November 15, 2014
By: John E. Fiorentino
''This Way to the Egress'
P. T. Barnum*
It's been like this since the beginning, or almost like this and almost since the beginning. CNN started it off with its around the clock coverage of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. Day after day we were treated to a seemingly endless litany of experts, safety analysts, former government officials, commercial airline pilots and other talking heads of various kinds all intent on offering their opinions about the mysterious aircraft disappearance.
As the days wore on the “breaking news” about MH370 became obscured by a cloud of speculation and downright silliness which culminated in CNN anchor Don Lemon speculating on air whether MH370 may have flown into a “black hole.” Lemon's remarks apparently prompted Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide to say; “Don, don't be an idiot.”+
Amid all of the loopiness was also an undertone of chicanery which was evidenced by stonewalling and poor research. The most notable act of sophistry was CNN's rejection of research that I provided in reference to the underwater acoustic “pings” which, if acted upon in a timely fashion may have altered the thrust of the official investigation. It took CNN over a month to break my story The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) , shortly thereafter publicly admitted that they had been effectively chasing their own tails in the underwater search effort. Unfortunately, the bell had rung and the round was over as by that time the batteries in the black boxes responsible for powering the pingers had most certainly expired.
After a period of relative calm as the tragedy slipped from the public consciousness, the pendulum has again appeared to have swung towards the ridiculous. As the underwater sonar search continues in the Southern Indian Ocean (SIO) many in the media have seemingly reverted to the poor reporting of the past and wild speculation ingrained in theories devoid of empirical evidence.
The past several weeks, for whatever reason have been particularly active. Wild theories and rampant speculation has been the order of the day. Most of the new conjecture has come from the Jeff Wise blog on the internet. Jeff's latest article is titled: “MH370 Evidence Points to Sophisticated Hijackers,” most of which I commented on in my last article of November 8, 2014. The premise for Jeff's newest adventure seems to have come from a purported B777 simulation attended by Michael Exner, another Independent Group (IG) member.
Although Exner promised a report would be issued on his simulator visit of November 2, 2014, on the following day, I have yet to see it. Apparently what was gleaned from the simulation (according to Exner) and as reported by Jeff Wise, “there is no way to turn off the primary power to the satcom from the cockpit.” After I showed that this is possible Exner admitted as much, while changing SATCOM to AES, (Aircraft Earth Station) (which is admittedly a different issue). To try and make it simple one could “turn off” the SATCOM from the cockpit which would disable the transmission of Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) data, but this would not stop the “handshakes” we've all heard so much about. Exner, for his part finally did admit that there was a very unlikely way to do even that in the cockpit. Wise for his part believes it could only be done through the E/E Bay, an electronics bay under the floor of the cabin and behind the cockpit area.
The salient point here is that even if someone had entered the E/E Bay as Wise speculates, they didn't do a very good job of hiding the aircraft's motions as the “handshakes” continued on a more or less hourly basis until what most consider to be the terminus with the aircraft suffering fuel exhaustion. Not one of these theories advanced by Wise, or another IG member Victor Iannello, (which also calls for an intruder or intruders in the E/E Bay) is anywhere near conceptually solid. Holes in logic, logistics and common sense riddle these fantastical notions like so much Swiss cheese.
Wise, for his part tries to get some support from comments made by Emirates Airline CEO Tim Clark: “Further evidence of the hijacker’s sophistication comes from the fact that they also managed to turn off the ACARS reporting system. This can be done from the cockpit, but only by those with specialized knowledge. “Disabling it is no simple thing,” Emirates Airline CEO Tim Clark told Der Spiegel recently, “and our pilots are not trained to do so.”
Unfortunately, this support comes from the same person who doesn't understand why pilots should even have the option to turn off an airplane's transponders. And of course his notion that turning off ACARS “is no simple thing” is simply nonsense.
So, while some in the media continue to cobble stories together to boost ratings, internet page views or sell newspapers, the families and friends of the victims of the MH370 disappearance continue to wait for some (real) news regarding their loved ones. And that is the most tragic part of the whole MH370 story.
Copyright 2014 – J. E. Fiorentino – All Rights Reserved
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