A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

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    Copied from Chris Goodfellow’s Google + Account:

    MH370 A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.

    A lot of speculation about MH370. Terrorism, hijack, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN – almost disturbing. I tend to look for a more simple explanation of this event.

    Loaded 777 departs midnight from Kuala to Beijing. Hot night. Heavy aircraft. About an hour out across the gulf towards Vietnam the plane goes dark meaning the transponder goes off and secondary radar tracking goes off.

    Two days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca.

    When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.

    The left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN didn’t pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don’t want to be thinking what are you going to do – you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.

    Take a look on Google Earth at this airport. This pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that immediate turn back to the closest safe airport.

    For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.

    If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there might or might not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the possibility given the timeline that perhaps there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires and it blew on takeoff and started slowly burning. Yes this happens with underinflated tires. Remember heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long run takeoff. There was a well known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on takeoff. A tire fire once going would produce horrific incapacitating smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks but this is a no no with fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter but this will only last for a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry one of my own in a flight bag and I still carry one in my briefcase today when I fly).

    What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on the heading probably on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it along that route – looking elsewhere was pointless.

    This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That’s the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.

    Surprisingly none of the reporters , officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot’s viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together. Also a look at the age and number of cycles on those nose tires might give us a good clue too.

    Fire in an aircraft demands one thing – you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible. There are two well remembered experiences in my memory. The AirCanada DC9 which landed I believe in Columbus Ohio in the eighties. That pilot delayed descent and bypassed several airports. He didn’t instinctively know the closest airports. He got it on the ground eventually but lost 30 odd souls. In the 1998 crash of Swissair DC-10 off Nova Scotia was another example of heroic pilots. They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time. That fire incidentally started when the aircraft was about an hour out of Kennedy. Guess what the transponders and communications were shut off as they pulled the busses.

    Get on Google Earth and type in Pulau Langkawi and then look at it in relation to the radar track heading. 2+2=4 That for me is the simple explanation why it turned and headed in that direction.

    Smart pilot. Just didn’t have the time.

    And his later post:

    I am pleased this thread has gone somewhat viral and produced many useful additional insights for me into this mystery.

    I was not going to add anything more myself but new information keeps coming to my attention that only serves to confirm my thinking that we are dealing with a fire/mechanical issue rather than hijack.

    Many have written and said why if he had a fire didn’t he proceed direct KBR which was closer. My reading would be that KBR is just under 6,000 feet and he would not have had this in his head as a viable safe harbour. Keep in mind this was a heavy and a lot of fuel. If he had fire he would not want to dump fuel. He would head for the long runway. Yes you could probably stuff a 777 into 6,000 feet with everything going your way but it is under the recommended length 7,200 feet I believe and remember this is a ATP with 18,000 hours who would likely go by the book. He turned towards LangKawi and/or Penang.

    The real new news is the cargo question. If indeed there was a shipment of lithium batteries in the hold this is a definite line of enquiry. I had a long conversation last night with the reporter for the Christian Science Monitor in Kuala, Peter Ford, and I suggested that he dig deep into the cargo manifest but also try and get more information on the state of the tires on the front landing gear – number of cycles, maintenance records, last pressure check etc. and as many of you know the time honored tradition by the pilot and/or first officer pre-flight walkaround. I suggested there may be security video of all movements in and around the aircraft during the time the aircraft was being serviced and that the pilot or first officer may be on video during their walkaround. Did they stop and take a second look at the nose gear? Any clue there? Was the loading of the lithium batteries on video? Was there an mishap on loading that might have led to leakage?

    If indeed there was fire, it was either cargo, avionics or possibly related to a tire overheat.

    My thoughts were towards fire from the beginning and the reports by ground witnesses are flowing in. One, in particular, needs careful analysis and that is Mike Mckay the oilfield tech who wrote a detailed email to authorities. He obviously saw something unusual in the night sky and is apparently a reliable person. Other local people made sightings evidently on the north coast.

    We now have a good timeline on the Acars, last voice communication and transponder shutdown. It is clear now that Acars was not shut down before the transponder or last call. It just made a transmission at 1:07 and not as expected at 1:37, so it could have gone down along with the transponder at 1:21 either as a forced shutdown by the pulling of breakers or the breakers all blowing at the same time as fire hit the electronics.

    It is clear the data bursts went on for a period of time that correlates very well with fuel exhaustion. There is a lot confusion about these databursts and how they could have been taking place if the ACARS was down and other electrics down. I am simply not able to answer how that system functions but it clear it is on a separate electrical system. Most likely if it is communicating via immarsat it is something akin to a satellite phone that dials up and dumps information on a timed basis. It may even be battery powered.

