Large debris field spotted in MH370 search–is it from the airplane?

A large debris field has been spotted in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. A satellite from Airbus Defence and Space photographed 122 large and small pieces of something. Searchers are en route to eyeball and recover this to determine if the debris is from the plane.

We plotted the location and created this image to further illustrate the remoteness of the location. This is at the edge of the potential search zone we plotted shortly after the airplane disappeared.

Debris Field MH370 032614

We also added the reported and estimated flight paths, though we were unable on this scale to include the several reported turns within the Strait of Malacca area. There are distinct turns from the intended flight path (and several more within the Strait of Malacca that were reported) which, to us, indicates a pilot-in-command of some kind, rather than a “ghost” airplane.

As we linked yesterday, former pilot John Nance believes a criminal act took illegal command of the airplane and then once on the southward tract put the plane on auto-pilot and then depressurized the airplane, killing all on board. The Boeing 777 then flew south to fuel exhaustion.

55 Comments on “Large debris field spotted in MH370 search–is it from the airplane?

  1. Hello. The UK’s Daily Mail this morning has a report from a “close friend” of the pilot, saying the man was very upset that his wife had just moved out and he was in no condition to fly. I can’t find any mention of this in the US outlets I’ve checked – maybe they are regarding it as mere hearsay. However, it sure is an interesting explanation for virtually all the mysteries about this flight.

    Elizabeth Garner

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589723/French-satellite-spots-122-objects-75ft-long-Indian-Ocean-debris-doomed-Malaysian-airline.html

    • If the pilot was planning to disappear he might wanted to have distanced himself from his family to protect them. There was also the suspious phone call to him just prior to the flight from a woman that used a prepaid disposable phone bought with fake ID.

      • But one article counters the phone call claim. Hard to know what/who to believe.

    • I heard a similar story shortly after the disappearance of MH370 was first announced. That is actually what made me adopt early on the suicidal terrorist act scenario. But I have noticed that this aspect of the captain’s life, if proven true, is rarely discussed. It is possible that this might be considered a key element in the enquiry but is not mentioned publicly due to the sensitivity of the subject.

    • OTOH, an article said that crew looked relaxed going through security. (A small slice of time of course, and photos not face-face evaluation.)

    • I hope they have the decency to run an apology and retraction should the pilot be found with a bullet hole in the wreckage, speculation is one thing, but this unfounded character assassination is another, he has family like everyone else.

      • You can view this as character assassination but I don’t think that’s what it is. It is more a character investigation. The captain of the aircraft could indeed be innocent. Only the black boxes will be the final judge. In the meantime there is little else to speculate about if one wants to figure out what could have happened.

        Captain Zaharie seems to have been a very nice individual. He had a very pleasant personality and he looked quite smart. I sincerely hope he had nothing to do with this. And so far he has not been charged or accused of any wrongdoing.

        Yet, many of us are speculating that he could be responsible for this tragedy. The only reason he has been singled out is because he reportedly had serious marital problems. Normally this would not be highly significant for the simple reason that nearly half of the world is experiencing marital problems at one point or another in a lifetime. What is different in this case is that the various elements that have been revealed to us concerning his mental state and psychological condition could give us some clue to help us understand what might have happened.

        Let’s face it, we will not know what happened on Flight 370 until the black boxes are found, and this could take several years, if ever they are found. But it’s part of human nature to want to understand. Especially in this day and age when information travels at the speed of light, literally. We also live at a time when major aircraft accidents are few and far between.

        On top of this we are dealing with one of the most reliable airliner that was ever built. So if we eliminate mechanical problems there is not much left for speculation.

  2. We shall know in about 1-2 days as ships get to the area. If the debris field is confirmed as coming from MH-370 (luggage, floating airplane parts, etc.) then we need to look at the prevailing currents and winds to try to back-track to the actual wreckage site area. This will not give an exact location of the wreckage, but it will be a place to start looking. A further refined plot could produce an arc along where the airplane ran out of fuel then glided to the ocean surface.

  3. And then there is the ‘ partial ping ” issue which may indicate a slightly earlier fuel exhaustion, moving the area perhaps 200 to 300 miles to the northeast . . .

    I’m sure the real experts are working that possible event .

