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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pilot in The Jumpseat of MH370?

More Facts... Theory Shift...
But not far from the first...


I thought the flight deck was compromised. The timing, an hour into the flight, the flight attendants would have finished drink service to first class passengers and taken coffee to the pilots. This would have been a time the door was opened. I thought the terrorists turned the transponder off. They told the captain to fly the plane toward a different city with one mission in mind: Create another 911 event.

I thought that captain initially followed their directions and when he realized what was about to happen, he put the plane into the ocean to save thousands of lives on the ground. If I were in that seat and they decided they didn't need me anymore, I would click off the autopilot and push the nose over in descent during my final breath.


Updated Theory based on new information

I think someone was sitting in the cockpit, in the jumpseat during this departure. A young pilot, with associates in the back. The recent information told us that new position was programmed from "a computer between the pilots".

This would be the third FMS, something the jumpseater would have access to.

There is a history of one of the pilots, at least, allowing non-secure people in the flight deck. And Aviation Geeks like Captain Shaw are always willing to help a fellow pilot. Very probable they invited a pilot to sit with them during the takeoff.


Why my change from 'coming in' to already being there?

Timing
Based on an accurate timeline:

0041: Departed


0107: ACARs sent the last message. This was how they knew there was a position programmed that was not part of the original flight plan.

ATC passes them on to the next control agency...


0119: "All Right, Good Night." This could have been something one of the pilots would say, depending upon their clearance. Has anyone heard the ATC clearance to the aircraft? Have the families listened to the voice? Would this have been a proper response? It could, but it could also be something anyone may have said.

0121: Transponder off. Get rid of the crew and disappear before showing up with the next radar control. Turn the transponder off before the next control picks you up.


Initially I heard the timing of all the events started at the hour mark. However, now we know that at the 26 minute mark that position was programmed. I do not believe the Captain did this. More on that tomorrow.


But if the facts are accurate that a position was programmed via the third FMS... a jumpseater would have access to that FMS. Preflight complete, waypoints checked, and jumpseater inputs a new position. Programming via this FMS would also indicate the pilots did not program that turn.




Shutting Down Equipment

Anyone can Google and learn how to disable the passenger seats, turn off the transponder, and disable the ACARS. Anyone can learn to fly straight and level and turn. All of this can be accomplished by an experienced pilot too.

However, erratic flight maneuvers, climbing to FL450, above the max service ceiling, are all indicative of an inexperienced pilot. Not someone who knew what he was doing.

Could they land?

Hand fly a heavy jet through the mountains at night, to a remote strip and land safely without lights and an instrument landing system? I don't think so. Even Asiana couldn’t make the runway in a 777 in VFR conditions—severe clear—with a check airman on board. Would it be possible to make a landing under these conditions? Yes, but not from anyone except a highly experienced pilot. A climb above the service ceiling indicates anything but an experienced pilot.

I hope the pieces are found soon, so we can all put this puzzle together and lives can begin healing!

Join me tonight at 2100 ET on CNN on Piers Morgan's show, which may be hosted by Bill Weir. What... is Piers afraid to talk to me? And tomorrow I will Debunk the Myths of MH370.


May all your Journey's be safe.
XO Karlene

38 comments:

  1. Best of luck on the Piers show--we'll be raptly watching! Such a bizarre mystery. I'm glad you're putting forth some very plausible scenarios based on what little we know!

    I may come to a different conclusion, but we need to bat around all these scenarios to brainstorm just what happened--and where to find MH370.

    Thanks for putting forth a great--if chilling--possibility.

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    1. Hi Eric, yes... many conclusions. Question.. what is worse? Terrorism or perfectly good airplanes burning up and falling apart that we can't control? Looking forward to your theory and thanks for your comment.

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  2. I remain unconvinced of the terrorism angle, or some intentional behavior on the part of the crew to hijack their own plane.
    It appears that the trouble may have started with some incident that took out the communications capability, making a distress call, even if attempted, unsuccessful.
    The revealed strange altitude path, ranging from the original cruise altitude to a reported 45,000 feet down to 23,000 feet, followed by another climb, was not necessarily the work of a "skilled aviator" but could very well be the result of the airplane flying by itself, crew incapacitated, with the autopilot off. Afterall, what "skilled aviator" can't hold altitude within 20,000 feet?
    For a more complete thoughts, including those on the extreme difficulty of the search as compared to AF447 crash, see: trendvector.blogspot.com/2014/03/MH370.html

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    1. Yes, that could have been the result of the plane flying itself... as phugoid oscillations would bring it to level. But something would have to get it started in a climb. How did it fly away from its altitude in the first place? Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this.

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    2. I have far from all the answers. and that's a great question. There's no data to base an answer on that I can see.
      I'm thinking of the dynamics involved with a speed stable airplane with the autothrottle on too. Two parameters (pitch , thrust) working toward the same goal could get messy.
      As for what started it. Your guess is as good as mine.

