As residents of the Maldives reported seeing a ‘low-flying jumbo jet’ on March 18, a new theory suggests that flames ripped through the Malaysia Airlines plane’s cockpit, forcing the pilots to try to make an emergency land near the south Asian islands.
Are all the hijacking theories and proposed terrorist plots surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 just overcomplicating things? A new compelling theory suggests a much simpler explanation, as veteran Canadian pilot Chris Goodfellow claimed on March 18 that a cockpit fire must have broken out on the plane and forced the two pilots to attempt an emergency landing in the Maldives. And actually, eyewitness accounts from residents in the Maldives may actually support the theory.
Malaysia Flight: Disappearance Was Caused By Cockpit Fire
While everyone turns a skeptical eye towards Flight 370’s two pilots, Zaharie Ahmed Shah and Fariq Abdul Hamid, Chris praised them in a Google Plus post that went viral and was republished on Wired. The veteran pilot insisted that the only reasonable explanation for Flight 370 is that a fire broke out aboard the plane at about the same time it diverted course and lost contact with air traffic controllers.
He proposes that the pilots then tried to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport — a 13,000-ft. strip called Palau Langkawi on the west coast of Malaysia. At that point, Chris believes the plane probably wasn’t able to land there because of overwhelming smoke, and so they continued to fly west as a “ghost plane” before crashing near the Maldives.
“We old pilots were always drilled to know the closest airport of safe harbor while in cruise,” Chris wrote. “Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport.”
As for how the fire was caused, Chris cites the possibility that the lithium batteries that were on board ignited the flames, or that one of the plane’s tires overheated during takeoff and burned slowly before the fire made its way to the cockpit. The pilot also asserted that the shutdown of the plane’s communication devices — which authorities had concluded were turned off manually — makes “perfect sense” in the event of a fire.
Did Maldives Residents See Flight 370?
After so much talk and seemingly hard-set conclusions that Flight 370 was hijacked, it’s hard to take Chris’ simplistic stance legitimately, but he may actually have eyewitness accounts to back him up.
On the same day Chris posted his theory, residents of the Maldives reported seeing a “low-flying jumbo jet” on the morning of the plane’s disappearance. The residents reported seeing a white plane with red stripes, which is consistent with Malaysia Airlines, and they said that the jet made an incredibly loud noise as it flew over the island at about 6:15 a.m. on March 8, according to Maldives newspaper Haveeru Daily. The timing of this flyover fits with the timeline of Chris’ theory, the pilot claimed in a subsequent blog post.
So there is a chance that the outcome of Flight 370 was simpler than we thought, though this theory would unfortunately mean that 239 passengers perished in the plane’s crash. Do you believe it?
— Andrew Gruttadaro