60 Minutes Australia on Secret Malaysia Report

Here’s a link to the report broadcast today on Australian 60 Minutes about the search for MH370. Part 1:

Part 2:

Discussion after the jump…

The main thrust of the piece is that an independent air-crash expert, Larry Vance, has looked at photographs of the Réunion flaperon and decided that their relatively intact state, and the lack of debris from inside the aircraft, means that the plane must not have impacted the water at high speed, as would be expected if the plane ran out of fuel as a “ghost ship” and spiralled into the water. He interprets the jagged trailing edge of the flaperon as evidence that it was deployed at the moment of impact and was worn away when it struck the water.

I find it discomfiting when people say that the mystery of MH370 is not mystery at all–that they are absolutely confident they know the answer. Vance undercuts his credibility, I feel, by taking this stance. There is indeed a strong argument to be made that the plane must have been under conscious control to the very end; to me the most compelling is simply that the plane has not been found in the current seabed search zone. However it is less clear that someone attempted a ditching. What the show does not mention is that debris from inside the aircraft has indeed been found, suggesting that the fuselage could not have survived the impact and sunk to the bottom of the ocean intact. Indeed, the program doesn’t mention the other debris at all, with the exception of the Pemba flap, which is the other relatively intact large piece. The fact that most of the debris found so far is rather small is to me indicative of a higher-energy impact. But I have no strong opinion one way or the other; I feel that proper experts must look at the debris close up to determine what forces caused it to come apart.

The program cites the recently revealed flight-sim data from Zaharie’s computer as further evidence that the plane was deliberately piloted to fuel exhaustion and beyond. For the first time, the program showed on screen pages from the confidential Malaysian report. The producers of the show reached out to me as they were putting the program together, and asked me to comment on some of the data they had accumulated. Here are the pages of the document that they showed on-screen:



It’s worth noting that these pages offer a summary of the recovered flight-sim data which are described in greater detail and accuracy elsewhere in the confidential Malaysian documents. Here is a table showing a subset of what the documents contain:

Detailed parameters

Note that the numbering systems for the two data tables do not match. (Please do not ask me to explain this.) I suggest that for the purposes of discussion, the point saved at Kuala Lumpur International Airport be called point 1; the three points recorded as the flight-sim moved up the Malacca Strait to the Andaman Islands be called 2, 3, and 4; and the points over the southern Indian Ocean with fuel at zero be called points 5 and 6.

Zaharie 1-4

In order to understand the fuel load numbers in the second table, I made some calculations based on the fuel loads in a real 777-200ER. I don’t know how closely these match those in the flight simulator Zaharie was using. If anyone can shed light I’d be happy to hear it.

Fuel calcs

Worth noting, I think, is that the fuel difference between point 4 and point 5 is enough for more than 10 hours of flight under normal cruise conditions. The difference between these points is 3,400 nautical miles, for an average groundspeed of less than 340 knots. This is peculiar. Perhaps the flight-sim fuel burn rate is very inaccurate; perhaps the simulated route between the points was not a great circle, as shown in the second page of the report above, but indirect; perhaps Zaharie was fascinated by the idea of flying slowly; or perhaps points 5 & 6 come from a different simulated flight than 1 through 4. Readers’ thoughts welcome.

Also note that neither the locations nor the headings of points 1-4 lie exactly on a straight line from 1 to 4, which suggest perhaps that the route was hand-flown.


866 thoughts on “60 Minutes Australia on Secret Malaysia Report”

  1. Paul Smithson posted August 1, 2016 at 6:21 AM: “Question 1. Is it conceivable that control surfaces on RIGHT wing could have been stuck in extended position and been torn off by air speeds beyond their design envelope (resulting in drift origin well to the north and possibly “inside” 7th arc). ”

    You need to distinguish between flaps and control surfaces. Flaps are designed to extend or retract symmetrically. The system closely monitors that symmetry and stops flap motion when a slight asymmetry is detected. I do not consider it conceivable that one main flap would extend while the other remained retracted. If that happened, I would think it would not be controllable and the airplane would crash.

