MH370

Mys­tery

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

On the sixth day af­ter MH370 dis­ap­peared, there was still no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the air­plane’s lo­ca­tion. Why have the au­thor­i­ties and air­line from Malaysia changed the time of dis­ap­pear­ance and the last-known lo­ca­tion of the air­plane again and again?

A China Daily re­porter in­ter­viewed some civil avi­a­tion ex­perts and se­nior cap­tains on key ques­tions.

What are pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios?

A se­nior cap­tain from a do­mes­tic air­line: “There are so many pos­si­bil­i­ties as the in­for­ma­tion from Malaysia is still not clear. Some of the cur­rent de­duc­tions might even be very scary.”

Chen Cheng, chief edi­tor of Sina.com’s avi­a­tion chan­nel, who also was a main­te­nance tech­ni­cian for Boe­ing 767s for five years, said: “I can­not make a guess be­fore we even see any de­bris.” What about hav­ing been shot down? “Gen­er­ally speak­ing, if the air force notices an uniden­ti­fied fly­ing ob­ject in its airspace, they will send a fighter plane to ob­serve it rather than shoot it down di­rectly.”

An­other se­nior cap­tain: “My first thought was ter­ror­ist at­tack, and later, I feel it might be de­com­pres­sion, in which the crew would lose con­scious­ness in a short time. But now, it is so dif­fi­cult to an­a­lyze what hap­pened, af­ter so much dif­fer­ent in­for­ma­tion.”

Which au­to­matic means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion could the air­plane use?

Malaysia Air­lines: “All Malaysia Air­lines air­craft are equipped with a con­tin­u­ous data mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem called the Air­craft Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ad­dress­ing and Reporting Sys­tem (ACARS), which trans­mits data au­to­mat­i­cally. Nev­er­the­less, there were no dis­tress calls, and no in­for­ma­tion was re­layed.”

Chen: “All the air­lines, the air­plane man­u­fac­turer and the en­gine man­u­fac­turer have their meth­ods to get real-time data from a fly­ing air­craft. But they can­not re­lease it to ei­ther the pub­lic or the me­dia, as they pro­vide the data to air ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tors now, ac­cord­ing to reg­u­la­tions from the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Why can’t we get clear in­for­ma­tion more than 100 hours af­ter the air­plane dis­ap­peared?

Al­bert Tjo­eng, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion’s cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­vi­sion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion: “This will be one of the key ques­tions that needs to be ad­dressed as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion process.”

Chi­nese cap­tain: “There are too many doubt­ful de­tails in the whole thing. We can be­lieve that the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have prob­lems with co­op­er­a­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, or some­one is try­ing to cover up some truth.”

Did you no­tice any doubt­ful points?

Chi­nese cap­tain: “It is re­ported that the air­plane was fly­ing at a height of 29,500 feet on mil­i­tary radar, al­though the Malaysian air force de­nied the re­port. If it is true, it means the plane was ma­nip­u­lated by a very pro­fes­sional pi­lot, as the height is dif­fer­ent from other air­planes’ routes and great care would be needed to make sure a plane with­out a transpon­der would not col­lide with oth­ers.”

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