Various scenarios have been put forth as potential explanations for the disappearance of MH370. As I have shown in my book, there is only one that is consistent with all of the known facts. To learn about the methodology that can be used to examine and assess any proposed scenario, read this article or listen to the audio version below.
There is support for a couple of different theories involving direct damage to the airplane. One theory involves military action (the airplane was damaged by military firepower). The other involves direct damage from a bomb that exploded on board.
Once again, to prove that one of these theories is correct requires that it be tied directly to the first known anomaly, which was the transponder going offline (less than forty minutes into the flight).
To try to account for the subsequent navigation of the airplane (after the bomb/missile), these theories describe some sort of valiant struggle by the (injured) pilots to maintain control of the airplane. Supposedly, the pilots were able to guide it through the various known turns, including the turn southbound to fly over the ocean. The airplane was depressurized because of the damage, and the pilots eventually succumbed to hypoxia, leaving an unpiloted airplane.
Those types of scenarios are invalidated by the proof that there was a controlled ditching at the end of the flight. We could stop with that, but I will offer more on this issue to continue with the theme of showing how investigation analysis is done.
Even without the evidence of a controlled ditching, there are other factors working against these bomb/missile theories. For example, investigators would take into account that the airplane remained flyable, and the autopilot remained functional, despite the extensive damage that was supposedly inflicted to the airplane.
To accept either of these hypotheses, you would have to believe that the autopilot could remain engaged and functional, while at the same time the transponder (with all its backups), and all the communication radios (with all their backups), and the ACARS, had all been disabled by a missile or bomb.
To believe that is a very big stretch. You would have to believe that engaging an autopilot is somehow comparable to engaging a mechanical lever, akin to engaging the big lever that starts the rotation of a carousel ride. Autopilots do not work like that. A modern autopilot is a sophisticated computer, which is connected to a network of other computers and sensors that feed it with complex and vital information. If invalid inputs are introduced, or are perceived anywhere in the system, the autopilot’s default is to disconnect. It defaults to “OFF” to prevent it from following potential bogus inputs. It cannot be re-engaged until the bogus inputs are eliminated by a maintenance technician.
Investigators would also assess the soundness of that part of the bomb/missile theory that proposes the pilots steered the disabled airplane to where it could do no harm. That theory plays to the dramatic scene of a pilot steering a crashing airplane away from a schoolhouse, but it does not in any way fit the context of a bomb/missile scenario for MH370.
In such a scenario, the MH370 pilots would have stayed over land, where there would have at least been a chance of finding an airport, or of crashing with survivors. There is no way they would have intentionally set their airplane on a course over the ocean, on a course to certain death. Without any question or doubt, they would have taken any and every action within their power to try to save their passengers.
With that, any scenario involving military firepower, or an onboard bomb, can be dismissed. No such theory can account for what actually occurred regarding MH370, and especially for the deliberate pilot actions that were taken.