On March 8th 2014, contact was lost with Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, after only an hour into the flight. For more than four years, experts around the world have worked to determine what happened to the plane, however it seems to be one of the biggest aviation mysteries in the history of flying.
MH370 had 239 people on board when it left Kuala Lumpur, and vanished from all radars. Unfortunately, little has been found to determine what happened to the aircraft, crew and passengers, despite numerous attempts and hundreds of millions of dollars being spent. On Saturday night, a panel of aviation experts appeared on Australia’s 60 Minutes, discussing their theories about MH370.
The panel, which consisted of Boeing pilot and instructor Simon Hardy, senior investigator with Canadian Transportation Safety Bureau Larry Vance, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Martin Dolan, aviation safety expert John Cox, and lawyer John Dawson who represented the families of MH370. Two theories were discussed – the plane either ran out of fuel, or it was deliberately crashed into the ocean.
“In MH370, you have the pilot flying between Malaysia and Beijing who turns back the aircraft. The evidence is so heavily weighted to involvement by one of the aircrew taking this aircraft down. That aircraft has probably depressurised, the people died of asphyxiation, it was premeditated murder. It was highly planned. The bodies have never been found” Dawson said.
They concluded that the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, deliberately crashed the plane into the ocean in a premeditated murder-suicide. Hardy believes that Shah deliberately flew along the border of Thailand and Malaysia, as it is more difficult to see the plane on radar, and then flew over his home city of Penang, Malaysia. Hardy believes this was Shah’s way of saying goodbye, before turning towards the Southern Indian Ocean.
“As the aircraft went across Thailand and Malaysia, it runs down the border, which is wiggling underneath, meaning it’s going in and out of those two countries, which is where their jurisdictions are.” Hardy said, adding;
“If you were commissioning me to do this operation and try and make a 777 disappear, I would do exactly the same thing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s very accurate flying and I think it did the job, because we know, as a fact, that the military did not come and intercept the aircraft.”
While this is all speculation at the time, the Malaysian government and Australian Transport Safety Bureau have adopted a different theory. They believe that the passengers and crew of MH370 were incapacitated by hypoxia – a lack of oxygen. They believe that Shah and the other crew members were unconscious and had been for hours, with the plane on autopilot. After being on autopilot for so long, the plane ran out of fuel and crashed.
Ocean Infinity, a company based in Texas, are currently searching for the plane and believe they have a 85 percent chance of finding the wreckage. The search is in progress and is scheduled to finish in the middle of next month.
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