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Published: Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 9:35:09 AM

Missing MH370: Crew and passengers under scrutiny

Heavily guarded: Security personnel keeping a strict watch over the gated community in Laman Seri where Capt Zaharie resides. - Bernama

Heavily guarded: Security personnel keeping a strict watch over the gated community in Laman Seri where Capt Zaharie resides. - Bernama

PETALING JAYA: As investigators search for clues about the person who turned off MH370’s communications system, police are looking into the crew and passengers again, this time paying close attention to those with aviation expertise.

Intelligence sources said investigations would include political and religious leanings, as well as travel patterns of those on board.

Minute details, such as hobbies and behavioural patterns, will also be put under the microscope as the investigations now focused on hijack.

Yesterday afternoon, a group of policemen conducted a search at Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s house in Shah Alam.

Three policemen in an MPV were seen at the gated community in Section 13 at around 2.40pm. They left at 4.45pm.

It was unclear if they took away a flight simulator from the house.

Malaysia Airlines employees said a few pilots did have flight simulators in their homes but claimed that Capt Zaharie’s was one of the most impressive sets.

Capt Zaharie had previously posted on German online forum X-Sim.de that he had built a flight simulator himself.

“About a month ago I finished assembly of FSX and FS9 with 6 monitors,” read his message, which was signed off as Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines in November 2012.

Checks revealed that FSX and FS9 are over-the-counter flight simulator games made by Microsoft. These can easily be bought online.

According to some family friends, Capt Zaharie’s family had moved out a few days ago after MH370 went missing.

According to MAS employees, a driver had told them that Capt Zaharie kept to himself while being driven to the KLIA for the flight.

He had studied aviation at the Philippine Airlines Aviation School in Pasay City in 1980.

He joined Malaysia Airlines a year later.

The Penangite became a captain in the early 1990s and has 18,360 flying hours under his belt.

His colleagues described him as a jovial and professional “aviation geek” who collected remote-controlled miniature aircraft, light twin engine helicopters and amphibious aircraft.

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

The same group of policemen also conducted a search at MH370 co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid’s house a few hours after searching Capt Zaharie’s house.

Police arrived at Fariq’s house at Section 7 here around 8.05pm and left about an hour later.

It was unclear if anything was taken from the house.

Tags / Keywords: Travel, zaharie, MAS flight, KL, Beijing, missing flight, MH370

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