The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines’ Flight MH370 in early 2014 has been an enduring mystery. An exhaustive multinational air and sea search was undertaken after the commercial plane vanished from air-traffic radar screens. Reportedly, those efforts amounted to the most expensive exercise of its kind ever – but, alas, it was all to little avail. But now, an Australian amateur investigator says that he has located the wreckage of Flight 370. Furthermore, he claims the image also points to a sinister end for the long-lost passenger jet.
In the early hours of March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on a scheduled route to Beijing. Aboard the China-bound Boeing 777-200 were 227 passengers and 12 crew. Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, was at the controls. Like all of the dozen crew members, Zaharie was a Malaysian national. The captain had been flying with the country’s carrier since 1981, when he had joined Malaysian Airlines as a cadet. The expected time in the air was five hours and 24 minutes – but we are still waiting for touch down. As the world now knows, the ill-fated flight never reached its destination.
When Flight 370 took off that morning, Zaharie had an admirable flying time of 18,365 hours. And, as well as being a qualified pilot, he was an experienced instructor and examiner. Beside him in the cockpit was First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, who had been with Malaysian Airlines since 2007. The co-pilot had also joined the carrier as a cadet, and he had a considerable 2,763 hours of flying time under his belt. Although an experienced pilot, Fariq was relatively new to the Boeing 777-200. However, the Beijing flight would be the last part of his training in preparation for operating this model of plane.