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Saturday 1 October 2016

MH370 'deliberately flown into ocean', says crash expert

Captain Zaharie Shah is suspected of flying the airliner into the ocean
Captain Zaharie Shah is suspected of flying the airliner into the ocean
Wreckage from the plane
Wreckage from the plane

One of the world's leading air crash investigators believes Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was "deliberately" crashed into the sea by a rogue pilot in a poss-ible murder-suicide bid.

Canadian expert Larry Vance said erosion on the edges of recovered wing parts suggested the plane was lowered to its doom in a controlled fashion.

The erosion was caused by a part of the plane's wing, called a flaperon, being exposed to the elements when it was extended.

Control

The flaperon can only be extended by a pilot in full control of a plane.

Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

It had been heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when it disappeared from radar.

Investigators have searched more than 120,000 square metres of seabed using underwater drones, but are yet to establish what caused the disaster.

Mr Vance, who led the investigation into the downing of Swissair Flight 111 in 1998, said: "Somebody was flying the aeroplane at the end of its flight. There is no other theory that fits."

Previous theories suggested the plane crashed after malfunctioning or was shot down, with Australian investigators working under the assumption that no one was in control of the Boeing 777 when it disappeared.

However, there is growing evidence, investigators say, that points to a rogue pilot scenario in which Captain Zaharie Shah flew the plane into the ocean.

The most recent pilot suicide was last year, when the co-pilot of a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed his plane into the French Alps en route to Dusseldorf, killing 130 people.

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