If you want a break from social media hyperventilating over this coming week’s third anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 one of the mystery’s sane researchers, Mick Gilbert has a paper looking at the main reason why one or both of its pilots are unlikely to have ‘dunnit.’
He says, in short, that if you were looking to ‘vanish’ a flight and whisk it away to the South Indian Ocean;
- You wouldn’t have picked that flight; it’s tracked by radar the whole way to Beijing and it left KL with about half tanks of fuel. KL to Amsterdam is the flight you’d pick – it flies through a radar blind spot at the top of the Malacca Strait and it’s loaded to the gunwales with fuel (and Westerners if jihad is your thing).
- If you had to go with MH370, you would have waited 5 minutes before diverting – a few minutes past IGARI and you’re out of Thai radar coverage – and you would have said hello to Vietnamese ATC. By checking in with Ho Chi Minh ATCC you would have bought yourself an extra 30 minutes before the phone calls started (well, an extra 11 minutes in real life, it took HCM ATCC a life-threateningly incompetent 19 minutes to realise that the flight they were meant to have heard from hadn’t called up!)
- You most assuredly wouldn’t have flown your now stolen airplane straight past two RMAF fighter bases and 4 different civilian and military radar stations – that’s a bit like scheming to rob the Ferrari dealership and planning your getaway to go straight past police headquarters, a highway patrol station and four sets of fixed speed cameras.
- Having turned the SATCOM off, you would not have turned it back on.
- You would not have tooled around the Malacca Strait for the best part of an hour. The corollary to “go north” shift in the likely search area is that MH370 mustn’t have left the Strait till much later (or it flew much slower, or both). Late and/or slow is not the stuff of detailed and elaborate heists.
This reporter can nominate a sixth reason too.
- The KL authorities have encouraged the view the pilot or pilots did it, without ever unequivocally saying that either or both did.
Given the apparent inability of those authorities to make themselves accountable for their position on various matters, including the criminally negligent behavior of the national flag carrier in not doing its diligence on Ukraine air traffic corridors over disputed territory prior to the shooting down of MH17, we might conclude that anything KL wants us to believe is the opposite to the truth.
Mr Gilbert has also updated his paper on an alternative explanation for the disappearance of MH370, involving a very serious and sudden control crisis in the cockpit.
There is also a shorter presentation version of that paper.
If the notion of actual doing some serious reading about the loss of MH370 is too daunting you can always have your wish for facile 30 second solutions satisfied by any general media search for stories about its disappearance.