Two New Zealand-based authors on a book about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have attempted to counter criticism from the beleaguered airline, which accused them of trying to profit from a tragedy.
Ewan Wilson and Geoff Taylor, who penned “Goodnight Malaysian 370: The Truth Behind the Loss of Flight 370,” have said that pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah killed himself and murdered the 238 other people on board the plane by deliberately depressurizing the plane’s cabin before locking his co-pilot out of the aircraft.
“The findings in our book…are the result of a robust analysis of the known facts,” Wilson said in a statement obtained by the New Zealand Herald. “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 said.
The plane, which went missing in March, was the sixth commercial jetliner to have crashed due to a pilot who was suicidal or mentally ill.
Malaysia Airlines, however, said he’s trying to make a profit, which Wilson rejected.
“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 on the night and indeed for many days after and the Malaysian Government for its shambolic handling of the tragedy,” he said.
“Our book looks dispassionately and in depth at every possible alternative for what could have happened to MH370 on March 8,” he added. “We analyzed the possibilities of slow depressurisation and hijacking and found that these were extremely unlikely.”
The allegations come as crews will start to search for the missing plane at the end of this month.
Martin Dolan of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. told The Associated Press that the first of three ships will begin to scour a remote area of the Indian Ocean.
The ship, Malaysia’s GO Phoenix, will begin the search on Sept. 30.
“Our plan has a sequence of priorities,” Dolan told AP. “It’s all about probability – we’ll start with the highest probability.”
A second ship commissioned by Dutch contractor Fugro Survey will focus on an area south of where the GO Phoenix will search.
The search is expected to take as long as one year.
The plane is believed to have crashed about 1,100 miles off Australia’s west coast, but no trace of the plane has been found. It was originally traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.