Monday March 31, 2014
03:56 PM GMT+8

Advertisement

More stories

Aviation experts said there is a slim chance the Malaysia Airlines jet could have made an emergency landing on water without leaving much debris. — AFP picAviation experts said there is a slim chance the Malaysia Airlines jet could have made an emergency landing on water without leaving much debris. — AFP picKUALA LUMPUR, March 31 ― With no wreckage or debris to be found of the missing Flight MH370 three weeks on, aviation experts said there is a slim chance the Malaysia Airlines jet could have made an emergency landing on water without leaving much debris.

In a joint televised interview with CNN’s chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto yesterday, oceanographer Alexander Babanin and CNN’s aviation analyst Miles O’Brien were asked if the passenger plane could have landed intact on water, to which both men agreed.

Sciutto also pointed out that US Airways Flight 1549 had successfully ditched into the Hudson River near New York in 2009, with all on board surviving the crash landing.

“But it's pretty hard to ditch in the water at night,” O’Brien said in the interview on the American news network.

“So I'm not exactly sure if at that time after that much flying, they were in daylight conditions or darkness. So that'd be a key thing,” the aviation analyst added.

Citing satellite data, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said last Monday that Flight MH370 had ended in the southern Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, after the plane disappeared from civilian radar in the early hours of March 8.

In the Gallery


  • People light up candles during a ‘Love U MH370’ event in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A woman casts her shadow as she hangs messages during a ‘Love U MH370’ event in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A girl writes messages during a ‘Love U MH370’ event in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets members of Malaysia's Air Force who are currently based at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott is guided around a Royal Australian Air Force P-3C Orion aircraft by Australia's Air Force Group Commander Craig Heap (2nd left) near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (right) meets with South Korea's Navy Captain Lee Jin-young during his visit to RAAF Base Pearce near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd left) is briefed on the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by Royal Australian Air Force Group Commander Craig Heap (right) near Perth March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A woman writes on a wall dedicated to the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 before the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A Chinese relative of passengers on board missing MH370 is comforted by abbess Jue Cheng after prayers at a Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A Chinese relative of passengers on board missing MH370 prepares to recite prayers for their loved ones at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya March 31, 2014. ― Reuters pic

  • A relative of a passenger onboard missing MH370 prays at a praying room at Lido Hotel in Beijing March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A sign displays a message regarding the search for missing MH370 outside the Uniting Church in the town of Kincumber in New South Wales March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A sound and video technician rests during Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s news conference on missing MH370 in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein speaks during a news conference on missing MH370 in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Able Seaman Marine Technician Matthew Oxley stands aboard Australian Navy ship HMAS Success looking for debris in the southern Indian Ocean March 31, 2014. — Reuters pic

When Sciutto asked why the Malaysian military did not raise an alert after detecting the commercial jet without a transponder on its radar, O’Brien said that governments could be reluctant to talk about the matter because it would mean exposing their defence limitations, or a “lack of responsiveness” in their defences.

“And that's probably why we're not getting much on that front right now, which is unfortunate,” said the aviation analyst.

The Boeing 777-200 jetliner deviated sharply from its Beijing-bound flight path and its communications systems, including its transponder which identifies the aircraft to air traffic control, were switched off.

But the plane was detected on Malaysian military radar northwest from Penang in the Straits of Malacca at 2.15am on March 8.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force has said that the commercial jetliner was not intercepted as it was considered non-hostile.

In the September 11 attacks, however, al-Qaeda terrorists had hijacked passenger airliners to crash into the World Trade Centre in New York City.

CNN’s Sciutto also asked in the interview why Putrajaya or UK commercial satellite firm Inmarsat did not release Flight MH370’s definitive altitude or speed assumptions for the plane’s final leg of the journey.

Babanin from Australia’s Swinburne University said that he has been asking the same question, telling CNN: “For example, not only the distance the plane traveled, but also the direction the plane travelled”.

When asked if shutting off the jet’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which conveys the plane’s health to MAS, would trigger an alarm to the co-pilot, O’Brien said he did not believe that would happen.

“My inclination is that would not be something that would trigger an alarm,” said the aviation analyst.

The plane’s ACARS signalling device sent its last message at 1.07am, and the next message scheduled for half an hour later never arrived.

MORE ON MMOTV

Advertisement

MMO Instagram

Tweets by @themmailonline