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The Flight of MH370
April 2nd, Kansas City: Some thoughts about the mssing plane
We all read and heard about the missing flight MH370, the Boeing 777 which disappeared on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard. The plane took off from the Malayisian capital at 00:41 local time, that is 06:41 UTC. At 01:01, the pilot confirmed an altitude of 35,000 feet, that is 20 minutes, thus pretty consistent with the load, the weight and type of plane (Boeing 777-200ER). So nothing at this time indicated any technical difficulties. 6 minutes later, MH370 confirmed via ACARS (kind of texting for planes) another time the Flight level 350 means, 35,000 ft. The last voice contact with a Malaysian Air Traffic Controller was at 01:19 local time. Two minutes later, the plane's transponder went dead and MH370 disappeared from the screens of the air traffic control.
Now, in the meantime, we know a little more, at least, as far as what is told to the public is true. The plane turned around, was detected by a primary radar at the end of the Malacca Strait and went then almost straight south to crash into the Indian Ocean near Australia when the fuel ran out.
In the meantime, the backgrounds of the pilots has been checked, every passenger has been checked and double checked as far as possible and the pilot's private flight simulator has been checked byte for byte by FBI specialists. Without results. And in absence of logical explanations, the conspiracy theories blossom. From accidentally shut down to abduction by aliens, look around in the Internet, there is some "truth" for every taste. But what could have actually happened? I am pretty sure, it didn't involve UFOs, I also feel safe to say, nobody accidentally shot down that plane because after such a deadly hit it wouldn't have flown on for another 7 hours to reach the Indian Ocean. So, as usual, there are things, thant can be and things, that can't be. Simply by technical limitations. And then, there are discrepancies.
We remember, MH370 was supposed to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Airlines usually put enough fuel on a plane to reach the destination, some extra for the burn intensive start and landing phases and some spare for eventual delays, means circling till a runway is free at the destination.
A 777-200ER can fly with full tanks about 7700 nautical miles.The distance Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is 2340nm. So, according to this practice, the tanks

The plane at Kuala Lumpur

would have been approximately a little less than half full. This is not only to save money but there is also no reason to take the inherent risks of a fully loaded plane if you can just start lighter. So the statement, the tanks were about half full, published by Malaysian Airlines makes sense. BUT ... if the tanks were half full, which, by use of all spares would have given a range of about 3900 nautical miles, probably less, how could this plane get that far south into the Indian Ocean? By all means, we know, it started out on the scheduled route northward for more than 40 minutes, then about 300 miles back to be detected by the military radar on Pulau Perak at the end of the Malacca Strait. So at this time, the plane had already used up at least 600 miles range. Which limits the range to the current search area 3 and only with a lot of stretch. The older search areas 1 and 2 off the Australian coast were out of rech in the first place.
So, what are the options? Technical difficulties? Unlikely. The plane was in the air for hours after the communication ended. Suicide by pilot is also unlikely. None of the pilots had any reason and suicidal pilots don't fly thousands of miles to run out of fuel, they just crash down. That leaves hijackers/terrorists. Not bombers, but, for what reasons ever, people with the intent to hijack that plane.
Now, basically, hijacking is simple in its nature. You enter the cockpit and force the pilot to change course, then land somwhere and radio your demands in. The thing though has two catches. First of all, since 9/11 all airlines have steel doors at the flightdecks. Means, you can only enter if you know the code or someone inside lets you in. But, with some scouting, bribing or by brutal force, it would be possible
to get that code, only never fast enough to prevent the pilots to send out a message to air traffic control. That an intruder would be able to enter the cockpit and enforce a course change, switching off the transponder and all of that without giving one of the pilots even a chance to yell something in the radio would limit the suspect pool to polits or flight-attendants. People who know the code and wouldn't cause immediate reaction when entering.
My second problem with this story is, why flying south till Australia. A hijacker would want to land somewhere where he would expect less trouble, less well-drilled swats knocking at the door and possibly even some support on the ground. Australia, from the point of view of a hijacker, is a bad choice. So, the destination a hijacker would have planned was not that far south. Someone missed his airport. That sounds stupid, but consider this: Planes use two main methods of navigation. One is GPS, the other one is old school flying from VOR to VOR (to the pilots reading this, I know, it's simplifed). So, VORs are a pilot thing. You can spend hundreds of hours at flight simulators and still get no overview. And GPS is connected to the board computer and the autopilot systems. The original pilot was an experienced pilot. He wouldn't have missed any of the VORs and he wouldn't have bluffed himself with setting the GPS and flight director program to a course to Australia. He would have known, he hasn't enough fuel. So chances are, latest after the Malacca Strait, someone else had the yoke. Someone with some basic understanding of the systems but a lack of the detailed familiarity needed to find the destination, he is looking for.
At the end, I don't know the solution to this mystery neither. A botched hijacking sounds logically at this point, but we will see what comes up when and if the plane is found. However, it would be maybe worth the time to look for a group of four to six passengers connected to each other even while buying the tickets independently. Just such a thought.

... back
Tue, May 17, 2016
12:00 AM CT

Daniel Lee Siebert
Daniel Lee Siebert is now also in our serial killer collection. A more or less garden variety strangler type who got away longer than necessary bacause some big PDs dropped the ball ... and left it to smaller ones, to get the job done.

Fri, Dec 18, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Christman Genipperteinga
THe legendary robber along the wine road Trier-Cologne made it finally into our collection. With a total of 970 victim, including six of them his own children, he is currently the most prolific serial killer in the Collection.

