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Son defends pilot of downed MAS plane

IN HAPPIER TIMES: Malaysia Airlines pilot Zaharie with his family in an undated image taken from a YouTube tribute video posted by his family. Mr Seth, his younger son, has dismissed speculation that his father had crashed the plane.


    Mar 28, 2014

    Son defends pilot of downed MAS plane


    THE younger son of the Malaysia Airlines pilot whose flight went down in the Indian Ocean has dismissed speculation his father may have crashed the plane intentionally, a report said yesterday.

    Mr Ahmad Seth, son of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, said he knew what kind of man his father was.

    "I've read everything online. But I've ignored all the speculation. I know my father better," Mr Seth, 26, was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying.

    "We may not be close as he travels so much. But I understand him," the language student added in his first public remarks.

    Mr Zaharie, 53, along with his co-pilot, Mr Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, has come under intense scrutiny after the Malaysian authorities said Flight MH370's disappearance on March 8 was due to "deliberate" action by someone on the plane.

    Various news reports, citing anonymous sources, have indicated that Mr Zaharie could have diverted the plane on its deadly path to one of the most remote places in the world.

    A New Zealand Herald report said that he was upset that his wife was going to leave him and could have taken the plane for a "joy ride", quoting a fellow pilot and friend of Mr Zaharie who was not named.

    A "high-ranking" investigator, who was not named, said that the pilot was likely solely responsible for the missing flight as he was the only one on board with the required expertise, USA Today reported yesterday.

    Malaysian police have already questioned the family members of the pilots and other crew and seized a home-built flight simulator which Mr Zaharie installed in his house.

    But they have not announced finding any evidence against him.

    The US' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will complete its analysis of data deleted from the flight simulator "within a day or two", its director said on Wednesday in Washington.

    Malaysian officials had asked the FBI to help recover files deleted from the simulator's hard drive. FBI chief James Comey did not indicate whether the results of the analysis would be made public.

    Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage from Flight MH370 yesterday

    , frustrating the effort again as Thailand reported a satellite sighting of hundreds of floating objects. A major air and sea search has failed so far to secure any wreckage.

    Mr Seth said he was not surprised by the conclusion that the plane had crashed.

    "Now, we are just waiting for the right confirmation (for the wreckage or bodies). I will believe it when I see the proof in front of my eyes," he said calmly.