Malaysia, FBI analyze data deleted from pilot’s home flight simulator (w/video)

Published: March 19, 2014
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the senior pilot on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

IAN MADER
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The FBI is helping Malaysian authorities investigate deleted data on a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, while distraught relatives of the passengers unleashed their anger Wednesday, wailing in frustration at 12 days of uncertainty.

The anguish of relatives of the 239 people on Flight 370 boiled over at a briefing near Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Two Chinese women who shouted at Malaysian authorities and unfurled a banner accusing officials of “hiding the truth” were removed from the room. In a heart-wrenching scene, one woman screamed in sorrow as she was dragged away.

“I want you to help me to find my son! I want to see my son!” one of the two unidentified women said. “We have been here for 10 days.”

Files containing records of flight simulations were deleted Feb. 3 from the device found in the home of the Malaysia Airlines pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu said.

Related Stories:

It was not immediately clear whether investigators thought that deleting the files was unusual. The files might hold signs of unusual flight paths that could help explain where the missing plane went.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference that Zaharie is considered innocent until proven guilty. He said members of the pilot’s family are co-operating in the investigation.

Missing jet

In this March 10, 2014 file photo, an Indonesian Navy crew member scans the water bordering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand during a search operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name, said the FBI has been given electronic data to analyze.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in Washington that the FBI was working with Malaysian authorities.

“At this point, I don’t think we have any theories,” Holder said.

Flight 370 disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanations, but have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next and why.

Investigators have identified two giant arcs of territory spanning the possible positions of the plane about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff, based on its last faint signal to a satellite — an hourly “handshake” signal that continues even when communications are switched off. The arcs stretch up as far as Kazakhstan in Central Asia and down deep into the southern Indian Ocean.

Police are considering the possibility of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or anyone else on board, and have asked for background checks from abroad on all foreign passengers.

Hishammuddin said such checks have been received for all the foreigners except those from Ukraine and Russia — which account for three passengers. “So far, no information of significance on any passengers has been found,” he said.

The 53-year-old pilot joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and had more than 18,000 hours of flight experience. People who knew Zaharie from his involvement in opposition political circles in Malaysia and other areas of his life have described him as sociable, humble, caring and dedicated to his job.

The crisis has exposed the lack of a fail-safe way of tracking modern passenger planes on which data transmission systems and transponders — which make them visible to civilian radar — have been severed. At enormous cost, 26 countries are helping Malaysia look for the plane.

Relatives of passengers on the missing airliner — two-thirds of them from China — have grown increasingly angry over the lack of progress in the search. Planes sweeping vast expanses of the Indian Ocean and satellites peering on Central Asia have turned up no new clues.

Related Stories:

At a hotel near the Kuala Lumpur airport, one of the Chinese women who was removed from the room displayed a banner that said, in part, “We are against the Malaysian government for hiding the truth.” She later expressed frustration with officials.

“We launch our demands every day but to no answer, and they tell me to come back the next day,” she said. “No answer, every day.”

The father of passenger Pushpanathan Subramaniam said in an interview that the wait was “really too much.”

“I don’t know why it is taking so long for so many people to find the plane. It’s 12 days,” said 60-year-old Subaramaniam Gurusamy from his home on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. His 34-year-old son, Pushpanathan, was on the flight to Beijing for a work trip.

“He’s the one son I have,” Subaramaniam said.

Hishamuddin said a delegation of Malaysian government officials, diplomats, air force and civil aviation officials will head to Beijing — where many of the passengers’ relatives are gathered — to brief the next of kin on the status of the search.

Aircraft from Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand searched an area stretching across 305,000 square kilometres (117,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean, about 2,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) southwest of Perth, on Australia’s west coast. Merchant ships were also asked to look for any trace of the plane.

China has said it was reviewing radar data and deployed 21 satellites to search the northern corridor, although it is considered less likely that the plane could have taken that route without being detected by military radar systems of the countries in that region.

Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia military radar didn’t pick up any signs of Flight 370 on the day the plane went missing. He said Malaysia had asked Indonesia to intensify the search in its assigned zone in the Indian Ocean west of Sumatra, but said his air force was strained in the task.

“We will do our utmost. We will do our best. But you do have to understand our limitations,” Purnomo said.



Picture 1 of 54

In this photo taken April 29, 2014 provided by the Australia Defence Force, multinational air-crew and aircraft involved in operation "Southern Indian Ocean" are assembled for a photo at RAAF Base Pearce, in Perth, Western Australia. Seven nations, including Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., South Korea, Malaysia, China and Japan, have flew daily search mission out to the southern Indian Ocean in the massive multinational hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. AP Photo/Australian Defence Force, Cpl. Nicci Freeman


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

five hole main

Donated equipment from Vancouver on its way to hockey-mad northern India

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI The neat thing about a Canadian effort to donate hockey equipment to the Himalayas is that there is a lot of…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

gandhi beer

Connecticut brewery says it will rename Gandhi-Bot beer after complaints from Indian-Americans

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut brewery will no longer use the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi on one of its beers…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

NHL announces that World Cup of Hockey will return next year in Toronto

By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is back with a new format as the NHL seeks to…
Continue Reading »

NHL announces that World Cup of Hockey will return next year in Toronto

By Stephen Whyno THE CANADIAN PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio — The World Cup of Hockey is back with a new format as the NHL seeks to…
Continue Reading »

CBSA officers seize 17 kg of suspected heroin at Toronto s Pearson Airport

THE CANADIAN PRESS MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canadian border officials say 17 kilograms of suspected heroin was seized at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after a flight…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

shiamak

Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar gets Canadian dignitaries grooving with a dance lesson

VANCOUVER DESI A number of Canadian dignitaries got their very own personal dance lesson from the guru of Bollywood dance himself, Shiamak Davar, while attending…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A nine-year-old Palestinian girl  suffering from scoliosis sits as her mother shows her back x-ray as she is treated by U.S. pediatric orthopedic surgeon Hugh Watts (L) February 18, 2004 at Al-Quds hospital, in Gaza City. Abid Katib/Getty Images

Seven-year-old Scoliosis patient in Western India cured by revolutionary surgery

IANS Mumbai  – A seven-year-old girl in Mumbai suffering from Scoliosis is the first in Western India to successfully undergo a new and revolutionary procedure…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

Former Vancouver notary public fined $33 million for fraud related to multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

JAMES KELLER THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — A former notary in Vancouver who allegedly spent almost a decade collecting at least $100 million from investors…
Continue Reading »

South Asian senior woman gets PR

After years of lobbying, 84-year-old South Asian woman secure in Canada

JEFF BELL TIMES COLONIST VANCOUVER ISLAND — Surjit Bhandal, the 84-year-old Saanich woman whose family successfully fought for her to be able to stay in Canada, has…
Continue Reading »

desi dance

Theatre school project still resonates 11 years later for Port Moody’s Anita Majumdar

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Port Moody’s Anita Majumdar had no idea her final theatre school project more than 10 years ago would end up defining…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Bollywood film actress Jacqueline Fernandez poses during the launch of Scholl's latest innovation in foot care in Mumbai on January 22, 2015. AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Do you want to travel to Dubai with Jacqueline Fernandez?

DIBYOJYOTI BAKSI HINDUSTAN TIMES Several actors nowadays are known to take an active interest in the promotion strategies of their films. Another actor, who has…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is pictured here in a still from his latest espionage thriller, Baby. The movie has been banned in Pakistan. HANDOUT.

Akshay Kumar’s latest film Baby banned in Pakistan

HINDUSTAN TIMES Akshay Kumar’s espionage thriller Baby, which centres around an Indian spy’s mission to capture a terrorist from a West Asian nation, has been…
Continue Reading »