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.

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