MISSING MALAYSIAN AIRLINES MH370 FLIGHT MYSTERY INTENSIFIES URGENT NEED OF REAL-TIME FLIGHT TRACKING SYSTEM
by Syarif Hidayat
Malaysia says all commercial flights should be fitted with tracking systems to prevent repeats of missing flight MH370.The report from the Malaysian government said that there had been two occasions in the last five years in which large commercial aircraft had gone missing.
Richard Hartley-Parkinson in his report published in the Mirror.co.uk writes Malaysia released a preliminary report on missing Flight MH370 on Thursday (May 1, 2014) in which it recommended that the U.N. body overseeing global aviation consider introducing a system for tracking commercial aircraft in real time.
In the report dated April 9, but only just made available to the media, the ministry pointed to the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft and Air France Flight AF447 in 2009 as evidence that such real-time tracking would help to locate missing aircraft more easily in future.
“There have now been two occasions during the last five years when large commercial air transport aircraft have gone missing and their last position was not accurately known,” the Transport Ministry said. “This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner.”
The report called on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to “examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real-time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft”. Flight MH370, which had 239 passengers and crew on board, disappeared off civilian radars while on a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.
The search for the Boeing 777-200ER is already the biggest in aviation history, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it had entered a new phase which could take six to eight months to complete.
Families of the missing passengers, the majority of whom are Chinese, have directed their anger largely at Malaysia’s authorities and military for failing to do enough to track the aircraft after it turned back after takeoff.
The report confirmed that military radar tracked a plane as it turned in a westerly direction across the Malaysian peninsula on the morning of March 8, and that it took no further action because the plane was deemed “friendly”.
However, it did not explain why Flight MH370 had been categorised as friendly even through its transponder was switched off by the time it turned back, one of many mysteries surrounding its fate that remain unanswered.
Still unknown is who or what led to MH370 veering off its original flight path and eventually ending up several thousand miles away in the southern Indian Ocean.
A 17-minute delay in querying missing MH370
Air traffic controllers took four hours to launch search and rescue operation, according to files released by Malaysian government.
Tania Branigan in Beijing and Gwyn Topham, transport correspondent in their article titled “MH370 report reveals 17-minute delay in querying missing plane” published in theguardian.com, Thursday 1 May 2014, wrote It took 17 minutes for air traffic controllers to realise that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had disappeared from their screens – and four hours to launch a rescue operation, according to documents issued on Thursday night by the Malaysian government.
The report, which was released with the plane’s cargo manifest, seating plan, and audio recordings of conversations between the pilots and air traffic controllers, also called on the International Civil Aviation Organisation to consider real-time tracking of passenger airplanes.
The timing of the plane’s disappearance was one of the details that first aroused suspicions that it might have been done deliberately: it happened at the boundary of air traffic control zones, two minutes after authorities in Kuala Lumpur told the pilots they should next contact Vietnamese officials. They never did so – prompting workers in Ho Chi Minh city to raise the alarm. Kuala Lumpur has been widely criticised for its handling of the plane’s disappearance.
Doug Maclean, air traffic control consultant at DKM Aviation, said the delay in querying the missing plane was “extraordinary”. He said: “If an aeroplane went missing on a handover between two countries you would expect some kind of action within 3 to 5 minutes maximum. In Europe or America you would be on the phone within three minutes – 17 minutes is quite an extraordinary length of time.”
“We have procedures going over vast oceans where you might wait 30 or 40 minutes for a position report but in a radar environment you can see an aeroplane on the screen – so if you can’t see it, why is it not there?”
MH370 disappeared shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March, bound for Beijing, with 239 people on board. Investigators believe it was deliberately diverted but say they have not ruled out any possibility.
Vietnamese air traffic control began asking about the whereabouts of the plane at 1.38am local time, after it disappeared from their radar screens and did not make verbal contact. Nearby aircraft were asked to contact it if they could and Kuala Lumpur air traffic control tried the airline and counterparts in Singapore, Hong Kong and Phnom Penh as it searched for the plane. Malaysian air traffic controllers did not activate the search and rescue operation until 5.30am, and do not appear to have contacted military authorities before activating the rescue – a four-hour period during which military radar showed a plane believed to be MH370 crossing Malaysia.
At 2.03am the Malysian air traffic controllers told their Vietnamese counterparts that, according to Malaysian Airlines, the aircraft was in Cambodian airspace. Only at 3.30am did they clarify that the supposed position was a projection based on the earlier flight path, and not based on any current signal.
Aircraft transponders and Acars systems disabled
Planes normally communicate with the ground via their transponders – which communicate with ground-based radars – and Acars systems. In the case of MH370, both of those systems appear to have been disabled around the time that the plane disappeared; the last Acars message was at 1.07am and the last transponder contact at 1.21am.
But the Acars system continued to make contact with satellites, and data shows that the plane flew on for several hours, with the last “handshake” at 8.19am. Specialist analysis of those contacts led Malaysia Airlines to announce weeks ago that it believed the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean with the loss of all lives.
The preliminary report states: “While commercial air transport aircraft spend considerable amounts of time operating over remote areas, there is currently no requirement for real-time tracking of these aircraft. There have now been two occasions during the last five years when large commercial air transport aircraft have gone missing and their last position was not accurately known. This uncertainty resulted in significant difficulty in locating the aircraft in a timely manner.
“Therefore, the Malaysian Air Accident Investigation Bureau makes the following safety recommendation to ICAO: it is recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organisation examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft.”
Some experts have suggested that flight data and cockpit voice recorders should stream information during flights. Others have asked whether it should be made impossible to disable transponders.
Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said Malaysian military radar tracked an aircraft – now known to be MH370 – turning back across the Malay peninsula, but the operator categorised it as friendly so took no further action.
The radar data was reviewed at 8.30am on 8 March and within hours the prime minister ordered search and rescue operations to begin in the Straits of Malacca, off the west coast, in addition to the South China Sea search that had already begun. But news of a possible turn-back was not revealed until the following day, and even then no detail was offered.
The report was issued as the airline announced it will close the family support centres it has set up in hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing within the week and urged relatives to await further news “within the comfort of their own homes, with the support and care of their families and friends”.
Its CEO, Ahmed Jauhari Yahya, said the company was “acutely conscious of, and deeply sympathetic to the continuing unimaginable anguish, distress and hardship suffered by those with loved ones on board the flight”.
It also said it would make advanced compensation payments to the relatives, which would not affect their rights to claim compensation at a later stage. Search teams picked up signals they believe came from the aircraft’s black boxes last month, far off the west coast of Australia. But the flight data and cockpit voice recorders have yet to be found.
Earlier in the week, the aerial search for wreckage was called off on the assumption that any debris from the plane would have sunk already and the head of the Australian centre overseeing operations warned that they would be “doing well” if they completed an expanded search of the seabed within eight months.
Flight MH370 conspiracy theories: what happened to the missing plane?
Was Flight MH370 captured by aliens? Stolen by Israeli agents? Or turned invisible? In the absence of any firm evidence about the fate of missing flight MH370, the world’s conspiracy theorists have weighed in with explanations of their own for the Malaysian Airlines plane’s disappearance.
A lack of clarity from official has allowed rumours to flourish. Even the Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has accused his country’s government of withholding “missing bits of information” about the investigation. He asked how a country with “one of the most sophisticated” radar systems in the world could simply lose track of an aeroplane.
The recent suggestion that the rescue operation may still be looking in the wrong place, and the claim that investigators can’t rule out the possibility that Flight MH370 landed rather than crashed after all, are only fuelling the debate. Far away from the scene of the search, on the internet’s more excitable fringes, individuals have been working on theories of their own to plug the information gaps. Here are some of the best (and weirdest):
Social media users have jumped on the possibility of extraterrestrial life having something to do with the missing plane. One user wrote: “After an extensive conversation with my father & his partner, we have come to the conclusion that the only explanation is #aliens mh370.”
Another added: “I secretly believe that plane is abducted by aliens.. I know I’m not the only one..” And one user even said there were only two possibilities for its disappearance, aliens or a DB Cooper-style heist.
He wrote: “This Malaysian airlines flight has the potential to be either the greatest heist since DB Cooper, or alien abduction. I vote aliens.”
