After 9 Years, FBI Investigation of MH370 Still Open

I recently submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for all documents related to MH370, which disappeared more than nine years ago. This week, the FBI responded that the request was denied due to “a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records, and release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings”. This is identical to the response I received two years ago, and two years before that, after I submitted similar requests. It implies the US intelligence community has relevant material that it will not release due to an open criminal investigation.

Although I requested “All information pertaining to Malaysia Air MH370, including but not limited to information pertaining to Captain Zaharie Shah”, the subject of the FBI’s response only referenced Captain Zaharie Shah. This could mean that only the captain is under investigation by the FBI.

In 1971, an unidentified individual that referred to himself as Dan Cooper, who later mistakenly became known as D.B. Cooper, hijacked a Northwest Airlines flight between Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA, and parachuted from the Boeing 727. That FBI investigation remained open for 45 years. With that perspective, it is possible that the facts uncovered in the FBI investigation of Captain Zaharie Shah will be unavailable to the public for a long time.

73 Responses to “After 9 Years, FBI Investigation of MH370 Still Open”

  1. TBill says:

    Thank you for the effort re: FBI FOIA.

    To me this implies USA’s (classified) position probably is that MH370 was an deliberate act by the pilot. Which should be no surprise to anyone: on 15-March-2014 Malaysian PM Razak announced that Malaysia, with assistance of NTSB, FAA, Boeing, Inmarsat, and AAIB determined that deliberate diversion was the most likely explanation for the disappearance.

    What followed after 9-yrs? first of all, Razak’s original statement has stood the test of time. As more of the secretive data became public over the years (civil primary radar, home sim data, etc., not to mention PM Tony Abbott’s comments) it always supported Razak’s original 15-March-2014 “apparent deliberate diversion” disclosure.

    As a weird result, we got the recent NETFLIX “slopumentary” promoting a U.S.A. shootdown and other conspiracy theories. This was in part due to the above U.S. (and Malaysian) silence on the issue, but also a testament to the overwhelming public denial, especially in that part of the world.

    It has been said that the airline industry realizes MH370 was probably a criminal act. Consequently, I see the “big fight” being about what the public is told, which a great many observers feel the public should be told the pilot is innocent until 100% proof otherwise is obtained. Safety measures to prevent future similar instances should not require 100% proof, however.

  2. airlandseaman says:

    Victor: It might be worth a follow up request for all 370 information excluding information about Zaharie Shah.

  3. Victor Iannello says:

    @airlandseaman: You would think they would understand the meaning of “All information pertaining to Malaysia Air MH370, including but not limited to information pertaining to Captain Zaharie Shah”.

  4. Ventus45 says:

    Secrets within secrets, for the sake of having secrets.

    Go back to square 1.
    Just put in a FOI on the NTSB for the data that enable them to generated their initially famous “two tracks”.

  5. Julia Farrington says:

    Well done for your persistence.
    I think @airlandseaman’s suggestion is a good follow up to the FBI’s replies. To specifically exclude any information about Captain Zaharie Shah.

  6. Victor Iannello says:

    @Julia: Thanks for the that.

    At this point, having filed 3 FOIA requests on MH370, I doubt I will get a different response. However, other Americans might have better luck, so I encourage others to try with whatever wording they choose. The submission of a FOIA request to the FBI takes very little time.

  7. TBill says:

    Perhaps the NETFLIX fiasco demonstrates an issue about USA being silent. But my guess is the next excuse would be need for secrecy due to poss damage to Malaysia and.or China diplomatic relations, and ICAO basically gives Malaysia the right to the spin. USA could prompt Malaysia to disclose more (as I suspect we did on the sim data).

    USA is in certain position as a key party to MH370. OZ has seemed more open to sharing, sometimes under certain secrecy agreement, such as DrB re: fuel and MickG re: sim data help.

  8. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill: I suspect FBI’s reluctance to share the information is simply what they claim: Zaharie Shah is suspected of a crime, and until he is no longer a suspect, or is found dead, or is presumed to be dead with a high certainty, the investigation will remain open and information will not be released.

  9. Peter Norton says:

    “… or is presumed to be dead with a high certainty”

    Is this not the case ?

  10. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: Can you think of any other reason why a criminal investigation would remain open?

    What do others here think?

  11. Ventus45 says:

    “… or is presumed to be dead with a high certainty”

    There is no presumption to presume your honor. The courts officially declared everyone on the plane dead. That includes the pilots and the cabin crew. There is no therefore reason for any secrecy or obfuscation, from a legal standpoint.

