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Investigators believe they have finally cracked Malaysia Airlines MH370 mystery

Business Insider 2018-05-17 11:00:00
  • Investigators believe the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had carefully planned and executed the entire event.
  • The captain apparently put on an oxygen mask and depressurised the plane that rendered the passengers and crew unconscious.
  • Martin Dolan, former head of the Australia Transport Safety Bureau, dismissed the possibility of it being an act of terrorism.

Often touted as the world’s greatest aviation mystery, the Malaysian Airlines flight

MH370

was on a routine flight from

Kuala Lumpur

to Beijing when it suddenly disappeared. Its wreckage remains missing four years hence. The crash that claimed 239 lives on 8 March 2014 has investigators baffled, with many ‘theories’ being floated as to why the plane crashed. In a

special edition of 60 Minutes Australia

, the world’s top air crash investigators, and aviation and oceanographic experts, huddled together to analyse whether the crash was indeed an accident or a mass murder. And some of the revelations were baffling.

One of the most shocking conclusions was that the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had carefully planned and executed the entire event. The 53-year-old captain was accompanied on the flight deck with an inexperienced 27-year-old co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid. Larry Vance, a veteran aircraft investigator from Canada claimed, "He was killing himself. Unfortunately, he was killing everyone else onboard. And he did it deliberately."

Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah apparently put on an oxygen mask and

depressurised

the plane that rendered the passengers and crew unconscious. This would probably explain the absence of any attempt by the crew or passengers to communicate with someone outside.


However, Martin Dolan, former head of the Australia Transport Safety Bureau, who led the two-year search for the missing plane, dismissed the possibility of it being an act of terrorism, since traditionally such acts are always followed by terror outfits claiming credit for the act, which wasn’t the case this time.

For four days the Malaysian authorities were looking for the debris between

Malaysia

and Vietnam, while in actuality the plane had turned back towards the Malaysian mainland. According to satellite and radar evidence, the then Prime Minister

Najib Razak

said that the action showed that

someone deliberately changed the course

around an hour after take off.

Another bizarre revelation made by senior

Boeing

777 pilot and instructor Simon Hardy was that when the plane took a 180-degree change of course, it flew along the border of Malaysia and

Thailand

, crossing in and out of each airspace, thereby avoiding detection. This makes it amply clear to the investigators that the pilot had carefully planned this course out. According to Hardy, the pilot even dipped his wing to see his hometown of Penang.


Although rare, these cases of pilot suicide crashes are certainly not unprecedented. In 1999, the co-pilot of

EgyptAir

Flight 990 Gamil el-Batouty had intentionally crashed a plane headed from New York-to-Cairo, killing 217 people, as an act of

revenge

after he was accused of sexual misconduct. Similarly, in March 2015, Andreas Lubitz, a Germanwings co-pilot,

deliberately

crashed his plane into the French Alps killing himself and 149 passengers. The plane had taken off from the Barcelona–El Prat Airport in Spain to Düsseldorf Airport in Germany.

While

debris

from the plane has been washing up in various locations since the crash, the actual location of the crashed aircraft remains a mystery. The official search was called off after two years, in January 2017. However, a private company,

Ocean Infinity

, continues to hunt for the wreckage in the depths of the Southern Indian Ocean.