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The Best Flight 370 Scenario So Far - Theory of an actual pilot

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posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:19 AM
I, as I imagine others, have been following and researching just what could have happened to this plane for the past several days. Me and my network have come up with several scenarios that may have happened. We discussed hijackings, terrorists, the engineers on board, secret cargo, Laser Weapons testing (LaWS), as well as many other theories. I decided to visit some pilot forums to see if I could see what the take was from actual experienced pilots. That is when I stumbled upon this explanation, which I found to be quite possibly the simplest, and most easily accepted explanation so far. It was posted to a google+ and the poster gave permission to distribute it. While yes, it is a google+ account, and not some major news organization, it still makes the most sense to me.

Many at work can not access social sites like google+, so I have decided to include the posts in full.

So here it is.

It is in two parts. One was the original part before further information was released, and the other was a update taking into account the new information, and answering many questions posted afterwards.

If the information here is correct, and the pilot was trying to reach this airport, perhaps we have a new search vector to begin looking along via tomnod. This theory also fits with the Malaysia reports, as it is along the same flight path that is discussed here.

Source by Chris Goodfellow

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

A 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.

Two 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 Malacca.

When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.

The 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.

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.

The second half, with new information released, is in the next post.

Continued below...
edit on 18-3-2014 by xmaddness because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2014 by xmaddness because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:19 AM

Diego and all who have commented - thank you.

I wrote this post before the information regarding the engines continuing to run for approximately six hours and the fact it seems acars was shut down before the transponder.

The continued speculation of hijack and/or murder suicide and the latest this morning that there was a flight engineer on board that is being investigated does not do much to sway me in favour of foul play until I am presented with evidence of foul play.

My post received a lot of comments on Reddit as well if some of you wish to read those. MH370.

Now let me deal with Diego's request for my present view in light of new evidence.

We know there was a last voice transmission that from a pilot's point of view (POV) was entirely normal. The good night is customary on a hand -off to a new ATC control. The good night also indicates STRONGLY to me all was OK on the flight deck. Remember there are many ways a pilot can communicate distress - the hijack code or even a transponder code different by one digit from assigned would alert ATC that something was wrong. Every good pilot knows keying an SOS over the mike is always an option even three short clicks would raise an alert.

So I conclude at that point of voice transmission all was perceived as well on the flight deck by the pilots.

But things could have been in the process of going wrong unknown to the pilots -
Evidently the ACARS went inoperative some time before. Disabling the ACARS is not easy as pointed out. This leads me to believe more in an electric or electric fire issue than a manual shutdown. I suggest the pilots were probably not aware it was not transmitting.

The next event is the turn to the SW in what appears direct Langkawi.
As I said in the first post the pilot probably had this in his head already.
Someone said why didn't he go to KBR on north coast of Malaysia which was closer. That's a 6,000 foot runway and to put that plane down on a 6,000 foot strip at night uncertain of your aircraft's entire systems is not an option. I would expect the pilot would consider ditching before a 6,000 runway if still above maximum landing weight which he likely was.
The safest runway in the region to make the approach was certainly Langkawi - no obstacles over water with a long flat approach. In my humble opinion this 18,000 hour pilot knew this instinctively.

Reports of altitude fluctuations. Well given that this was not transponder generated data but primary radar at maybe 200 miles the azimuth readings can be affected by a lot of atmospherics and I would not have high confidence in this being totally reliable. But let's accept for a minute he might have ascended to 45,000 in a last ditch effort to quell a fire by seeking the lowest level of oxygen. It is an acceptable scenario in my opinion. At 45,000 it would be tough to keep this aircraft stable as the flight envelope is very narrow and loss of control in a stall is entirely possible. The aircraft is at the top of its operational ceiling. The reported rapid rates of descent could have been generated by a stall and recovery at 25,000. The pilot may even have been diving the aircraft to extinguish flames. All entirely possible.

But going to 45,000 in a hijack scenario doesn't make any good sense to me.

The question of the time the plane flew on.

On departing Kuala he would have had fuel for Beijing and alternate probably Shanghai and 45 minutes. Say 8 hours. Maybe more. He burned 20-25% in first hour with takeoff, climb to cruise. So when the turn was made towards Langkawi he would have had six hours or more. This correlates nicely with the immarsat data pings being received until fuel exhaustion.

The apparent now known continued flight until TTFE time to fuel exhaustion only actually confirms to me the crew were incapacitated and the flight continued on deep into the south Indian ocean.

There really is no point in speculating further until more evidence surfaces but in the meantime it serves no purpose to malign the pilots who well may have been in an heroic struggle to save this aircraft from a fire or other serious mechanical issue and were overcome.

I hope the investigation team looks at the maintenance records of the front gear tires - cycles, last pressure check and maintenance inspection. Captain or F/O as part of pre-flight looks at tires. Is there any video at the airport to support pre-flight walkaround? Any damage on pushback? A day after I wrote the original post a plane in the U.S. blew a tire in takeoff and the t/o was fortunately aborted with a burning tire.

Hopefully - and I believe now it is a slim hope - the wreckage will be found and the FDR and VDR will be recovered and provide us with insight. Until facts prove otherwise, I would give the Captain the benefit of respect and professional courtesy.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:28 AM
Either way, the people are probably gone. Having said that, I think most of us would be quite relieved to finally discover that this plane did indeed go down, rather than some of the alternatives.
Not a bad read, although at first I was doubtful.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:32 AM
reply to post by JohnTheSmith

Yeah that is my sentiment now also. It is a tragedy that will be studied for a long time, and I honestly believe that we should give the pilots the benefit of the doubt for the time being. The captain was a very experienced pilot and obviously loved what he did. I think he may have died doing everything he could possibly do to keep that plane going, and to save the lives of all aboard.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:34 AM
This is amazing WELL DONE!!

