'I know my father,' says missing pilot's son

Last updated 19:55 27/03/2014
mh370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
MH370 PILOT: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

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The son of the experienced pilot who flew the missing Malaysian Airlines flight has insisted his father was not the kind of man who would hijack a plane.

Ahmad Seth, the youngest of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's three children, told Malaysian media he has paid no attention to suggestions his father may have been involved in a hijacking or suicide mission.

“I've read everything online. But I've ignored all the speculation. I know my father better,” the 26-year-old student told the New Straits Times, an English-language newspaper in Malaysia.

Amid the incessant theories about the flight, which disappeared on March 8, many have speculated about state of mind and political persuasions of the 53-year-old pilot at the controls of flight MH370.

This week, a New Zealand publication claimed to have spoken to one of Captain Shah's friends who said the experienced pilot was going through a number of relationship problems and felt that his life was crumbling at the time of the ill-fated flight.

Shortly after the plane vanished, attention turned to whether Captain Shah or his co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, had deliberately crashed the jet as part of a suicide mission.

The political leanings and religious beliefs of Captain Shah have also been closely examined in the media. It has been claimed the captain was a political activist who attended the trial of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, just seven hours before he took control of the passenger jet.

"We may not be as close as he travels so much. But I understand him,” Mr Seth said.

He said the family was holding out for “the right confirmation” that the aircraft ended its journey in the southern Indian Ocean.

"I will believe it [that there are no survivors] when I see the proof in front of my eyes," he said.

He is the first of the pilot's immediate family members to speak publicly since the search began.

Captain Shah joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and was certified by Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation as a simulator test examiner.

He had 18,365 flying hours experience, and had installed a Boeing 777 flight simulator in his home, from which he made YouTube videos.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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