Search for flight MH370 to be suspended, despite new clues emerging

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MH370 pilot
Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah flew a route similar to MH370’s doomed flight on his simulator at home

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be suspended if the aircraft is not found in the rest of the determined search area, Malaysia, China and Australia said in a joint statement on July 22.

The decision comes as a new theory on a possible mass murder-suicide by the pilot turned up in a US magazine on the same day.

According to Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai, “in the absence of new credible evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China have collectively agreed to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000 square-kilometer search.”

He, however, added that the team was not “giving up on the search for MH370” even if the less than 10,000 square kilometers that remains to be searched did not come up with anything.

“Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps,” the ministers said in the statement.

Originally, a December 2015 announcements said the search would already end in June, but it was continued owing to new debris found since then and protest from missing flight passengers’ relatives.

The New York magazine brought a story that said it obtained a document from Malaysian police showing that MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had “conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished” and that “the vanishing plane was a pre-planned mass murder-suicide”.

MH370 flight simulatr route
MH370’s presumed flight path in yellow and the presumed location of the plane in orange. Zaharie’s simulated flight is in red. Source: New York

According to the report, the FBI recovered deleted data points from the flight simulator on Zaharie’s hard drive. The magazine also alleged that this information has been “withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation.”

The flight path on the simulator suggests that the plane was indeed steered over the southern Indian Ocean, but went down some 1,450 kilometers southeast from where the official search teams believe it happened. This would explain why the $135-million search didn’t come up with anything yet. It would also support the recently resurfaced theory that the plane was steered until the last moment and glided into the sea instead of crashing which makes it highly likely that someone must have been in control.

However, Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that police had never handed over said information.

“We have never submitted such a report to any authority abroad including the FBI. This report is not true,” he said.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah flew a route similar to MH370’s doomed flight on his simulator at home

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be suspended if the aircraft is not found in the rest of the determined search area, Malaysia, China and Australia said in a joint statement on July 22.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

MH370 pilot
Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah flew a route similar to MH370’s doomed flight on his simulator at home

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be suspended if the aircraft is not found in the rest of the determined search area, Malaysia, China and Australia said in a joint statement on July 22.

The decision comes as a new theory on a possible mass murder-suicide by the pilot turned up in a US magazine on the same day.

According to Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai, “in the absence of new credible evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China have collectively agreed to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000 square-kilometer search.”

He, however, added that the team was not “giving up on the search for MH370” even if the less than 10,000 square kilometers that remains to be searched did not come up with anything.

“Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps,” the ministers said in the statement.

Originally, a December 2015 announcements said the search would already end in June, but it was continued owing to new debris found since then and protest from missing flight passengers’ relatives.

The New York magazine brought a story that said it obtained a document from Malaysian police showing that MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had “conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished” and that “the vanishing plane was a pre-planned mass murder-suicide”.

MH370 flight simulatr route
MH370’s presumed flight path in yellow and the presumed location of the plane in orange. Zaharie’s simulated flight is in red. Source: New York

According to the report, the FBI recovered deleted data points from the flight simulator on Zaharie’s hard drive. The magazine also alleged that this information has been “withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation.”

The flight path on the simulator suggests that the plane was indeed steered over the southern Indian Ocean, but went down some 1,450 kilometers southeast from where the official search teams believe it happened. This would explain why the $135-million search didn’t come up with anything yet. It would also support the recently resurfaced theory that the plane was steered until the last moment and glided into the sea instead of crashing which makes it highly likely that someone must have been in control.

However, Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that police had never handed over said information.

“We have never submitted such a report to any authority abroad including the FBI. This report is not true,” he said.

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