|(Flight MH370) Malaysian co-pilot went solo on maiden flight
State-owned Malaysia Airlines revealed today that the co-pilot of the missing Boeing 777 flew the aircraft for the first time without a so-called “check co-pilot'' monitoring him.
Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid has come under intense scrutiny, along with Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, also a Malaysian.
The loss-making carrier said Fariq, 27, had come through his initial outings in the 777 model without any issues under a standard arrangement in which a First Officer's first five flights in a new model of plane are done under the watchful eye of a “check co-pilot.’’
“The first five flights, the co-pilot normally flies with what we call the check co-pilot. He actually passed the first five flights. We do not see any problem with him,'' the airlines' chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a daily press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Ahmad Jauhari added that Zaharie, 53, was himself an experienced 777 examiner.
“You must realize that he [Fariq] is flying with an examiner. The captain is a 777 examiner,'' he added, referring to Zaharie.
Fariq, who joined Malaysia Airlines seven years ago, was accused in an Australian television report of allowing two young South African women into the cockpit of a plane he piloted in 2011, breaching rules imposed after the 9/11 attacks in the US.—AFP