The Malaysians have announced that more bits of debris have been found on Reunion’s shores – including, according to them, an aircraft window. The French investigators are being more cautious, not even confirming that the flaperon (found earlier) actually did come from MH370.
It would appear however, that the evidence is pointing more and more to MH370 and that we could expect to see more debris washing ashore in the near future.
Should this be the case, it at least puts the issue of what happened to the B777 to rest – it clearly ended up in the sea. What it does not explain at this stage is why it ended up somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.
What the current lack of evidence indicates is that someone deliberately interfered with the planned flight of MH370 and set it on a premeditated flight path, intentionally initiating this in the dead of night, at an inconspicuous ATC hand-over point and so avoiding detection – until it was too late.
Who that interfering party was will haunt us for a while to come, unless the CVR (cockpit voice recorder) and the FDR (flight data recorder) are found. Even so, with such cunning evident in the event, I doubt whether the CVR would yield any evidence anyway: Following the emerging pattern of deceit, it was probably disabled before the interference took place – easy to do. One can only hope that the FDR would still contain some evidence which could point to where the interference came from and at what stage of the flight.
Leaving aside all the speculation about how the aircraft hit the sea and why no debris have been found until now, the question for us as CRM practitioners will revolve around the role of the crew (both flight and cabin crew) in this mystery.
The LAM suicidal pilot and the recent Germanwings disaster just added oil to the fire and we have already seen some knee-jerk reaction in the new reams of questions added to our annual medical examinations. Now our AME’s need to become psychologists as well – while we forget that when we consider the millions of safe flights undertaken daily, these tragedies could be regarded as almost negligible in the bigger scheme of things. There are many thousands of us still plying our trade as pilots daily, doing so with great care and responsibility.
While MH370 will remain a mystery and be discussed on our flight decks, it has to my mind not changed the professional way my fellow pilots and I view our jobs at all.