The pilot of the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared in early March is now considered the primary suspect after everyone else on board passed background checks, Michael Sheridan of the London Sunday Times reports.
Sheridan reports that the police have not ruled out mechanical failure, but the meticulous planning required to sneak a massive plane with 238 passengers into radar darkness points to human action.
Senior U.S. officials have said that the westward turn that diverted the missing Malaysia aeroplane from its original path toward Beijing was carried out by a computer that was most likely programmed by someone in the plane’s cockpit.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah operated a flight simulator at his home, and files containing records of simulations carried out on the program were deleted on February 3.
Investigators told The Times that evidence from the deleted data includes routes programmed into the machine that took a plane far out into the Indian Ocean and simulated landing a short runway on an island.
Shah, 53, was reportedly unique among others onboard in that he had no recorded social or work commitments after the date of the March 8 flight.
He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and had more than 18,000 hours of flying experience.
“The police investigation is still ongoing. To date no conclusions can be made as to the contributor to the incident and it would be sub judice to say so,” a spokesperson for the Malaysian police told the Times. “Nevertheless, the police are still looking into all possible angles.”
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