These 4 sightings of a low-flying large plane:
(1) by Ibrahim Konok at Kampung Nechang,
(2) by members of a neighborhood watch patrol at Pantai Geting,
(3) by Azid Ibrahim on a boat off that coast,
(4) by Hisham Seman who was at Sering,
clearly all describe the same path of the plane. This low-altitude path of the plane was from south to north, approximately passing over Kampung Nechang, then over Pantai Geting, then out to sea. And before this low-altitude path, some witnesses had seen the plane descending for about 5 minutes from high altitude to low-altitude.
It is clear that very soon after the emergency occurred over the South China Sea, the pilots descended rapidly to low altitude. The actual path of this descent will be described in another article. Then the plane headed to Kota Bharu and commenced the standard landing approach for Kota Bharu airport. But the pilots assessed that it was not safe to land there. The reason is the combination of: no radio, no transponder, and no runway lights. Therefore the pilots, instead of making the final right turn of the landing approach, continued north and over the sea.
Here, the low altitude of the plane over the sea, as reported by Azid Ibrahim on his boat, indicates that the pilots, (having ascertained that a runway landing was not possible), were seriously considering an ocean landing here. But here they were faced with another difficulty: zero moonlight illumination of the ocean surface, and therefore decided to fly onward.
It is significant that in all of the above sightings, the plane's landing lights were on. Yes that includes when the plane was low over the sea.
The only large plane these witnesses could have seen is MH370. There is zero possibility that these witnesses saw some other plane taking off or landing at the airport. Because there were none. There were no incoming or outgoing flights whatsover at this time of night: the airport was closed. Furthermore, Ibrahim Konok saw the MAS logo on the body of the plane.
The above map shows the approximate path of the low-altitude plane as described in the above 4 sightings. The plane was on the standard clockwise approach path for landing at the airport. Normally planes landing would make a 90 degree right turn near Kampung Nechang. As specifically pointed out by two of the witnesses, this plane did not make that turn, but instead continued north to the sea.
And the map below shows the standard approach path to Kota Bharu airport. It is based on a screenshot from the flightradar24 website and shows the actual path of a plane landing at the airport. Decreasing altitude is represented by the colour sequence green-yellow-white. I have added the dashed path showing how the missing plane omitted the final turn and proceeded instead to fly very low over the sea.
After Kota Bharu, the further path of the plane to the Malacca Straits will be described in a separate article.
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