Malaysian plane's co-pilot was 'novice'

Last updated 16:21 25/03/2014
mh370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
MH370 CO-PILOT: First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid.
mh370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
MH370 PILOT: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
The MH370 story in pictures
Reuters Zoom
The saga begins on March 8, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 departs Kuala Lumpur at 12:41am, local time. On board are 227 passengers and 12 crew.

Related Links

Malaysia PM says flight MH370 is lost Malaysia Airlines' statement on flight MH370 Screaming, tears, disbelief at news MH370 is lost Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean Search for MH370 to go on: PM MH370: 'It's not true' MH370 crashed in 'suicide mission': report Satellite pings reveal fate of MH370 Specialist plane search equipment on way

Relevant offers

Asia

Video of Thai leader 'petting' reporter goes viral Flight MH370: 'Who took control of the aircraft?' Eastern Indonesia hit with 6.9-magnitude quake China courts put reporter on trial Peter Hahn, christian aid worker, held in China Xi guest of honour at Auckland dinner Woman suspected of killing husbands Thailand cracks down on protesters using 'Hunger Games' salute China blocks sites as internet con begins Putin backs deeper ties with North Korea

Malaysia Airlines co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid was a novice on his first Boeing 777 flight as a fully-approved pilot in the cockpit of the ill-fated plane, it has emerged.

Families were have now been told flight MH370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people onboard, had "ended" west of Perth "far from any possible landing sites".

Instead of heading for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur as intended, the aircraft had switched direction, heading out over the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.

Airline boss Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a press conference the March 8 flight to Beijing was the first time Fariq had flown the 777 without a check pilot, who ensures new pilots understand the procedures and capabilities of an aircraft.

"The first five flights, the co-pilot normally flies with what we call the check co-pilot,” he said.

“He actually passed the first five flights. We do not see any problem with him.”

Fariq, 27, had 2763 hours of flying experience, though he was inexperienced on the 777.

Aviation specialists said his inexperience would probably not have posed any risk to the flight.

“The Malaysians are very thorough… I don’t think it is significant at all,” a former 777 pilot told UK's The Telegraph newspaper.

Police have so far found nothing suspicious about Fariq or Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the 53-year-old pilot.

Zaharie, who had 18,365 hours experience, sometimes flew as a check pilot, though not on this flight. Investigators believe the aircraft was sabotaged.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content