Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's pilot used a simulator at home to plot a path over the southern Indian Ocean where authorities believe the flight may have crashed in 2014, but that route was among "thousands" plotted on the simulator, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The Malaysian transport minister admitted Thursday the route was on the home simulator of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah but said it does not confirm that he intentionally crashed the plane into the ocean.
"It is still under police investigation," Malaysia Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters, per the Journal. "There is still no evidence to confirm that Captain Zaharie flew to the Indian Ocean."
"Yes, there is a simulation... that shows (flights) to many parts of the world, but it is one of many. I feel that we cannot base on that" determine if he flew the plane into the ocean, said Liow.
New York magazine also reported last month that Malaysian police found that Zaharie had conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished.
Flight 370 vanished March 8, 2014, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing, and is believed to have flown thousands of miles off course to the southern Indian Ocean, said CNN. There are many conflicting accounts and theories, but New York magazine writer Jeff Wise had access to a confidential memo on Zaharie's home simulations.
"The revelation, which Malaysia withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation, is the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide," wrote Wise.
"Search officials believe MH370 followed a similar route, based on signals the plane transmitted to a satellite after ceasing communications and turning off course. The actual and the simulated flights were not identical, though, with the simulated endpoint some 900 miles from the remote patch of southern ocean area where officials believe the plane went down."
The Associated Press reported that Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center, which has conducted the search for MH370 off Australia's west coast, agreed that simulation evidence was not proof positive that Zaharie had pre-planned the flight's diversion to the southern Indian Ocean.
Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia's national police chief, has said investigators still need the plane's cockpit voice recorder and a data recorder to determine conclusively what happened, but he has not ruled out pilot suicide, said The AP.
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