The West Australian - - FRONT PAGE - Ge­of­frey Thomas Avi­a­tion Edi­tor

A fi­nal re­port on the dis­ap­pear­ance of Malaysia Air­lines flight MH370 is a cover-up of the cap­tain’s ac­tions, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try sources in Malaysia.

One source said the “seven flight way­points” re­cov­ered from Capt. Za­harie Ah­mad Shah’s flight sim­u­la­tor pro­gram — flown just weeks be­fore the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance and which repli­cated MH370’s fi­nal flight — were all from one ses­sion.

But Malaysian au­thor­i­ties, in the fi­nal re­port, found the way­points were from sep­a­rate ses­sions and there­fore of no sig­nif­i­cance.

“There is no ques­tion the way­points were from one flight into the south­ern In­dian Ocean,” the in­dus­try source said.

“This is a cover-up.” Another source, who works as a con­trac­tor to Malaysia Air­lines, told The Week­end West that “very early on” af­ter MH370 dis­ap­peared the air­line’s op­er­a­tional man­age­ment said “Cap­tain Za­harie Ah­mad Shah was re­spon­si­ble”.

The fi­nal re­port re­leased on July 30 ex­on­er­ated both pilots, a find­ing that has been met by dis­be­lief.

Chief in­ves­ti­ga­tor Kok Soo Chon said “we are not of the opin­ion that it could have been an event com­mit­ted by the pi­lot”.

The Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Author­ity re­port on the search for MH370 is­sued in Oc­to­ber said: “In the six weeks be­fore the ac­ci­dent flight, the pi­lot in com­mand had used his sim­u­la­tor to fly a route sim­i­lar to part of the route flown by MH370 up the Strait of Malacca, with a left-hand turn and track into the south­ern In­dian Ocean.”

But the Malaysian re­port dis­misses this and says that “the Royal Malaysian Po­lice foren­sic re­port con­cluded that there were no un­usual ac­tiv­i­ties other than gamere­lated flight sim­u­la­tions”.

The flight sim­u­la­tor is not a game. It is a recog­nised and en­dorsed flight-train­ing tool used by many air­lines and the US mil­i­tary.

One of the most re­spected an­a­lysts of the MH370 dis­ap­pear­ance, In­de­pen­dent Group mem­ber Vic­tor Ian­nello, has also crit­i­cised the re­port.

“How can Malaysian in­ves­ti­ga­tors ig­nore that the cap­tain had the best op­por­tu­nity and ca­pa­bil­ity to di­vert the plane?” he said.

“How does the com­pressed time line of the di­ver­sion fit any other pos­si­bil­ity?

“It is un­der­stand­able that the safety re­port did not ap­por­tion blame to the cap­tain. How­ever, it is not un­der­stand­able that the re­port de­flected blame to an un­named third party.”

Mr Ian­nello said it was odd that the Royal Malaysian Po­lice con­cluded there were no un­usual ac­tiv­i­ties given the “ex­traor­di­nary co­in­ci­dence” that a sim­u­lated flight — which in­cluded a de­par­ture from Kuala Lumpur — end­ing in the south­ern In­dian Ocean was re­cov­ered.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.