Flight 370: Stolen by pilots?

March 22, 2014, 1:40 PM GMT+0

Americans overwhelmingly think that the disappearance of Flight 370 was deliberate, with by far the most popular theory being that the pilots 'stole' the plane

On the 8th of March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared without a trace as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Investigators had initially assumed that the flight had suffered a mechanical fault and crashed, but it quickly became clear that this may not just have been a tragic accident. The plane's transponder, which allows people on land to locate it, was switched off deliberately even though the plane remained in the air for hours more.

On Thursday satellite images showing the potential wreckage of Flight 370 were released, prompting a search by Australian authorities in the Indian Ocean. The Australian government has warned, however, that the search may fail and that the wreckage may never be found.

The latest research from YouGov shows that Americans overwhelmingly believe that the disappearance of the plane was a deliberate act (70%) instead of an unfortunate accident (7%). 23% of the public aren't sure what happened.

When presented with a list of theories that have been discussed in the media as possible explanations for the disapperance, there is a clear winner: 40% say that the most likely explanation is that the pilots of the plane 'stole' the jet and landed it somewhere secretly. 15% say that the plane crashed after a failed hijacking attempt resisted by the pilots.

One theory that has gained a lot of traction recently - that the plane was lost after an onboard fire that prompted pilots to unsuccessfully change course for a safe runway - only 7% think is the most likely, the same percentage as those who think that the plane was stolen and is currently being refitted for a second 9/11 in Pakistan.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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