  4. Mr. Nance story line could be worked into a well selling book but it is imho unrealistic.

    • I met John Nance once, while riding jumpseat from KSEA to KPDX years ago. He has written some good aviation novels, and at the time I was surprised to meet him because I had just read his book about the demise of Braniff, ‘Flash of Colors’. (btw, good book, and well worth the read). I think his theory about the flight ‘s use of depressurization to kill the passengers and then use of the autopilot to disappear in a remote ocean location is extremely credible, and likely what happened here. The only part I do not agree with is Nance’s belief terrorists took over the flight. As scary as it is, we all need to recognize that the terrorist could be in a pilot uniform, and scheduled to fly that ship, that night.

      I also strongly believe, from a few years carefully studying FAA and aviation regulation/promotion in general (yes, regulation and promotion do go hand-in-hand!) that all aviation authorities are extremely averse releasing facts about scary aviation details. Hence, the pattern of mis-information and non-information that has emerged in the past nineteen days (and will continue, while these same authorities try to write the optimal explanation of what happened here).

      Also, this incident does not have to involve both pilots. For example, what if the Captain told the FO to go into the cabin to check on something? Given the likelihood that the young in-training FO would respect all orders, it would be a minute or so later that he would have returned, to find the Captain ignoring his signal to unlock the flight deck door. For reasons of full security, post-9/11, would it be true that the flight deck door would NOT offer any sort of bypass to allow access against the Captain’s will?

      • Nance said terrorists or the pilot(s), because we don’t know. This is what I’ve been saying, too. I suspect, though, that Nance has a stronger private opinion, just as I do.

        Hamilton

      • The exact full title would be “Splash of Colors: The Self-Description of Braniff International”.

        It is possible that the co-pilot was locked outside of the cockpit, but unlikely. The reason I say this is that there would not have been enough time between the co-pilot’s last message “All right, good night” and the moment the airplane changed course. But in my favourite scenario this would have been very convenient indeed for a suicidal captain, for it removes the need for a fight.

        Once the co-pilot is locked outside the captain remains alone in the cockpit and can carry out his plan unimpeded. And to prevent further intrusion in the cockpit the captain could have climbed further up, done his oxygen mask, and depressurized the aircraft. Everyone inside the cabin, including the co-pilot, would be dead in a few minutes. After this short period the captain would have lowered the aircraft and pressurized the aircraft again, because his supply of oxygen was limited.

        This scenario would imply that everyone onboard, except the captain, were dead before the airplane crashed into the ocean. But there is a possibility that after putting the aircraft back on autopilot the captain has again depressurized the aircraft, but this time did not put his oxygen mask on, and let the plane fly itself until it ran out of fuel.

        I would like to invite those who have reservations about this kind of scenario to read the Daily Mail article mentioned above by Elizabeth. It looks like there was a troubled man at the controls of MH370 that night.

        • Well, another article quotes a pilot as saying they know a secret way to get in. Could vary with airline and airplane.

          Most theories are incomplete, the author has not thought them through to the extent needed.

        • @ Keith
          One way or another the captain would have had to neutralize the co-pilot. The easiest way would have been to lock him outside the cockpit. But like you say there might have been a way around this for the co-pilot. And I have already mentioned that the elapse time between his last words and the time the plane initiated a turn was too short to find him outside the cockpit before the command was executed.

          Maybe the co-pilot was just knocked unconscious by the captain before depressurization. I believe the troubled captain probably remained at the controls all along and the co-pilot was just a victim, like the rest of the people onboard.

  5. Amsterdam Island is NW of the location Scott plotted. It is at 37.50S, 77.33E.

    The volcanic rock called St. Paul Island is to the west of Scott’s plotted location at 38.43S, 77.31E.

    The approximate distance from Amsterdam Island to the floating debris is 1000 nm. From St. Paul Island it is about 900 nm.

  6. Where’s a profile of the altitude track as tracked by radar after it turned? That would be informative.

    • There appears to be no way to ascertain the altitude from the data available after transponder/ACARS shut down

      • Air defense radars can give altitude, speed, and heading information on targets. That is one reason why I think the Malaysian government is somehow involved. It was the RMAF that tracked MH-370 after lost comm. MH-370 over flew one of their most important bases, RMAF Butterworth AFB.