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by xmaddness

Best explanation I've heard upto date...
however, Maledives-island residents claim to have seen a white jumbo jet flying from north to south-east, which is the opposite direction of Langkawi airport.
source:Maledives residents report sighting of 'low flying jet'
edit on 18/3/2014 by Pakd-on-mystery because: source

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:43 AM
I was getting sick of reading about how aliens took the plane or how some people thought there was no plane to begin with. Nonsense. Its at the bottom of the ocean. Which one? Only time will tell.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:54 AM
reply to post by xmaddness

My idea was similar to yours,but a catastrophic decompression,something like the hawaiin plane years ago,where the top peeled off.Assuming it was on autopilot,the damage destroyed most of the electrical,the rest eventually burned out or failed,then the plane flies unattended with false or misleading readings from the remaining autopilot sensors.Passengers and crew dead almost instantly,the plane wandering barely flyable,runs out of fuel....

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:55 AM
This makes the most sense of anything I've read on the subject so far especially when it comes from a person who knows what he's talking about. I have no doubt at this time that they will find the wreckage eventually but then again I have always been close to that idea. The terrorist angle, though entertaining and more seeped in mystery, just doesn't make any sense. Thanks for posting this important outlook OP

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:56 AM
reply to post by ArtemisE

that is a good theory......if true, what do we make of the story reported that several people in the Maldives saw a very low flying plane the right color and marking the morning the plane went missing

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:05 AM
I totally buy it. Sure the imagination runs wild with all of the other theories floating about but...simple is always better.

I suspect that one day the world might look back at this episode and reflect on a sillier time when conspiracy theorizing trumped logic and reason, drawing in even those experts and media who should be focusing more on facts.

And, disturbingly, it will cause any legitimate theorizing to be dismissed out of hand.

edit on 3/18/2014 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:17 AM
I know it's technical but there just had to be enough fire to knock out communications to the ground and the transponders but not significant enough to effect auto pilot?

What about the turns being programmed into the plane?

Why didn't it show up as an unknown plane on some radar?

Why didn't cell phones work at some point. (I've made plenty of calls in flight - yes I know I'm not supposed to)

Why didn't the in flight phones work?

Possible theory but not the best.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by Daughter2

this plane was not set up for celphone communications,and was well out of coverage anyway.Celphone connections are up to the carrier airline.As far as radar,if it was in a known flight path at a high altitude,not flying near a military base,most would ignore it
edit on 18-3-2014 by blkcwbyhat because: last line

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by research100

If you look at the location of Pulau Langkaw, you will notice the plane diverted directly on that path. You will also notice that the Maldives are also directly on this path, albeit Maldives are several hundred miles to the west of it.

Here is the picture being painted.

1) Take off from Kuala Lumpr, front landing gear tire catches fire on take off, but stows as per normal in the belly of the aircraft.

2) Flight continues as normal. Messages ATC with Goodnight message (all seems well)

3) Pilot notices smoke in the cockpit. Immediately starts emergency landing procedure, punching in coords to the Pulau Langkaw airport. Planes takes sharp left turn.

4) Pilot and co-pilot start to fight fire and pull buses, smoke consumes them and they pass out.

5) Plane continues flying on those coords until fuel runs out, just passed the Maldives.

We now have two coords, the coords at the left turn, and the coords of the airport, as well as a distance, the Maldives. I would suspect if you follow that ray, you will find our planes final resting place beyond the Maldives.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:59 AM
I've just learned that Tomnod unfortunately does not have coverage over the Maldives, or south-south-west of there, which if this theory is true, is where the plane most likely went down.

Does anyone have any contacts over there to see if they can expand the coverage to that area?

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:40 AM
reply to post by xmaddness

Here's a refinement/addition to the theory. Last year an Ethiopian 787 suffered severe damage to the aft fuselage in a fire on the ground. Why is it related? Because the fire started in the electronics bay for the Honeywell ELT. That ELT is used on over 6,000 aircraft and is one of the most popular units built.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:38 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Good catch. Fires are certainly possible on-board an aircraft.

Furthermore, here is a case in which a Learjet had a similar incident.


On October 25, 1999, a chartered Learjet 35 was scheduled to fly from Orlando, Florida to Dallas, Texas. Early in the flight the aircraft, which was cruising at altitude on autopilot, quickly lost cabin pressure. All on board were incapacitated due to hypoxia — a lack of oxygen. The aircraft failed to make the westward turn toward Dallas over north Florida. It continued flying over the southern and midwestern United States for almost four hours and 1,500 miles (2,400 km). The plane ran out of fuel and crashed into a field near Aberdeen, South Dakota after an uncontrolled descent.

Others have wondered why the people on board did not call for help from cell phones, especially if they were so low to the ground in the Maldives.

Simple explanation is that smoke would have filled the cabin from the burning tire, and all the passengers would have suffered from asphyxiation by this time. The plane would have essentially been an auto-piloted coffin. Tires are notorious for producing noxious smoke and fumes.

edit on 18-3-2014 by xmaddness because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:40 PM
Probably the best speculation I have heard yet... speculation, yes, but damned well informed speculation. We have a tendency here on ATS to jump right into the weird, but often the most bizarre questions have the simplest answers...

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by xmaddness

I've been leaning towards a decompression event, which also fits nicely. Helios 522 failed to pressurize and flew on to Athens where it crashed after running out of fuel.

posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:45 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Right, a decompression event where everyone suffers from asphyxiation and the autopilot takes over on whatever current heading it has in its system. It will continue that heading until out of fuel.

In this case, regardless of a fire or decompression, the pilot may have had just enough time to enter in the emergency airports heading, before being succumbed by asphyxiation.

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