News / Asia

US Pilots Discuss Malaysian Plane Mystery

US Pilots Discuss Malaysian Plane Mysteryi
X
March 19, 2014 2:53 PM
There are plenty of theories about what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Not only are analysts and the flying public mesmerized by the plane's mysterious disappearance, pilots themselves are examining the facts and trying to figure out what happened. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
US Pilots Discuss Malaysian Plane Mystery
Plenty of theories surround what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  Not only are analysts and the flying public mesmerized by the plane's mysterious disappearance, pilots themselves are examining the facts and trying to figure out what happened. 

On Facebook, users are posting photos of airplane controls, panels, manuals, and radars.  Pilot forums are buzzing as they share information about the plane’s disappearance.  One U.S. forum has nearly 150,000 hits and 64 pages of comments.

Bud Musser is a retired airline captain who flew the same model Boeing 777 that is missing. He says the pilot community is shocked that a 777 is involved.

"It is so sophisticated. It's so automated that you can make it do whatever you want if you learn how to fly that airplane," Musser said. "It's the first airplane that the engineers listened to the pilots on how to design the cockpit. It's user-friendly."

But not so user-friendly that someone without prior aviation knowledge could reprogram its route.

A week after the plane went missing on March 8, Malaysian authorities put the two Malaysian pilots under more scrutiny and searched their homes.  The U.S. pilot community is sensitive about putting pilots' reputations at stake.  They say pilots know many lives are entrusted to them.
 
Vic Hooper has more than 4,000 hours as a Boeing 777 Captain in Asia.  He says pilots work without immediate oversight, thousands of kilometers from their supervisors.

"They make decisions autonomously based on the situation around them, and they are responsible for their outcomes," said Hooper.

The pilot groups offer plenty of scenarios.  Captain Musser says curiosity drives the chatter.

“It’s a disappeared airplane," he said.  "It’s kinda like out of the 1950s, or 60s TV show 'The Twilight Zone.' You just don’t know what happened and you can’t explain it.”

The old U.S. television show always ended with a bizarre, unexpected twist.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
March 19, 2014 1:07 PM
THE WISE MAN said it; ... LOOK for the hijacked plane to be part of a clandestine operation, against a nuclear site somewhere? LOOK at the identities of the (2) Iranian dissidents? LOOK at the last radio transmission from the plane, (All right, good night), as being a message that the hijacking of the plane was successful, and all the plane radio communications had been disabled.. LOOK for someone in the control tower who called somebody else after that message, and that somebody else radioed a ship to spread the oil to mislead the search for the hijacked plane.. LOOK for the hijacked plane to be in a hanger on a big airfield, being repainted for a clandestine operation against a nuclear site somewhere? ....... REALLY?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs