The story of Flight 370 has so many twists and turns that it is difficult to keep track. This is a complete account of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 8th headed to Beijing, China carrying 239 people (227 passengers, 12 crew). It has not been since. The last voice contact occurred about 1.5 hours into flight when the pilot checked in with Air Traffic Control. All seemed fine. At this point is where the plane took a sharp heading change off its planned flight path and headed East for 30 minutes or so then turned and headed North.
We Know about the Disappearance:
- The plane took off March 8th from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- After an hour into flight, all aircraft tracking systems were turned off an no more communications by voice were made
- The tracking and communications systems were intentionally turned off. The ACARS system required extensive knowledge to turn off.
- The only tracking was a few radar contacts during the first hour the plane turned off course after which it was too far to see by radar.
- Before losing radar contact, the plane climbed to 45,000 feet which is way beyond the altitude for this and other planes.
- Periodic satellite contact was made by orbiting satellites that are setup to “talk” to the plane’s maintenance systems but the plane would not respond. (ANC)
- Seven hours after takeoff Flight 370 was spotted over the Island of Maldives (story) flying at a very low altitude. Low enough to not be detected by radar.
- Two Iranians with stolen passports boarded the plane (CNN)
- The passports they used were stolen over a year ago from an Austrian and Italian. A Thai middle-man using a Thai travel agency made the travel arrangements.
- Malaysian police admit to doctoring Iranian photos (IB Times)
- Malaysia Airlines did NOT verify and check passenger passport information against a global database managed by Interpol.
- Just before the plane took off, the pilot had a 2 minute call with a ‘mystery’ woman that used a disposal phone purchased with a fake ID (Examiner.com)
- The FBI is investigating the pilots and have confiscated their home computers and other information.
- The pilot had an advance flight simulator in his home.
- The Flight Data Recorder, also known as the Black Box, on the aircraft has a locator beacon to help searchers find the airplane quickly. The battery has a 30-day life so April 8th is went it is expected to stop transmitting.
This saga with Flight 370 has several major oddities that come into questions:
- The Iranians used passports stolen over a year ago. They used a middle-man in Thailand who made the travel reservations using a Thai travel agency. Thailand is one of the leading countries to obtain fake passports.
- Malaysia Airlines did NOT check passenger passport information against Interpols passport database. The airlines says this is too time consuming and difficult. Interpol strongly and publicly disputed that claim saying the US uses this passport database 230 million times per year and gets a response back in 0.2 to 0.5 seconds.
- Did the Iranians and the Thai middle-man know that Malaysia Airlines did not do passport checks?
- An hour or so after the plane diverted, the last radar contact shows the plane headed North…headed toward land.
- Before losing contact, the aircraft climbed to 45,000. Why? Speculation is that the intent was to incapacitate or kill the passengers. One reason for this is that the passengers would now not be able to seize control of the plane. With the plane taking off at 1am, most would have been asleep or reading and not even aware of the flight changes.
- An untested method was created by a satellite company to calculate where the plane was headed. The calculations show South, or 180 degree difference from what the last radar contact showed.
- The pilot was estranged from his wife and also received a 2 minute phone call from a woman using a disposable phone purchased with a fake id. The pilot also had is photo taken recently wearing a t shirt saying “Democracy is Dead”.
- The pilot has an advanced flight simulator in his home with the Boeing 777 plane loaded in it. He a very senior pilot with 18,000 hours of flight time. He did not need a simulator at his level of expertise. Speculation is this may have been used to practice flight paths and landings at airports he was not familiar with. However, the FBI’s investigation did not turn up anything unusual except for a few deleted files.
- A Vietnamese oil rig worker said he saw a plane fall from the sky. His story was confirmed and where he saw the object falling would have been in the flight path after the plane diverted but nothing was ever found except for two large oil slicks. These were tested and said to have been from a ship. (more)
To summarize, we know two Iranians with stolen passports were on board the plane, the pilot had a call from a mysterious woman while he was in the cockpit about to takeoff, and someone intentionally turned off the airplane’s communications and tracking systems, and they had to have a very educated understanding of how these systems worked. There are still many holes to fill before we can fully understand exactly what happened. And there’s a chance we may never know. If the plane did land in the Indian Ocean where the experts projected, it is extremely deep in that area up to 15,000 to 20,000 feet deep (3 to 4 miles). The Black Box on the plane that we hope contains the answers is about to lose battery power by April 8th. This will make the extremely difficult task of locating it and the plane even more difficult. I believe the passenger’s families and the world eagerly want closure to this mystery.