Missing plane: FBI examine pilot's simulator
Forensic specialists examine data on the flight simulator belonging to the captain of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, but one expert believes the focus on the pilots is unwarranted.PT2M42S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-352kl 620 349 March 20, 2014
Sepang, Malaysia: The authorities have said that they were trying to recover data deleted from a flight simulator custom-built by the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, whose actions, along with those of his first officer, have fallen under growing scrutiny.
At a news briefing on Wednesday that began after Chinese protesters representing relatives of passengers on the lost flight burst in and demanded information from the Malaysian government, officials said that investigators had recruited “local and international expertise” to examine the flight simulator taken from the home of the captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
They discovered that its data records had been cleared on February 3, more than a month before the March 8 flight that vanished with 239 people on board after veering off its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The investigation into the pilots continues ... Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein speaks during a news conference about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Photo: AP
“The experts are looking at what are the logs, what has been cleared,” said Tan Sri Khalid Bin Abu Bakar, inspector general of the police, who declined to comment further.
Flight simulators, computer programs often used in pilot training, can often replicate specific airports and flight paths.
Malaysia's Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said the authorities had received background checks from the countries of all the passengers on the plane except Ukraine and Russia. “So far, no information of significance on any passengers has been found,” he said.
Flight simulator being examined ... The captain of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Zaharie Ahmad Shah. Photo: Facebook
Because of evidence suggesting that whoever diverted the missing Boeing 777-200 knew how to disable the plane’s communications systems and make course changes, investigators have been closely examining Mr Zaharie, 53, a veteran pilot with more than two decades of experience, and his co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. But Mr Hishammuddin cautioned that “the passengers, the pilots and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise.”
“For the sake of their families, I ask that we refrain from any unnecessary speculation that might make an already difficult time even harder,” he said.
The New York Times