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First officer on missing jet was transitioning to 777-200s

By Tom Watkins, CNN
updated 9:53 PM EDT, Sun March 9, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fariq Ab Hamid, 27, had recently switched to the Boeing 777-200
  • He landed it in a flight captured on video last month by CNN
  • It was a textbook-perfect landing, the captain said of Hamid's work

(CNN) -- The first officer aboard Malaysia Airlines MH370 when it disappeared early Saturday from radar was transitioning to work on the Boeing 777-200.

Fariq Ab Hamid, a 27-year-old Malaysian, helped fly the plane from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, where he landed it under the supervision of a senior pilot as well as a safety captain, according to CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest, who was also in the cockpit.

The network was shooting video of the landing for use in a "CNN Business Traveler" program.

"It was interesting to watch the way he brought the aircraft in to land," Quest recalled about the February 19 landing, which the captain described as textbook-perfect.

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Hamid, who has 2,763 flying hours, joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007. He had been flying another jet and was transitioning to the Boeing 777-200 after having completed training in a flight simulator.

The airline's first officers are trained to the same standards as the captains, Quest said he was told by airline officials. "The captain was very much in control, but the first officer was flying the aircraft."

The missing plane was piloted by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old Malaysian with 18,365 flying hours who joined the airline in 1981.

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