Captain Zaharie Shah/Official Profile
MH370 Pilot-In-Command Official Profile
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was the Pilot-In-Command (PIC) on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which went missing on Saturday, 8 March 2014.
This article reproduces the official profile of the Pilot-In-Command from the Safety Investigation Report MH370/01/2018 .
The PIC was born in the Island of Penang. He completed his Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) - the equivalent of the United Kingdom Ordinary (UK ‘O’) Level - at the Penang Free School, where he sat for his MCE Examination in 1978. In 1981 he was accepted as a Cadet Pilot with MAS under the sponsorship of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), a People’s Trust Council of the Malaysian Government.
1) Personal Profile of Pilot-in-Command
|Marital Status||Married with 3 children|
|Date of joining MAS||15 June 1981|
|Licence country of issues||Malaysia|
|Licence type||Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL)|
|Validity Period of Licence||14 May 2014|
|Medical Certificate||First Class (valid until 30 June 2014)|
|Aeronautical experience||18423:40 hours|
|Experience on type||8659:40 hours|
|Last 24 hours||0:00:00 hours|
|Last 72 hours||07:00:00 hours|
|Last 07 days||20:39:00 hours|
|Last 28 days||91:04:00 hours|
|Last 90 days||303:09:00 hours|
|Last line check||08 April 2013|
|Instrument rating check||15 November 2013|
|Last proficiency||15 November 2013|
|Last promotion||B777 Captain (22 September 1998)|
The PIC was sent to Manila in the Philippines to be provided ab-initio pilot training and graduated 2 years later with a Commercial Pilot Licence & Instrument Rating (CPL & IR). He joined MAS as a Second Officer in 1983 and was posted on the F27 where he obtained his initial airline flying experience. He was then posted to the B737-200 in 1985, thereafter the A300B4, and stayed on as First Officer (FO) until March 1990. In July 1990 he was promoted to captain and took his first command on the F50 aircraft.
By the end of 1991 he was promoted to Captain on the B737-400 until December 1996. His next promotion was to the A330-300 and stayed on the fleet until September 1998 when he was promoted to the B777- 200ER fleet until the day of the event. By virtue of his good track record and seniority he was made a Type Rating Instructor (TRI) and Type Rating Examiner (TRE) on this present fleet effective November 2007.
The PIC’s flying record for the last 72 hours and preceding 28 days’ cycle were well within the Company’s specified limits. His last flight as an operating PIC was to Denpasar, Bali, in the Republic of Indonesia on 03 March 2014. This was a daily return flight with a sector time of approximately 3 hours. On the day of the event, he was conducting training for the FO who was functionally checked out.
2) Royal Malaysia Police’s Report on Flight Simulator of PIC
The Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) seized the PIC’s home flight simulator from the residence of the PIC on 15 March 2014.
The RMP Forensic Report dated 19 May 2014 documented more than 2,700 coordinates retrieved from separate file fragments and most of them are default game coordinates.
It was also discovered that there were seven ‘manually programmed’ waypoint4 coordinates (Figure 1.5A below), that when connected together, will create a flight path from KLIA to an area south of the Indian Ocean through the Andaman Sea. These coordinates were stored in the Volume Shadow Information (VSI) file dated 03 February 2014. The function of this file was to save information when a computer is left idle for more than 15 minutes. Hence, the RMP Forensic Report could not determine if the waypoints came from one or more files.
The RMP Forensic Report on the simulator also did not find any data that showed the aircraft was performing climb, attitude or heading manoeuvres, nor did they find any data that showed a similar route flown by MH370.
The RMP Forensic Report concluded that there were no unusual activities other than game-related flight simulations.
4 ‘Manually programmed waypoints’ - Manually programmed waypoints are waypoints that are not published in Airway Charts
Figure 1.5A - Snapshot of Seven Manually Programmed ‘Waypoints’
Source: Royal Malaysia Police
Source: Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370, 02 July 2018, Safety Investigation Report MH370/01/2018
- Captain Shah Career Summary (A chronology developed from the above official profile.)
- Captain Shah's Flight Simulator
- RMP Forensic Investigation - a description of the forensic investigation by the Royal Malaysia Police to determine if there was any information on Zaharie Shah's flight simulator which could relate to the flight MH370.