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Malaysian airlines pilot was in control ‘until the end’ – French investigation into MH370

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Malaysian airlines pilot was in control ‘until the end’ – French investigation into MH370 | The Thaiger

“Certain abnormal turns made by the 777 can only have been carried out manually. Someone was in control.”

In the latest report into the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mystery, French investigators suspect the pilot was in control of the missing plane “until the end”. They’ve made their claims, over five years after the incident, after gaining access to “crucial” flight data.

The revelations, based largely on Boeing data, comes just days after a new story suggests the pilot may have been “clinically depressed”, which could have led him to starve the passengers of oxygen and then crash the 777 jet into the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was travelling from KL to Beijing on March 8, 2014. There were 239 passengers and crew on board when it vanished and became the world’s greatest aviation mystery, baffling all attempts to try and understand what could have happened to a modern 74 metre long aircraft to make it simply disappear.

The plane, at an early stage in its diversion from its official flight plan, flew over southern Thailand. There was an unconfirmed sighting by sailors who were heading for Phuket at the time, saying they saw a “fireball in the sky”. There was also an Italian tourist staying on Phuket who’s passport was stolen and used by a passenger on the fateful flight.

Italian tourist Luigi Maraldi, 37, today met with Phuket Police to discuss his passport that was stolen on the island in 2013, and then used by a person posing as him to board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – The Phuket News

A 495 page official report was released last year, claiming the plane’s controls were “probably deliberately manipulated” to veer it off course but the report didn’t appoint responsibility to any single factor or person.

Two investigating French magistrates are still looking into the deaths of three French passengers – the wife and two children of Ghyslain Wattrelos, an engineer who met the judges this week. According to Le Parisien, they informed Ghyslain that Boeing had finally granted them access two months ago to vital flight data at the Boeing HQ in Seattle.

He says they were obliged to sign a confidentiality agreement at the time, meaning the documents cannot be presented in a court. The investigators also visited Immarsat headquarters in the UK who, immediately following the planes disappearance, released data based on their tracking of flights through data fed through their satellite network.

Marie Dosé, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, says it will take a year to sift through all the data and “nothing permits us to say the pilot was involved.”

But, according to The Telegraph, French investigators (quoted in Le Parisien) say the data “lends weight’ to the idea that “someone was behind the control stick when the plane broke up hitting the Indian Ocean”.

The article quoted a source “close to the inquiry” claiming someone was flying the plane “until the end.”

“Certain abnormal turns made by the 777 can only have been carried out manually. Someone was in control.”

Malaysian airlines pilot was in control ‘until the end’ - French investigation into MH370 | News by The Thaiger

Since the Malaysia Airlines flight vanished in March 2014 conspiracy theorists have speculated a number of completely unverifiable theories, all without evidence.

1. It was shot down

According to this theory, Flight 370 could have been shot down during a joint military exercise between the United States and Thailand in the South China Sea. The theory is advanced in a book called Flight MH370: The Mystery by Nigel Cawthorne, a UK-based writer. The book describes the plane’s disappearance as “the greatest mystery since the Mary Celeste”.

2. It was hijacked

With the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington approaching, conspiracy theorists have turned much of their focus to what some have dubbed the “9/11/14” theory. This theory, utterly devoid of proof but nonetheless widely circulated on the internet, suggests that Flight 370 did not crash but is in fact being prepared for use in a terrorist spectacular that will coincide with anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

3. It was switched

The “plane switch” is among the most outlandish theories to have surfaced. One of its main backers is Jim Stone, a self-described “independent journalist” whose website carries the motto: “Truth is reality, which lies and inventions fall to in the end.” Mr Stone proposes the theory that it was Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and not Flight 17 that was shot down over the Ukraine in July last year. He offers little in the way of explanation about who might benefit from switching the planes, or how they might have achieved it.

4. It landed on an island

In the days and weeks following the plane’s disappearance one of the most commonly heard conspiracy theories was that it had landed on Diego Garcia, the British-owned island in the Indian Ocean that is home to a major US military base. The theory gained so much traction that US officials were forced to deny it.

5. It was destroyed by a mysterious new weapon

Mike Adams, a veteran conspiracy theorist who runs a website called the Natural News, is known for his bizarre and often ludicrous articles.

“There are some astonishing things you’re not being told about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370,” he wrote less than 48 hours after the disaster. His explanation for how MH370 “utterly and inexplicably vanished”? Not a hijacking nor a mid-air explosion but possibly the work of “some entirely new, mysterious and powerful force” capable of plucking “airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind even a shred of evidence”.

Yeah… right (face palm).

6. Russia hijacked the plane

Under Putin’s orders and flew it to Kazakhstan.

The reality check

Despite all those theories, the reality is certainly more mundane, says David Learmount, the aviation expert. He is convinced that whatever happened to the plane was “a deliberate act by someone on board, probably the captain”.

Read the rest of the article at The Telegraph.

SOURCE: telegraph.co.uk

Malaysian airlines pilot was in control ‘until the end’ - French investigation into MH370 | News by The Thaiger

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Air Pollution

Southern Thailand smog well above safe levels

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Southern Thailand smog well above safe levels | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Charoon Thongnual – The Nation

Hat Yai, the main city in Songkhla, has been among the worst hit by the smog engulfing parts of southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

The business district of Hat Yai has been hard hit with PM2.5 particles exceeding the safety standards of 50 (set by the World Health Organisation). But some rain yesterday afternoon provided a short respite. This morning it is up to 158 again.

