Local Aviation community puzzled over missing Malaysian Plane

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As investigators and families of passengers aboard the missing Malaysian airplane continue to search for answers the world is watching as the story slowly unfolds. Authorities are looking into every possibility and those involved in the aviation community are watching too.

John Moeller is a retired air traffic controller with more than 50 years experience. “I started working for the FAA in 1963 at Kennedy Airport,” said Moeller. “We would talk to all of the high-flying jets like the Malaysian one,” said Moeller.

He has played different scenarios over and over in his head, but he still has more questions than answers. “The fact that the aircraft disappeared at 35,000 feet, if it was an explosion, even in the wee hours of the morning, over the South China Sea, I would think that someone would certainly have seen that flash. And for someone to have come through the cockpit doors, the crew would have had to have enough time to at least make an emergency call or Mayday of some sort,” said Moeller. He said once an aircraft gets past a certain point beyond the shore it drops off radar. Pilots are still supposed to communicate their flight path. Moeller wonders why no one signaled for help. “Something very dramatic happened, not even giving the crew time to respond.”

Moeller said the plane that disappeared has two engines and is one of the most reliable, making him doubt engine failure. “It’s designed to fly all the way across the ocean with one engine. It can do that. They wouldn’t want to, but they can do that. Engine failure with one engine would be something, but for both of them to go at the same time, It’s hard to believe that could happen,” said Moeller.

“There’s no answers. There’s no reasonable explanation. The most dangerous part of flying is landing and takeoff. Once you get up to altitude it’s the most safest place to be. Things just don’t happen there,” said Moeller.

Brian Vance has been a pilot for 26 years. He is a pilot and mechanic at Liberty Sport Aviation in Lancaster County. He finds the situation just as mysterious. “Airplanes do go down occasionally but with the technology of a 777, it’s pretty crazy that an airplane would just disappear. Especially with the 777. It’s one of the most reliable. It has the safest flight record and it’s one of the newest ones. It’s kind of spooky.” said Vance who is also keeping an eye on the story. “Pilots in nature, we always learn from other people’s mistakes. So we’re trying to figure this one out ourselves, and normally, within 72 hours we find the wreckage of an airplane. This one is just a different thing altogether,” said Vance.