PETALING JAYA,July 24 — Police yesterday dismissed reports MH370 was steered into the sea intentionally by the pilot.
A New York magazine report had in its exclusive said a document from Malaysian police showed Captain 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”.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police had never handed over information to any quarters in New York.
“We have never submitted such a report to any authority abroad including the FBI. This report is not true,” he said.
The report said Zaharie had used an elaborate home-built flight simulator to steer himself over the Strait of Malacca and into the remote southern Indian Ocean, a course with striking resemblance to the route the Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to have taken.
According to the report, the FBI recovered deleted data points from the flight simulator on Zaharie’s hard drive.
“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,” the document said, according to New York magazine.
Although the paths are similar, the simulated flight’s end-point is located some 1,450km from the area where the plane is believed to have gone down.
News of the simulated flight came the same day Malaysia, Australia and China, — the three nations leading the search — said hope of finding the plane’s final resting place is “fading” and that the massive hunt will be suspended if nothing turns up in the suspected crash zone.
Meanwhile, family members of the passengers aboard the missing plane were adamant to seeking answers although authorities have announced the suspension of the search for the wreckage later this year.
Chinese national Wen Wancheng, 64, whose son Wen Yongsheng was on the flight, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he would take legal action against the authorities should they halt the search.
“How can our family members let them go? We will sue them. We will ask them to continue to search,” he said.
Wen, who had made regular trips from Jinan in Shandong province to the Malaysia Airlines office in Beijing to push for answers, refused to accept the official explanation that the aircraft crashed in the Indian Ocean
“They’ve been searching for more than two years and there is no result. It means only one thing, Australia is a big fool, wasting money, wasting manpower,” he said.
Dai Shuqin, who had five family members on the flight, said while the suspension comes as no surprise, the next-of-kin would not give up.
“We knew they would do this. It’s very frustrating. We feel very angry about it. I will keep requesting that they continue searching.
“We will continue petitioning. We will go to the Malaysian government, Malaysian embassy, Malaysia Airlines ... we will not give up,” she said.
Zhang Qian, whose wife Wang Houbin, was a passenger, demanded for an explanation from the authorities.
“No matter what it is called, suspension or termination, it is the end of the search. If it is a suspension, then when is it going to resume and why is there a need for suspension?
“We must be given a reason and we must be given a convincing explanation on how the whole thing has been developing, instead of being kept in the dark,” he said.
Australian national Jeanette Maguire, who lost her sister and brother-in-law, said she could understand the authorities’ decision as the A$180 million (RM544 million) hunt was expensive.
“It’s very difficult to accept, but we do understand that these things do happen. They need more information so that they can progress and put more money into this because it’s costing an absolute fortune,” she said.
She, however, said her family was looking forward to a new credible finding before the suspension comes into effect.