Malaysia Airlines MH370

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, Saturday, 8 March 2014 03:49 (eight years ago) link

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/07/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane-missing/index.html

Search and rescue teams already deployed

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 03:53 (eight years ago) link

I'm heading back to KL tonight and while I'm not particularly worried about my own flight (at least, no more than usual), this doesn't look good at all. :( missing for just about ten hours now.

Roz, Saturday, 8 March 2014 04:21 (eight years ago) link

The thing that weirds me out is that apart from a brief passage over the South China Sea, the plane should be flying mostly over land.... It doesn't seem like there's anywhere along the route where it might have went down without being detected?

Roz, Saturday, 8 March 2014 04:33 (eight years ago) link

Yeah the only thing I'm willing to believe is that the plane was over the ocean at its last reported location, before it stopped transmitting

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 04:35 (eight years ago) link

Yep, that's the only part that's been confirmed... It was travelling at cruising altitude in good weather, so it's really unclear what happened after that.

Roz, Saturday, 8 March 2014 04:45 (eight years ago) link

yeah this is horrifying, how can it just disappear?

the Bronski Review (Trayce), Saturday, 8 March 2014 04:46 (eight years ago) link

http://my.news.yahoo.com/mas-aircraft-goes-missing--says-airline-023820132.html

UPDATE [12:37]: Tuoi Tre, a leading daily in Vietnam, reports that the Vietnamese Navy has confirmed the plane crashed into the ocean. According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, Commander of the Region 5, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 153 miles South of Phu Quoc island.

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 04:56 (eight years ago) link

Oh god, probably my #1 nightmare way to die. Because you have all those minutes (as the plane descends) to contemplate your imminent death upon the deep dark sea. Shudder, shudder, shudder.

drash, Saturday, 8 March 2014 05:08 (eight years ago) link

oh man :(

the Bronski Review (Trayce), Saturday, 8 March 2014 05:36 (eight years ago) link

WSJ already running a story about the financial implications to Malaysia Airlines that will result from this

I'm gonna go throw up

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 05:44 (eight years ago) link

PEK has released passenger manifests

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 06:03 (eight years ago) link

I fly over the ocean a lot, and always feel some anxiety, so these (extremely, extremely rare) events chill me to the bone.

(I feel bad that my reaction here is so self-centered. Pity-- thinking of the passengers and their loved ones-- outstrips fear, by far by far, in this situation, but words are much less apt to express the former. There are no words.)

I usually feel more "reassured" (or less terrible unease) when these things are due to pilot error rather than random mechanical failure... not exactly sure why. (Less vicarious sense of helplessness?) Though I guess often it's a combination (in varying proportions) of the two.

drash, Saturday, 8 March 2014 06:38 (eight years ago) link

MAS still hasn't made an official announcement yet, but they're holding pressers every two hours so prob just a matter of time. :(

Roz, Saturday, 8 March 2014 07:19 (eight years ago) link

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/08/us-malaysiaairlines-flight-idUSBREA2701720140308

Three hours later and everybody is still relying on the secondhand report from Tuổi Trẻ

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 07:49 (eight years ago) link

had to run a report to see if any of our clients were on that service :(

no use guessing what happened at this stage, just shocked this happened to MH and to a Boeing 777

wow such doge of venice (King Boy Pato), Saturday, 8 March 2014 08:44 (eight years ago) link

http://news.zing.vn/Phat-hien-dau-loang-cot-khoi-nghi-cua-Boeing-mat-tich-post397765.html#home_featured.noibat

Apparently a 20km long oil slick was found by the Vietnamese Navy; people at FlyerTalk (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-asian-australian-south-pacific-airlines/1558464-mh-370-772-kul-pek-missing-7-mar-2014-search-rescue-activated.html) have calculated that the coordinates given in the article are within ~30 km of the last known location of the plane

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 11:54 (eight years ago) link

"Vietnamese aircraft spots liquid and "rubbish" on surface in overlapping waters of Malaysia and Vietnam, official tells CNN. "

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 12:14 (eight years ago) link

Jesus

peak environmental scaremongering (darraghmac), Saturday, 8 March 2014 12:19 (eight years ago) link

Just found out that an old college friend, her sister and her mother was on the flight. Another sister is close friends with my brother and she's devastated right now. Argh this is so so so fucked.

