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Published: Friday March 14, 2014 MYT 10:27:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 14, 2014 MYT 11:15:23 PM

Missing MH370: Query over pilot’s flight simulator

SHAH ALAM: A question about a flight simulator in the home of flight MH370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was raised at Friday’s media conference.

Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Ahnad Jauhari Yahya said Malaysia Airlines had no policy forbidding staff from owning the technology.

Jauhari said Capt Zaharie was allowed to pursue his hobbies.

“There are several other guys (pilots) who also have flight simulators in their home," he told reporters.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the authorities will search the home of MH370 crew members if it was necessary to do so.

He said such a search could not be ruled out in the efforts to gather as much information as possible about the missing aircraft.

“If the investigation leads us to that direction (the need to search the house) and it is within the law, we will do it,” he said.

He said the “whole passenger” manifest was also being examined.

Capt Zaharie, 53 and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, were among the 12-member crew of the Boeing 777-200 with 227 passengers.

Hishammuddin also said the investigators were looking at several possibilities as to why the plane’s transponder and the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (Acars) did not transmit any data after 1.30am on Saturday.

“We are trying to find out whether they were shut down intentionally, shut down under duress or if an explosion occurred.

“We are looking at various possibilities, thus that is why I refuse to speculate,” he said.

Foreign media have been reporting on unverified news that police had raided the house of Capt Zaharie in Shah Alam and confiscated his flight simulator for investigations.

However, Bukit Aman sources have all denied the raid took place, saying the officers had tried to visit the family but found no one at home.

CNN reported that Capt Zaharie had posted on German online forum, X-Sim.de, that he had built a flight simulator himself in November 2012.

"About a month ago I finish assembly of FSX and FS9 with six monitors" in a message signed Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah BOEING 777 MALAYSIA AIRLINES.

Checks reveal that FSX and FS9 were over the counter flight simulator games made by Microsoft that could be easily bought online.

Capt Zaharie studied aviation at the Philippine Airlines Aviation School in Pasay City, Manila in 1980, before joining Malaysia Airlines in 1981.

The Penangite became a captain in the early 1990's and has 33-years and 18, 360 hours of flying experience under his belt.

His colleagues described him as a jovial but professional "aviation geek" who collects remote controlled miniature aircrafts, light twin engine helicopters and amphibious aircrafts.

Outside of aviation, he runs a YouTube channel dedicated to DIY projects, where he teaches viewers how to fix home appliances like air-conditioners.

Tags / Keywords: MH370, MAS, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Fariq Abdul Hamid

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