Saturday, March 29, 2014

Data Shifts MH370 Search Zone But Man at the Top Remains the Same

Writing from Kuala Lumpur -- The case of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has taken another unexpected turn now that searchers in the South Indian Ocean have moved from the last-best guess of where the airplane might be to an area 1100 kilometers north east. 

Ten airplanes and six vessels headed to the new location, off the coast of Perth, as the 30 day clock on the black box locator pingers ticks down. 

You may be asking, what new information prompted the moving of all this expensive hardware? I'm here to tell you. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Time to Explore Failure of Malaysian Radar to Note Missing Jet

Writing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Lost in the conversation about what could have caused Malaysia Flight 370 to go missing on March 8th during a routine flight to Beijing, is any discussion over the calamity that could have occurred, a mid air collision over one of Malaysia's populous urban centers. 

When the transponder stopped working on the Boeing 777 jetliner, it was flying in the dark of night and headed Lord knows where. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

No Reason to Suspect Criminal Intent in Missing Jet

Satellite image released by the Chinese Saturday evening

Writing from Kuala Lumpur---News this afternoon that a Chinese satellite has recorded images of a large piece of what could be debris from the missing Malaysia flight 370 will provide a distraction to the otherwise newsworthy realization that official investigators hyped a theory of criminal intent by the pilots with little evidence to support it. 

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, it is my hope that this friendly little country and the people who lead it, will re examine how their minister of transport and defense handled this unprecedented event.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Australians May Have Spied Wreckage from Missing Plane

Writing from Kuala Lumpur -- It's great to know people who can do math. My friend Steve Hart creates a picture of the task facing those who are searching the Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Flight 370.

To find a piece of the Boeing jumbo jet's wing, in an area of the sea that is 190,000 square miles is the equivalent of searching the state of Rhode Island for something the size of a bathmat. 

Yes, it seems overwhelming but promising news is emerging from Australia today as the nation's prime minister told reporters satellite photos from the Indian Ocean southwest of Perth, reveal two pieces of what could be airplane debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One Data Point a Focused Reminder in Missing Jetliner Story

The aircraft arriving at LAX in 2013 courtesy Jay Davis
Writing from Kuala Lumpur -- Regarding the quizzical disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 and the overwhelming flow of theories from professional and arm chair investigators alike, Tom Haueter told ABC News on Monday, "All it would take is one additional data point to say, 'Wow, we were completely off base.'"

These wise words from the former director of aviation safety with the National Transportation Safety Board should serve as a mantra for everyone reading, writing and jawboning about the Boeing 777 that left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8th and never arrived.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stepping Out of the Rush to Call Missing Airplane a Crime

Writing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- In the afternoon, hundreds of reporters assemble in the ground floor ballroom of the Sama-Sama Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and listen attentively while the various men investigating the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 repeat that they are investigating all possibilities. 

When asked to expound on those potential scenarios, the definition of "all" really gets quite narrow. Those in front of the cameras and those behind them are totally focused on a crime; a hijacking, a deliberate act. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Satellite Data Could Be Key in Unlocking Malaysia 370 Mystery

9M-MRO shot by Jay Davis at LAX last year.
Writing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- The lowly satellite pinger, a humble device designed to make sure that expensive satellite communication time is not wasted, is having its day in the sun as the mobile communications company Inmarsat, gets called in to help find the missing Malaysia Flight 370.

In an announcement this afternoon at the Sama-Sama Hotel at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysian  Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said evidence increasingly suggests that the Boeing 777 with 239 people on board has been hijacked. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Improbable Scenarios Blossom in Case of the Missing Airliner

Writing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- I heard two very interesting comments during today's press briefing by the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation into the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 on March 8. 

The first was the admission that on day six, investigators feel they are no closer to knowing where to go to find the missing Boeing 777. In a spoof on Twitter, @raykwong shared this photo of the ever expanding search area.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Information Vacuum in Missing Malaysia Flight 370 Illustrates the "Twitter Paradox"

That I first heard about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while 10 miles out at sea in Vietnam's Ha Long Bay illustrates just how connected we all are to the instant information made possible by today's communication technology. That three days later little more is known about the airplane, where it went and why it did not arrive at Beijing on Sunday morning, is astonishing, frustrating and confounding. 

It is not just that the world is fascinated by air disasters - as this apparently is - A Boeing 777-200 disappearing 40 minutes into a six hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing it is surely a nightmarish scenario for those awaiting word on the fate of their loved ones and presents a quandary for air safety investigators, too.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Delhi Aviation Authorities Hold Airport Hotel and Guests Hostage

Terminal 3 at Delhi Airport
In her very funny book, Holy Cow, Aussie writer Sarah Macdonald writes about her first visit to India. After multiple delays in her attempt to fly home she describes the country as "Hotel California, where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." 

I hadn't been in the country more than 10 minutes when I realized just what she meant. This is the curious story of an airport hotel where check in is difficult enough, but once you have arrived leaving is impossible.