It’s one of the great mysteries of our generation: how does a big passenger plane carrying 239 passengers and crew just disappear off the face of the planet with no one able to find it or work out what happened?
There are plenty of theories about what might have happened, but there’s been no real concrete evidence that can conclusively say one way or the other.
Well, a panel of aviation experts have come together on Australia’s 60 Minutes to discuss the possible scenarios of the plane’s final moments.
It consisted of senior Boeing 777 pilot and instructor Simon Hardy, former senior investigator with Canada’s Transportation Safety Bureau Larry Vance, aviation safety expert Captain John Cox, former Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Martin Dolan and John Dawson, a lawyer who represented families in the MH370 and MH17 cases.
Opinion was divided on whether the Malaysia Airlines plane ran out of fuel or was deliberately plunged into the ocean.
A lot of fingers pointed towards one of the crew members forcing the plane into the ocean, with Mr Dawson admitting: “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.”
That was supported by Mr Harding, who reckons Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah flew the plane from Kuala Lumpur Airport, deliberately flying along the border with Thailand to avoid detection from either country’s radar, before flying over his home city of Penang to say an ’emotional goodbye’ before turning back to the Indian Ocean to plunge the plane into the sea.
Simon told 60 Minutes: “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.
A piece of the plane was found in Mozambique. Credit: PA
“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.”
Investigators conducted more than 170 interviews with people involved in the plane and some respondents said Captain Shah had made no social or professional plans after March 8, the night the plane disappeared.
Texas-based company Ocean Infinity has put its hand up to search for the plane and will spend several months scouring a 25,000 square kilometre section of the Indian Ocean.
That operation will end in mid-June.
Featured Image Credit: Laurent ERRERA/Creative Commons