Southern Thailand smog well above safe levels | News by The Thaiger

Two other areas facing similarly poor air quality are Yala and Satun provinces, according to Tananchai Wansuk, the chief of the area’s environment office.

“The smog from the Indonesian island of Sumatra is expected to cloud southern Thailand for at least the next three days.”

Meanwhile, measures have been put in place to protect public health in southern Krabi province amid a seasonal recurrence of haze drifting from Indonesia, the chief of the provincial health office said yesterday.

Dr Aphichai Limanont said hospitals of all sizes had been instructed to communicate information about coping with the smog, with those at most risk, such as children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory problems are being warned to be especially vigilant.

Aphichai acknowledged that Krabi had witnessed dense smog every year recently, but said the authorities had been able to cope.

The southern Thai provinces struggle perennially with the smoke from forest fires burning on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island and Kalimantan and it reappeared this week in Yala and Songkhla. Malaysia and Singapore have been suffering for several weeks with government environmental officials pointing fingers and trading insults.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s President Jokowi has acknowledged the problem while 30,000 Indonesian army, firefighters and emergency responders are in the fire zones battling the intentionally-lit plantation fires.

SOURCE: The Nation

Southern Thailand smog well above safe levels | News by The Thaiger Southern Thailand smog well above safe levels | News by The Thaiger Southern Thailand smog well above safe levels | News by The Thaiger

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Air Pollution

Smoke from Indonesian illegal plantation burn-offs causing acute problems for south east Asian neighbours

The Thaiger

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Smoke from Indonesian illegal plantation burn-offs causing acute problems for south east Asian neighbours | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Visibility down to less than a kilometre at KL airport yesterday

Flights cancelled, schools closed and regional environmental ministers trading insults. The minister’s fiddle whilst Indonesian islands burn.

Parts of Indonesia are now opening temporary clinics to treat thousands of people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses in the smoke haze stricken regions around Sumatra island as authorities stepped up efforts to douse forest and peatland fires.

Dangerous smoke from illegal burning to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations is prompting school closures and disrupting travel in the region. But the air quality in Singapore, which slipped to unhealthy levels over the weekend, is now forecast to improve in the next few days.

The fires, an annual burn-off of plantations to prepare for the new year crops, is causing major disruptions and a health hazard for other south east asian countries in the wake of the smoke, including Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand.

More than 300 schools in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor were closed on the weekend after the Air Pollutant Index hit very unhealthy levels. (Johor’s weekend is Friday and Saturday with Sunday being a normal work day.)

Authorities have distributed perfunctory face masks to people in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra and Kalimantan as the ash and smoke from more than 2,500 hotspots blanket the region. Authorities now say they have deployed more than 9,000 personnel, with the help of 42 helicopters, to fight the fires.

The total number of hotspots in Indonesia fell to 2,583 on Monday from 2,862 on Sunday, with the Indonesian part of the Borneo island alone accounting for almost 1,200 forest fires. The hotspots have affected 328,724 hectares of forest and farm land this year, data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency show. The agency stands ready to undertake cloud-seeding to douse the fire, it said.

Kuching and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Hanoi and Jakarta were among the world’s top 10 cities with the poorest air quality, according to IQAir AirVisual pollution data yesterday. The air quality index in Kuching in haze-hit Sarawak state was 241 yesterday, a level well in excess of the WHO upper level of 50.

In KL yesterday the levels reached 130.

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Air Pollution

Malaysia demands Indonesia acts on smog-belching fires

The Thaiger

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Malaysia demands Indonesia acts on smog-belching fires | The Thaiger

“An official in Sarawak state on Borneo is demanding Indonesia send face masks and medical supplies to Malaysia for those affected by the pollution.”

Malaysia is stepping up pressure on neighbouring Indonesia to tackle huge blazes tearing through its rainforests and smothering Southeast Asia in smog, as fires typically started to clear land for crops send diplomatic tensions soaring.

Burning forests to make way for farming is also thought to be behind the enormous fires currently ripping through the Amazon in South America, and experts believe they could have a serious impact on the global climate.

Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin expressed concerns about the impact of the smog and offered assistance to Jakarta to fight the fires during a meeting with Indonesian officials Tuesday, according to a statement.

An official in Sarawak state on Borneo – where air quality dropped to very unhealthy levels this week – was less diplomatic, demanding Indonesia send face masks and medical supplies to Malaysia for those affected by the pollution.

“Until they suffer economically, they will not take our complaints seriously,” Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing was cited as saying by the Malay Mail news portal on Wednesday.

“The Indonesian government must bear the full brunt of responsibility of the haze in Sarawak.”

Air quality also plummeted to unhealthy levels in Kuala Lumpur this week as toxic smog drifted in and shrouded the skyline, while over 400 schools were closed in the Malaysian part of Borneo due to the smoke.

Borneo is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

Despite the pressure from its neighbour, Indonesia insists the smog in Malaysia was caused by fires there.

A statement from the environment ministry and weather agency said the number of “hotspots” – areas of intense heat detected by satellite which typically indicate fires – on the Malaysia peninsula had risen significantly. But the facts suggested otherwise.

The Malaysian environment ministry referred journalists to information on hotspots published by the Singapore-based ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre. According to the centre, there were 861 hotspots on Indonesian Borneo and the Indonesian island of Sumatra as of September 10, and just seven in the whole of Malaysia.

Indonesia has deployed thousands of security forces who are fighting a desperate battle against the blazes, which have reduced once-verdant areas of forest to charred wastelands and darkened the skies with acrid smoke.

Indonesian forest fires are an annual problem during the dry season but this year’s are the worst since 2015, when the region was choked by toxic smoke for weeks.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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