New research suggests the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 made a series of turns to escape detection before plunging the plane into the Indian Ocean.
The research, which relies on new aircraft tracking technology, revealed the Boeing 777’s flight path was “significantly different” than expected, predicting it entered the water around 34.5 degrees south, as reported by ABC News.
According to the new information, MH370’s pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah made a series of turns and changed speed to avoid flight paths and create a false trail.
The data was provided by aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey, who has developed his own aviation tracking system, Global Detection and Tracking any Aircraft Anywhere Anytime (GDTAAA).
The system analyses radio signals known as the “weak signal propagation report” network or WSPR.
Godfrey told ABC News that aircraft set off invisible electronic tripwires when they cross these signals, which can be used to track their location.
He said these signals can help solve the mystery of the missing aircraft if they are used alongside data sent from Malaysian Airlines planes to Britain’s Inmarsat satellite.
“The pilot of MH370 generally avoided official flight routes from 18:00 UTC (2am AWST) onwards, but used waypoints to navigate on unofficial flight paths in the Malacca Strait, around Sumatra and across the Southern Indian Ocean,” he told ABC News.
“The flight path follows the coast of Sumatra and flies close to Banda Aceh Airport.
“The pilot appears to have had knowledge of the operating hours of Sabang and Lhokseumawe radar, and that on a weekend night, in times of little international tension, the radar systems would not be up and running.”
Godfrey said Shah changes of direction included towards the Andaman Islands, towards South Africa, towards Java and Cocos Islands.
“The flight path appears carefully planned,” he said.
“The level of detail in the planning implies a mindset that would want to see this complex plan properly executed through to the end.”
Godfrey’s data, if it is accurate, would back up the theory that the flight’s disappearance was the result of a murder-suicide mission carried out by the pilot.
The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 on its journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March 2014 is considered one of the biggest aviation mysteries in history.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, all available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean, disappearing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.
All were lost, and their loved ones remain without closure.