The sister of the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 gave her first interview regarding allegations that her brother, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was behind the plane’s disappearance.
It’s the first interview his sister, Sakinab Ahmad Shah, has given in the four months since the plane went missing. The flight had 239 people on board and was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.
A special from Channel News Asia features her interview, and she says that her brother was not responsible for the plane going missing.
“If it was done, if he was the one who planned it, he has to be some kind of Einstein, which he was not,” she said. “We couldn’t figure out why somebody who would want to commit suicide would prolong the agony of flying for four, five, six hours just to land down there.”
In previous reports, investigators reportedly found a flight simulation program on Zaharie Shah’s computer. They recovered deleted files, which showed a flight route to an island with a small runway out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
His sister added: “He was just a man who took so much to aviation. He loved aviation, he spent a lot of his funds buying model airplanes. If he could, I think he would attach wings to himself and fly – he loved flying that much.”
Other reports said Zaharie Shah had not social or professional engagements after March 8–in contrast to other staff members on board the plane.
The plane is said to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean, but no sign of the aircraft has been found four months later. The plane may have suffered a power outage, which some aviation experts say was an attempt to hijack the aircraft to avoid being spotted on radar.
Data shows the plane kept flying about six hours after it disappeared from radar.
About a month ago, it was reported that the search for the missing plane will move southwest of the previous search area in the Indian Ocean.
According to The New York Times, the new search is based on a series of “handshakes” made between the plane and an Inmarsat-owned satellite. The data suggests the plane turned south over the Indian Ocean north of the northernmost tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra.
“We’re going to have to go deep and do a comprehensive look at the ocean floor,” Angus Houston, the head of the Australian search mission, told the Times. “The handshakes are the most robust information we have at the moment,” he added.
The head of Inmarsat, Chris McLaughlin, has said he doesn’t blame searchers for looking in the area in April
“The Inmarsat model indicated a more southerly reach for MH370 than the earlier pickup of pings appeared to suggest,” McLaughlin told the Times. “Four other independent analyses of the data,” conducted by experts at Boeing, the French electronics group Thales and investigators in Australia and Malaysia, “have also indicated a more southerly position, closer to the seventh arc” calculated from the final signal Inmarsat’s satellite received from the plane, he said.