Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 Was Downed Deliberately by Pilot, Say Experts
A panel of international experts brought on to television news program 60 Minutes Australia recently shared their findings that they say show pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
"He was killing himself; unfortunately, he was killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately," said Canadian Air crash investigator Larry Vance.
According to Boeing 777 pilot and instructor Simon Hardy, who reconstructed the plane's flight path based on military radar, Captain Shah skirted the border between Malaysia and Thailand; deliberately crossing over to avoid detection.
"It did the job," Hardy said, "because we know, as a fact, that the military did not come and intercept the aircraft."
Hardy also said that he believes Captain Shah may have dipped the plane's wing over his home of Penang in order to say goodbye.
Hardy and other experts on the show disagreed with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's proposed scenario in which the plane's descent was entirely uncontrolled; furthermore they said the plane was flown 115 miles farther than previously believed.
"I think someone was controlling the aircraft until the end," said Hardy.
"This was a mission by one of the crew to hide the aircraft as far away from civilization as possible," he explained. "Which puts us way outside the search area that is currently being done."
Larry Vance added that he believed the pilot “ditched it deliberately to keep it as intact as possible.”
Vance pointed to uncovered wreckage as evidence that the plane's pilot had control during its descent and that it was not a high speed crash.
"The front of it would be pressed in and hollow," Vance said of a wing component recovered from the shore of Africa. "The water would invade inside and it would just explode from the inside. So this piece would not even exist."
Family of the missing Captain Shah responded to the allegations by saying that "pointing a finger toward [Shah] does not make them expert investigators--they have to find the plane."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing in March of 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in China.
An underwater search coordinated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the largest such search in history, was called off in January 2017 after two years. However, U.S.-based company Ocean Infinity was hired by the Malaysian government to continue searching for the missing plane in early January of 2018. That search was embroiled in controversy earlier this year when the ship disappeared from tracking screens for three days after turning off its own satellite monitoring system.
Analysis of the satellite data available suggests that MH370 ran out of fuel and crashed in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, thousands of miles from its intended destination. Various conspiracy theories have been discussed since the plane vanished; everything from cyber hijacking to the intervention of a rogue state like North Korea to extraterrestrial interference has been used by conspiracy theorists to explain MH370's disappearance.