Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Police search homes of pilots Zaharie Shah and Fariq Hamid

 

Despite their largely unblemished records, both Captain Zaharie Shah, 53, and co-pilot Fariq Hamid, 27, of Flight MH370 are the focus of a criminal investigation. It emerged that the plane’s communication systems had been deliberately disabled before it left its flight path to Beijing.

As police visited both men’s homes in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, the mystery was why neither man was able to send a distress signal on the flight deck if the plane had been taken by hijackers.

Mr Shah is a veteran pilot, and much has been made of the fact that he built a three-screen, Boeing 777 flight simulator in his home. But he did so openly, joining a public forum for people who enjoy doing this.

Mr Hamid was said to be engaged, and had just graduated to the cockpit of the Boeing 777. A local community leader described him as a “good boy, a good Muslim, humble and quiet”. The only known blot on his record is that he invited two female passengers into the cockpit of a 2011 flight from Thailand to Kuala Lumpur, in breach of regulations.

Mr Shah’s home can be seen on his YouTube website on which he posted videos showing people how to adjust the air conditioning. He introduces one video seated at his flight simulator.

For Mr Shah, who joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981, flying appears to have been much more than a job. He registered with a forum for fans of flight simulation, posting a message to say hello and describe his home system and its “awesome view”.

A former co-pilot of Mr Shah told Reuters: “He was an aviation tech geek. You could ask him anything and he would help you. That is the kind of guy he is.”

Last night it was reported police in Malaysia were investigating claims that Mr Shah was a supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, the controversial opposition leader jailed for five years for sodomy just one day before Flight MH370 vanished.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue