MH370: Flying into the Oblivion

March 30, 2014

Having been an aviation fanatic myself since childhood, the fate of missing Malaysian aircraft MH370 has really baffled me. I would like to share this write-up with you based on the investigations in progress over the southern Indian Ocean

I would like to draw a small analogy here, imagine you are driving a car from your office to your residence, you have a tracking device with you which gives you your exact location. Its your mobile phone in your pocket. At a given point you decide to switch off your mobile phone and drive your car away from your destination. You avoid driving through areas where you have accomplices so that no one would ever report having sighted you. You drive the car as long as you’ve fuel left in it and then crash it far away from your destination. Something similar has happened to MH-370.
Modern day aircraft are very sturdy and reliable. The case of a mechanical failure without being followed by distress signals is intriguing indeed. The Boeing 777 is an excellent aircraft and has clocked thousands of flying hours across the skies of our planet. There are distress signals like PAN, PAN, PAN or MAY DAY, which are sounded by Pilots in case of emergencies. There was no such scenario in case of MH-370. What could go wrong in a modern jet airliner from a reputed airline with a good safety record, fitted with the most sophisticated navigation system on-board? This is a mystery which may not be answered in the immediate future.
Flight MH-370, a Boeing 777-200 with 239 passengers and crew takes off into a clear night sky on 8-Mar-14 from Kuala Lumpur at 0041hrs. The flight is bound towards Beijing which is a 6 hour journey. The flight path is heading North-North East wards, crossing the Malayan peninsula over the South China Sea, entering into Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, re-entering Vietnam and then flying over the Chinese mainland to reach Beijing at 0630hrs local time.

The weather system through the entire flight path was ideal as the skies were clear with good visibility all the way. Aircraft rely on ground communication to navigate through. MH-370 radios in to KL tower and confirms its location over the South China Sea midway between Malaysia and Vietnam. The aircraft was entering into Vietnamese airspace, it is here we lost contact with the aircraft.
Based on the radar information and the string of events which follow, the write-up below is purely speculative as we’ve no real evidence to substantiate this. Until the wreckage is retrieved and the Black box decoded we cannot for sure say that this is true.
Boeing 777 is flown usually by 2 crew members, one hour into the flight, dinner would be served to all the passengers and most of them would be retiring on their seats to get some sleep before they reach Beijing early morning. This is when something sinister would’ve happened in the cockpit. One of the crew member might have asked the other to fetch something from the cabin, thereby ensuring that he is alone at the controls. Locking himself in the cockpit the crew member might have switched off the Transponder and the ACARS which are required to communicate with the ground radars, having done this the aircraft has been ascended to an altitude of 450 level which is 45,000ft. At these levels the Oxygen supply is very less and the cabin gets de-pressurized, ideally Oxygen masks are deployed to help passengers breathe, but this would not have happened and all passengers and crew, due to lack of Oxygen would all lose consciousness. But there can be an Oxygen mask used by the lone crew member to stay awake. Now with all the other members in the flight crippled, the aircraft is at the mercy of this lone crew member. He then probably decides to change course and takes a left turn heading back over the Malayan peninsula. With navigation systems turned down the aircraft is flown in such a way so as to be completely invisible to any radar. There are however confirmations from the Malaysian Airforce of sighting a blip on the radar on that fateful night.
A person well trained and someone who knows the topography very well can only pull of such a maneuver. Having flown over the Malacca Straits and over the Indonesian region of North Sumatra and being invisible to any radar is quite possible and likely as there are no major airports at such odd hours looking up for a rogue aircraft. Having crossed North Sumatra, we’re out into the open ocean, the Indian Ocean. Now probably the crew member has re-positioned the aircraft to fly south-wards far away from any regular flight path or from any shipping lane on the face of our planet. The aircraft is now destined to fly into the oblivion. A point of no return. It would probably fly as long as fuel would be available and would then plunge into the ocean.

The mystery would still remain unresolved as to why would anyone do this? Why would anyone kill so many other passengers for no fault of theirs. The other most interesting feature is that the aircraft may be lying at such a remote part of our planet where no one would ever reach and retrieve it. This way those sinister events in the cockpit would remain a mystery forever....



