Op-ed: While it is widely conceded that Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels likely shot down one missing Malaysian airliner, the fate of another remained a mystery.
Two years after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean it now is known that the pilot may have taken the plane on a suicide flight, according to a confidential police investigation document obtained by New York magazine.
The magazine did not make clear where or when the document was discovered, showing that the pilot had practiced taking the Boeing 777 on a flight that would end somewhere in the water. It said Malaysian officials and officials of other countries involved in the search had met this week.
The plane disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 people aboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. This week officials said their search would be suspended soon if no signs of the plane were found.
The New York magazine article doesn’t prove that the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah actually flew the plane into the ocean, but the fact that officials kept his suicide practice a secret may mean it is now known what happened.
One unanswered question is what the co-pilot was doing all the hours this flight took.
New York said the suicide practice plans were found by the FBI not long after the plane disappeared when hard drives from the airline’s flight simulator were handed over to it.
The article does not say when the magazine found the documents.
Many media outlets have reported Zaharie was considered a suspect in the disappearance. But there was nothing in his personal files to suggest he would launch a suicide mission.
The magazine said 42,000 square miles have been searched for the plane at a cost of $130 million.
A Freedom of Information request filed by the state of California seeking all U.S. files on the flight was denied.
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Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.