The crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing four years ago likely didn’t have enough time to save their aircraft when a fire broke out on board, Captain Ross Aimer, a pilot with over 33,000 hours of experience and CEO of Aero Consulting Experts, told The Daily Star.
"As with the previous lithium fires, the pilots would have been caught by surprise and had very little time to react. They were pretty much helpless," he said, noting that a fire aboard an airplane is probably "the worst possible thing that could happen" as the pilot would only have mere minutes to land before it is too late.
"The pilot doesn't have much time, unfortunately, and when your altitude is at 35,000 feet it takes longer than that to just get down to the sea level let alone to the nearest airport," the expert added.
Earlier in November, Aimer postulated that the ill-fated Boeing might’ve crashed due to a fire on board, which started due to the explosion of a shipment of lithium-ion batteries.
As investigators managed to determine that the airliner took a sharp left turn and flew back across the peninsula Malaysia, Aimer explained that this maneuver looks like an emergency turn made after a fire started spreading on board.
"If you imagine we're on an airway, like a freeway type, and there's traffic all over you, under you, above you, near you so what we're told is you immediately make a left or right turn depending on direction of the flight, a 90 degree to get off the airway of this invisible highway in the sky," he explained. "That alone right there was telling me perhaps these guys were trying to initiate an emergency descent, and then some of the radio equipment that started fading out, or dropping out, as we call it, for example everyone was talking about how the transponder was turned off, those are the things that automatically drop off in case of an electrical fire, fire that we call a load shed, they shed themselves off automatically, those are the things that kind of told me it could be a fire."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board disappeared from radar screens on March 8, 2014 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. An official investigation by the Malaysian government has failed to determine the airplane's fate without having discovered the crash site.