Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Grim Theories Surface

By: Toni Matthews-El - June 28, 2014

In the months that have passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared, there have been a number of theories put forth as to what went wrong.

We can accept that a series of errors followed by irresponsible handling of the investigation (largely on the part of the Malaysian government) made the recovery of the missing plane all but impossible.

While it won’t give the families of the 239 missing passengers the closure they still seek, perhaps the theories put forth in recent days can finally give the world some idea as to what became of the missing jetliner.

The Australian Transport Safety Board released a 55 page report about the incident based largely on similar disasters observed in the past.

Through a series of comparisons, Australian officials have worked out what they feel to be the most realistic scenario for Flight MH370.

“Given these observations,” said the board in its report, “the final stages of the unresponsive crew/hypoxia event type appeared to best fit the available evidence for the final period of MH370’s flight when it was heading in a generally southerly direction.”

A suffocation scenario means that the crew and passengers would have already died before the plane sank into the depths of the ocean.

Australian officials also believe that the plane was likely on autopilot during and after the crash.

The only way to truly confirm (or dismiss) the findings by these officials would be to finally find the missing jetliner.

But with so little evidence to go on, hope is dwindling.

It has been noted that the report released by Australian officials offers no new evidence in the case of the missing plane. Only theories.

Perhaps what theories are shared in the report can be used to better determine where the plane could have crashed.

With the plane believed to be resting miles beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean, searchers will need all the possible help that can be had to finally locate Flight MH370.

Image via YouTube

About the Author

Toni Matthews-ElToni Matthews-El hails from the land of chunked pumpkins and people who come to a complete stop before making any and every turn. When she isn't contributing articles to WebProNews, she spends her time freelance writing, cheering Liverpool FC, and enjoying life as a hair flower connoisseur. Disclaimer: Written opinions do not necessarily reflect that of WebProNews or its affiliates

View all posts by Toni Matthews-El
  • cal10pilot

    I have put this theory out about 2 days after the little bit of information became available… let’s say the cabin had a decompression….. I know, from flying transport category airplanes since 1984, that the O2 masks in the newer jets are a pain in the butt…. as they sit in their tight little boxes…so they are not properly tested because of the damage that can be caused by testing them properly at the beginning of a series of flights. If the airplane had improper inputs commanded into the flight guidance system (mistakenly put a higher, not lower value in the altitude box, and hit flight level change) before the pilots were incapacitated, the airplane would have climbed above the max altitude the airplane was certified to fly at, at which point, it would have been in ‘coffins corner’, and it would have stalled at full power. When any airplane stalls, it has a tendency to drop a wing, which of course would be too much for the autopilot, so it would shut itself off. In the stall, with the dropped wing, the airplane changes direction… remember… no one has their hands on the controls….. and the airplane will easily drop 10, 15, or 20 thousand feet, until it recovers all by itself…. then it just flys off into the sunset, until it runs out of fuel and crashes. My guess…. into the ocean, wings level and under control. No debris field. The 777 trims ALL the time, with or with out pilot input…. that was the way it was designed because it is fly-by-wire, and inherently unstable.
    UA 777 Capt

    • R_H

      Sorry, doesn’t make sense. Fellow pilot here. Too many holes in your theory. Are you really a pilot? You don’t sound like one.
      If the airplane did ascend, as you mention and it did stall, like your theory, the auto pilot would decouple. Meaning it would stay decoupled until you re-selected, right. So as the aircraft was descending, what / who gave it a level off altitude, If no one coupled the aircraft to a new heading, the aircraft would attempt to turn back to the original flight plan in the FMS.
      The only way it would / could continue out to the Indian ocean is if someone selected a heading, or a point to fly to.

      • cal10pilot

        First oiff rh… you try to insult me. Let get one thing straight… I am a UA 777 Capt… having held captain since 1986… what are your credentials?
        If you actually are a pilot…. who has to give any command for an airplane to level off? NO ONE! Do you not know simple aerodynamics? Some pilot you are.. I spent the first 10 years of my career as a flight instuctor… I have a degree in aerospace science…. what again, do you bring to the table but insults?

