Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Pilot Was in Control ‘Until the End,’ Report Says

July 12, 2019 Updated: July 12, 2019

French investigators said that the pilot of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared with 239 people on board in March 2014, was in control of the airplane “until the end” and made “abnormal turns” before apparently crashing.

According to, France is the only country in the world that is still officially investigating the disappearance. Two investigating magistrates are conducting inquiries into the deaths of three French nationals who were on board the plane.

A source close to the French investigators said that the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, made “abnormal turns” that can “only be done manually.”

Bao Lanfang, a Chinese relative of missing passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 cries as she waits for information outside the airline's office on August 6, 2015 in Beijing, China. Malayasia's Prime Minister announced on Thursday that a piece of wing discovered washed up on Reunion Island last week is from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 which vanished on March 8, 2014. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Bao Lanfang, a Chinese relative of missing passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 cries as she waits for information outside the airline’s office on August 6, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

“Certain abnormal turns made by the 777 can only have been carried out manually. Someone was in control,” the source said before adding that “there is nothing to suggest anyone else entered the cockpit”.

The latest report adds to the claims that Shah was behind the disappearance of MH370.

William Langewiesche, an aviation specialist, wrote in The Atlantic in June that there has been “a strong suspicion among investigators in the aviation and intelligence communities that he was clinically depressed.”

Langewiesche also said that he had become obsessed with two young models and “spent a lot of time pacing empty rooms,” The Telegraph reported. Langewiesche, in the Atlantic report, said that he also allegedly cheated on his wife and had marriage trouble.

Shah, he claimed, either killed or incapacitated his co-pilot and took control of the plane or depressurized the plane’s cabin and killed everyone on board before steering the plane in the ocean.

“The cabin occupants would have become incapacitated within a couple of minutes, lost consciousness, and gently died without any choking or gasping for air,” wrote Langewiesche.

Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik gives the final touches to his sand sculpture portraying two missing aircraft, Air Asia QZ8501 and Malayasia Airlines MH370 on Golden Sea Beach at Puri, east of Bhubaneswar on Monday. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Ghyslain Wattrelos, whose wife and children died on the plane, said he was “delighted” with the French government’s work.

“I hope that by analyzing all the data collected at Boeing they will discover a problem that will be obvious to them,” he was quoted by as saying. “For now, they provide incredible work that allows to evacuate some tracks but is not conclusive.”

Last year, investigators released a 495-page report suggesting that the Boeing 777’s controls were likely deliberately manipulated to take it off course, Reuters reported.

“The answer can only be conclusive if the wreckage is found,” Kok Soo Chon, head of the MH370 safety investigation team, said last year.

In May 2018, Malaysia called off a three-month search by U.S. firm Ocean Infinity, which spanned 43,243 square miles in the southern Indian Ocean and ended with no significant findings. It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless A$200 million search across an area of 46,332 square miles last year.

Reuters contributed to this report.