Missing MH370: Doubts over housewife's sighting claim

Missing MH370: Doubts over housewife's sighting claim

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Former commercial pilots were sceptical of a housewife's claim of spotting a partly submerged aircraft off the Andaman islands while on a flight home from Jeddah.

A veteran captain, who wished to remain anonymous, described the claim by Raja Dalelah Raja Latife as highly improbable due to the 35,000-feet altitude maintained by commercial aircraft.

"It's difficult even to spot supertankers at that height, what more a wreckage of a plane," said the pilot with 41 years' experience.

Another former MAS pilot said cloud cover at that height would make it difficult to see anything.

"A wreckage will be too minute to spot unless the plane she was on was flying lower for some reason," said the pilot.

Raja Dalelah was on her way back from pilgrimage in Mecca when she spotted the wreckage on the same day MH370 went missing.

The 53-year-old Johor housewife saw a silvery object in the ocean some distance after the aircraft flew past the southern Indian city of Chennai.

However, the same pilot dismissed the possibility the Jeddah-Kuala Lumpur flight could have been descending in preparation to land in KLIA, which enabled Raja Dalelah to see the wreckage.

"That is not the area where we start to descend," said the 61-year-old pilot.

However, the mother of 10 was convinced with what she saw and lodged two separate reports at the Sentul police station after she landed on March 14.

Police told The Star they are looking into her claims.

Sentul OCPD Asst Comm Zakaria Pagan said her reports had been forwarded to Sepang police, who have jurisdiction over the case.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Onn said at a press conference that he had not received information on the matter.

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