    The piggy back theory. While I will not discount this is possible I think this reaches new levels of speculation. I have no idea of the capability of Malaysian radar but perhaps they were painting the other aircraft that proceeded up the straights of Malacca north westwards as MH370 continued unnoticed south westwards. I would not have high confidence in their primary radar beyond very short range. Remember the other plane would have been squawking on a transponder and provided a stranger return. It may simply be co-incidence that their paths crossed.

    A very wise mentor of mine always cautioned me to keep an open mind and I continue to do so. All of our theories are essentially speculation and the most important thing is not to come to any definitive conclusions without the concrete evidence.

    This may go down in aviation annals as the longest ghost flight of all time. In an age when we have so much technical capability that we can see a person on a street in Kabul using drones piloted from a bunker down near Tampa Florida it is indeed hard not to want immediate fast answers as to what happened here.

    We may never know.

    Thanks to all of you. Keep the thread alive.


    Is this copied and pasted in copyright violation?


    But Goodfellow’s theory has been disputed. If the course was changed during a major emergency, one might expect it to be done using manual control. But the left turn was the result of someone in the cockpit typing “seven or eight keystrokes into a computer on a knee-high pedestal between the captain and the first officer, according to officials”, the New York Times reported. The paper says this “has reinforced the belief of investigators – first voiced by Malaysian officials – that the plane was deliberately diverted and that foul play was involved.”

    (copied from the Bbc)


    Sounds interesting, and makes a lot of sense. Just one thing. They say it was pinging the satellite for many hours. Perhaps, though, it was doing so from under water.


    sounds like a good theory but then where’s the plane and why didn’t they at least find charred parts?


    dveykus – because maybe it did land somewhere – in terrorist territory?

    really scary.


    I posted this earlier about my theory about the missing plane. If the Iranians have a hand in this, and I think they do. I think the plane will be used against Israel. The Iranians could possibly load the plane with a bomb and the innocent passengers, and have the plane flown to Israel. Israel will, unfortunately have to shoot the plane down, or risk suicide. Of course, the world will condemn Israel, for, heaven forbid, trying to protect herself, because, of course, that is unacceptable for Israel to do that. The world will now come against Israel, and there you will have the start of Gog & Magog. So, like I said, this is my theory. Hope I am wrong.

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit

    From Goodfellow’s G+ page

    Hello Chris,

    This is the best analysis I’ve seen on what happened to MH370. I’d like this article to be searchable from google. Google hasn’t indexed it. The only way I found it was through Google+

    If it were to be also published beyond Google+ , a lot more people would be able to read it.

    chris goodfellow

    Mar 16, 2014

    Thanks Ted. You are welcome to share and post it anywhere…

    I guess that means the article can be posted if someone wants to post it. ?



    Considering that the Malaysian officials now retract the claim that the plane was “programmed” to go off course, I’d say that Mr. Goodfellow’s theory just got a lot stronger


    But it still remains to be understood why they didn’t head to land and instead spent hours over the water. I didn’t study the area though. Perhaps visibility was low and he simply got lost, especially if all instruments stopped working, including GPS and VOR.

    Could anyone explain this arc business? I’m imagining that the ping only gives information on which satellite and the distance from it or maybe even the angle. If so, once you have three satellites you can pinpoint the source.


    Copied from Chris Goodfellow’s Google + Account: (Posted on Mar 23)

    My theory is indeed simple:

    Massive onboard overwhelming event

    Turn and new heading

    Crew overcome

    Plane flies South West until apparent fuel exhaustion

    Deep in the South Indian Ocean

    I’m glad they are looking there now. I regret it took so long.


    here is a theory that i heard.

    1) pilots decompressed the cabin

    2)pilots wear masks but all passengers die

    3)pilots turn around and safely land in a remote area

    4)pilots destroy black box

    5) pilots are waiting with plane for plans to be finalised

    6)plans to attack israel using the plane.

    in short: this was the only way to get a plane (by killing 237 people) in order to make an attack on israel.

    i dont know what they have done with all the bodies if this theory is true.

    it is not my theory.

    ED IT OR

    i dont believe it possible in todays day and age to hide a airliner and its passengers / former passengers rip,

    hence plane must have been destroyed with all bodies, whether naturally in ocean i dont know i would imagine they would have long found something substantial, i therefore believe a hijacking of sorts took place and was foiled or attacked and plane and passengers were destroyed.

    I. M. Shluffin

    Update: Government is telling citizens that the plane crashed in Indian Ocean, near Australia. Australian divers found parts that they think may be part of the wreckage. Many refuse to believe it (esp. family members, friends of passengers). Many are satisfied with this, even though there is no concrete evidence.


    yes. malaysian airlines sent a text to all relatives of MH370 passengers saying that the plane plunged into the indian ocean and apparantly the french have found 122 peices of debris in the indian ocean. the relatives all stood on the street and said “it isnt true and give us back our relatives return them to us.”

    i hope they find it beofre the 30 days are up or else the black box wont be worth anything.

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit

    I wonder if we’ll ever know for sure what happened.

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