03-18-14: Missing plane raises questions about radar dead zones.
(MyFoxBoston.com) -- A new report claims a computer onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane was programmed to take the jetliner off course.
Investigators now say the first hard left turn that took the jetliner off course was done through a computer system most likely programmed by someone inside the cockpit who knew a lot about plane systems, the New York Times reports.
The pilot, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah had logged more than 18,000 hours in the air and had an elaborate flight simulator he built himself inside his home, which he bragged about on YouTube. He was also reportedly a supporter of a Malaysian opposition leader.
A friend of the pilot said that he would never put the life of a passenger in danger.
"He's been fliyng for close to 30 years, 18,000 flying hours, he would follow, he was a disciplined person he would follow whatever was the requirement," he said.
Shah's co-pilot was 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid.
Authorities executed search warrants at both their homes and sources say computer hard drives, as well as the simulator, were recovered.
With reports flight 370 flew as high as 46,000 feet then dropped as if to evade radar, experts say the computer hardware may contain evidence of pre-meditation.
"There's a little bit of nationalistic pride on the part of Malaysia, but I would hope they would let our experts that really know how to do this stuff to get to the bottom of this, this is too much of a mystery at this point," said U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, Homeland Security Chairman.
Crews searched the southern Indian Ocean, near Australia, Tuesday morning. Australia's Maritime Safety Authority says they've narrowed their search based on satellite data and analysis of the aircraft's possible movements.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials tell FOX News at this point the U.S.S. Kidd is being pulled off that search in the Indian Ocean unless there is a significant break in the case.