Five per cent of Americans surveyed by Reason.com believe that the plane was abducted by aliens. Some bloggers have pointed to a number of recent UFO sightings in Malaysia as evidence for extraterrestrial intervention. Alexandra Bruce, from Forbidden Knowledge TV, “proves” the involvement of aliens with her analysis of radar data. She claims that footage posted on YouTube shows the presence of something that “can only be termed a UFO” in the skies over Malaysia. Of course, that means something that is “unidentified” rather than aliens.
A 9/11-style false-flag hijack mission
No conspiracy is complete without Israeli involvement, and MH370 is no exception. According to this theory, Israeli agents planned to crash the Malaysia Airways plane into a building, as in the September 11 attacks, and then blame the atrocity on Iran.
Proponents point to the quick identification of two Iranian nationals travelling on forged passports, and claims that CCTV images released of the pair had been doctored. More extravagantly, some have claimed that a Malaysia Airways Boeing 777 identical to the one that went missing “had been stored in a hangar in Tel Aviv since November 2013”
The idea there could be a second Bermuda Triangle seems a popular one on social media. Its sudden and unexplained disappearance from radar could have several explanations, whether it be a sudden explosion or mid-air disintegration, or even a mechanical failure.
But some theorists believe it simply means the plane has entered another Devil’s Triangle. Boats and planes have been known to disappear in the patch of sea in the North Atlantic Ocean, known as the Bermuda Triangle, including Flight 19 in 1945, when five torpedo bombers mysteriously vanished.But could there really be another one?
One Twitter user wrote: “So…what is up with this Malaysian airplane thing? Is there an Asian version of the Bermuda Triangle?”
Another added: “Maybe there’s such thing as Asian bermuda triangle.
Ok, so the plane didn’t actually fly anywhere near Bermuda, but some people – including one Malaysian minister – pointed out that the area where MH370 vanished is on the exact opposite side of the globe to the Bermuda Triangle. Unfortunately those people are wrong; the exact opposite side of the globe is closer to the Caribbean than Bermuda, The Sunday Times notes.
The plane was hijacked…with a mobile phone
This theory is coming to you from The Sunday Express, who took a break from writing about Princess Diana to deliver us this shocking piece of news. MH370 may well have been hijacked with a mobile phone. This information supposedly comes from anti-terror experts and a former Home Office advisor, who evidently don’t understand how technology works.
The claim is that a phone can be used to wirelessly hack into the plane’s systems and, “change the plane’s speed, altitude and direction by sending radio signals to its flight management system. It could then be landed or made to crash by remote control.”
This is apparently possible because MH370 is one of the first iterations of what is known as a ‘smart plane’ a fly-by-wire aircraft controlled by electronic signals. Oh and apparently, this sort of hijacking can also be done with a USB stick. I’m no expert in aerospace engineering, but this sounds like it’s completely made up in order to shift more newspapers.
The disappearance of flight MH370 may be down to the world’s first cyber hijack, according to the Sunday Express. It says that hackers could have accessed the aircraft’s flight computer and reprogrammed the speed, altitude and direction. “It could then be landed or made to crash by remote control,” the paper suggests. It may be worth noting that the woman who came up with the theory “runs her own company training businesses and governments to counter terrorist attacks.”
Due to the plane transporting 20 employees from Texas based technology firm Freescale Semiconductor, theories have arisen that the plane was being used to test “cloaking technology”, hence the disappearance from the radar.
Apparently, this technology would make the plane invisible to radar and almost impossible to spot with the naked eye. There are two main theories here: One is that the Chinese got wind of the technology on board and diverted the plane to get their hands on it, the other is that the US realised the Chinese may get hold of it and shot the plane down to stop that from happening.
There were early suggestions 20 employees from the Texas-based Freescale Semiconductor were on board the flight. So Reddit user Dark Spectre has put two and two together and come up with, well, you decide.
“So we have the American IBM Technical Storage Executive for Malaysia, a man working in mass storage aggregation for the company implicated by the Snowden papers for providing their services to assist the National Security Agency in surveilling the Chinese,” he wrote.
“And now this bunch of US chip guys working for a global leader in embedded processing solutions (embedded smart phone tech and defense contracting) all together..on a plane..And disappeared.. Coincidence??”
He goes on to that the plane itself was kidnapped by Chinese authorities to uncover more about Snowden’s revelations.
According to reports, 20 employees of Freescale Semiconductor, a company that develops “cloaking” technology were onboard the MH370 when it went missing. Some, such as the writers of WorthyToShare.com, have speculated that the plane may have been turned invisible and landed somewhere, possibly at the US Air Force base in Diego Garcia.
Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have flown into tiny island called Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia is a remotely located atoll in the Indian Ocean. The lonely island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is home to a U.S. Naval base and is now speculated to have answers to the MH370 mystery, according to News.com.au.
This conspiracy theory is the latest addition to several other theories concerning different locations. Propagators of this theory believe that the little island maybe the actual location where MH370 landed after being hijacked and can now be found in. The island is said to be “one of the world’s most remote locations,” which allegedly has a “secret prison.”
The island reportedly has no indigenous inhabitants as they were forcibly removed and were asked to relocate on other locations such as Chagos Archipelago, Seychelles and Mauritius in the year 1971.
Diego Garcia is located 4700 km northwest of the Australia and has 1700 military personnel and 1500 civilian contractors residing there.
The lonely island reportedly has a runway that can accommodate a plane as big as Boeing 777. Therefore, Diego Garcia is now considered to be the potential location where missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 can be found, according to the conspiracy theory.
The theory became the subject of speculation when it was figured that MH370′s pilot Captain Zaharie Shah’s flight simulator had Diego Garcia’s runway location stored in it. Earlier, FBI reported that there was “nothing sinister” about the homemade flight simulator and files stored in it. But reports claiming that the plane was “deliberately” taken off the radar detection have drawn attention towards the pilot of MH370 yet again.
Furthermore, an American freelance journalist Jim Stone is advocating the theory that claims MH370 may have landed in Diego Garcia island. In his blog, Jim Stone has reportedly presented “a bewildering array of theories about major news events.”
The blogger claims that Philip Wood an American passenger travelling in the now missing flight MH370 did manage to send a message. The text contained information including GPS coordinates that presented a location that is just few kilometers away from the Indian Ocean island Diego Garcia. The text revealed that Philip Wood has been held hostage by some unknown military personnel, according to News.com.au.
MH370 passenger Philip Wood is said to be an IBM engineer. Examiner further explains Jim Stone’s Diego Garcia conspiracy theory. The theory states that the intention behind taking the plane is concerning 20 top employees of Freescale Semiconductor Inc. on the flight. These people reportedly worked on the development of semiconductor and were soon going to get it patented. But if rest of the people who worked on the project are gone, the patent can be owned by one person named Jacob Rothschild.
Another reason behind the plane’s disappearance could be that “some government wanted to get their hands on the knowledge held by the 20 top employees to have this microchip built for some reason,” as per the report.
However, Metabunk report suggests that it is not difficult to “fake a mobile phone’s GPS coordinates,” and denies the truth behind the Diego Garcia conspiracy theory. News.com.au notes that the information of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 suggests that the plane ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
The United States have been forced to flatly deny claims that the plane landed at its military base on the remote island of Diego Garcia.
There were strong rumours that the jetliner could have headed for the small coral atoll in the Indian Ocean, which sits around 3,500km from Malaysia.
However, a spokesman for the US embassy in the Malaysian capital said there was no truth in this speculation. He told Malaysia’s Star newspaper by email: “There was no indication that MH370 flew anywhere near the Maldives or Diego Garcia. “MH370 did not land in Diego Garcia.”
A theory suggesting the plane was hidden as part of an experiment has circulated. Citizens news site Beforeitsnews.com reported: “It is conceivable that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane is ‘cloaked’, hiding with hi-tech electronic warfare weaponry that exists and is used.
“In fact, this type of technology is precisely the expertise of Freescale, that has 20 employees on board the missing flight.”
It was orchestrated to obtain patent rights
One theory that has come to light is that, similar to the life insurance scam, the plane was deliberately destroyed to get hold of patent rights. Apparently, a patent was approved four days after the disappearance of the flight, and it’s being reported that the right to the patent were split five ways – 20% to Freescale Semiconductor and 20% each to four employees, all of whom were passengers on the plane. With them out of the way, Freescale Semiconductor have complete control of the patent (reportedly #8671381).
A weapon of unimaginable power
Conspiracy theory and scientific site Natural News, run by Mike Adams, has another theory. Writing for NaturalNews.com, Mike Adams says that the plane’s disappearance shows that “some entirely new, mysterious and powerful force is at work on our planet which can pluck airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind even a shred of evidence”.