Roz, Saturday, 8 March 2014 13:28 (eight years ago) link

Fucking hell, Roz

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 13:29 (eight years ago) link

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-flight.html?emc=edit_na_20140308&nlid=15444095&_r=1

NYT confirming the reports of the oil slick. Guess it's a foregone conclusion by this point

, Saturday, 8 March 2014 13:37 (eight years ago) link

this is completely terrifying

le goon (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 8 March 2014 14:41 (eight years ago) link

As disturbing as this is, is it a rarer occurrence than it used to be? In my childhood and young adulthood, I remember crashes happened seemingly all the time. Maybe they still do and they get buried by other news, but air travel has to be safer now than it was even just 15-20 years ago.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 8 March 2014 14:55 (eight years ago) link

They are currently on the 13th series of Air Crash Investigation and they still haven't run of air crash incidents, so that is a hell of a lot of crashes :(

xelab, Saturday, 8 March 2014 15:13 (eight years ago) link

odd but maybe nothing:

In a development that raised fears of foul play, investigators said they were looking into reports that two men — one Italian, the other Austrian — whose names were identical to those listed on the plane’s passenger manifest, had reported their passports stolen.

The Italian citizen, Luigi Maraldi, told news organizations in his country that his passport had been stolen while he was in Asia, that he is currently in Bangkok and that he was is not the Luigi Maraldi listed on the plane’s manifest. The Austrian Foreign Ministry said, according to news accounts, that the one of its citizens, Christian Kozel, 30, reported that his passport was stolen two years ago in Thailand.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Saturday, 8 March 2014 16:48 (eight years ago) link

the false-optimistic rumors and reports that were running rampant yesterday (ie, "towers just received a signal from the plane! we heard it may have landed at an alternate location") have to be the worst for these fearful families. Looks bleak at this point, sadly.

Neanderthal, Saturday, 8 March 2014 17:14 (eight years ago) link

As disturbing as this is, is it a rarer occurrence than it used to be?

Depends where you are in the world from what I can tell, and also what airlines. The huge, terrifying series of American air crashes in the late seventies and early to mid eighties have always given me some pause since I grew up with them -- for a while there it seemed like there was one big one every year or more, and the PSA Flight 182 disaster in San Diego occurred while I was there in third grade. Things fell off from there, but there have been plenty of notable commuter/local route air crashes in the last decade alone, and it's fairly well documented that pilots run crazy long shifts for comparatively low pay (one reason I liked that Sully pilot with the 2009 Hudson river landing is that he pretty much immediately used his public fame to say "Guys, things are REALLY fucked on that front.").

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 8 March 2014 18:10 (eight years ago) link

As Ask The Pilot points out (can't find the exact post, but it's there somewhere), the Asiana crash in SF last year was the first crash-with-fatalities of an airliner in the US since 2001. Considering there are around 30,000 flights/day worldwide, crash stats are still insanely low (but yeah, they were higher in the 70s/80s -- 1985 still stands as the worst year on record).

I do worry about fatigue/low pay (something else ATP talks about) -- pilots on regional carriers start at something like $14k/year. iirc, fatigue was one of the factors in the Colgan Air crash outside Buffalo a few years ago. And Sully OTM.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 8 March 2014 18:23 (eight years ago) link

Besides that there was that comair crash in Kentucky and then there was a crash in buffalo iirc but that's it.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Saturday, 8 March 2014 19:11 (eight years ago) link

flying is still the safest means of travel, it's just that...when something goes wrong, the odds of still being alive afterwards are much worse. you can survive a car wreck. very difficult to survive a plane crash. and if the death isn't instant...very painful.

not to be grotesque, it's just...one of those things where although the probabilities side with your safety, the lows are that much lower if you're that .01%.

