Tag Archives: Boeing 777

Meanwhile, that jetliner is still missing

Tragedy takes many forms, so many of them in fact that it seems easy to forget one tragedy when another one shakes us to our core.

Just as it is said that “Francisco Franco is still dead,” the Boeing 777 jetliner that disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is still missing.

The Malaysian Air jet took off and then vanished. No trace of the jet with its 239 people on board has been found. It occurred on March 8, 2014. That’s damn near four years ago!

I remain baffled in the extreme that a monstrous aircraft can just vanish as this one did. I also remain convinced it’s at the bottom of some large body of water, likely the Indian Ocean.


I’ve never bought into the conspiracy theories that sprung up as the search began growing in futility.

As we seek to send our love and sympathy to all the loved ones of the victims who died in Parkland, or in Sutherland Springs, Texas, or Orlando, or Las Vegas, let us also offer some prayers to those who still do not know with absolute certainty the fate of those aboard MH 370.

This mystery still needs to be solved.

MH 370 search ends; now, wait for the gossip

They will come, believe me. Just wait for the rumors to spring anew.

Australian, Malaysian and Chinese officials have called off the search for a Boeing 777 jetliner that disappeared in March 2014. The best technology in the world — including what was provided by the United States — has been unable to find the missing Malaysian Air Flight 370¬†that took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.

Then, in a flash, it went poof! Gone. With barely a trace. They’ve pulled bits and pieces of the plane from the ocean and identified them as likely belonging to the missing 777.

Meanwhile, the family members and loved ones of more than 200 passengers and crew members are left to wonder — perhaps for the rest of their lives — about whether the souls lost on that plane might still be alive, somewhere.


As someone with a bit of knowledge about these things, I can tell you that absent the recovery of human remains or spotting the wreckage of the huge jet somewhere in the Indian Ocean, the grieving survivors are going to cling to the thinnest reed possible about those who vanished with the aircraft.

My father was involved in a boat crash in September 1980. The Canadian police didn’t find him for eight days. The period between learning of the accident and the recovery of his remains were eight of the longest days of my life. Your head tells you there’s no hope; your heart, though, pleads for a different outcome. That’s what my head and heart did for that period of time.

I guarantee you that the loved ones who have waited for some confirmation of the fate of those on board MH 370 have endured the same kind of agony.

What’s more, they now will have to endure the crackpot theories from those with too much time on their hands about what happened to that jetliner. We’ve heard our share of those nutty notions already. Be assured there will be many more of them to come for the entire time the plane’s fate remains a mystery.

My heart breaks for those loved ones today.

Puppy Tales, Part 26


You know about our trip to Germany and The Netherlands.

You also know about our return home aboard a packed Boeing 777 which included a¬†toddler who wouldn’t stop screaming his lungs out for the entire 10-hour flight¬†from Frankfurt, Germany to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Also, you know about some of the sights, smells and sounds we experienced in Europe.

Now for the best part: We picked up Toby the Puppy from the puppy/kitty spa where we boarded him while we were away.

I’d give anything to re-create the moment he recognized us when the young woman brought him out from¬†the kennel area where he had been staying.

The joy was obvious in an almost human-like way when he jumped out of her arms and began showering us with kisses.

I actually had wondered: Would he be mad at us for leaving him for two weeks?

We got our answer the instant he laid eyes on us.

No. Not at all.

He is glad to be home.

I was reminded of a¬†favorite comedian/singer of ours, Mark Lowry, who jokes often during his stand-up about dogs’ unmatched loyalty.

“Try locking your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car,” Lowry says. “Leave them in there for an hour — and then see which of them is glad to see you when you open the door.”

My worst nightmare — of the moment — will not occur


I had a “worst nightmare” moment sitting in a restaurant at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The nightmare involved a young woman with two young sons, one of whom had just finished screaming at the top of his lungs aboard a 10-hour flight from Frankfurt, Germany to D/FW Airport.

