MH370 mysteriously vanished on March 8, 2014, during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China. Captain Zaharie Shah was in charge of the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board when it last communicated with air traffic control at 1:19am. However, moments later, the plane vanished from civilian radar screens following a routine handover from Malaysian to Vietnamese channels.
In 2015, on the first anniversary of the disappearance, the Malaysian government released a 600-page report put together by an international team of investigators.
Within it, the documents shockingly revealed the batteries used on the flight data recorder – sometimes referred to as the black box – had gone flat some 15 months before the aircraft took off.
They also revealed how a crucial system in the cockpit “malfunctioned minutes before takeoff” and he 12-year-old Boeing 777 had been involved in an accident on the ground at Shanghai airport 19 months earlier.
However, their report has been heavily criticised for failing to pay due attention to other theories behind the plane’s disappearance.
Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International and visiting professor of aviation security at Coventry University told the Independent in 2018: “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 at Kuala Lumpur Airport, 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 added: “I think a stowaway is a strong possibility, especially as no officials seem to want to even contemplate the possibility,”
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.
However, some have managed to boarded planes disguised as cleaners or airport officials and concealed themselves.
There have been countless claims over what happened to MH370, though.