Articles have appeared in papers such as the Daily Mail quoting experts criticizing the Australian Sixty Minutes MH370 experts.
One criticism was that Sixty Minutes had (ridiculously) alledged the aircraft had “dipped” its wing to Penang in some kind of symbolic gesture. In fact, the expert had simply said he thought about it for several hours, until it dawned on him that the pilot turned left and then right so that he could dip his wing to SEE Penang (where he had been when young).
Another of the criticisms, was was that at the end the pilot would not have had any oxygen left and could not have been controlling the aircraft. What would have stopped him re-pressurising the aircraft once everyone else on board was dead?
Victor Lannello (mentioned in a previous post) provides interesting detail on his blog with regard to the civilian radar data for MH370’s track across land to Penang and onwards. Then, when one looks at the numerous comments on that blog, one relializes everything (even the precise tracks followed before MH370 was out of radar range) is problematic with various possible interpretations. Obfuscation on the Malaysian side has added to the mystery.
It seems the new Malaysian administration is going to insist the search by Ocean Infinity terminate on May 29.
It was from the outset a rather awkward arrangement in that the Malaysian government would only pay if the debris field/recorders were found and the longer it took the more they would pay.
However, drawing a line under the present search might open the way for, say Ocean Infinity with a new contract (and a chance to recover part of their investment), to have later quick look if more certain of the precise location of the wreckage on the ocean floor, as happened in the case of AF447 lost in the South Atlantic.
In a piece called “Why no Woman’s Voice in MH370 Discussion?”, Christine Negroni, author of The Crash Detectives, objected to the absence of women (notably herself or another who had written on MH370) from the panel of experts appearing on the Australian TV program called 60 Minutes.
The UK’s BBC is trying to have more female experts appearing on it news programs, but this does raise the question whether they are the most “informed”. In the case of Australia–a long way from anywhere–the cost of flying in experts would be considerable, and the idea of having just one for each area of expertise seems reasonable. Also, with less than 5% of commercial pilots being women the odds of having one would be slight.
FEMALES IN AVIATION SAFETY ROLES
However, this would be a good opportunity to point out that in the US at least, women have featured prominently in the area of aviation safety, though not necessarily at the nuts and bolts level.
The following immediately come to mind:
Carol Carmody, an NTSB Board Member at the time of the American Airlines Flight 587, November 12, 2001 crash (the copilot swished the rudder violently back and forth when caught up in wake turbulence on taking off from New York’s JFK causing it to break off );
Mary Schiavo, a former U.S. DOT Inspector General, who rustled a lot of feathers in the aviation industry, criticizing the FAA, and writing a book called Flying Blind, Flying Safe.
and Deborah Hersman, NTSB chair, at the time of the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco, in 2013.
It is said that women are often better than men in intelligence work (e.g. UK’s MI5) involving the picking out leads from massive amounts of data. It would be interesting to know if the NTSB, for example has found this to be the case.
In our book, Air Crashes and Miracle Landings, we describe the disappearance of MH370 and conclude (as did 60 Minutes) that the coincidences are so many that the diversion to the South Indian Ocean must have been intentional with the captain the most likely perpetrator.
We mentioned Victor Iannello as the best source of information on MH370 and true to form he has produced a must-read critique of the 60-Minutes arguments. He even says why some investigators believe the flaps and flaperons were not deployed when the aircraft hit the water. The pair found washed up off Africa had marks showing they were touching at the time of impact which would only be the case if they were stowed.
DANGERS OF ASSUMING THE “MOST LIKELY” TO BE WHAT HAPPENED
In 1989 the Cargo Hold Door of a Boeing 747 opened midflight ejecting some business class passengers near Honolulu.
Believing the door opening mechanism could not operate inflight because there was no electric current, the NTSB concluded the locking mechanism must have been damaged by poor ground handling. Later through a great feat the US Navy recovered the door from the bottom of the ocean. It showed the door had been opened electrically due to a short-circuit with other wiring.
Without definitive proof, speculation can never be definitive. To the present author there seem to be far too many coincidences consistent with an intentional act, but that does not mean Christine Negroni’s theory as to the cause is certainly wrong.