DStv’s timely show about plane accidents

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ND 2 MALAYSIAAIRLINES-FLIGHT_0322_11 Reuters Solid matter is pictured floating in the southern Indian Ocean seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 22, 2014. Photo: Photo: Jason Reed

The excruciating Lagos heat was made worse by the fact that the so-called hotel air conditioning was humming dry air. The TV set only showed local Nigerian channels save for one Supersport and CNN.

After failing to follow an old football match, I turned to the news and that’s when I first learnt about the missing Malaysian plane. The reality that I would be flying back to Johannesburg the next day made receiving this particular piece of news really unsettling.

The newsman on the screen had an expert come in to speculate about what had happened and his theory was the jet crashed into the ocean.

Although we flew back and landed without incident in Joburg, it was an uneasy trip given that no one knows what really happened to the plane. It’s almost two weeks since the plane’s disappearance and apart from the Oscar Pistorius trial and the Nkandla report, Flight MH370 is the main event, with the headlines showing us just how serious this unfortunate situation is.

Several theories have been suggested and the two that stand out are that either the plane was hijacked or it crashed into the sea.

The first theory does not make sense because usually by now the hijackers would have made themselves known and made their demands. Seeing that this hasn’t happened it is unlikely that the plane met this fate – unless an accident happened during the hold-up in the secret location and everyone lost their lives. We hope not.

The second theory seems more plausible, especially because apparently some of the cellphones were ringing when they were called. Some experts are suggesting that perhaps the plane landed on a body of water, and it remained intact as it drifted down into the ocean bed.

Thus passengers could have been alive for some time with possibly pockets of cellphone reception.

Whatever happened will be discovered in time but for now all we have are these theories.

There are experts who are working on this case night and day, like those on National Geographic’s Air Crash Investigation.

While the show was shot way before the MH370 incident, it ties in well with what is going on at present. On the show we meet several experts who investigate plane crashes to determine the cause.

They use readings from the ever-reliable black-box to ascertain what happened in whatever case they are dealing with.

The cases that we will see include the British and Swedish worst-ever plane accidents.

The producers of the show use recreations and 3D imagery to illustrate the events, based on the evidence found.

• Air Crash Investigation airs every Thursday at 7.10pm on National Geographic (DStv Channel 181).

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