Chinese aviation CEO suggests MH370 a ‘test’ for search teams

Zhou Jisheng pictured behind a model plane. (Photo/CFP)

Zhou Jisheng pictured behind a model plane. (Photo/CFP)


Zhou Jisheng, chairperson of Guangdong Changsheng Aircraft Design Cooperation, has made the outlandish claim that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane might have been trying to go as far south as possible to test the capability of search and rescue teams, reports state-run China News Service.

Australia has found objects on satellite images that may be associated with the missing plane in an area of the southern Indian Ocean 2,300 kilometers south-west of Perth, the longest of which measures roughly 24 meters in length, however, attempts to find the objects have been hampered by bad weather and the possibility that the objects have drifted since the satellite images were taken.

The Malaysian plane has been missing since March 8 shortly after it took off from Kuala Lumpur destined for Beijing. Authorities now believe it was intentionally diverted, as the plane’s communication systems appear to have been deliberately switched off after its final contact with air traffic authorities. Military radar tracked the jet for another 70 minutes as it made a turn from the South China Sea across the Malaysian peninsula to the Straight of Malacca before turning northwest towards the Indian Ocean.

Zhou said the 24 m-long object is unlikely to be the aircraft’s fuselage since it is heavy and would not remain afloat. The object is more likely to be the plane’s wing along with an empty oil tank, he said. He also said the airplane would only have been able to fly south if it this was the pilot’s intention, as this would have been the only way to avoid detection from the dense radar cover in the north.

It is also the only path that the plane could take if it was hijacked, said Zhou. Even if it landed at an airport after flying northwards, its body might have been damaged to an extent that prevented it from taking off again.

Zhou did not give any indication of why a pilot would decide to sacrifice his own life, the lives of his 11 crew members and the 227 passengers on board to such an end.




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