Authors of book on MH370 hit back at Malaysia Airlines

Wellington : The New Zealand authors of a book on the MH370 air crash have hit back at Malaysia Airlines after the company accused them of seeking to profit from tragedy.

Ewan Wilson, a former Kiwi International Airlines chief executive, who wrote the book “The Truth Behind the Loss of Flight 370”, suggested that the pilot of the flight committed murder-suicide. The book has been co-authored by Geoff Taylor.

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Among the theories raised in the book, the authors have suggested that pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah committed murder-suicide by deliberately depressurising the cabin and locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, giving passengers only 20 minutes’ oxygen supply, reported Tuesday.

New Zealanders Ximin Wang and Paul Weeks were among the 239 people on board MH370 when it disappeared March 8.

“The findings in our book are the result of a robust analysis of the known facts,” Wilson said in a statement.

“Malaysia Airlines’ assertions that there is no evidence to support those conclusions, while advancing no explanation of their own evidence of what happened to MH370 after nearly seven months, is self-serving,” he added.

The book said MH370 was at least the sixth commercial flight to crash because of suicidal or mentally ill pilots.

Wilson rejected Malaysia Airlines’ claim that he and Taylor were seeking to cash in on suffering.

He found the criticism unbelievable in light of the fact that a number of families still have not been compensated by Malaysia Airlines for the tragic death of their loved ones.

Taylor rejected the airline’s claim and also criticised others involved in dealing with the tragedy.

“We’ve always been critical of the actions of many of the air traffic controllers on duty that night, the Malaysian military for its failure to act on primary radar sightings that night and indeed for many days after and the Malaysian government for its shambolic handling of the tragedy,” Taylor said.

“Our book looks dispassionately and in depth at every possible alternative for what could have happened to MH370,” he said.

Taylor said it was impossible the plane was shot down or suffered fire, electrical or catastrophic structural failure, or underwent rapid depressurisation.

Taylor said several issues reinforced the book’s claims, including the route MH370 took before disappearing, with its eight deliberate changes of course.

He said murder-suicide was tragic and unthinkable but sadly we think that is exactly what happened.

“Malaysia Airlines should direct its efforts to communicating with passengers’ loved ones rather than lashing out at a constructive effort to piece together what occurred,” he stressed.

MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur early March 8, headed for Beijing but disappeared from the radar soon after. Despite a large-scale international search, no trace of the flight has been found till date.