PETALING JAYA: An independent wreck hunter who has searched for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370’s parts over the past three years has claimed that debris recovered thus far negate speculation of the pilot deliberately crashing the plane in a murder-suicide.
Blaine Gibson was reported by Australia’s ABC news network today as saying that the theory was disproven by evidence that the fuselage of the Boeing 777-200ER had shattered on impact and was not under water.
He said the wing flap was found to be retracted and not deployed for landing, indicating that there was no controlled glide.
“It has been examined by Boeing, examined by the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau), and they have concluded that it was in a retracted mid-flight position, not in a landing position,” he claimed.
“The original theory to explain away Malaysia 370 forever was the ‘pilot suicide controlled glide ditching theory’ — that somehow the pilot decided that he was going to kill everybody on the plane, ditch the plane, sink it intact and create a big mystery,” he added.
“I can say categorically, absolutely, that did not happen. “
Gibson said a TV monitor casing he had found on Riake beach in Madagascar had clearly come from the back of an airplane seat.
He said if it was from MH370, it was a “very significant piece of debris” because it disproved the theory that the plane glided intact into the ocean.
“It proves that the fuselage, the main cabin, shattered on impact. The fuselage is not as some people claim intact under water. It shattered on impact,” he was quoted as saying.
According to ABC, Gibson had together with local islanders and fishermen found at least 20 pieces of wreckage confirmed or deemed likely to have come from the plane on remote Indian Ocean islands and the east coast of Africa.
Among them was a right wing flaperon, right aft flap and right outboard flap, the report said.
Gibson claimed that some of personal items like bags and shoes, though not confirmed as coming from MH370, matched those seen on CCTV footage of people boarding the plane at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
He however added that there were no items like luggage tags, passports and identity cards that could be positively linked to the plane.
The ABC report said the personal effects were long ago handed to Malaysian authorities who have never confirmed any as being from MH370.
MH370, helmed by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, disappeared en route to Beijing from KLIA with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board on March 8, 2014.
On Jan 10 this year, Ocean Infinity, a US seabed exploration company, inked a deal with the Malaysian government to search for the missing plane on a “no cure, no fee” basis.
The search involves the use of the Norwegian Seabed Constructor vessel equipped with advanced submersibles covering an area of 25,000 sq km within 90 days.