Reference:RMP Forensic Report
Royal Malaysia Police: Forensic Report
Description of a forensic report for Captain Shah's personal flight simulator.
Note: Although mentioned in official documents, an RMP Forensic Report has not been officially made public.
Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) Forensic Report
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on Saturday, 8 March 2014. The aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:42 MYT and was expected to land in Beijing Beijing at 06.30 MYT the same day. Instead, the aircraft diverted west across the Malay Peninsula, travelled north-west toward the Andaman Sea, and then turned south. The flight is believed to have ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
The Pilot-in-Command was Captain Zaharie Shah, a respected and experienced pilot who had been flying with Malaysia Airlines throughout his career. Following the 'disappearance' of flight MH370 the Royal Malaysia Police commenced an Investigation during which they discovered that Captain Shah had a sophisticated flight simulator at his home. Those who knew Zaharie personally, or were friends through a community of flight simulator enthusiasts, knew about the simulator that he constructed, so it was no secret. However, it was of interest to the RMP so the simulator was taken into custody and then evaluated to determine whether there was any data of interest to their investigation into MH370. Of particular interest would be any data that may show evidence of planning for the flight diversion and/or data which could assist in the search efforts which had, by then, included the Indian Ocean.
The term forensic is appropriate when scientific methods are used to solve a crime. Although commonly used in relation to deceased persons, forensic investigations can be undertaken in other contexts, such as industrial accidents, and cyber crimes. Different tools are used in each context, but a forensic investigation always requires suitably qualified persons, standardised processes, and documentation, which would meet the evidence requirements of a Court.
The outcome of a forensic investigation is likely to be a Report, or a compilation of several reports each created by experts in their own field, together with descriptions of the actual evidence, an outline of the process, and a summary or conclusion based on the evaluation of the evidence.
However, the Royal Malaysia Police has not released any report to the public related to MH370, nor are they likely to. When the Australian Transport Safety Bureau wanted to know if any data had been discovered on Captain Shah's personal flight simulator, protocol required that the request be handled by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The requested information was conveyed by the Royal Malaysia Police to the Australian Federal Police on 19 April 2014, thence to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. There is no mention of a formal report at that time.
However, it was the ATSB which made public various facts about the data recovered from the Pilot in Command’s flight simulator when their final report The Operational Search for MH370 was published in October 2017. Prior to then there had been rumours, speculation and possibly leaked information, but no official confirmation of the fact that data recovered from Captain Shah's personal flight simulator included two data points in the southern Indian Ocean.
More detail was included in The Safety Investigation Report MH370/01/2018 by The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370. This Report confirmed the existence of the Royal Malaysia Police’s Report on Flight Simulator of PIC, referred to as an RMP Forensic Report dated 19 May 2014 .
The Royal Malaysia Police seized a flight simulator from the home of Captain Zaharie Shah, who was the Pilot-in-Command of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 when it went missing on Saturday, 8 March 2014.
The forensic investigation of the flight simulator is documented in an RMP Forensic Report dated 19 May 2014.
Data recovered during the forensic investigation of the flight simulator was provided to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The ATSB described that data in the report The Operational Search for MH370.
The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370 subsequently referred to the RMP Forensic Report in the Safety Investigation Report MH370/01/2018.
The RMP Forensic Report has not been officially released to the public.
Although an RMP Forensic Report has not been officially released, a collection of documents from the RMP MH370 Investigation was apparently provided to a journalist who subsequently shared them via Twitter, and other recipients then made them available via other file-sharing platforms on the Internet. The documents appear genuine and selected extracts have been included in pages linked below, for reference purposes.
- The Operational Search for MH370 (ATSB) Table 15: Second refinement to surface search area (3–28 April 2014)
"MH370 PIC Microsoft flight simulator data analysis provided to AMSA/ ATSB by Australian Federal Police (19 April 2014)".
- The Operational Search for MH370 (ATSB) Pilot in Command’s flight simulator
- Safety Investigation Report MH370/01/2018 The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370, 1.5.3 2) Royal Malaysia Police’s Report on Flight Simulator of PIC