The US airline safety regulator warned last year of cracking in the fuselage skin underneath a Boeing 777’s satellite antenna, issuing a worldwide alert for the flaw to be fixed as it could lead to decompression that would leave occupants unconscious.
The problem identified by the US Federal Aviation Administration provides a possible explanation as to why a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane mysteriously went missing en route to Beijing on Saturday.
A structural failure related to the flaw could not only have led to a slow decompression that left the 239 passengers and crew on the missing flight unconscious, it would also have disabled satellite communications, including the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which transmits data of the plane’s location automatically.
It would also have rendered the plane invisible to all but 'primary radar', which has a range of only 100 nautical miles.
Read more: Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: US issued warnings over Boeing 777s
This theory would explain a lot.