    The political / diplomatic scene is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    Greg Hood (when he was Chief Commissioner of the ATSB) threatened ATSB staff with criminal prosecutions if they released any information at all, especially any that may “harm diplomatic relations between Australia and Malaysia.

    Greg Hood also conducted a very public and vitriolic battle over a number of refused FOI requests with the Australian journalist and author of “The Hunt for MH370” Ean Higgins (who mysteriously disappeared soon afterwards, and is the subject of a NSW Colonial Inquest).

  12. Victor Iannello says:

    @ventus45: I doubt the FBI cares what a Malaysian court declares.

    That said, whether the FBI believes as they claim that it is possible that releasing the evidence could interfere with a future criminal proceeding, or the FBI is using this an excuse to not release the evidence, I really don’t know.

  13. Peter Norton says:

    @Victor Iannello: What I was trying to say:
    How could the FBI possibly believe the Captain (or anyone else on board for that matter) to still be alive when lots of debris has been found in the Indian Ocean ?

  14. Michael John says:

    There are 2 questions to be asked here in my mind:

    1: Is the FBI investigating information supplied by the Malaysian Government?

    2: Or is the FBI conducting a stand alone investigation into Mh370?

    I suspect that the answer is number 1. If that is the case then I can’t see how the FBI can release any information unless it has been authorised by the Malaysian Government.

  15. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: I don’t know.

  16. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: After thinking about this more, perhaps there are co-conspirators under investigation.

  17. TBill says:

    France seems to have similar official position to USA.

    Unfortunately for those favoring public right-to-know for air travel safety reasons, MH370 is not your “average”, random suspected pijacking. The incident probably involves high level Malaysian politics at least tangentially. I personally believe the home sim studies imply a potentially sensitive global security issue at the time.

    Co-conspirators? yes potentially absolutely. To me this is potential implication of sim data (if MH150) and lack of ELT at end.

  18. Peter Norton says:

    @Victor Iannello: “After thinking about this more, perhaps there are co-conspirators under investigation.”

    This is a possibility. But if there are co-conspirators, this would all but rule out the current leading opinion (suicide).

  19. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: Not really, as evidenced by 9/11.

    All speculation, of course, as I am not aware of any evidence of collaboration.

  20. Peter Norton says:

    I don’t know. 9/11 was a terrorist attack.
    MH370 doesn’t bear the hallmarks of a terrorist attack (no claim, no apparent goal, etc.).
    Yes, there can be co-conspirators in a terrorist attack of course, but in case of a suicide unrelated to terrorism (the current leading opinion), I fail to imagine how co-conspirators could be involved.

  21. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: The captain had strong political views and he was active in groups opposing Najib’s administration. Perhaps he had collaborators. If so, claiming responsibility was not part of the plan.

    We can speculate, but it is wild speculation because there is no evidence.

  22. Peter Norton says:

    “If so, claiming responsibility was not part of the plan.”

    The whole point of terrorism is claiming responsibility for the terrorist act in order to create fear, threat, etc. Without claim of responsibility this goal would not be reached and MH370 remains a (regretful) plane crash. I mean, what did it achieve if it was meant as an act of terrorism? I don’t see what.

    Sometimes responsibility is even falsely claimed by terrorist groups.

    9/11 aside, are there any precedents of terrorist acts without claims of responsibility?
    (Except state sponsored terrorism, because obviously no state would claim responsibility for terrorist acts.)

  23. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: It is likely there were political motivations to the disappearance of MH370, and if so, there might have been collaborators. You may disagree.

    Not all terrorist acts are claimed. In fact, there was a study in 2019 on this very topic by Erin Kearns, who concludes that only about half of terrorist acts are claimed. From that paper:

    While there are many reasons to claim credit for an attack, claiming can be detrimental to a group. Groups that use terrorism ultimately want to survive. To survive, groups have to balance the need to gain supporters with concerns about backlash from the populace. Support can be explicit—such as providing resources or recruiting militants —or implicit—such as silence or complacency to the group’s actions. When threats to popular support increase, a group’s likelihood of survival decreases. This, however, is a balancing act since groups also need to demonstrate to potential supporters that they are worthy of support. As Pluchinsky posits, groups will be less likely to claim attacks when doing so would damage their public image.

    Again, I don’t know if the captain had accomplices, as there is no evidence in the public domain that he did, but it is false to assume that the absence of a claim for MH370’s disappearance implies there were no collaborators.

