PETALING JAYA - New Zealand daily, the Sunday Star Times, has reported that Mike McKay, the New Zealander who claimed to have sighted a burning aircraft going down off the Vietnamese coast in March, has been sacked from his job following that claim.
McKay, who was working on the Songa Mercur oil rig, had sent an email with his full name and New Zealand passport number to his superiors in March after he saw what he believed was a burning plane, suspected to be missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) flight MH370.
The email, which was leaked to the media contained details which identified the rig operator, Idemitsu and McKay's contractor, Songa Offshore, details which led to the two companies having their communications blocked due to a flood of inquiries.
Following this, Vietnamese officials interviewed McKay and were prepared to act on his information before search efforts shifted to the Andaman sea two days after his interview.
McKay had also made a statement for Interpol to the New Zealand police upon his return to the country, where he is now waiting for a new Southeast Asia contract.
The Sunday Star Times quoted McKay as saying that he was released from the rig five days early, but paid up to the end of the work period.
However, the subcontractor who he was working under, M-I Swaco, had said McKay was being released early as they had found a local-salary engineer to replace him.
McKay, a veteran of 35 years of work in Southeast Asia added that "contracts mean little in the oil field" and maintained that he believed the burning aircraft he saw at high altitude was MH370
"I believe I saw the Malaysian Airlines plane come down. The timing is right," said McKay, who added that the aircraft he claims to have spotted was off the normal flight path, based on daily observations of contrails.