While there has been no official government explanation to the MH370 flight mystery that dominated the news for months after it occurred, experts on Australia’s 60 Minutes have put together what seems to be the most sensible re-creation of events that could explain the mystery of the missing plane.
Stunningly, experts agree that flight MH370 may have come down as an intentional act of mass suicide. The report was picked up by the Washington Post on Monday, who explained that “the plane’s 2014 disappearance and apparent crash were a suicide by the 53-year-old [pilot] Zaharie — and a premeditated act of mass murder.”
“The thing that gets discussed the most is that at the point where the pilot turned the transponder off, that he depressurized the airplane, which would disable the passengers,” said Larry Vance, a veteran aircraft investigator from Canada. “He was killing himself. Unfortunately, he was killing everyone else onboard. And he did it deliberately.”
Two of the most prominent mysteries of the flight were the lack of communication from the plane and a mysterious left turn that had yet to be explained. As the Washington Post describes, the plane’s communication was likely turned off on purpose…
But the “60 Minutes” experts tried to answer one of the biggest questions surrounding the flight: How could a modern aircraft tracked by radar and satellites simply disappear?
Because, they say, Zaharie wanted it to. And the veteran pilot, who had nearly 20,000 hours of flight experience and had built a flight simulator in his home, knew exactly how to do it.
For example, at one point, he flew near the border of Malaysia and Thailand, crisscrossing into the airspace of both, Hardy said. But neither country was likely to see the plane as a threat because it was on the edge of their airspace.
…and the “unexplained” left turn could have been the pilot looking to take one last glance of his hometown:
Zaharie’s suspected suicide might explain an oddity about the plane’s final flight path: that unexpected turn to the left.
“Captain Zaharie dipped his wing to see Penang, his home town,” Simon Hardy, a Boeing 777 senior pilot and instructor, said on “60 Minutes.”
“If you look very carefully, you can see it’s actually a turn to the left, and then start a long turn to the right. And then [he does] another left turn. So I spent a long time thinking about what this could be, what technical reason is there for this, and, after two months, three months thinking about this, I finally got the answer: Someone was looking out the window.”
“It might be a long, emotional goodbye,” Hardy added. “Or a short, emotional goodbye to his home town.”
As for the silence on board, experts believe that the pilot depressurized the cabin on purpose, knocking everybody on board unconscious (who was not wearing an oxygen mask, which it is assumed the pilot would have been wearing). As the report put it, “that would explain the silence from the plane as it veered wildly off course: no mayday from the craft’s radio, no final goodbye texts, no attempted emergency calls that failed to connect.”
The entire 60 Minutes piece can be viewed here.
If this re-creation of events is accurate, the explanation for MH370 bears a striking resemblance to Germanwings Flight 9525, which crashed in 2015 as a result of the co-pilot deliberately bringing the plane down. French prosecutors noted that the co-pilot had locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the plane just days after the incident took place in March 2015. The incident spawned outcries for better mental health screening and requirements for pilots:
Aviation agencies around the world should draw up new rules requiring medical workers to warn authorities when a pilot’s mental health could threaten public safety, French investigators recommended Sunday after a yearlong probe into the Germanwings plane crash.
The French investigation found that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had been treated for depression in the past, had consulted with dozens of doctors in the weeks before he deliberately crashed a jet into the French Alps on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 people on board.
Again, this re-creation of MH370’s events were put together by aviation experts and not by any governmental agency, but the postulations seem to be one of the only plausible stories that, frankly, makes any sense.