    Ailerons and spoilers are control surfaces and are designed to operate asymmetrically. I would expect that the airplane would remain controllable in the event of blockage or loss of any single control surface, including that of a flaperon, which is a flap that also functions as an aileron.

    I don’t feel qualified to comment on the structural aspects of your scenarios.

  2. @Rob: If you are going to “set the record straight”, then please be factual. I’ve stated that I don’t know whether there was a high speed descent or a ditching at the end of the flight. I think Boeing and accident investigators would be best able to examine the debris that has been collected to make that determination. I am disappointed that we have not learned more from French and Australian officials.

    That said, I think by cherry-picking evidence that supports his personal view, Larry Vance’s contribution to the 60 Minutes piece was not helpful.

  3. @Brock McEwen: I have four possible explanations for why the fuel levels might not match predicted fuel consumption for the simulated flight. If you want to believe that these explanations are inadequate and this is proof that the coordinates are not related, that is your option.

  4. @Ge Rijn, I think it is extremely unwise to try to draw any conclusions about the configuration of the control surfaces from photographs of the debris.

  5. @Jeff Wise
    What part of that is a famous myth? Search of the US Patent Office does produce the patent made in November 2006 for a patent, Assignee : Boeing
    Description of that patent on the US Patent Office website.
    “The method and system for automatically controlling a path of travel of a vehicle include engaging an automatic control system when the security of the onboard controls is jeopardized. Engagement may be automatic or manual from inside the vehicle or remotely via a communication link. Any onboard capability to supersede the automatic control system may then be disabled by disconnecting the onboard controls and/or providing uninterruptible power to the automatic control system via a path that does not include the onboard accessible power control element(s). The operation of the vehicle is then controlled via the processing element of the automatic control system. The control commands may be received from a remote location and/or from predetermined control commands that are stored onboard the vehicle.”
    Filed in 2003
    If the link below does not work search patent office 7143971

    Are we supposed to be in remote takeover technology denial ?…that would be the real myth..that the technology does not exist.

  6. @MuOne said; ..”There ought to be some proud souls in the know, who want or for their own sanity, need to set the records straight…”

    “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or an animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul if we look the other way”.
    – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    We hope for strength from those knowing the truth

  7. @Gloria, The technology exists but it has never been implemented in a commercial aircraft and its association with MH370 or other crashes is pure conspiracy-mongering.

  8. @TBill

    you said:

    “In the 60 Minutes piece it was strange that Vance did not acknowledge the internal parts found…I was wondering if his interview was conducted earlier in the year or something.”

    I think that is an excellent point that should be considered relative to all the interviews. It must take some time to do the interviews, edit them, and piece everything together to produce the complete program. The interviews themselves are obviously not time stamped.


    I agree relative to the recovered debris that we cannot draw any conclusions from photos. Painful as it is, the information has to come from people who actually have the pieces and the capability to make a determination. Like Victor, I thought Vance’s comments were anecdotal and out of line in this regard.

  9. @Paul Smithson

    “I believe that the idea of “part detachment” has been suggested before, but please bear with me.”

    Thanks for this Paul, it reflects and answers my queries above more or less exactly. It does to me look like a bone worth keeping. Although not seemingly necessary right now.

  10. @Jeff Wise

    I think I draw conclusions the way you draw a conclusion to discarde the possibility of seperation by flutter.
    I realise very well all those ‘conclusions’ have to be drawn in the end by the experts who investigate the real debris.

  11. Concerning the tip of Sumatra-turn and avoidance of Indonesian radar, to all:

    I cannot fully vouch for this but it would be easy to check on more thoroughly:
    The Aceh province has a “history” — of civil unrest, ethno-religious difference (only province in the larger part of that area that applies Sharia laws), and socio-economic “backwater” (to make it simple). There is a history of housing of and training “terrorists” and I would assume that both main/central/ federal Indonesia as well as the Aceh province more narrowly could be a bit edgy about (official/semi-official) border-intrusions in the air and at sea in their neighbourhood. It is a crowded place, the inlet to the Malacca Strait. (Federal) Indonesia and ditto Malaysia seems to be doing well diplomatically, but this is not necessarily the case with local Indonesian initiatives on Sumatra and elsewhere. See link below.

