Did Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 fly for over six hours with no living crew?

High ranking among the scenarios that could explain the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 is that a frantic effort to subdue an attempt by passengers to storm the plane’s cockpit led to the catastrophic decompression of the aircraft, killing all aboard. The plane then, under the control of its flight computer, flew on as a “ghost plane” until it finally crashed in a yet-to-be-searched area.

This would be the sequence of events –

  1. As we now know, the aircraft was taken over by persons unknown (but probably involving at least one of the plane’s pilots) as part of a carefully planned operation. The timing of the takeover occurred at the “perfect moment” just after signing off with Malaysian air control and before signing on with Vietnam. Both of the systems that would allow civilian tracking of the aircraft were disabled around the same time. Clearly the aircraft was now in the hands of somebody with a plan in mind—involving “profit” to the perpetrators, whether that profit was monetary (as in kidnapping and ransom) or spiritual (as in going to whatever version of heaven the perpetrators believed would be their reward for their personal sacrifice).  Given the obvious care to “go invisible” it seems to make no sense that the perpetrator’s goal was simple suicide. There must have been a target: either a secret landing place or a 911-like target such as the iconic Petronas twin towers in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.
  1. Soon after the aircraft disappeared from tracking screens, it inexplicably climbed to 45,000 feet—an altitude that any knowledgeable pilot would know was unsafe. Then it appears the plane dived at great speed, quite probably exceeding the speed of sound—which would endanger structural integrity… The only plausible explanation for these events is that the pilot was either totally incompetent (which is at odds with the carefully executed 180° turn that occurred just after the “All right, Goodnight” last words of the co-pilot)…or that the pilot was trying to foil an attempt by passengers to storm the cockpit.
  1. In the struggle for control of the aircraft something happened that caused catastrophic decompression of the aircraft. We are told that it would take as little as thirty seconds for a person to lose consciousness if they did not quickly don an oxygen mask. Depending on the circumstance of the decompression incident it could have been very difficult to access the oxygen masks (e.g. objects ricocheting around the cabin and/or severe g-forces when the plane pulled out of the dive).
  1. The plane was built for survivability. Its flight computer would have taken over to stabilize the plane, leaving it to fly in whatever direction it happened to be pointing when the pilot lost consciousness.

The only plausible alternative to the “ghost plane” scenario is the one we would all hope for i.e. the elaborate plan of the perpetrators actually succeeded, and the plane landed safely and is being hidden. If that is the case, the next chapter of this bizarre incident should become known to us fairly soon. Either we hear demands from the bad guys or, heaven forbid, the plane is used as a suicide weapon somewhere…

 

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