  24. airlandseaman says:

    @Victor: I don’t think first cousin and aircraft engineer Zulhaimi Bin Wahidin was a knowing “collaborator”, but I sure would like to know what they discussed on Feb 2, 2014.

  25. Victor Iannello says:

    Zulhaimi said the call to Zaharie was innocent and unrelated to the disappearance, but some have (naturally) questioned this.

  26. Mike R says:

    Would you ever trust the captains relatives over other individuals about the preceding events leading up to that day, it seems they know more about Zaharie better then anyone else, unless they would be trying to cover up for him, which to me is very unlikely.

  27. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: If I was ever accused of a crime, I would like to think my relatives would portray me in a favorable way.

    The investigation of the captain discovered some events in his past that do not prove guilt, but do raise some red flags that all was not well in his life. At this point, the captain remains a prime suspect for many reasons, although I would welcome exculpatory evidence that exonerates him.

  28. TBill says:

    @Mike R
    I am not from a Southeast Asian culture, but my learning from MH370 is, whereas in USA we look at a (generic) perpetrator as guilty (not the whole family and Country). Especially when it comes to the “S” word, my impression is Asian cultures look at more of collective guilt…hence a more protective family behavior.

  29. Peter Norton says:

    @Victor: Thanks for the link to Erin Kearns’ study, that is interesting.

  30. Mike R says:

    Does anyone seem to recall a report that another pilot was using the International Distress Frequency to call flight 370, and if so how was he so positive it could’ve been the voice of the Co pilot, is he a Malaysian Airlines pilot or is he a personal friend of the Captain, anyone have any details ?

  31. Victor Iannello says:

    @Mike R: This story appeared in the days after the disappearance, and then never again.

    The anonymous captain who claims to have heard static, interference, and mumbling, yet was sure the voice was the First Officer’s, was a B777 captain on the way to Narita, Japan. Based on these details, his identify and his flight should have been easily determined.

    For a number of reasons, I don’t think the claim ever was considered credible.

  32. TBill says:

    If there had been an emergency broadcast from MH370, many other planes and ships should have heard it too (as the Narita pilot himself reportedly said). Pilot Mike Glynn has posted a picture of IGARI area the next night, and there are hundreds of (fishing) vessels out on the water, presumably some with radios. Perhaps the distant Narita bound MAS pilot did hear some static, but he would have been almost out of range. In short, there is not any useful evidence in this account as we currently understand it. Malaysia has not acted appropriately to publicly clear up the hearsay like this, to say the least.

  33. Peter Norton says:

    @all: There is a play button in Victor’s link on the first image: “The pilots attempt contact with MH370 but only hear mumbling and static in reply.”.
    Does it play for anyone here? What can be heard/seen? I can’t get it to work.

  34. Andrew says:

    @Peter Norton

    The audio is just a narration of the events; it’s not a recording of the transmissions. The text of the article has more information than the narration.

  35. vodkaferret says:

    I’m not sure the answer to the FOA request can be used to infer anything, about the Captain or any theories. A plane went missing, people died, there is no firm conclusion about the cause (plenty of ideas but nothing proven 100% as to cause). Until then the case will remain open.

    Good that you keep checking though… The interesting part will be if and when the answer ever changes.

  36. Peter Norton says:

    @Andrew: thank you!

  37. Peter Norton says:

    This podcasts [at around 11:00 minutes] claims MH370 “fluctuated between 31000-33000 feet on its way back across the Malay peninsula” and adds this could possibly be the result of phugoid cycles.

    Is this true ?
    I don’t think so, but just checking.

  38. Don Thompson says:

    @Peter Norton

    The Malaysian investigators, generally, described the observations shared with them. They made little attempt, themselves, to present any analysis of those observations.

    The radar observations of 9M-MRO, crossing east to west, over the Malaysian peninsula were acquired by military and ATC primary surveillance radars (PSRs).

    The ATC PSRs had no intrinsic ability to discern a target’s altitude, however, the aircraft did pass close to the ATC PSRs permitting, with some assumptions, a ground track to be plotted from the slant range. A constant altitude provided the best fit.

    The military radar, assumed to be the Selex RAT-31DL located on Western Hill, Penang Island, did have a capability to report altitude by forming pencil beams that discriminate elevation of the target. Environmental factors will cause errors in the radar’s discrimination of target elevation, hence the variations in reported altitude.

