U.S. student proposes new theory for missing Malaysia Airlines flight

Published: March 13, 2014

Students light candles to express hope and solidarity for the passengers aboard the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Thursday, March 13, 2014


Singapore – An undergraduate from Stanford University, California has come up with a new theory on the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines plane which has gone viral on the internet.

Andrew Aude, 20, a student of computer science, in his Tumblr post mentioned a 2013 US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Airworthiness Directive for the Boeing 777, the aircraft that was operating the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which spotted a weakness in the plane, The Strait Times reported Wednesday.

The directive, which he quoted on his post, said there had been a report of “cracking in the fuselage skin underneath the satellite communication (satcom) antenna adapter”.

Based on this directive, he told the Singapore daily that he theorised the missing MH370 might have experienced the same issue leading to a breakdown in all satellite communications. The aircraft also might have experienced a slow decompression leaving the passengers unconscious and pilots disoriented leading to their failure to put on the oxygen masks until it was too late.

He also said that the Boeing 777 does not deploy the oxygen masks until it reaches an altitude of 13,500 feet. As it was a late night flight, the passengers would already have been sleeping and did not realise the oxygen deprivation.

He added that the autopilot function would have ensured that the plane maintained its course and altitude before crashing into the East China Sea, Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Japan. All these are miles away from the South China sea where the search for the missing plane is being conducted.

He concluded his theory by saying that “this was likely not an explosive decompression or in-flight disintegration”.

Aude also wrote: “After discovering the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airworthiness Directive on Professional Pilots Rumour Network (aviation website for airline pilots and aviation buffs PPRUNE) forums. In the same forum, I discovered how some of the 777′s radar systems depend on satcom and GPS. I considered these facts alongside the mobile phones ringing and the mumbling pilots, and I had come up with the proposed explanation.”

IANS 2014-03-13 18:18:04


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