Malaysian police investigate pilot's flight simulator

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014 09:10 hrs

Kuala Lumpur, March 19 (IANS) Police in Malaysia are investigating whether Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who flew the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane that went missing March 8, had practised landing on his home flight simulator at airports located in areas where the search is being conducted.

The Malaysian police have reconstructed Captain Zaharies' flight simulator and are trying to find out if there is a flight path on it where the missing MH370 might have flown, the Malaysian Star reported Wednesday.

A pilot trainer has said that the simulator in the captain's house could familiarise a pilot into knowing airports stretching from the southern part of the Indian Ocean up north to Kazakhstan.

The police might be looking for an unusual airport in his simulator, he added.

Shah had built the flight simulator himself in November 2012. The simulator can re-create almost 20,000 airports worldwide and all routes flown can be saved on a hard-disk. Many of the controls are simplified, but the simulator provides basic features that recreate some of what an actual pilot experiences.

The police searched the house of Shah soon after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed last week that the plane was suspected to have been diverted deliberately.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur March 8.

The Boeing 777-200ER was initially presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea.

The plane was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day. The 227 passengers included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.

Contact with the plane was lost along with its radar signal at 1.40 a.m. when it was flying over the air traffic control area of Ho Chi Minh City.

As of now, 26 countries are searching for the missing jet.

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