    With access to RAT-31DL radar data it is likely that a useful analysis could be undertaken to determine if there is any credibility to the stories describing altitude variation. The RMAF/TUDM and MoD-MY have resolutely refused to make that data available to independent investigators.

    Unfortunately, a gullible and uninformed press took snippets of information from the March 2014 MY press conferences and their ‘sources’ that then seeded many unfounded myths.

  39. Victor Iannello says:

    @Peter Norton: According to the Malaysian “Factual Information, Safety Investigation for MH370”, March 2015, between 17:30:35 and 17:35, the altitude was 35,700 ft, and between 17:36 and 17:36:40, the altitude fluctuated between 31,000 and 33,000 ft. In the final safety report, the Malaysians conceded the altitude readings should be ignored, as they varied in a physically unrealistic manner.

  40. Peter Norton says:

    @Victor Iannello, @Don Thompson: thank you for the detailed fact check.

  41. TBill says:

    We had sonic booms in our neighborhood today as jets scrambled at supersonic speeds to chase down an unresponsive Cessna Citation small jet, that flew over DC into Virginia. Our daughter texted at 3:10 saying possible earthquake (which was the initial guess for many). Waiting for details on cause.

    We missed it ourselves being out on a Sunday drive.

  42. George Tilton says:


    Here is the Flight Aware link for todays unresponsive Cessna jet

  43. George Tilton says:

    Sorry its Flightradar24, not FlightAware one too many drinks this evening 😉

  44. 370Location says:

    Re: N611VG

    There’s a lone glitch in the ADS-B ground speed showing 195 kt at 07:31:32Z, in a level turn at FL340. Surrounding values every 3 sec are just below 400 kt. Forty seconds later the jet was on its final heading of about 240 deg.

    There could be seismic evidence of the crash site.
    RapidShake sensors in DC caught infrasound of the F16 sonic booms.

  45. Don Thompson says:



    It’d be interesting to determine how any seismic detections dissipate with distance from the crash site. N611VG was recorded as descending at 28,864fpm while passing 10,000ft (ground elevation approx 3000ft).


    Assuming the departure from (AP) controlled flight at circa 19:22UTC resulted from the first engine flaming out, either the CVR (powered from #1/Left engine) or FDR (#2/Right engine) will be lost from that point. The Citation has quite simple, manually controlled, systems. Unfortunately no EHS data from its transponder but there are two ‘blips’ in the NACp parameter during descent.

  46. Victor Iannello says:

    The Citation never descended from FL340, overflew the destination airport (KISP), and continued on a constant heading until fuel exhaustion. It looks like a classic case of hypoxia.

    There is a 30-NM radius airspace around DC called the DC-SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area), and within that, an even tighter controlled area called the FRZ (Flight Restricted Zone). If you bust these areas, you can expect an intercept.

  47. George Tilton says:


    An NRA executive has revealed her 49-year-old daughter and two-year-old granddaughter were killed alongside the girl’s nanny and the pilot when a private Cessna plane crashed in Virginia, leaving no survivors. Barbara Rumpel, a businesswoman and member of the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum from Florida, confirmed the news on Facebook Sunday after the small plane went down in the mountainous region of Virginia on Sunday. ‘My family is gone, my daughter and granddaughter,’ Rumpel wrote in a Facebook comment

  48. TBill says:

    @George Tilton
    Sadly must have flown almost right over NRA HQ in northern Va.

    One news report said contact lost at 2PM (1800 UT) which if true would be well before NYC. AutoPilot seems to be heading back to takeoff location for some reason.

  49. George Tilton says:


    After departure from Blountville it paused at FL230 for ~2 min (1:21 to 1:22 EDT) before resuming climb to FL340. That was probably the last conscious action of the pilot…

  50. Victor Iannello says:

    It appears that N611VG was last following the flight plan SIE T320 SARDI V91 CCC KISP at FL340 when it failed to descend and overflew the destination (KISP, Long Island McArthur Airport) and continued to fly on a constant heading upon reaching the end of the flight plan. All the signs of hypoxia.

    The approach to KISP was never loaded and activated, hence the very sharp turn to join the leg CCC-KISP, and also the non-alignment with any runway.

  51. Victor Iannello says:

    @Bill Tracys said: AutoPilot seems to be heading back to takeoff location for some reason.

    It’s clear that the autopilot joined the leg CCC-KISP, overflew KISP, and continued on a constant heading. There is nothing mysterious about the behavior of the autopilot.

