Sorry, not picking on you, WarrenPlatts - but where are we going on all this?
We have a 'case' where an aeroplane flying north-east past Vietnam went off-air. Opinions from there are divided. I reckon that it probably crashed - others think that it went on flying, turned north-west, and then south-west, and finally south.
But virtually the whole discussion is not on that subject, but on the performance of the various 'navigation aids'.........?
Flew a bit myself, and the aids were just that - 'aids'......... Often enough one used them, but you never depended on them. And, above all, you had to make sure that you DIDN'T depend on them.
Virtually all the discussion seems to be centred on how the latest gimmick (Inmarsat) was performing?
Whereas the question we really have to answer is, is there ANY possibility that a good crew (highly-experienced Captain, 'up-and-coming' First Officer), flying north-east on a scheduled flight, suddenly turned north-west, and then south-west, and finally due south, while maintaining 'Battle of Britain-style' radio silence..........? Placing all their faith in what, on the face of it, is a 'new-fangled' (and very possibly 'short-lived') flight-management aid?
And then left it to fly them more than halfway to Antarctica?
I don't think Inmarsat caused the accident - indeed I don't think it even contributed to it. But can we PLEASE (at least a few of us) get back to discussing what caused the accident, and how any future events of the same kind can be prevented?
[Edited 2014-05-27 05:25:40]