        • Kailasa Ishaya

          I’m asking your input to understand better what you’ve said…as I’m only certed to fly single-engine. For the time being though, I’m going with the “fire caused by lithium batteries” scenario as it seems to make the most sense. And, I’m hoping you’ll work with me here on that.
          So, let’s hypothesize that the pilots attempted to climb in order to put the fire out, but that possibly an explosion also occurred that would cause SD – and they blacked out.
          As you suggested an input error may have caused the plane to climb higher than its flight ceiling, or the plane was under manual control. In either case, it stalls and begins to fall.
          My question is, while I understand from you that a 777 is constantly trimming and therefore maintaining a level flight, what would cause it to maintain a constant altitude at some point? Also, what would cause it to select a new flight heading and maintain that? That’s what the ‘experts’ are going on…that somehow the plane was flying on a new heading and altitude and maintaining that. But I don’t understand how that could happen without someone ‘doing that’ somehow. Thanks!

          • cal10pilot

            Don’t EVER say “you are only certified to fly single engine airplanes”… that is a very big accomplishment and you should never diminish your accomplishments. Bravo for your achievements!
            If there was a battery fire, there would have been a very large crash with debris everywhere, and a very large fuel slick… I do not believe there was a fire, and to climb to put a fire out is nonsense…. that is not the procedure.
            Who knows what a pilot will do in a hypoxic state. Have you ever been in a high altitude chamber? I have, and until you see the film, you won’t believe what people will do.
            The 777 trims…. ot for just level flight, but for all conditions… climbing, descending ets.
            Remember, after the aircraft stalled (in my scenerio) a stalled aircraft will drop a wing, and at this point the autopilot is not working. How many degrees will an airplane turn in a stall? In this case…. I don’t know either…. but regardless, the aircraft is on another heading, and in the stall lost some major altiutude. Look up positive dynamic stability…. all airplanes have it, as opposed to neutral or negative dynamic stablity…. the airplane will fly very nicely without ANY human or mechanical input.
            Having been a flight instructor for 10 years, I can tell you that if you trim an airplane up in a climb, add full power, eventually it will stall…. If you can keep your hands in your lap, so as to NOT touch the controls, watch what happens.
            I had an FAA inspector in my airplane once that wanted me to demonstrate a ‘hands off’ stall/spin…. (It was my CFI check ride) 10 degrees flaps, full power, 20 degree right hand turn, trimmed up…. feet flat on the floor…. when that baby stalled, it whipped the right wing up over the top and went into the nicest spin you have ever seen…. you do not want it to progress, because the spin will become flat and there is no recovery from that in the airplane I was flying.
            I hope I answered you questions….Good luck with your career.

          • Kailasa Ishaya

            Sir, thank you for your kindness. I’m onto my multi rating as time and money allows…and then… It’s just that as I watch you guys in your “big birds” I sometimes feel like a little kid on my tricycle! LOL That feeling disappears as soon as I have my DCL! Whooyah!
            I was fortunate to have a CFI that took me through ACTUAL stall AND spin recovery so I know what you are saying is accurate.
            I still have one question – since the last recorded cockpit transmission from MH370 was the signoff to KL ATC, wouldn’t the pilots have ALREADY done a checkIN with HoChiMinh ATC? Yet, VietNam claims they NEVER heard from MH370 and later on asked another nearby flight to contact MH370 on the Int’l Distress Frequency. Seems a little odd…

          • cal10pilot

            You are very welcome… and good luck.
            Knowing how to recover, but more importantly, how NOT to get into a stall spin situation in the first place is VERY important, in my opinion…. too bad they don’t require that anymore. Just remember, you can stall an airplane at any speed and at any atitude.
            The sign off was done and then you get in range to make your call to Viet Nam… in the mean time, you change your transponder code and dial in 121.5 on guard…. if you were taught correctly, before you change transponder codes, you switch your transponder to stdby, because of the possibility of dialing through an emergency freq of the 7700’s.
            No one ever mentions that. But that someone put the box in stdby was mentioned.
            All of this is just speculation, but I have heard some really wild tales of total nonsense out there. And why I wrote what I did.

