A ‘blow torch’ fire could have caused the disappearance and crashing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, according to a theory put forward by London aviation law expert James Healy-Pratt who is himself a pilot.
Such a fire ripped through the cockpit of a Boeing 777 in Egypt three years ago.
Healy-Pratt is with aviation law experts Stewarts Law, which has litigated in a series of recent air disasters, believes the plane crashed after a fire – similar to the blaze on the Cairo airport runway – broke out in the cockpit.
Since the Beijing-bound airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board speculation has been rife about whether foul play by either the pilots or someone aboard led the aircraft to disappear.
James Healy-Pratt has worked with his technical team of Boeing-approved captains to come up with his ‘simpler’ explanation.
Mr Healy-Pratt, who represented some of the families of the Air France Flight 447 which crashed in 2009, said: ‘I have been doing this for 22 years. These pilots have between them more than 50 years of flying and we have looked very carefully at the facts as the emerged and done our own work.
‘In the first week it looked like it could be similar to Air France, but then other facts emerged. Simple explanations are usually the case and we looked at EgyptAir Boeing 777 – the fire in Cairo was an electrical fault and then fire then got out of hand.’
He said his team decided one possibility is there was a form of electrical fire leading to a rapid decompression and that then resulted in the turn-back and the aircraft disappearing somewhere in the Indian Ocean.