The little darlin’ sat about five feet from my wife and me aboard the Boeing 777.

He screamed. He threw things. He carried on … and on … and on.

Mommy did zero to stop him. Nothing to comfort him. She made no outward acknowledgment of embarrassment or of shame.

The kid screamed at the top of his lungs. For 10 stinking hours!

My worst nightmare?

That Mommy and this kid would board our plane for Amarillo as my wife and I made our way home from a marvelous vacation in Germany and The Netherlands.

Thank almighty God in heaven. I have seen no sign of the kid.

So far.

Pray for us. Please.


Search for plane turns up . . . what?


I don’t know whether to laugh or scream at this news.

An Australian search vessel looking for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has discovered some wreckage at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Is it the plane? Is it any aircraft? Oh, no. It’s now been determined that the debris is from an early 1800s shipwreck.

What about MH 370, which vanished on March 8, 2014 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing? It’s still gone. Not a trace of it has¬†been found anywhere. Satellite technology, state-of-the-art underwater vessels, shipboard sonar and radar all have failed.

A Boeing 777 with more than 200 individuals on board has vaporized.

Truth be told¬†I’m not altogether sure why I’m even commenting on this item.

The direct descendants of those who were lost on the ship are long gone.

As for those who are waiting for word about the missing jetliner . . . well, they’re still in great pain.



MH 370: Still missing one year later

Conspiracy theories usually are the province of those with too much time on their hands.

Idle minds concoct notions that defy description, let alone credulity.

That all said, the mystery behind Malaysia Air 370’s disappearance from Planet Earth one year ago is sorely testing my skepticism of conspiracy theories.

I’m still skeptical of anything other than the obvious result, but man, it’s been tough to resist the notion that something truly strange happened to MH 370.


My belief remains that the plane crashed into the drink somewhere in the Indian Ocean. No one seems to know whether it was a hard crash or a “soft” one, if that’s possible.

A hard crash would have produced debris as the plane broke apart. It was a Boeing 777, one of the airline industry’s bigger birds. It carried 239 passengers and crew members. There’s been zero sign of debris or human remains spotted, despite all the efforts of several nations’ best efforts, not to mention some of the most sophisticated search technology in use today.

A “soft” crash is another matter. Was the flight deck crew able to land the plane on top of the water, only to have the plane sink over time? If that’s the case, why¬†was there no¬†communication with anyone¬†about what was happening?

The victims of this crash, beyond those on board, are the loved ones who are awaiting discovery of what actually happened to MH 370. There’s been a boatload of misinformation coming from the Malaysian government; the plane, remember, took off March 8, 2014 from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. It fell on the Malaysians to tell the world what happened to the aircraft.

A year later, nothing is known.

I shudder to think that this mystery will remain unsolved until the end of time.

U.S.-Russia dispute gets even more tense

If you thought the U.S.-Russia tensions couldn’t worsen short of an actual shooting war between the nations, well, you thought wrong.

They just did on the basis of what appears to be the deliberate downing of a commercial airline carrying more than 300 passengers and crew, including one American.


A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 has been shot down in eastern Ukraine, allegedly by separatists allied with Russia, which seems to want to re-annex the former Soviet republic.

President Obama has condemned the Russians for supporting the separatists and it is now believed he is considering even more sanctions against Russia.

Of course, critics will contend the president should have prevented the shoot-down. For now, I’ll settle for encouraging the administration — and I would implore Congress to back Obama on this one — to tighten the screws even more against Russia.

The Russians are playing a dangerous game with their support of these separatists — who now have demonstrated that they will go to any lengths to make some political point.

Someone will have to explain to me, though, what on Earth was to be gained by shooting down a commercial jetliner with innocent and unsuspecting civilians aboard.

Headlines keep changing rapidly

It occurs to me that our collective attention keeps getting diverted from crisis to crisis — and few of us talk openly about the crisis that passes from our view.