          • Kailasa Ishaya

            It IS very odd IMHO that training only requires SIMULATED stalls – but my CFI had me actually do it. Which, as you say, one can stall at ANY airspeed and attitude. He also was of the opinion that since spins are responsible for so many air fatalities one should KNOW how to recover from a stall spin.
            Well, interesting. I was under the impression that ATC coverage overlapped so that a flight would signon to the next ATC and THEN signoff from the previous. Maybe that protocol is something that needs to be reviewed as part of this debacle.
            So, for me there remains the questions of what WAS actually in the 2000kg of undeclared cargo on the plane.

          • cal10pilot

            When I was instructing, we used all conditions for full stalls. Clean, dirty, power on, power off…. the most impressive demonstration was setting the airplane up with 10 degrees of flaps, full power and 20 degrees of right bank…. trimmed up…now just sit there (NO human control) until the airplane stalls…. and then recover. All of my commercial students had to go through that and spins left and right…. some were so good that they could recover on a heading (plus or minus 10 degrees)
            I don’t know what was in the cargo. Never heard anything about it… but I do know that security isn’t so secure that anything couldn’t be put on an airplane, and the crew would know nothing about it.

        • Will

          777 captain since 1986? Doesn’t sound right unless your retired. Plus, your post has a lot of holes and misunderstanding of aerodynamics.

          • cal10pilot

            Will…. I did not say that…. read for comprehension…. I hold 7 type ratings…. not just the 777…. you must be a liberal…. you accuse but come up with no facts….

          • Will

            Transport category aircraft are inherently stable! An instructor would know this!

            Stall drops a wing? Only if uncoordinated. Ever do a “Floating leaf” with a student to show stall control? If aircraft stalled would yaw dampers disengage?

            Coffin corner in climb? Are you serious! That is high altitude, high speed aerodynamics. It happens at cruise where aircraft cannot accelerate without exceeding Mach Critical (lose laminar airflow = loss of lift) and slowing based on weight would cause a stall (exceeding critical AOA).

            Cheers- ATP, CFII, AGI, CL-30, CL-65, DA-50, G-V

          • cal10pilot

            Let me use small words for you, and maybe you’ll understand….. do all of the maneuvers I stated with you hands off the controls

          • cal10pilot

            PS… all you proved will… is that you have a smaller dick than I do, and #2, I don’t fly little airplanes… I didn’t put all my qualifications on the board, because it would take up too much space.

          • Will

            I responded with facts. Your the one bragging about 777 captain since 1986. Your background is dubious and knowledge lacking. Good luck.

          • cal10pilot

            That is not what I said, but I can tell that you are a mouthy co-pilot…. all thje glory but none of the responsibility… now go back to school and learn how to read for comprehension.

          • Will

            Oh you don’t fly little airplanes? Good luck trolling the friendly skies at 35,000′, recycled dry air and your lunch box. I will enjoy my G550 at FL470, humidified air, and gourmet food prepped by a beautiful cabin attendant.

          • cal10pilot

            hahahaha… I can see you…. because I sit on a very fat wallet… while you go get the donuts

          • cal10pilot

            PS… 43,100… but little airplane drivers don’t know or understand the big airplanes…. go away little boy

          • Will

            43,100? You flying a metric altitude? Never heard of a 121 airliner above FL410. Might be a good cursing altitude for a virtual airline…

          • cal10pilot

            Well sonny, if you have actually been in avaition for any length of time, you know you can ask a controller for any altitude you like…. but being as thick as you are, I was
            giving you the max altitude for the 777.
            You must be a liberal, as you think having “a (as in 1) beautiful cabin attendant”…. I have 14…. suck it loser

          • Will

            Back in the day, when I was commuting, I saw your attendants. Have fun with granny! Ha, ha . Please request FL431, that should be fun.

