Let’s get to know Zaharie Ahmad Shah – the pilot of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
The missing Malaysian airliner has become one of the biggest mysteries of recent times.
There seems to be no explanation for the aircraft’s disappearance nor are there any signs of a crash, emergency landing or even hijacking. However, as the search goes on for the 9th day, more and more fingers are being pointed towards the pilot of the plane.
There are theories of him being anti-democracy (because of a t-shirt he was seen wearing in a photo) and being a staunch supporter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who had been sentenced the same day of the flight and whose trial Zaharie attended.
Zaharie Ahmad Shahwith his daughter Aishah Zaharie who lives in Melbourne, Australia and has returned home to be with her family in this trying time.
Then there was the flight simulator at his home and the two laptops confiscated by the investigators.
In this photo grabbed from a YouTube video, he is seen sitting in front of his simulator.
His family and friends have a different story to tell. They remember him as a “loving, reflective, generous, cool, sporting, intelligent and supportive” man.
They even made a video and shared it online:
There are Facebook pages praying for the missing flight as well as the Captain.
“I Miss You So Much Bro !
I Hope I can See Your face In Real Life
Please Come Back !
EveryTime I See you Face I will Cry . Pleaseee Come Backk My Brothers,” says one Facebook post.
The speculation over Zaharie being the culprit and a rogue pilot seem to be unfairly premature as there is insufficient evidence.
“On what the international media wrote about Captain Zaharie is not true (and) ridiculous. He’s a nice man and loving father to his children,” says a friend of Mr. Zaharie.
“What has been reported in the news by the international media ...very frustrating.
“They (are) waiting to blame the pilot. Speculation like this is killing the family,” she added.
In order to firmly establish the events that led to the flight’s disappearance, evidence like cockpit voice recordings from the plane’s flight data recorder must be gathered. Also, given the expanse of land and water than needs to be searched for the wreckage, it might take months – or even longer – for the aircraft to be found. That is, if it is ever found.
Authorities must investigate all possibilities before a finger can be pointed in anyone’s direction.