not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the possibility given the timeline that perhaps there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires and it blew on takeoff and started slowly burning. Yes this happens with underinflated tires. Remember heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long run takeoff. There was a well known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on takeoff. A tire fire once going would produce horrific incapacitating smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks but this is a no no with fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter but this will only last for a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry one of my own in a flight bag and I still carry one in my briefcase today when I fly).
What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on  the heading probably on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it along that route - looking elsewhere was pointless.  
This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That's the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.
Surprisingly none of the reporters , officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot's viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together. Also a look at the age and number of cycles on those nose tires might give us a good clue too.   
Fire in an aircraft demands one thing - you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible. There are two well remembered experiences in my memory. The AirCanada DC9 which landed I believe in Columbus Ohio in the eighties. That pilot delayed descent and bypassed several airports.   He didn't instinctively know the closest airports. He got it on the ground eventually but lost 30 odd souls.   In the 1998 crash of Swissair DC-10 off Nova Scotia was another example of heroic pilots. They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply  overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time. That fire incidentally started when the aircraft was about an hour out of Kennedy. Guess what the transponders and communications were shut off as they pulled the busses.

Get on Google Earth and type in Pulau Langkawi  and then look at it in relation to the radar track heading. 2+2=4  That for me is the  simple explanation why it turned and headed  in that direction.

Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.


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LOL, The resemblance is uncanny
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Did he just describe a hacker? If they can narrow down the arcs and find the plane, I think this will be the best hack ever .

"The people that are doing this are thinking outside the box. They're using something that wasn't designed to be used this way, and it seems to be working," said William Waldock, who teaches accident investigation at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona. "In terms of search and rescue, they're probably going to have rewrite the book after this."
#mh370 #hackers  
Finding a missing Malaysia Airlines plane may hinge on whether searchers can narrow down where they need to look using satellite data that is inexact and has never been used for that - New Zealand Herald
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I'm at a loss to explain how they know when ACARS was disabled. The Transponder is easy, it was turned off at around 1:30am after the final contact with ATC and is what caused the flight to disappear from secondary radar, but ACARS transmits data infrequently, usually after take off, at top of climb, top of decent, and landing, or any time a performance anomaly demands it. The last ACARS transmission was at 1:07am, and another wasn't due for at least an hour. I'm no expert but I don't think you can infer that just because ACARS did not transmit between 1:07am and the last voice contact at 1:19am, that it had been switched off in between.

Update: Malaysia Airlines CEO has now corrected this misinformation, saying they do not know when ACARS was disabled, only that it was disabled between 1:07am and 30 minutes later, when the next data was expected, but did not arrive.

I'm sure the people reporting this were unaware of how ACARS works, and took the time of the last transmission as the time it went offline. They have now been educated.
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Geek - Web, Mainframes
  • Computer Sciences Corporation
    Performance & Capacity Analyst
  • State Bank of New South Wales
    Capacity Planner / Performance Analyst
  • State Bank of New South Wales
    Systems Programmer / Operator
  • Alltel International Resource Management
    Systems Programmer / Perormance Analyst
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Sydney, AU
Christchurch, NZ
Australian, geek, web developer, 3D modeller, software engineer, sci-fi fan, computer addict
Of all the things Ive lost, I miss my mind the most. -- Ozzy Osbourne

Im a geek, and never far from a computer. I work as a Performance and Capacity Analyst on Mainframes (IBM S/390 and zOS) and as a Web Developer on the LAMP platform. If you're looking for anyone in those roles, send me an email.

I maintain and develop, a multilingual online book store, in English and Japanese, (think mini-amazon) based on a heavily modified osCommerce, and I am currently involved in several other web development projects in the areas of Internet Infrastructure, Online Commerce, and Virtual Worlds.
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Im the only guy in a house with 3 cute Japanese girls :)
  • Balgowlah Boys High
  • East Hills Boys High
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