kitchen table math, the sequel: Off-topic: the plane

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Off-topic: the plane

This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That's the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.

Surprisingly none of the reporters, officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot's viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together. Also a look at the age and number of cycles on those nose tires might give us a good clue too.

Fire in an aircraft demands one thing - you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible. There are two well remembered experiences in my memory. The AirCanada DC9 which landed I believe in Columbus Ohio in the eighties. That pilot delayed descent and bypassed several airports. He didn't instinctively know the closest airports. He got it on the ground eventually but lost 30 odd souls. In the 1998 crash of Swissair DC-10 off Nova Scotia was another example of heroic pilots. They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time. That fire incidentally started when the aircraft was about an hour out of Kennedy. Guess what the transponders and communications were shut off as they pulled the busses.

Get on Google Earth and type in Pulau Langkawi and then look at it in relation to the radar track heading. 2+2=4 That for me is the simple explanation why it turned and headed in that direction.

Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.

MH370 A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.


Debbie Burns said...

Interesting theory. I posted to my Facebook page. Debbie @

Anonymous said...

I don't buy it.

What *I* think is obvious is that we have some sort of Bond-villain type thing going on here. Consider ...

1) Almost $500M in bitcoins have "vanished" from the MtGox exchange. This is about 7% of the world's bitcoins. This is like clearing out Fort Knox! Bond Villain.

2) On March 8th, a 777 *disappears*. Entirely. Bond Villain, again. Probably the same one.

What we *should* be doing is searching all the island lairs within a few thousand miles of the last known location of flight 370. And trying to figure out what a Bond Villain intends to do with a 777, 200-odd passengers and $500M in bitcoins. If we don't know where the island hideaways are, then all of the NSA should be fired.

Finally, if we have too many candidates, I think it is pretty obvious who are leading Bond Villains today would be: Larry Ellison and Elon Musk. Drag 'em in for questioning.

-Mark Roulo

Auntie Ann said...

It depends on the timing. If there was a normal and routine verbal communication with the plane *after* the turn was programmed into the flight computer--as has been reported, that suggests there was no emergency onboard to explain the turn. That communication would have been a distress call.

It comes down to whether the timing is correct: was the computer programmed *before* that call, or after. And, in an emergency situation, would you take manual control of the aircraft, or carefully program a flight path into the computer. If the programming leaves you to take care of other things, then it might be worth the effort. If it is unreliable in an emergency, you wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

General McInerney, who has "been talking to people" is saying that the plane is on one of three Taliban-controlled airfields in Pakistan - the interview is available on - he seems to have quite a bit of info.

palisadesk said...

A spontaneous cockpit fire has occurred in the Boeing 777 before, with (because the aircraft had not taken off) no casualties:

Boeing 777 fire 2011

The problem is, so little is known, and what has been released is a mixture of fact, fact-based conjecture and contradictions from official sources, that no proposed scenario accounts for every detail.

Given that a conspiracy would require a large number of people at various locations to be involved, considerable advanced planning as well as a modicum of luck, it seems to me to violate Occam's Razor. A combination of one or more of mechanical/structural/electrical problems, possibly accentuated by human error, is IMO more likely.

Also, thinking like a lawyer, cui bono? It is in the Malaysian Govt.'s interest, as major owner of the airline, to cast blame if possible on person or persons unknown rather than subject their own protocols, safety and maintenance procedures etc., to scrutiny and possible determination of liability.

To the query, Why didn't the pilots declare Mayday? a possible answer came from a professional pilot on the PPRUNE network who regularly flies for another airline in the area. He reports that there is a dead zone of several minutes' duration between the end of the Malaysian ATC coverage and the beginning of the Vietnamese ATC coverage. If something went wrong immediately after the FO reported, "All right, Good night" they would have immediately tried to address the problem, not waste time on the radio in a dead zone.

Another pilot on PPRuNE made an intelligent suggestion, based on the fact that there was a lot of meteor activity in the area that night, that a NZ oil rig worker reported seeing something that looked like a burning plane (may have been a meteorite), and that a group of villagers heard a loud explosive sound, also consistent with a meteorite. He suggested it is conceivable that the aircraft was hit by a meteorite fragment. It was a more reasonable suggestion that some of the other theories being floated about. I'll try to find the link.

Unfortunately, a commercial flight can just vanish. One disappeared over Lake Michigan in the 50's and has still never been found, even with sonar and advanced technology.

I suspect this one may never be found.

Anonymous said...

Heh ...!/photo.php?fbid=648771301855269&set=p.648771301855269&type=1&theater


Auntie Ann said...

My favorite comment on the missing plane came from a friend of mine on Facebook: The search area is now so larger, they're sure to find Amelia.

Catherine Johnson said...

And trying to figure out what a Bond Villain intends to do with a 777, 200-odd passengers and $500M in bitcoins. If we don't know where the island hideaways are, then all of the NSA should be fired.

Or we could fire them anyway.

(Sorry - I'm off-topic --- )

I would really like those people to be alive.

But as of today it's looking like No.

Catherine Johnson said...

LOVE the 'track your phone/lost a plane' shot.

Catherine Johnson said...

The pilot whose hypothesis I posted had an explanation for Mayday do those last. The first two priorities are to stay in the air (keep flying) and to navigate.