    MAS/MA Govt. may have (had) working recommendations about passing over/by Aceh even while under commercial flag and regulations. Judging from the shooting-down over Ukraine, they may not have followed them, though. But not sticking your neck down a Tiger’s throat could still have been much more vividly present to a MAS pilot (in his FSIM-activities) then and there. This is a bit of guesswork. Could it even be that the FSIM had inbuilt restrictions for Aceh, as a part of the “game”?

    For the pilot flying a blacked-out plane, the risks would of course be differently distributed, and a direct crossing over land would have been an invitation to being shot down.

    E.g.: http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/cleric-jailed-four-years-funding-terrorist-training-camp

  12. @RetiredF4,

    You are drawing conclusions based on assuming the ATSB’s Figure 2 was created by the Malaysian military. Based on its appearance, I suspect it was created by the ATSB based on numbers provided to them by the Malaysia DCA.

  13. @RetiredF4 @all
    ALTERNATE MOTIVE for MH370’s disappearance: Russia planned it for potential terrorist disruption of the Sochi Olympics, but deployed it instead for Crimea.

    The disappearance of MH370 was a deliberate act, and could have been a sophisticated highjacking operation.
    But what is the MOTIVE?

    If the plane was deliberately highjacked, and no one claimed responsibility, then ONE purpose of making the plane disappear may be to remove the evidence of the crime so that no one can be implicated.
    If so, then the desired outcome of the highjacking may be the mystery itself, and any consequences this mystery entails, such as intensive media coverage.

    But why MH370? Why not another plane?
    Based on what we know so far, there was nothing special about the plane alone, the cargo alone, or the passengers alone that would make it a target. Yet, because of the considerable preparation and effort involved in this highjacking, it can be assumed that MH370 could NOT have been chosen at random. So if MH370 had indeed been chosen, the choice was not based on a single criterion, but rather multiple criteria.

    This would be similar to how an assault victim is chosen by a psychopath.
    The perp may choose a victim who is attractive, but also young, single, lives alone, moves at night, appears vulnerable etc.

    Similarly, MH370 may happen to fit all the criteria to be the victim of this hightech highjacking such as type of aircraft, it’s country of registration, route, type of inmarsat service, time of departure and landing, originating and destination airport, passenger and cargo security screening, the type of passengers and their nationalities (including what nationalities were NOT flying that route), the number of passengers etc.

    Keeping track of all the criteria on an ongoing basis requires considerable effort, involving hacking into highly secure IT systems, and collecting data in REAL TIME, especially the passenger manifest which is usually updated in the last few minutes before departure.

    Therefore it is more probable that whoever planned for the disappearance of the aircraft could not have chosen to maintain full surveillance of all the criteria for an indefinite period, because airlines constantly change their schedules, routes, and fleet. Over time, some of the essential criteria, such as ‘routes with B777s’, may become un-fulfillable. So it’s also probable that the perps would have collected and analysed the data, and come up with a SHORTLIST of potential targets with a view to executing the plan IF the need arose.

    That brings us to the issue of TIMING.

    As previously written by this author, the disappearance of MH370 coincided with the invasion of Crimea by Russia. The MH370 mystery caused an international media storm that was much more successful than would have been expected if it had been originally intended to divert attention from the invasion of Crimea, almost as if the Western media, especially CNN, was primed to go all out with this coverage (Most news organizations take their cue from CNN when covering sudden breaking news, the same way that newspapers take their cues from New York Times).

    MH370’s disappearance directly affected the media coverage of the invasion of Crimea and was directly beneficial to the invaders of Crimea. If the disappearance of MH370 was a deliberate act, and nobody appears to have benefited from it except Russia, it is not irrational to look at the possibility that Russia was culpable in the disappearance of MH370.

    Russia has all the capabilities required and has shown willingness in the past to deploy them in persuit of tactical objectives.

