Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Transportation News

20 Freescale Semiconductor Employees On Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 190

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-good-about-this dept.
NeverVotedBush writes with news reported by CNN that a passenger manifest for the flight that went missing on its way from Malaysia to China indicates that "Twenty of the passengers aboard the flight work with Freescale Semiconductor, a company based in Austin, Texas. The company said that 12 of the employees are from Malaysia and eight are from China," and writes "Apparently, at least two passengers used stolen passports to board."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

20 Freescale Semiconductor Employees On Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

Comments Filter:
  • Cargo (Score:3, Funny)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:16AM (#46438077)

    The plane was carrying a cargo of 400 million dollars in Bitcoin. nuff said.

    • Re:Cargo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nospam007 (722110) * on Sunday March 09, 2014 @06:02AM (#46438781)

      And we learned that you can board a plane with passport that was stolen and REPORTED stolen on an airplane, as long as you leave your shampoo at home an remove your shoes before boarding.

      • Re:Cargo (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gtall (79522) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @06:08AM (#46438787)

        In Malaysia.

        • A few years ago my mother was coming to visit us, in Mexico. Someone working for Continental put her on a Continental flight to Oklahoma (instead of Veracruz), not even checking her ticket, not even wondering why "her" seat was already taken. Continental couldn't even be bothered to call us at Veracruz, and an employee of continental treated us like shit when we finally figured out that my mother was not on the plane, blaming her.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        On domestic flights here in Norway they don't check IDs anymore, they used to but basically nobody really looked twice at it and you could go anywhere by car or train or bus or whatever anyway. The security control is supposed to pick up on anything dangerous you bring along. That you can travel on a stolen passport is more a customs and immigration problem, if it turns out these people were able to bring explosives or something to bring the plane down that's the problem whether they were travelling under t

        • by kyrsjo (2420192)

          Not just domestic, but inside Schengen. I've flown to Switzerland (once, and I've flown that route MANY times) without showing any ID ever - checkin was automatic, bagdrop was automatic, and from then on I just had to show the bording card (which no-one actually looked at except to beep the barcode). I could have checked in in your name without any issues.

          Basically the airlines are the only ones checking any ID as long as you're flying inside Schengen.

  • by stoploss (2842505) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:17AM (#46438083)

    I watched a documentary about Flight 447 (the Airbus flight that was lost off Brazil) and they mentioned that modern planes send tons of position and other data per flight. Seems the current system is called ACARS [wikipedia.org].

    Anyway, from a probability perspective it seems highly unlikely that a plane would disappear from radar precisely at the time that a data transponder stopped sending position fixes, unless, you know, the plane crashed right there.

    I mean, the media makes it sound like the search radius is "flight speed * remaining potential flight time at current fuel burn rate".

    • So far there is no debris at all. Thats pretty amazing considered where it was last seen. It either didn't crash, or didn't crash where the search is.

    • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:34AM (#46438139) Journal

      It could be more complicated then that.

      Suppose an electrical fault cause the loss of coordinate transmission while it also lost navigation and the pilots were forces to fly manually and blindly for a while before they lost all control and the plane crashed. A jets under ideal conditions can glide around 70 or so miles from 35000 feet in the air.

      So if the jet lost portions of the planes controls in stages, it could be quite a large search radius from the last known position and it could be close to the limit of the fuel range if they could still control the engines (doubtful as most everything is fly by wire and a catastrophic electronics failure likely would consume that too).

      • by QQBoss (2527196) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @02:45AM (#46438287)

        The only problem with the thought of losing portions of the planes controls in stages, the first two or three would have had to have quickly knocked out the transponders, the pilots radio (separate from the transponders) and the backup radio (separate from the transponders and the primary radio) before affecting anything else on the plane that would have caused the pilots to message someone on the ground that bad things were happening. Transponders disappearing usually gets a call from someone on the ground, which the pilots would respond to if they could. Needing to switch to a backup radio will have the pilots letting someone on the ground know in short order. If you assume they lost electrical system power due to total engine failure (which would merit a fairly rapid SOS call as a result), that still wouldn't prevent the ram air turbine from generating the power needed to send a distress call.

        It isn't unreasonable to start from an assumption of catastrophic failure of the airframe and start your search on that basis while investigating other possibilities in parallel. It could also be due to a pilot or co-pilot deciding they wanted to take the plane down, however, since the transponder can be disabled from the cockpit (Think Egypt Air MS990, though that was never declared officially to be a pilot suicide), but then the plane would have quickly shown up as a transponder-less blip on multiple radar systems, since that air space is quite well covered along the flight path and to both the south and west. To the north east, it should have been picked up at Con Son, unless it really was under control to head back south east towards Riau Islands. Chances are good, whatever direction it went, including straight down, either the Malaysian or Vietnamese govts. will eventually announce the radar tracks they watched it on, given that the last transponder point had the flight only ~250 km from the closest Malaysian airport (not to mention Malaysian Navy ships out on normal patrols) and about 1/2 of that from a Vietnamese naval base which it would have flown directly over if it had continued on path.

