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I have a hard time believing that given the history of the last 12 years, that a pilot could be coerced into landing (willingly)a plane with extremists on the aircraft. Most of us go to work understanding that "giving" an airplane to someone is not the way to go. Even if it means leaving the passengers on the aircraft. Its a hard thought to have, one you hope never to deal with. But...in the question of qualified pilots on board, without slandering anybody, there is one person who is qualified, young, and not been at the airline too long. I...Show more →
One thing strikes me with this whole episode - the Malaysian military were asleep at the wheel. The Malaysians have F/A-18Ds, Mig-29's and some relatively new SU-30's. It's not as if they don't have capable air to air equipment.
In Europe, if you have an aircraft go NORDO & no other comms from it then fighters get launched. If you have an unidentified primary radar return, then fighters get launched. The idea of launching fighters to intercept unknown primary returns has been going on in the UK at least since the Cold War - sometimes known as "bear hunting".