Now that authorities are certain that Flight 370 went down in a faraway corner of the Indian Ocean, speculation is rising that this is a bizarre case of pilot suicide. It still strikes me as odd that we haven’t heard much about the pilot’s family that reportedly moved out the day before the flight, a prelude to a forthcoming divorce. Maybe these reports are incorrect. Probably the Malaysians have the family bottled up somewhere. The next shoe to drop will be something incriminating on the pilot’s home-made flight simulator.
But the final route and behavior of the plane (threading waypoints, soaring to 45,000 feet to induce hypoxia, or diving abruptly to 23,000 feet to knock remaining cabin crew that might still be on portable oxygen off their feet–if in fact these reported–and disputed–details took place) could be consistent with a botched hijacking. Remember that the projected potential northern arc of the flight would have taken it up toward Pakistan. Since the early moves of the plane before its main data stream was switched off seem to have been programmed into the automatic pilot computer, is it possible that a hijacker transposed the flight path information, sending the plane south instead of north? (A mistaken transposition of one number in the autopilot was a theory of why Korean Air Flight 103 strayed into Soviet air space back in 1983.)
It is possible that even the flight data recorder, if it is found, won’t answer these questions definitively. Get ready for the bureaucrats to make airport security screening even worse.