        Hmm, just checked Google News for an update. Reported in the last 30 minutes, the Malaysian military is saying the plane appeared to turn back south according to radar.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by camperdave (969942)
        An electrical fault would not cause the main systems, the backups, the transponders and the emergency beacons to all simultaneously fail. In fact, in the event of a power failure, a ram air electrical turbine generator drops out of the belly of the plane to provide electrical and hydraulic power. Something catastrophic or something deliberate happened to that plane.
    • Apparently, at least two passengers used stolen passports to board.

      Sudden catastrophic decompression could lead to structural collapse of the entire fuselage destroying an aircraft almost instantly. Lack of any distress signal possibly indicates that the pilots did not have enough time to do so . IMHO Investigators should have a careful look at the airport where the boarding took place.

      Having said that , The possibility of pilot error or mechanical faliure cannot be completely ruled out at this point.

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @02:06AM (#46438229) Journal

        IMHO Investigators should have a careful look at the airport where the boarding took place

        As I live and travel a lot within Asia, I can tell you that many airports in Asia, particularly those in Indonesia and in Malaysia (and also in Thailand) are so lack in any security procedure that any suicide bomber can board a plane easily.

        And in Malaysia as well as in Brunei and in Indonesia, I have seen with my own eyes that they let women who cover up their faces passing through checkpoint and boarding planes.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The stolen passports are of course something to look at but for all we know, it could be quite common in that part of the world and what people seem to forget is that a stolen passport is not an explosive. Heck, if you're a suicide bomber there, you could just as well use your own passport when they don't have TSA type no-fly lists. The fact that no organization has yet claimed responsibility is another reason why i have a hard time suspecting foul play. Many times a bunch of (incompetent) terrorist groups

    • ... from a probability perspective it seems highly unlikely that a plane would disappear from radar precisely at the time that a data transponder stopped sending position fixes, unless, you know, the plane crashed right there ...

      You are talking from a perspective of a Western folk who has no idea what is going on in other parts of the world.

      The airplane belongs to the Malaysian Airline System (MAS). The plane took off from the KLIA airport, again, of Malaysia. That radar which did the tracking (actually there were 4 radars doing the tracking) were all operated by ... Malaysians.

      Furthermore, the pilot and first officer of that plane were from Malaysia.

      Everything points to the same thing - Malaysia - a country whereby RACE means ev

      • by rossdee (243626) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @08:54AM (#46439319)

        "Malaysia - a country whereby RACE means everything."

        Thats in 3 weeks time, and since everything in Formula 1 is different this year who knows whats going to happen

      • Hey, look! Slashdot mods as informative racist rants against Malaysians!

        I know we're a bit of a groupthink crowd, but seriously. Stop. Just stop.

        • Re:Yay slashdot! (Score:5, Informative)

          by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @04:06PM (#46441377) Homepage

          I see we have never been to Malaysia.

          I remember the first time I was in Kuala Lumpur, I was shocked to see newspaper ads for apartments that openly declared "Chinese only" or "Malay Muslim woman only, 18-25" or some such. The racism is all out in the open and codified in law. Every citizen's mandatory ID card has a field for race and religion. Race is there because different people's votes count differently come election time, and religion is there so that when you're eating during the day on Ramadan, when the religious police come into the restaurants you show them and you don't get arrested.

          Did we learn something today? Much better than just ignorantly shouting "RACISM!" at a culture with which we are unfamiliar.

          • I see we have never been to Malaysia.

            I remember the first time I was in Kuala Lumpur, I was shocked to see newspaper ads for apartments that openly declared "Chinese only" or "Malay Muslim woman only, 18-25" or some such. The racism is all out in the open and codified in law. Every citizen's mandatory ID card has a field for race and religion. Race is there because different people's votes count differently come election time, and religion is there so that when you're eating during the day on Ramadan, when the religious police come into the restaurants you show them and you don't get arrested.

            Did we learn something today? Much better than just ignorantly shouting "RACISM!" at a culture with which we are unfamiliar.

            Actually, racism is still racism even when and if it is openly endorsed by society.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      I watched a documentary about Flight 447 (the Airbus flight that was lost off Brazil) and they mentioned that modern planes send tons of position and other data per flight. Seems the current system is called ACARS [wikipedia.org].

      Anyway, from a probability perspective it seems highly unlikely that a plane would disappear from radar precisely at the time that a data transponder stopped sending position fixes, unless, you know, the plane crashed right there.