    However, there are some PROBLEMS with assuming that the disappearance of MH370 was actually PLANNED SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of distracting the world’s media during the invasion of Crimea.
    – first, there is the incongruity/asymmetry between the invasion of Crimea, which is a localised event in Ukraine, and the disappearance of MH370 which was global in scope, with victims who are international travellers, citizens from all parts of the world.
    – second, the timing of the Crimean invasion was never certain. Although, Russia had clearly planned for it, the invasion was actually triggered by the fall of the pro-Russian regime in Kiev, an unpredictable event.

    To summarize…
    – MH370 may have deliberately chosen based on multiple criteria
    – the timing of the hijack benefitted Russia, and it had the capabilities to carry it out
    – the highjacking was planned, but could NOT have been planned for the invasion of Crimea
    – and it caused an international media storm that was much more successful than would have been expected if it had been originally intended to divert attention from the invasion of Crimea,

    Whoever planned this highjacking didn’t plan it for the invasion of Crimea, but for another event which just happened to coincide with the invasion of Crimea.

    QUESTION: What event could provide a long enough time frame to plan and prepare, is international in scope, benefits Russia, and which is important enough to commit highjacking and sacrifice innocent lives?

    The bids for the Winter Olympics 2014 were held in 2007. Russia put forward Sochi as the location. A lot was riding on this bid.
    Crude oil was priced high, the Russian economy was growing, and Russia wanted to showcase itself to the world as a rising power after it’s dismal post-Soviet history.
    – President Putin went to Guatamala City to personally appeal to the IOC.
    – in the first round of voting, Sochi came second to a S.Korean city, followed by Salsburg
    – after Salsburg withdrew (Russian mafia?), Sochi won, but by only a few votes
    – Russia went all out to make the Games a success (including DOPING their athletes), and it was the big winner
    – It restored Russian pride and broadcast to the world it’s success
    Putin couldn’t run for a 3rd consequtive term so Medvedev was elected president in 2008, and Putin was prime-minister for 4 yrs, then reelected president 2012 in time for the Sochi games in 2014 and basked in the glory of the successful games.

    Due to the unrest in the Caucasus, security was a big concern for the Sochi olympics. The Russians isolated Sochi during the runup to the olympics, and had tough security measures to prevent incidents, but Americans were very worried about what plans were in place AFTER a potential terrorist incident.
    (ABC News: Russia’s Sochi Olympics Security Could Be Flawed, Youtube)
    This may have caused Russia to worry seriously about it’s image in the international community -IF- a terrorist incident happens during the Olympic Games.

    Hence THE PLAN to distract the world by making an airline disappear. The media would be ready to cover the distraction because it was an attack on the Olympics, not Russia.

    But nothing happened during the Olympics. Instead, USA took the opportunity during the games to topple the pro-Russian Govt, in Kiev. This prompted Putin to invade Crimea. And the plan to distract the world during the Olympics terror incident was instead deployed opportunistically to distract the world during the invasion of Crimea which happened just after the Olympics.

  14. @David,

    You said:

    “ I note the fuel saved quantities are not enough but I had best explain further the principle since it might be an improvement which could be made to your and other like models.I was not addressing gravity change with latitude but rather the potential energy change as an aircraft reduces its distance to the earth’s centre. The work entailed is force by distance, ie aircraft weight by the distance closer, in this case 20,000 ft, which is also the loss of its PE. The work done on the aircraft will be this in transiting from the equator to the search latitude. In effect the aircraft is heading downhill, the earth’s surface retreating at the same rate, the aircraft altitude then remaining constant.”

    As Gysbreght intimated, this concept is incorrect. The total potential is the sum of the gravitational potential and the centrifugal potential. Their sum is the geopotential and a surface of constant geopotential is very close to an oblate spheroid for the Earth. Thus there is no (geo)potential energy to be obtained or lost by changing latitude at constant altitude. For an explanation, see:


  15. Thanks for that @Bobby. I was beginning to wonder if my boat would go faster heading “downhill” 🙂

  16. @Cliffg

    You know one of the really charming things with the Russians, IMHO, is that they rarely think twice about their charm with others, and that they prefer bluntly to rewrite history afterwards rather than planning for how they will appear ahead of things.

