Was British sailor last to see the lost jet?
An eye-witness account from yachting enthusiast Katherine Tee, 41, has now been filed with the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) leading the search based in Australia, which is yet to find any trace of the missing jet.
In her account, Katherine Tee has described seeing ‘an elongated plane glowing bright orange, with a trail of black smoke behind it’, heading from north to south.
The object was flying at ‘about half the height’ of two other flights in the same patch of sky at the time, she said, in a series of posts detailing the sighting on the yachting website Cruisers Forum, where Katherine Tee is a moderator.
She later told the Phuket Gazette that she initially dismissed the incident as being ‘just a meteor’ or even a figment of her imagination — until a recent check of GPS logs confirmed that the plane’s projected track may have taken it very close to where the yacht was sailing at the time.
Katherine Tee’s 50-year-old husband Marc posted the data maps from their journey to the forum, where other members suggested it was very possible she could have been the last person to see the plane before it headed south into very remote seas.
‘This is what convinced me to file a report with the full track data for our voyage to the relevant authorities,’ she said.
As for whether or not what Katherine Tee saw really was a burning plane, she has admitted on the forum that she was going through a particularly stressful part of the journey at the time, including difficulties in her marriage, and that her judgment may have been impaired.
She said: ‘I saw something that looked like a plane on fire. That’s what I thought it was. Then, I thought I must be mad ... It caught my attention because I had never seen a plane with orange lights before, so I wondered what they were.
‘There were two other planes passing well above it — moving the other way — at that time. They had normal navigation lights. I remember thinking that if it was a plane on fire that I was seeing, the other aircraft would report it.’