World / Asia-Pacific

FBI investigation on MH370 captain offers no new clue to aircraft location: JACC

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-27 17:06

CANBERRA - FBI's investigation into the MH370 captain has offered no new clue to the crash site of the aircraft, the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) said on Wednesday.

In its weekly report, JACC said it has noted recent media reports about the FBI's investigation into the MH370 captain's home flight simulator.

"Media coverage suggested the captain had plotted a course to the southern Indian Ocean and that the disappearance of MH370 was a deliberate planned murder/suicide."

"This type of scenario is not new and has been reported in the media previously," JACC said.

It said that the Malaysian investigation team has been considering this information and "it will be dealt with in its final report."

"The simulator information shows only the possibility of planning. It does not reveal what happened on the night of the aircraft's disappearance, nor where the aircraft is located."

JACC said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the agency in charge of search operation, has worked closely with international experts in satellite communications, aircraft systems, data modelling and accident investigation to form the Search Strategy Working Group to determine the search area.

JACC said that for the purposes of defining the underwater search area, the relevant facts and analysis most closely match a scenario in which there was no pilot intervening in the latter stages of the flight.

"While the flight simulator data provides a piece of information, the best available evidence of the aircraft's location is based on what we know from the last satellite communications with the aircraft. The last satellite communication with the aircraft showed it was most likely in a high rate of descent in the area of what is known as the 7th arc. This is indeed the consensus of the Search Strategy Working Group."

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, most of them being Chinese nationals.

FBI's investigation finds that the flight's captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, had used a flight simulator program to fly an eerily similar flight path to that which MH370 ultimately took, less than a month before the aircraft disappeared.

Transport ministers from China, Australia and Malaysia agreed at a meeting on July 22 that the current search operation be suspended if the remaining less than 10,000 square kilometers is scoured and no new evidence emerges.

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