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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MH370 Did Not Fall From The Sky

March 7th/8th, 2014, MH370 disappeared from radar and has yet to be found. Speculation over the first weekend erroneously focused on the plane blowing up, possible equipment failure, and or an airworthiness directive causing fatigue and a rapid depressurization causing loss of control—I knew none of these situations were the case.

Frustrated that the search was being conducted in the wrong area I finally spoke out in MH370: Time to Speculate in hope that we could send the search crew in the correct direction.

It was not until days later that the authorities ruled out that initial speculation and came on board that this was not an accident and the plane did not fall out of the sky. As the days progress I am becoming equally frustrated as to what the media is saying. 

Is the media speculating
or jumping to conclusions?

There is a significant difference between speculation and jumping to conclusions. Speculation is taking the facts we know and using deductive reasoning to come to a possibility. Jumping to conclusions is saying the captain did this because he was Muslim, or that he did this because he had a simulator.

I may have been the first social media pilot to speak out speculating that the plane was hijacked and did not blow up, fall apart, and/or depressurize and fall from the sky. Many comments are now coming in saying I was right. I don't care if I'm right, as long as we learn what happened. I have also received many emails asking how I knew the plane was taken and there was not a catastrophic failure.

How did I know?

I used system knowledge and standard aviation procedures to deduce that it was not a catastrophic event and there was human intervention. But there is more. The reason could have something to do with the fact I was able to write an aviation thriller, Flight For Control, about pilot suicide and then two months after the novel was published a Jet Blue captain was locked out of the flight deck due to a mental breakdown. 

This event was not a prophecy, but pure speculation as to what could happen in our current world. I took the condition of the airline industry, human factors, and my education in human services and speculated ‘what if’.

I foresaw what “could” happen and wrote a very probable novel. Albeit fiction, I used my 34 years in the airline industry and combined it with psychology and wrote a book that we hope would stay fiction. But the truth is—pilot suicide can and did occur, and may again in the future. But in this case, I do not believe pilot suicide occurred on MH370.

Three weeks ago the sequel, Flight For Safety, came out about the challenges of automation with some very frightening truths—pilots losing their flying skills and not able to land and or fly their planes. This novel was in the hands of an Airbus A330 technical editor the day Asiana 777 crashed in San Francisco, with an exact scenario I had written a year prior.  How did I know? I saw it coming.

Book Three: Flight For Survival is outlined and the prologue features a plane that disappears over the Atlantic without contact. Yes, this was written before MH370 disappeared.

How am I writing these novels that are playing out in real life?

34 years flying, 8 airlines, 7 type ratings and twenty-three years instructing for major airlines on international aircraft, I have watched the history of automation increase in direct proportion of skill deterioration. Once again I speculated on what could happen and it came true—a major airliner crashed a perfectly good airplane.

I am not a prophet, I am an airline pilot with vast experience in flight training and human factors, and I saw the automation issues coming over twenty years ago. There is a reason experienced pilots are landing at the wrong airports and having mishaps with their planes.

I've lived through mergers, pension loss, and furloughs and see what it does to people. I took it upon myself to get a Masters in Human Services to help understand the human psyche.

Do I think someone landed MH370 in a remote strip? No.  Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part because if it is, our world would be in trouble, as Mark L. Berry outlines in his theory. Better safe than sorry?

My belief comes from deductive reasoning based on my automation and heavy jet experience, and what would have had to happen to make that landing a probability. I always say, never say never. But tomorrow I will share with you why I hold the beliefs that I do.

The Power of Speculation

Aviation control and regulation is reactionary. Speculation is about being proactive. Being proactive can prevent accidents from occurring and can keep terrorists off planes. Being proactive prevents people gaining access to an aircraft with stolen passports. It means not waiting five days to expand the search to passengers, crew, and a possible area outside the span of a plane falling out of the sky. There was no way what happened to AF447 could have happened to the Boeing.

If we can deduce and speculate what might happen from what we know, we can prevent it from happening in the future. We can also find this plane if we zero in on what might have happened by focusing on facts instead of jumping to conclusions which wastes valuable time. We lost at least five valuable days while heading down the wrong path.

The Time To Speculate post has had 118,000 views, and still counting, with hundreds of comments. (I am still planning on responding to everyone. Thank you for your patience if I haven't got to yours yet.) 

Some people have stated, “I hate to speculate.” I ask, “But why?”

Speculation done without blame, fear, and ignorance is nothing more than brainstorming. Our challenge is whether or not we have all the facts. Due to national security I can imagine the ‘classified’ information is being withheld. So we as viewers of this horrible movie can only speculate with what we know. Do we know everything? I'm not sure that we do.

