A leaked confidential document with sinister implications, from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, has been disclosed just a day after transport ministers from Australia, China and Malaysia confirmed that the search for the missing aircraft will soon be suspended.
New York Magazine said it had obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished.
The publication says that Malaysia withheld that fact from its lengthy public report on the investigation. It said the disclosure represents “the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide”.
On 8 March 2014, MH370 disappeared from air traffic control radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard.
The document that New York Magazine has obtained, which details the findings of the Malaysian police’s investigation into Zaharie, notes that after the plane vanished, Malaysia delivered to the FBI hard drives that Zaharie used to record sessions on his elaborate home-built flight simulator.
The fact that the pilot used a sophisticated flight simulation program at home was never a secret. He was, after all, a pilot. Suggestions that the pilot may have been responsible for the plane’s disappearance have been emphatically dismissed by his family.
It now seems that the FBI was able to recover six deleted data points that had been stored by the Microsoft Flight Simulator X program. The FBI reportedly found a flight path that led to the Southern Indian Ocean and continued until the simulated flight ran out of fuel.
Searchers believe MH370 followed a similar route.
The New York Magazine article can be read here.
The article points out that rumours have long circulated that the FBI had discovered such evidence, but Malaysian officials made no mention of it.
Late last week, transport ministers from Australia, China and Malaysia confirmed they will suspend the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 once the current search area has been fully swept.
Written by Peter Needham