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Friday, March 28, 2014

MAS pilots undergo medical tests yearly


Malaysia Airlines pilots go through medical tests, including an interview to assess their psychological well-being, at least once a year, MAS said.

"On the psychological testing (we do it) when we take in new pilots on board and it is something we normally check yearly and six-monthly, depending on how old they are, on their medical (checks)...

"That is done with interviews with aviation doctors," MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told reporters at the daily press conference today.
Asked if pilots Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and First Officer Fariq Ab Hamid knew each other prior to flying MH370, Ahmad Jauhari said the pilots are rostered for duty through an “automatic”system.

“Whether they know each other before this or not, we have a large community of pilots...there are thousands of them,” he said.

This follows unverified claims in the foreign press that Zaharie was battling marital issues and was possibly psychologically unfit to fly, as well as that he is the only one on board who could perform the complex manouveres taken by the jet.

On a separate matter, Ahmad Jauhari said that MAS is “in discussion” with code share partner China Southern Airlines, which had also sold tickets for MH370 under its code CZ748.

MAS is also talking with “various legal parties” and the families on insurance payouts but this would be pursuant to discovery of the wreckage for evidence purposes.

“We have been requested by family members to identify the evidence affirmatively. That means they want to see evidence in terms of the aircraft... this is why the search is intensified,” he said.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (centre in picture), also at the press conference, added that cabinet has decided to ask the Attorney-General's Chambers to look into all legal matters.

Asked on the families of Chinese passengers' request for Beijing to set up its own investigations, Hishammuddin said that Putrajaya and Beijing has been sharing information all the while.

“We cooperate closely with Beijing. Whatever information we have we share with Beijing and what Beijing has, it shares with us.

“We understand that emotions are running high, but we will continue to engage the families (in China). A high-level group is now in Beijing, and we will continue to approach families of passengers and crew, especially now that we have yet to find any related debris,” he said.

Ignore speculations, Chinese families told

He also said that police will not be releasing information about their investigations into criminal matters possibly related to the missing flight to appease families, if it jeopardises the probe.

He added that the families' reactions are also “complex” and they cannot be expected to “calm down” should police release the information.

As such, he urged the Chinese families to “not listen to speculation” that could raise emotions.

“These are their loved ones. I have children, brothers, family member. I know what they have to go through.

“I would like to say to the Chinese families, that it is not just they who are looking for family members. Malaysia and 14 other nations too have lost family members,” he said.

This comes as families of the 152 Chinese passengers on board conducted a mass walkout from MAS and Malaysia's briefing in the capital today.

“One relative stayed and asked Malaysian officials if lives are more important than national interest and left without hearing the answer,” Singapore's Straits Times' Foreign Desk reported earlier today.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with Flight MH370 at 1.30am on March 8. The plane was carrying 239 passenger and crew en route Beijing, most of them Chinese nationals.

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