          • cal10pilot

            Hahahaha… back for another spanking? I am legacy Continental, moron… and have fun with your male gay stew… I have heard about you… don’t hide… come out of the closet

          • Will

            I am done with you. Legacy Cal and captain since 86? I smell scab-

          • cal10pilot

            ALL YOU SMELL IS THE TESTICLES THAT WERE BANGING ON YOUR CHIN FROM EARLIER.. LITTLE WILLIE

      • cal10pilot

        PS… look up positive dynamic stability

    • Tobesograteful

      Thank you Sir for a reasonable and sane theory. Yes I was convinced that these people died long before the plane went down and I never believed that the pilots did anything wrong. Sometimes it’s just our time to go.

      • cal10pilot

        Thank you. In the old days, our O2 masks were right off our outside shoulder… they were easy to get to and not complicated to test. It is common practice to not test the masks now, because of the possible damage that can be done to the mask…. that would cause a delay… which of course the passengers would not appreciate… Once the habit pattern has been set… one of the last things on your mind in a rapid D is to get to the mask first… then establish communications with the other crewmembers, and then start the high dive to 10,000 feet or the lowest altitude you can get too in the sector you are flying in…. as in mountains.
        The fact is, if the airplane is never found, all of this speculation is just that… of all the theories, and since I have flown the 777 since 2004, mine make the most sense.

        • iamajimm

          This whole line of conjecture seems to make the most sense imo, along with the lithium battery fire thing nothing else does. As tobes said, sometimes it’s just our turn to go. I don’t think they’ll find the plane until Ballard is given the job, just saying.

          • cal10pilot

            Nope… battery fire would have resulted in a major crash, leaving not only debris from the airplane, but a very large fuel slick.

          • Mark Coffman

            I don’t agree, If the lithium batteries caught fire the
            illegal cargo of Mangosteen fruit may have extinguished
            it eventually. That would have fueled the several reports
            of a burning but flying aircraft over the Indian ocean. But a
            lithium battery fire may have ignited the fumes in the center
            fuel tank which would have threatened to sever the cockpit
            from the plane, again. Right when this accident happened
            there were rumors that deep military radio communications
            post was in contact with the aircraft and pilots said that the
            cockpit was beginning to lose its mechanical integrity. The
            radio post is probably a spy post so that no additional
            information could be forthcoming. We are entering the age
            of free-flight, so I expect that the 777 autopilot keeps the
            plane from crashing due to lack of pilot input…All I can say
            is that Boeing 777 aircraft must be one heck of a thing.

            At 30 degrees south there is no law…

          • cal10pilot

            Then we agree to disagree…. usually the simplest explaination is the correct one.

    • sandtrap99

      someone dialed in a higher alt than the plane was certified for and hit alt set ? what kind of drugs are you on – the plane never reached FL450

      • cal10pilot

        Well… no one said it did, since that is not the absolute ceiling for the airplane….. read my hypothesis one more time, but let me interject the fact that the altitude controller does go higher than the certified maximum ceiling for the aircraft. And if you select that altitude, and hit flight level change… the airplane will do its best to give you wahat you asked for.

        • sandtrap99

          I seriously doubt that you could dial in FL450 or higher hit ALT SET and not get a warning from the FMS to the effect of “are you FKIN CRAZY”

          • cal10pilot

            It is not altitude set… it is flight level change, and that is after you set the value into the altitude control…. and yes the FMS, if it was running the show, would squack…but if you went to FL Change… the FMS is not working…. now is it? .Again, you don’t know the systems or the aircraft…. so whether you doubt it or not…. you should become a pilot to find out what is possible and what is not.

  • Kavita Acharya

    Where is the debris?
    L

    • KEITH

      This is what I want to know. No matter how horrific the crash was something would have washed up or been found floating on the ocean by now. If there was ever a theory supporting some kind of conspiracy, this one, so far, has got to take the cake. Until something is found this is just wrong at all levels.

      • Frustrated

        Personally, I don’t think it is in the ocean. I do believe the passengers are dead, but the plane is out there, somewhere.

        • iamajimm

          Agree frustrated-the lack of any debris is troubling but their doesn’t seem to be any other outcome that makes any sense imo and the mysterious pings would seem to indicate that it’s underwater.

    • cal10pilot

      If it was a contolled crash, after having run out of fuel, there would be little debris, and no oil slick.

