Liow: No proof MH370 deliberately crashed into sea

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PUTRAJAYA: There is no proof to back a claim that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was deliberately crashed into the sea, said Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the underwater search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, came out with a theory that the plane was in an “uncontrolled ditch”.

“This will negate the ‘controlled ditch’ theory published recently,” he said, referring to reports quoting an air crash investigator that MH370 was deliberately crashed into the sea.

This was based on the erosion on the edges of recovered wing parts.

The reports suggested that the flaperon could only be extended by a pilot in full control of his plane.

On the home flight simulator owned by MH370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Liow said the flight path to the southern Indian Ocean recovered from the simulator was just one of thousand routes found on it.

“There is no evidence to prove that Captain Zaharie piloted the plane to that area. The simulator was used by the pilot for trial and error in many areas. There are thousands of simulations to many destinations.

“Yes, there is simulation showing it flew to many parts of the world and it (southern Indian Ocean) is one of many. We cannot base on that to confirm,” he told reporters after attending the Ministry of Transport monthly assembly here today.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

The plane has not been found despite a massive search operation in the southern Indian Ocean where it was believed to have ended its flight after diverting from its original route.

On July 22, Malaysia, China and Australia agreed to suspend, but not terminate the search for flight MH370 upon completion of the priority 120,000 square kilometre search area, which may be wrapped up between October and December.

On the flaperon found at La Reunion Island in July last year, Liow said French authorities insisted they wanted to hold on to it for court evidence.

“At the same time, French authorities are still conducting investigations and further verification of the flaperon pending some documentation and information from several authorities, including Boeing,” he added.

“The French authorities exercise their rights to hold on to the flaperon, but we want it to be returned to Malaysia,” he said, adding there was no timeline set for the French authorities to return the flaperon.