Flight MH370 Pilot Reportedly Named Prime Suspect in Plane's Disappearance
Authorities have identified Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's pilot as the prime suspect in the plane's disappearance over 15 weeks ago. Although the Malaysian government has yet to announce the development, it notified foreign governments and crash investigators of its suspicions on Saturday. Still, they are careful to note that Captain Zaharie Shah is only a suspect if human intervention was involved in the disappearance – it's still possible that the plane fell out of the sky because of mechanical failure or even terrorism.
It's been three months since the plane disappeared and the investigation began, with seemingly no major developments since the first day. Detectives have reportedly spent that time profiling all 239 people aboard the missing plane and doing 170 interviews in connection with the passengers. Only one person stood out: Captain Shah, who alone among those onboard had made absolutely no plans or commitments, either for work or socially, after the day of the flight. Although Shah was a longtime employee of the airline – he joined in 1981 and had over 18,000 hours of flight time – the investigation uncovered rumors of trouble in his marriage and home life. His family has denied those allegations.
There's another piece of evidence: Shah's home flight simulator. Although all simulated flight data had been deleted, computer scientists were able to recover the files and found something surprising. The flight path Shah had apparently been practicing led to a short runway a small island, as yet unnamed, in the Indian Ocean. The actual path of the missing plane seems to correlate with the practice pattern, at least superficially. Soon after takeoff, it sharply diverted from the planned path in the direction of the southern Indian Ocean, where it is assumed to have run out of fuel and crashed.
Even with the apparent evidence, Malaysian police aren't confirming anything, and they're being careful to note that the case is far from solved. "The police investigation is still ongoing," said a spokesperson to the Sunday Times. "To date no conclusions can be made as to the contributor to the incident and it would be sub judice to say so. Nevertheless, the police are still looking into all possible angles."
Let the conspiracy theories begin.