MAS chief confirms investigators chasing MH370 pilot’s cockpit phone call

The phone call that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah made from the cockpit before Flight MH370 took off is being investigated, MAS Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said today at the MH370 press conference at Sama Sama Hotel.  — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
The phone call that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah made from the cockpit before Flight MH370 took off is being investigated, MAS Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said today at the MH370 press conference at Sama Sama Hotel. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

SEPANG, March 21 — An international investigation has started on a phone call made from the cockpit of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft by its pilot before Flight MH370 took off on March 8, Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said today.

Citing unnamed sources, UK tabloid The Sun reported an international team is trying to find the identity of person who had conversed over the phone with Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah from the cockpit scant minutes before Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am, two weeks ago.

The police had been ordered to dig deeper into the backgrounds of the 12 crew and 227 passengers after Malaysian authorities confirmed that the flight’s communications had been deliberately disabled before the Boeing 777-200ER swerved left from its eastward route to Beijing.

On March 15, the police had searched Zaharie’s and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid’s houses, where they had recovered a self-built flight simulator, among other items, from the former’s home.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters that an examination of the flight simulator revealed that it contained three aviation programmes — Flight Simulator X, Flight Simulator IX, and X-flight 10.

The two “Flight Simulator” titles are published by Microsoft and marketed to the public.

During the press conference yesterday, Khalid also revealed that the data logs of all three games were wiped out on February 3.

Malaysia has sent the home-made flight simulator to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US to retrieve and analyse the deleted data.

On Wednesday, acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein reminded the public that all 239 people on board MH370 remain innocent until proven guilty.

Malaysia law enforcement officials previously informed the US counterparts that nothing suspicious was found on the personal computers of Zaharie and Fariq.

Today, Hishammuddin said foreign intelligence agencies have cleared all passengers aboard the Beijing-bound plane of any suspicion of terror activities. 

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