Missing Malaysian Airline
Officials will ask friends of Mr Hamid if they think he was speaking normally.
‘A GOOD BOY’: NOTHING BUT PRAISE FOR MH370 CO-PILOT
It has emerged that Fariq Abdul Hamid had his reputation called into question by a South African woman who accused him of inviting her to join him in the cockpit for a journey in 2011, in breach of security rules.
Malaysia Airlines said it was ‘shocked’ by the reported security violation, but could not verify the claims.
But those who knew him have described the son of a top state civil servant as a mild-mannered young man with a bright piloting future who is reported to have been engaged to wed a woman he met in flight school nine years ago.
His fiancée, Captain Nadira Ramli, 26, flies for Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia – Malaysia Airlines’ fierce rival – and is the daughter of a senior Malaysia Airlines pilot, local media reports said.
Mr Hamid regularly visited his neighbourhood mosque outside Kuala Lumpur where he also attended occasional Islamic courses, said Ahmad Sharafi Ali Asrah, the mosque’s imam or spiritual leader, who called him ‘a good boy’.
Mr Hamid appeared in a CNN travel segment in February in which he helped fly a plane from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur.
It chronicled his transition to piloting the Boeing 777-200 after having completed training in a flight simulator.
CNN correspondent Richard Quest called Fariq’s technique ‘textbook-perfect,’ according to the network’s website.
Meanwhile, footage has emerged of Hamid in a training session a month before the Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared.
CNN aviation expert Richard Quest filmed the 27-year-old who said he had 2,700 hours of flight experience.
When asked about flying, he told Mr Quest that he ‘just loved it’. ‘It was a wonderful experience, particularly flying the larger big triple 7 plane that we were onboard,’ he said.
According to Quest, Hamid had carried out a ‘textbook landing’ on that day he was filmed.
Meanwhile, footage emerged showing the aircraft’s pilots walking through security for the final time before take-off.
CCTV captured Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, pilot of the Boeing 777 flight, being frisked while walking through security at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
He is then joined by co-pilot Fariq Hamid who is also searched before the pair walk onto the plane.
Officials also said today that it is possible the aircraft could have landed and transmitted a satellite signal from the ground.
Shah, a father-of-three, described as ‘loving and generous’ in an online tribute video was said to be a ‘fanatical’ supporter of the country’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim – jailed for homosexuality just hours before the jet disappeared.
It has also been revealed that the pilot’s wife and three children moved out of the family home the day before the plane went missing.
Some senior US officials believe it is possible the plane was taken as part of a ‘dry run’ for a future terrorist attack – in order to find out whether a plane can be hidden from radar and satellites.
While investigators visited the homes of Shah and Hamid, it was also revealed by Malaysian police that the two pilots did not request to fly together, reported the Wall Street Journal.
It comes as FBI investigators say the disappearance of MH370 may have been ‘an act of piracy’ and the possibility that hundreds of passengers are being held at an unknown location has not been ruled out.
If the plane was intact and had enough electrical power in reserve, it would be able to send out a radar ‘ping’.
‘All right, good night’ was spoken at 1.19am on Saturday March 8 from the Beijing-bound flight to air traffic controllers in Malaysia rather than the usual sign-off of ‘Roger and out’.
Whoever was talking did not mention a problem with the flight, suggesting an attempt was made to mislead ground control.
Two minutes later the transponder – which sends out an identifying signal – was switched off. Turning it off is simply a matter of flipping a switch in the cockpit.
Shortly afterwards the aircraft climbed to 45,000 feet and turned sharply to head back across the Malaysian peninsula. It later travelled some distance at 23,000 feet and even dipped down to 5,000 feet.
Authorities have said someone on board the plane a disabled one of its communications systems – the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS.
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