Possible Theories, Questions And Answers About The Missing MH370

There are many theories about what went wrong, but the airline, Boeing and investigators in Malaysia have so far refused to speculate or offer any insights.

  • As the mysterious disappearance of MH370 continues to baffle experts around the world, according to one aviation analyst, it's impossible for MH370 to have escaped all radar detection in the area where it was travelling, unless it entered remote territories

    • Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific aerospace and defence consultant Ravi Madavaram listed areas like Alaska or the Atlantic Ocean as among the few remote areas where airships could possibly fall off the radar, but stressed that it would only be for “brief moments”.

    • “With so many borders and countries around the sea, it is impossible to skip all the radars,” he told The Malay Mail Online in an email interview.

  • What about the possibility of a mid-air explosion or a major malfunction onboard MH370, caused by electrical or technical failures that may have taken out all communication systems?

    • This would have made Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) go beserk and send a ton of error messages, as it would be almost impossible for all comm systems to fail at the same time. The pilots would still have time to make a distress call like SR111 did before going down. There would still be some sort of debris field somewhere, according to one reddit user.

      • Cb86 Image via guim.co.uk
        A map of MH370's flight plan is seen on computer screen
    • Aerospace and defence consultant Ravi, too, discounted the likelihood of a total power cut onboard, saying that while it could be possible, it is very rare and has never happened before. He pointed out that Boeing aircrafts are supported by three electrical power sources — two generators, one in each engine, an auxiliary power unit (APU) and a ram air turbine (RAT).

    • “For the aircraft to have total electrical failure, all three systems should have failed at the same time. This is pretty rare and has not happened,” said Ravi. Asked if an electrical failure would affect distress signals, the expert pointed out that such malfunctions are typically reported by pilots to the Air Traffic Control.

  • What if the plane had a mid-air disintegration due to a catastrophic mechanical malfunction and the crew did not have enough time to make a distress call due to its sudden nature?

    • The basic problem with this theory is that there is no debris field so far. A breakup at Flight Level 350 would leave a huge swathe of debris over a large area. That has not happened so far at all.

    • Although, the apparent lack of wreckage from MH370 does point to a high-altitude disaster. In such an event the debris would be spread far and wide, making it difficult to find. A smaller field would indicate the plane probably fell intact, breaking up on impact with the water. In the event of a sudden loss of pressure due to a window blowing out the crew would dive the plane in order to lose altitude - but this would not cause the plane to disintegrate.

  • But what if MH370 suffered a decompression, and the crew succumbed to hypoxia and eventually crashed? This might explain why MH370 allegedly turned around back to KLIA, as they might have tried to return back to the airport?

    • The problem with this theory is that the Boeing 777 has numerous warnings that the oxygen level is low. If the crew did pass out from hypoxia, the plane would just fly until it runs out of fuel rather than crash into the water. There would also be indications of a descent on radar, and it doesn't explain why the transponder would be disabled.

    • Hypoxia refers to low oxygen conditions. Normally 20.9% of the gas in the atmosphere is oxygen. Atmospheric hypoxia occurs naturally at high altitudes. Total atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases, causing a lower partial pressure of oxygen which is defined as hypobaric hypoxia.

  • What about Google Maps? We can use it to search for the missing MH370, can't we?

    • Concerned people should not rely on Google Maps to search the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as it is not live satellite feed. With the search entering its fourth day on Tuesday, several concerned citizens called The Star, believing that they have discovered the missing airplane after scrolling through the Google Maps satellite images.

      • 9309 Image via imgur.com
        Misleading images of a plane on Google Maps
    • A spokesperson from Google Malaysia said while various pictures of airplanes will be there at various locations throughout, these are not live images. “Yes, the images may be there, but it is not real time satellite images as the images may have provided to us several weeks or months ago,” he said when contacted.

    • He said that Google Maps or Google Earth images are usually contributed by third party sources, who provide images several weeks or months earlier. “These images which are captured would sometimes contain images of airplanes usually on its flight path and cannot be presumed as a possible crash site,” he added.

  • But how is it possible that air traffic control didn't know exactly where Flight MH370 was when it went down? Because there's no radar tracking the airliners over the ocean.

    • It is a misconception that airline pilots are in constant communication with air traffic control, or that planes are constantly watched on radar. Once a plane is more than 100 miles (161km) or 150 miles (241km) from shore, radar no longer works. It simply doesn't have the range.

      • 9932 Image via dailymail.co.uk
        The interior of the cockpit of a Boeing 777, similar to the one that disappeared early Saturday morning
    • At that point, civilian aircraft communicate largely by high-frequency radio. The flight crew checks in at fixed “reporting points” along the way, providing the plane’s position, air speed, and altitude. It isn’t uncommon to maintain radio silence between reporting points because cruising at 35,000 feet is typically uneventful.

  • What about GPS? All the modern flight management systems use GPS for navigation, so why didn't the air traffic control use it to locate the MH370? Because a GPS only tells the airplane where it is – it does not tell air traffic control where the plane is.

    • It's a bit like taking your iPhone into the heart of the Mojave desert: Your GPS will tell you where you are, but you can’t use Find My Phone because there’s no cell coverage.

    • Although it would be possible to stream data from an aircraft in real time via satellite, implementing such a system across the industry would cost billions of dollars, according to airline pilot and blogger Patrick Smith.

  • Speaking on the possible reasons why the MH370 is still missing, Captain Cor Blokzijl, a senior pilot with over 20,000 hours of flying, rules out hijacking of MH370. He says:

    • I would consider this very unlikely because should they have gone anywhere towards the mainland, the air defense radar system will pick up the plane. These are real radar and not an air traffic control (ATC) radar which is a radar producing signals on a TV screen produced by the aircraft itself.

      • 0058 Image via Wikipedia
        Taliban militia in front of the hijacked AI plane.
    • Should they fly elsewhere or below the radar, it s hardly possible that a 200 x 209 feet aircraft goes unnoticed. Of course nothing is impossible nowadays, but it must have been a very sophisticated terrorist group. Wouldn't they have claimed to do so to achieve maximum publicity?

  • How can you help? Thanks to Digital Globe, a satellite imagery company, you can now help the search and rescue efforts for the missing MH370. Here's how.

    • You can help the search and rescue efforts for the missing #MH370 flight now by visiting Tomnod.com. The crowdsourced effort that is being spearheaded by Digital Globe requires users to help go through 1200 square miles of ocean, and tag any suspicious objects that could lead SAR teams to the location.

    • Digital Globe has directed two of its five satellites to the search area in and around the gulf of Thailand after the plane went missing early Saturday morning. They now have huge amounts of high resolution images from the area and need as much help as possible to go through thousands of square miles of images to find any clues to the whereabouts of MH370 which is still missing after 72 hours.

  • On 8 March 2014, Malaysian Airlines said in a statement that flight MH370 bound to Beijing had disappeared after leaving KL, and so far there have been no contact with MH370

  • ALSO READ: How Difficult A Search-And-Rescue Operation Is

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