Malaysia Airlines flight goes missing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Golden Age of Protest, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. rof Member


    A mysterious metal orb found on a beach in the Maldives became internet-famous and spawned speculation the plane had wound up there.
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  2. Anonymous Member

    Mapped: One year on from MH370, all the planes which have disappeared since 1948

    On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and its 239 passengers disappeared. In doing so it joined a long list of aircraft which have vanished without a trace. Mouse over or tap the dots on the map to find out more about each one.

    Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 23.57.21.png
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  3. White Tara Global Moderator

    Oh shit, that's just the ones that disappeared, flying doesn't seem like such a fine idea now :oops:
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Flight MH370 investigators consider oxygen starvation as cause of disappearance | The Guardian

    June 26, 2014

    Plane on 'autopilot before crash', with course pointing to likely depressurisation and hypoxia rendering crew unconscious

    MH370 pilot switched off oxygen to kill himself, according to Kiwi Airlines boss | Daily Mail Online

    September 15, 2014

    The pilot of the missing MH370 flight killed himself and his passengers by switching off the oxygen supply in what is the sixth example of such a suicide, according to an aviation expert.

    Ewan Wilson, head of Kiwi Airlines, believes Zaharie Ahmad Shah planned mass murder - locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, depressurising the cabin and shutting down all communication links before turning the plane around.

    Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz DELIBERATELY crashed plane into French Alps | Daily Mail Online

    March 25, 2015

    The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings Airbus A320 locked his captain out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing into a mountain to 'destroy the plane', it was sensationally revealed today. French prosecutor Brice Robin gave further chilling details of the final ten minutes in the cockpit before the Airbus A320 plunged into the French Alps killing 150 people.

    Revealing data extracted from the black box voice recorder, he said the co-pilot - 28-year-old German Andreas Lubitz - locked his captain out after the senior officer left the cockpit. At that point, Lubitz used the flight managing system to put the plane into a descent, something that can only be done manually - and deliberately.

    He said: 'The intention was to destroy the plane. Death was instant. The plane hit the mountain at 700kmh (430mph). I don't think that the passengers realised what was happening until the last moments because on the recording you only hear the screams in the final seconds'.

    Earlier in the flight, Mr Brice said Lubitz's responses, initially courteous, became 'curt' when the captain began the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing of the plane. The captain - named by local media as German father-of-two Patrick Sonderheimer - then left the cockpit but found himself locked out when he tried to re-enter.

    Mr Robin said: 'We hear the pilot asking the co-pilot to take over and we hear the sound of a chair being pushed back and a door closing so we assume that the captain went to the toilet or something. So the co-pilot is on his own, and it is while he's on his own that the co-pilot is in charge of the plane and uses the flight management system to start the descent of the plane. At this altitude, this can only be done voluntarily. We hear several shouts from the captain asking to get in, speaking through the intercom system, but there's no answer from the cockpit.'

    Mr Robin said Lubitz 'voluntarily' refused to open the door and his breathing was normal throughout the final minutes of the flight. He said: 'His breath was not of somebody who was struggling. He never said a single word. It was total silence in the cockpit for the ten past minutes. Nothing.'

    Air Traffic Control at Marseille asked for a distress signal, but there is still no response, said Mr Robin. He added: 'So the plane becomes a priority for a forced landing. Control asks other planes to contact this Airbus and no answer is forthcoming. There are alarm systems which indicate to all those on board the proximity of the ground. Then we hear noises of someone trying to break into the door. The door is reinforced according to international standards.'

    Mr Robin went on: 'Just before final impact we hear the sound of a first impact. It's believed that the plane may have hit something before the final impact. There is no distress signal or Mayday signal. No answer was received despite numerous calls from the tower.'

    Referring to Lubitz, Mr Robin said: 'He did this for a reason which we don't know why, but we can only deduct that he destroyed this plane. 'We have asked for information from the German investigation on both his profession and personal background'. Mr Robin said he had no known links with terrorism, adding: 'There is no reason to suspect a terrorist attack.' And asked whether he believed the crash that killed 150 people was the result of suicide, he said: 'People who commit suicide usually do so alone... I don't call it a suicide.'

    Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said all pilots undergo annual medical checks, but not special psychiatric assessments beyond training. He added: 'He passed all medical exams, all checks. He was 100 per cent fit to fly without any restrictions. 'I am not a lawyer. I am the CEO of a big company. If one person takes 149 people with him to death, it is not suicide.'

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  5. White Tara Global Moderator

    Just over a year on, inhabitants of the remote island of Kudahuvadhoo in the Indian Ocean have reported seeing a low-flying passenger jet on the morning the MH370 flight disappeared.

    The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared with 239 people on board on the 8 March 2014. Now residents of the Maldives island say they saw a plane with red and blue markings on the fatal day.
    Villagers from the 3500-strong community, in the Southern area of the Dhaalu Atoll in the Indian Ocean, also heard a loud noise as the plane flew low over head, according to a local news source
    atoll.jpg Atols in the Maldives “I've never seen a jet flying so low over our island before.
    "We've seen seaplanes, but I'm sure that this was not one of those.
    "I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly,” said one villager.
    Passenger aircraft crashes in last twelve months
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mathematicians claiming to know where Malaysia Airlines MH370 crashed told to recalculate

    Experts using a high-tech computer model gave what has been described as the best explanation yet as to how the doomed Boeing 777 crashed and why it hasn’t been found. Academics from a number of American universities teamed up to complete the advanced calculations and found the jet was most likely to have plunged into the sea at a vertical angle. The clean entry means the fuselage stayed in tact, explaining why no debris or oil has been found since the suspected crash on March 8 2014.

    But researchers admitted they may need to carry out more calculations after renegade scientist Andre Milne, who believes the downed plane is actually in the Bay of Bengal, noticed a major weakness in the sums. He claims the amount of kinetic energy being transferred into the sea would have been so vast it would have activated oceanic sensors which are situated around the world and would have given searchers a near enough exact location of the point of impact.

    Mr Milne, who is fundraising to launch his own search in the Bay of Bengal said: “No corroborating date from the oceanic sensors confirms Dr. Chen and his team have nothing but an interesting super computer simulation of what may or may not be theoretically possible.

    “A Boeing 777 has no kinetic energy when it is sitting still on the runway. Get that Boeing 777 moving at close to 600 miles an hour and you have a massive amount of force now attached which is called kinetic energy. In the case of MH370 hitting the water in a nose dive at 500 miles an hour, the kinetic energy is a minimum of 4.5 billion foot-pounds (the amount of energy required to move one pound one foot) of force. What their super computer did not calculate is that the massive impact explosion of water from that 4.5 billion foot-pounds of force would have simultaneously triggered the oceanic sensors. They are situated all over the world and immediately would have given the searchers the exact location of the point of impact. Since there was no massive 4.5 billion foot-pounds of force impact detected... It never happened.”

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    MH370 Search Like A 'Goose Chase'

    Tim Clark, the CEO of Emirates, Middle East's largest airline, likened the search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 to a “goose chase” on Tuesday, and said the Australian government will soon call off the operation, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

    The search for the plane has been ongoing for over a year with no concrete clues about its whereabouts. Clark made the comments during the International Air Transport Association annual meeting in Miami, an airline spokesman confirmed to NBC News. The Dubai-based Emirates has more than 100 Boeing 777 aircraft in its fleet, which is the same type as the MH370 that went missing in March 2014. Clark said he was pessimistic about the chances of finding the plane.

    "I think it is only a question of time before the search is abandoned," he said, according to Sydney Morning Herald. "Do we have solutions? Do we have explanations? Cause? Reasons? No. It has sent us down a goose chase. It will be an Amelia Earhart repetition."

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  7. DeathHamster Member

    Sweet Xenu's Hairy Nostrils! Does anyone still risk a brain aneurism by calculating force with English units? (And they didn't even come close to getting it right: a foot-pound will accelerate a mass of one slug 1 ft/s^2.)

