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The Australian Transport Safety Bureau would be complicit in covering up mass murder on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 if it knowingly ignored evidence that its “ghost flight” theory about the aircraft was wrong, a senior aviation figure has claimed.
Mike Keane, the former chief pilot of Britain’s largest airline, easyJet, said it was time the ATSB abandoned its claim that the pilots on MH370 were incapacitated at the end of the flight, and that the Boeing 777 flew on autopilot until it ran out of fuel and crashed in a steep spiral.
The ATSB used this scenario to design a 120,000sq km search zone for its $200 million underwater hunt for wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean, which ended in January last year without finding any trace of the aircraft.
New Zealand-born Captain Keane, who was previously a fighter pilot and intelligence officer in the Royal Air Force, said the ATSB should now accept and publicly state that MH370 captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah hijacked his own aircraft, and flew it to the end, ditching it outside the ATSB-defined search area to make it disappear in as few pieces as possible.
Captain Keane’s remarks follow the unveiling of a new book by leading Canadian air crash investigator Larry Vance, MH370: Mystery Solved, which provides compelling evidence of a controlled ditching, based on forensic examination of pieces of the aircraft found washed up on the African coast and on islands off it.
MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board, with automatic satellite tracking showing it came down in the southern Indian Ocean.
Captain Keane published a forensic reconstruction of the MH370 flight in The Australian, which concludes Zaharie killed the passengers and crew by depressurising the aircraft while he was on the pilot’s long oxygen supply, and ditched the aircraft at the end.
He told The Australian yesterday: “You may recall my observation of ‘complicity to a crime’ if the ATSB cling to their version of events when they have knowledge to the contrary.
“Put bluntly, the MH370 ‘crash’ is undoubtedly a crime of the unlawful killing of 238 innocent people. The Australian government has also been remiss, they should have put pressure on the ATSB to listen, and act, on professional advice from the aviation community.”
In his book, extracts of which were yesterday published exclusively in The Australian, Vance writes that the ATSB should have abandoned its incapacitated pilots theory in July 2015 as soon as MH370’s right-wing flaperon was discovered mostly intact on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion.
Vance says other air crashes show the flaperon could not have survived in one piece in the high-speed impact the ATSB claims happened.
“If that evidence was actually discovered and brought forward, and then suppressed, that would be intentional deception,” Vance wrote. “I believe it was incompetence.”
A new search by Houston-based underwater survey group Ocean Infinity, which will be paid up to $US70m ($92.6m) by the Malaysian government only if it finds MH370, has covered 2½ of four sequential target zones.
Ocean Infinity’s leased vessel, Seabed Constructor, is now searching areas identified by an independent group of international scientists and engineers as the most likely.
But senior airline captains, including Australian Byron Bailey and Briton Simon Hardy, believe Zaharie flew the aircraft, either under power or gliding it after fuel exhaustion, farther southwest than the original search along what is known as the seventh arc of satellite tracking.
The leader of the ATSB’s failed underwater search for MH370, Peter Foley, and ATSB spokesman Paul Sadler did not respond to emails seeking comment.
This article first appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au
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