By Vimal Prasad Dubey
Vimal Prasad Dubey is an IT professional working at a software company in Bangalore. He also writes poetry and is deeply interested in world politics. Passionate about aviation since childhood, he had aspired to become a pilot.
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Comment on this article

  • Thomas Pascal Andrade, Valencia

    Tue, Apr 08 2014

    Thank you Mr. Dubey for your informative article, which I found quite interesting. Air-travel was considered safe till recently, however, considering some of the incidences happened in the past, especially after the September 11 incident, one would think before traveling if he would arrive safely at his destination. Earlier terrorists used to hijack a plane and now even the pilots could do what terrorists used to do. Who can read the minds of the pilots? I think this is the second incident involving a pilot in mass murder. These pilots have already set a dangerous precedent for other like-minded pilots to follow.

  • Siva Pillai, Malaysia

    Fri, Apr 04 2014

    " Good Night. Malaysia 370". Those were the last words spoken by the pilot/ co-pilot of MH370 to Air Traffic Control at Sepang as the plane was handed over from Kuala Lumpur to Vietnam Air Traffic Control.Isn't it too much of a coincidence that everything started to happen after this handover?....... that the Transponders/ ACARS went off air and the plane made a ' two-minute loop ' back towards mainland Malaysia? The casual ' air turn-back' in the middle of the night would not have jolted the passengers to realise that the plane had veered off-course.......Then the climb up to 45000 ft( to cause de-pressurization ) If it was done too steeply, I am certain some passengers may have realised something was not right!......then the descent to 23000ft to avoid being picked up by radar as it crossed mainland Malaysia......then most probably flew on ' Auto-Pilot ' along the Southern Corridor until the fuel ran out somewhere in the Indian Ocean!!
    Incredibly, the commercial planes that ply today's air routes are so sophisticated that if something had failed on the plane, it would have been quickly picked up by the crew and subsequent action taken. But here is a case of too many things happening ' one after another'!! It all boils down to a very skilled person having planned everything beforehand!!
    Finally, until there is closure to this unprecedented event, I urge family and friends of passengers abroad MH370 to BELIEVE.... THERE COULD BE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!

  • Malik, Katpady

    Wed, Apr 02 2014

    Nothing like that.There is technology to locate every missing aircraft.This is vanished due to intentionally either by a person inside or by a agency who has control from the ground over ant aircraft.Ofcourse GOD is there and he only gave brain to human and he only gave technology to locate the aircraft.It is sure aircraft expert knows what is the fate of the aircraft .Simply they are hiding the truth.

  • Lewis, Katpady,UAE

    Wed, Apr 02 2014

    Strange article? Nothing special in it ? Just assumptions that too by a aviation expert .Whatever may be the reasons, but sure i has vanished intentionally either from a expert who is inside or by some intelligence agency who can control the aircraft fron the ground has done this .

  • Roshan Braganza, Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 02 2014

    @ prakash , mangalore. I think pilots follow standard manual , that's to AVIATE , NAVIGATE and COMMUNICATE.

    First and second one gets preference , they will be more worried about cruise control. Also, its series of events , not a single event , that results in a crash. In air France , it was not an only pitot tube malfunction, but also pilot error with side sticks caused high altitude stalling.

    Sometime technology itself can work against u and also the probability of errors , despite say one in million , can happen citing bad luck. I think information thats made available to public is limited by malay govt , may due to some reason. Even they r finding it difficult to comprehend exactly what happened. we can only speculate and put forth our conclusions.

    Whatever , i feel something is missing or a massive cover up or its just about finding black-box which may take years. Also on a optimistic side i wish all are safe , but missing and kept under quarantine.

  • Vimal Prasad Dubey, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 02 2014

    Thanks indeed Prakash for your views, to answer to most of your questions, had there been a sudden Mechanical failure, then the aircraft would've crashed closer to the point of last contact, i.e, somewhere in the South China Sea. But after days of scouring the seas nothing has been found there.

    Please note that the South China Sea is much shallower and calmer than the Indian Ocean.

    A sudden de-pressurization and then get the aircraft back to cruising altitude is probable to get the passengers into a Coma state.
    You're right the Helios tragedy too had a similar case of de-pressurization and flying on Auto Pilot to Athens. Aircrafts can fly nonstop on Auto Pilot when the bearings are set. In this case the lone crew member has set a bearing which is difficult to be accessed. This probably explains why the aircraft flew another 7hrs into the Southern Indian Ocean. My guess is as good as yours, as I'm speculating things here. We need the Black Box which has the CDR and the FDR to analyze the sequence of events on MH-370.

    Another possibility is the aircraft being shot down mistakenly or otherwise, in this case too we should've got the wreckage by now.

    The needle of suspicion all points towards something abnormal at the cockpit. We just can never understand the human Psychology, can we?

