Asia-Pacific

Monday 28 July 2014

Pilot of missing flight MH370 'not suicidal', says family

Anita McSorley

Published 19/05/2014|11:25

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THE family of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 pilot has come out to defend his reputation saying he was “not suicidal” and was doing household chores on the day of the flight, ABC news reported today.

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Asuad Khan, the brother-in-law of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, said the 53-year-old was sane, a happy family man and a devout Muslim.

“He had a good life,” Mr Khan told ABC News. “He had a lot of money, and he loved his daughter very much.”

Mr Khan has refuted multiple allegations against Captain Shah regarding his personal life and his professional activities.

He also denies that the captain could have been suicidal, claiming the authorities could be using Captain Shah as a scapegoat.

"Put it this way, this is a promise - if they blame him I'll fight. I just won't sit down, keep quiet," he said.

"Because if you say that he wanted to [commit] suicide in the Indian Ocean, I say prove it.

"If he wanted to [commit] suicide he wouldn't - he would want to kill 238 people with him? Why would he be so stupid? He is not.

"He was not suicidal. We enjoy our life to the fullest because life only happens once."

Mr Khan said his sister Faizah – who has not spoken publically – has been questioned three or four times by police since the plane’s disappearance, as have her three children.

“[The police] asked normal questions,” Mr Khan said.

"How's your husband? Is he depressed? Or is he having problems with anything or if they have any [marriage] problems. All sorts of questions. His mental state. But he was a sane man. I don't think he was a crazy man."

Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of March 8 with 239 people onboard.

Mr Khan said he understood that Zaharie had been at home in Kuala Lumpur on the day of the flight.

"He's a DIY person,” he said. “He likes to repair a lot of things by himself at home. On that day, my sister told me he was repairing the door for the bathroom if I'm not mistaken.”

It is believed the flight ended in the Indian Ocean off the West Australian coast, where the search for the plane is ongoing.

The search for the plane has become the longest in modern passenger-airline history. The previous record was a 10 days, when Adam Air Flight 574 went missing off the coast of Indonesia’s South Sulawesi.

The Boeing 737-400, operated by PT Adam Skyconnection Airlines, lost contact with air traffic control on Jan 1st, 2007. Wreckage wasn’t found until 10 days later.

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