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One of the more makes-you-think aspects of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearance — now in its 870th day — is that the captain of the flight, Zaharie Shah, had a flight simulator at home.
It’s not an uncommon thing for a pilot to have, but when combined with the fact no one has seen his plane for two years, you do wonder just what the fuck he was doing on it.
On Friday, it was revealed what the captain had practiced on that simulator.
It ain’t great.
Crashing the thing somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
The shocking piece of information was obtained by New York Magazine.
New York has obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances. The revelation, which Malaysia withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation, is the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide.
Here’s the relevant data uncovered.
The FBI was able to recover six deleted data points that had been stored by the Microsoft Flight Simulator X program in the weeks before MH370 disappeared, according to the document. Each point records the airplane’s altitude, speed, direction of flight, and other key parameters at a given moment. The document reads, in part:
Based on the Forensics Analysis conducted on the 5 HDDs obtained from the Flight Simulator from MH370 Pilot’s house, we found a flight path, that lead to the Southern Indian Ocean, among the numerous other flight paths charted on the Flight Simulator, that could be of interest, as contained in Table 2.
Taken together, these points show a flight that departs Kuala Lumpur, heads northwest over the Malacca Strait, then turns left and heads south over the Indian Ocean, continuing until fuel exhaustion over an empty stretch of sea.
That’s pretty damn damning. The Australian Transport Safety Board, in an editorial defending its search efforts, confirmed(ish) the data did exist.
As Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement, 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.
You can read the whole story over at NY Mag.
[Via NY Mag]