KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian military investigators believe the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jet was “thrown around like a fighter jet” to dodge radar signals and disappear.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, a source claimed: “It was being flown very low at very high speed. And it was being flown to avoid radar.”
This latest claim – combined with yesterday’s reports that co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid made a “desperate last-ditch call” just before the plane vanished – adds weight to the theory that captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah hijacked his own plane after tricking Hamid into leaving the cockpit.
Malaysia’s New Straits Times carried a front page story yesterday claiming that Fariq Abdul Hamid tried to use his mobile phone while the plane was in the air.
Despite Malaysian acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein immediately denying the claims – saying “If this did happen, we would have known about it earlier” – the Sunday Times cites the reports as the first apparent proof that someone was alive and conscious as the jet flew back over the west coast of Malaysia – well off its planned course.
It quotes a source “close to the investigation” as saying: “If it’s true it would lead to the possibility that the pilot shut the co-pilot out of the cabin – asked him to go for coffee and then promptly locked the door – and then took over the plane.
Flight MH370, which disappeared more than five weeks ago en route to Beijing, is thought to have climbed to heights of 45,000ft – 10,000ft above its normal altitude – before plummeting to just below 5,000ft.