    Use Newtons!
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  8. Aurora Member

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    CNN just quoted a Boeing representative as having said that based in the photos they have seen, the piece is consistent with a Boeing 777.
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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    US official: Debris in photo belongs to Boeing 777 | Associated Press

    Air safety investigators have a "high degree of confidence" that a photo of aircraft debris found in the Indian Ocean is of a wing component unique to the Boeing 777, the same model as the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared last year, according to a U.S. official said Wednesday.

    Air safety investigators — one of them a Boeing investigator — have identified the component as a "flaperon" from the trailing edge of a 777 wing, the U.S. official said.

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    New report suggests deliberate act in MH370 cockpit

    Published by CNN on July 30, 2015

    A preliminary assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies suggested it was likely someone in the cockpit deliberately directed the MH370's movements to go off course before the Malaysian airliner disappeared.
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  13. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  14. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  15. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  16. White Tara Global Moderator

    Ok I lol'd :D

    The Australian creator of a Where’s Wally-style picture book prompting readers to search for pieces of MH370 in Hell has fended off suggestions it might be offensive to the victims’ families.

    Mathew Carpenter, the self-described “evil genius” behind the accidental hit website “ship your enemies glitter”, this week launched the “Where’s MH370” picture book.

    Each page challenges readers to find items from the doomed Boeing 777, such as the blackbox, landing gear and a suitcase, in 12 locations including "North Korea, Russia, the Moon and Hell".
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  17. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  18. The Wrong Guy Member

  19. The Internet Member

    WTF, a guy involved in a private search for MH370 goes to Mozambique and he finds part of the plane. Then he says, "It never occurred to me that I would find something like this here."

    Dude smells fishy.
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  20. Random guy Member

    Indian Ocean seesm to be the right place to look. though.
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    MH370: two new aircraft fragments 'almost certainly' from missing aircraft

    Australian announcement about pieces found in South Africa and Mauritius means a total of five pieces of debris have now been confirmed from missing jet

    MH370 search: 'decreasing possibility' plane will be found, say authorities

    Australian Transport Safety Bureau says there are only 15,000 sq km of seafloor to be surveyed before search ends

    Is this the wreckage of Flight MS804? Images emerge as debris from EgyptAir jet is found off Greek island after it went into 'sharp spin' and fell 22,000ft in what was 'almost certainly a terror attack'
    • EgyptAir flight MS804 vanished over the Med at 00.30am GMT after leaving Paris at 9.09pm GMT on Wednesday
    • Airline said contact was lost with plane 10 miles into Egyptian air space about 40 minutes before it was due to land
    • Airbus A320 was flying at 37,000ft and did not make a distress call before it disappeared off radar, officials say
    • There were 56 passengers on board including one Briton, 30 Egyptians, 15 French and one Canadian and 10 crew
    • British national has been named locally as Richard Osman, a 40-year-old geologist from Carmarthen in west Wales
    • Major search operation underway as former air crash investigation chief says it is 'very probably a terror attack'

    EgyptAir flight MS804: airliner confirms it has found wreckage near Greece – live | The Guardian
  22. Quentinanon Member

    A terror attack at 37,000 ft. and no distress message?
    Must have been one powerful bomb in the cargo hold.
  23. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Osman, eh? Where have I heard that name before.....
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    EgyptAir's MS804 Airbus jet 'had been forced to make THREE emergency landings in the 24 hours before it crashed into the Mediterranean' | Daily Mail Online

    Missing EgyptAir flight MS804 had reportedly been forced to make three emergency landings in the 24 hours leading up to crash.

    The Airbus 320 is said to have been forced to turn around shortly after takeoff on three separate occasions after it's warning systems signalled an anomaly onboard.

    The claims, made in French media, have since been denied by the Egyptian lead crash investigation committee.

    The airplane's onboard warnings system, Acars, went off shortly after take off from three airports where in the 24 hours before the crash, Euronews reports.

    All alerts were reportedly investigated after emergency landings, with nothing found.

    This comes after French naval search vessel Laplace picked up signals believed to originate from one of the black boxes of flight MS804.

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  25. White Tara Global Moderator

  26. DeathHamster Member
    That's full of shit for a "former aviation security official". Planes transmit ACARS signals all the time; it's a status beacon.

