Early Saturday morning, 08 March 2014, I received news of the sudden disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to Beijing about 40 minutes after taking off from KLIA at about midnight and scheduled for arrival at the Chinese capital at 6.30am local time. It was reported that there was no distress call from the pilots prompting speculation that it could have been a catastrophic decompression leaving no time for the crew to act like communicating with the air traffic control tower.
The presence of two passengers travelling on stolen passports doesn’t help in fact an act of terrorism is said to be a possibility. Unless the plane is found, the authorities would not be able to confirm anything at this stage. There are 239 people including 12 crew members in that flight.
Catastrophic decompression is a big red flag for the following:
- mechanical/electronic failure/airplane stall and pilot factors
- bomb explosion ( no evidence of this so far)/ terrorism
- pilot suicide ( unlikely in this case)/ pilot’s sudden sickness?
A similar disaster in 2009 when Air France flight 447 went down suddenly in the Atlantic Ocean also around midnight has been quoted. All passengers and crew in that Airbus perished and the plane wreckage was only found about two years later.
After 48 hours of flight MH370’s vanishing, its fate is still unknown. Indeed we are all expecting the worst. It would have been a miracle if any of the passengers and crew were to be found alive. My heart really goes out to those grieving relatives. Their grief is indescribable.
To think that our Danny had just returned to Australia on 21 Feb 2014 on the same kind of aircraft, Boeing 777-200 and yes, it was a MAS flight (MH139). In fact, our family’s prefered airlines is MAS. And so this tragedy is deeply felt by us all particularly yours truly who have travelled umpteeth time on MAS in the course of my work.
I am not ashamed to admit that everytime I fly at night to Europe and London especially , I really pray hard and imploring God that my loved ones and my country still need me. I usually refuse to acknowledge that I am flying over a vast ocean. And to make myself settled down and enjoy the flight is by accepting that my life is in God’s hands. And that one could die just about anywhere.
A couple of weeks ago I watched a Discovery Channel’s documentary on the Japanese Airlines crash that was attributed to metal fatigue along the lines of “welding” following an earlier damage to part of the aircraft. There was nothing really could have been done by the pilots of the ill-fated flight when the structural weakness shattered the repaired section and cut through the tail of the plane causing deadly instability and loss of control.
A month before that I read a novel entitled “The Flight” written by MR Hall, a British author. The cause of the plane crash was frightening but the preview says “it is plausible” when pilots have to follow certain management policy to the letter during times of financial constraints. Well, it was just a story which I kept thinking about a number of days after I finished reading it.
As I am writing this, there is still no news of the fate of flight MH370 whose 53 year-old Captain is said to be an experienced and long-serving officer who is passionate about his work. His first officer is reported to be 27-year old.
I hope the investigation into Malaysia Airlines MH370’s crash will shed light on its cause so that flying can continue to be made safer.