Pilot of doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 Zaharie Amad Shah 'deliberately evaded radar' say experts
The pilot of doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 deliberately evaded radar for hours to ensure the plane was never found again, aviation experts have claimed.
The fate of the Boeing 777, named as "one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation history", has puzzled investigators ever since 2014 when it went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, with 239 people on board.
However, a panel of experts assembled for Australian TV programme 60 Minutes claim to have solved the mystery, saying that Captain Zaharie Amad Shah carried out a "deliberate" and "suicidal" act, executing a series of specific manoeuvres to ensure the plane disappeared forever.
A former Senior investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Larry Vance, along with the other experts on the show, stated that Shah was attempting suicide, taking the passenger aircraft to the most remote place possible.
"I think the general public can take comfort in the fact that there is a growing consensus on the plane's final moments," Vance stated. "Unfortunately, he was (also) killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately."
According to Simon Hardy, a Boeing 777 pilot and instructor, Shah managed to avoid detection by taking a specific route that skirted across both Malaysian and Thai borders.
"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.
"So both of the controllers aren't bothered about this mysterious aircraft. 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 because it did the job and we know, as a fact, that the military did not come and intercept the aircraft."
In addition, Hardy also attempted to explain the bizarre detour the captain took when he made an unexplained turn to fly over his hometown of Penang.
He said: "So I spent a long time thinking for this about what this could be, what technical reason is there? And after two months of thinking about it, I finally got the answer - somebody was looking out the window. It might be a long, emotional goodbye or a short, emotional goodbye to his hometown."
John Dawson, a lawyer who represented the nine families whose relatives disappeared, agreed that evidence pointed to one of the aircrew being responsible, claiming that it looked like "premeditated murder".
He said: "The evidence is so heavily weighted to involvement by one of the aircrew taking this aircraft down. That aircraft has probably de-pressurised, the people died of asphyxiation, it was premeditated murder. It was highly planned. The bodies have never been found.”
However, in spite of 60 Minutes insisting that their panel revealed the "true fate" of the aircraft, many were left unconvinced, arguing that the show had failed to supply viewers with a motive for Shah.
Many possible motives were theorised after the plane vanished, with claims that Shah brought down the plane in a fit of rage after hearing his wife was leaving him, as well as rumours that he hijacked his own plane in protest of the jailing of then-Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, being floated in the press.
However, Zaharie’s sisters Sakinab Shah and Dah Ah have repeatedly denied both theories, arguing that he simply wasn’t smart enough to evade "all the hi-tech satellites in the world".