Mar. 10, 2014

lost...one airliner

It is sad, and rather disturbing, that in this day of technology, the world finds itself wondering how a commercial airliner could just 'disappear'. The usual group of suspects including catastrophic failure, hijacking, or even a UFO abduction or some nefarious conspiracy will always fill the headlines of various news organizations. However, critical thinking demands one to search for logical, reasonable explanantions. We may never know for sure what event or series of events led to this terrible tragedy, but we can look at the real information available to help us come to some conclusions. What if it were a catastrophic explosion or depressurization of the airplane ? One only needs to look back on the Columbia disaster to realize that multiple large pieces of the craft would have hit the surface at some point and that much of the debris would float if it hit the water. Fuel on the water ? Could have been dumped before ditching or attempting a landing on some unknown runway, however this is not likely as the building of an 8,000ft-9000 ft runway capable of supporting a heavy aircraft would take considerable time and would be hard to hide. Also, if stealing the aircraft was for some master plan of terrorism, the runway has to be long enough to take off again.  Any fuel found on the water would require only a simple fuel analysis to identify fuel type. Hijack to Iran?  Not likely as fuel needed for scheduled flight would not be enough to make it to Iran non-stop. This also does not take into account other airspace violated during the flight that would  (or should) raise questions with other countries. Perhaps an attempted hijack with terrorists accessing the flight deck, ordering transponders turned off, a fight ensues with fatal injuries to the pilots and others capable of flying, then loss of control and ultimatley a crash. Certainly this is a possible scenario. One other thought still remains an outside possibilty, that being rogue pilots contracted by an outside agency to bring them a 777 for whatever future plans that organization might have. Ultimately, we can't rule out the possibility that no answer will be found. In the meantime, we should learn again from something like this, learn that perhaps our current airplane monitoring systems with a transponder that can be turned off rather than one that sends out a constant transmission (like the current 406 mghz distress signal, or even the old 121.5/243 signal) just might be inadequate. Maybe we should review the way searches are done on the open ocean. Dropping GPS buoys at 1/2 mile intervals in a 50 mile radius around a suspected crash site might give us a better idea of how the currents disperse the debris field so if the search needs to be expanded, there is a better idea in which direction to go. Menwhile, the watch continues.