MH370 A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.
lot of speculation about MH370. Terrorism, hijack, meteors. I cannot
believe the analysis on CNN - almost disturbing. I tend to look for a
more simple explanation of this event.
Loaded 777 departs
midnight from Kuala to Beijing. Hot night. Heavy aircraft. About an
hour out across the gulf towards Vietnam the plane goes dark meaning the
transponder goes off and secondary radar tracking goes off.
days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a
primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather
than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a
southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of
When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.
left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain
with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN
didn't pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to
always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports
behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our
head. Always. Because if something happens you don't want to be thinking
what are you going to do - you already know what you are going to do.
Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he
was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to
Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night
with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew
he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier
towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.
Take a look on
Google Earth at this airport. This pilot did all the right things. He
was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that
immediate turn back to the closest safe airport.
For me the loss of
transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was
most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first
response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one
until you have isolated the bad one.
If they pulled the
busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event
and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to
fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two
types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there
might or might not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the
possibility given the timeline that perhaps there was an overheat on one
of the front landing gear tires and it blew on takeoff and started
slowly burning. Yes this happens with underinflated tires. Remember
heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long run takeoff. There was a well
known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on
takeoff. A tire fire once going would produce horrific incapacitating
smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks but this is a no no with
fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter but this will only
last for a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry
one of my own in a flight bag and I still carry one in my briefcase
today when I fly).
What I think happened is that they were
overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on the heading probably
on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the
control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it
along that route - looking elsewhere was pointless.
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
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
Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.