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US Pilots Discuss Malaysian Plane Mystery

US Pilots Discuss Malaysian Plane Mysteryi
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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.

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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?

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