Saturday, August 11, 2018

MH370 stowaway theory must be investigated, says aviation security expert

Ten days after the “final report” into the disappearance of flight MH370, there are calls for investigations to continue.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board when it veered off course and then flew south across the Indian Ocean.

Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International and visiting professor of aviation security at Coventry University, said: “No officials seem to want to even contemplate the possibility of a stowaway being on board.”

He speculates that one or more individuals could have got on board the aircraft while it was on the ground at Kuala Lumpur, and hidden in the underfloor avionics bay just behind the flight deck.

This area is known as the E/E (electronics and engineering) bay, and has access from a “hinged, self-closing access panel” according to Boeing’s technical information.

There is also an external access door at the bottom of the fuselage.

Mr Baum first raised the theory within a week of the loss of MH370, and believes it has not been properly considered.

“I think a stowaway is a strong possibility, especially as no officials seem to want to even contemplate the possibility,” he told The Independent.

His magazine reports that 123 stowaway attempts have been reported internationally on 107 different flights. Many conceal themselves in the wheel wells, risking freezing to death or falling when the undercarriage is deployed. But others have boarded planes disguised as cleaners or airport officials and concealed themselves.
On the Boeing 777, there is a hatch in the floor behind the flight deck giving access to the “main equipment bay”, which has room for a person to hide.
10/08/18 Simon Calder/Independent