        • But he rapidly got out of range of the Military radar as he headed south . . .

  7. If indeed this is debris from MH370 & the correct location it will be intriguing to see what resources Boeing are prepared to throw at any attempt to unravel this mystery.

    The tenacity of Airbus & the BEA effectively pulling out all the stops in their quest to resolve the relatively more straight forward AF447 incident set the bar for searches of this nature at a new level..

    • IMHO and in the end both crashes will show similarly “unexpected” causal chains.

      Interesting ( and in contrast to AF447 ) is the complete absence of “interests” out
      to leverage “anything” taking up any situation and cheap argument trying to talk up a storm against a select target.
      Quite the cultural difference there.

      • Your quite correct the media frenzy parallel with instant experts with science fiction comments many of which are posted to this excellent site is in complete contrast to the generally more sober & reasoned European perspective.

  8. With all due respect to Mr. Nance I believe it was day 3 when I called this as a pilot hijack suicide. I guess I should be on the talk circuit (and yes its on the comments on this sight as well as Plane Talking)

    My brother has brought forth the fact that there was no cell phone contact with the passengers despite the early wild maneuvers and having passed over Malaysia and Thailand with large cities on either side, not to mention down the Straight of Malacca which I believe would also have numerous cell towers.

    Ergo, there is no reason the passengers were not killed early on, no one has said if the pilot can disable their oxygen masks.

    And its no certainly he was not dead early on as well and had put it on a pre-ploted course. The Malacca Straights course changes argue against it, but the cell silence of the passengers argues for it as they would have been suspicious and checking the GPS aps and calling.

    And with all due respect to Mr. Ewe, this is the most plausible possibility. Any other possibility of mechanical issues and the aircraft doing what it did and flying the distance it did is simply impossible.

    It had to be a human agent, it had to be a very experienced 777 pilot to do all that, fly at night or the world most bizarre superman technically accomplished hi-jacker or terrorist to do all that and then simply flew the aircraft off into never never land for no reason. That does stretch us well through the plastic region into a broken rubber band.

    • @TransWorld..you like every other person on the planet have a theory -and though it might be the most plausable and realistic theory, its still just that.

      • I would say a percentage of the people on the planet have a theory and some have none, never heard of it etc.

        The test of a theory is does it correlate to the facts. The known facts are.

        1. Transponder went off line
        2. ACARS went off line
        3. Aircraft did some kind of odd maneuvers with varying altitude.
        4. The Aircraft then took up a stable bearing and altitude.
        5. The aircraft made a series of course changes (no good information on altitude other than it has been reported as stable, as with much information I have yet to see real solid data from a valid source such as NTSB.
        6. The Aircraft was last seen heading N.W. , Ping data showed it changed course to the S.E. and then after 6 hours and one normal check in had some kind of a stutter check and that was the last anyone heard from it.
        7. Credible sources have confimred it was in the Southern arc.
        8. Reported but not proven is that ACARS picked up a deliberate set of key strokes into the flight programer for the initial course change.

        While there are other possibilities , they are so incredibly unrealistic as to be totally implausible , the only plausible one is a human agent. Stories like the “Flight of the Phoenix” while great theater (and I enjoyed it) can never happen.

        Of the possible human agents that could have done that, the only plausible one is a pilot of someone who is a genius on a home flight simulator that translated into actually being able to fly a real aircraft with the ability to fly an aircraft at night on instruments, plot in course changes, know where the transponder was and turn it off and then also turn off the very in depth tech knowledge ACARS system with no goal other than to kill 238 people (short of multiple people who got said genius into the cockpit) and then fly it off to the Southern Indian Ocean to crash.

        I am a pilot (no longer active). I have an instrument rating. I also have flown a full motions flight simulator as well as the home variety. I know how difficult that is in the daylight for a pilot, let alone in the dark .

        So, does it pass the sniff test. I think its at 99.99999%.

        I also felt that after I found out ACARS had gone off alone with transponder and no debris. Yes both could have gone off and radios taken out by a major disruptive event or electronics bay fire, make all those course change and fly for another 6 hours?

        I don’t believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Ferry or the Easter Bunny, I believe in facts.
        As there was not debris at that point as found in all other incident of that type, that means it was deliberate and the statistics say and the actions all prove that when that occurs its the pilot that did it.

