THE HAMPSHIRE pilot of the infamous 1982 British Airways Flight 9 incident today said he believed the Malaysian Airlines MH370 was brought down deliberately.

Ruling out a malfunction on the plane, retired pilot Eric Moody said all indications pointed to suicide.

He believes if there was a fire, the pilot would have wanted to land the plane straight away - and not continue flying for seven hours after last contact.

What's more, he said it appears the communications were intentionally switched off - something that wouldn't have happened in an emergency.

Speaking from his home in Chilworth today, Mr Moody, 72, said: "I've been speaking with my son this morning who is a 747 first officer.

"I said to him, "What do you reckon happened," and he said, "Dad, I've got no idea".

"I don't think there was an explosion or a decompression over the South China Sea and I don't think there was a fire.

"Any pilot worth his salt would want to get it on the ground as soon as possible. There's lots of flammable stuff in planes so you cannot fail to act.

"It is all pointing to suicide by someone on board - whether that is one of the pilots or somebody else on board.

"They were flying in a controlled manner and somebody switched off the communication equipment."

However, Mr Moody believes the public have not been told the full story.

In 1982, all four engines on the British Airways Flight 9 he was piloting from London to Auckland, New Zealand, failed when he flew through a volcanic ash cloud.

The cloud came from an eruption of Mount Galunggung in West Java, Indonesia.

Moody had to take emergency action and saved all 248 passengers and 15 crew on board by dropping from 37,000ft to 12,000ft to restart the engines.

Eventually, the flight made an emergency landing at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Even though he was behind the controls, he still didn't find out the full account of what happened until declassified files were released 11 years later.

Mr Moody said: "What I will say is that some agency knows something more than what they are letting on and I have experience in this.

"It took 11 years to find out how Boeing was able to ring a ground engineer in Jakarta who got to us after about 15 to 20 minutes after landing.

"A phone call was made just when my engines started going wrong. It meant they knew what was going on as they were monitoring us on satellites.

"Satellite monitoring stations by Alice Springs and Guam were following us as we found out from declassified files years later.

"As such there is so much unknown right now but someone will know more and it could be any country.

"We don't know what they're watching."

Mr Moody now works as an after dinner speaker, dining out on his story of the Jakarta incident and raising money for charity through it.

He said he never expected the media hype to continue over 30 years later.

Daily Echo: Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the Malaysia Airlines MH370 gesture after being told the latest update in Beijing, China, Monday, March 24, 2014.Relatives of passengers on flight MH370

However, he added he didn't know when the public would find out the full story of the missing MH370.

Mr Moody also described the actions towards families and the media by Malaysian Airlines and the Malaysian authorities as "dreadful".

He said: "The Malaysians haven't done themselves much good and they needed a big PR company to handle the fall-out.

"Their PR has been dreadful and it gives you the impression they are concealing something as they stand there looking gormless on television.

"It's shocking they informed the families by text message about what happened to their loved ones."