Malaysia plane mystery: low-flying jumbo seen over Maldives

2014-03-18 19:06
Cape Town - Villagers on the remote Maldives Island Kudahuvadhoo have come forward to say they saw a low flying plane on the morning Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared.

The Maldives Haveeru newspaper reports the witnesses saw a large jet, flying low overhead on March 8, at around 06:00.

One of the witnesses told the Maldives newspaper, he and fellow villagers saw a "jumbo jet" and that he had never seen a jet flying so low as he could even make out the doors on the plane.

While seaplanes are said to be a common sighting across the island, the witness said he didn't think it was one of those and that he thought it could have been the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Other witnesses reportedly also went outside to see what the noise was about.  As yet it remains unclear whether the Maldives government has been in contact with the Malaysian investigators but a Maldives politician is reported to have confirmed the claims made by villagers.

The UK's Telegraph spoke to the air transport editor at Flight Global, David Kaminski Morrow, who said he feels timing is of the essence to establish if the Maldives sighting is true.

While Morrow has not vouched for the credibility of the sighting, he told the Telegraph that along with the timing aspect the fuel, the quantity of which has not been revealed by Malaysia Airlines, would also be vital to establish if the plane could have made it that far.

To date the scrutiny of the pilots 53-year-old grandfather Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his co-pilot, 27-year old Fariq Abdul Hamid continues as circumstantial evidence mounts that at least one of them may have been involved in the plane's disappearance.

The discovery of five practice runs on Captain Shah's home-made simulator, as detailed by IBTimes, now carries more relevance. The report quotes an unnamed source within the Malaysian investigation who has revealed Shah's simulation programmes specifically included two runways at the Male International Airport in Maldives (Diego Garcia), owned by the United States.

In the interim the Australian Maritime Safety Authoritysaid in a statement it is continuing a search effort in the South Indian Ocean, spanning about 1500 nautical miles south - west of Perth.

And as yet, eleven days after the Boeing 777 jetliner carrying 239 people vanished without trace, pertinent questions remain around how a technologically advanced plane such as this could not send an update message to Malaysia Airlines when its transponder was switched off.  Authorities believe that Flight 370's transponder was intentionally shut off, delaying search and rescue efforts and helping to conceal the plane's location.

Want to share your travel experiences? Email us at info@news24travel.comor come chat to us on Facebook, tweet us or mention @News24Travel in your comments on Instagram.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.