Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates Airlines, had quite a bit to say about the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 when discussing the flight with German newspaper Der Speigel.
Clark is critical of the investigation so far and believes that evidence suggests that someone took control of the plane and maintained it until the very end. Why should we listen to anything Clark has to say? The plane that disappeared was a Boeing 777, and Emirates operates 127 such aircraft, more than any other airline in the world. Therefore, he knows quite a bit about the aircraft in question.
Clark fears that the mystery surrounding the flight disappearance will remain just that, a mystery.
?MH 370 remains one of the great aviation mysteries. Personally, I have the concern that we will treat it as such and move on. At the most, it might then make an appearance on National Geographic as one of aviation?s great mysteries. We mustn?t allow this to happen. We must know what caused that airplane to disappear.?
When questioned about his views of what happened on that dreaded flight, Clark said he felt that someone took control of the plane and maintained it until the very end. When pressed for more details on who he thought might have taken control of the plane, Clark said that more information on who exactly was on the plane is needed, along with cargo records.
?We need to know who was on the plane in the detail that obviously some people do know. We need to know what was in the hold of the aircraft. And we need to continue to press all those who were involved in the analysis of what happened for more information. I do not subscribe to the view that the Boeing 777, which is one of the most advanced in the world and has the most advanced communication platforms, needs to be improved with the introduction of some kind of additional tracking system. MH 370 should never have been allowed to enter a non-trackable situation.?
Clark said that while disabling transponders could be done by flight crew, the ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) is another story. The disabling of ACARS is a complex task and pilots are not trained to disable it.
?Disabling it is no simple thing and our pilots are not trained to do so. But on flight MH 370, this thing was somehow disabled, to the degree that the ground tracking capability was eliminated. We must find systems to allow ACARS to continue uninterrupted, irrespective of who is controlling the aircraft. If you have that, with the satellite constellations that we have today even in remote ocean regions, we still have monitoring capability. So you don?t have to introduce additional tracking systems.?
Clark says that search efforts have been focused on the Indian Ocean but the aircraft ?may not be in the Indian Ocean.?
?Our experience tells us that in water incidents, where the aircraft has gone down, there is always something. We have not seen a single thing that suggests categorically that this aircraft is where they say it is, apart from this so-called electronic satellite ?handshake,? which I question as well. There hasn?t been one over-water incident in the history of civil aviation ? apart from Amelia Earhart in 1939 ? that has not been at least 5 or 10 percent trackable. But MH 370 has simply disappeared. For me, that raises a degree of suspicion. I?m totally dissatisfied with what has been coming out of all of this.?
What do you think? Are the concerns Clark presents valid in the case of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, or is it plausible for a flight to vanish without a trace?