Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370 and the terrorist threat – 4

I’m keeping the title for continuity’s sake, even though there’s not a lot to indicate a hijacking of any kind.

Here’s the latest “Startlingly Simple” theory — fire, smoke, crew turns back to an emergency airfield and then are overcome. It’s been criticised because the radar track shows the aircraft hitting waypoints, which means the autopilot was still on. What would it take for it to be true?

1. Less than total electrical failure. I have no idea where the ACARS and transponder equipment (or cabling is). Could a fire destroy those and not the autopilot?

2. Misidentification of the radar track. Originally, they weren’t sure it was MH370, but then decided, on no known evidence, that it was. If it was not MH370, the fact that it was hitting waypoints doesn’t matter.

3. Misidentification of the Inmarsat pings. Not sure how likely this is. We are using the satellite signal for something it wasn’t designed for. Could the ID’s be mixed up? Digits transposed on data entry? Angle data be off due to satellite-aircraft geometry?

There’s a report out of the Maldives of a low flying jet. I’m not sure the Times of India, quoting a Maldivian news website, quoting a fisherman, makes for a reliable source. The time is close to the Inmarsat contact, but the location is way off. It is, however, more or less directly west of the airfield at Pulau Langkawi, and the last known location of MH370 just by a couple thousand miles. UPDATE: Maldives AF denies the story.

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