MH370 mystery: One year on from disappearance and Byron Bailey says only the pilot could have done i


IT is nearly a year since Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, with 239 passengers and crew, disappeared without a trace.

When we discount the wild conspiracy theories, and opinions of self-appointed experts, especially those within the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Board) who have never flown a modern flyby wire glass cockpit airliner, then one is left with only one credible explanation.

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out who did it. Nearly all my colleagues in the aviation industry realised within days of the crash that only a pilot could have done this.

MH370 flew for seven hours (6000km) after all communication systems were manually switched off. Two points on this — pilots didn’t know about the hourly handshake from the satellite questioning the aircraft ‘‘are you still there.’’ So the pilot didn’t know he could still be tracked.

Second point — the CEO of the world’s largest international operator of Boeing said: ‘‘Pilots should not be allowed to be able to turn off ACARS etc in flight.’’ His huge airline fleets’ positions are instantaneously available in real time wherever they are in the world.

MH370 would have flown itself to its programmed destination unless the FMS was reprogrammed in flight. Something only a qualified modern jet pilot could do.

There were only two pilots on board MH370 who could do this.

The final goodbye to Kuala Lumpur ATC was the captain’s voice – allegedley confirmed by the wife. If the captain was the pilot flying, the co-pilot would normally be doing the radio which he had been up to that time.

So where was the co-pilot? Possibly getting the captain a coffee or some other excuse so he could be locked out behind the cockpit door.

In August 2014, my source within a government department responsible for planning the search area for MH370, informed me the FBI had obtained information from the captain’s computer and supplied this to ATSB.

Two weeks ago my source not only confirmed what was told to me in August, but the FBI was of the opinion that the captain was responsible for the disappearance of the plane.

The ATSB should now confirm or deny whether they received information from the FBI; was this information used to relocate the search area further south; and did the FBI express the opinion that the captain was a hijacker.

The ATSB seems to be persisting with the theory that MH370 flew by itself, that is not under control – not possible — for seven hours than ran out of fuel and crashed.

It can only fly in navigation or heading modes – it can not meander around the sky by itself. Sure it may have crashed (unlikely) but it was under control on a planned route.

When the Swiss Air MD11 crashed into the sea off Nova Scotia, the subsequent search, salvage, and recovery operation plus detailed crash investigation analysis and cost for relatives of the deceased – payments to family etc – came to US$871 million.

The chief pilot of Swiss Air visited my airline and gave a detailed briefing in my airline’s auditorium to assembled pilots about the whole episode. Swiss Air was bankrupted as a result of this crash.

When MH370 disappeared the initial search was in the South China Sea as the hijacker intended when he made the aircraft electronically invisible.

Then brilliant scientific deduction by the satellite geeks in the UK proved that Mh370 then flew for seven hours and it was off the WA cost albeit approximately 2500km away.

Owners and operators of large corporate and private jets were roped in to the search which subsequently proved to be in the wrong area.

For example, one large private jet out of Sydney flew over to Perth operating for two weeks in the search area.

It flew three and a half hours to the search area, one hour on task with untrained search observers, and three and a half hours back to Perth.

They flew over 90 hours at approximately $10,000 an hour.

This means the owner pocketed nearly a million dollars from the government courtesy of the Australian tax payer and approximately 15 private/corporate jets were used.

Basically the initial search was disjointed and a shambles.

If the Australian and Malaysian governments decide to conveniently abandon the search, I hope the Chinese government will step forward and keep the search going for however long it takes. The deliberate termination of the lives of 238 crew and passengers, mostly Chinese, points to a likely murder-suicide.

The families of the deceased deserve to know.

People ask if a pilot wanted to commit suicide why didn’t he just crash the airplane?

I will point out that it is customary for airlines to have insurance cover on their pilots. For example my airline had me insured for US1 million dollars payable to my family if I died on duty.

Of course this would not be paid if suicide was the cause and therefore it would behove the “hijacker” to try to cover up the fact that it was suicide by hiding the aircraft’s end destination.


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