Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Finally--A Reasonable Theory as to What Happened to the Malaysia Airliner

Occam's razor is the principle that "if there are multiple possible explanations for an event or result, the simplest is almost always correct." So, with that in mind, Chris Goodfellow--an actual pilot--provides a more reasonable explanation of what happened to the missing Malaysian airliner:
The left turn is the key here. Zaharie Ahmad Shah1 was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us, and airports ahead of us. They’re always in our head. Always. If something happens, you don’t want to be thinking about what are you going to do–you already know what you are going to do. When I saw that left turn with a direct heading, I instinctively knew he was heading for an airport. He was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000-foot airstrip with an approach over water and no obstacles. The captain did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000-foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier toward Langkawi, which also was closer.
Goodfellow theorizes that there was probably an electrical fire--which would explain the loss of the transponders, and the climb to 45,000 feet followed by a rapid descent--that eventually overwhelmed the crew with smoke. It's reasonable and consistent with the pilot's training and the facts.

(H/t Instapundit)

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