PETALING JAYA: The confirmation that someone on board MH370 had deliberately switched off the aircraft’s communications systems before the plane veered off course has fuelled several theories over what might have happened to the aircraft.
Foreign news reports speculated on possible scenarios, including sabotage and hijacking, with the conjecture that the aircraft landed in some unknown location.
Since the plane went missing, there had been an endless stream of assumptions from aviation pundits trying to unravel the mystery.
Earlier presumptions included a sudden catastrophic event such as mid-air explosion or massive equipment or structural failure, causing the jet to crash into the sea at its last point of communication.
AFP quoted a Malaysian “senior military official” as saying that MH370 was deliberately turned towards the Indian Ocean by someone with up-to-date knowledge of flying and radar positions.
“It has to be a skilled, competent and a current pilot,” it quoted the official as saying.
The official said the hypothesis was based on still undisclosed data from military radar which continued to plot the plane’s course hours after it vanished from air-traffic control screens.
AP quoted several aviation experts who supported the premise that the pilots or someone else with aviation experience deliberately veered the plane off course in an act of sabotage.
“They find it hard to believe that a modern jetliner like the 777 would experience a total electronic failure that left the plane unable to communicate, yet able to keep flying,” it reported.
Although an act of terrorism was also cited as another possibility, most experts questioned why those responsible did not target a city or a military installation.
The New York Times said a hijacking was a likely cause and quoted another unnamed Malaysian official as saying that the aircraft was recorded to have ascended to 45,000 feet shortly before descending to 23,000 feet.
Reuters, meanwhile, quoted an unnamed US official as saying that it was possible that the aircraft was purposely diverted and that it might have landed somewhere.