Missing jet's pilots had firm community ties - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Missing jet's pilots had firm community ties

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HELSINKI (AP) - More details are emerging about the pilots of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane -- as police look into their psychological background, their family life and their connections.

There is no evidence linking the men to any wrongdoing. But officials have said that whoever was flying the plane after its last communication with controllers was likely someone with aviation skills.

Both pilots are described as respectable, community-minded men.

The younger one -- 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid -- has drawn the greatest scrutiny, after it was revealed that he and another pilot once invited two female passengers to sit in the cockpit on a flight from Thailand to Malaysia. The airline says it's shocked by that report, and is investigating. The head of a mosque near his home describes him as a "good boy, a good Muslim, humble and quiet."

The other pilot, 53-year-old Zahharie Ahmad Shah, joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and had more than 18,000 hours of experience. His Facebook page shows an aviation enthusiast who flew remote-controlled aircraft. He was also known as an enthusiastic handyman who posted YouTube videos on how to make home repairs.

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