THE pilot of doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 flight was agitated and had ‘frayed nerves’ after his political hero was jailed just hours before the plane mysteriously disappeared.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was widely reported by close friends and family as being distracted, agitated and withdrawn in the weeks before the aircraft’s disappearance.
Mystery surrounds what happened to the Boeing 777 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, which disappeared with 239 people on board from radars over the South China Sea shortly after take-off in March 2014.
In July last year, investigators released a 495-page report, saying the plane’s controls were likely deliberately manipulated to take it off course.
The responsibly for the plane’s route off course has largely been placed in the hands of its troubled married 53-year-old pilot.
Shah’s background and turbulent state of mind before the flight has been the focus for much of the evidence.
‘SOLITARY & SILENT’
His wife, Faizah Khanum, revealed he spent solitary hours on his flight simulator and stopped talking to her before the death-dive crash.
Over the course of several interviews, she told police how her husband became increasingly distracted in the months leading up to the flight.
“I found him distant and difficult to understand”’ she said.
She told investigators that although they continued to live in the same house, Zaharie spent his time alone.
Faizah said her husband was so withdrawn he hardly spoke to his sons and was not close to them.
She revealed how he always spent time alone in his room with the simulator he had built himself.
It’s since been claimed he rehearsed the plane’s fatal flight on the home-made device.
Faizah said: “He just retreated into a shell”.
The mother-of-three said she became worried as her husband increasingly became distracted and withdrawn as their marriage crumbled.
Shah had reportedly refused pleas to attend marriage counselling sessions to improve the relationship, and is said to have had extramarital affairs.
His daughter Aishah was also interviewed in detail by police in Kuala Lumpur.
The 28-year-old said during her final conversation with her dad she barely recognised him.
She said: “He wasn’t the father I knew. He seemed disturbed and lost in a world of his own.”
Alarming testimonies from friends also pointed towards his fragile and concerning behaviour.
One friend described how the pilot would pace the empty rooms of his home in Malaysia like a caged tiger.
Shah criticised the Malaysian government more than 100 times on social media, including branding then-Prime Minister Najib Razak a “moron” on Facebook.
He was a fervent supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, a pro-democracy icon in Malaysia who was jailed for five years for sodomy hours before Flight MH370 took off for the final time.
His daughter Aishah also told investigators she knew from friends in Kuala Lumpur he was upset and felt ‘utter frustration’ over the jail sentence given to Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar’s supporters believe it was a politically motivated prosecution.
A group of aviation experts assembled for the Australian TV programme 60 Minutes, broadcast in May 2018.
They claimed they may have solved the aviation mystery.
They all agreed that Shah “deliberately” ditched the plane in the Indian Ocean west of Australia.
Former Australia Transport Safety Bureau head Martin Dolan added: “This was planned, this was deliberate, and it was done over an extended period of time.”
MH370 – WHAT HAPPENED?
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur and was heading to Beijing with 239 people on board.
Passengers included Chinese calligraphers, a couple on their way home to their young sons after a long-delayed honeymoon and a construction worker who hadn’t been home in a year.
But at 12.14am on March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines lost contact with MH370 close to Phuket island in the Strait of Malacca.
Before that, Malaysian authorities believe the last words heard from the plane, from either the pilot or co-pilot, was “Good night Malaysian three seven zero”.
Satellite “pings” from the aircraft suggest it continued flying for around seven hours when the fuel would have run out.
Experts have calculated the most likely crash site around 1,000 miles west of Perth, Australia.
But a huge search of the seabed failed to find any wreckage – and there are a number of alternative theories as to its fate.
Flight MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah[/caption]
Captain Zaharie was said to be in emotional turmoil over the impending break-up of his marriage[/caption]