Adams said: “If we never find the debris, it means some entirely new, mysterious and powerful force is at work on our planet, which can pluck airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind even a shred of evidence.”
He added: “If there does exist a weapon with such capabilities, whoever controls it already has the ability to dominate all of Earth’s nations with a fearsome military weapon of unimaginable power.” Quite concerning.
He believes the plane fell into an area “outside the search zone” and could lead to a very dark end for Earth.
MH370 itself could be used as a weapon
Some people have expressed concern that the aeroplane may have been hijacked by terrorists and landed somewhere, to be used as a weapon at a later date. The proponents of the theory suggest that the plane could have been flown to a safe place, landed and camouflaged and may, at some point, be used to commit a 9/11-style atrocity. Former RAF navigator Sean Maffett told the BBC that in his view this would be very hard to do, but that the possibility cannot be ruled out. “We are now at stage where very, very difficult things have to be considered as all sensible options seem to have dropped off,” he said.
Passengers deliberately killed
Another theory suggests that passengers may have been killed by decompression. If the 777 was deliberately flown to over 45,000 feet, the cabin could have depressurised. In such an event oxygen masks would deploy, but they would have supplied air for only another 12 to 15 minutes. Anyone in the cockpit would also have been killed, but supporters of the theory say that the pilots or hijackers could have smuggled their own oxygen supply onto the flight.
MH370 hid in shadow of another flight
Blogger Keith Ledgerwood argues that the MH370 may have hidden itself from radar detection by manoeuvring itself behind Singapore Airlines flight 68. “It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 through India and Afghanistan airspace. As MH370 was flying ‘dark’ without a transponder, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around, and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens”, Ledgerwood wrote.
Professor Hugh Griffiths, a radar expert at University College London, told the BBC that the theory was feasible, but estimates that to escape detection, the planes would have needed to have flown no more than 3,300 feet from one another. And even then military radar, which is more subtle, could possibly have detected one plane from the other. If this is the case it could mean the plane could be anywhere from Thailand to Turkmenistan.
One of the most widely held theories is that there was a fire on board that killed all on board but burned out before damaging the exterior of the plane. This would explain why the aircraft, on auto-pilot, would fly such a long distance off course. An aviation source said that if this was the case, it would have hit the water at around 600mph after gliding down from 35,000ft.
The source said: “The plane would not have dropped like a stone, it would have glided down from 35,000ft for around 10-12 minutes after it had exhausted its fuel. “It would have hit the water with a massive impact – as though the plane had landed on concrete. Nobody could have survived that. “There would have been a huge explosion with the wings ripped off and the fuselage would probably have plummeted straight down.”
One theory is that the plane was carrying a large load of lithium ion batteries, which caught fire. The releasing toxic fumes would then knock out everyone on board, or so the argument goes. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that stupid – Boeing and battery fires do have a history, but saying that, there’s not a single scrap of evidence to support this theory.
The Malaysian police chief refused to rule out the possibility of the missing plane being an elaborate insurance scam. Khalid Abu Bakar addressed the world last month to provide an update on the investigation and revealed authorities were exploring every single avenue – no matter how remote.
“Maybe somebody on the flight has bought a huge sum of insurance, who wants family to gain from it or somebody who has owed somebody so much money, you know, we are looking at all possibilities,” he said.
The authorities’ investigations extend to examining every detail of the passengers for any clues as to what may have happened. “We are looking very closely at the video footage taken at the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), we are studying the behavioural pattern of all the passengers,” he added.
According to The Mirror, this is a theory that the Malaysian Government has not ruled out. The idea that the plane was deliberately destroyed to get hold of a passenger’s life insurance payout is not that ridiculous if you consider that they may have got the pilot involved. It’s worth mentioning that there is absolutely no evidence for this, but if it were true it fits in well with what we know.
We know that the transponder was probably switched off manually, the last communication was nothing out of the ordinary, and the plane probably changed course. It’s not hard to believe that the pilot/co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane for some financial reason. Then again, this was the plot of an episode of Doctor Who…
A meteor strike
We know from recent events that meteorites can cause a serious amount of damage, so what happened if the plane got hit by a meteor mid-flight? Well it would cause catastrophic damage to the plane, and CNN claims that there was a meteor spotted in the area. CNN does point out that it’s a very unlikely scenario for a meteor to hit such a small target, but that hasn’t stopped people taking it into consideration.
