Updated Monday, March 17, 2014; new copy added at bottom.
Rescue operations are launched from a number of countries, combing the seas for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
All the talking heads are claiming the Boeing 777-200 went into the water.
But maybe not.
According to the tv talking heads, Flight 370 set off from Kuala Lumpur headed north-northeast toward is Beijing destination. But it diverted from its flight plan and turned westward, crossing over Malaysia or southern Thailand on a mostly westerly course where it dropped off the radar; contract was lost.
Searchers have been looking in the South China Sea where the aircraft might have gone down, if it went down over water and had it stayed on course to Beijing; an oil slick was reported, but no debris was found and no "black box" signals were detected.
Searchers also started looking in the Indian Ocean on the west side of Malaysia and Thailand. As with the China Sea effort, so far (as of 8 p.m. EST, Tuesday, March 11, 2014) with no positive results.
We are told that there were several passengers on board Flight 370 with false passports; more, it has been suggested that these passengers may be Moslems. The aircraft's co-pilot has a typically Moslem name.
Beijing is approximately 2,700-mile (4,350-kilometer) from Kuala Lumpur.
That is roughly the same distance as from Kuala Lumpur to Moslem Pakistan.
Commercial aircraft always carry more fuel than needed to reach the flight plan's destination, so the initial duration of the flight in the north-northeast direction may not prevent the aircraft from reaching Pakistan.
If the airplane flies fairly close to the earth's surface, and if the aircraft's transponder - the device that shows the plane's location to special receivers around the world - is turned off, the airplane effectively "disappears" from contact.
While it is possible that the flight went down over a land mass - Thailand, Burma, or India - given the lack of transponder signals, that seems less than likely.
There were no Mayday calls from the Flight 370 flight deck; that coupled with the absence of transponder signals suggests that the aircraft's destination was altered; the question is: To where? A second question must be: Was Flight 370 skyjacked or was it willingly redirected by the pilot and/or co-pilot.
At this point, it's all speculation, but as a risk management practitioner, I think the authorities need to look at all possibilities, including the plane being redirected to a new destination.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
According to an Arutz Sheva report titled Missing Malaysian Flight's Ringing Phone Mystery "Families of passengers on missing plane report calls to cell phones ringing through, terrorism 'not ruled out.'"
The article commences with The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on Saturday along with its 239 passengers has deepened, with new reports that families of the missing travelers have gotten ringing tones while calling their missing loved ones.
While waiting at Beijing's Metropark Lido Hotel for news on Monday, several relatives of the missing reported they were able to contact their disappeared family members' cellphone, while others saw them appear online on the Chinese instant messenger service QQ, reports The Washington Post.
Monday, March 17, 2004
The Independent of England headlines the question: "Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban?"