The sister of the pilot of doomed Malaysian Airways flight MH370 has hit back at claims her brother deliberately crashed the plane in 2014, saying reports supporting theories of his suicide were based on fabrications.
Speaking to CNN, Sakinab Shah refuted reports in New York Magazine which claimed her brother, Zaharie Ahmed, had likely crashed the flight deliberately citing evidence from an FBI investigation into the disaster.
The US publication referred to FBI documents which alleged Ahmed had plotted a course into the deep southern Indian Ocean on a home flight simulator. The course closely matched the final flight MH370 took before it disappeared.
Shah said the claims were a "fabrication" and complained her brother had been "scapegoated". A report published in 2015 formally dismissed claims Zaharie was responsible for the plane's disappearance. "The captain's ability to handle stress at work and home was good. There were no significant changes in his life style, interpersonal conflict of family stresses," the Malaysian report said.
However, the claims in the US magazine have reignited claims Ahmed carried out a suicide flight. The disappearance of MH370 on 8 March, 2014, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing remains a mystery and only a small number of fragments from the flight have ever been recovered.
This information was reportedly withheld by Malaysia from the investigation report — titled Factual Information. The FBI was able to recover six deleted data points that had been stored by the Microsoft Flight Simulator X programme in the weeks before the plane went missing.
The data points record the simulated airplane's altitude, speed, direction of flight and other key parameters at a given point in time. These deleted data points show a flight departed Kuala Lumpur and then headed north-west over the Malacca Strait, then turned left and headed south over the Indian Ocean continuing on the same stretch over the sea until fuel exhaustion.