To be honest, though, considering the explosion from the Russian meteorite, you’d think someone would’ve noticed.
The plane is hidden in Western Asia
This one comes courtesy of everybody’s “favourite” media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who has declared that the plane was most likely hijacked and is hiding where the US and China can’t find it. What’s his theory? The plane is hiding in Northern Pakistan, “like Bin Laden.”
Now, considering Mr Murdoch began his professional life as a journalist, he should know better than to make wild accusations without evidence. Then again, this is the man who controls Fox News. In any case Murdoch’s theories don’t have any evidence to support them, and the distance from Southern Vietnam to Northern Pakistan is quite long – someone would’ve noticed.
A Russian newspaper claimed MH370 has been hijacked and flown to Afghanistan, where the crew and passengers are now being held captive.
A military source reportedly told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper: “Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines missing on March 8 with 239 passengers was hijacked.
“Pilots are not guilty; the plane was hijacked by unknown terrorists. We know that the name of the terrorist who gave instructions to pilots is “Hitch.”The plane is in Afghanistan not far from Kandahar near the border with Pakistan.” Others have since gone on to indicate that the passengers have been divided into seven groups and are living in mud huts with almost no food.
Terrorists crashed it into the sea
So far no terrorist groups have claimed responsibility for the missing flight, but that hasn’t stopped theorists claiming it’s the only explanation.
The two passengers who boarded the plane with stolen passports really triggered this possibility, with many believing they must be part of a huge cover up to sink the plane.
Pilot David Learmount, who is operations and safety editor of Flight Global magazine, said: “Something happened and the pilots did not tell anyone. Why? It’s a good question. “It’s extraordinary the pilots failed to call because they had plenty of time to. Unless there was a bomb on board but there has been no evidence of that.”
Other groups, however, have claimed responsibility over the last few days, including an unknown Chinese group. An email was sent to various journalists in China, saying: “You kill one of our clan, we will kill 100 of you as payback.” But officials in Malaysia have said they believe the group’s claim could be a hoax. The email did not explain what had happened to the plane.
One explanation for the sudden disappearance, according to some, could be pilot suicide. But so far no evidence has come to light to suggest either captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah or co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid had such intentions.
John Brennan, head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), told the Daily Mail, when asked if it was a possibility: “I think you cannot discount any theory.” Malaysian police have attempted to investigate whether any passengers or crew on the plane had personal or psychological problems that might shed light on the mystery.
Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said at a news conference: “We are looking at all possibilities.” Other theorists have claimed the pilot or crew could have hijacked the plane themselves. But Hugh Dunleavy, the commercial director of Malaysia Airlines, said the captain in charge of the flight was a very seasoned pilot with an excellent record.
“There have been absolutely no implications that we are aware of that there was anything untoward in either his behaviour or attitude,” Dunleavy told Reuters in an interview. “We have no reason to believe that there was anything, any actions, internally by the crew that caused the disappearance of this aircraft.”
Cracks in the aircraft
Six months before the plane went down, the U.S. aviation watchdog warned airlines of a problem with cracks in Boeing 777s that could lead to a mid-air break up or a catastrophic drop in pressure. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert in September last year giving airlines until April 9 to detect and correct cracking in the fuselage skin on Boeing 777s.
The FAA warned that failure to do so would leave the aircraft vulnerable to ‘a rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity’.
The organisation issued a final directive just two days before the Malaysia Airlines plane took off and said one airline had found a 16-in crack in the fuselage skin of a 14-year-old plane. However, Boeing said that the FAA alert did not apply to the missing jet because it did not have the same antenna as the rest of the Boeing 777s.
What drives conspiracy theories?
David Aaronovitch author of Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy in Shaping Modern History, told the Sunday Times: “Given that people can make conspiracy theories out of something that is fully explained, like the moon landings, it’s not surprising that they will fill the void in a genuine mystery with conspiracy theories. Essentially these people can’t face the thought of chaos. They can’t face the role of accident and contingency in life; they have to attribute agency.” (HSH)