    On the plus side, anyone with a scanner and sound card can monitor ACARS in their area, and there might be hobbyist web sites with logs in the areas he claims there were emergencies.
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    EgyptAir wreckage spotted in Mediterranean, Egypt says

    Searchers have spotted the wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804, which plunged into the Mediterranean Sea with 66 people board, Egyptian authorities announced Wednesday.

    The discovery came days before the 30-day life of the batteries for the emergency signals for the Airbus A320’s recorders, after the May 19 crash.

    Recovering the voice and data recorders from the plane are considered key to figuring out whether a mechanical flaw or crew mistake – or terrorism – downed one of the world’s most popular airliners.

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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Exclusive: MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Flight

    By Jeff Wise, New York Magazine, July 22, 2016

    New York has obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances. The revelation, which Malaysia withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation, is the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide.

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  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Report: MH370 spiraled into sea | CNN

    Missing plane Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was plunging toward the sea with no one in control when it made its last satellite communication, new analysis reveals. CNN's Rene Marsh reports.
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Traces of explosives found on EgyptAir crash victims, say authorities | The Guardian

    Egypt’s civil aviation ministry confirms a criminal investigation will now begin into crash in May of flight MS804 that killed 66.
  32. DeathHamster Member
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Did pilot's mobile phone play a role in EgyptAir 804 crash? | The Telegraph


    French investigators are probing whether an EgyptAir jet may have crashed into the Mediterranean last May after lithium batteries on a pilot's mobile phone and tablet overheated and sparked a fire.

    There is a "troubling parallel" between where the fire broke out in the cockpit zone on board Flight 804 and the spot where the co-pilot of the Airbus A320 had placed his phone and tablet on the glare-shield above the instrument panel, said Le Parisien newspaper citing an air transport gendarmerie investigation.

    However, one air expert questioned the theory, saying that the most "plausible" cause of the tragedy remained that of fire in the avionics bay beneath the cockpit, sparked either by a short circuit or explosion. Industry experts also questioned whether it was plausible for a pilot to have taken off with his phone on the dashboard.


    The stability of lithium batteries has been the subject of controversy. Some are banned from aircraft and certain models in mobile devices have been known to overheat and catch fire. In December 2010, a fire broke out in an Air France flight from Atlanta to Paris when a lithium battery jammed under a seat. ignited. A small fire also broke out on a device being charged in May 2013 on another Air France jet, flying from Paris to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    However, David Learmount, operations and safety editor at Flight International magazine and a former pilot, said he thought the idea that mobile devices were the cause was a "red herring".

    "Firstly, pilots don't leave objects on the dashboard because they know the they will end up in their lap when they take off or on the floor and they'll get airborne in turbulence and could jam the controls."

    "Also, a phone bursting into flames just below the windscreen is a fairly spectacular thing to take place on a flight, and they would have told somebody on the ground. Nobody has mentioned this.

    "But the key point is while there were warnings about the window heating systems, there were also smoke alarms in the toilet and avionics bay under the floor. How would the fire have got under there? It doesn't make sense."

    "My guess is the little computer in the avionics bay was damaged by fire; and issued spurious warnings, which were in fact the box screaming for help." This could have been started by a short circuit or explosion, he said.


    Apple, the manufacturers of the iPhone and iPad devices used by the pilot, on Friday said it had not been contacted by "any authority investigating this tragic event", which indicated these did "not believe our products are in any way involved".

    "We have not seen the report but we understand there is no evidence to link this event to Apple products. If investigators have questions for us, we would of course assist in any way we can," it said.

    "We rigorously test our products to ensure they meet or exceed international safety standards."

    Full article:
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

  35. DeathHamster Member
  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Government releases new report on lost flight MH370 | CNN

    The Malaysian government has released a new report on flight MH370, the airline that disappeared in March of 2014. CNN's Will Ripley reports.
  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    Five years later, MH370 still changing how we fly | CNN


    On the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the aviation industry is on the verge of implementing technology that would make a similar tragedy impossible.

