As Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 investigators in France confirmed on Thursday that a piece of airliner debris found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean was "certain" to be a piece of the missing plane, they also suggested that the condition of the metallic wing section known as a "flaperon" could confirm a disturbing theory about the plane that has circulated for about a year.
That chilling theory, first proposed in August of 2014 by the authors of the book Goodnight Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind The Loss Of Flight 370, holds that Flight MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately ditched the plane on the surface of the Indian Ocean back on March 8 of last year when the plane disappeared.
The theory is an eerie and haunting one because it suggests that Shah — or some other person in control of the plane — planned the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200, and fully thought through how to leave as little evidence as possible that the plane ever existed.
After landing on the ocean surface, the pilot and all of the helpless passengers — if in fact any remained alive at that point — would have simply waited in horror as the plane sank to the bottom of the four-mile-deep ocean.
The theory, which has been advocated by several other experts, most recently by former French crash investigation chief Jean-Paul Troadec last week, has been largely dismissed due to the extreme difficulty of ditching a plane on the rough seas of the remote Indian Ocean.
But a report in the French newspaper Le Monde stated that aviation expert Francois Grangier, who worked with the French investigators examining the flaperon, told the families of four French citizens who were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, that the condition of the object suggested that the seemingly improbably water landing scenario may be true after all.
"He did consider that the manner in which the part was 'twisted' suggested a landing at sea rather than a crash," the newspaper reported, adding that Grangier compared the size of the debris to that recovered from the crashed Germanwings Flight 9525."In the case of the crash of the Germanwings plane the largest debris was about 30 centimeters (12 inches) in size, while the size of the flaperon was almost 2 meters (6 1/2 feet)," Le Monde reported.
"We could never have foreseen the information we uncovered, or their implications," said New Zealand accident investigator Ewan Wilson, whose book first set forth the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 water landing theory. "Neither could we have imagined the horrific scenario that our research suggests took place on board that fateful plane."
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