Fariq Abdul Hamid, Zaharie Ahmad Shah Pilots on Missing MH370 Flight: Who Are They?

Zaharie Ahmad Shah was the pilot on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing; Fariq Abdul Hamid was the co-pilot.

Who are these two men?


Shah joined the airline in 1981 and has 18,365 hours of flight experience. He’s a 53-year-old Malaysian resident. 

He was described as an aviation geek by a Malaysian Airlines co-pilot who flew with him in the past. 

“He was an aviation tech geek. You could ask him anything and he would help you. That is the kind of guy he is,” the pilot told Reuters. Shah had a Boeing 777 simulator at his home in a suburb on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, with easy access to the airport. The simulator, which Shah showed off in photos posted on Facebook, had three computer monitors among other equipment.  

“We used to tease him. We would ask him, why are you bringing your work home,” said a pilot who knew Shah for 20 years.

Shah also collects remote-controlled, miniature aircraft, a sign of his passion for aviation. 

Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation certified Shah to conduct simulator tests for pilots, several officials from the airline said. They said that he couldn’t have been behind whatever happened to the plane. 

“He knew everything about the Boeing 777. Something significant would have had to happen for Zaharie and the plane to go missing. It would have to be total electrical failure,” said another Malaysia Airlines pilot who knew Shah.

The theory of of a dive into the sea from a high altitude was dispelled from a former Malaysia Airlines pilot that now works for another airline. “The Boeing 777 doesn’t just stall like that,” he said. “It is one of the safest planes out there. It doesn’t just fall out of the sky like that.”

This photo taken in April, 2013, shows a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Narita Airport in Narita, near Tokyo. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact with air traffic control early Saturday morning, March 8, 2014 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still haven't located the jetliner days later. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

AP Photo/Kyodo News

Shah may be Muslim, as his niece Dee Hassan said via Twitter that she was praying to God, asking him to protect her uncle. One of her tweets was a retweet of a relative who referred to Allah. 

He is remembered as an active community member who cooked dishes and brought them to neighborhood gatherings, reported the New Straits Times

“You’re lucky if you have a neighbor like him,” said one of his neighbors, Rahim Zainun.

There is 120 houses in Laman Seri, the neighborhood, and everyone was close knit. 

“I have known him since 2008 and we are good friends. Whenever there is a gathering, he always helps out with the food and preparation,” he said. 
“He often brings food that he cooked himself like spaghetti and rice noodles to gatherings. He always makes sure that his wife, kids or somebody will send at least a cake if he cannot attend a kenduri when he is on duty. That is how good a neighbor he is.”

Another neighbor said that he cried when he learned what happened.


Hamid is also a Malaysian.

The 27-year-old joined the airline in 2007. He has 2,763 hours of flight experience.

Fariq is the the youngest son of Selangor Public Works Department deputy director Abdul Hamid Mad Daud, reported the New Straits Times.

Not much is known about Hamid with the focus more on Zaharie, but a shocking revelation emerged this week as a tourist recounted how she and a teenage girlfriend spent an entire flight in the cockpit with Hamid and another pilot in 2011. 

“Throughout the entire flight they were talking to us and they were actually smoking throughout the flight which I don’t think they’re allowed to do,” Jonti Roos told Channel 9.

Roos, a South African who is traveling around Australia, posed for pictures with her friend Jaan Maree and the two pilots.

Jonti Roos (in pink) and missing MH370 pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid. (A Current Affair)

Jonti Roos, in pink, with Fariq Hamid, far right, in a file photo. (Channel 9)

Roos insisted that the pilots were in control. “”I did feel safe. I don’t think there was one instance where I felt threatened or I felt that they didn’t know what they were doing,” she said. 

“The whole time I felt they were very friendly. I felt they were very competent in what they were doing. We wished they would stop smoking because it is such a confined space. But you can’t exactly tell a pilot to stop smoking.” 

Malaysia Airlines investigators are looking into the account.

  • estateguy

    The Boeing 777 is worth $250 million. The profile of the pilot suggests he would love to test his skills for example steal a quarter billion dollar plane and get away with it.

    The changes in the flight plan were right after he signed off with Malaysia ground control which would have been the exact time to turn off all the avionics and take it to a landing location.

    Who wants to buy the plane? Bad guys… maybe al-Qaeda-affiliated Jemaah Islamiyah Islamist terror group. (indonesia al -qaeda)

    What would they do with passengers? Ransom or likely bad stuff…

    But first they need to get the plane away… in hiding.

    Why do they want the plane? 911 type attack but make it even worse… load it with explosives dirty bomb… etc.

    • MandailaOruKuttu

      ok.. sounded like a good family mon, what about his wife and kids? did he put them over $250 mil.. hmmm and what would he do for the rest of his life..in hiding?

      • estateguy

        I am sure the family could “hook up” when the time and place are right. Where he may going he won’t be in hiding. His old life seemed a little boring… some people dig the drama… and love to show off their skills.

        • Sumon Chowdhury

          I think UFO makes more sense than your assumption. No freaking way, you can hide a 777 or fly it without being noticed.

          • estateguy

            There are hundreds of abandoned (WW II relics) airfields in the pacific that are large enough to land this plane. How good can you see in the dark?

            They really weren’t looking for this plane on land until 5 days after the incident. Just because you travel via large, high traffic airports doesn’t mean they need to. All you need to do is stay under 5,000 feet.

            Here is one: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Andaman+and+Nicobar+Islands/@13.2345516,93.0450257,1932m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x3064a00f2b650ff3:0xce80055648fccb2c

          • estateguy

            It’s amazing how naive’ or superficial the reporting on this has been. Everyone who talks about this issue wants to make sure they have a comfy job to come back to in the morning…
            Verbose somewhat intelligently but don’t wander off of the script of the mainstream “group think”.

          • estateguy

            More stupid “analysis” on TV “lets watch the pilots flight simulator path and figure out where he went”. I’m sure the external hard sata drives are long gone. Just ask a 12 year old gamer… about how clever pulling the memory out is.

          • Agamemnon_man

            There are more places to land than runways – even for a plane of this size. Dry lake beds and salt flats would do. For example, Edwards Air Force Base in California, which includes dry lake runways. Another example, the failed Iran hostage rescue attempt in the lates 70’s. The US used a flat part of a desert in Iran for an aircraft staging area – called “Desert One.” The US military landed four large fixed wing aircraft at Desert One. A helicopter crashed into one causing a massive fire and no one in Iran had a clue this was happening at the time.

            Many of these “natural” runways are in extremely remote areas. MH370 had enough range to reach these areas, either in Australia or western China / central Asia.



  • Sue

    Do your research before making scurrilous allegations. Zaharie Shah’s YouTube channel clearly shows that he is a secular athiest and fan of Richard Dawkins, rather than a Muslim.

  • estateguy

    As time passes, the most obvious scenario is the most likely (plane is in the drink due to a mechanical mishap). The plane theft theory I have proposed below only has merit if there is evidence of a demand. Time would not likely be on the “bad guys” side. If there is no insider “leak” in the next 5 days… the most likely case is there is no important news to leak.