Header Ads

'Depressed' MH370 pilot 'carefully planned' his flight path to avoid leaving clues about where plane was heading before plunging into the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board, new research suggests

 The pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 'carefully planned' his flight path to avoid leaving clues about where the doomed plane was going before plunging into the Indian Ocean, new research suggests.

Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who was reportedly clinically depressed, deliberately changed direction and speed to avoid 'giving a clear idea where he was heading', claims aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey. 

The Boeing 777 vanished from radar screens as it was flying from Kuala Lumpar to Beijing on March 8 2014, resulting in the loss of all 239 people on board.  

The plane took an unexpected U-turn from its planned flight path and was instead tracked on military radar over the Malacca Strait before losing contact.  

'In case the aircraft was detected, the pilot also avoided giving a clear idea where he was heading by using a flight path with a number of changes of direction,' Mr Godfrey said in his report

Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who was reportedly clinically depressed, deliberately changed direction and speed to avoid 'giving a clear idea where he was heading', claims aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey

Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who was reportedly clinically depressed, deliberately changed direction and speed to avoid 'giving a clear idea where he was heading', claims aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey

The Boeing 777 vanished from radar screens as it was flying from Kuala Lumpar to Beijing on March 8 2014, resulting in the loss of all 239 people on board

The Boeing 777 vanished from radar screens as it was flying from Kuala Lumpar to Beijing on March 8 2014, resulting in the loss of all 239 people on board 


Mr Godfrey said the final movements of the MH370 flight could be mapped out by using data from Weak Signal Propagation (WSPR), a global radio system which tracks and detects planes as they cross signals by setting off 'electronic trip wires'.  

'WSPR is like a bunch of tripwires or laser beams, but they work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe,' Mr Godfrey told Airline Ratings

The flight crossed eight of the trip wires as it flew over the Indian ocean, which is consistent with previous studies focusing on the flight path, Mr Godfrey said.

But he claimed that Mr Shah used waypoints to navigate on 'unofficial flight paths' to avoid detection. 

'The pilot appears to have had knowledge of the operating hours of Sabang and Lhokseumawe radar and that on a weekend night, in times of little international tension the radar systems would not be up and running,' Mr Godfrey claims in his report. 

'In case the aircraft was detected, the pilot also avoided giving a clear idea where he was heading by using a fight path with a number of changes of direction.' 

The WSPR 'trip wires' are marked, while the red line shows the court of the MH370 flight

The WSPR 'trip wires' are marked, while the red line shows the court of the MH370 flight

He added: 'The flight path seems well planned and avoids commercial flight routes. The pilot appears not so concerned about fuel usage and much more concerned about leaving false trails.'

'The significant number of changes of track and speed suggest that there was an active pilot during the flight,' Mr. Godfrey said.

'Speed changes were beyond the level of changes expected if the aircraft was following a speed schedule such as the long-range cruise (LRC) or maximum range cruise (MRC) mode.

'The level of detail in the planning implies a mindset that would want to see this complex plan properly executed through to the end.'

Friends of Mr Shah claim the pilot was 'lonely and sad' and was believed to be 'clinically depressed', The Atlantic reported. 

Despite a four-year, $200million international search effort covering more than 120,000sqm, the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines plane has never been found, sparking the world's biggest aviation mystery. 

The aircraft has never been found but pieces of debris were fished out of the sea in Mauritius, Madagascar, Tanzania and South Africa. 

Analysis of the last piece of wreckage located - part of a wing spoiler which was found in South Africa in August - prompted calls for a new search in March this year. 

Analysis of the last piece of wreckage located - part of a wing spoiler which was found in South Africa in August - prompted calls for a new search in March this year

Analysis of the last piece of wreckage located - part of a wing spoiler which was found in South Africa in August - prompted calls for a new search in March this year

A report released by an independent group of experts indicated the debris was shorn off the aircraft during an uncontrolled high speed dive, The Times reported.

Analysis of ocean drift and a review of a revised flight path pointed to an area 1,200 miles west of Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia as the potential crash site.

The area is known for deep ocean floor canyons and underwater mountains.

Peter Foley, who led Australia's search team for the Malaysian Airlines jet, carried out a sonar search over 50,000 square miles of ocean floor without success, the world's largest high-resolution search of its kind.

But he now believes an inquiry should be opened to inspect the sea floor 70 nautical miles either side of the target area.

He said: 'Large tracts haven’t been searched fully.'

US lawyer Blaine Gibson, who has spent years trying to find the downed plane, also supports another search for MH370.

He cited new modelling by oceanographer Charitha Pattiaratchi, who correctly predicted where previous debris would be found.

But the Malaysian government said it would only mount another search mission with compelling new evidence.      

No comments