Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 pilot left deceptive 'false trails' before crashing, new research claims

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 pilot left deceptive 'false trails' before crashing, new research claims

Research being carried out by a group of scientists working to solve the mystery of MH370 say the flights capitan left 'false trails' before disappearing.

Group member and aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey told ABC that pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah made a series of turns and changed the speed of the aircraft in order to avoid detection, or flying near busy aviation routes.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, went missing on the evening of March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur destined for Beijing.  The aircraft and all 239 of those onboard have never been seen since.

Research was being carried out as to whether MH370's movements could be picked up by monitoring weak radio signals known as WSPR, or weak signal propagation reports.

Godfrey said all planes set off invisible "electronic tripwires" as they move across these signals, which can then be used to track the aircraft's movement.

"WSPR is like a bunch of tripwires or laser beams, but they work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe," Godfrey said.

The research claims the Boeing 777 crashed about 34.5 degrees south, near the line known as the "seventh arc," which is the same area that has so far been searched.  But while there is agreement as to where the aircraft likely crashed, the new research says the flight path it took to get there was "significantly different" to those so far theorised using satellite data.

"The pilot of MH370 generally avoided official flight routes from 18:00 UTC onwards but used waypoints to navigate on unofficial flight paths in the Malacca Strait, around Sumatra and across the Southern Indian Ocean," Godfrey told ABC.

"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."

The pilot also added another layer of confusion in case his movements were detected, by choosing a flight route which has a number of changes in direction, so the flight's direction would remain unclear.

These changes of track included toward the Andaman Islands, towards South Africa, towards Java, and towards Cocos Islands.

"Once out of range of all other aircraft, at 20:30 UTC the pilot changed track and headed due south," Godfrey said.

"The flight path appears carefully planned. 

"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 said he would like to see the WSPR data applied to any future searches for the aircraft, which has become the biggest mystery in the history of aviation.