CAPTIO stands for Constraints on Alternative Piloted Trajectories in the Indian Ocean, for the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which mysteriously disappeared on March 8, 2014.
In latin, ‘Captio, -onis’ means ‘fraud’, ‘deception’, ‘trick’, and the acronym CAPTIO we have chosen for this study refers to the sophisticated way of evading control which the people in command of the aircraft have demonstrated.
Yet, a handful of surveillance and communication traces have been left behind to help us reconstruct the trajectory of the aircraft until the end : firstly, some tracking by Malaysian primary radars, and secondly, and most important, a set of arcs determined by Inmarsat experts on the basis of a few periodic satcom messages. What we know is that the trajectory of the aircraft ended somewhere into the eastern half of the Indian Ocean.
As of today, the only scenario that has been thoroughly investigated by the authorities is the « rogue pilot hypothesis » : the pilot went mad and decided to crash the aircraft into the middle of nowhere, in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. In that scenario, the final leg of the flight was a straight line south-bound high altitude trajectory, and much money has been unsuccessfully spent to search the seabed in that part of the ocean, along the last arc determined by Inmarsat experts.
This technical study demonstrates that a more complex yet operationally plausible trajectory can be reconciliated with the constraints set by all the technical data available, leading us to suggest that an alternative area in the northern part of the last arc, close to Christmas Island, should be carefully searched.