        I do not attribute any motive for that any more than I do for any other mass murder. An individual went over the edge obviously.

        I do believe there is a great deal of unknown as to what happened to the passengers and at what point. Either incapacitated, dead or intimated and I think you can build a lot of possibles along those lines. Thats a human factors situation and short of putting people through the same thing and trialing it, I don’t think anyone can know if you cold intimate an entire passenger group into not using cell phones of breaking down the cockpit door (keeping gin mind that there was cabin crew that would have know how bad off the situation was and figuring out you are fling south over and open ocean.

        I suspect Nance and my brother are right that they were killed, at what time would be the question.

    • a cell phone has a reach of a few miles. When there are no tower around it won’t work. I wondered about the 230 brains in the aircraft a lot. Half of them had working cell phones with GPS that always works and would have seen the aircraft flying the wrong way. Probably Airshow (moving map) getting turned off, as well as the inseat (Inmarsat) phones/ IFE de-activated and would ask the attendants, who would ask their purser, who would ask the cockpit, closed cockpit door, panic, cockpit crew / pursers sending conflicting updates to the passengers via intercom, etc.. a nightmare..

      • If one follows the “logic” of an psycho-suicide plot by Pilot/Co-Pilot, than the itinerary makes frightening sense, to get undiscovered into Indian Ocean: After Good bye to KL ATC, shut off comm. Quick u-turn back over Malaysia Peninsula, than a north turn and sharp turn south to avoid Sumatra mainland and than open sky southbound into nirvana. What a nightmare.

      • That’s another thing, both pilots going for a hijack seems even more unlikely, which means 1 would be locked out alarming the rest of the crew / passengers.. or he could be pressure to stay calm (“w’ve got your family”). Wild scenarios that come up because the most logical scenarios prove highly unlikely..

      • Geeze keesje … it was a red eye flight- mostly at night- how many passengers- not at a window over a populated area – and not sleeping AND looking out would feel a turn or slight climb IF there was such a climb as has been claimed ? Yes – cell phone coverage in malaysia and surrounding countries are not quite like the U.S. And at 20k to 30 k feet without being near a window and even so and AFTER recognizing they are on the wrong flight path ? what are the chances of getting out a call or message ??

        Just about every scenario postulated fire- depressurization, little green men, batteries, multi govt conspiracies, requires a specific chain of events which is of a low probability or does not fit later data.

        IMO- it was deliberate, not accident Why I/we dont know and may never know.

        And almost certainly in the Indian ocean – beyond that all else is guesswork based on
        virtually no evidence . . .

        • Don, your cells GPS needs just a window & works everywhere. Last time I flew a MH 772ER (Indian Ocean just before 9-11..) there where screens, phones and moving maps in every single seat (MAS2000). Even at night a good percentage of passengers are using the IFE e.g. because they are from a different time zone / can’t sleep. I can’t imagine no-one (including the cabin crew / relief crew) e.g. trying to reactivate moving map/ inseat phone noticing .. for freakin’ 6 hours, e.g. around breakfast time, an hour before arrival.

          Anyway a pilot building his own flight simulator probably knows how / when to deactivate acars/ transponders, a techie.

        • Uhh keeseJ – all of the items you mentioned in use before 911 were driven by on board systems and sat phones, etc. And while some cell phones may be able to use satellite gps in flight if near a window, and IF some such person was to have done so and IF they realized that the routing was ‘ wrong” what could they have done about it ?

    • No need to wonder anymore ‘how come’, scratching your heads, folks : courtesy yours truly (FT) on March 19th @ 4:h37 am, on a plate, ‘BPT’ (plus its Sequels with completing info) puts together bits and pieces of the puzzle to give the full StoryBoard :
      https://leehamnews.com/2014/03/18/odds-and-ends-3/#comment-56820
      Sequel 1 : https://leehamnews.com/2014/03/25/odds-and-ends-mh370-tracking-garuda-rules-out-a380-747-8-last-747-400-flight-e-jet-vs-turbo-props/#comment-57644
      Sequel 2 : https://leehamnews.com/2014/03/15/mh370-day-7-malaysian-authorities-latest-statement/#comment-56509
      Sequel 3 : https://leehamnews.com/2014/03/18/odds-and-ends-3/#comment-57336
      Sequel 4 : https://leehamnews.com/2014/03/24/caution-on-recovering-data-from-mh370-fdr-cvr/#comment-57443
      For professionality, insight, expertise, Modus Operandi, cold blood … follow my eyes !
      Btw, if “debris” are found drifting, it could mean the aircraft was intentionally blown up after a successful ditching … ? No risk of ear-dropping 2,500 km SW of Perth !

      • As we saw from the Ethiopean 767 crash a few years ago, even in relatively gentle seas, and not that far off (compared to a perfect Hudson) a decent ditching (despite the pilot being attacked at the time), an aircraft is likely to disintegrate.
        Once out of fuel the suicidal pilot has no requirement to land gently, and may have ensured the aircrafts destruction. 3 weeks in the Southern Ocean will have separated out the debris.

        • The 772 has active surfaces to take off at 247 200 kg, 297 550 kg or 347 500 kg (?)pending exact model … if ditched up-wind after in-air defueling, all active surfaces extended, with 239 px +freight ?, the speed relatively to water surface at contact (some PP to give a number under – 20 kts headwind) is within integrity of the aircraft.

          • If I recall, they called Sullenberger’s landing ‘Miracle on the Hudson’.

            Let’s see. Large, engineered structure with wheels, designed to utilize carefully maintained hard surface runways. How might that structure fair in an emergency landing on water? The odds of a pilot successfully ditching on water without destroying the ship and/or many casualties are widely considered to be minimal at best. Those odds, when the pilot is perhaps psychologically incapacitated or outright dead are seemingly nil.

  9. Another unknown that is not invovled with techail end but the human factor. I.e. alive or dead.

    If it was a relativity easy impact and a ditch, the ELTs should have gone off. Those cannot be turned off though theoretically you could get into the crown and disable them (assumes passenger not alive)

    The harder the impact the more debris, lower impact then it simply sinks intact.

    • In the case of Flight 447 the ELTs did not go off. The initial search led the SAR teams in the vicinity where the black boxes were eventually retrieved two years later. But they had quickly abandoned the site initially because there was no ping to be heard. They wrongly assumed that the aircraft had to have crashed somewhere else.

      It is only after a new mathematical analysis was carried out that they returned to the original site and found the boxes. Their original assumption that the boxes could not be there because there was no ping was simply false. So the fact that we don’t hear a signal from the MH370 black boxes means nothing.

  10. FWIW —
    http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=79928

    US 7th Fleet Adds Second P-8 Poseidon to MH370 Search
    Story Number: NNS140327-09Release Date: 3/27/2014 9:19:00 AM A A A Email this story to a friend Print this story
    From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

    PERTH, Australia (NNS) — In an effort to pinpoint the exact location Malaysian Air MH370 landed in the Indian Ocean, U.S. 7th Fleet is sending a second P-8 Poseidon Patrol aircraft to Perth, Australia to aid in the search efforts.

    The P-8 will fly from Okinawa, Japan to Perth March 28 to join an international coalition of search aircraft being coordinated by the Australian Defence Force.

    “It’s critical to continue searching for debris so we can reverse-forecast the wind, current and sea state since March 8th to recreate the position where MH370 possibly went into the water. We’ve got to get this initial position right prior to deploying the Towed Pinger Locator since the MH370’s black box has a limited battery life and we can’t afford to lose time searching in the wrong area,” said Cmdr. Tom Moneymaker, U.S. 7th Fleet oceanographer.

    Harsh weather conditions, including ceilings as low as 800 feet and potential icing conditions, make the addition of the all-weather P-8 extremely valuable. In total, 7th Fleet patrol aircraft have flown 16 missions, flying more than 150 flight hours covering 220,000 square nautical miles.

    In anticipation of finding MH370 debris and pinpointing a close approximation of the crash coordinates, U.S. Pacific Fleet moved a Towed Pinger Locator hydrophone and Bluefin-21 Side-scan sonar into Perth for future positioning to the crash site.

    This movement is a prudent effort to preposition equipment and trained personnel closer to the search area so that if debris is found, search coordinators will be able to respond as quickly as possible since the battery life of the black box’s pinger is limited.

