Friday, 21 June 2024

Flight speculation

Flying across the equator could be more dangerous than we think and might offer an explanation for the disappearance in March of the Malaysian aircraft along with its passengers and crew, according to scientist Carl H. Gibson.

He believes his theory of oceanic turbulence offers important clues as to the location of both the Malaysian aircraft and the lost Air France plane – and could prevent similar catastrophes occurring in the future.

On rare occasions in tropical seas, exceptionally high oceanic temperatures couple with turbulence to lead to chimneys of steam shooting out from the waters into the atmosphere.

Rising into the cold air above, these jets of steam rapidly cool down and eventually freeze and would condense into ice onto the wings, tails and bodies of aircraft in their path.

Tons of ice could be swept up by aircraft every second in worst case scenarios. These ice sheets would irreversibly damage both the navigation and communication system of the aircraft, ultimately causing total failure.

Whilst evidence of extreme equatorial icing was clear in the Air France 447 crash, it has yet to be acknowledged as a possible cause of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy.

The last recorded location of the Malaysian aircraft was at a tropical latitude of 6.7 degrees North and Prof Gibson believes authorities should now move their search to the last known location.

The relatively shallow waters of the South China Sea at this point (100m as opposed to the 5,000m of the Pacific ocean) would make the search much easier and at a cost that would be relatively small.

Prof Gibson is a specialist in the theory and measurements of turbulence in the ocean and in the atmosphere over the ocean and his theory is published on-line in volume 23 of the

Conspiracy theories about the fate of the airliner continue to abound and the latest comes in the first book about the tragedy.

Published in Australia this week, the book ‘Flight MH370: The Mystery’ has already angered grieving relatives for its insensitive timing.

Author is Anglo-American journalist Nigel Cawthorne claims the missing jet was shot down during a joint Thai-US military-training exercise and then the subject of an elaborate cover-up who is most famous for his ‘Sex Lives’ series of salacious tales about the rich and famous.

Cawthorne supports the theory – based on the eye-witness testimony of New Zealand oil rig worker Mike McKay – that the plane was shot down shortly after it stopped communicating with air traffic controllers.

At the time there was a series of war games taking place in the South China Sea involving Thailand, the US and personnel from China, Japan, Indonesia and others, he writes.

He claims that these countries may have then sent searchers in the wrong direction in order to cover their tracks.

“After all, no wreckage has been found in the South Indian Ocean – which in itself is suspicious,” he adds.

Cawthorne says one of the most astonishing things about this tragedy is the revelation that an airliner the size of a Boeing 777 can vanish, almost without a trace.

“In an age of smartphones and mobile Internet, the real-time tracking of commercial airplanes is long overdue,” he said.

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on 8 March with 239 people aboard.

The Malaysian government and London-based satellite company Inmarsat – that helped track missing flight – said this week they are planning to release the raw data that led the search to be focused on a remote section of the Indian Ocean.

In 2009 the Air France flight, an Airbus A330, from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed in the Atlantic midway through the flight without sending a distress signal. All 228 aboard were killed.

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