Flight 370: Theories on disappearance

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

No one knows, yet, but there are theories.

Could the plane possibly have landed somewhere else? That seems unlikely, but consider the evidence:

  • The plane, a Boeing 777, is among the safest flown.
  • The pilots were skilled and experienced.
  • The airline has an excellent safety record and the plane was recently inspected.
  • The weather was calm.
  • No debris has been found, but searchers may be looking in the wrong areas.
  • The pilots never said the plane was in distress.

One expert suggests the disappearance “reeks” of a hijacking.

The plane had about 6 hours of fuel and could have flown been flown many places, including India. The U.S. has been asked to help search west of Malaysia, where adar blips detected by the Malaysian military indicates the plane may have been flying.

Can a passenger jet be hidden?

Yes, but the electronics aboard would have to be deactivated. That is not easily accomplished, but is possible. The Sept. 11 terrorists turned off transponders and flew very low, making it difficult for radar to track the planes.

The transponder aboard Flight 370 quit working about 40 minutes after takeoff.

Planes flying over oceans are not continuously tracked, and when Flight 370 disappeared it was over water.

Could the pilots have been behind stealing or hijacking the plane? Nothing in the pilots’ backgrounds indicate they would do such a thing.

The remaining alternatives?

  • A bomb: Was a passenger a terrorist? No obvious suspects appear in the flight manifest.
  • A rocket: Could a rocket fired from the ground brought down the plane? The U.S. says military surveillance of the South China Sea indicates no rockets were fired in the presumed flight path of Flight 370. But it is possible a rogue aircraft shot down the plane. A small missile would likely not have been detectable.
  • An unexplained disaster: Something inexplicable happened, causing the immediate destruction of the plane.

The mystery continues.

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