The still-missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, or MH370, was purposefully piloted into the Indian Ocean when it disappeared in March 2014. At least, that's according to leading Canadian aviation expert Larry Vance, who laid out his theory about the vanished Boeing 777 Sunday on Australia's "60 Minutes."
Vance said the condition of the flaperon debris discovered last summer near Reunion Island indicates the plane had its wings extended when it hit the water, the Australian reported. The flaperon wasn't broken, so Vance alleged that a human — maybe the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah — had tried to execute a controlled crash or landing.
"When the flaperon was found, everybody should have concluded then, in my opinion, this was a human-engineered event," he told the TV show. "In order for that flaperon to get extended, somebody had to select that — somebody decided that was what they wanted to do. Somebody was flying the airplane at the end of its flight ... There is no other alternate theory that you can follow."
Vance said he believed there was "evidence left to be found" in the search for MH370 but that the cause of the crash was not a mystery. "This was not a mechanical-induced accident," he said. "I don't think it was a fault with the airplane."
Investigators have been combing the seas for MH370 ever since it dropped off radars with 239 people on board en route to Beijing two years ago. But the search has turned up nothing except controversies. Most recently, for example, a New York Magazine report implicated the plane's pilot, Shah, who had flown a simulated flight along MH370's route right before the incident. Officials quickly shot back at the murder-suicide theory, writing in a statement that "the simulator information shows only the possibility of planning."
In his own "60 Minutes" interview, the Australian Transport Safety Burreau's Peter Foley said only that there was "a possibility ... somebody [was] in control at the end" and they were "actively looking for evidence to support that," BBC News reported.
The debate coincided with an international argument over whether to extend or end the exhaustive scan of the Indian Ocean for debris. As of last month, there were only about 10,000 square kilometers remaining in the search, according to CNN.