In a sensational revelation, the sister of MH370’s pilot has claimed his voice was slurred in the final messages he sent from the plane, the Daily Star wrote.
Sakinab Shah has always dismissed suggestions that her younger brother Zaharie Shah was responsible for the loss of the plane and the death of the 239 passengers and crew on board.
Simon Grunson, an aviation expert and a good friend of Sakinab Shah’s, claimed this shows that Zaharie Shah was suffering from hypoxia, caused by a lack of oxygen reaching the brain.
“A logical reason for the messages would be if there was electrical smoke in the avionics bay, causing the aircraft to automatically open a vent to evacuate smoke,” Grunson said, as cited by the Daily Star.
He added that it was “increasingly likely that MH370 suffered a gradual decompression rather than a sudden decompression, or rather that it failed to properly pressurize in the climb.”
Until now, Malaysian authorities have believed that the last words heard from the plane, from either the pilot or co-pilot, was "Good night Malaysian three seven zero."
Shah’s confession came just hours after Daily Star Online revealed the final message sent from ground control to the missing plane.
According to the publication, "pings" from the doomed aircraft suggest it continued flying for around seven hours when the fuel would have run out.
“To put it simply, MH370 flamed out from fuel exhaustion and fell into an uncontrolled, ever accelerating spiral. This is a specific maneuver characteristic of hypoxia," Simon Grunson noted.
Pilots have highlighted the dangers of hypoxia for many years.
“When you are exposed to less than ideal amounts of oxygen, physical coordination decreases, mental clarity decreases, and blackout can occur very quickly,” said John Lannutti, a materials science professor at Ohio State University, who has spent a decade developing sensors to detect hypoxia in pilots.
Flight MH370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew and had been on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing on March 8, 2014 when it suddenly went missing.
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At 12.14 am, ground control lost contact with the pilots close to Phuket Island in the Strait of Malacca. Experts have calculated the most likely crash site, around 1,000 miles west of Perth, Australia.
However, all efforts to track down the plane have failed and the jet’s whereabouts have remained a mystery ever since.