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Scott Hetherington
Lives in Rocky Mountain House
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Scott Hetherington

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First time for everything, I guess.
 
Back road barnstomers: which turbocharged pocket rocket is your favorite? Check out our @BMWUSA M235i, @MBUSA CLA45 AMG and @Subaru_USA WRX STI comparo! http://motort.re/1hJm8FT
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Scott Hetherington

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Fantastic, reasoned explanation on #MH370  from a seasoned pilot.
 
MH370  A different point of view. Pulau Langkawi 13,000 runway.

A lot of speculation about MH370. Terrorism, hijack, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN - almost disturbing. I tend to look for a more simple explanation of this event.
 
Loaded 777 departs midnight from Kuala to Beijing. Hot night. Heavy aircraft.  About an hour out across the gulf towards Vietnam the plane goes dark meaning the transponder goes off and secondary radar tracking goes off. 
 
Two days later we hear of reports that Malaysian military radar (which is a primary radar meaning the plane is being tracked by reflection rather than by transponder interrogation response) has tracked the plane on a southwesterly course back across the Malay Peninsula into the straits of Malacca.
 
When I heard this I immediately brought up Google Earth and I searched for airports in proximity to the track towards southwest.
 
The left turn is the key here. This was a very experienced senior Captain with 18,000 hours. Maybe some of the younger pilots interviewed on CNN didn't pick up on this left turn. We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us. Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don't want to be thinking what are you going to do - you already know what you are going to do. Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport. Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi a 13,000 foot strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles. He did not turn back to Kuala  Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.
 
Take a look on Google Earth at this airport. This pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make that immediate turn back to the closest safe airport.
For me the loss of transponders and communications makes perfect sense if a fire. There was most likely a fire or electrical fire. In the case of fire the first response if to pull all the main busses and restore circuits one by one until you have isolated the bad one.


If they pulled the busses the plane indeed would go silent. It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, Navigate and lastly communicate. There are two types of fires. Electrical might not be as fast and furious and there might or might not be incapacitating smoke. However there is the possibility given the timeline that perhaps there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires and it blew on takeoff and started slowly burning. Yes this happens with underinflated tires. Remember heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long run takeoff. There was a well known accident in Nigeria of a DC8 that had a landing gear fire on takeoff. A tire fire once going would produce horrific incapacitating smoke. Yes, pilots have access to oxygen masks but this is a no no with fire. Most have access to a smoke hood with a filter but this will only last for a few minutes depending on the smoke level. (I used to carry one of my own in a flight bag and I still carry one in my briefcase today when I fly).
 
What I think happened is that they were overcome by smoke and the plane just continued on  the heading probably on George (autopilot) until either fuel exhaustion or fire destroyed the control surfaces and it crashed. I said four days ago you will find it along that route - looking elsewhere was pointless.  
 
This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi. No doubt in my mind. That's the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi. It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.
 
Surprisingly none of the reporters , officials, other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot's viewpoint. If something went wrong where would he go? Thanks to Google earth I spotted Langkawi in about 30 seconds, zoomed in and saw how long the runway was and I just instinctively knew this pilot knew this airport. He had probably flown there many times. I guess we will eventually find out when you help me spread this theory on the net and some reporters finally take a look on Google earth and put 2 and 2 together. Also a look at the age and number of cycles on those nose tires might give us a good clue too.   
 
Fire in an aircraft demands one thing - you get the machine on the ground as soon as possible. There are two well remembered experiences in my memory. The AirCanada DC9 which landed I believe in Columbus Ohio in the eighties. That pilot delayed descent and bypassed several airports.   He didn't instinctively know the closest airports. He got it on the ground eventually but lost 30 odd souls.   In the 1998 crash of Swissair DC-10 off Nova Scotia was another example of heroic pilots. They were 15 minutes out of Halifax but the fire simply  overcame them and they had to ditch in the ocean. Just ran out of time. That fire incidentally started when the aircraft was about an hour out of Kennedy. Guess what the transponders and communications were shut off as they pulled the busses.
 

Get on Google Earth and type in Pulau Langkawi  and then look at it in relation to the radar track heading. 2+2=4  That for me is the  simple explanation why it turned and headed  in that direction.

Smart pilot. Just didn't have the time.

 


 
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Very interesting stats here.
 
Which countries have the highest internet usage by population? Find out on #MapsGallerygoo.gl/P8MavW. 
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Scott Hetherington

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Any time you want to try out Canada....
 
Today we’ve invited 34 cities in nine metro areas around the U.S. to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them +Google Fiber. In the coming months, we'll work with each city's leaders on a joint planning process to map out a Google Fiber network in detail and assess potential challenges to bringing 100x faster Internet to these communities. We aim to provide updates about which of these cities will be getting Google Fiber at the end of the year. Learn more: http://goo.gl/tMg6F9
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Yes. This. Well put.
 
Amazing.  Bravo. 
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Please join us for a HOA on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 1:15PM PST to learn more about Educational Robotics and Robot Programming with Professor Jennifer S. Kay of Rowan University
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Google for Education. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Q&A
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CS4HS HOA | Robotics in Education
Wed, January 15, 4:15 PM
Hangouts On Air

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Are you an art teacher, museum educator, or educator interested in creative tools for the classroom?  Join the +Google Cultural Institute Education Community to meet other educators, share best practices, and find out about the latest updates to +Google Cultural Institute. #arttech   #edtech   #edchat  
Google Cultural Institute Education
Imagining new ways of teaching History, Art and Culture
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Love this. Great innovation.
 
Still looking for your car after the big game? Pro tip: Next time, tap and hold the screen to drop a pin, star it, and save or share your location.

Get the latest #GoogleMaps update for +Android → goo.gl/kxuzYm. 
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Wow. Didn't know this was possible.
 
For those of you who can't get enough of the #Oscars, Google Now can give you the inside scoop on what you're seeing on your TV. Just open the #GoogleSearch App on Android, say "Ok Google, listen to TV," and Google Now will show you information about what's on screen. 
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Digital Learning Day: Wednesday, February 5th
In honor of Digital Learning Day this Wednesday (http://goo.gl/N30ZLG), classrooms around the country are coming together to debate three hot-button tech questions facing students today. Though we have heard from teachers, parents and administrators, this will be a unique opportunity to hear directly from students about their thoughts on the issues.  

In Connected Classrooms’ first ever student-to-student debate series, classrooms will explore the following questions: 

> Is social media the news of the future? Moderated by Vijay Ravindran, former Chief Digital Officer of the Washington Post

> Should college admissions officers consider your digital footprint when making decisions? Moderated by Christoph Guttentag, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University

> Should coding be mandatory in school curriculums? Moderated by Dana Ledyard, Managing Director of Girls Who Code
 
Watch online and ask your questions to our moderators live! Full schedule/links below:
10:30am EST - Breaking News/Social Media Student Debate (http://goo.gl/6YpvQe
12:30pm EST - Digital Footprint Student Debate  (http://goo.gl/iQIDJj
1:20pm EST - Coding Literacy Student Debate (http://goo.gl/DWUhxa) 
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School based tech has come a really long ways since we were kids; it's pretty cool.
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