PETALING JAYA: MH370’s last radio call – attributed to Fariq Abdul Hamid – could indicate that the co-pilot was assigned by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah to handle communications while the captain himself
flew the aircraft.
A retired B700-200 pilot and a pilot trainer who has also flown the aircraft said cockpit duties would normally be designated by the captain.
The one assigned to fly the aircraft would be designated “pilot flying” or PF, while the other pilot would be in charge of answering and issuing all radio calls and be designated “pilot not flying” or PNF.
“If the captain decides to fly that day, then he will essentially do all the flying while his co-pilot will be handling all the communications. They would switch duties on the return leg,” said retired pilot Captain Lim Khoy Hing.
“Sometime the PF does use the radio because the PNF may be busy with other flight duties or having his meals,” a pilot trainer said adding that, the radio call phrase “all right, good night” did not follow protocol but it was not uncommon to hear pilots using such phrases.
“If they had followed proper radiotelephony protocol, they should mention their call sign ‘Malaysia 370’ as well, because by only saying ‘all right, good night,’ the air traffic controller may not know who is responding,” said the pilot trainer.