    They don’t have the same means, as yet, to plan for all eventualities ahead. And they don’t bother that much either. Crimea is a good example.

  17. @Paul

    No, it won’t. However, if you are drifting down a river on a calm day in a sailboat you can increase your speed by tacking into the “wind” created by your drift speed.

  18. @Brock said:
    1) the FBI concluded “nothing sinister” in March, 2014.

    Agreed yes I seem to recall the press reports at the time were saying essentially nothing incriminating found on the flight sim hard drive, even though I believe there was already some inference of the simulated SIO flight paths.

    Suspect we do not have official FBI/US intelligence position on the cause of the crash, if we did, I wonder if they would say this again in quite same tone?

  19. Re “nothing sinister”

    To my knowledge, the FBI never said anything, these were the word used by Hishammuddin with regard to the FBI report. He, however, cautioned that the police chief was going to make a separate anouncement.

  20. @DrBobbyUlich
    In the discussion referencing the IGARI turnback /radar track
    ‘waviness’, I note the radar track plotted on your webpage diagram,
    specifically the (radar) track concluding in the Malacca Strait.
    The Lat/Long co-ordinates of that track appear to my eye to give
    a location of the latter part of the track as approximately
    travelling BETWEEN air corridor B466 and N571, and the last radar
    point to be at (referencing a Skyvector map representation of that
    area) about the 34NM marker position on N571 (just above and left
    of the word MEKAR). So the last radar point would be at that
    point (and with the aircraft joining or possibly crossing N571).
    Do you concure with this assessment, or do you view this latter
    part of the radar track as ‘loosly, approximately represented data’,
    (given that this latter part of the track would have been at the limit
    of the radar’s detection range).
    I am asking as the common belief is that 9M-MRO followed N571 through
    VAMPI and MEKAR.
    Thankyou for your explanation of your theory, which I believe reduces
    to ‘the Russians disappeared MH370 to divert attention from some
    activity of theirs that actually never occured’.
    Given that a printout of your post would provide more than enough
    matériel for DennisW to indulge his hobby of washing hogs, further
    posts by you about your theory are unnecessary unless you have actual
    facts to support it.
    I consider your theory as slightly more likely than Trond’s “Alien
    Abduction” (sic) theory of July 28, 2016 at 1:32 PM, (which at least
    took up no more than a few lines).

  21. @buyerninety

    Funny you should bring up “washing hogs”. I was late to the party because Ami insisted I wash the floors today. Your post covered for me nicely. Thx.

  22. @buyerninety

    I never said aliens once, nor am I insinuating it.

    If you want crazy, the sim plot from Shah’s game is what I have been waiting for. The end is where the fuselage is according to my “[insert whatever]”, and I still have a memory of something being under the silt where the Chinese detected pings.

  23. @Trond
    You are unfortunately mistaken in your recollections, as, unlike yourself, I attempt to provide enough information for anybody to
    check my assertions.

  24. @Trond
    I will anticipate the invective in your reply, and before I leave I
    will simply state that I look forward to your next theory, which will
    probably be along the lines of ‘MH370 disappeared in the spread arms
    of a giant squid’, on the basis of an unpleasant experience you had
    with a Russian starfish.
    (And now, I sleep).

  25. I’ve never been on either side of any theory. What brought me here is the updates on what is known. Not much, as expected, when MH370 was well hidden.

  26. Just wondering – Couldn’t a pilot with Shah’s seniority opt out of flying ‘red-eye’ flights?

  27. It seems to me that after a spectacular headline in the NY Mag to grab attention and accuse the pilot of a murder/suicide mission there has been a whole lot of backtracking on here by the author.

    Now Larry Vance is claiming in a private message he was edited but that does not change of what he actually did say and the fact he seems oblivious to the more recent debris finds including a confirmed item from inside the cabin.

    I think the lesson here is to ignore all speculation by those who are not actually on the official investigation team as the ATSB are and do not therefore have all the facts to hand when stating things as fact which are not facts at all.

