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10 days on, where has the missing Malaysian airline jet gone?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 - 7:11am IST | Agency: dna
  • Malaysia-Airlines

The global investigation into the missing Malaysian airline changed its course on Sunday, with agencies now focusing on large tracts of land across 11 countries indicating that the plane might have possibly safely landed at a remote location. Earlier, the focus was mainly on shallow seas.

None of the theories put out by experts can so far explain fully the sudden disappearance of the aircraft. Among the new theories that emerged on Monday was one by an aviation enthusiast, Keith Ledgerwood, who says in a blog posting that the flight MH370 would have flown in the shadow of the Singapore Airlines flight SIA 68, which flew across the Andaman Sea, into the Bay of Bengal, in the airspace and finally

Turkmenistan before proceeding towards its destination, Barcelona in Spain.

The SIA flight was on "airway P628 that the Malaysian radar had shown MH370 headed towards at precisely the same time", Ledgerwood said. "It is my belief that MH370 likely flew in the shadow of SIA68 through India and Afghanistan airspace. As MH370 was flying "dark" without transponder/ADS-B output, SIA68 would have had no knowledge that MH370 was anywhere around and as it entered Indian airspace, it would have shown up as one single blip on the radar with only the transponder information of SIA68 lighting up ATC and military radar screens," Ledgerwood said.

According to this theory, MH370 would have finally headed towards Afghanistan or Turkmenistan. This would require unimaginable skill, which few pilots possess. Also, American radars active over Afghanistan to track low flying drones would have got some blip, even though the transponder was off. 

Aviation experts who spoke to dna said this was a possibility. "My only change would be he did not proceed to Afghanistan but turned off south at IGREX and went to some remote island in the Indian ocean. The USAF drones would have picked it up in Pakistan and Afganistan," said aviation expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan. "If the Malaysian airline plane was just behind the Singapore plane by as close as 5 miles and 500ft lower, it would not be possible for radars to detect it," added Ranganathan.

The investigation now involves 25 countries, including India, with Malaysian PM Razak, through diplomatic exercise personally calling the heads of states, seeking cooperation. "Going by the investigation reports so far and how the aircraft managed to hoodwink the civilian and military radars of so many counties, I believe that plane has landed safely somewhere. The global power balance is changing drastically. In the current scenario, a state-sponsored hijacking can't be ruled out," said Mumbai-based aviation expert Vipul Saxena.

As of now, following are the plausible theories. Terrorism has almost been ruled out completely even though there were two Iranians with stolen passports on board.
1. Pilot suicide. No clues yet to show that the two pilots were suicidal or had extreme philosophies
2. Pilot aided hijack. Most plausible as of now. This would mean that the plane has indeed landed somewhere
3. Plan flew below 5,000 ft for a long time before it crashed in the Bay of Bengal or Andaman Sea. Here too not even military radars got any blip




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