The wreckage of flight 370 has begun to wash ashore on an island off the coast of Africa. Reunion Island has become the centre of attention for the aviation world. The only certainty which the confirmation of debris from MH 370 promises, is more uncertainty. There are no answers and no solutions to one of aviation’s great mysteries.
It can be little comfort for the families of the passengers on board the ill-fated flight. The ocean is an organic entity with a life force of its own. It never keeps its treasures. Eventually everything will swing with the tides and come to shore. My brother in law to be- (my sister’s fiancé) disappeared in a plane crash off the Caribbean island of St Lucia. The wait was unbearable. We were uncertain if we would ever find his body and my father chartered a small private plane to join the search so that my sister could feel she was doing something- anything , to help find the aircraft and the bodies of those on board. The waiting then and the waiting now, can only be described as agonising.
MH370 took off into airline history and disappeared off air traffic control screens, after the plane flew inexplicably back on itself to sweep along the borders of Thailand and Malaysia. It entered and left the airspace of these countries a total of eight times. For just under two hours between 0041 and 0222 am it flew precisely including controlled turns which had to be executed by someone in command of the airplane.
This aircraft would have to have been flown either by auto pilot, by pre-set way points and programming or manually by the pilot. Since it turned back on itself, deviating from its flight path, either a pilot was in control and did not radio an explanation as to the change in flight plan or a pre-set route or auto pilot was set without the knowledge of the second pilot, who would have raised concerns on discovery.
In the event there was a catastrophic event in the cockpit involving loss of oxygen and hypoxia on board- this leaves more questions than answers because the auto pilot route would still have to have been set. We have only mystery and speculation one year on about what happened to MH 370.
The search was the biggest in aviation history covering over 55,000 kms of seafloor. If it did come down in the waters off Australia then the present discovery is plausible. There is a series of circular currents off West Australia including the South Equatorial and on down to Mozambique. Debris in this area will make its way round this anti-clockwise loop as it apparently has. Debris washing up on a beach isn’t news. What happened to MH370 is the question here. The questions really, only now begin. We are nowhere near the end of this tragic story and no closer to finding out what occurred on board MH 370. All of Africa and the Caribbean hold these families in our hearts and in our prayers.
With assistance of A. White.