Malaysia Airlines flight 370 departed from Kuala Lumpur Airport on March 8, 2014, destined for Beijing, China, with 239 people on board. The Boeing 777 last communicated with air traffic control at 1:19am while travelling over the South China Sea, before disappearing altogether. However, leading air crash investigator Christine Negroni says she can pinpoint the exact moment the plane went missing, and that it might prove the co-pilot was in charge.
She claimed during her book “The Crash Detectives” that the plane suffered a sudden depressurisation while Captain Zaharie Shah was out of the cockpit.
She claims the plane’s flight path proves co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid took control and he headed somewhere familiar.
She wrote last year: “In the case of Malaysia 370, a loss of pressurisation mishandled by the pilot is neither farfetched nor unprecedented, it fits the facts we know.
“By 1:52am, Fariq had taken the plane back across Malaysia and to Penang.
Fariq Hamid may have flown solo for 30 minutes
MH370 left Kuala Lumpur on March 8
It fits the facts
“Here he made yet another decision explicable only by a hypoxia-induced, half-witted state.
“He turned the plane north, perhaps he had the intention of landing at Langkawi International Airport, where he had learned to fly.”
Ms Negroni thinks Mr Hamid faced difficulties while trying to bring the plane down somewhere he knew.
She added: “Surely the airfield was as familiar to him as his own driveway, and the runway was nearly two thousand feet longer than that at Penang.
“He would be coming in heavy, with much of the fuel loaded on the plane in Kuala Lumpur still in the tanks.
Captain Zaharie Shah was supposed to be in control
“If Fariq did any mental processing at all, he may have concluded the more runway, the better, and Langkawi had a lot of it.
“Yet I think he was no longer doing much reasoning, because his ability to do that was long gone.”
Ms Negrone then went on to explain how the co-pilot may have been in charge of the plane for more than half an hour before succumbing to oxygen deprivation.
She concluded: “Turning to the northwest, MH370 continued to fly, there was no effort to descend or to begin an approach to the airport.
“Fariq had been flying for 32 minutes since the occurrence of whatever caused the flight to go a-miss.
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Five years have passed since the disappearance
“Still at cruise altitude, the plane passed over VAMPI – one of the many navigational waypoints in the sky.
“Then it flew north of the next one – MEKAR – disappearing for good somewhere at the northern-most part of Sumatra.”
Ms Negroni detailed her full theory on what happened later in her book.
She stated: “My theory is that an electrical malfunction knocked out the systems on the Boeing 777 and that the plane lost pressurisation incapacitating the pilots.
More than 200 people were on board the jet
“Whatever happened, it could not have caused damage serious enough to affect the airworthiness of the plane, since it flew on until running out of fuel many hours later.
Likely, the men in the cockpit were overcome by the altitude sickness known as hypoxia, which robbed them of the ability to think clearly and land the plane safely.
“Many of the links in the bizarre chain of events that night can be explained by hypoxia, because past cases have shown how rapidly those who fall victim to it turn imbecilic.”
However, this idea is just one theory among hundreds of others proposed over the last five years.
While more outrageous ideas have claimed the plane was a “flying bomb” due to the cargo of five tonnes of mangosteens and 221kg of lithium-ion batteries.
Despite this, we are still no closer to knowing the truth.