John Gannon, right, flew the 777 model for six years.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A pilot who spent years flying Boeing 777s, the same make and model of the plane missing over the Indian Ocean, says he doubts a mechanical failure could have led to the disappearance.
John Gannon flew the 777 model for six years and says it is a sophisticated, well-built plane, so he was surprised to learn that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 had simply vanished without a trace.
"A single failure isn't going to take anything out. There are backups to the backups," he said.
And when word came that there was no radio communication from the plane to help explain what had happened, the former pilot knew there were even more problems.
He said even if the communication system in the 777 failed, a transponder - which provides constant information to the radar about the location of the plane - should have been activated.
The only way to silence the transponder is to physically turn it off.
"To turn that off, you have to know what you're doing," Gannon said. "My thought is, if they lost all communication, that was done purposely. And that could only be done by the flight crew of someone very familiar with the cockpit of the 777."
Gannon says 777s do have a black box on board, which could give clues to investigators, but finding it in this case will be difficult, if it even remained intact.
"When you hit water at that airspeed, it's like hitting concrete," Gannon said. "If they're at the bottom of a 2, 3-mile trench, that might be a very difficult thing to achieve."
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Friday, August 22 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:16:18 GMT
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