Neanderthal, Saturday, 8 March 2014 19:23 (eight years ago) link

Wasn't there a study showing that most air crashes are actually pretty survivable as well? Like some large percentage of crash victims are not fatalities?

bi-polar uncle (its OK-he's dead) (Phil D.), Saturday, 8 March 2014 20:20 (eight years ago) link

when I saw the video of that asiana air crash I was stunned that only a couple people died (and only one bc of the crash!)

christmas candy bar (al leong), Saturday, 8 March 2014 20:21 (eight years ago) link

yeah and before yesterday, Msia Airlines had had only two fatal crashes in 40 years of operations, one of which was a hijacking. It's a pretty impressive record, considering they run about 120,000 flights a year... whatever the problems MAS has with financial management (and there have been MANY, no thanks to govt/political interference) have never extended to its flight operations.

Roz, Saturday, 8 March 2014 21:00 (eight years ago) link

what constitutes a 'large percentage'?

Neanderthal, Saturday, 8 March 2014 21:30 (eight years ago) link

Very early to speculate, but was reminded of the crash of Air France 447 and Adam Air 574

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 8 March 2014 21:43 (eight years ago) link

The MA 777 was damaged in a runway collision two years ago. I'm wondering if there was more damage that was undetected during the repairs.

http://www.examiner.com/article/two-wide-body-jets-collide-at-shanghai-pudong-airport-damaging-both-planes

The China Eastern Airbus was waiting to take off when a wing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 bumped the left elevator on the tail of the Airbus. Both aircraft received damage that prevented them from continuing their flights.

The top portion of the wing of the Malaysia Airlines plane was broken off and dangled on the tail of the China Eastern Airbus, according to pictures posted by passengers on the Internet.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 8 March 2014 21:47 (eight years ago) link

i had a frightening conversation with a friend's father, an aerospace engineer, not too long ago. basically i'm never going to fly on a south american airline.

socki (s1ocki), Saturday, 8 March 2014 22:28 (eight years ago) link

(lots of REALLY outdated planes flying out there with false credentials apparently)

socki (s1ocki), Saturday, 8 March 2014 22:28 (eight years ago) link

It looks like the two people on false passports were traveling together.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Sunday, 9 March 2014 09:06 (eight years ago) link

Two people who traveled on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight under the passports of an Italian and an Austrian citizen appear to have bought their tickets together.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/09/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane/index.html?c=homepage-t

christmas candy bar (al leong), Sunday, 9 March 2014 09:07 (eight years ago) link

That's fucked up

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_587

^^ Does anybody remember this at all?? I literally have no recollection of this

, Sunday, 9 March 2014 10:50 (eight years ago) link

Conspiracy theorists will point to the ticket purchase + majority Chinese passenger list + recent incident in Kunming, obviously

http://news.asiaone.com/news/relax/pilot-i-established-contact-plane

^ Pilot ahead of MH370 claims to have established contact with the plane

, Sunday, 9 March 2014 10:55 (eight years ago) link

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/malaysia-airlines-plane-accident-flight-mh370-stolen-passport/1/347505.html

Apparently two more passengers in addition to the two above used stolen passports, for a total of four

, Sunday, 9 March 2014 10:57 (eight years ago) link

The transport minister seems to have clarified that it is just two passengers they are looking at.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Sunday, 9 March 2014 11:01 (eight years ago) link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_587

^^ Does anybody remember this at all?? I literally have no recollection of this

Yeah, I definitely remember it. Coming so soon after 9/11, people were (understandably) freaking out about it possibly being another attack. Those fears were quashed early on in the investigation, iirc.

(I had a crippling fear of flying, and the 1-2 of 9/11 and flight 587 kept me from flying for at least another year.)

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 9 March 2014 11:24 (eight years ago) link

Artist friend said on FB that there was a delegation of 29 Chinese visual artists on the flight.

baked beings on toast (suzy), Sunday, 9 March 2014 11:44 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, Dayo I remember the 2001 crash is Queens really vividly too. It was awful.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Sunday, 9 March 2014 14:08 (eight years ago) link

"I found a couple of suitcases too, around the same time, full of things," he said, almost in passing.
What did you do with them?
"I burnt them"

daavid, Monday, 3 August 2015 06:49 (seven years ago) link

They've just confirmed that the wing part was from MH370. Incredible, really and still so damn sad.