    It's hard to believe that we still don't knowexactly what happened to the Boeing 777, or why it vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

    The idea that an airliner carrying 239 passengers and crew members could simply disappear was unthinkable — even for veteran aviation industry authorities like Miguel Marin, the chief of operational safety at the Air Navigation Bureau, which is part of the International Civil Aviation Organization. (The ICAO, a United Nations agency, sets worldwide aviation standards.)

    "It was inconceivable that in this day and age we would lose an airplane that big without a trace," Marin told CNN on the phone from ICAO's Montreal headquarters. The tragedy shocked the ICAO enough that it quickly got to work.

    The result is a long-term plan called the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), which uses innovations in technology and communications to better watch the planes we fly on. One part of the plan requires that all large aircraft now automatically track their flight positions every 15 minutes, while another new rule focuses on what happens when a commercial flight is in distress.

    Continued at

    Coverage by The Guardian:

    Search for the latest news:

    Search for coverage on CNN's YouTube channel: 370
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  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane

    Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say.

    By William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, July 2019 Issue


    At 12:42 a.m. on the quiet, moonlit night of March 8, 2014, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines took off from Kuala Lumpur and turned toward Beijing, climbing to its assigned cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was 370. Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane. He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified. His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie. He was married and had three adult children. He lived in a gated development. He owned two houses. In his first house he had installed an elaborate Microsoft flight simulator. He flew it frequently, and often posted to online forums about his hobby.

    <snipped> is difficult to see the co-pilot as the perpetrator. He was young and optimistic, and reportedly planning to get married. He had no history of any sort of trouble, dissent, or doubts. He was not a German signing on to a life in a declining industry of budget airlines, low salaries, and even lower prestige. He was flying a glorious Boeing 777 in a country where the national airline and its pilots are still considered a pretty big deal.

    It is the captain, Zaharie, who raises concerns. The first warning is his portrayal in the official reports as someone beyond reproach—a good pilot and placid family man who liked to play with a flight simulator. This is the image promoted by Zaharie’s family, but it is contradicted by multiple indications of trouble that too obviously have been brushed over.


    The truth, as I discovered after speaking in Kuala Lumpur with people who knew him or knew about him, is that Zaharie was often lonely and sad. His wife had moved out, and was living in the family’s second house. By his own admission to friends, he spent a lot of time pacing empty rooms waiting for the days between flights to go by. He was also a romantic. He is known to have established a wistful relationship with a married woman and her three children, one of whom was disabled, and to have obsessed over two young internet models, whom he encountered on social media, and for whom he left Facebook comments that apparently did not elicit responses. Some were shyly sexual. He mentioned in one comment, for example, that one of the girls, who was wearing a robe in a posted photo, looked like she had just emerged from a shower. Zaharie seems to have become somewhat disconnected from his earlier, well-established life. He was in touch with his children, but they were grown and gone. The detachment and solitude that can accompany the use of social media—and Zaharie used social media a lot—probably did not help. There is a strong suspicion among investigators in the aviation and intelligence communities that he was clinically depressed.

    If Malaysia were a country where, in official circles, the truth was welcome, then the police portrait of Zaharie as a healthy and happy man would carry some weight. But Malaysia is not such a country, and the official omission of evidence to the contrary only adds to all the other evidence that Zaharie was a troubled man.

    Forensic examinations of Zaharie’s simulator by the FBI revealed that he experimented with a flight profile roughly matching that of MH370—a flight north around Indonesia followed by a long run to the south, ending in fuel exhaustion over the Indian Ocean. Malaysian investigators dismissed this flight profile as merely one of several hundred that the simulator had recorded. That is true, as far as it goes, which is not far enough. Victor Iannello, an engineer and entrepreneur in Roanoke, Virginia, who has become another prominent member of the Independent Group and has done extensive analysis of the simulated flight, underscores what the Malaysian investigators ignored. Of all the profiles extracted from the simulator, the one that matched MH370’s path was the only one that Zaharie did not run as a continuous flight—in other words, taking off on the simulator and letting the flight play out, hour after hour, until it reached the destination airport. Instead he advanced the flight manually in multiple stages, repeatedly jumping the flight forward and subtracting the fuel as necessary until it was gone. Iannello believes that Zaharie was responsible for the diversion. Given that there was nothing technical that Zaharie could have learned by rehearsing the act on a gamelike Microsoft consumer product, Iannello suspects that the purpose of the simulator flight may have been to leave a bread-crumb trail to say goodbye. Referring to the flight profile that MH370 would follow, Iannello said of Zaharie, “It’s as if he was simulating a simulation.” Without a note of explanation, Zaharie’s reasoning is impossible to know. But the simulator flight cannot easily be dismissed as a random coincidence.

