Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Missing Qantas flight recorder suspicious

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Does anyone believe that there are no suspicious circumstances behind the explosion of the fuselage in the Qantas flight from London to Melbourne via HK. There are several reasons why I think this information is suspicious:
1. I remember my mother telling me how there was an explosion in the Australian parliamentary building years ago, yet it was never reported. There are of course several reasons why government might want to conceal such matters:
a. It doesn't want to show that its not in control, that its security systems are flawed
b. It doesn't want to encourage copy-cat terrorists
2. The flight recorder was wiped of its content for the critical period of the explosion. According to CNN Australian transport department "officials discovered that the period when the crew was dealing with massive depressurization had been recorded over". This would have to be considered suspicious.
3. Gas tanks just don't explode. Something has to cause structural weakness. Might the bottle have been dropped and maintenance crew decided not to report it. If that were the case it seems unlikely that the gas bottle would explode mid-air since the atmosphere in the plane is constant, and the bottle pressure is going to be constant or slowly declining, depending on what the gas was. It seems more likely that a terrorist group recognised the opportunity to use a gas bottle on the plane to cause an explosion.
4. The flight was from London to Australia. There seems great irony in the fact that the two countries who figured prominently in their support for the USA during the Iraq War are now associated with a mid-air (terrorist bomb) blast.

Why cover up the incident? Well successful terrorist acts would be a nail in the coffin of the aviation industry at this time given they are already struggling with discount airlines and high fuel costs. They dont need their complacency about airline flights being identified. Do I think this 'apparent breach of security' is reason to increase security? No. The reality is that terrorists can only bring down a small fraction of the flights in the sky, so aviation will continue to be the safest mode of travel. You might wonder what the real threat is. I believe the greater threat is government who conceals information - supposedly for the sake of consumers. We have no power to decide what is risky enough, to know whether there is adequate security or not, to know information on whether its safe to fly or not.
Andrew Sheldon
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