    The P-3 Orion previously searching in the Northern Indian Ocean will return to previously assigned 7th Fleet missions.

    In terms of mission effectiveness and reliability, the P-8A represents a leap forward for the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance community. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 490 knots, a ceiling of 41,000 feet, and provides a range of more than 1,200 nautical miles with four hours on station. For a mission such as the MH370 search, the P-8 will typically fly at 5,000 feet at 350 knots, dropping to 1,000 feet to get a visual identification of any radar returns. It may also fly at 1,000 feet for an extended period of the flight, depending on the environment and mission for the flight. It has a search time of approximately eight, nine hours depending on distance to search area, though during this mission the search time on station is greatly reduced due to the distance of the search area from Perth.
    — GOES ON

  11. I’M partially puzzled re range and time on station – AFIK- P8 has aerial refuelling capability . . .

    • Yes Don, the P-8 is air refuelable. But this is a new weapons system and most crews are not qualified in air refueling, yet. That will take a few years, but it will happen and refueling the P-8 will become routine.

  12. We may have a few good reasons to suspect it was the captain who did it:

    1- He was not scheduled to fly that night and made the request himself.
    2- He had serious marital problems.
    3- He was involved with another woman.
    4- He received a call a couple minutes before he boarded the aircraft.
    5- He was flying the aircraft when contact was lost.
    6- His home computers were seized to be analysed.

    All of this, if proven to be true, would indicate to me that we are dealing with a troubled soul. If his life was falling apart he may have decided to kill himself and “bring the rest of the world” with him. It does not even need to be a terrorist act. It would be more like a mass murder. The passengers and the rest of the crew would only be his collateral victims.

    We can reconstruct a possible scenario based on the available informations. If this scenario appears to be rather complex and aimless it might have to do with the fact that the perpetrator had a troubled mind at that time. The only plausible scenario I can come up with is that the captain wanted to kill himself by hypoxia and left the airplane on autopilot until it crashed into the ocean. I have already discussed in a previous post what this plan would entail in order to succeed.

    If it is true that the captain’s life was in turmoil he should have never been let anywhere near an aircraft cockpit until he got is life back in order. Apparently only a few people very close to him understood his psychological condition. So when he requested to fly that night no one objected and the airplane took off with a very upset man at the controls.

    Maybe that is what this guru, who predicted that an airplane would crash in that region early in 2014, meant when he said something to the effect that the airplane that will crash will have developed its problem on the ground, and had anyone paid attention the airplane would never have been authorized to take off under these circumstances.

    All this corroborates with what his long-time friend, also a pilot, said: “With all that was happening in his life Zaharie was probably in no state of mind to be flying.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589723/French-satellite-spots-122-objects-75ft-long-Indian-Ocean-debris-doomed-Malaysian-airline.html#ixzz2xDa8Z6Nq

    • The “Depressed PIC Theory” could be a serious contender, whereas the “MEC Fire Theory” seems somewhat weaker … in comparison, the “Blind Pax Theory” would list as an outsider/challenger but It could gain momentum/merits if we were given to know more about the two Ukrainian and one Russian passport holders known to have boarded MH-370 ?
      BACKGROUND ? PROFILES ? TRAINING ? EMPLOYER ? WHY/HOW LONG TIME WERE THEY IN MALAYSIA ? COMING FROM WHERE ? CONTACTS IN MALAYSIA ? WHAT FOR DID THEY ELECT TO TRAVEL ON-BOARD MH-370 ? WHO PAID FOR THE TICKETS ? WHERE WERE THOSE TICKETS PURCHASED ? ANY LINK WITH 9M-MRO’s RECENT MAINTENANCE CHECK ?
      Etc etc ?

    • Lost my response Mr. Hamel, but to reiterate, El Capitano strikes me more as a playboy: hardly a rarity in the airline business… Dad wasn’t shy giving out his personal phone numbers to ‘strangers’ either. And accepting calls minutes before take-off. Was it a ‘rendez vous’, or final instructions? Both? Him requesting that flight doesn’t bother me at all. Could be for, err, “personal reasons”. They can’t track her down either. I’m no psychiatrist, but this whole mystery still smells of money, and revenge*. Call me stupid: I’m still hoping -and praying- all show up in some ex-soviet ‘stan’.
      *A possibility…

      • He requested the specific flight? I agree completely, this is a non-issue.

