60 Minutes Australia says MH370 was a planned act by pilot

60 Minutes Australia has conducted a special investigation into the disappearance of MH370. The show brought together experts including John Dolan, the former Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Boeing 777 pilot and instructor Simon Hardy, former Senior Investigator with the Transport Safety Board of Canada, Larry Vance, aviation safety expert Captain John Cox and oceanographer Charita Pattiaratchi.

Captain Cox told the program, “When you look at it and you go back into the history of commercial jet aviation, with fare-paying passengers on board, we’ve always found the aeroplane. To have one that we can’t find is probably aviation’s greatest single mystery. The last time the world had this interest in a missing airplane, the captain was Amelia Earhart.”

Mr Dolan was in charge of the ATSB at the time of the disapearance and spearheaded the investigation for 2 and a half years. He told 60 Minutes, “There are the families of the 239 people out there that at the moment still do not have an answer to what happened to their loved ones. I’m still passionately committed to finding this aircraft.”

Mr Hardy told 60 Minutes that the disappearance was a murder-suicide carried out by Captain Zaharie Amad Shah. Mr Hardy reconstructed the flight plan based on military radar. He said Captain Zaharie flew along the border of Malaysia and Thailand to avoid detection around the time the aircraft’s transponder was turned off.

“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. So both of the controllers aren’t bothered about this mysterious aircraft. Cause it’s, ‘Oh, it’s gone. It’s not in our space anymore’. 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,” Mr Hardy said.

He also said that the aircraft dipped it’s wing as it was flying over Penang. “I spent a long time thinking about what this could be, what technical reason is there for this? And after two months, three months of thinking about it, I finally got the answer — somebody was looking out the window. It might [have been] a long, emotional goodbye or a short, emotional goodbye to his hometown.”

Mr Vance also believes that Captain Zaharie depressurised the aircraft at around the same time as the transponder was switched off in order to prevent passengers and crew attempting to take back the aircraft or try to contact the outside world.

Mr Vance believes the reason the aircraft was flown to the Southern Ocean was so the pilot could make it disappear forever, never to be found.

Both Mr Vance and Mr Hardy disagreed with the ATSB’s mostly likely scenario of the “death dive” with no one in control. Instead they believe that Captain Zaharie did a controlled landing on the ocean surface, extending the possible crash site further south than the previous and current searches. Mr Hardy believes the purpose was for the aircraft to be in a place as far away from civilisation as possible. In a simulator Mr Hardy “flew” a further 9 minutes and travelled another almost 100 miles after both engines failed. He believes the search should be another 40-50 miles away from the area that has already been searched.

All experts believe it was a planned deliberate act. Mr Dolan says with the data we have now, the aircraft doesn’t need to be found for us to understand the basics of what has happened, but would still like the search to continue.

Mr Vance said, “I think the general public can take comfort in the fact that there is a growing consensus on the plane’s final moments. He was taking it to a predestination, some place that he had planned to take it, and he flew that six hours to get it there.” He also believes the plane is largely intact on the bottom of the ocean.

The current search by Texas based Ocean Infinity on a no cure no fee basis is due to end in mid June.

The full 60 Minutes report can be found here (may be geo-blocked):

Sources: 60 Minutes Australia, www.news.com.au

 

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