Mar 17, 2014

Crikey Clarifier: what we know — and why only now — about MH370

The disappearance of flight MH370 has gripped the planet like few stories before. With so many twists and turns -- and misinformation from authorities -- we asked our aviation expert the pertinent questions ...

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands, who pilots Crikey‘s Plane Talking blog, has been a leading global voice on the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. As the case took another dramatic turn over the weekend, we quizzed the veteran aviation reporter on what has now been confirmed, what his sources are telling him, and why there are so many mixed messages from authorities and governments …


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11 thoughts on “Crikey Clarifier: what we know — and why only now — about MH370

  1. johnd

    If it’s a hi-jacking for political/terrorists purposes, then it seems something has gone wrong. There seems little point in hi-jacking a plane if you don’t tell the world that you have done it.

  2. Venise Alstergren

    BEN: When you say the plane took on a normal load of fuel, could it have taken on more-if the pilot had asked for it?

  3. Andybob

    If this was an act of terrorism, isnt it about time someone claimed responsibility so we can be appropriately terrorised ? Otherwise its a bit like having a doomsday device but not telling anyone.

  4. Jackson Harding

    The baloney about the flight simulator in the pilot’s home needs to be seen in proper perspective. Flight simulation as a serious hobby is a common “affliction” among aeroplane nerds (myself included). Just as train drivers and other railwaymen have big train sets lots of aviation professionals have high end home simulators and the price of modern computing hardware makes this really easy, and on a pilots salary very affordable. Try googling home cockpits or home sims and you’ll see the whole industry that exists to support this hobby. For mid range google go-flight, vr-insight and sim samurai and then for the real high end look at flight deck solutions. 20k will get you a very good sim, 50 to 100k will buy you a very high fidelity sim and I know plenty of people who will blow that on their cars.

    Then google worldflight. A group of 8 high end sims that conduct an online around the world flight for charity each year in November. The Australian participants have raised tens of thousands for the RFDS.

    Then just shut up and let us enjoy our hobby in peace (and yes, I have a train set as well – if you like trains and planes my man cave is probably better than your man cave!)

  5. Griffiths Karen

    Andybob, if you don’t claim responsibility and leave everyone waiting and wondering, surely that is the epitome of being terrorised. The doomsday device is in our heads – terrorism!

  6. Jackson Harding

    Also, is it a hijacking? If the crew did it, it should be more technically be a mutiny, either a mutiny by the FO against the captain, or a mutiny by both crew against the airline.

    Another scenario. Attempted hijack. Hijackers force crew to send plane dark and divert it westward. One or both of the crew depressurise aircraft to regain control, only theybdon’t quite pull it off and are disabled by hypoxia themselves (struggle with hijackers over oxygen masks, although this aircraft is recorded as having done the run to CDG so one assumes four seats in the cockpit). Disabled crew enter wierd settings into FMC before becoming unconscious. Plane flys into oblivion.

  7. Karen

    Has there been any update on the alleged Uigar passenger with flight or aero-nautical engineering experience? And the shadowy group who claimed responsibility for the hijack? Any connections between the two?

  8. Zeron

    Remote controlled aircraft don’t only crash into buildings. They can also crash into the ocean.

    Wait for the unprecedented draconian security measures at airports worldwide and a host of civil liberties abuse.

  9. Venise Alstergren

    BEN SANDILANDS: I asked you if the plane could have taken on more fuel, had the captain had asked for it, because that would have extended the flying hours, and thus a wider sphere to search.

  10. condel

    What happened to the two men carrying Fake Iranian passports.

    Foxnews just reported the plane maybe in Pakistan.

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