MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately killed himself and 227 passengers on board the doomed flight by turning off the oxygen supply, an airline boss has claimed.
Ewan Wilson, the former chief executive of Kiwi International Airlines, will tell aviation experts in Birmingham later today (15 September) about his belief that Shah planned the tragedy as part of an "ultimate post-mortem triumph".
The Beijing-bound flight, which went missing on 8 March after it veered off course and crashed into the south Indian Ocean, has been dubbed one of the biggest aviation mysteries of all time.
Wilson however believes Shah was responsible for the flight's tragedy. He thinks he purposedly shut his co-pilot, Fariq Hamid, out of the cockpit so he could shut all communication down before changing the flight path.
He claims Shah then depressurised the plane so the cabin crew and passengers' oxygen would run out - causing them to die from hypoxia.
In his book, Goodnight 370, Wilson explores five previous "suicide" flights that claimed the lives of 422 passengers and crew in the last 30 years:
29 November, 2013: Mozambican Flight TM 470: 33 killed - co-pilot was in the toilet at the time. Investigations revealed the pilot was suffering from depression due to marital problems.
31 October, 1999: Egypt Air Flight 990: 217 killed - crash believed to be intentional after co-pilot Gameel Al-Batouti had been reprimanded for sexual misconduct. The executive who told him he would not be allowed to fly US routes again was on the flight.
19 December, 1997: SilkAir Flight 185: 104 killed - Captain Tsu Wai Ming may have committed suicide by switching off both flight recorders and intentionally putting the plane into a dive.
21 August, 1994: Royal Air Maroc Flight 630: 44 killed - Pilot Younes Khayat believed to have deliberately crashed the plane by directing it into mountains.
9 February, 1982: Japan Airlines Flight 350: 24 killed - Captain Deiji Katagiri switched two of the engines into reverse on descent before crash landing the plane into water. He escaped in a rescue boat and was later found not guilty by reason of insanity.
In his meeting with Birmingham aviation experts, Wilson will discuss his findings and also lobby for the need to have mental health screening for pilots in the aviation industry.
He said: "There is a fundamental desire to ignore the mental health issue in the aviation industry.
"We have shown why hijacking by a passenger or accidental depressurisation are highly unlikely scenarios.
"By a process of elimination, this leaves pilot suicide as the only other serious option in our analysis of what occurred on March 8.
"Our research indicates there have been five previous incidents of murder/suicide in commercial flights over the last three decades or so, accounting for 422 lives.
"The sad addition of MH370 would bring that number to 661."
Wilson said he met with Shah's brother-in-law and wife who both refute claims that he committed suicide despite rumours about his emotional state over his marriage and "disenchantment with the government's treatment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim".
"It would be nice to give families of those on board closure," he said. "Families are easily swayed by conspiracy theories that the aircraft is lying on some island.
"But I don't think it is. It is lost forever."
His research found the number of lives lost through pilot murder/suicide in commercial airlines over the last 30 years exceeded figures relating to flight crew deaths involving drug or alcohol use.
He added: "These are not pleasant cases to review, but they do reinforce two very important facts: pilot suicide is not new.
"Soon after the disappearance of MH370 rumours of problems in Shah's personal life surfaced – rumours about the state of his marriage and his disenchantment with the government's treatment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
"Four months on from the disappearance of the flight, investigators still regard him as their chief suspect."
The latest phase of the search for the Boeing 777, being led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, has discovered 58 "hard objects" that are inconsistent with the ocean floor. They have yet to be identified.