The sound of Axes being ground . . . is DEAFENING

Normally I do not comment on current affairs that are not directly related to my particular interest (obsession)with the Arabian/Persian Gulf. However I do have some personal experience of the type of situation that now surrounds the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370.

Early in my career I was in charge of SHELL’s jet fuel quality control laboratory at Heathrow airport. During that time a BA jet that we had fuelled crashed just after take-off killing everybody on board. Within a few days my laboratory was swarming with an accident investigation team that included engineers from the airframe and engine manufacturers.

I was amazed, and scared, of how aggressive they were. They demanded all my documentation and fuel samples. Fortunately my documentation and fuel quality was perfect – and one of the Government investigators took me on one side and explained their attitude. Because of the millions of dollars involved in potential lawsuits and loss of business, they were not looking for the truth – they were looking for somebody to shoulder the blame. And in these situations they usually blame the pilot, because he is dead and cannot defend himself. And that is what happened in my case, and is happening now with MH370. Every effort is being made to blame the poor pilot.

To me it is a bungled hijack. Somebody with flying experience took over the plane, but unlike the 9/11 hijackers did not have the skills. Hence the rapid rise to 42,000 feet and then the descent to 5,000 feet, and then the crazy navigation that took them out over open ocean until they ran out of fuel. Presumably the hijacker(s) were supposed to head for Australia, or The Maldives, or Sri Lanka to land and make their demands.

In my career in the international oil industry I travelled millions of miles on long haul jets – and experienced several frightening emergencies. One such emergency, when my flight was hit by lightning and tipped on its side and fell 1,000 feet, I have used as a basis of a story in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. It is only in such situations that the true strength or weakness of characters shows through.

The book is a series of stories spanning 40 years about the archetypical characters who wash up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf trying to survive in a rapidly changing world. They are people drawn to a highly paid and dangerous life-on-the-edge where men are men and women are no better than they ought to be.

You can preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:

www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

and download it if you have a Kindle.

Or if you prefer a real book you can order the edition from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

The ISBN number is 978-1908147097

They offer free delivery worldwide.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

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