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MH370 co-pilot 'tried to use his phone mid-flight and a cellphone tower picked up his mobile number' before the aircraft mysteriously disappeared

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 22/3/2019 Aidan Wondracz

The co-pilot of flight MH370 may have tried to use his phone mid-flight before the aircraft mysteriously disappeared, an expert review of a secret report suggests.

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: The MH370 co-pilot may have tried to use his phone mid-flight before the aircraft mysteriously disappeared, an expert review of a secret report suggests as much. Pictured: An aircraft similar to flight MH370 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The MH370 co-pilot may have tried to use his phone mid-flight before the aircraft mysteriously disappeared, an expert review of a secret report suggests as much. Pictured: An aircraft similar to flight MH370 A Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of the plane on March 8, 2014 was completed in May of the same year.

The report detailed that a telecommunications tower at Bandar Baru Farlim Penang in Malaysia detected a mobile number registered to Fariq Abdul Hamid minutes before the Boeing 777 dropped off the radar, The Australian reported. 

Former Easyjet chief pilot Mike Keane said this supported the theory that Captain Zaharie Shah forcefully took control of the aircraft before plunging it into the sea in a mass murder-suicide.

a screenshot of a computer: A Malaysia police investigation into the disappearance of the plane on March 8, 2014 was completed in May the same year though suppressed. Pictured: A trailing edge splice strap from a left outboard flap from MH370 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A Malaysia police investigation into the disappearance of the plane on March 8, 2014 was completed in May the same year though suppressed. Pictured: A trailing edge splice strap from a left outboard flap from MH370

He believes the captain may have told Fariq to go to the cabin before he locked the cockpit.

He would have then isolated himself with an oxygen supply and depressurised the aircraft, allowing him to carry out his fatal plan that would claim the lives of 239 people.

Also Watch: Five years since MH370 disappeared, work on for improved tracking (Provided by Al Jazeera)

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Fariq would have had his phone left on after takeoff or alternatively switched it back on midflight to make an emergency call, Mr Keane argued. 

'The first officer would have been skilled in responding to depressurisation due to regular training,' he said. 

'If Fariq had his mobile phone with him, he would have grabbed an oxygen bottle before taking his phone off flight mode or switching it on.' 

University of Adelaide senior lecturer in telecommunications Matthew Sorell believed the phone had been switched on before the aircraft neared Penang and that the handset performed a 'new location area update'.

a man in a military vehicle: Malaysian authorities have previously slammed reports of the phone connection, which a local newspaper first made in April 2014. Pictured: A piece of debris believed to be an outboard wing flap belonging to MH370. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Malaysian authorities have previously slammed reports of the phone connection, which a local newspaper first made in April 2014. Pictured: A piece of debris believed to be an outboard wing flap belonging to MH370.

'This means the phone was on, and responded automatically when it detected the cell signal over Penang,' he said. 

Malaysian authorities have previously slammed reports of the phone detection, which a local newspaper first made in April 2014.

The publication was accused of telling a 'bare-faced lie' and threatened with severe punishment.

Video: Emotional MH370 families demand answers, five years on (Provided by AFP)

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The confidential police report was eventually leaked online and confirmed authorities knew of the phone detection.

No mention of the phone detection was made in the Factual Information Safety Investigation report when it was released in March 2015. 

The co-pilot's father Ab Hamid Bin Md Daud was not aware of the cellphone as Malaysian authorities had not told him.

Pictures: The mystery of MH370



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