Media speculation does little to solve fate of Malaysian 370

Veteran aviation expert contends evidence fails to support the theory of an airline hijacking


Using this scenario, MH-370 goes into a climb to FL450 (45,000 feet) because of the pilots’ inability to clearly see and set the controls for a return to Kuala Lumpur.  The aircraft becomes unstable and “stalls” at FL450, which is above its certified operating ceiling. The aircraft descends back to a lower altitude (one report says 23,000, another says 29,000) before once again becoming stabilized on a new course.  At some point the surviving individual(s) on the airplane may have temporarily regained consciousness before once again succumbing to either oxygen loss or remaining toxic fumes.  The airplane continues to fly until its fuel is exhausted and it crashes into the ocean. Again, the ocean crash is more plausible since there has been no report of Emergency Locater Transmitter (ELT) signals, which would be received by satellite if the crash were on land.

I am persuaded to this view because of the numerous improbabilities of other scenario.  For instance, thus far there has been no indication that either of the pilots was criminally involved in the disappearance of this airplane.  Neither has Malaysia released data indicating anything amiss in their security clearances or those of the passengers on this flight.  The one early question raised about the two passengers traveling on stolen passports has been cleared, indicating they were planning to illegally claim refugee status in another country -- probably Germany.

As more media theories hit the wall, it begs the question: is news really news if it is fueled by baseless speculation void of fact?

About the Author:

Billie H. Vincent, AVSEC, C-T, ATC/ATM?, served with the FAA in Air Traffic Control, Training, Regulatory Activities and Aviation Security, and for the last several years in the private sector. His last position in the FAA was the Director of the Office of Civil Aviation Security from early 1982 to the middle of 1986. He has over 30 years in various fields of security and counter-terrorism and has written, instructed and spoken extensively on the subject of security protection of local, regional, and national infrastructure. He retired as the President and CEO of Aerospace Services International, Inc. in 2013. Mr. Vincent published a landmark book on his more than three decades of experience in aviation security and counter-terrorism; and an analysis of potential future threats to world aviation entitled "Bombers, Hijackers, Body Scanners, and Jihadists."