  • prakash, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 02 2014

    Continuation of 12th question.
    12. Question: if it’s not a co-incidence who would best know when to switch off the Transponder, how would someone know the planes location where there is Radar over lap (handing over from one country to other) and to switch off ACARS?
    Can any of the passengers or terrorist sitting in back seat know the exact location of the plane looks not possible.
    Looks to be most mysterious crash of the era. Either some data is missing to interpret properly or this is a new problem occurred where no one knew this would happen in Aviation history!
    If so much has happened could CVR be off as well? (Due to power failure or intentional) Perhaps FDR will be crucial. Hope they find and mystery may be solved for the grieving relatives and other flyers who are worried.

  • prakash, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 02 2014

    Thank you for the nice write up, I have following Questions.
    1. Terrorism: How could the terrorist get an access to the sterile cockpit? Why no ransomed asked?
    2. Fire on board/ Sudden Explosion: Possible the transponder can go off, ACARS can go off. But difficult to go off at different time & why there is no Pan Pan Pan if fire? (Example Swiss Air 111). Even if Radios are consumed by fire. Then how can the Plane fly for 7 hrs by then the fire will consume the plane or Auto pilot may disengage.
    3. Bad Weather, iceing: The met dept say the weather was good no chance of pitot tube icing as in case of Air france 447.No storms etc.
    4. Mechanical Failure: Control problems, then why not pan pan /May day? Why turn off the Transponders & ACARs.B777 are one of the most reliable and technological advance aircraft in the world.
    5. Enemy shooting Down (mistaken identity) : ACARS & Transponders should go off simultaneously. Plane cannot fly for 7 hrs, if it could then Why not may day or pan pan.
    6. Hijacking: No motive asked. Again sterile cock pit, no pan pan / May day, no calls from Phone from passengers.
    7. One or both Crew member involvement: If one was involved, at least there may be struggle. If the cockpit door is locked the other crew member may have the password, or at least communicated from the phones or from Satellite phones? Again what is the motive? Why would they fly 7 hrs if they wanted to commit suicide? And with so many people on board?
    8. Could the plane land on remote island & country: Possible but difficult for B777 without trace, will have to cross so many radars. What’s the motive? How can all people switch off phones or be out of range.
    9. Could the plane ditch intact in water & sink: Possible like Hudson river landing, but to remain intact in one piece on the ocean with the high waves without breaking up after running out of fuel Is difficult!
    10. Decompression/ Oxygen starvation: If there was some case of decompression (due to door opening, Oxygen starvation like Flight Helios) there would have been time to send the distress message from cockpit (O2 masks for 10 min?) or crash could be tracked with Transponder on.
    11. If as an assumption, there was some problem in flight & the crew chose best to land at some airport before giving the distress call and if Transponders and ACARS got off due to this problem. And if the crew members got knocked unconscious due to oxygen starvation and Autopilot was on which could take the plane 7 hrs nonstop until the fuel ran out. Can someone tell how could auto pilot maintain the course corrections? Deviations of headings?
    12. Question: if it’s not a co-incidence who would best know when to switch off the Transponder, how would someone know the planes location where there is Radar over lap (handing over from one country to other) and to switch off ACARS?
    Can any of the passengers or terrorist sitting in back seat know the exact location of

  • Kevin, Bangalore

    Tue, Apr 01 2014

    Everyone is waiting for the black box to be found. Do you think it would have recorded anything other that the flight path. If it was so calm in the aircraft only thing it would note whether the oxygen levels were down and who was flying the aircraft or it could be the flight went on auto pilot. Still hope that the flight has not crashed because until now no physical evidence has been found.

  • Asiya Mohd Sajid Belapu Udupi, udupi

    Tue, Apr 01 2014

    Intense speculation and mystery surrounds what happened to the Malaysian Airlines MH370 jet that seemingly disappeared catastrophically with 239 passengers and crew on board on Saturday. Massive search operations are working with a phenomenal search zone covering 15% of the entire planet's surface. All goes to show one simple thing to the world. No matter how much humans have progressed. No matter how much technology is being discovered. No matter how much humans are growing successfully. No matter if the entire planet is working on this. A reminder to us of WHO has the ultimate power and control. Even a leaf does not, without His wish. Humble yourselves. Raise your hands and make dua for the missing people. ALLAH is the greatest. We are nothing before Him. Subhan Allah!!

  • ad, mangloor

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Here's another theory, could this flight have been remotely accessed by terrorists,by a Smartphone, accessed its systems and taken to crashing somewhere in the ocean trenches?