      I mean, the media makes it sound like the search radius is "flight speed * remaining potential flight time at current fuel burn rate".

      I'm pretty sure we'll find that this is the "religion of peace" again.

    • Anyway, from a probability perspective it seems highly unlikely that a plane would disappear from radar precisely at the time that a data transponder stopped sending position fixes, unless, you know, the plane crashed right there. I mean, the media makes it sound like the search radius is "flight speed * remaining potential flight time at current fuel burn rate".

      My reading is that ACARS updates position only few minutes whereas radar update times is faster. As for search area, the initial search area is where the plane disappeared off the coast of Vietnam. The max search area is based on remaining fuel. It is theoretically possible as the plane may have changed courses. Not probable, but possible.

    • Keep in mind that the Air France 447 flight was intact when it hit the ocean(in fact aside from the blocked pitot tubes the airplane was almost certainly completely functional). The events that led to the crash unfolded over several minutes, giving plenty of time for ACARS data to be transmitted. A sudden breakup of the plane would preclude any ACARS data indicating distress from being sent from the plane.
      • by stoploss (2842505)

        A sudden breakup of the plane would preclude any ACARS data indicating distress from being sent from the plane.

        Yes, that was my point. ACARS isn't a distress signal, as far as I understand it. Receiving a constant log of position fixes via ACARS that ceases at approximately the same time and position that all ground-based radar systems lose track of the aircraft tends to strongly circumscribe the likely search radius. Bayesian statistics and all that.

  • Do we know who these employees were? Do we know what this means for Freescale? For all we know these were accountants and advertising execs, and have no real long-term effect on the company.

    Now don't get me wrong, that's not to say that the loss of these people is any less bad, but I have to wonder if we're overestimating the importance of the fact that there were Freescale employees on the flight.

    • The entire company could be killed next year by a disease transmitted by a dirty telephone.

      • The entire company could be killed next year by a disease transmitted by a dirty telephone.

        And no wouild have noticed...

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Well, we keep bitching about "why is this non-tech news on /.?", so they had to find a tech angle in order to get the story on here.

    • by petsounds (593538)

      According to Freescale's statement [freescale.com], eight of the individuals were Chinese employees and twelve were Malaysian. My guess is that they were probably management and Process Engineers traveling to a factory in China to oversee production of a new product.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:36AM (#46438147)

    Freescale Semiconductor did not write that blurb about the stolen passports and the way it is displayed here makes it seem that there is a connection between the passports and the company's employees.

    • per Fox news not only is this connected, but Freescale execs KNEW about it and encouraged it, even to the point of making sure everyone on the plane was wearing the company-required "highly explosive" jackets, that have an 80% chance of combustion if more than three of them come within 30 feet of each other.
      • by 32771 (906153)

        First the ~5000 pages of i.mx53 documentation and now this! This is pure and unadulterated terrorism I tell you.

    • by Dan East (318230) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @07:28AM (#46439017) Homepage Journal

      The stolen passports likely have nothing to do with Freescale, but in regards to those passports, they've already determined that the two tickets purchased for those two identities where purchased at the same time - they have consecutive ticket numbers. Further, and oddly, the two had different final destinations.

      A conceivable theory is that they were terrorists with explosives in their checked in baggage. The plan was for the explosives to detonate later than they did (but something caused one to detonate prematurely), thus taking down two flights and not just one. Further, they may have intended to disembark or not board those final flights while intending their luggage to continue on (perhaps they did a test run and found that luggage was not properly removed from the plane if a passenger did not board a connecting flight at the destination Chinese airport). There was a Chinese terrorist attack in the last couple weeks (the mass killings with knives) and this plane was carrying almost all Chinese citizens, and it was headed for China. If that speculation is correct, two planes would have been destroyed, doubling the amount of Chinese that were killed, and the destruction would have happened over China, thus potentially causing collateral damage.

  • by QQBoss (2527196) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:42AM (#46438163)

    Granted, it has been a while since I worked for the part of Motorola that became Freescale, but I am fairly certain there were rules against the maximum number of employees that could take any one flight. I think it was 2 for executives and 6 or 8 for regular employees. Situations like this, rare as they are, was the reason. I wonder if Freescale still has those rules and ignored them, or didn't copy them over. Any current employees have insight?

    I hope the families receive meaningful information as to what and why this happened, and don't have to spend a year or longer wondering (at least for the what, why usually takes a lot longer with airline crashes).