      Which is worse, terrorist or broken airplanes? I think terrorists. We can improve the design of airplanes. The bad guys seem to be out of our control.

      But either way they NEED to find the plane. However, according to the math, they will have to be very lucky to do so.

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    3. Thanks for your comment. I agree... we can continually improve the planes! Tomorrow I've written more on why I don't think it was a fire that incapacitated them. Will catch up with your article soon! Thanks again for your thoughts!

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  3. Is that a fact that a new waypoint was programed in the FMS? How is it possible for anyone on the ground to tell that the route was reprogrammed at this time?

    Fly safe / Staffan

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    1. We don't know if this is a fact. All I heard is that someone programmed this waypoint from a computer between the pilot's seats. We all know that facts come and they change, etc. We only know what is told at the time. All speculation. Even the most confirmed is changed. Time will tell. Thank you so much for the comment.

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  4. The waiting is difficult. I think you may be headed in the right direction with this. We shall see. Fly safe!

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    1. Waiting is sooo difficult! Especially for the families. Hope we find this soon. Thank you so much for the comment.

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  5. YOUR GOING TO BE ON CNN!!!!

    THAT IS WAY COOL!!!

    YES I AM YELLING BECAUSE YOUR ARE OFFICALLY AN EXPERT!!!

    I AM VERY HAPPY FOR YOU AND CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU ADD SOME SAINTY TO THE MINDLESS MORONS.

    Back to normal now. The Jumpseater makes sense in theory but I would have thought they would have identified any additional pilots on the airplane and started to investigate them as well. Secondly, I think the FO preferred blonds and wasn't into student pilots. Third, if there was a third voice that made the last radio call then they would have announced it by now.

    I really like to think the Captain and FO were good dudes and are victims but without compelling evidence I think one of them just snapped. Took out the other pilot, pointed the jet towards Antarctica and did the kill everyone suicide thing by depressurizing the aircraft.

    But I am open to new ideas and cant wait to see you on CNN!

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    1. Rob, what if the jumpseater was a blonde pilot? And CNN will happen again tomorrow. They ran out of time due to breaking news and had to push me back! Come back and see me again. :)

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    2. Karlene,

      If the jumpseater was a blond pilot then these two guys would have a better explanation for being taken advantage of.

      I was really proud of you and how you maintained your composure on television. After all this is over, I would love a post about how it all went down, what you were thinking, and all the other details.

      I will be polite because this is your site, so I will leave with this. You showed that you are a lady with class and dignity tonight. Good for you.

      I hope tomorrow there is actual news to discuss.

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    3. Rob, you're awesome. Thank you. And yes, I would love to talk about it. We'll see how tomorrow goes. But the power of blogging, I can respond to questions even if they cut me off! :)

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  6. Karlene, as a retired international 747 captain, everyone keeps asking me, "What do you think happened?"

    I don't know. But I have to laugh at the presumptions by the newscasters about the disappearance.

    Have they ever been to that part of the world? Have they flown the long, dark, quiet hours over the South China Sea, from Tokyo to Singapore? Do they realize how different the customs and lifestyle are?

    I was on a flight after 911 with JAL (Japanese Air Lines), deadheading with my flight crew, and we wanted to introduce ourselves to the pilots. The flight attendants asked, and were told that the pilots were busy, but we could come up in flight! Sure enough, they escorted us up to the flightdeck a few hours after takeoff. We didn't have to show credentials, but we were in uniform.

    This is not the "one world" we are told it is. You know how difficult it can be to understand controllers whose first language isn't English, and you've heard the many different languages spoken by Air Traffic Control in Asia. There is a huge difference between the way things are "supposed to be" and the way things are.

    I think it will be a long time before we can piece this accident together...if ever. Speculating is good...presumption is bad! I wish the public could understand the complexity of our industry, instead of thinking we are just bus drivers in the sky!

    Kathy McCullough

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    1. Kathy, Thank you so much for this information. And you're so right about the complexity. And there you have it... access to a flight deck without credentials in flight. I think anyone can find a uniform.
      Thanks so much for your comment!

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  7. Karleme.... very interesting indeed but would you not assume one of the pilots would have made a RT if even two or three words in a panic !! John mcg

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    1. If they were able to talk, yes. That's the question... what happened during that climb?

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  8. I don't know how airport security is in that part of the world, but it doesn't really matter if the person in question is authorized to be in the cockpit! This is a very novel idea and demonstrates some real thinking outside the box. Hopefully this type of thinking can spur those involved in the investigation to do the same! Oh, and good luck with the big interview! You'll do awesome!

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    1. Rob, Thanks for your thought. And yes.. read Kathy's comment above. Just because we are not supposed to, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Back on CNN tomorrow night.

