NEW YORK, NY — On March 13, while commenting on recent developments in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Steve Ganyard took into account the combined civilian and military radar information gathered to date, and concluded that the aircraft is most likely at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
I think that there was…somebody who knew something about how to fly that airplane (who) turned that transponder off…but when we see these wild altitude changes over the Strait of Malacca, to me that’s somebody that doesn’t know how to fly an airplane trying to maintain control at night.” – Steve Ganyard
As civilian instruments have shown, the plane’s transponder was turned off 49 minutes into the flight, and the ACARS box, was turned off 17 minutes after that, but continued to ping satellites notifying them of its location. This is how we know that the plane turned 90 degrees in a westerly direction, over the peninsula, and up the Strait of Malacca.
It was at this point that a Malaysian military radar at Butterworth Air Base picked it up, and as military radar records three dimensional information, was able to report that the aircraft varied wildly in altitude—from 45,000 to 25,000 feet. While Ganyard doubts that this particular aircraft achieved 45,000 feet, which he cites is outside of its service ceiling, he is inclined to believe that gross variations in altitude did occur.
Ganyard mentioned that Malaysian authorities have been less than forthcoming with U.S. representatives from the FAA and NTSB. It’s clear that American investigators do not have all of the information, likely due to Malaysian concerns about protecting the capabilities of their military radar. Regardless, his conclusion holds for now.
Click here to watch: “Colonel Stephen T. Ganyard on the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777”