    The 777 is one of the safest commercial planes in the aviation history, with only one accident with fatalities prior to this. Having just flown on a 777 (Cathay Pacific) out of Kuala Lumpur less than 30 days ago, however, I will say that their airport security was very lax. When I set off the metal detector and was wanded, the security person stopped at the first thing that might have set it off (I had left a metal-bodied pen in my shirt pocket) and didn't go on to find I also forgot to take out my cell phone and earphones from a different pocket (cargo pants). That was just for entry to the main concourse, though. To actually get on the plane, Cathay Pacific required a secondary screening that was much more rigorous from what I observed of how they dealt with other people (I remembered to put away my pen and phone that time). Malaysia Air did not do a secondary screening for a domestic flight when I boarded in Sandakan a few days earlier, but the concourse screening was also more intensive.

    • Pffff. I flew into KL a few weeks ago and I gotta say security was ridiculous. My plane had to stop to refuel and about five times before landing they warn you over the air that if you have any drugs on you when they land you'll be executed (the plane WAS from Amsterdam). Everyone had to disembark (and we weren't allowed to take any baggage). Then through metal detector + xray + pat down for everyone. Seemed a tad overkill for a plane refueling. I mean, I get security before entering a plane, but land

      • by QQBoss (2527196)

        A) The point under discussion was security on the way out, not on the way in. Since you were just passing through, perhaps airport security was given a heads up to look for something specific to your flight? You did say you were coming from Amsterdam, after all. Arriving into KL from Hong Kong, my flight had no additional screening, and immigration procedures into and out of Malaysia are the easiest I have ever dealt with in any country (you don't fill in any paperwork, they take it all off of your passp

      • They didn't slow down to land

        What was the windspeed and direction at the time of landing? What did ATC indicate was the minimum landing speed for wind conditions at the airport? What did the aircraft / company manual indicate what minimum approach speeds were for the conditions provided by ATC?

        • by T-Bucket (823202)

          They didn't slow down to land

          What was the windspeed and direction at the time of landing? What did ATC indicate was the minimum landing speed for wind conditions at the airport? What did the aircraft / company manual indicate what minimum approach speeds were for the conditions provided by ATC?

          There's so much wrong with this statement that it makes my head hurt. Who the hell thinks ATC dictates landing speeds? Those are determined by the pilots. If you asked ATC what your approach speed should be, they'd laugh you out of their airspace.

    • by mpfife (655916)
      I think there is good reason to believe if something tragic has happened - that it was an accident. Usually when terrorists destroy something - they immediately give notice and announce how and what they've done. We haven't seen that so far.
    • "how they dealt with other people" via throwing them into an operating jet turbine intake!
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Granted, it has been a while since I worked for the part of Motorola that became Freescale, but I am fairly certain there were rules against the maximum number of employees that could take any one flight. I think it was 2 for executives and 6 or 8 for regular employees. Situations like this, rare as they are, was the reason. I wonder if Freescale still has those rules and ignored them, or didn't copy them over.

      Most likely it was scrapped - plane crashes being rare things, it's easier and cheaper to book a s

    • by quietbob (548819)

      I just flew out of KL last night on a Malaysia Airlines flight (another 777), less than 24 hours after MH370.

      I think they've tightened things up a little - forgot a couple of coins in my pocket at the first screening and set off the detector, got the full pat down. Then at the gate they were screening again immediately before boarding and doing it thoroughly. First time in this part of the world I've seen them making people take off watches & belts.

      Seemed to be a few more uniformed guards around than us

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Reason why it would be a bomb is that the plane disappeared from radar without sending message to controllers. Thus the breakup of the plane is so quick that pilots couldnt send message. Only thing that can cause quick breakup of whole plane is a bomb or missile. And bomb is more likely.

    Also they think there is two unknown persons on board with false passports. Maybe they never boarded the plane or left too early, and werent in the plane when it crashed. False passports sounds exactly like what is needed to

  • I dunno. I realize things around here have somewhat changed; hell, I'm pretty new here, anyway. I would rather not be the "is this really news for nerds?" guy. Actually I haven't noticed that slogan printed on this site since certain changes were implemented.
    But while this is newsworthy, hoping that the discourse will evolve into a meritorious discussion of the technologies in use during such flights, the tech and techniques intended to prevent this specific kind of situation, and/or interesting details
    • by stoploss (2842505)

      I dunno. I realize things around here have somewhat changed; hell, I'm pretty new here, anyway. I would rather not be the "is this really news for nerds?" guy. Actually I haven't noticed that slogan printed on this site since certain changes were implemented.

      Actually, the mandatory on-topicness for tech news on Slashdot died on 11 Sep 2001 [slashdot.org]. That topic got thousands of posts from "the audience" (*cough*), and tech relevance forever after took a back seat to potential ad impressions for proposed content.

      I know, I know, people always point to the "...stuff that matters" part of the slogan. However, that's a retcon construction, as proven by the fact that the content was on-topic for years before they chose to digress. It's like how the U.S. Constitution is basical

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

Working...