10/18/2014 - Emirates is one of the world's most successful, luxurious, respected, and fastest-growing airlines. He’s also a recently dubbed knight, who has a hunch that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 may not be in the Indian Ocean after all.

It has been over seven months since the Boeing 777-200 with 227 people on board disappeared without a trace. After the Southern Hemisphere winter, the search of the sea floor resumed last Monday. But Clark suggests the search may be focused on the wrong area. The Malaysia government originally refused to release the cargo manifest for public record, but then released a manifest on May 1st. Malaysia Airlines has said on March seventeenth that the flight carried no dangerous cargo, but the newly-released manifest indicated the plane carried lithium ion batteries and other unknown suspicious cargo.

Clark's airline, Emirates is the world's largest operator of Boeing 777s, and he has said, "I will continue to ask questions and make a nuisance of myself, even as others would like to bury it. 

I need to know how anybody could interdict our 777 systems." Lithium ion batteries are the known culprit for fires on board two Boeing 787s and three Tesla vehicles. In 2010, a UPS 747 was brought down by a fire caused by lithium batteries in the cargo hold. As far back as 2006, Sony replaced millions of Li-ion battery backs for laptop PCs after hundreds overheated and a few caught on fire.

Clark recently gave a very candid interview to Der Speigel, in which he questioned the validity of the search, the cargo manifest, the so-called "satellite hand off" and even the ability of the pilot to disable the plane's transponder. Here's what he told the German newspaper:

"There hasn't been one overwater 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... We have an obligation to not sweep this under the carpet, but to sort it out and do better than we have done."

Clark's suspicion over MH370's watery grave is due to the fact that not a single piece of debris has been located, "not even a seat cushion." I have maintained from the beginning that if the plane had hit the ocean surface, it would have broken up and left floating debris on the surface. There are a lot of non-absorbent plastic parts on an airplane. Not true parts from MH-370 has washed up on shore and identified as from the plane   Debris from the missing Boeing 777 has turned up on the shores of Africa, but nothing has been located in the 46,000 square mile section of the southern Indian Ocean that Fugro has been scanning. 

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, spoke to Airways magazine in an interview about the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, his doubts about the facts of the aircraft’s disappearance and why he thinks MH Flight 370 should have never happened.

Clark said that MH 370 remains one of the great aviation mysteries. “Personally I have the concern that we will treat it like that and move on, and it will go onto National Geographic as one of aviation’s great mysteries. We mustn’t allow this to happen,” he said. “This airplane has disappeared without a trace. 

The public and the industry are questioning the lack of information and the cold hard logic of the disappearance of this and the factors that led to its disappearance.”

Clark theorizes that control was probably taken of the aircraft, thus the events that happened during the course of its tracked flight will be anybody’s guess of who did what and when. “I think we need to know who was on this airplane in the detail that obviously some people do know, we need to know what was in the hold of the airplane, in the detail we need to know, in a transparent manner,” he said.

The transponders are under the control of the flight deck, said Clark. “These are tracking devices, aircraft identifiers, that work in the secondary radar regime. If you turn off that transponder in a secondary radar regime, it causes a disappearance of that particular aeroplane from the radar screen,” he said. “That should never be allowed to happen. All secondary and primary radar should be the same. Irrespective of when the pilot decides to disable the transponder, the aircraft should be able to be tracked.

“So the notion by the Malaysians that the disappearance from the secondary radar and then the ability of the military to use primary radar to track the aeroplane and identify it as ‘friendly’ – I don’t know how they did that – is something we need to look at very carefully,” said Clark.

In remarks about the ongoing search for MH 370, Clark said the search has begun again in the Southern Ocean. “But look at what they had there before: the Russians, the Chinese, the British, the Australians and the Malaysians. They had so many aircraft there that at one point, they had to bring in a separate aircraft to control their movements, so they didn’t bump into each other. And still, nothing,” he states. “Now, months later, they are gonna start again, but they couldn’t find anything with all these entities before. This is very strange.”

Heading an airline that operates the largest number of 777s in the world, Clark said he has a responsibility of knowing exactly what went on. “I do not subscribe to the view that the aircraft, which is one of the most advanced in the world, has the most advanced avionic and communication platforms, needs to be improved so that we can introduce some kind of additional tracking system for an aeroplane that should never have been allowed to enter into a non-trackable situation,” he stated. The complete interview with Clark will be in the January issue of Airways magazine, which comes out on November 30.


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