The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is not a mystery at all, and every experienced pilot knows what happened to the missing plane, claims pilot Byron Bailey in a leading Australian newspaper this week. The reason? There is only one possible answer that fits all of the known facts.
Bailey — a pilot with 26,000 hours in the air, mostly with Emirates Airlines — has spoken out about Flight MH370 before. In fact, he proposed the same answer late last year about the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that suddenly cut off communications with the ground as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 — never to be heard from again.
Now, 14 months after the bizarre disappearance of the plane and the 239 people on board, which has both gripped and baffled the world, the multinational, multimillion-dollar search for any trace of the plane continues in the remote regions of the southern Indian Ocean — and has yet to turn up even a scrap of evidence that the plane crashed there.
So how can Bailey say that there's no mystery about the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370?
"All competent experienced jet pilots believe MH370 did not crash and therefore it was not a mysterious accident," Bailey wrote in the Daily Telegraph newspaper Sunday. "I believe MH370 rests intact in the darkest place in the world, 6500 meters [i.e. four miles] down in a cold, remote, lonely place."
The fact that the plane was tracked via satellite to the southern Indian Ocean is the giveaway that the plane was hijacked by an experienced pilot, he says.
"Only a qualified jet pilot could have inserted manually defined waypoints of latitude and longitude into the Flight Management System, as there are no airways leading to the Southern Indian Ocean," Bailey wrote.
Who was capable of doing such a thing? There were only two qualified pilots on board the flight, Bailey notes.
"Only one had the necessary experience and ability to make this happen. The jet airline pilot fraternity is almost unanimous as to who was responsible," he claims.
The culprit who is the consensus suspect of "all experienced pilots," according to Bailey, is Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the captain of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Rather than simply fly until the plane ran out of fuel, Shah carefully landed the plane on the water and let it sink to the bottom in one piece — where it lies today — as part of an elaborate suicide plan, Bailey believes.
The same scenario was the theme of a book, Goodnight Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind the Loss of Flight 370, published last year and co-authored by Ewan Wilson, also a pilot and a former airline executive.
If Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had crashed into the ocean, the plane would have shattered and left a huge amount of floating debris, but despite an exhaustive search, not one piece of debris has turned up.
[Image: ChinaFotoPres/Getty Images]