  52. TBill says:

    Thank you…good explanation of the U-turn at Long Island.
    I wonder if it magnetic or true heading upon the discontinuity.

  53. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill: My guess it is a constant magnetic heading after the route discontinuity, as the only navigational input that is required is from a magnetometer.

    Knowing the winds aloft and the magnetic declination, it would be possible to determine for sure which of the four possible modes was flown, i.e., true/magnetic heading/track.

  54. Victor Iannello says:

    In this image, you can see clearly that the final two legs flown by N611VG are SARDI-V91-CCC-KISP followed by constant heading.

  55. Victor Iannello says:

    Dan Gryder has a video on N611VG.

    His analysis and explanation of the flight path are identical to mine.

    He also does make an interesting case that the incapacitation of the pilot might not have been from depressurization. He bases this on the report from the intercepting fighter pilot that the Citation pilot could be seen through the windows to be slumped over. Dan argues that if it was a depressurization event, there would be frost on the windows, and it would not be possible to see in the cockpit.

    This would also imply that the passengers were alive until the impact.

  56. Andrew says:


    RE: N611VG

    Frost was reported by the pilot of the intercepting aircraft in the Payne Stewart Learjet case, but no frost was reported in either the Helios Airways or the more recent OE-FGR accidents. In both of those cases, the intercepting pilots could see into the cockpit. While there are other causes for incapacitation, especially in a 69-year-old pilot, I suspect it’s too soon to rule out depressurisation altogether.

  57. Victor Iannello says:

    @Andrew: I agree that at this point we really don’t know what caused the incapacitation of the pilot. I think many of us jumped to hypoxia, but there are other possibilities.

    Dan was hinting (but did not say) that it might have been a sudden death caused by the COVID vaccine, which some believe has affected pilots. Of course, there might have also been a medical event unrelated to the vaccine.

  58. Andrew says:

    I wondered what he was hinting at! If it was a medical event, I suspect it’s far more likely to be age-related (eg heart attack, stroke). The aviation medicals that commercial pilots undergo are generally good at picking up conditions that might cause a sudden incapacitation, but they’re not foolproof.

  59. TBill says:

    Helios might not be the best example of clear windows because the outflow valve was partially closed, so there was presumably airflow. Helios is my example that they did not even apparently record cabin temperature, as far as I know there is no temperature data.

  60. Ventus45 says:

    If an aircraft does not pressurize, then presumably there is no outside air entering the cabin. The ‘specific humidity’ of the air in the cabin when the doors were closed prior to takeoff might be the determining factor for subsequent window frosting – or not. As the aircraft climbs, the air in the cabin would gradually leak out and cool adiabatically with the reducing external pressure, eventually reaching it’s dew point. I presume it was very humid in Florida in the Payne Stewart Learjet case. I doubt that it was very humid in Larnaca when Helios 522 took off. What was the humidity where this flight departed from ?

  61. Andrew says:


    The METAR for Elizabethton (K0A9) at about the time the aircraft departed on 4 June shows the temperature was 27°C and the dew point 16°C. That gives a relative humidity of about 50%.

  62. Andrew says:


    Further to my comment above, the Helios Airways accident report shows the temperature and dew point at Larnaca airport were 32°C and 21°C respectively. That also gives a relative humidity of about 50%.

  63. Victor Iannello says:

    @ventus45 said: As the aircraft climbs, the air in the cabin would gradually leak out and cool adiabatically with the reducing external pressure, eventually reaching it’s dew point.

    If the decompression is rapid, the adiabatic approximation might be acceptable. However, if the decompression were slow, there would be convective heat transfer from the (relatively) hotter surfaces in the cabin to the air, and the temperature drop would be more modest. Now on top of this, the entire aircraft is losing heat to the ambient air, so there would be heat conduction from internal structures to the skin and then convective heat transfer to the ambient air. So eventually, everything away from the engine would equilibrate to the ambient temperature, but how long would that take?

    It’s a complicated problem.

  64. Andrew says:


    Frost formation will also be affected by the operation of the aircraft’s anti-ice systems. The B737 windshield is continuously heated by electrical elements between the glass plies, so there is little likelihood of frost formation. The Learjet 35 and Citation V, on the other hand, use engine bleed air to heat the outside of the windshield, and conditioned air to defog the inside. The bleed air anti-ice is operated as required, however, my understanding is the defog system operates continuously to keep the inside of the windshield clear of condensation.

