Pilot: Fire May Have Caused Malaysian Flight Disappearance

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 08:59 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Evidence about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 points to an in-flight fire, not terrorism or hijacking as the media coverage has suggested, an experienced Canadian pilot says.

Chris Goodfellow, a pilot with 20 years experience as a Canadian Class-1 instrument-rated pilot for multi-engine planes, says the loss of transponders and communications indicate that a fire broke out, and the plane's abrupt left turn is a major clue that the pilot was attempting to land at the nearest airport at Pulau Langkawai.

"There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Terrorism, hijacking, meteors. I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it's almost disturbing. I tend to look for a simpler explanation," Goodfellow writes in an article for Wired.

"Take a look at [the] airport on Google Earth. The pilot did all the right things. He was confronted by some major event onboard that made him make an immediate turn to the closest, safest airport."

Goodfellow writes there is no evidence of hijacking because there are numerous simple ways that the pilot would have indicated a distress alert, and a hijacker would not have made a deliberate left turn but would probably have weaved around until a decision was made about where to go.

"Surprisingly, none of the reporters, officials, or other pilots interviewed have looked at this from the pilot's viewpoint," Goodfellow wrote. "The now known continued flight until time to fuel exhaustion only confirms to me that the crew was incapacitated, and the flight continued on deep into the south Indian Ocean."

"Zaharie Ahmad Shaw was a very experienced senior captain with 18,000 hours of flight time. We old pilots were drilled to know what is the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise," Goodfellow said.

"Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shaw was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi."

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