  • priyanka savadatti,

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Good one jiju have done a good job

  • Divya, Heidelberg Germany

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Well, one can only predict until the black Box is recovered.. Yeah it is devastating when we get to hear such news.. Especially related to the aviation.cause there is soo much manpower behind the making of these huge engines. There are several reasons given by the researchers from Inmarsat, meteorologist... Let's wait to find until proof of evidence rare found.. Good job, very interesting article...

  • Rolphy Almeida, Udupi/ Bangalore

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Mr. Dubey, I believe oxygen is taken from the atmosphere is to pressurize the cabin is just your view. Almost all the long range aircraft fly at 37,000 ft altitude and even at that level oxygen is less. All the aircraft carry sufficient oxygen and nitrogen cylinders. (Nitrogen to inflate the emergency slides) I refuse to believe that captain has any control over the oxygen mask to supply oxygen ively.
    Secondly, co-pilot cannot ask the captain to go and get something, hence obviously in your view it should be the captain has sent Co-pilot out of the cabin. Moreover, they don’t have to move out of the cockpit as cabin crew will appear on the press of a button other than going to the loo.

  • AMB, UAE

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    At least in the commercial aviation industry the communication devices should be completely isolated from manual interference, pilot or any other should not have control on these devices, these days it difficult to recognize intention of a person by his look. No on have right to kill others.

  • Suman, Bangalore

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Very nice & interesting article.....Hope the mystery is solved soon...Prayers to the passengers and the crew.

  • Glenn, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    I appreciate the author for a thought provoking article.Having exposure to instrumentation, what I feel is suppressing all signals of an aircraft can be done by the pilot only because every instrument while disabling emits feedback signal to main module and ground control.Person with technical expertise has done this.Detail study of pilots personal life and past record will reveal the truth.One disturbed mind murdered 239 family members.What a cruel fate.

  • Mark, udyavara

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Another thought provoking, interesting and mystic angle to the mystery.

    Aliens or politics or mystery, but the heartburn's of the relatives and dear ones is immeasurable.

    My deepest prayers for all to be alive while they are lost. God works wonders which we humans may fail to fathom.

    Isn't it a plot for an award winning novel/movie for days to come!

  • Devendranath prasad, Banglore

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Wonderful prediction. Still I hope all are surviving.

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    For those who do not believe in
    'fate', 'destiny' this is another
    eye opener. These 239 people only together from different walks of life, lost together without a trace in the most sophisticated of carriers.The plane to land in one of the most powerful countries of the world....Almost every country searching and yet no trace....Only theories.....What really happened?
    The Supreme knows and knows why it did happen....Man at the best now can only 'investigate'....

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra, New York, Udupi, Mumbai

    Mon, Mar 31 2014

    Comment was good and interesting and I hope it will be realistic. This MH370 has become a worldwide issue as to where the huge aircraft disappeared. This is a big question on part of the near and dear ones of the loved ones who have disappeared with so sign. I hope something comes out realistic as soon as possible for the satisfaction of the loved ones. They still have some hopes for some answers ASAP.

  • Roshan Braganza, Mumbai

    Sun, Mar 30 2014

    @ Vimal , its rather optimistic analysis and creative too. I bet no airlines or airplanes can be 100 percent safe , probability of failures or series of failures are always there. So far KANTA airways ( blue virgin Australia ) is only one with 100 percent NO FATALITIES.

    My wishful thinking would be all are alive and ' missing ' to satisfy some vested interests. Looking at sea of tears and emotions of the relatives i pray all are alive but lost.

    All conspiracy theories can be debunked . Also like to quote two most likely possibilities , just a guess.

    Sudden catastrophe which made crew unconscious , thus on autopilot , lost in indian ocean after the engines starved of fuel.

    or massive cover up. Plane reverted back and on way to emergency landing. Due to human or misguided errors been shot mistaken for foreign objects. Complexity of the region with all countries does make sense. If governments want to cover up , plane will never be found.

    One has to recollect incident 30 years ago , where Russia shot down a plane and successfully kept it secret for 10 years ,.even after black box is found. Any ways i pray all are safe , may God be with them.


    Sun, Mar 30 2014

    Yes, why? Am still hoping this does not remain a mystery..... makes one curious to know what could've transpired in the cockpit and result in the plane's disappearance. Wish someone finds out and answers the questions of the family members and loved ones of the passengers and the crew

  • steevan pinto, sacheripate/ajman uae

    Sun, Mar 30 2014


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