The mystery of MH370 continues unabated, even as new theories emerge every day.
Two critical events could have led to the demise of flight MH370. One is catastrophical breakdown or massive failure, or sinister human intervention.
The greatest aviation mystery continues to baffle the world: Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 vanished four and a half years ago, without any trace. Numerous interim reports by the Malaysian ministry of transportation offer no explanation on the fate of this tragic flight.The latest published in July 2018 compounds the mystery. Complicating the tragedy are a deluge of comments and reports by individuals, who have overnight become crash investigation experts. Scores of books, hundreds of videos, and a tsunami of information in the media have failed to solve the mystery of MH 370.
It is a known fact that many Boeing 777 aircraft suffered from potential weakness in the fuselage section, which was identified by the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] four months before the disappearance of MH 370, which also was a Boeing 777. The directive warned of a potential weak spot, which could lead to the 'loss of structural integrity of the aircraft'. This could lead to a situation where the fuselage was compromised leading to rapid decompression. An inspection on a particular 777 revealed a 16-inch crack under the crown skin of the fuselage. The plane was 14-year old with approximately 14,000 flight cycles. On other 777s that were between six- and 16-year old local corrosion was found. A FAA directive issued during November 2013 called for checks into the worldwide fleet of Boeing 777.
In 2005, a 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines suffered problems with its autopilot systems on a flight between Perth and Kuala Lumpur. This led the FAA to issue an airworthiness directive to correct a computer fault that had been found on 500 Boeing 777s. It is possible that a slow decompression from a small hole could have gradually impaired and confused the pilots before cabin pressure warnings were sounded. This scenario also explains why another pilot some distance ahead heard mumbling and static sound from the MH 370 pilots when he tried to contact them. This probably indicates an oxygen problem.
Time is a crucial factor in this tragedy. Between 1.07 and 1.37, hell broke loose on this flight. The interim reports discard possible battery fire. Lithium-ion batteries have caused 140 mid-air incidents in the last 20 years. One cargo plane crashed in 2010 after attempting an emergency landing. The safety report said the battery caught fire and filled the flight deck with smoke. Could a slow moving fire from a tyre on the front landing gear ignite on takeoff? A self-extinguishing fire probably overcame the crew and passengers of MH370, which allowed the plane to fly on auto pilot for 5 hours. A self-sustaining fire would have broken up the aircraft. Earlier model of 777s were plagued with electrical problems, one 777 was completely gutted while on the ground at Cairo International Airport. The truth will emerge when MH370 is found, and let there be no doubt, this plane will be found. There are over 1000 Boeing 777s flying on various global routes. We found the Titanic, we found Air France Flight 447, and we will one day find MH370.
The writer is a KT reader based in Johannesburg, South Africa
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|Publication:||Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)|
|Date:||Sep 30, 2018|
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