Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Missing Malaysian Flight 370 : Did it Descend to the Sea Safely?

Never in the recent history of advanced air travel and space communications, something of this kind has happened.

One of the most advanced passenger aircraft ever made by one of the most advanced aircraft manufacturer of the world and operated by one of the best airline company of Asia and commandeered by one of the best trained pilot had vanished into thin air with all the passengers and the crew in the midst of its flight without out leaving any traces. At least no traces till now, even after ten days as on today, the 18th March 2014! The aircraft went missing on 8th March 2014!

If you haven't read about all those news, just brush up those once again in these CNN News coverage about this mysterious happening. For a detailed understanding with all technical information, you may also look into the Wikipedia article about this mystery of flight 370 of the Malaysian Airlines. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200ER, one of the most advanced commercial flying machines. It was totally designed by computers and flew entirely by the fly-by-wire technique of the advanced on board computers.

There are many pieces of curious information in this case, just as much or more as similar aviation mysteries that had happened in the past.

Had the flight crashed on the ocean surface or on land surface, by this time our satellites in the sky and the thousands who do the scanning of the satellite images would have by now got some clue. It is almost impossible for such a large aircraft to crash without leaving some evidence!

Some say that the aircraft might have exploded at a high altitude of 35000 odd feet above the sea and in such a case it would be difficult to get any traces so easily. Perhaps this could be accepted for a moment. But the later information confirmed that the aircraft's engines have been working for sever odd hours even after the plane went missing from the radar screens.

The plane's communication systems-transponders- were switched off by some one in its cockpit. That could be a deliberate attempt to hijack the plane from its approved course of travel. But who could have done it?

Who ever had done that and the later piloting of the plane for long hours without getting noticed by the air space watch dogs of several countries should be an expert by any logic.

The news media report that the commander of the plane was an techno-geek whose only interest in life was the technicalities of flying this mammoth of a plane. He had installed a private flight simulator in his home! He knew ins and outs of the air craft he was flying! Perhaps he was a loner!

The majority of the passengers were Chinese. But there were a few from India as well. There are unconfirmed news about a Canadian Indian family of an Indian technocrat who worked as a top executive in the company where I too worked, also on board. 

It is indeed a big trauma for all the near and dear ones of the passengers and the crew members as they wait for any news about their missing ones!

It is now reported that about 26 nations have joined the search activities for the missing plane but so far with no conclusive success. Let us only hope that they would soon succeed in their mission!

But what could have happened?

The hijack theory is now getting some credence. But no one has claimed any responsibility for this act so far. This has become a mystery that is too intriguing even for the aviation experts!

One of the CNN's expert reporters had even theorized about the possibility of the plane flying of its own without even the auto pilot. That could happen when the pilots are incapacitated and some one forcing them to switch off every signalling systems. But in such a case, the plane should have crashed after it went out of fuel. But there is no evidence of such a thing so far.

There are even unconfirmed reports that say of getting some signals from the communication gadgets of some of the passengers after the lapse of the last handshake signal that the air craft had with some of the communication satellites. That shows some slim chances of the aircraft landing some where and the possibility of its passengers safe at least at that time.

From a logical deduction of all the input news, one can deduce about the possibility of the plane being flown by an expert with active help of some others deviating from its normal course in a clandestine manner. But where could it have gone that way?

It is highly improbable that the flight could have headed north, north west or north east as these areas are mostly land areas under the close monitoring of the airspace monitoring radars of several countries. The plane could have then moved south, south west or south east. Had it moved to south west, there are chances that it could have reached the Indian ocean or the Bay of Bengal, some where near the seas around the Andaman and Nicobar islands. This possibility is reported as being checked.

The Times of India reported about such a possibility. I think this is very likely. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are Union Territories of India and consists of 572 islands with an area of 7950 sq.km. Most of these islands either have no human population or are sparingly populated by protected tribes. Most of the islands are separated by sea to the tune of thousands of kilometers and even the Indian authorities have practically very little access to many of them. 

Under such a situation, I am compelled to postulate another theory of my own. It is only a wild wild guess.

Imagine the situation when some expert in the plane commandeered the plane to the Andaman and Nicobar sea with its transponders switched off. They also flew at low altitudes at those critical space where there were possibilities of radar detection. So they avoided radar detection. But perhaps the Indian airspace around the Nicobar islands have possible radar holes or areas where no one constantly monitored the air space, even while the islands have a strong presence of the Indian Air-force. Here the plane flew at low altitude over the seas and perhaps was forced to land on the sea waters adjacent to some isolated uninhabited island.

The majority of people could have swam to the shores of the island near by with the help of the life jackets of the plane. Shortly after wards either the plane was forced to sink to the sea, some one deliberately or it sank by its own fuselage breaking. There could be little chances of any evidence floating on the sea if the plane was forcibly and safely piloted to land on the relatively calm sea surface and later forced to sink.

If the fellows who have done this hijacking landed in a place other than their designated area, it would be difficult for them to get in to touch with their associates immediately. They would also be forcing the live passengers to be hidden behind the greenery of the remote islands for reasons known to them. Some passengers could have tried their advanced cell phones or internet gadgets to communicate but failed due to poor connectivity. Else they might be prevented from doing so.

It is a good idea to scan all the islands of Andaman and Nicobar by the Indian authorities before it is too late. Official request from Malaysia to the Indian authorities for this, is reported

Let us hope this mystery would be solved soon even while we realize the world is too big a space to search for a plane.

Let us hope the bereaved would find some solace. 

Let us hope those passengers are alive and they would join back to their beloved ones soon!

You may also read some other media news and speculations about this mystery in the following links:

1. Theories behind MH370 disappearance- MSN News
2. Norwegian ship continue search operations-MSN News
3. Air search expands to remote south of Indian ocean-Google News

Now it appears that the plane had been hijacked to the farthest point in the south as far as the plane could have gone with the fuel it had and crashed in to the remote ocean south of Australia and sank for ever. There are reports of satellites spotting some floating objects which could not be traced and located physically so far even after intensive searches.

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