Daughter of MH370 pilot returns to Malaysia to await news of father

MELBOURNE - The daughter of the pilot who flew the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was living in Australia when the plane mysteriously vanished from radar screens.

Ms Aishah Zaharie, who lives in Melbourne, has returned to her family in Malaysia as she awaits news of her father, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Australian news website news.com.au reported.

Ms Aishah, 27, graduated from Deakin University in Geelong in 2010 where she studied architecture. Her boyfriend Hazwan Anuar, also from her hometown of Shah Alam in Malaysia, graduated from Deakin University in 2011 with a masters in the same field, reported the website.

Ms Aishah and her boyfriend both studied at the International Islamic University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Victoria, said the report.

A friend of Ms Aishah, who did not want to be named, was quoted as saying that speculation about Capt Zaharie was "killing the family".

"On what the international media wrote about Captain Zaharie is not true (and) ridiculous. He's a nice man and loving father to his children," she said.

"What has been reported in the news by the international media ...very frustrating.

"They (are) waiting to blame the pilot. Speculation like this is killing the family," she added.

The comments come as US intelligence efforts focus on Capt Zaharie and police confiscated the elaborate flight simulator that he had built in his home.

The 53-year-old pilot had previously posted photos online of the simulator, which was made with three large computer monitors and other accessories.

Meanwhile, Ms Aishah has been inundated with support from her wide social network both in Australia and her home country. news.com.au reported.

Malaysian track sprint cyclist Azizulhasni Awang, one of Malaysia's most successful athletes, urged his almost 39,000 Twitter followers to "pray pray pray and keep praying".

"Captain Zaharie is our friend's daddy. (our Melbourne's buddy).Our heart sank upon hearing the appalling news abt #MH370 .Thoughts n prayers goes out to the passengers on board also to their families," he tweeted,

The athlete's wife Tya Boo (@tyailyana) tweeted: "Pray for MH370 ...indeed so sad the pilot is my friend's daddy. Hope Aishah and family bersabar and banyak (patience and a lot of)."

As the search for MH370 entered its tenth day, Capt Zaharie's relatives posted a moving YouTube tribute to the man they love.

The three-minute video features a series of family photographs of Capt Zaharie and call it a "tribute to a man well-loved by many. The guy we all call Ari, Uncle Ari and Tok Manu Ari."

The video clip describes the pilot as "loving, reflective, generous, cool, sporting, intelligent, supportive, the list goes on and on …"

The tribute comes as investigators continue to scrutinise the background or motives of Capt Zaharie and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, and are running checks on all engineers and ground crew who had anything to do with the Boeing 777-200 before it took off in the early hours of March 8.

In the YouTube tribute, the family calls for him to "please come home, we miss you".

"Uncle Ari we patiently and anxiously await your safe return along with the rest of your crew members and passengers. Insyaallah."

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