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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 22:02   #7580 (permalink)
Ian W
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,044
Originally Posted by Chronus View Post
Swissair 111 offers the best comparison for a hypothesis. The electrical short caused a fire, which was detected by the crew 53 minutes after departure. 13 minutes after that a rapid succession of aircraft systems failure were recorded on the FDR`s. About a minute later comms and SSR were lost. About five minutes later the aircraft crashed into the sea. The crew must have become incapacitated in that time frame of 14 minutes. In the case of Swissair 111 the fire was all too consuming so as to incapacitate not only the crew but also the aircraft.

In such a scenario, in the case of MH370, it follows that the crew alone must have been incapacitated, the aircraft`s flight control systems must have proven sufficently robust and in conformity with their manufacturing specifications and design criteria for the aircraft to have remained aloft for such a long time thereafter. In such a scenario a ground alert system for crew incapacitation, and for its associated remote and/or on board auto electronic reversionary activation and control system ( analogous to drivers safety device "DSD", also known as a dead mans handle on trains and kill switch on boats) could provide a further redundancy measure for future flight safety. In the case of Swissair 111 the recommendations had also referred to a cockpit camera, installed as part of a such a system, along with continuous flight monitoring, would also be a further deterrent to unlawful intereference with an aircraft by any persons on board.

I think that your description adequately falsifies the fire hypothesis. Swissair 111 crashed inside 20 minutes of fire breaking out. In that time the crew had set up an approach but unfortunately extended it to dump fuel. They had lots of time to talk to ATC about their problem which got steadily worse with molten metal raining down from burning cables in the cockpit roof panels. So even in this really severe emergency they were able to communicate. Swissair 111 burnt out and crashed - it did not fly on for another 7 hours. You have to surmise a fire of Swissair 111 proportions and at the same time a fire that is not of Swissair 111 proportions. These are mutually exclusive states.

Albert Driver in post adequately covers fire issues.
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