CANBERRA, Australia, July 28 (UPI) — The captain of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had a home flight simulator at his home in which a route was plotted to the southern Indian Ocean, where the airliner is believed to have crashed.
It is unclear if Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a pilot for Malaysia Airlines since 1981, created the simulation but the device was in his home. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which has been leading the underwater search in the Indian Ocean for MH370, said confirmation of the plotted course does not validate theories the captain planned a deliberate murder-suicide.
“The simulator information shows only the possibility of planning. It does not reveal what happened on the night of its disappearance nor where the aircraft is located,” the ATSB said in a statement. “For the purposes of defining the underwater search area, the relevant facts and analysis most closely match a scenario in which there was no pilot intervening in the latter stages of the flight.”
The captain’s sister, Sakinab Shah, has rejected accusations her brother brought down the plane on purpose. Malaysian police previously said they found no evidence the captain was suffering from personal or financial stresses.
“They did their tests in 2014, there was nothing incriminating in his activities,” his sister told CNN before the flight simulator details were released. “The FBI did their tests … if there was anything, the police would be the first people to know. That’s why this story has been dismissed … He’s been made a scapegoat from the beginning. This latest accusation? Oh my God. Heaven forbid.”
MH370 disappeared March 8, 2014, after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia en route to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The pilots last communicated with air traffic control 38 minutes after takeoff. The plane disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens three minutes later.
Malaysian authorities concluded the flight had ended in the Indian Ocean, but no confirmed MH370 debris was found until last year when a right wing flaperon was discovered on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar.