The flight computer of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was programmed to do the now-infamous “u-turn” 12 minutes before the copilot signed off to ground control by saying “all right, good night,” NBC News is reporting.
At first blush, it would make the turn look premeditated. Though we wouldn’t know if it was the pilot or copilot behind the plot, or whether it was someone esle forcing them.
NBC is saying that we shouldn’t read much into this, because pilots routinely plug alternate paths into their flight computer in advance, just in case they have an emergency mid-flight. But that stretches credulity for a number of reasons.
According to a timeline over at Reuters, the transponder was shut off at 1:21am, two minutes after the copilot says “all right, good night.” If the new flight path wasn’t nefarious, and was only a normal precaution, then why did the transponder get shut off only 14 minutes later, something, we are told, pilots never do?
And if the transponder was shut off because of a dangerous electrical malfunction, that’s a heck of a coincidence, coming only 14 minutes after the pilots just happen to prepare for a possible, but not expected, emergency.
And then, six minutes later, Thai military detect an unknown plane flying the opposite direction, meaning the emergency change of direction that no one expected to implement, just got implemented – only 20 minutes after it was plugged into the computer.
Now, keep in mind, we don’t know who NBC is getting this from. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into it if it’s from the Malaysians. But this just keeps looking more and more like foul play.