Rising number of aviation experts

Rising number of aviation experts

When a plane is 45,000ft there will be no oxygen. That is why the pilot flew that high. He was trying to extinguish a fire, said a frizzy-haired, 40-something woman as she loudly discussed what happened to MH370 that disappeared into thin air on March 8.

"No, there is still oxygen at that height. I know as my nephew is a pilot," said an animated 50-something man in a mamak shop in Petaling Jaya.

"Then why did the pilot fly that high?" she said.

I was seated two tables away, enjoying my kopi ais (iced coffee) and telur tiga-suku (three-quarter-boiled eggs). I was at the mamak shop to get far away from the madding crowd - with overnight PhDs in aviation - who incessantly discussed the missing MH370.

There's no escaping the MH370 discussion, however. It is as if everybody, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, alternative rocker Courtney Love and Raja Bomoh Sedunia Ibrahim Mat Zin, has taken a instant course in aviation or conspiracy theories.

Actually, there was nothing original in the discussion. It is an echo of an echo of an echo. They're just regurgitating what they read or watched on CNN, The Star Online or The Daily Mail.

Take that frizzy-haired woman, for example. She was actually quoting the widely reported "startlingly simple" theory of Chris Goodfellow, whom Wired.com identified as having "20 years' experience as a Canadian Class-1 instrument-rated pilot for multi-engine planes".

Goodfellow speculated that Flight MH370 caught fire and the pilot headed to a nearby airport to save the Boeing 777-200, eventually crashing into the Indian Ocean.


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