Roz, Wednesday, 5 August 2015 18:08 (seven years ago) link

I saw steve ganyard, some retired marine pilot dude, on Charlie rose talk abt how the wear on the wing indicates in his opinion that someone was conscious and poss trying to land as opposed to the plane going nose down into what/where-ever it crashed

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 5 August 2015 18:39 (seven years ago) link

yea heres what he said on abc news at some pt I guess

I want to bring in retired colonel Steve ganyard, a pilot himself. I want to take our viewers back to that piece of wing because the angle of that flap and how intact the debris is, as you heard Jim reporting, leading someone to believe that someone might have deliberately done this. What do you think tonight? I think you're right. There are two scenarios. Everybody was unconscious, the airplane went in at a very steep angle. What we're seeing here on this debris is something that's intact which opens the very chilling possibility that there was somebody alive, conscious, and trying to land that airplane after it ran out of gas.

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 5 August 2015 18:41 (seven years ago) link

Let's not lose sight of the fact that we're still no nearer finding the bulk of the wreckage, the bodies of the deceased or any answers as to how this tragedy happened.

anthony braxton diamond geezer (anagram), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 19:06 (seven years ago) link

damn

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 22:09 (seven years ago) link

four weeks pass...

http://www.airlive.net/2015/07/breaking-piece-of-wing-found-on-la.html

says the reunion island wing piece is confirmed as MH370

, Thursday, 3 September 2015 15:33 (seven years ago) link

five months pass...

More debris being found on Eastern coast of Africa:

http://jeffwise.net/2016/03/10/mh370-debris-storm/

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 12 March 2016 07:55 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

it sounds like experts are working towards a conclusion that the pilot intended to commit suicide and was choosing a path to avoid radar...

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/mh370-malaysia-airlines-captain-deliberate-plane-crash-murder-suicide-zaharie-amad-shah-a8350621.html

omar little, Monday, 14 May 2018 16:54 (four years ago) link

was just thinking about this the other day, did any of that debris mentioned just upthread ever get confirmed as being from the plane?

sleeve, Monday, 14 May 2018 16:56 (four years ago) link

oh n/m it addresses that in the article

sleeve, Monday, 14 May 2018 16:57 (four years ago) link

What seems very weird to me is that, if the whole point was murder-suicide, it could have been accomplished much more simply, directly and easily than what happened. Once you incapacitate the crew and passengers, just point the 777 at the ground and mission accomplished. Why go to such lengths to make the plane disappear when that is not essential to the main plan?

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 01:19 (four years ago) link

Another good detailed article breaking the news that Zaharie's flight simulator had underwater practice runways near the Indian Ocean:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/cops-find-five-indian-ocean-practice-runways-in-mh370-pilots-simulator-bh-r

― Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, March 17, 2014 11:00 PM (four years ago)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 01:27 (four years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Pretty good summary of where things stand

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd2KEHvK-q8

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 15 April 2019 21:36 (three years ago) link

Good presentation. Really is a headscratcher.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 00:49 (three years ago) link

Can't believe I've been covering this story for five years straight.

That's a pretty good video, aside from a couple of minor factual errors (e.g. the Ocean Infinity search took only three months rather than more than a year). I think the original hypothesis - fire/electrical failure leading to hypoxia and hours of flight on autopilot - is probably still the best explanation for what happened, everything else is either too insane or too simplistic.

at this point, it's a matter of identifying where exactly it went down, and finding people with enough money, time, and tech to search. And that's the hardest bit.

