Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was “deliberately flown off course” and may never be found, a UK aviation expert has said.
David Learmount, from Flightglobal, said all the evidence suggest the plane carrying 239 people was deliberately lost. He was speaking as Malaysian authorities prepared to publish a report to mark the first anniversary tomorrow of the disappearance of the Boeing 777. Mr Learmount said: “We are no nearer discovering exactly what happened to this plane than we were a year ago. “But all the evidence – and I mean all – suggests the aircraft went to a spot where its computers would never have taken it. ”
It looks as if there was some kind of deliberate act. The plane changed direction dramatically. It did a U-turn and went somewhere that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
He went on: “The plane ducked and dived. If the pilots, for some reason, had become incapacitated then the plane would have flown on along its planned route. “We have got to get used to the fact that we may never find this plane. The Australians have said the search can’t be kept up for ever.” Mr Learmount referred to the search for the Air France flight 447 which went down in the Atlantic in June 2009.
The aircraft was eventually located, and its black box flight recorders recovered, in May 2011. He added: “The difference between the Air France search and the hunt for MH370 is that in the case of flight 447 people knew where to look. Even then, it took nearly two years to find it.”
This week, it also emerged the hunt for missing Flight MH370 may be scaled down. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot told the Canberra parliament: “I can’t promise the search will go on at this intensity forever, but we will continue our very best efforts to resolve this mystery and provide answers.”
Mr Abbott said those with loved ones on board the Juala Lumour to Beijing flight had been through a “ harrowing nightmare.” “I do reassure the families of our hope and expectation the ongoing search will succeed.”
He said the search was taking place in the “Roaring Forties,” one of the world’s “ roughest stretches of ocean” and has so far cost £61 million, jointly paid by Australian and Malaysia. Earlier this week, Deputy PM Warren Truss said:” We clearly cannot keep searching for ever.” The plane’s disappearance has baffled the world’s aviation experts, with theories ranging from alien abduction to a Russia hijack to it being shot down by Malaysia’s military that failed to identify the plane.
Head of Emirates Airlines Tim Clark has suggested Malaysia has been witholding information. The Independent Group with satellite, data, mathematical and aviation experts has maintained that the plane is in the southern Indian Ocean, near the so-called “7th arc” currently being searched by the Australian-led international team.
Malaysia’s air force said its radar tracked the plane as it turned back, re-crossed the Malay Peninsula and flew out of range off the northwest coast. Official investigators used analysis from British firm Inmarsat of “pings” to its satellite from MH370 to plot two vast arcs – one to the north and one to the south – across which it may have flown.