Missing Malaysia Airlines Pilot Entertained Women in Cockpit

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 02:43 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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The first officer on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight invited two young women into the cockpit in 2011 for an entire flight, where Fariq Abdul Hamid, the co-pilot, smoked cigarettes and flirted while flying the plane, according to the London Evening Standard.

Jonti Roos told Australian television’s "A Current Affair" that she and her friend, Jaan Maree, stood in line to board the flight from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur when Hamid, 27, and the other pilot walked past and then came back and invited the women to join them in the cockpit for the one-hour, international flight.

The women sat in jump seats for takeoff and landing and snapped pictures together, one with Maree wearing a pilot’s cap, according to the report.

Malaysia Airlines has issued a statement on its website saying it is "shocked" by the allegations and is investigating.

"We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident," according to the statement. "As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted."

Early Saturday, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, bound for Beijing, disappeared from radar screens somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam. The Boeing 777-200ER carried 239 people, 227 passengers, and 12 crew members. Five of the passengers were younger than 5 years old, according to CNN.

CNN also reported that three U.S. citizens were on the flight. The passengers also included employees of an unidentified American semiconductor company.

Roos, who is South African, told "A Current Affair" that despite Hamid and his colleague paying so much attention to her and her friend – at one point she said the men were "pretty much turned around the whole time in their seats talking to us" – she never feared for her safety.

"I did feel safe," she said. "I don’t think there was one instance where I felt threatened, or I felt that they didn’t know what they were doing."

What most concerned the women was the cigarette smoke.

"We wished they would stop smoking because it is such a confined space. But you can’t exactly tell a pilot to stop smoking."

The pilots asked the women to change their travel plans to join the men for a few nights in Kuala Lumpur, she said.

Roos said she came forward to offer any information that might help the investigation.

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