Roz, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 03:53 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Outstanding Will Langewiesche article:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/mh370-malaysia-airlines/590653/

tl;dr: the pilot did it, but the Malaysian government won't admit to anything because of autocratic embarrassment.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 17 June 2019 23:39 (three years ago) link

absolutely superb, thanks

godfellaz (darraghmac), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:09 (three years ago) link

yeah that was great.

visiting, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:32 (three years ago) link

yes

Dan S, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:38 (three years ago) link

wow

it’s so sad & sobering to read how it might have played out, but man it is good to read something that feels like it’s based on some kind of solid analysis at least

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:58 (three years ago) link

Depressing, but this basically has been my top theory for what happened since the main pieces of evidence came to light.

o. nate, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 01:01 (three years ago) link

depressurizing & increasing altitude to kill the passengers was so ;_;

i mean ok cool gentle death is maybe what you would prefer to hear but also gentle death is still a) mass murder & b) wtf

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 01:04 (three years ago) link

^^ yeah that was the detail I did not know previously that stood out to me the most

Ambient Police (sleeve), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 02:39 (three years ago) link

That is a great and compellingly written narrative for sure but I still have strong doubts about whether the pilot did it, and I think it's irresponsible that this piece argues so strongly for it, when it goes against everything we know both about the pilot and the surrounding circumstances.

This bit though is otm:

A close observer of the MH370 process said, “It became clear that the primary objective of the Malaysians was to make the subject just go away. From the start there was this instinctive bias against being open and transparent, not because they were hiding some deep, dark secret, but because they did not know where the truth really lay, and they were afraid that something might come out that would be embarrassing. Were they covering up? Yes. They were covering up for the unknown.”

Najib's government was corrupt yes, but more than that, it was incompetent and it hates having to deal with bad news for longer than necessary. It would have been so easy for them to blame the pilot, particularly after his political leanings came to light. He supported the opposition, he was likely upset that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had just been jailed again on dubious charges. Early on, it even seemed that the police were eager to pin it on the pilot - they raided his home, they seized the simulator, they leaked info to the press that they were looking deeply into his family background and politics. They let the FBI and other countries get involved, and carried out thorough psychological profiles on all the passengers and crew. And yet, at the end of the day, the investigators were forced to dismiss the conclusion that either of the pilots were involved.

This piece casts doubt on that investigation but unlike other parts of the Malaysian government, the police are very, very good at their jobs. If there was anything at all they could pin on the pilot, trust me, they would have found it, and even if they had tried to hide that evidence, someone would have leaked it. This is just how things work in Malaysia, it's corrupt to the core but nothing stays hidden.

Instead, everything about Zaharie checked out. He was captured on CCTV looking relaxed, smiling and joking with the co-pilot and cabin crew, nothing in his background, finances or medical history indicated that anything was out of the ordinary. The simulator entry that supposedly charts a similar flight path to MH370 was among hundreds of other simulations, and was different enough from the actual flight path of the plane that it can't be persuasively argued that the pilot was following that particular simulation.

Besides, why even risk turning back over land, passing by multiple countries which could have seen this unidentified aircraft flying into their airspace (so many questions for Southeast Asian military/air force that no one's asking btw)? Why not just fly out past the South China Sea straight into the Pacific?

And lastly, analysis of the wing flap recovered from Tanzania (which is huge, I've seen it in person, it's about 14 feet long) suggests that no one was in control of the plane when it went down.

Here's a couple more takes that gets into why the pilot theory isn't compelling enough, when you factor in the country's politics and other evidence:

Thread: Anything Langeweische writes on an aviation disaster becomes the authoritative narrative, and this story will be no different. But given that the Atlantic points the finger squarely at Malaysian political culture, it should have spent more time trying to get it right. 1/x https://t.co/anWQV5oPpj

— Aaron Connelly (@ConnellyAL) June 17, 2019


https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-atlantics-william-langewiesche-dusts-off-discredited-conspiracy-theory-to-accuse-mh370-pilot-of-hijacking/?via=twitter_page

Another reason that I haven't seen anyone really get into is Malaysian attitudes towards suicide. This is a country where mental illness is poorly understood and treated, but it also has historically low rates of suicide (something like 2-5 out of 100,000), and it's lowest among Malay Muslims who make up the majority of the population.

