A Canadian aviation expert says the disappearance of Flight MH370 over two years ago was no accident.
The Malaysian airlines flight disappeared from radar in 2014 with 239 people on board while it was over the Indian Ocean across Australia’s west coast. So far, only five pieces of the Boeing 777 has been found.
Larry Vance told Global News that some of those pieces had a specific type of erosion on them, which leads him to believe the plane was deliberately landed in the ocean.
“I believe that somebody intended to take the airplane to someplace out in the ocean, and to land it on the ocean in a place where it was the least likely to be found,” he said via Skype from his home in Ottawa.
He also said the plane was “landed in such a way that it would sink to the bottom without any — or at least very much — wreckage appearing at the surface.”
He said that the flaperon, found in 2015 and confirmed as being from right wing of the downed plane, was in the extended position – otherwise known as the landing position.
“And if the flaperon was extended, the only way it could get that way was if somebody put it there… So somebody was controlling the airplane and took it into the water.”
The purpose of the flaperon, which is part of the flaps system, is to slow the plane down during landing. Which means, Vance explained, that someone was trying to land the plane on the water “in the slowest possible condition, so as to cause the least amount of damage when the aircraft touches the surface.”
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The erosion pattern on the flaperon, and a second piece of the flap system found in the area, is on the flaps’ “trailing edge,” and can only occur when the flaps are in landing position. If they weren’t the wings would be “streamlined” and there wouldn’t be erosion.
When asked if whoever was flying the plane could have extended the flaperon to try and prevent a crash, he said: “That’s not a reasonable thing, you wouldn’t do that.”
Vance, who’s worked for the Canadian Aviation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, first made the comments to Australian news program 60 Minutes.
Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau search manager Peter Foley also told the program he wasn’t convinced but they are looking into the possibility that someone was in charge at the end of the flight.
“The fact is we’ve got a bit of hard data that says the aircraft was in a rapid rate of descent,” Foley said. “We’ve got a rate of descent that’s between 12,000 and 20,000 feet a minute.”
But Vance is convinced, and says the only mystery that remains is why someone would deliberately land the plane in the ocean.
“You could get into huge debates about why someone would do that, but the ‘what happened,’ is not in doubt,” he said.
Malaysian, Australian and Chinese officials continue to search for the rest of the plane, in a search area of over 120,000-square kilometres using underwater drones and sonar equipment, according to the BBC.
If no new, credible evidence is found, the search is expected to stop when the area has been completely scoured, which is expected to last until the end of the year.
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