  28. @aw

    If the interview with Larry Vance was taped a month ago, he could be excused from mentioning or commenting on the seat-back bezel found by Blaine Gibson ca. June 3. He should however have been quite aware of the interior panel found on Rodriguez on March 30 — and vouched as MH370 by early May.

    I think this is pretty good evidence that, despite his very relevant expertise, he has not been following the MH370 evidence very closely.

  29. Dr.BobbyUlich


    You are drawing conclusions based on assuming the ATSB’s Figure 2 was created by the Malaysian military. Based on its appearance, I suspect it was created by the ATSB based on numbers provided to them by the Malaysia DCA.”

    To sum up your post, neither you nor I do know, who created that track.

    But note, that my assessment is based on my expierience with military radar in regard to having been in radar stations and command and control centers, having received briefings on our and other military radars capabilities, having seen playbacks of military radar plots and having been trained to avoid being plotted and tracked by military radar.

  30. Someone here mentioned that someone might have been angry with the Malays. I don’t if that had something to do with a certain voice stated something shortly in 3 words and in English. That was directed towards everyone. It has not been released to the public.

  31. @Bill

    If the “official investigation team” had any credibility and were not deliberately withholding information there would be much less need for speculation.

    A loss of public trust is difficult to regain.

    You reap what you sow.

  32. Hello! I read all comments very carefully but it’s the first time I’m pitching in. I know absolutely nothing about planes but am very interested in the subject. Also, my first language is French so please forgive me for any written mistake I might do.

    I wonder how pertinent is the discovery of the Indian flights in Zahari’s simulator, really. Is it common for pilots to simulate flights that aim to nowhere? I think this question is important to assess how important and credible this clue is to solve the MH370 mystery. Can any pilot comment on this?

  33. @Lauren H:

    Are you on to something there? Why do you ask?

    I would guess it depends. In this case, it was Hamid’s first flight on a triple-7, and Shah was in addition to that comsidered to be a reliable mentor for trainees and junior pilots when they needed instruction.

    I suspect that the company can demand pretty much anything from him as their payed pilot, but his back will not have fared exceptionally well from too much sitting down (laying, standing and walking is best, as a rule), I would guess. But maybe he had healed suffficiently. There is potential for an imminant change in his employment or tasks there of course, a pilot would know.

    Bur it must feel safe to have an experienced senior pilot in control on a night-flight to China, don’t you think?….

    And who loved to fly.

  34. … and yes the union can be a pain in the back and not let you work from home with your sour back…

  35. …That could perhaps make another 60 minutes.
    Remember that you heard it from me first.


  36. … That might perhaps make for another 60 minutes!

    Remember that you heard it from me first…


  37. @Tom Lindsay:

    Thanks. There is a surprising antisemitic angle. That I saw.

    Thank God for ATSB, RMP, CIA, FBI, MI5 and IG.

  38. I know the exact location of the MH370 Will you give the person in charge of the search my email and phone number please (618)353-7223 Thank You

  39. There has been much speculation as to the power of corrosion on aircraft aluminium alloys. The FAA has a good background of these alloys with tables included. Presumably PEMBA was made of 7075 T6 (temper) hence aluminium alloyed with zinc (Figure 5.4 provides breakdown of constituents)


    2. As for corrosion, the common finding is that aluminium is susceptible to pitting corrosion:


    While pitting corrosion from galvanic interactions would be more accelerated in conducive seawater environments:


    the metastasis to perforation/holing from pitting corrosion is slow due to the existence of copper in the alloy 7075 T6 as per FIG. 5.4 above plus it has the added bonus of being resistant to Stress Corrosion Cracking ( SCC)

    “Resistance to general corrosion of the copper-free wrought 7xxx alloys is good, approaching that of the wrought 3xxx, 5xxx and 6xxx alloys. The copper-containing alloys of the 7xxx series, such as 7049, 7050, 7075, and 7178 have lower resistance to general corrosion than those of the same series that do not contain copper. All 7xxx alloys are more resistant to general corrosion than 2xxx alloys, but less resistant than wrought alloys of other groups.