Outside of extremist jihadist circles, Muslims generally do not look favourably upon suicide. Growing up, I would hear constantly about how people who committed suicide were selfish, that they were cruel to their families, that they were headed for hell. There's a huge stigma too against people whose relatives commit suicide - that they didn't do enough to turn their family member towards "the right path".

Zaharie, a middle-aged, upper middle class, Muslim Malay family man, knew what it would do to his children if he was found to have committed not just suicide, but large-scale mass murder. I don't doubt that he was possibly troubled, lonely, depressed, maybe even suicidal. I just have strong doubts that this would have been the way he would have chosen to do it.

This has never been a case of Occam's razor. It's equally plausible that the odd flight path taken by MH370 was a sign of someone trying to save the plane and failing. Perhaps something went wrong, the pilots couldn't radio for help and tried to turn back but passed out before they could land, activating the autopilot in a last ditch effort to keep the plane in the air. But this too is a possibility that investigators have considered and discounted because there simply isn't enough evidence to say so for sure.

Roz, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 04:43 (three years ago) link

Thanks for that Roz, I always appreciate your contributions.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 05:28 (three years ago) link

yeah same

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 18 June 2019 05:35 (three years ago) link

On the question of why the pilot would turn back over land, I’ve read speculation that he wanted to fly over Penang his old hometown one last time. I agree it’s hard to believe anyone would be capable of this, especially someone so outwardly normal. However out of all the scenarios it seems the one most consistent with the otherwise bizarre sequence of events is that someone skilled and very knowledgeable wanted to make the plane disappear forever. The stigma against suicide would have been an incentive to preserve the mystery. We can’t rule out it was someone else on the plane but the pilot had many advantages that would have dramatically increased the difficulty of an already unlikely feat for anyone else.

o. nate, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 15:40 (three years ago) link

Zaharie, a middle-aged, upper middle class, Muslim Malay family man, knew what it would do to his children if he was found to have committed not just suicide, but large-scale mass murder. I don't doubt that he was possibly troubled, lonely, depressed, maybe even suicidal. I just have strong doubts that this would have been the way he would have chosen to do it.

Langewiesche briefly mentions on SilkAir 185 and EgyptAir 990 in his article, but the investigations (and how they were attenuated by government/airline officials) are worth digging into. Again, the only conclusion you can reach is that we'll never find out.

Surprising number of commercial pilot-suicides:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SilkAir_Flight_185
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EgyptAir_Flight_990
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Maroc_Flight_630
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAM_Mozambique_Airlines_Flight_470
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Airlines_Flight_350
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanwings_Flight_9525

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 18 June 2019 22:50 (three years ago) link

On the question of why the pilot would turn back over land, I’ve read speculation that he wanted to fly over Penang his old hometown one last time.

Other pilots have spoken about this - it's only a possibility if he was sitting and leaning over sharply in the co-pilot's seat. Otherwise, the way the plane curved and the height/speed it was at suggests he wouldn't even be able to see Penang, a tiny little island, in the dead of night. And again it begs the question, why not then fly out past Penang straight into the Indian Ocean? Why turn again, this time down south flying past the Malaysian peninsular, Singapore, and the northeastern tip of Indonesia?

Just to be clear, I don't disagree that pilot suicide is more common that you'd expect and that barring evidence of a hijacking or mechanical failure, a pilot error or intention is the likeliest cause of any flight accident. I also agree that airlines/governments can interpret the same set of facts in multiple ways, esp if they feel they have something to gain/lose. But it still makes little sense to me - MH370's erratic flight path is just not a route that anyone, especially an experienced pilot, would have taken if they were really intent on disappearing the way they did i.e. flying out for hours until fuel exhaustion.

To me, the real responsibility here lies with the air traffic controllers and military radar operators in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and KL (mostly KL). Had any of them done their jobs properly that night, someone would have noticed the plane's turnaround much earlier. There was a four-hour delay in reaction that no one, certainly not a pilot on a mission to disappear, would have been able to foresee.

