“The Inmarsat satellite signal path overlapped near
Pinger # 2 search grid – is that where MH370 is?”
– Mark Wood, retired U. S. Navy Captain
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia with a population of some 1.6 million.
Early Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 12:41 AM local time, Malaysian Airliner MH370 took
off for a routine 2,700 mile flight to Beijing. But at 1:19 AM over the Gulf of Thailand,
MH370 disappeared when the transponder shut off. Inmarsat-3 F1 geostationary satellite
picks up data that indicates that MH370 went either north or south along the red arcs.
Possible black box pings were heard in the Indian Ocean southwest of Perth, Australia,
where underwater drone searches as of April 23, 2014, had not found any
wreckage. Map of search for MH370 by Soerfm, Wikipedia.
Boeing 777-2H6ER 9M-MRO, the aircraft used for flight MH370.
Credit: Rodger McCutcheon, Auckland Photo News.
April 25, 2014 Albuquerque, New Mexico – MH370 Malaysian airline pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, on Friday, March 7, 2014, traveled from his Kuala Lumpur home 15 miles to Putrajaya to attend the trial of his friend, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Captain Shaw was enraged when Ibrahim was sentenced to five years in jail on a homosexuality charge.
After sentencing at 9 PM, angry Zaharie Shaw drove to the Kuala Lumpur Airport. As the clock went past midnight to 12:41 AM Saturday, March 8th, Captain Shaw took off in MH370. He and his crew numbered 12; there were 227 passengers for a total of 239 people bound for Beijing, China, 2,700 miles away. The 777’s fuel tanks were full and could cruise at 35,000 feet for seven hours.
About 41 minutes later at 1:30 AM, air traffic control lost contact with MH370 over the Gulf of Thailand. Was there a catastrophic mechanical problem? Or was the transponder deliberately shut off at 1:30 AM for nefarious reasons? Or?
Malaysian Prime Minister, April 24, 2014:
“MH370 is a bizarre scenario.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told CNN on April 24, 2014, that because
of the “bizarre scenario” of MH370’s strange disappearance, he could not yet definitively
say that the 239 people aboard are dead. Image © by Reuters.
On April 24, 2014, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told CNN the plane’s disappearance is “a bizarre scenario which none of us could have contemplated,” but would not say definitely that the plane is lost at the bottom of the Indian Ocean or that the 239 people are dead. He emphasized his sensitivity to the loved ones of those missing for weeks, but also raised this question: How could a plane that was supposed to head toward Beijing end up so far in the opposite direction “half-way to Antarctica?”
Some of the other big mysteries are why the roller coaster flight up to 40,000 feet and then down to 4,500 feet? Why did the co-pilot have his cell phone on the whole time? What was the reason for the sharp turn to the west and down toward Perth, Australia? Why has there been no MH370 debris where pings were picked up by the Inmarsat satellite? Do the four ping areas reveal an overlap that pinpoints where the pinging black box should be?
Joining me to analyze these mysteries from a quarter century of skilled U. S. Navy airborne navigation, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare experience is retired Navy Captain Mark Wood, now 64. Mark graduated in 1971 from Georgia Tech in Atlanta with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Aerospace Engineering. The next year he trained as an overwater navigator qualified in celestial navigation and after being designated as a Naval Flight Officer was assigned to a U. S. Navy P-3C squadron at Moffett Field in California. For the next twenty-five years, Mark flew over 3,000 flight hours in three P-3 squadrons as a mission commander and tactical coordinator ultimately becoming both an Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of two U. S. Naval Air Reserve units. After earning a Master’s Degree in Ocean Engineering, Mark spent over seven years involved with the design, installation and repair of a variety of U. S. Navy submarine towed array sonars, U. S. Navy fixed array sonars and deep water remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). He has also been on the faculty of Florida Atlantic University where he taught ocean engineering and underwater sound and served as the staff engineer at the Florida Institute of Oceanography where he had responsibility for the operation of the State of Florida’s University System Deep Water Research Vessels.
We began our discussion about the bizarre MH370 disappearance and what could possibly have been behind the 777 airliner climbing on radar to 45,000 feet and then back down to 4,500 feet?