MH370, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, disappeared on March 8, 2014. The Boeing 777 was carrying 239 people when the jet disappeared over the South China Sea. Captain Zaharie Shah last communicated with air traffic control at 1:19am during a routine handover from Malaysian to Vietnamese channels.
Analysis of radar and satellite data shows that it suddenly changed course and flew back across Malaysia before turning south of Penang and then towards the southern Indian Ocean.
Mr Shah has come under fire numerous times over theories he purposely crashed the jet in a suicide bid, after his apparent final goodbye gesture.
Larry Vance, a former pilot and now aviation expert supports this idea.
He claimed during his book “MH370: Mystery Solved” that debris from the jet, including the flaperon discovered on Reunion island, proves the plane was brought to a controlled stop.
He wrote in 2018: “The turning point for the official investigation, away from the unpiloted plane theory and towards the deliberate act theory, should have come on July 29, 2015, with the discovery of the flaperon.
“The physical evidence available from examining the flaperon should have proven to the official investigation that the aircraft’s flaps were extended down when it entered the water and that the plane was at a speed consistent with a pilot-controlled ditching.
“After the recovery of the flaperon, there should have remained little doubt that a pilot was controlling MH370 at the end of its flight.
“Subsequent wreckage discoveries and, in particular, a section from the right outboard flap that was found on May 10, 2016, should have added to the level of confidence that this event was a pilot-controlled ditching.
“In fact, the evidence from all 20 recovered pieced confirm it was a controlled ditching event.”
Mr Vance claims that Mr Shah made two mistakes, though.
He also added in his book: “Fortunately, there were two shortcomings in his planning and, because of these, evidence was left behind about what happened.
“First, the pilot was unaware that he could not disable the plane’s systems in such a way as to make it completely disappear from all electronic tracking.
“Secondly, he did not anticipate that pieces of the plane would be dislodged during the controlled ditching and that the dislodged pieces would be sufficiently buoyant to float until they reached the shoreline.
“The evidence to support a deliberate act is very clear.”
In 2016, Mr Shah also faced backlash after Australian officials confirmed he had practiced a route where the plane is said to have vanished using an in-flight simulator he had built at home.
A statement read: “The simulator information shows only the possibility of planning.
“It does not reveal what happened on the night of its disappearance nor where the aircraft is located.
“For the purposes of defining the underwater search area, the relevant facts and analysis most closely match a scenario in which there was no pilot intervening in the latter stages of the flight.”
However, it is not the only possibility to why MH370 may have faced a mid-air disaster.
In March 2014, Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari confirmed that flight MH370 had been carrying lithium-ion batteries in its cargo hold.
These highly flammable electrochemical cells are used in mobile phones and laptops.
They have been responsible for a number of fires on planes in recent years.