777 200er

Malaysia Airlines MH370

My feeling is simply that someone, somewhere, isn’t telling us something. Planes don’t just ‘disappear’.

Let’s rule out some options:

It can’t be a terrorist attack, because if so, a terrorist organisation would have claimed responsibility by now. No-one has.

It can’t have nose-dived, because wreckage would have been found in that area. Plus, there would have been time to call a Mayday. Even if the plane was sent into a dive by a terrorist or even one of the pilots, wreckage would have been found. It hasn’t been.

The next question is why the plane changed its course. It is now certain that it must have done so, due to the aforementioned absence of remains in the water. So…why? Was there a failure of the electronic systems on board? A loss of power perhaps? In which case a 777-200ER at over 30000ft can glide for over 100nm; quite a formidable distance. This is a reasonable explanation.

However, every plane has a back-up electronic system, that the generation of emergency power. With which they could and should have contacted ATC and would have been picked up by radar in either Malaysia or Vietnam or any of the surrounding countries. So why wasn’t the plane picked up? A triple-7 is a pretty big plane!

This comes as speculations arose that suggest that the Malaysian military has radar information that shows the Boeing changing its course. So the big question is why were are only being told this NOW? The flight disappeared on Saturday, a full 4 days ago!

What else are they not telling us? We can’t rule out the possibility that someone knows exactly what happened but hasn’t been telling the truth. Maybe Vietnam lied: maybe the plane did enter their airspace. What advantage it would bring to the country by not telling the world what happened is, at least for me, completely unimaginable. Maybe Malaysia Airlines know something they aren’t sharing for fear it will destroy their company. I’m not blaming anyone, and I am certainly not saying that the Vietnamese or the airline have lied, I am merely pointing out that the possibility that someone isn’t telling us everything they know is very likely. How else can 239 people and a $261.5m plane go missing?

So please, I beg the theoretical person who has this information to let it be released. Not for me, but for the family of those who were on board. Please, they have suffered enough.

The disappearance of a Malaysian airliner about an hour into a flight to Beijing is an “unprecedented mystery”, the civil aviation chief said on Monday, as a massive air and sea search now in its third day failed to find any trace of the plane or 239 people on board.

Dozens of ships and aircraft from 10 countries scoured the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam as questions mounted over possible security lapses and whether a bomb or hijacking attempt could have brought down the Boeing 777-200ER which took off from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The area of the search would be widened from Tuesday, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters.

A senior police official told Reuters that people armed with explosives and carrying false identity papers had tried to fly out of Kuala Lumpur in the past, and that current investigations were focused on two passengers who were on the missing plane with stolen passports.

“We have stopped men with false or stolen passports and carrying explosives, who have tried to get past KLIA (airport) security and get on to a plane,” he said. “There have been two or three incidents, but I will not divulge the details.”

Interpol confirmed on Sunday at least two passengers used stolen passports and said it was checking whether others aboard had used false identity documents.

Azharuddin said a hijacking attempt could not be ruled out as investigators explore all theories for the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

“Unfortunately we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft,” he told a news conference. “As far as we are concerned, we have to find the aircraft. We have to find a piece of the aircraft if possible.”

Azharuddin also said the two men with stolen passports did not look like Asians, but he did not elaborate. Airport CCTV footage showed they completed all security procedures, he said.

“We are looking at the possibility of a stolen passport syndicate,” he said.

About two-thirds of the 227 passengers and 12 crew now presumed to have died aboard the plane were Chinese. The airline said other nationalities included 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans.

The planned flight path of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The contact was lost two hours into the flight early Saturday. The Boeing 777-200ER departed from Kuala Lumpur 12:41 a.m. local time with 227 passengers and 12 crew members and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m..

Malaysia Airlines MH370

Though it’s something that this account really isn’t meant for, I’d like to comment on the recently-disappeared flight, being an aircraft enthusiast as well.

The 777-200ER is an exceptionally safe aircraft; since its introduction in 1995 (nearly twenty years now) it has only recorded 38 total fatalities. The Malaysian aircraft disappeared overseas late at night (in local time), meaning that visibility would naturally have been minimal, especially overseas. It disappeared under circumstances alarmingly similar to that of Air France flight 447, which experienced catastrophic instrument failure after its Pitot tubes were frozen over by frigid weather—flight 447 did not issue any distress signals nor did its crew relay any emergency message.

This is where similarities end, however; flight 447 was an Airbus A330 which was widely controlled by a “glass cockpit” system, meaning that it was operated by a complex and sophisticated autopilot system that employed virtually no analog instruments at all. The lack of visibility meant that the crew did not realize that the computers were feeding false readings until it was too late. MH370’s 777-200ER worked with a similar “glass cockpit”, with the autopilot directing much of, if not all of, the IFR (instrument flight rules) flights. Alarmingly, wreckage from flight 447 was found within two days of its disappearance, despite having crashed in the much larger Atlantic Ocean.

Any trace of MH370 has yet to be found, to the dismay of many families. This opens a large array of possibilities:
(1) At the time of disappearance, Malaysian Airlines estimated that about 7.5 hours worth of jet fuel should’ve still been in the aircraft; considering the proximity between the aircraft’s last reported location and two large landmasses, it is very possible that the aircraft was piloted into one of these airspaces—however, both Vietnam and China report that such is not the case. Therein still lies, however, the distinct possibility that the aircraft crash landed into a mountainous region above the aircraft’s adjusted altimeter, assuming that it experienced failures similar to flight 447. If such is the case, there is obviously still hope, but time is dwindling.
(2) The other possibility is that it faced a fate similar to TWA flight 800, which faced a sudden mid-air explosion due to an electrical failure—this probably isn’t the case, however, as no debris has been found—in the case of an explosion, debris should be the first indicators. HOWEVER; there still lies the distinct possibility that the aircraft exploded over ground, with the debris raining down on the land below—this is a particularly unlikely possibility, though.
(3) The final possibility is that the aircraft simply crashed into the water, which still leaves the matter of debris.

The one consistent factor here preventing any kind of conclusion is the absence of debris—the aircraft simply disappeared, leaving behind no trace. Similar circumstances have only been produced with small aircraft, like when a squadron of WWII TBM dive-bombers suddenly disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle; wreckage was found years later, sunken into the ocean where it had created a large artificial reef; ultimately, however, the discovery of wreckage of five different Avenger aircraft did not yield any results, the flight’s disappearance remains a mystery. Will MH370 ultimately face the same fate?