Pilot: Was that Boeing 777 diverted deliberately? Not necessarily

Editor’s Note: Bill Palmer, an Airbus A330 captain for a major airline, is the author of “Understanding Air France 447,” an explanation of the details and lessons of the crash of that aircraft in June 2009.

Story highlights

Bill Palmer: Deliberate acts are not the only possibility in disappearance of Malaysia flight

He says it's not clear what systems, such as ACARS, were turned off and when

Palmer: Descent reported might be from 777 adjusting to no autopilot, not deliberate act

Palmer: Much of 777 behavior could be from built-in systems reacting; guessing inadequate

CNN  — 

Those trying to draw conclusions from the information trickling from the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 should go carefully.

It is plausible that, as Malaysia’s Prime Minister asserted, the plane’s flying for hours after losing contact with air traffic control was “consistent with deliberate action,” but it’s not the only logical explanation of the airplane’s bewildering trajectory.

Statements that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System was intentionally disabled, f