  • Bruce Wayne

    er sorry to say but the US has already spent millions of dollars in man hours and equipment looking for this plane..the public is tired of this story and most americans no longer care Hell CNN is seen as a laughing stock for it’s continuous updates/coverage of the missing jet.
    so yeah..you and your country continue the search ..noone else cares

    • You Suck

      Seriously??? If you were on that plane or had a loved one on that plane, wouldn’t you want someone to keep looking? Or are you so messed up that you wouldn’t care if you or your loved one rotted to death and no one cared where you were?

  • Zebra Dun

    The facts?
    1. The plane took off in Malaysia.
    2. It last checked in by voice before entering Vietnam airspace.
    3. It disappeared.
    4. it has not and cannot at this time be located.
    Outside of electronic handshakes with a satellite and conjecture no one knows what happened or where it went.
    It will either turn up some day or not.
    See: beating a dead horse by the media.

  • Robert Foster

    What I want to know is if one of the scenarios put forward within days of the dissapearance has been confirmed or rejected. That is whether the plane after making the sharp left turn suddenly climbed to or around 42,000 feet where it’s said at that altitude the Oxygen masks would have been ineffective in keeping the occupants breathing comfortably or alive, before falling back to around 20,000 feet. I believe this is the basis of assuming that at some point all on board fell unconscious before the plane eventually ran out of fuel. So my question is has there been any INDEPENDENT CONFIRMATION possibly by satellite or radar of the surmised wild fluctuation of MH 370’s altitude?

    • cal10pilot

      yes

  • Kody

    This was no accident, it was definitely planned. Jets would’ve been scrambled to the flight going out of right. but they were not. And its not Americans spending millions on this Shit its everyone else using our technology trying to find the plane, as we sit back and know the truth. The fact that there is a US base in the indian ocean that hasn’t even been pressured on if the plane landed there or not is quite odd. And the fact that there is more to this story than just a plane crashing. There was very important people on that plane with very important information. America is slick. hell with the people we want the info in the brief cases. set that plane up as a drone and have someone fly it in. take it up to a high altitude and kill the passengers in crew and just land it on in to the base. people in this day in age you gotta think outside the box because if you don’t technology is 3 steps ahead of you…There will never be a plane found just alot of misinformation to throw you off the dusty trail…

    • cal10pilot

      how do you know that?

    • Robert Foster

      Listen up Kody! It’s ONLY in certain parts of the world that military jets are ready and positioned to takeoff and intercept wayward flights if deemed necessary, and thats mainly in the West (USA CANADA etc) , Europe and over Russia and China. Flights wandering into or over Asian airspace usually are FREE to do so, due to the lack of any sophisticated air response that can determine what may be an innocent intrusion or indeed a real threat. Got it? AS for the rest of your post, I will only say you seem to have a very active imagination. Have you considered script writing for movies as a chosen career?

  • President Sambo

    Nothing destroys the value of the TRUTH than wild speculation without any data to support that speculation. The news media has lost all credibility and journalists have replaced used car salesman as the least trustworthy occupation in the world.

  • Bob

    “Australian officials also believe that the plane was likely on autopilot during and after the crash.” Can someone please tell me how the autopilot could still be on ‘after’ the plane crashed?

  • John

    Somehow, I cannot help but suspect that this whole fiasco had something to do in praise of Allah.

  • jokelly

    Perhaps someone could check the findings of the private company who found ‘something’ that sure looks like a plane in the bay of bengal..this has NEVER been checked out..go to their website..they’ve posted all of their efforts to get someone to check it. :(

  • Jeff Meskan

    I think Desmond let the clock run down, causing an electromagnetic anomaly over the island, and the plane separated and crashed. It’s as good a theory as any.

  • William H. Darne

    THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING EAST 4500 MILES AND THEN COMING BACK TOWARDS MALAYSIA MAKING A NORTH AND SOUTH SWEEP, THEY MAY HAVE FOUND DEBRIS I MENTION THIS THE FIRST DAY THE PLANE WENT MISSING, THE HAND OFF BETWEEN VIETNAM AND MALAYSIA WAS A LIE TO BEGAN WITH AS PEOPLE FOUND OUT LATER ON WHAT WAS SAID. LOOKING SOUTH TO CLOSE TO LAND, GO EAST USING TOTAL FLT TIME FUEL AND SPEED, GOING STRAIGHT EAST THEN COME BACK, FIND NOTHING GO WEST CAUSE NO ONE KNOWS WITH ALL THE LIES THAT WERE TOLD. PRAY FOR THE FAMILY’S. USE SUBMARINES TO DETECT OR SEND DESTROYERS TO LOOK USING SONAR. START EAST TO WEST,

    • cal10pilot

      do you have any idea how large the Pacific Ocean is?

      • Laimonas Kvasys

        *India Ocean 😉

        • cal10pilot

          Look at the range of the airplane… but you are correct if it did go south… but what if it did go east?

          • William H. Darne

            making a sweep north and south based on 8 hours flt time debris may have been found within weeks but was wasted searching south, even with pings ended up with nothing, true it may never have crashed at sea, people are expendable to terrorist. keep all options open regardless of how ridiculous they may seem, aliens ??

  • GG_NV

    What I find frustrating is the pings that were first detected then were discounted. Many engineers know, especailly electronic ones, that 32KHz signal heard could have been from a watch or some other electronic device. Actually it’s 32.768KHz is a very popular frequency in conjunction with real time clocks and time which is in every electronic device. A tuning fork crystal is used to aquire this frequency in many applications and perhaps that’s what the tow pinger heard…

    • Gerry Long

      If that’s the case, then it seems foolish to use a similar frequency for “black boxes”?

      • GG_NV

        I agree, Blackbox frequency is 37.5KHz and is pretty close and while under water strange phenomenon occurs including a frequency shift. Blackbox frequency should change to some frequency which is less conspicous.

  • http://batman-news.com Cordell Clark

    The key to finding Malaysia Flt. MH370 is with the information that Rolls Royce should have regarding this particular flight. Rolls Royce is the manufacturer of the $20 million dollar Trent type engines that are present on the Boeing 777, and these engines have sensors embedded in them that are monitored by satellites. Rolls Royce has stated that their in performance engine monitoring ceased when other communication (ACARS, radar) stopped although the satellites were working normally. This may be the result of problems with a large consignment of Lithium batteries that the plane was carrying. Lithium is very unstable and most airline companies refuse to ship these batteries. Airplane crashes have resulted due to Lithium fumes leading to explosions and fires. Malaysia Airlines is one of the few companies that will ship Lithium and this flight was carrying 450 lbs. of the batteries. If there was a fire caused by these batteries, onboard extinguishers would have been ineffective. This unlikely scenario would explain why Rolls Royce could no longer monitor engine performance via engine sensors.

  • Brick Wilson

    BEIJING (AP) — Vietnamese media reported that authorities have detected signals from a missing Malaysia Airlines flight off the southwestern coast of Vietnam on Saturday, hours after the flight went missing during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
    Website VN Express said a Vietnamese search and rescue official reported that the signals were detected from about 120 nautical miles (140 miles; 225 kilometers) southwest of Vietnam’s southernmost Ca Mau province.
    The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact early Saturday morning over the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.

  • Gerry Long

    I don’t follow why the plane being on autopilot has much relevance, Autopilot is of course in constant use on flights…..how does that explain communication and location devices being turned off exactly at the point of transfer to Vietnam air traffic control or the fact that at least two changes of course were made after that, which had to be done manually, even if it was to reset the autopilot heading?

  • Laimonas Kvasys

    What a crap this report is!
    MH370 is looking so similar to 9/11 terrorist attacks, when 4 planes same way was lost on radar and was seen only on primary radars (in MH370 case on military radars), no radio communications and planes changed flight direction.

    Hypoxia doesnt explain that!!!

  • pam spencer

    maybe i’m to cynical but I can’t buy that the plane did it by itself, i guess the ping from the co-pilot’s phone somehow appeals to my sense of some sort of danger on the plane and he was restricted in someway, was it a last ditch effort cry for help,it tugs at my heartstrings ,do we not need to know what went on that night find the plane,find the people ,maybe find the answer.