Pilot Chris Goodfellow said he believed the flight was heading to Langkawi airport – the nearest airport to the last-known point of contact – after a catastrophic event onboard
A pilot has said he believes the crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were heros trying to save the 239 passengers.
Chris Goodfellow said that he believed that Zaharie Ahmad Shah and Fariq Abdul Hamid acted instinctively to head to the nearest airport following an onboard fire.
He said that he believed a pilot with the experience of Mr Shah would think to control the plane before communicating with ground crews.
On the whereabouts of the Boeing 777, Mr Greenwood suggested that the plane flew until it ran out of fuel or it was destroyed by fire.
He said the biggest clue for his conclusions was the turn around which indicated the pilot intended to go to the nearest airport.
“This pilot, as I say, was a hero struggling with an impossible situation trying to get that plane to Langkawi.
“No doubt in my mind. That’s the reason for the turn and direct route. A hijack would not have made that deliberate left turn with a direct heading for Langkawi.
“It would probably have weaved around a bit until the hijackers decided on where they were taking it.”
Mr Goodfellow said that the left turn was the biggest clue about what happened to the plane.
He said: “We old pilots were always drilled to always know the closest airport of safe harbour while in cruise. Airports behind us, airports abeam us and airports ahead of us.
“Always in our head. Always. Because if something happens you don’t want to be thinking what are you going to do – you already know what you are going to do.
“Instinctively when I saw that left turn with a direct heading I knew he was heading for an airport.
“Actually he was taking a direct route to Palau Langkawi, a 13,000ft strip with an approach over water at night with no obstacles.
“He did not turn back to Kuala Lampur because he knew he had 8,000 foot ridges to cross. He knew the terrain was friendlier towards Langkawi and also a shorter distance.”
Writing about the lack of communication with air traffic control to alert them or make a mayday call, he said: “It was probably a serious event and they simply were occupied with controlling the plane and trying to fight the fire. Aviate, navigate and lastly communicate.”