Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Flight into oblivion
Theories proliferate by the hour. Was it a terrorist attack? Did the pilot commit suicide? Did a structural fault cause the plane to decompress and break up? Was the co-pilot distracted by female passengers he invited into the cockpit? Was the plane sabotaged? Was it hijacked? Did one of the pilots have a mental breakdown? Was there a total electrical failure? Right now it's anyone's guess.
And I think of the 239 passengers and crew, assuming they were on a routine flight to Beijing, maybe looking forward to a holiday, or visiting families, or just getting back home. Relaxing, joking, watching movies, snoozing. Then all of a sudden, apparently with no warning whatever, thrown into oblivion.
Distraught relatives and friends clustered at the two airports, waiting frantically for news, hoping for a miracle but facing up to the grim reality. Wishing their loved ones had been on any flight except that one. Their lives abruptly shattered, all their expectations for the future thrown into disarray.
So what the hell went wrong? As one aviation expert said, "It's pretty baffling. Whatever happened on that flight deck, the pilots did not do what pilots do. They aviate, they navigate and they communicate. If something happens at altitude, the first thing they want to do is squawk emergency."
And the search for the remains of flight MH370 continues.
Pic: the long, long wait for news