    Although the copper in both wrought and cast alloys of the aluminum-zinc-magnesium-copper type reduces resistance to general corrosion, it is beneficial from the standpoint of resistance to SCC.”

    There many studies that cite that immersion in seawater whether deep or surface does compromise alloy 7075 T6’s corrosive resistance but at a rate that does not manifest swift perforation/holing. Moreover additional palliative measures on the said alloy as recommended by FAA guidelines would inevitably further slow down corrosion rate.

    Having looked through the accessed data and studied the visual data, one can guardedly assume that perforations seen fon Pemba could be due to plausibly two reasons:

    A. High impact exerting forces that forcibly tore the piece from whatever it was attached to hence holing ( similar to that which caused the chair back separation)

    B. Remotely likely but still plausible, metal induced perforation probably pieces of metal from a disintegrating engine etc perforating the piece

    But then again manual inspection and actual material
    analysis of the debris would plausibly yield different outcomes.

  40. Hugo Teso pilot and cyber security analyst gave a presentation at a security conference, prior to the plane going missing, where he showed (but not an actual how to) the ability to hack a computer system from a remote location. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nt4Z1tUHgE

    Why are we still trying to pin this on the pilot. It was a military takeover and if the truth be known it would also solve how 9/11 was enacted.

  41. Fiction is easier to manipulate than fact. When the MH370 ­flaperon was found on a beach on Reunion, and shipped to France, amazingly the ATSB sent one of its experts to Airbus in Toulouse.

    I did not know that the ATSB had any B777-qualified pilots or engineers so what was the purpose of the trip?

    The real experts in Toulouse concluded the damage to the trailing edge of the flaperon was consistent with its being in a lowered position during an attempted ditching. It was not the hand of God that moved the lever to lower the flaps, but a human hand very familiar with the B777.

    Shortly after, a report ­appeared in The Daily Telegraph, attributed to an ATSB spokesman, stating damage to the trailing edge of the flaperon was consistent with high- speed flight and therefore not the result of a ditching.

    I immediately pointed out the absurdity of this claim, only to have the ATSB’s cheer squad spend an inordinate amount of ­effort to come up with alternate theories showing why I was wrong.

    I have been supersonic thousands of times. Flying a B777, I have experienced M. 9 — 90 per cent of the speed of sound — during slight overspeed conditions. In certification the B777 is taken to more than M. 95.

    But a B777 with an unresponsive pilot and engines dead from fuel exhaustion definitely would not be able to exceed — due alone to gravity in a dive — the huge transonic critical drag rise that ­occurs around M. 97, because of the huge drag of those big engines.

    A flaperon in the streamlined position definitely would not suffer damage to its trailing edge and control surface flutter to rapidly destroy or detach the whole surface. In other words The Daily Telegraph report, if it was from the ATSB, was a figment of someone’s imagination.

    I have been attacked in the media by aviation industry people with their own agendas, some billed as aviation experts though they have never flown an aircraft.

    Those self-appointed experts have variously described as ­“malicious”, “scurrilous” and “hysterical rubbish” my ­attempts to make the ATSB ­recognise what it was feeding the public was just plain wrong. The ATSB, described by one of those experts as “the best of the best”, accused me of causing ­anguish to the MH370 families. Look in the mirror, ATSB and then transport minister Warren Truss; I am waiting for your apology.

    One can only hope that the Chinese government will now step in and, with the assistance of ICAO, continue the search based on updated information. China has the naval assets, manpower and money.

    It only takes the will, and since most MH370 passengers were Chinese, that might influence a ­decision.

    Byron Bailey, a commercial pilot with more than 45 years’ experience, was a senior captain with Emirates for 15 years, during which time he flew the same model Boeing 777 jet as Malaysia Airlines MH370.


  42. @lkr
    Quite right, but as you can read in his answer, he alluded to that fact but it was edited out… Then again, I agree that he should have known about Rodrigues being ATSB labelled “highly likely”. It would have made his claim much stronger IMHO.

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