Tomorrow, Wednesday March 19th, I will tell you why I do not believe the captain was to blame and why I do not believe the plane landed someplace to be used again in my post Debunking Myths of MH370.

We will find this plane and the answers. Until then, my heartfelt prayers go out to the families and friends of those on board MH flight 370.

Enjoy the journey and keep the faith!
XO Karlene

Karlene Petitt is an International Airline Pilot
Author of best selling Aviation Thrillers:


  1. what could have caused as plane to still be missing almost 2 weeks after?

    1. Tina, I'm not sure. It's a big world and I suspect we will find it. Today I think I know what happened based on the news information.

  2. Excellent article Karlene. It seems we are no closer to knowing the truth about MH 370, and the search corridors are now incredibly long.. My question is this: IF MH 370 has crashed into the Indian Ocean (or any body of water for that matter), wouldn't the floating debris now be hundreds of kilometres from the main body of the wreckage?
    There are so many theories and each day seems to bring new and often conflicting information. The ACARS was disabled before the last radio transmission, and now there is no reason to think this was actually the case.. The transponder was switched off just 90 seconds after the last 'Alright, good night'.. or so we are told.
    Do you think it likely that any data will ever be recovered, given the time that has now elapsed?
    I look forward to 'Debunking Myths of MH 370' tomorrow! Thank-you for all the great articles Karlene.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment and sorry for the delay in responding. You're right, wreckage would be miles from the from point of impact. I think that we will eventually find the plane. It's a matter of time. Oh...and I had to delay the debunking for a day. I was looking at the official timeline and wanted to post my new thoughts. What do you think?

  3. I forgot to add my name to my question. Sorry! Simon Geddes, Queenstown. Tasmania.

    1. Lol... sorry Simon! And sorry for the delay. I have grandkids this week and communicating is a challenge.

  4. Excellent job, as always, Karlene!

    You make such a key point that aviation regulation is REACTIONARY. One need only look at the recent absurd new FAR rules--fatigue (117), cockpit electronics ban, 1500-hour type requirement for both crew--to know that these are political, armchair maneuvers that have NOTHING to do with safety!

    If we truly want to nurture a SAFE environment, as you say, we must be PROactive, not REactive--and certainly not political!

    1. Thank you so much Eric! Yes... proactive is the key. Politics has no place in safety and hopefully we can move that way.

  5. Karlene,

    If you keep going down the path of rational thought you are going to make the media and the tin foil crowd very upset. I hope you have room in your theories for some form of mind control, alien abduction, Bigfoot, or something I don't even know about yet.

    Because one of these guys deciding to off himself and taking the rest of the crew and passengers certainly isn't going to play well with the black helicopter segments.

    Ha ha!

    I look forward to your theory tomorrow.

    1. Thanks Rob! I pushed my debunking back a day... and today is the update. Could it be possible? I think yes!

  6. Karlene, this is yet another brilliant power post. I have been avoiding speculation despite the fact I emailed you my thoughts however, after reading an awesome article today, I am ready to start really offering my speculations.

    I must say that the more we speculate err, brainstorm, the quicker we can get leads to finding the plane and getting answers to those most deserving: the families.

    I am always ever so reliant on your vast experience with industry issues, the human factors within, and hands on heavy metal experience.

    I hope our brainstorming does come together to show the international community that the alien brainwashed media is nothing but a bunch of non-sense, as always, but most importantly to solve the case, give the families a piece of mind, and non-recurrence of like events in the future.

    Looking forward to tomorrow.

    1. Jeremy, I think we will be able to find this plane. The question to what and why it happened is essential. I hope that our brainstorming will help find it. But now sadly I think time will tell. It will come up, but when... that's the million dollar question. Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. Excellent Post! I am a flight instructor and many friends have asked for my thoughts on the fate of MH370. Many have speculated the plane was stolen and landed someplace remote for some future nefarious purpose. I have said that I am 90% certain the plane in on the bottom of the ocean. Why and where is yet to be determined.

    1. I'm 91% sure... with you on the ocean theory. Today I have another theory on what might have happened. Hopefully we will find soon and have all the answers. Thank you so much for your comment. Oh... check today. Thoughts?

  8. a) When I want to cut through bulls--t, I come here.

    b) I have a crush on one of the P-3C Orion pilots hunting for that plane. I hope she finds it... somewhere in Somalia being used for randsom.

    1. Lol... yep, I say as it is. Thank you so much for the comment and I hope your friend finds it and you can report to me directly. :)
      Thank you so much for your thoughts. What do you think about this?

  9. Tell us your theory already!!! I'm anxiously awaiting!

    1. You don't have to wait much longer. I have another theory today. Then debunking.
      Thanks for your comment!


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