    In the Payne Steward accident investigation, the NTSB found the flow control valve that regulates the supply of conditioned air to the cabin, was closed, preventing normal cabin pressurisation. They also found the formation of condensation or frost on the windshield was consistent with a loss of bleed air supply to the cabin. The NTSB could not determine if the closed valve was caused by a malfunction of the valve, inappropriate flight crew action, or some other event.

    In the N611VG case, the lack of condensation or frost on the windshield might be an indication the air conditioning system was operating normally. If so, that would mean the pilot’s incapacitation was likely caused by a failure of the pressurisation system (eg outflow valve, cabin leak), or some kind of medical event.

  65. TBill says:

    RE: N611VG

    I tried to fit the return flight path with Mag and True Heading. However LNAV seems to be the most obvious fit, in SkyVector:
    404748N0730600W 375630N0785634W (to DBRAH)

    whereas- the first waypoint I define as KISP2 where FR24 showed the aircraft flew directly over the airport on Long Island. For data, I am picking points off the FR24 flight path map (assuming that is valid).

    The projected forward flight path passes close or directly to DBRAH Roanoke 109.4 and continues close to points on the take-off flight path for part of the way.

  66. Victor Iannello says:

    Juan Browne (@blancolirio) has another video which includes some of the ATC audio related to intercepting the Citation jet.

  67. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill: The waypoint DBRAH is the same location as the ROA VOR.

    I think the better fit is a great circle path (more accurately called a geodesic, as @sk999 has said before) from CCC and extended past KISP. It’s either a coincidence that a constant heading path matches the great circle, or that is how the autopilot is programmed to behave after reaching a route discontinuity. Without more work to predict the constant heading path (including winds and magnetic variation), I can’t say for sure.

  68. TBill says:

    Yes it is hard to figure…it assumes the FR24 data is exactly correct, and MS Flight Sim is probably not accurate for CMH/CTH etc. Not to mention winds.

    The only thing I can say is the FR24 return path falls very well on a great circle, either via line function on Google Earth, and also via MS Flight Sim. Great circle flies close to all the points (which is basically right over my house within 0.4nm according to FR24- so that gives me a certain halfway landmark).

    But it is hard to define a forward LNAV endpoint that the aircraft could have been flying to, and still match the flight path. Even if I pick any arbitrary forward end point near Roanoke, to force a LNAV match, I cannot get as good as a match. It is hard make two geodesics fall exactly on top of each other. So I feel like I cannot take it much further within uncertainties.

    Here are a few more details on my workup.

  69. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill: You don’t need a waypoint after KISP for the plane to remain on a great circle after the discontinuity, if the autopilot is programmed in that way.

    Here are some rough numbers:

    KISP: True track: 239.7; Mag declination: 13.0W; Magnetic track: 252.7
    Impact: True track: 236.1; Mag declination: 9.5W; Magnetic track: 245.6

    So, the behavior after the discontinuity is neither a constant true track or a constant magnetic track. If the behavior is true heading, the path has curved (239.7-236.1) = 3.6 deg to the east due to winds. If the behavior is magnetic heading, the path has curved (252.7-245.6) = 7.1 deg to the east due to winds. (If the curvature had been to the west, we could have ruled out the heading modes as the winds are typically from the west.)

    So, it is possible that the behavior is constant heading after the route discontinuity, but considering the nice fit to a great circle, I am leaning towards that.

    This image shows the path after KISP along with an extended great circle past KISP.

  70. TBill says:

    Thank you.
    Of course, relating this to MH370, we believe this is different behavior than MH370 as a B777. Refresh my memory, but we are thinking upon a discontinuity, MH370 would fly/hold a magnetic heading.

    Therefore to my knowledge we no longer have any proposed MH370 flight paths that fly *straight* and True except for LNAV paths with an intentional endpoint such as South Pole in the case of UGIB for example.

    I am aware of one proposed (non-intentional) ghost flight proposal, where MH370 is postulated to take a magnetic curved heading upon discontinuity. Magnetic headings for MH370 generally require a slow down after Arc5, or else Arc6 is hit too soon. So for the proposal in question, I believe the author postulates MH370 slowed down on its own after Arc5 for technical glitch reasons.

  71. Victor Iannello says:

    @TBill: Yes, we believe that a B777 would fly along a constant heading when a route discontinuity is reached with the autopilot engaged.

  72. Victor Iannello says:

    [Comments here are closed. Please continue the discussion under the new article.]