The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 co-pilot once invited two young women to hang out with him and the pilot in the cockpit of a flight three years ago, in what would be a blatant violation of normal security procedures. Investigators in the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines plane are now looking into the woman’s claims.
But the woman, Jonti Roos, a young South African living in Melbourne, Australia, told the Australian TV program A Current Affair that she has photographs of herself with Fariq Ab Hamid — co-pilot on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — from that short, hour-long flight from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur in 2011.
Malaysia Airlines released a statement after Roos’s allegations went out over the air, saying it was “shocked” by the apparently careless behavior by Hamid, but cautioning, “We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.”
The Roos story raises some serious questions about what might have been taking place on the flight deck of Flight 370, more than two years later.
“Throughout the entire flight they were talking to us, and they were actually smoking throughout the flight,” Roos said on the TV program.
She said that she and her friend, Jaan Maree, also South African, spoke to each other in the Afrikaans language, wishing the pilots would put out their cigarettes because as non-smokers, they were bothered by the smoke in the enclosed cabin.
“I know for the whole time they weren’t facing the front of the plane and actually flying,” Roos said, adding that other pilot — whose name was not revealed and was not the other Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 pilot — stroked her friend’s hand and made flattering remarks about her nail polish.
The pilots at one point asked the young women to stay a few days in Kuala Lumpur rather than proceed directly home, which struck Roos as “a bit sleazy,” she said.
Nonetheless, Roos said, “I felt they were very competent in what they were doing.”
Hamid, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 co-pilot, sent Roos a Facebook message later, wishing her a safe flight back to Australia.