Thu, Oct 22, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Gerard John Schaefer
The allegedly most prolific Florida Serial Killer, "Killer Cop" Gerard Schaefer, finally also made his way into out collection.

Thu, Sep 24, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Royal Russel Long
Long was quite messed up in the investigation of the Wyoming Rodeo Murders, but details show, he was another kind of animal, y typeless pedophile serial killer. Now his file is in our collection.

Mon, Aug 17, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Wyoming Rodeo Murders
A story of misperceptions and midnless cabinet cleaning by police authorities that ended up with someone getting away with at least two murders on young women. Now in our collection.

Wed, Jul 15, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper
Now new in our collection: Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper. The first case, blood spatter analysis was used in a court trial world wide!

Sat, Jun 20, 2015
12:00 AM CST

No new addition in June
Usually, we try to bring another case up in our serial killer collection every month, but this month, we simply had no time. Between working open cases and other activities, it was just not possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sat, May 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Beauty Queen Killer
New in the serial killer collection: Christopher Wilder, the Beauty Queen Killer. A case that shows how nonsensical the disctinction between serial and spree killers really is.

Thu, Apr 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Burton W. Abbott
Abbott killed only one victim, a case that caused some public attention in 1955. But he showed all hallmarks of a fledgling serial killer and thus, we added him to our collection.

Mon, Mar 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Darren Deon Vann
Ha is basically the usual garden variety strangler case if it wouldn't be for the early warnings statistical data cretated about serial killer activity in Gary/Indiana. Now he is in our collection.

Wed, Mar 4, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Due to technical problems, the March article was up late. Take my apologies for this glitch.

Mon, Feb 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Affaire of the Poisons
We have added the infamous Affaire of the Poisons to our collection. With more than 80 offenders, it breaks a little the format, but well, it's one of the biggest cases of "organized" crime ever, so how can we let it out?

Mon, Dec 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Bryan
Once he made the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, now nobody remembers the case anymore. Nevertheless, the father of all allegedly schizophrenic serial killers has entered our collection.

Fri, Nov 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Trailside Killer
David Joseph Carpenter has now become also part of the Serial Killer Collection ... complete with profile.

Tue, Oct 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Vampire of Duesseldorf
Peter Kuerten aka The Vampire of Duesseldorf roamed the city at the River Rhine for more than two years and left behind a trail of bodies-

Fri, Sep 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Grim Sleeper
Lonnie Franklin aka The Grim Sleeper has been added to our serial killer collection

Thu, Aug 14, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Michael Lee Lockhart
... and with a little delay, another serial made it into the serial killer collection. Michael Lee Lockhart, not so much interesting for his "achievements" but because his case appears as if he became a psychopath only after a serious head injury.

Tue, Aug 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

A Game of Daggers
Diane's new novel A GAME OF DAGGERS is now available at Amazon for Kindle. A story of murder, mayhem and political intrigue set up in the year of the Lord 1096.
Pope Urban II has called for a crusade, but this news has yet to reach Cornwall. And people there have anyway to deal with other problems from storms to wreckers on their coast and when some murdered men are discovered on the beach, nobody guesses, this is only the prelude to much greater events coming to the so remote shores ...

Sat, Jul 5, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Ivan Hill
Ivan Hill, as the first of the many serial killers, who haunted Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s, is now added to our serial killer collection.

Sun, Jun 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Raya and Sakina
The famous Egyptian serial killers have become part of our collection. And as so often, things are not as simple as the urban legend tries to tell us.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Dagmar Overbye
The infamous Danish baby farmer has been added to our Serial Killer Collection.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Djoser added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add a new pharaoh to our collection: Djoser, 1st Pharoh of the 3rd Dynasty.

Fri, Apr 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Green River Killer
This month, we added Gary Ridgway to our serial killer collection, a case, not so much interesting for the profiling but for the lessons about case organization to be learned from it.

Tue, Mar 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Manson Family
The "Manson Family&quo; has been added to our serial killer collection. Especially interesting for those who think, brain washing isn't possible.

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Hans van Zon
Dutch serial killer Hans van Zon joined our serial killer collection. Not entirely voluntarily though.

Mon, Jan 6, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Syracuse Dungeon Master
John T. Jamelske aka the Syracuse Dungeon Master has been added to our Serial Killer Collection. While not a seria killer but a serial rapist, Jamelske represents a similar psychopathology as some OCD type serial killers, for example Dahmer and therefore is some valuable object for studies.

Thu, Jan 2, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The last of the 2nd dynasty pharaohs, the man who re-united Egypt, is now also in the Egyptian collection.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Sekhemib added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add Pharaoh Sekhemib to the collection, the sixth of the 2nd Dynasty. So, with some luck, I can finish this year the 2nd dynsty, only one, Khasekhemwy is left.

Tue, Dec 10, 2013
12:00 AM CT

The Riha disappearance
In 1969, Dr. Thomas Riha disappeared and in the subconsequent series of events, Gloria Tannenbaum was arrested for forgery and under suspicion of two other homicides. She plead not guilty by reason of insanity and got away with it. The case has now been added to our serial killer collection.

Mon, Nov 4, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Richard N. Clarey jr.
Clarey is one of the lesser known serial killers, skirting the definition a little. Still, for some reasons an interesting case.

Wed, Oct 2, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Now in the collection: William E. Cosden
A garden variety sexual predator, notable only because his existence shows, how wrong the idea of 1 monster at 1 time in 1 area is.

Copyright if not otherwise mentioned Peter and Diane Brendt 2010-. All copies, also in parts, demand the written consent of the copyright holders