WOL – The captain of missing flight MH370 practised crashing into the Indian Ocean on a simulator weeks before his plane disappeared, confidential police documents reveal.
The documents show that captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah practised flying across remote sections of the ocean until his plane ran out of fuel.
It suggests the disappearance of MH370 was not an accident, but a mass suicide meticulously planned by the pilot, New York magazine reported.
The route he practised on the simulator took him out of Kuala Lumpur before heading south over the remote expanse of the Indian Ocean.
It is a route eerily similar to the one investigators believe the plane flew before it vanished in March 2014.
The simulator data was gleaned from a computer by the FBI and used by the Malaysian Police during their investigation into the incident.
However, the findings were withheld from the public when police released their latest official report last March.
Before the flight vanished it is understood Mr Shah had been distracted and withdrawn as he dealt with the break-up of his marriage.
Speaking in 2014 about the mystery, the wife and daughter of Mr Shah said the 53-year-old pilot had been desolate in the weeks before the aircraft’s disappearance – and refused pleas to attend marriage counselling sessions.
On Friday officials from Malaysia, China and Australia said the search would be suspended if the aircraft was not found by December.
In a joint statement released to next of kin, joint ministers from the three countries said hopes of finding the plane were fading.
At the announcement ministers also downplayed claims they had been searching for the plane in the wrong area for the past two years.
Investigators at a Dutch company leading the underwater hunt have said they believed the plane may have glided down with a pilot at the controls rather than dived in its final moments.
If this were the case, it would drastically alter the position where the aircraft is predicated to have landed in the ocean.
In reply, relatives of those who perished aboard the flight urged governments to step up the hunt for the aircraft.
Jacquita Gonzales, the wife of MH370 steward Patrick Gomes, said China and Malaysia had not contributed enough to the search effort.
‘China, you could do more. I’m sorry for being so frank but you have the most at stake here,’ she said at a news conference.
‘(Malaysia), you need to do your bit and not just say ‘I’m so sorry, we’re short of funds, there’s nowhere else to search.’
Since the crash there have been competing theories over whether one, both or no pilots were in control, whether it was hijacked – or whether all aboard perished and the plane was not controlled at all when it hit the water
MH370 disappeared during a flight from the Malaysian capital to Beijing in March 2014, carrying 239 people.
Almost $180 million ($135 million) has been spent on an underwater search spanning 120,000 sq km in the southern Indian Ocean – the most expensive in aviation history. (dailymail/nia/data2)