Well over a week after the disappearance of flight MH370 - which now is the longest official disappearance of a modern jet in aviation history - with no official trace of the missing plane yet revealed, the investigation, which as we reported over the weekend has focused on the pilots and specifically on Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, earlier today revealed that on his home-made flight simulator had been loaded five Indian Ocean practice runways, among which those of Male in the Maldives, that of the US owned base at Sergio Garcia, as well as other runways in India and Sri Lanka - all notable runways as all are possible landing spots based on the flight's potential trajectories. The Malay Mail Online reported, "The simulation programmes are based on runways at the Male International Airport in Maldives, an airport owned by the United States (Diego Garcia), and three other runways in India and Sri Lanka, all have runway lengths of 1,000 metres."
The scenario that best fits the facts is a spontaneously initiated "drastic political protest" by the captain that went awry.
It has not been a good month for Boeing: first one of its 777s disappears in the now infamous Malaysian Airlines MH370 heist, which is increasingly looking as a hijacking commited by the pilots, and yesterday, a Delta Airlines Boeing 757, Flight 2412 from Orlandon to Atlanta, saw an entire panel tear off from its wing forcing the plane to make an emergency landing. At least this time the plane was tracked for the duration of the flight, perhaps because there was nothing that would be considered extraordinary in its cargo manifest, speaking of which, perhaps it is time for Malaysia Airlines to reveal just what was held in flight MH370's cargo hold. The detached panel did not impact the aircraft's ability to fly or land, Delta spokesman Anthony Black said of Flight 2412. "The crew, knowing that, followed procedure by declaring an emergency to air traffic control as they were landing, which gave them priority clearance to land and alerted ground crews." The airline is inspecting the plane to determine why the panel came off.
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With Malaysian authorities frustrated (and seemingly confused), and US and Chinese government offering "help" to solve this increasingly mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER over a week ago, we thought a quick summation of all that we know would be useful. The possibilities remain numerous but it appears the latest line of investigation is the pane vanished through "deliberate action" with the airline pilots coming under increasing scrutiny.
It has been over a week since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared without a trace, and the world is nowhere closer to finding either where the airplane and its 239 passengers and crew are to be found, nor what actually happened. Instead, what initially was speculation about a midair disintegration, and subsequently suggested a potential case of airplane terrorism gone wrong, has now transformed into a theory that the pilot and/or crew may have been engaged in "foul play", especially since it appears that based on tracking data, that the plane flew for nearly seven hours after someone "skilled" purposefully shut down its communications and tracking beacon: possibly indicative of a stealthy midair hijacking. However, the same satellite data gave no precise location, and the plane's altered course could have taken it anywhere from central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Until today, the prevailing theory surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was either catastrophic midair disintegration and/or terrorism. That changed overnight, following reports by various news agencies that the Boeing 777 was deliberately flown hundreds of miles off course, in a westerly direction toward India's Andaman islands, heightening suspicions of foul play among investigators, as reported by Reuters. And like that the theory shifts from one of terrorism to hijacking and sabotage, ostensibly by highly skilled operators, yet considering the results, one gone horribly wrong.
"The more information we get, the more we're inclined to conclude that it was not a terrorist incident," says the Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble according to CNN, as details of the 2 Iranians at the center of the "stolen passport" uncertainty are identified. As CNN reports, Noble gave their names and ages as Pouri Nourmohammadi, 18, and Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, 29 and added "they are not likely to be members of a terrorist group." Of course, the more dismal unknown is that of the entire plane and its passengers and crew which remain missing without a trace.
The dismal news overnight that a Malaysian Airlines jet, carrying over 200 passengers and crew, had "gone missing" appears to have become considerably more troublesome. News this morning of pools of oil off the Vietnam coast - suggestive of a crash - are dreadful but, as NBC News reports, perhaps more crucially, U.S. officials told NBC News on Saturday they are investigating terrorism concerns after two people listed as passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet turned out not to be on the plane and had reported their passports stolen (while in Thailand).
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To summarize: in an act of complete disregard for the official diplomatic song and dance, both Israel and the US are now providing military support to Iran, which in turn is providing military support to Syria, which is also getting military support from Russia. And now, just to make things more interesting, the same labyrinth of "military support" is about to be unleashed in the Ukraine, whose western half is just as likely getting arms and military equipment (not to mention funding)from the West under the table, while Russia, whose main Black Sea port is in the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, is arming the Eastern part of the Ukraine.
What can possibly go wrong?
A dispassionate and analytic of the macro developments for the week ahead.
For a plan that culminated with a hijacked plane landing in Geneva, Switzerland, it was anything but a "Swiss watch" execution.