Alwaght- Four years since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, ex- Malaysia leader Mahathir Mohamad says the missing flight might have been taken over remotely in a bid to foil a hijack.
MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Two hours after takeoff, military radar showed it had abruptly left its planned route and headed towards the Indian Ocean. The disappearance remains one of aviation’s most perplexing mysteries.
Mahathir, 92, who is leading an opposition bid to topple scandal-tainted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in elections due this year, said he did not believe Kuala Lumpur was involved in any cover-up.
But he told The Australian newspaper in an interview that it was possible the plane might have been taken over remotely.
"It was reported in 2006 that Boeing was given a license to operate the takeover of a hijacked plane while it is flying so I wonder whether that's what happened or not," said Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years. "It's very strange that a plane leaves no trace at all.
"The capacity to do that is there. The technology is there," he added of his theory.
"You know how good people are now with operating planes without pilots. Even fighter planes are to be without pilots. Some technology we can read in the press but many of military significance is not published."
According to reports, Boeing in 2006 was awarded a US patent for a system that, once activated, could take control of a commercial aircraft away from the pilot or flight crew in the event of a hijacking.
But there is no evidence it has ever been used in airliners due to safety concerns.
The official opinion is that the captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was unconscious and had been for hours. As MH370 ran out of fuel, it flew on autopilot and finally crashed into the sea.
Only three confirmed fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-meter wing part known as a flaperon.
The search restarted in January, in an area north of the original zone that scientists now believe is the likeliest crash site. A private research vessel is scouring the seabed, commissioned by Malaysia on a "no find, no fee" basis.