Debris captured on satellite images may be pieces of the missing Malaysian plane floating off the coast of Australia. The satellite images show two large pieces, big enough to be a wing or the tail of an airliner, according to “Fox and Friends” live on Thursday morning March 20. If this latest discovery turns out to be the debris of Malaysian flight 370, the same scenario that brought golfer Payne Stewart's plane down is suggested as a possible scenario for the missing Malaysian plane.
NBC News reports today that the debris were spotted about 1,400 miles off of Perth Australia in the satellite images. These debris have not been found by the many ships and planes now deployed to the area to investigate what these floating objects are exactly. Until they are found, it is purely speculation that the debris are from the missing Malaysian flight.
This area where the debris were spotted seems to be consistent with the distance that the plane was expected to have traveled before running out of fuel. The plane had about seven hours of fuel left when it fell off the radar. The debris are about seven hours, more or less, away from the last radar sighting of the plane. Debris in this area would also support the Payne Stewart-like scenario buzzing across the media today.
Steve Doocy spoke with John Hansman, professor of aeronautics at MIT, this morning and if these are the debris of the ill-fated flight 370 then the Payne Stewart scenario would explain many of the unexplained factors of the missing plane going down in this area.
Golfer Payne Stewart and his entourage were flying in a privately owned Learjet when the plane lost contact with air traffic control, about 30 minutes into the flight. Stewart, two associates and two pilots were on board the aircraft when it had lost cabin pressure, killing everyone on board.
Planes sent up to investigate were able to see frosted windows on Stewart’s jet. Stewart's plane went on for hours in automatic pilot mode, crossing half the continent before running out of fuel and crashing nose-down into a Mina, S.D. field.
At one point two military fighter jets were sent up to try and peer into the window of Stewart’s plane. They noted that the windows were iced over. According to an archival article from USA Today, a sudden loss of cabin pressure is called “explosive decompression.” It is believed this is what happened on Stewart's plane. This "explosive decompression comes with a loud bang as all the air gushes out of the aircraft's cabin.
When the air in the cabin suddenly escapes, after the loud bang it is an immediate and frightening event that follows. Dust flies up and any moisture in the cabin vaporizes, causing a fog so thick that a pilot or passenger might not be able to see their hand in front of their face. This immediately frosts the windshield of the aircraft.
This fogging up of the cabin is instantaneous with the loss of cabin pressure, so you could imagine that confusion and panic could break out. If the missing Malaysian plane lost cabin pressure and flew on autopilot until it ran out of fuel, then this is about the distance the Malaysian plane would have traveled with the amount of fuel on board.
Again this is all speculation, as Hansman said, as the satellite images can be that of pieces of a plane or it could also be something else, such as a shipping container that fell overboard, but there is something there. Steve Doocy said that one of the pieces captured by the satellite image is about 80-feet long, which is also the length of a shipping container.
This is the second time that debris were thought to be discovered from the missing plane. The first time it turned out to be just junk floating in the ocean. This time it is the Australian government that is releasing this information after having experts go over the satellite images.
The Australian’s are highly respected and no one would expect that they would release this information if they didn’t think there was a strong possibility of the debris being from the missing plane. The Australian government also warns that the debris could very well be just ocean junk and have nothing to do with flight 370, but at this point every possibility needs to be investigated.
If the debris picked up by the satellite are those of the missing aircraft, then another problem pops up. The ocean in that area can reach the depth of two miles, which would make retrieving the black boxes a difficult task. One expert on "Fox and Friends" said that at that distance it would be tough, but not impossible.