Roz, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:30 (three years ago) link

thats a really interesting thought though

assuming pilot intent, could we predict that *he* would have planned to have been discovered much sooner?

that the end path may have been a "i guess I'll do this, seeing as nobody has shown up" rather than a plan?

godfellaz (darraghmac), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:43 (three years ago) link

and what would have been his plan then, if he was caught? that's the thing with this story, it rewards conspiratorial thinking.

Anyway, the more I think about this piece the more upset I am with it. Langeweische devoted half of it on Blaine Gibson, who for sure deserves some credit for finding a lot of the plane debris, but is a known crank who isn't to be taken seriously (he shows up frequently at MH370 events in KL, often uninvited and looking around at reporters hopefully to be interviewed). And yet he's named in the piece over 40 times!

Langeweisch, rightfully, blames Malaysia's political culture but ignores the fact that the current government was not the one that handled the tragedy at the time - Najib's administration was thrown out last year. At the end of the piece, the only member of government named in the story is transport minister Anthony Loke, who was elected and appointed to the post in June 2018, more than four years after MH370.

He doesn't interview a single member of the Malaysian government or investigation team in charge at the time, nor does he reach out to anyone from Zaharie's family. His entire argument that the pilot did it relies on conversations with an unnamed colleague.

It's a brilliantly written summary of where things stand, but I don't think his conclusions stand up to scrutiny. And all of it just makes me think about that Atlantic editor who talked about how the only journalists he found who were willing to write 10,000-word pieces were white men.

Roz, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:59 (three years ago) link

and now i'm listening to the dutch press conference on MH17, that other never-ending aircraft tragedy. sigh.

Roz, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 11:18 (three years ago) link

Is there really a better flight path he could have taken if his intention was to avoid primary radar? It seems heading east into the Pacific would have taken him over areas with a bigger military presence, like the South China Sea, where chances of detection would be much higher.

o. nate, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 12:26 (three years ago) link

To be fair, the impression I got from Langeweisch was that Gibson is a bit of a crank who latches vampirically onto the survivors, but a crank who also found a bunch of plane bits

The world of wreckchasers - especially the ones who latch onto a cause - is highly specific and obsessive.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 21 June 2019 03:59 (three years ago) link

just read this article, and appreciated roz's insights, but given the evidence presented I find it difficult to doubt the conclusion that zaharie was responsible

k3vin k., Sunday, 23 June 2019 05:27 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

Six years gone.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 8 March 2020 20:13 (two years ago) link

time flies

johnny crunch, Sunday, 8 March 2020 21:36 (two years ago) link

maybe it will turn up after 8 years like the kid in Flight of the Navigator

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 8 March 2020 21:47 (two years ago) link

they get around

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Sunday, 8 March 2020 21:47 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Great overview article on where things are at with the search, what probably happened, etc.: Call of the Void - Seven years on, what do we know about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370?

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 08:10 (one week ago) link

Oof

ian, Thursday, 26 January 2023 20:49 (one week ago) link

Great overview article

otm

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Thursday, 26 January 2023 21:25 (one week ago) link

Yeah, its a good summary, although it seems not much new evidence has come to light since the last revive for the Atlantic article a couple of years ago. The most likely scenario is still the same.

o. nate, Thursday, 26 January 2023 21:29 (one week ago) link

It wasn’t until 30 minutes after that when someone finally told the operations department that Flight Explorer was not showing the real position of the plane, only a projected position.

Still reading this, but it seems insane to me that the airline didn't know this.

Unfairport Convention (PBKR), Thursday, 26 January 2023 22:17 (one week ago) link

Yeah that jumped out. As did this which I guess I forgot was part of the chain of revelations at the time (that this was something pilots generally wouldn't know about):

Unbeknownst to him, the satellite communication unit starts to acknowledge the satellite again. This is his one mistake — but it’s a forgivable one, as hardly any airline pilots knew about this system feature before the disappearance of MH370.

nashwan, Thursday, 26 January 2023 22:26 (one week ago) link

Let's not forget Roz's posts a little earlier in the thread -- that's good context.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 27 January 2023 05:02 (one week ago) link


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