Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Five-a-side football and DIY videos reveal ordinary lives of flight crew Zaharie Shah and Fariq Hamid

 

The family life and psychological state of Captain Zaharie Ahmed Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid have become part of the investigation into flight MH370.

Mr Shah, 53, is a veteran pilot and family man who likes comedians such as Eddie Izzard and Sarah Silverman, cooking, and making do-it-yourself video guides.

The elaborate three-screen 777 flight simulator that Mr Shah built in his home is now subject of investigation, but he was open about his extra-curricular interest and joined a public online forum about the activity.

Mr Hamid, 27, regularly played five-a-side football with local youths, paying for their football shirts.

It has emerged that in 2011 he invited two female passengers into the cockpit of flight from Thailand to Kuala Lumpur. One of the women, South African Jonti Roos, said she was initially thrilled by the experience but later described it as “possibly a little bit sleazy”.

 

Mr Shah’s home can be seen on YouTube where he posted videos demonstrating how to fix an ice-maker and tune an air-conditioner so it runs efficiently.

The YouTube channels that he followed give an insight into his character, ranging from the academic and tech-orientated TED talks and Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science to comedians, how to make balloon animals and one about cycling. Since the disappearance one of his followers wrote: “Captain pls come back, we are waiting you for more videos…” Another said: “I’d say we lost a gem of a man … a great mind and a kind heart.”

Ritzeraynn Rashid, who flew with Mr Shah in the 1980s and 1990s, told the New Straits Times that he was “always smiling and very cheerful. We shared a lot of good memories. We were like brothers.”

There were claims at the weekend that Mr Shah was a supporter of the controversial opposition leader Anwar Imbrahim. Mr Ibrahim was given a five-year sentence for sodomy one day before flight MH370 vanished. Human rights campaigners have said Mr Anwar had for years been targeted by political opponents. Asked if Mr Zaharie’s background as an opposition supporter was being examined, one senior police officer said: “We need to cover all our bases.”

Fariq Hamid had just graduated to the cockpit of the Boeing 777, a sophisticated aircraft, after amassing 2,763 flight hours.

Read more: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban?
Q&A what we know - and don't know - so far
Terror plot ‘would have required one hell of a piece of planning’
Hijackers, pirates or suicide – the theories surrounding the mystery

A neighbour, Ayop Jantan, told Associated Press that he had heard Mr Hamid was engaged and had been planning his wedding. Mr Jantan said Mr Hamid’s accomplishments were a source of pride to his father, a high-ranking civil servant in Selangor state.

His grandmother, Halimah Abdul Rahman, described him as “a good son, obedient … and a pious man”.

His brother, Afiq, told the New Straits Times: “This is just heartbreaking. I do not know what to tell you. I am not doing okay. Sorry, I cannot really think right now. My parents are very sad right now.”

Ahmad Sarafi Ali Asrah, the head of a community mosque in the middle-class suburb where Mr Hamid lived, said the pilot was a “good boy, a good Muslim, humble and quiet”.

He said Mr Hamid’s father “still cries when he talks about Fariq. His mother too”.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power