* Remember the Syrian civil war? We were going to bomb Syria for using chemical weapons on civilians. Then we backed off. The Russians entered the picture and helped broker a deal to get rid of the weapons.

* A Boeing 777 disappeared en route from Malaysia to China. It apparently crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Search teams from several countries are looking for the wreckage that contains 239 passengers and crew. To date, nothing’s been found.

* Then came Ukraine. The Russians entered the picture there, too. Ukraine ousted its pro-Russian president, who fled to Russia. The Russians essentially annexed Crimea, moved a lot of troops to the Ukraine border, then backed off after the Ukrainians elected a news president who is acceptable to Moscow.

* A Nigerian terrorist group — Boko Haram — kidnapped about 300 girls and is holding them captive somewhere. World opinion erupted and the demands came out for the international community to do all it can to rescue those young women.

* Americans got caught up in the Benghazi story yet again. The House of Representatives formed a select committee to examine the Benghazi attack one more time. Maybe we’ll see the end of this probe. Then again, maybe not until after the 2016 presidential election that’s likely to feature one Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was secretary of state when the U.S. consulate was attacked in September 2012.

* The Veterans Administration took the headlines away from Benghazi with reports of veterans dying while awaiting health care in Arizona. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned and a thorough review is under way to find a cure for what ails the massive federal agency.

* Taliban militants released Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the questions about his release and the terms that brought it about have created the latest headline grabber.

These sequences keep building on themselves. Our attention is riveted on these storied and then it’s diverted from one “crisis of the moment” to the next one.

Is it any wonder why Barack Obama’s hair has gotten so gray?

Hey, what’s happening with Syria these days?

MH 370 data might be wrong

The cluster flip — formerly known as the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 — has taken yet another bizarre turn.


The data that came from a satellite, Inmarsat, might be wrong — meaning that all those ships, planes, submersibles and people might have been looking in the wrong place for a missing Boeing 777 jetliner.

Holy mackerel! Can it get any worse?

Hang on. I’m thinking it might.

At issue is the data released from Inmarsat, which transmitted to searchers the possible whereabouts of MH 370, which disappeared March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia en route to Beijing.

The flight reportedly made a sharp left turn, flew back south over the Indian Ocean and then vanished with 239 passengers and crew aboard. They’re presumed dead. The search area has been modified, re-modified and re-re-modified.

A major piece of aviation hardware has vanished and no one seems able to locate it. I understand the difficulty of finding a place at the bottom of a large ocean, which is where I believe MH 370 ended up. What is harder to understand is why the information flow from the Malaysian government has been so, um, erratic.

I’m no beginning to believe the view of some “experts” — and I use the term with caution — that the discovery of the plane might take many more months, or even years.

No surprise there, given that the supposedly high-tech data taken from supposedly sophisticated satellite equipment might have been bogus.

Meanwhile, many loved ones’ anguish continues.

Closure may be at hand

Could this be it?

A Chinese warship that has joined the intensive search for Malaysian Air Flight MH 370 has detected a signal from the floor of the Indian Ocean. Authorities say the signal is being broadcast on a frequency used by flight data recorders.


There might be — quite possibly — a good chance that the end of a gripping mystery is about to arrive.

The vessel has detected the “pinger” signal about 1,000 west of Perth, Australia. The idea now is to locate the precise origin of the signal, which the ships gathered across the ocean are able to do.

Meanwhile, the families of those lost aboard the flight await word.

I can vouch for their anxiety in the month since the plane disappeared after it took off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. My family and I went through something like this once ourselves many years ago. The family members’ minds and hearts have been playing cruel tricks on them as they wait for any word at all about the fate of the 239 people on board the Boeing 777.

As cruel as one’s mind can become in times like these, perhaps the worst cruelty has been perpetrated by those who have suggested out loud that the plane didn’t crash at all, that it was hijacked and spirited away somewhere.

Let us hope that — finally — searchers can find the precise source of the signal they’ve heard, can retrieve that recorder and reveal to the world precisely what happened aboard that doomed airplane.