Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Voice of Russia - Interview with Captain Field McConnell - MH370 - Current Aircraft Technology - Boeing Uninterruptible Autopilot

Source: The Voice of Russia

MH370 Pilots May Not Have Flown Plane Off Course: Analyst

Students stand next to a giant mural featuring missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 displayed on the grounds of their school in Manila's financial district of Makati on March 18, 2014, created as part of solidarity action by concerned artists for the passengers and crew of the missing plane.
Three million people around the world have joined an effort led by a satellite operator to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in what may be the largest crowdsourcing project of its kind. The plane went missing early on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard, spawning a massive international search across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean that has turned up no trace of wreckage. AFP

By Kells Hetherington

WASHINGTON (VR) —A former Delta airlines pilot who flew F4s and F16s after he graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1971 may be able to explain why Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 turned West several minutes before making its final radio transmission. Captain Field McConnell said it is possible to remotely fly the aircraft.

“It really boils down to who ultimately was controlling that aircraft in the final portions of the aircraft’s flight because when it took off it was under the command of two humans, a 53 year old captain and 27 year old copilot. At any point after the autopilot was selected, an agency with the ability to remotely take control of that airliner – if any of those agencies pushed the button to take control of that airliner – they would have been in control and the crew could have done nothing [about it], and that is due to the feature called the Boeing Uninterruptable Autopilot,” McConnell said. According to McConnell, this is not a conspiracy idea or potential feature of the aircraft; it can be done with current technology onboard the plane.

“Boeing Aircraft Company on the 3rd of March of 2007 said that they did indeed have the Boeing Uninterruptable Autopilot deployed. In the article where they announced it, they said by the end of 2009 all airliners in the world would be thus equipped. That brings us to 2014, which is five years after 2009,” McConnell said.

If this had involved a Delta flight operating in the United States, Delta, the FAA, the Air Force or the Navy could have captured control of the aircraft, including landing procedures, and taken it away from the flight crew using Boeing’s technology the meant to protect us against another September 11 type attack. Control of the aircraft once taken cannot be regained by the flight crew.

Fox News has reported that “At 1:19 p.m. on March 8, 12 minutes after the plane had changed course to the west, co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid gave a routine ‘All right, good night’ in his final radio call.” And on “The Kelly File" Wednesday night, former FAA spokesman Scott Brenner said one of the pilots must have entered the new direction into the flight management system, which he said would be virtually impossible for either the pilot or copilot to do without the other noticing. However the pilots may not have been responsible for entering the new waypoints that took the plane on a westward trajectory, according to McConnell.

“I don’t think they did do it, but even if the human pilots caused that excursion to the West, Malaysian Airlines FOC, which is the systems operations center, they would have the ability to capture their own aircraft [and] so would a variety of other entities,” McConnell explained.

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The interview with Captain Field McConnell is available in audio at the bottom of The Voice of Russia site. 
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Further reading:

New autopilot will make another 9/11 impossible (London Evening Standard, 03 March 2007) http://www.standard.co.uk/news/new-autopilot-will-make-another-911-impossible-7239651.html

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