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Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared without a trace on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The official investigation concluded that the presumed final destination of the aircraft is at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean. This was calculated using communications between MH370 and a satellite belonging to British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat.
The seven ‘handshakes’ indicate that the plane diverted away from its planned route, flew up the Malacca Strait and then curved south over the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.
The last ‘handshake’ was in the southern Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia.
It is believed that it was around here that the plane ran out of fuel.
According to Channel 5’s ‘Flight MH370’, in all likelihood someone was flying the plane right until the end of its doomed journey.
This would mean the plane had been hijacked by someone – a crew member, a passenger or even a stowaway.
The evidence also suggests that the hijacker did not want the plane to be found.
Aviation expert David Gleave from Loughborough University analysed the psychological profile of such a person.
He told Channel 5: “If you did a psychological profile of somebody who wanted the aeroplane not to be found, you would fly it as far away from land as you could.
Mr Greave referenced a famous incident in which two commercial pilots reacted well to an engine failure and managed to glide their plane to a ditching on a river.
US Airways Flight 1549 departed from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport in 2009 only to collide with a flock of geese causing their engine to fail.
However, they successfully landed on the River Hudson off Midtown Manhattan and all 155 people on board were rescued without serious injuries.
The incident was made into a famous film called Sully featuring Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.
Mr Greave said: “We saw with the Miracle on the Hudson – the Sully film and things like that – that aeroplanes are actually designed ditch and they’re designed to float, certainly for a significant period of time to allow everybody to get out onto life rafts and things like that.
“So you’d want to crash the aeroplane in a way that ensured it didn’t float, because then it would be found.”
In this way, the alleged hijacker would have to glide the plane but then landed it so it did not float on the surface of the water.
Experts believe the hijacker did glide the plane for some distance, because a plane crashing into the sea from 30,000 feet would smash the aircraft to bits, leaving wreckage floating on the surface.