        My understanding is that, in this industry, most flight crews (flight deck, cabin) are free to wheel/deal and trade slots, etc. Pay and benefits have been pared over the years, but ‘flexibility’, as in ‘picking your own schedule’, seems to have become the one core preserved ‘right’. Sort of like, “…well, you can work whenever and however you want, so long as you comply with this stack of rules, and the whole schedule gets covered. See what a great deal we are providing you with our labor/management collaboration? Now, if you will excuse me, I ‘m off to a Union gala….”

        • Thanks for the “support” reformfaanow. And thanks for the laughs! You got ‘flexibility’ right! Hope you’re enjoying your gala; mine was a disaster. I asked why venison was taken off the menu, and was told the animal of origin is subject to typos, and an insult to some flight attendants.
          So where do we all go from here? A $300M jet disappears, for 3 weeks, full of some very interesting passengers. Forget Playboy Capt. Shah: He’s not suicidal, but greed.

  13. Not sure I fully understand, but all the debris fields seem to be to the south of the search areas, yet they have shifted the search north ( the currents would take the debris south also)

  14. What’s really puzzling ..is if you look at the flight path in the photo above, it comes within a couple hundred miles of the US military base at Diego Garcia, yet to this day, the US has not provided any satellite or radar images to the search.

    To think any commercial pilot (alone) would have the ability (and knowledge) to disable the ACARS below-deck, and then fly for 6 hours over various civilian and (at least three) military radar systems without being detected is unbelievable.

    • ACARS can be disabled from the cockpit. It is satellite communication (ADS-C) that can only be disabled from below deck. My understanding is that in the case of MH370 only ACARS was disabled, not ADS-C.

      If you are expecting, and paying attention for, you can spot a stealth aircraft on radar. On the other hand, if your are not expecting, and not paying attention for, you won’t notice a transponder-less 777. Especially if the aircraft is below the horizon and/or in the middle of the sea.

    • Maxwell: You should be watching your language on this gentlemanly site. The tin hat blogs have been discussing D***o G****a for weeks.

      • Nothing secret about Diego garcia- despite the media BS as to being a ‘ super secret site”

        While commercials do not ***yet*** have a ****daily **** shuttle – it is well known, civilians do use it and is a alternate landing site for some routes.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diegogarcia.jpg

        This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

        ETOPS emergency landing site[edit]
        Diego Garcia may be identified as an ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Engine Operations) emergency landing site (en route alternate) for flight planning purposes of commercial airliners. This allows twin-engine commercial aircraft (such as the Airbus A330, Boeing 767 or Boeing 777) to make theoretical nonstop flights between city pairs such as Perth and Dubai (9,013.61 km or 5,600.80 mi), Hong Kong and Johannesburg (10,658 km or 6,623 mi) or Singapore and São Paulo (15,985.41 km or 9,932.87 mi), all while maintaining a suitable diversion airport within 180 minutes’ flying time with one engine inoperable.[129]

        Now that I’ve told ya – you are toast !!

        • Thanks, Don Shuper, but I’m well aware Diego Garcia is not a ‘super secret site’. We in Europe can thank the self important Tony Blair for that misconception. The guy seems to like islands. He stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Dubya’ & Aznar in the Azores, guests of now blabbering EU Pres. Barrasso. When Iraq went sour, Blair was in Diego Garcia often, planning his next excuses. ‘Top Secret’; natch.
          Onto to more pleasant people, an uncle (PanAm 1947-1982) was there too, though I forget why. Perhaps you explained above why.
          Me being an incurable wiseguy, censored D***o G****a, as I’ve read some tin hatted blogs, re: MH 370 landing there. I haven’t subscribed, and given them my credit card #, but interesting reads..

  15. Might be a dumb question, but WHY are they looking for that plane by Australia?…to me it seems like thats a bit far. that location does not make any sense.

    • Of course it does not make sense if you want to go to Beijing. But we know that early into the flight the plane turned around to go West. We also know by satellite reckoning the approximate last position of the aircraft. And the latter happens to match the calculated maximum range of the aircraft.

      So all these informations put together give us a relatively high degree of confidence that the airplane would have crashed in that area after it exhausted all its fuel.

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