    In Kuala Lumpur, I met with one of Zaharie’s lifelong friends, a fellow 777 captain whose name I have omitted because of possible repercussions for him. He too believed that Zaharie was guilty, a conclusion he had come to reluctantly. He described the mystery as a pyramid that is broad at the base and one man wide at the top, meaning that the inquiry might have begun with many possible explanations but ended up with a single one. He said, “It doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to reconcile with the man I knew. But it’s the necessary conclusion.” I asked about the need Zaharie would have had to somehow deal with his cockpit companion, First Officer Fariq Hamid. He replied, “That’s easy. Zaharie was an examiner. All he had to say was ‘Go check something in the cabin,’ and the guy would have been gone.” I asked about a motive. He had no idea. He said, “Zaharie’s marriage was bad. In the past he slept with some of the flight attendants. And so what? We all do. You’re flying all over the world with these beautiful girls in the back. But his wife knew.” He agreed that this was hardly a reason to go berserk, but thought Zaharie’s emotional state might have been a factor.

    Does the absence of all of this from the official report— Zaharie’s travails; the peculiar nature of the flight profile on the simulator—not to mention the technical inadequacies of the report itself, constitute a cover-up? At this point, we cannot say. We know some of what the investigators knew but chose not to reveal. There is likely more that they discovered and that we do not yet know.

    Which brings us back to the demise of MH370. It is easy to imagine Zaharie toward the end, strapped into an ultra-comfortable seat in the cockpit, inhabiting his cocoon in the glow of familiar instruments, knowing that there could be no return from what he had done, and feeling no need to hurry. He would long since have repressurized the airplane and warmed it to the right degree. There was the hum of the living machine, the beautiful abstractions on the flatscreen displays, the carefully considered backlighting of all the switches and circuit breakers. There was the gentle whoosh of the air rushing by. The cockpit is the deepest, most protective, most private sort of home. Around 7 a.m., the sun rose over the eastern horizon, to the airplane’s left. A few minutes later it lit the ocean far below. Had Zaharie already died in flight? He could at some point have depressurized the airplane again and brought his life to an end. This is disputed and far from certain. Indeed, there is some suspicion, from fuel-exhaustion simulations that investigators have run, that the airplane, if simply left alone, would not have dived quite as radically as the satellite data suggest that it did—a suspicion, in other words, that someone was at the controls at the end, actively helping to crash the airplane. Either way, somewhere along the seventh arc, after the engines failed from lack of fuel, the airplane entered a vicious spiral dive with descent rates that ultimately may have exceeded 15,000 feet a minute. We know from that descent rate, as well as from Blaine Gibson’s shattered debris, that the airplane disintegrated into confetti when it hit the water.


    For now the official investigations have petered out. The Australians have done what they could. The Chinese want to move on and are censoring any news that might inflame the passions of the families. The French are off in France, rehashing the satellite data. The Malaysians just wish the whole subject would go away.


    ...finding the wreckage and the two black boxes may accomplish little. The cockpit voice recorder is a self-erasing two-hour loop, and is likely to contain only the sounds of the final alarms going off, unless whoever was at the controls was still alive and in a mood to provide explanations for posterity. The other black box, the flight-data recorder, will provide information about the functioning of the airplane throughout the entire flight, but it will not reveal any relevant system failure, because no such failure can explain what occurred. At best it will answer some relatively unimportant questions, such as when exactly the airplane was depressurized and how long it remained so, or how exactly the satellite box was powered down and then powered back up.


    The important answers probably don’t lie in the ocean but on land, in Malaysia. That should be the focus moving forward. Unless they are as incompetent as the air force and air traffic control, the Malaysian police know more than they have dared to say.

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