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  9. Like many 'AvGeeks,' I am following the MH370 story at least to some degree, trying my best to use sources with a record of integrity. I certainly do not know what happened, nor does anyone who is speaking in public. Someday we will know, but I suspect that it may be a while. What surprises me the most is the colossal incompetence of the Malaysian authorities who are 'leading' this inquiry. In an effort to Save Face, they have lost what little face they may have had. Fact and substance are secondary to Public Image. Now, they have invited the FBI to assist them - an agency that suffers from the same affliction. (Remember the FBI's Kalstrom in the aftermath of TWA 800?) Two groups of Image First bumblers should get along well. And we still do not know squat about the missing airplane and some 239(?) missing souls. Heck, even the passenger manifest is faulty! We'll just have to wait. If I believe anything, it is that the Malaysian authorities are NOT reporting everything that they know. I have to wonder why. -C.

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    1. Craig, you are so right! And I'm listening now... I think they may have found the plane. Tomorrow shall tell us more!

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  10. Addendum: Oh, I forgot your pending CNN appearance. Ummm.... Seriously mixed feelings, Karlene. I am your other fans are certainly delighted that you've been asked, but please be careful; those TV folks are usually far more interested in drama and ratings than they are in facts. You may or may not be given an opportunity to properly answer their questions. And, given what little is currently known about MH370, the questions may be 'loaded.' I hate to say this, but even your near neighbor, John Nance, who has been appearing in Av-related segments on ABC for a few years and has some TV time under his belt, ends up being the foolish victim about half the time. Please be careful! Those TV people will eat you for lunch if given half a chance. The invitation is in some ways an honor and we are certainly cheering for you, but PLEASE be careful. Frankly, I am a little surprised that you accepted. -C.

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    1. Craig, Thank you for the comment. Yes, I understand the last line, but other pilots with my company paved the way... and we all know the rules. I will heed your warning and definitely be careful to not be eaten for lunch. It appears the other panelist might have been a bit hungry. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

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  11. I still think the simplest theory is the best. Interested on your take on this posting. If this gentleman is correct, there's a precedent for the plane going dark in the Swissair crash off Nova Scotia. Karlene, do you track the location of every landable air field along your flights?

    https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z13cv1gohsmbv5jmy221vrfyiz3vdhbop04

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    1. Thank you for the information. No... not really. Well, I say that loosely. Because mostly I am flying over oceans. But as I flying over Greenland I'm looking and finding info in the data base to find a suitable location for the what if. So, yes, I supposed I do when I can.

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  12. Unbelievable how CNN treated you, why did they even put you on if they didn't want to hear your expertise. And they give you a whopping 2 mins for the segment? Don't even bother with the trash media, they are out for bullet points, and refuse to get into the deep logic. Sorry to see you on that POS show. Shame for the real expert.

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    1. Oh.... CNN was great. We got pushed back with breaking news... life in the media world. But... now worries, they invited me back tomorrow night and we'll have more time to chat.

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  13. Despite your logical argument, that bimbo tried to shut that theory down faster than the alien theory. CNN, NBC, ABC suck. CBS actually devotes time to real experts. Try them please. Let that beautiful voice be heard!

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    1. Lol... yes, he certainly did. But not to worry. I will be back tomorrow and we'll have another chat. Interesting being remote and not seeing, but only listening. We'll give it another shot tomorrow night! Hope to see you there!

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  14. I thought they checked the background very person on board.
    How did they miss someone with an aviation background.

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    1. Not sure... but there was an engineer on the manifest too. We should know soon.

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  15. Just few remarks...
    To deactivate the Electronic equipment such as ACARS, Transponders, VHF Com, and so on you do not need obligatory to be in the cockpit. On the B777 near the Pax Entry door there is an Access Door to Avionics Compartment. Terrorists can open that door get access to Avionics Compartment and remove whatever equipment they want.

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    1. Yes, anyone can open that door. But it's not as easy to sneak in, and a FA would tell the pilots. So, there might be time to contact the crew who would get a message out before anyone could get down and do anything. Maybe we need to think about securing these areas?! Thanks for your comment.

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  16. I still don't understand how authorities find a different object everyday but yet it is no part of a plane...

    My questions are:
    - why did it take so long to deploy search teams?
    - Why no mayday from pilot?
    - How can we find a soccer ball in a middle of a soccer field using google map but we cant find a plane the size of a building?
    - Or the government knows something we don't?

    Check this video i found:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj9pQN-Qxbo

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    1. I think they deployed immediately...just not in the right place. They spent 4 days looking underneath where the plane disappeared. Why? They didn't know better.

      No mayday because they couldn't. I think they were taken out when someone came in the flightdeck.

      If the soccer ball was buried in the ground we wouldn't see it. Big ocean and a lot of garbage. It's a more daunting task than we can think.

      If the government knows something and they're not telling us...there is a reason.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

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  17. One would think the last comment made by the aircraft "All right.Good night" would seem odd.
    The pilot ought to have repeated his ATC clearance & then signed off with his call-sign.
    Just a petty little comment I know,but...

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    1. I heard they came out that that was not the final call. They actually gave a more realistic response. So much has changed since this came out, and not sure why the false information in the first reports.

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