A lifelong friend of the captain of missing flight MH370 has claimed he is likely to have locked his co-pilot out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing into the sea.
Reports claim that the friend, a fellow Boeing 777 pilot, said he believes Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is guilty of an atrocity and "it’s the necessary conclusion" to one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.
The unnamed friend, speaking to the Atlantic, said: “It’s hard to reconcile with the man I knew. But it’s the necessary conclusion.”
The friend said Shah likely tricked his inexperienced 27-year-old co-pilot, Fariq Hamid, who was on his final training flight, into leaving the cockpit and locked him out.
He said: “Zaharie was an examiner. All he had to say was ‘Go check something in the cabin', and the guy would have been gone.”
It is suspected the plane's passenger cabin was deliberately depressurised by Shah to kill everyone on board hours before the crash.
Before doing so, he could have put on an oxygen mask in the cockpit so he could continue to fly the aircraft for hours.
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At around the same time the cabin was depressurised the electrical system was deliberately turned off, making the plane impossible to track by satellite.
In the years since the Malaysia Airlines plane vanished, the leading theory is Shah, 57, deliberately took the plane off course on a carefully planned murder-suicide mission.
Data analysis indicates the Boeing 777-200ER flew over the Indian Ocean until it ran out of fuel and violently slammed into the water with 239 people on board.
Unconfirmed speculation is that Shah - who flew a similar path on his flight simulator at home - was clinically depressed.