An Air Asia pilot has been suspended after posting on Facebook an accusation that the government of Malaysia was "hiding facts" about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. While many pilots were defending the character of the missing men, a senior pilot demanded that the Malaysian government stop making definitive statements without actually having physical confirmation that the Boeing 777 has crashed.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported March 27 that an Air Asia executive, Tony Fernandes, confirmed through a Twitter post that a senior first officer had been suspended after effectively accusing the Malaysia government of a cover-up.
"The supposed debris...isn't even confirmed to be from the plane yet! Show us the proof and then tell us MH370 has crashed," wrote the pilot on Facebook.
He went on: "Till then stop hiding the facts! It's obvious even to a blind man that there are tons of info the government definitely knows and isn't sharing yet!"
Fernandes noted that the pilot, whose name was not revealed, was suspended pending an investigation.
There have been various reports, taken from satellite data, that debris has been found in the south Indian Ocean, over a thousand miles west of Australia. However, inclement weather has kept the ships and search aircraft from actually confirming that any of the floating flotsam is wreckage from Flight MH370.
As for theories that the missing plane was part of a suicide mission or pilot suicide by Captain Zaharie Shah, even Malaysia Airlines officials are quick to point out that Shah's record was exemplary, reflecting 30 years of flying. Chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya has noted that "no records are out of order." But asked by BBC News (via the Sydney Morning Journal) if Shah flew the plane into the area being searched, Yahya admitted he didn't know.
Friends and family members of the 239 passengers and crewmen aboard Flight MH370 also refuse to give up hope that the missing plane has perished, even though Malaysia Airlines stated "all lives lost" when informing family members earlier this week about satellite data extrapolations. The Chinese government has demanded the satellite data Malaysia authorities used to make their determinations and some have taken to calling the Malaysians "murderers," holding the government as well as the airline responsible for the deaths of those aboard the plane.
One woman, an American teacher in China, has vowed to not give up hope until actual proof that the plane went down has been found. Her partner had been on Flight 370. They had been planning to move to Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, headed for Beijing, China. Over the South China Sea, the aircraft vanished. However, Malaysia officials discovered that the airliner altered course, turning off its transponders and communication equipment. It would be later detected hundreds of miles west on the other side of Malaysia before disappearing again. Subsequent searches among satellite data found that the plane continued signalling for a few more hours. Experts plotted the plane's course and found its last known location was headed out over the south Indian Ocean. However, it was believed that, given the duration of the jet's air time, it would have been close to running out of fuel at or near the time of the final transmission.
Flight 370 will have been missing three weeks on Saturday, March 29.