That Theory About a Fire Aboard Flight 370 Is Wrong
Jeff Wise pokes holes in it at Slate
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2014 4:00 PM CDT
An Indonesian Navy crew member scans the water during a search for the plane.   (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara, File)

(Newser) – A veteran pilot's theory about what happened to Flight 370 dazzled the Internet yesterday, but aviation writer Jeff Wise is poking holes in it today at Slate. If you missed it, pilot Chris Goodfellow speculated at Google Plus that a fire aboard the missing Malaysian jet caused its disappearance. The pilots went off course deliberately to reach the nearest airport—on the island of Langkawi—but the smoke got to them before they could land, and the plane kept flying on its own over the ocean until it crashed. A world desperate for answers soaked it up, but Wise says the theory doesn't hold up when other facts about Flight 370 are considered.


  • "While it’s true that MH370 did turn toward Langkawi and wound up overflying it, whoever was at the controls continued to maneuver after that point as well," writes Wise. One subsequent waypoint picked up a sharp right turn and another a left turn. "Such vigorous navigating would have been impossible for unconscious men."
  • A final electronic ping picked up from the plane put it on one of two paths, one over central Asia as far as Kazakhstan and the other out over the Indian Ocean. "As MH370 flew from its original course toward Langkawi, it was headed toward neither," writes Wise. "Without human intervention—which would go against Goodfellow’s theory—it simply could not have reached the position we know it attained" at 8:11am on March 8, the time of that last ping.
The bottom line is that "Goodfellow's theory falls apart," writes Wise. Click for his full column. Or to read about how files are missing from the senior pilot's flight-simulator system.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Mar 21, 2014 12:07 AM CDT
Ok lets say there is a fire and the pilot tried for a different airport. You switch off all tracking you do not call a Mayday and you do not put on you emergency air mask. Also you do not push the duress button on the Com panel. That sends out a signal that sounds a alarm on the tracking Radar. Can not buy that one.
Mar 19, 2014 6:15 PM CDT
There is a crucial fact about Malaysian Airlines Flight MN 370 that many apparently miss, because they are either New World Order moles assigned to deny its significance, or dullards who believe the lie that there is no significance. Unlike many countries in the world, Malaysia has an asymmetric flag. Countries like Germany, France, Canada, Jamaica, The Netherlands, Guyana, Yemen, Finland, Israel, Colombia, Romania, Somalia have flags that are the same reflected right to left or up to down. Romania's flag is symmetric horizontally, The Netherlands flag is symmetric vertically. Israel and Japan's flags currently are the only one which is symmetric vertically and horizontally. From 1977 to the engineered events of 2011, the flag of The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was also both vertically and horizontally symmetric, but no more. Now, only Israel and Japan's flags are like that. Flags like the United States', Greece's, Liberia's and Malaysia's are not vertically or horizontally symmetric. And this has been the basis of a significant development since 2001. Upon its entry into the September 11 motivated military rape of the planet, the United States' Army has marched in the shadow of the backward American flag. It is apparently the political equivalent of the upside down cross. Enacted during the Administration of a political part whose logo has upside down American stars, suggestive of the sigil of Baphomet, the presidency of a man who frequently held his hands in a horned symbol. Shills like to bleat that this is “a nod to days when flags were carried into battle on a staff and flapped backward in the wind” so the backward flag is supposed to represent American troops moving forward. They try to say there is no mystical elements involved, but even the “explanation” is no more than a step from voodoo sympathetic magic! More than that, though, a nation is represented by “the flag”, a precisely defined collection of symbolic elements. Two dimensional, so it doesn't “ripple” or “wave backward” as “a flag” can. “The flag” is the signature of a nation and, as such, must be precisely defined. Actions taken in the name of the backward flag the U.S. is not answerable for. If others have claims made to the American Army, the U.S. is not responsible or answerable! And every other nation has conspiratorially agreed not to demand recompense from the U.S. for criminalities by American soldiers. Because they weren't done in the name of the flag! Of course, the craven also bleat that “it's the law” that the flags be backward on uniforms, appealing to the depraved “principle' that, “If it's a law, it must be fair and right!” Also, flags could be normal and applied to left sleeves and still be “flapping backwards”! But there is a massive criminal importance in having flags backward on Army uniforms! It should be mentioned, too, that there are backward flags on Greyhound buses and MTA buses, on the space shuttle, on Sir Richard Branson's SpaceShipOne, or fire engines, or police uniforms and on all the planes of airlines based in America that fly overseas, but not those that fly domestically. And, now, Flight Malaysian Airlines MH 370 is shown to have a backward flag on it. Which is significant since, among other things, not all Malaysian Airlines planes have backward flags! Some have flags facing forward. But it's the one with a backward flag that disappears! And, interestingly, most political cartoons of American soldiers show them with normal American flags or no flags at all. Most do not show the backward flag! In the same way, illustrations of MH 370 only show a forward flag! The “news” claims accuracy, but stubbornly refuses to admit the existence of an initiative to promote backward flags.
Mar 19, 2014 6:00 PM CDT
We'll know what