You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Pilot of MH370 was in control until the end, say investigators who claim doomed flight made 'abnormal' turns that could only be performed manually before crashing into Indian Ocean

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/07/2019 James Wood For Mailonline

The pilot of flight MH370 which disappeared in 2014 was 'in control until the very end' it has been alleged, as evidence mounts the crash was a murder-suicide. 

French investigators have been given access to a 'considerable amount' of Boeing flight data sent during the Malaysian Airlines flight prior to the crash. 

This includes numerous documents and satellite data from British-based satellite telecommunications company Immarsat.

It is expected to take around 'a year' to go through all of the information received from Boeing, but preliminary investigations suggest 'someone was behind the control stick when the plane broke up in the Indian Ocean'. 

Investigators based this view on data which showed that 'some abnormal turns made by the 777 can only be done manually.' 

It adds to the conclusion that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a troubled, lonely man who deliberately killed all passengers and crew on board the flight. 

a man wearing a suit and tie: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pictured) was the pilot-in-command when the plane carrying 239 other passengers and crew vanished in March 2014

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pictured) was the pilot-in-command when the plane carrying 239 other passengers and crew vanished in March 2014
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

The disappearance of MH370, which went massively off course while heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, is one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history.    

There were 239 people on board when it vanished on March 8, 2014 and it is considered one of the deadliest incidents involving a Boeing 777. 

France is the only country still conducting a judicial inquiry into the crash and is looking into the deaths of three French passengers on board the plane - a woman and her two children. 

Le Parisian spoke to the French investigators, who revealed they had been granted access to the Boeing data in May and were now busy working their way through it. 

The investigators were told to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to the release of the data, meaning it cannot be cited in court. 

Le Parisian cited a source 'close to the investigation', who believes a murder-suicide is the most plausible explanation for the crash. 

The source said: 'Some abnormal turns made by the 777 can only be done manually. So someone was at the helm. 

'It is too early to state categorically. But nothing is credited that anyone else could have entered the cockpit.'

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 (stock image) is thought to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, and a safety report in July last year, revealed the plane was likely steered off course deliberately, before being flown for several hours

The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 (stock image) is thought to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, and a safety report in July last year, revealed the plane was likely steered off course deliberately, before being flown for several hours
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Other suggestions for what happened to the missing plane include Russians stealing it and flying it to Kazakhstan, or the aircraft suffering a catastrophic systems failure and crash-landing on the ocean. 

Ghyslain Wattrelos, a Frenchman who lost his wife and two teenage children on the flight, praised the investigators saying he was 'delighted' with the work that had been carried out. 

He told Le Parisian: 'I hope that by analyzing all the data collected at Boeing , they will discover a problem that will be obvious to them. 

'For now, they provide incredible work that allows to evacuate some tracks, but is not conclusive.' 

Mr Wattrelos has previously suggested that the satcom on the plane may have been hacked, meaning data could have been manipulated or deleted and the plane could have crashed far away from where recovery efforts searched. 

The news comes just a month after William Langewiesche, writing in The Atlantic, claimed the pilot - Captain Shah - was behind the disappearance of the plane. 

He alleged Shah incapacitated or killed his co-pilot, took control of the plane, depressurised the cabin to kill everyone on board and then steered the Boeing 777 out to sea where he either waited for it to run out of fuel, or deliberately nose-dived it into the ocean. 

One radar expert also believes that Shah climbed the plane to 40,000ft as part of this scheme in order to accelerate the depressurizing effect.  

What is known for certain about MH370 - obtained from radar data - is that the aircraft was flying normally along its intended flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing around 1am on March 9, 2014.

a group of people on a boat: Malaysian Minister of Transport, Anthony Loke (centre) looks at the wing flap found on Pemba Island, Tanzania, which has been identified a missing part of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Malaysian Minister of Transport, Anthony Loke (centre) looks at the wing flap found on Pemba Island, Tanzania, which has been identified a missing part of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

At 1.01am Shah radioed to say that the plane had levelled off at 35,000ft, then repeated the transmission at 1.08am as he left Malaysian airspace.

At 1.19am the controller at Kuala Lumpur Center radioed to say goodnight as the plane neared the start of Vietnamese air-traffic jurisdiction.

Shah radioed back: 'Good night. Malaysian three-seven-zero.' He was never heard from again. 

Shortly afterwards, at 1.21am, the flight dropped off secondary radar systems used by air traffic control. 

Primary radar systems later revealed that, moments after the plane vanished from secondary systems, it made a sharp turn away from its intended flight path.

Experts say this turn would have to be made by hand, because it was too tight to have been executed by autopilot. 

What happened from this point relies on guesswork, but Langewiesche believes the most likely scenario is that Shah either killed or incapacitated his co-pilot then seized control of the aircraft as part of an elaborate suicide bid.

a man standing in a kitchen: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pictured with meat and a cleaver) was the pilot-in-command when the plane carrying 238 other passengers and crew vanished in March 2014 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pictured with meat and a cleaver) was the pilot-in-command when the plane carrying 238 other passengers and crew vanished in March 2014

In order to subdue the other passengers, Langewiesche and those he spoke to believe Shah depressurised the cabin, which would have killed everyone on board. 

In July, the Malaysian government released its final report on MH370 mystery.

Lead investigator Kok Soo Chon said that the probe had confirmed the plane had turned back under manual control and that 'we cannot exclude the possibility that there was unlawful interference by a third party.' 

He said: 'We can conclude that MH370 had turned back and the turn back was not because of anomalies in the mechanical system. The turn back was made not under autopilot but under manual control.'  

The report reiterated Malaysia's assertion that the plane was deliberately diverted and flown for more than seven hours after severing communications. 

The largest hole in the theory is explaining why Zaharie would choose to kill hundreds of people along with himself in such an elaborate scheme - something analysts and friends admit they have no certain answer to.

But those who knew him point to his chaotic personal life and fragile emotional state as a possible explanation.

A friend said: 'Zaharie's marriage was bad. In the past, he slept with some of the flight attendants. And so what? We all do. You're flying all over the world with these beautiful girls in the back. But his wife knew.'

The man added he thought Zaharie's emotional state may have been a factor in the incident.

As well as a turbulent personal life, Shah was very active on social media, often leaving messages on the profiles on twin models, and making a number of political statements critical of the government.

Pictures: Air Asia plane goes missing


More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon