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MH 370 new "news"

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MH 370 new "news"

Old 14th Dec 2022, 11:36
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MH 370 new "news"

Several big UK media and others are showing a major story about an alleged MH370 significant structural piece being found, pushing the "it proves it was deliberate pilot mass murder / suicide" line. Should/could the mods find a way to shift this new "news" to this page rather than languishing in the Worldwide/Australia NZ Pacific section where it probably hasn't had much visibility?

Just for info: The London Times story is unfortunately behind a paywall but I'll post the text of the main article. Mods, please move if not appropriate. There is also a prominent "analysis" piece with large headline "Suicidal Pilots are becoming main cause of fatalities" which I'll do as a separate post

"A pilot on the lost flight MH370 appears to have lowered the doomed Boeing 777’s landing gear in the last seconds of flight, suggesting a possible criminal intent behind one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

Damage to a landing gear door from the Malaysian Airlines aircraft, found in the possession of a Madagascan fisherman 25 days ago, is the first physical evidence to suggest one of the pilots deliberately acted to quickly destroy and sink the jet with 239 people aboard.

Identified as a Boeing 777 landing gear component — known as a trunnion door — the wreckage has most likely been penetrated from the inside by the aircraft’s disintegrating engines, making it highly probable the landing gear was down when the aircraft crashed into the southern Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014.

The finding of the crucial piece of wreckage was not announced until today but has prompted calls for an urgent further investigation into the fate of the 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 different nations who are presumed to have died.

The new analysis, by Richard Godfrey, a British engineer, and Blaine Gibson, an American MH370 wreckage hunter, suggests the airliner was crashed quickly and deliberately.

When airliners have to emergency land on water, pilots do not normally lower the undercarriage because the extended landing gear will dig into the water, disrupting contact with the surface and increasing the risk of violent break-up as the aircraft slows.

Pilots are trained to perform emergency landings with landing gear retracted for a controlled, low-speed ditching — as achieved by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US airline captain, when he successfully landed his stricken Airbus on New York’s Hudson River in 2009.

The flaps on flight MH370 are thought not to have been retracted to slow the aircraft and extending the landing gear would have caused the immediate break up of the fuselage once the Boeing hit the Indian Ocean at high speed. Deploying the landing gear would also increase the chances of an airliner sinking quickly, limiting the time for any survivors to evacuate.

“The combination of the high speed impact designed to break up the aircraft and the extended landing gear designed to sink the aircraft as fast as possible both show a clear intent to hide the evidence of the crash,” the researchers write.

Pilots questioned the assumption that only a pilot could have extended the undercarriage. Part of the landing gear of an airliner could extend without human intervention if there was a structural failure in flight.

There has long been speculation over why the flight mysteriously reversed course and later vanished over the Southern Indian Ocean after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a less than seven-hour flight to Beijing.

The experienced pilot in command was Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, from Penang, and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, who had joined Malaysian Airlines seven years earlier. Shah was married with three grown-up children, but some previous reports have suggested he may have suffered from clinical depression.

Shah was known to have been disenchanted with Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister at the time, calling him a “moron” in a social media post. Shah urged his followers: “There is a rebel in each and every one of us. Let it out!”

After MH370 disappeared a Malaysian police investigation discovered that he had used his home computer flight simulator to replicate a Boeing 777 flight south across the Indian Ocean less than a month before his plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances. The revelation was withheld by Malaysia from a lengthy public report on the investigation.

Gibson, a former lawyer who has recovered many of the 36 pieces of MH370 found around Indian Ocean shores, was handed the landing gear door last month on the Antsiraka Peninsula in Madagascar by a fisherman named Tataly.

Nineteen of the pieces of MH370 wreckage recovered so far have been found washed ashore in Madagascar and handed in to the authorities.

The latest find is the damaged rectangular landing gear door, measuring 32 inches by 28 inches, which appears to match that used on Boeing 777 aircraft and is made of a carbon fibre reinforced plastic with a honeycomb — similar to other wing components that have been found to be from MH370.

The fisherman was unaware of the item’s significance. His wife had used it as a washing board since he found it on a beach close to his home in 2017, three years after MH370 disappeared.

The analysis released by Godfrey and Gibson today says: “Tataly did not know what it was, and (he) just said it came from the sea. His wife used it as a washing board.”

Crucial to Godfrey’s and Gibson’s conclusions are four nearly parallel, extremely forceful penetration slices from the inside side to the outside of the door, which they believe were caused by one of the aircraft’s two engines disintegrating on impact.

Large jet engines, including those on a Boeing 777 , comprise three sections: a fan at the front, a compressor and a turbine at the rear. Their report said that a Boeing 777 engine compressor blade ring with a set of damaged blades of up to 4 inches in width matches the 4 inch penetration slashes observed in the landing gear door.

“Whatever the cause of the slicing damage, the fact that the damage was from the interior side to the exterior side of the debris item leads to the conclusion that the landing gear was highly likely extended on impact, which in turn supports the conclusion that there was an active pilot until the end of the flight,” Godfrey and Gibson conclude.

Peter Foley, appointed by the Australian government to lead the unsuccessful underwater search for MH370 from late 2014 to mid 2015, said that while he was impressed with the analysis, he hoped that Boeing and the Malaysian and Australian governments would quickly act to verify it.

“My thoughts at this point is to make that happen and happen pretty bloody quickly,” Foley told The Times.

Godfrey, who has pioneered alternative methods of flight tracking technologies to help locate MH370, told The Times that the landing gear door was “the first item of physical evidence that indicates a possible criminal intent behind the demise of MH370”.

There have long been two competing theories to explain why MH370 mysteriously reversed course and later vanished. The first, favoured early in the search for the aircraft, was a catastrophic event on board — such as a cockpit fire — that led to the incapacitation of the pilots and for the plane to fly uncommanded on auto-pilot before it ran out of fuel and crashed.

The second theory centred on a rogue pilot who deliberately caused the aircraft and all aboard to vanish. Under this theory, most suspicion falls on the flight’s captain, Shah, who it is claimed might have ordered his junior colleague to check something in the cabin, then locked him out of the cockpit, and possibly depressurised the aircraft, depriving others of oxygen.

A third underwater search for the aircraft on a “no find, no fee” basis has been mooted for next year by a US-based deep sea search firm, Ocean Infinity, but will require the Malaysian government to first agree to payment if the aircraft is found.

Last edited by slast; 14th Dec 2022 at 11:38. Reason: typos
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Old 14th Dec 2022, 16:38
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MH370 - "new" news
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