After seven months of increasingly experimental searches in various areas of the Indian Ocean, investigators are still no closer to recovering the fuselage of a Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared from radars somewhere west of Australia. There have been many theories regarding the ultimate fate of Flight MH370, including the opinion behind the latest recovery mission that earlier attempts had been focused too far to the north.
Some, however, have concluded that the passenger jet did not actually crash at all, suggesting it could have been hijacked by terrorists who safely landed the plane to await its use in a subsequent attack.
While he stayed away from speculation regarding the motivation, the CEO of Emirates Airlines made news recently when he claimed that evidence seems to indicate the plane did not crash into the ocean.
Rather than concede the validity of the common narrative that the plane was on autopilot, ran out of fuel, and plummeted into the water below, Sir Tim Clarke shared his opinion that the aircraft was “under control, probably until the very end.”
In making his case, the industry expert noted the fact that there has been absolutely no evidence pointing to the remnants of the jet anywhere in the Indian Ocean.
“Our experience tells us that in water incidents, where the aircraft has gone down, there is always something,” he said. “We have not seen a single thing that suggests categorically that this aircraft is where they say it is, apart from this so-called electronic satellite ‘handshake,’ which I question as well.”
His reticence to accept supposed global positioning information is bolstered by the fact that the tracking system on board the plane was disabled – a feat he suggested was likely deliberate.
“Disabling it is no simple thing and our pilots are not trained to do so,” he said. “But on Flight MH370, this thing was somehow disabled to the degree that the ground tracking capability was eliminated.”
In the end, his opinion seems to be based most directly on the dearth of evidence.
“There hasn’t been one overwater incident in the history of civil aviation – apart from Amelia Earhart in 1939 – that has not been at least 5 or 10 percent trackable,” he concluded.