What was intended to be a routine flight from Malaysia to Beijing seemingly continues to baffle international authorities as spy satellites continue to scan for signs of debris over thousands of square miles of Open Ocean.
What is known to date that within forty minutes into flight 370 the jumbo jet had seemed to settle into a routine flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crewmen on board.
However, one minute later when their plane had leveled off at its pre-determined cruising altitude warning signs reminiscent of what had transpired on several other flights out of Boston on 9/11 were once again in part playing out on Flight # 370. As to the actual events we may never fully know, however it seems to of have been a calculated, rapid takeover of the planes navigation systems and communication equipment. So rapidly in this incident those aboard flight # 370 were unable to send out a text or cell phone call to friends or family members not was even a distress call from the planes pilots. This abrupt lack of communication from the plane compiled with the loss of the transponders signal and the planes new heading suggests by any stretch of the imagination that whatever was happening aboard Flight # 370 was serous! To the extent of the problem it seems it was not clear until it became apparent the plane was neither heading towards Beijing or Malaysia from where it had originally departed from. By now it was obviously the plane had become victim to a hijacking and whoever was behind this hijacking either had help from within the planes cock pit or had found a way to breach the security door to the cockpit at a moment’s notice.
If in fact it was the actions of the pilot or copilot working together or independently a simple message could have been relayed to the passengers to alleviate their concerns that a hijacking was in fact in progress. Possibly a message relayed to the passengers may of gone something like this, due to mechanical problems we will be returning to our point of origin, there is no need to be concerned. By announcing such a message as that to the passengers and crew it would explain the change in the direction of the plane to those on board without arousing suspension of what was actually transpiring. This would provide whoever was in control of the plane additional time to fly further away from land base cell phone carriers, making communication via cell phone more difficult.
However, some have suggested that cell phones do not work above 2,000 feet; as explained by Greg Feith, a former NTSB investigator, and Evy Poumpouras, a former Secret Service agent on the Today Show dated March 19, 2014. This is far from the truth for two reasons, the higher you go the line of unrestricted site to a cell tower increases, in addition more international flights outside the United States now allow cell phone use while their planes are in the air. It is hard to believe today all international flights that do allow cell phone use are now being flown below 2,000 feet so their passengers may have uninterrupted cell phone reception as explained by Greg Feith and Evy Poumpouras.
In addition it does not explain why aviation officials never immediately requested cell phone carriers in the region to ping some of the cell phones on board flight # 370 to determine where the plane was heading once they were aware the plane was no longer on course and flying with its transponder turned off. At present cell carriers in the area are now doing what they refer to as reverse engineering by tracing back the pings from the phones on flight # 370; by this they hope they can identify the actual course of flight # 370.
Since the beginning of the incident the News media quickly disclosed that two Iranian men on board the plane were traveling with stolen passports intent on seeking asylum in Germany. This statement sounds as if it is more of a cover story told to a naive reporter as well as the public for the following reasons. Flight 370 was headed to Beijing and as such any unnecessary diversion from their intended destination would expose them to increased scrutiny of their stolen passport in any foreign country placing them at a higher risk of being arrested and deported back to Iran. It is reasonable to assume anyone who is attempting to do what those two men were doing would do so by the most direct route and that wouldn't include sightseeing in China. In addition stolen Austrian and Italian passports which they were traveling on are neither cheap nor are they easy to come by for a 19 and 27 year old man living in Iran. Nor is it simple for anyone to remain completely composed when presenting a fraudulent passport at any airport in the presence of armed security guards when you look like or talk with an Iranian accent. To assume they were simply trying to seek asylum in Germany by traveling on stolen passports negates the fact that they could have chosen any sympathetic embassy to their plight along the way using their own passports. In this case chances are the two men in question were being funded by an organization to make their way to the West and possibly they too either took part in the hijacking or were not intended to be on a hijacked jetliner.
What is crucial to note is the new flight path of flight # 370 taking in consideration the range of the plane. If in fact the plane was redirected to a south westerly course over the Andaman Sea it would suggest that it intended on evading inland radar located near the tip of India. This new direction combined with a lower altitude would allow the plane the opportunity to change its course once again undetected in the Arabian Sea towards its possible new destination, a Middle East country, in particular Iran.
If this was the case the question should be what was on the plane or who was it carrying that may of made it a significantly important hijacking target. Unfortunately the answers to these questions will not be on a manifest nor what happened to flight # 370 easily solved.
At present authorities believe the last known heading of the plane was 1,260 miles Southeast of Australia which would have put them on a heading for French Southern & Antarctic Lands just above Antarctic. This course heading suggest the plane was on nothing more than a suicide mission by one of the pilots, aimed out to sea with one sole purpose, to fly until it ran out of fuel then crash. If this was the case then flight 370 had fallen into the hands of a different type of deranged hijacker. One who was absorbed in self-pity and blinded by one’s own actions intent on cruelly inflicting pain on others. Nevertheless a review of the pilots known backgrounds suggest otherwise and the course now suggested is possibly a red herring.
Looking back at 9/11 and this recent incident two clear conclusions can be reached that aviation officials should strongly consider implementing as a result of both incidents.
First a passenger planes transponder cannot under any circumstances be disabled or manually turned off while in flight. In additions all the information relayed to authorities on the ground on 9/11 came from those with cell phones on board the planes. As a result of the information given by passengers and crew members at the time the authorities were able to determine exactly who and what was transpiring on the plane. Communication as in any crisis is key to either resolving an emergency or providing assistance when needed and as seen in this incident lack of information has left the world without a timely answers.