There's no mystery here. They crashed in the Atlantic Ocean.
3 people to safety fly them. I doubt the plane shuts off if three life-signs aren't detected.
> There's no mystery here. They crashed in the Atlantic Ocean.
From the article
>> Unlike other plane disappearances, no debris has been found in the ocean from the aircraft
I'm not saying your suggestion isn't valid or potential what happened but it's appears to be far from certain.
A plane in Angola with two criminals aboard? No located debris isn't indicative of much.
Commercial applications like this are the only reason to do large area bottom surveys.
Planes equipped with newer Category Three navigational equipment can land on autopilot, even in the worst weather. Pilots never even have to touch the controls.
But with the fact that "somehow" they got airborne, I give them the benefit of doubt re: landing.
IMO this aircraft is probably at the bottom of the Atlantic somewhere.
Landing is nowhere nearly as difficult as people make it out to be.
I do not have a pilots certificate, but I've flown real planes a lot in training situations. Granted, that was in a small single engine aircraft, and I've easily spent 100x as much time in simulators.
Thanks to flight simulators, I was able to fly the Cessna used in training alone all the way from engine start to engine stop, including taxiing, takeoff, cruise, 2-minute, 1-minute, and 30-second turns, landing hold pattern, and landing again on my very first time behind the controls. The instructor did not believe that flight simulation games could teach so much until I made that flight.
Instructors are not supposed to let newbie pilots do this, and he was ready at at the controls the entire time.
Anyway, landing is nowhere nearly as hard as people think.
It was whether a successful takeoff is indicative of a good chance of a successful landing. Speaking strictly about small single-engine Cessnas--in which I have a (lapsed) private pilot's certificate--I'd say it isn't. Landing is, as the parent poster said, harder than takeoff.
I don't think any of this is relevant to the larger discussion, though. First, the pilot did have some certification, though it's unclear from the article in what. Second, neither my experience nor, it sounds, yours, gives me any insight at all into how hard it is to land a modern airliner. ;)
Trying to land and failing spectacularly may be the most likely outcome, but it's also the only one we can conclusively rule out.
Taking off is mainly a function of airspeed only. Landing is a delicate balance of: airspeed, rate-of-descent and the associated engine power, attitude of the aircraft, and 'eye'.
This is a Nigerian airline, but the name makes me think of this classic Simpsons bit: