Personal Lives of Pilots Could Provide Clues to Missing Malaysian Plane

The investigation into Flight MH 370's disappearance starts to focus on the lives of its crew.
3:00 | 03/16/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Personal Lives of Pilots Could Provide Clues to Missing Malaysian Plane
First, we have a lot of new details to tell you about in what has become the world's most baffling aviation mystery ever. The investigation focusing on the pilot and the co-pirate. The captain Ahmed shah. There are questions this morning about his ties to a controversial political party. And the co-pilot, fariq abhamid, who lived at home with his parents. Friends and family say he was religion and serious about his career. He had 2,700 hours of flying. And officials were shocked when they saw him flying with young ladies in the cockpit during flight. The search area is now massive. It's focused on two, huge areas. The red arcs you see on your screen. A northern arc stretches over land, from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. And the southern arc, into the Indian ocean. 25 countries now involved in this huge search. Of course, we have team coverage this morning. We start with a closer look at the men behind the controls of flight 370. And whether anything in their personal lives provide clues into this great mystery. Bob woodruff is in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. We learned that the pilots did not make a special request for fuel. The investigators are looking at all those onboard, especially those with aviation experience. This morning, investigators are digging deeper into information about the crew members, engineers, ground crew, passengers and the two pilots. Investigators, in unmarked cars, spent the last two days going in and out of the gated neighborhood, for the 53-year-old pilot, captain Ahmed shah. Four security guards keeping reporters from getting in. You're not allowed anybody in? Any media in? No way? They're concentrating on his flight simulator inside his house. Studying two laptops found inside. A friend of his, peter Chong, told me today, the captain is considered a tech geek, who invited other friends to play with it. To do things off the counter and set up his own flight simulator. Yeah. And something he's proud of. Reporter: In addition to technology, Chong says he loves cooking. Even building this soccer goal for kids. But also politics. Peter is the private secretary of the opposition party. And zaharie is a member. Despite this t-shirt, democracy is dead, he says the pilot is far from extreme. We both know position in the party. Reporter: Last night, police searched the home of the co-pilot looking for clues. But hours before the police arrived, we watched his two brothers leave with a box of noodles and drinks. As for personality, according to Australia's channel 9, "A current affair," invited these women in the cockpit in 2011. His friends who grew up in his hometown, as a rising singer and insist that fariq is completely innocent. Fariq is a very nice guy. And he's too young. So, I don't think he's involved. Reporter: The families are closely watching every piece of information. The brother of American passenger, Phillip wood, says, they are just waiting too long. We've gone from shock and disbelief, to sadness, to a little bit of anger, frankly. And I think there's a little bit of a drive to get some answers. We're trying really hard to understand what's going on. Reporter: There's more information this morning, as welt, about that flight simulator. They did remove those two laptops. But they also took out the simulator itself, to take it apart and reassusemble it again to see what they can find. Searching for my clues. Bob, our thanks to you. And taking control of the Malaysian airlines jet would require strong knowledge of the aircraft. Was there anyone onboard that could know how to operate the plane's sophisticated system. Pierre Thomas has more from Washington. What are you hearing? Reporter: Good morning. U.s. Intelligence has been looking at the passengers and crew for a week now. Malaysian officials say they continue to investigate passengers. But sources tell us the pilots are one of the early primary focuses. The reason? A plane did a series of maneuvers and may have been trying to evade radar. There's been no evidence any of the other passengers and crew had significant flight training. So, what do they know now, Pierre? Reporter: They're relying on the Malaysians for information. But the FBI has not been invited inside the country to help on the ground. And some in the U.S. Government are perplexed by the Malaysians seem to be so slow in their investigation. Pierre, thank you. To the other major angle on this story. The massive search for the plane itself. This morning, investigators are scrambling to get a clearer picture of the plane's last-known maneuvers to try to zero in on the best place to look for it. ABC's David Kerley is in Washington with more on that. David, good morning. Reporter: What's unusual, is we got some satellite pings. They have set up a couple of corridors that normally we wouldn't have known about. And let me show you where those are. One goes to the north and one goes to the south. This is not gps. They couldn't say exactly where the aircraft was. But it is the southern route that investigators are concentrating on. One source tells us, they believe that this aircraft went off the grid and into the ocean some place off Australia. And that's where they will be concentrating. And one more important information, that we have learned that this was a deliberate act. This morning, we have learned from one source that the first dramatic turn off course by the Malaysian 777 was preprogrammed. Whatever was at the controls, programmed that hard left turn. Followed by turning off two critical communication systems, as first reported by ABC news. Somebody made this happen. And somebody had to sophisticated flying skills, probably for the 777. The suspicion falls on the two pilots. Reporter: And law enforcement is saying basically, the same thing. While a hijacking has not been ruled out, pilot suicide is getting a lot of attention. Part of the reason, the way the jet was flown. Turning left, then west, but then where? Satellite communications suggest wide paths. But then likely, it headed south, into the Indian ocean. Flying almost six hours after it was last seen on radar. It's consistent with someone who wanted to vanish from the face of the Earth. And make sure the crash site was never found. Reporter: Did one of the pilots kill the other? It's possible. Why didn't the passengers rebel? Whoever was flying could have depressurized the cabin. Those oxygen masks only work for a few minutes. With the search narrowed off the west coast of Australia, finding this jet is not going to be easy. It's going to take some luck to find any evidence at all. Reporter: As I say, investigators tell us say they are looking off Australia. The southern route is the most likely. A puzzling piece of information came out this morning. Apparently whoever was in control, shut off one of the communication systems before getting on the radio and telling the air traffic controllers in Malaysia, good night. If you're trying to be dark, and basically disappear, this is a strange little piece of information we got this morning. Another strange piece of information. David Kerley, thanks for tracking all of this for us. Let's bring in Steve ganyard. We have 25 countries involved in this search. Given the huge swath of the planet they're looking at here, what are the odds they'll find anything? Quite well. And every day we go on, the odds get lower because this is a vast area we have to look at. David pointed out today, they were finally starting to focus on the southern cone. But that's a wide-open Indian ocean. With depths of 15,000 feet. We have about 20 days left before that pinger runs out. It will be really tough to find it. Are there any places, any islands, where they could have landed the plane? Short answer is no. They were so far out, so far west of Australia, perhaps 1,000 miles out to the west of Australia. And they were at the very limit of their gas. There wasn't enough gas to get anywhere. I find that -- I'm sure a lot of people will agree, hard to compute. If you're smart enough and qualified to evade radar and fly for that length of time and that length -- that span of distance, why just crash it into the ocean? Why not land it? This is the question of motive. And your guess is as good as mine. We haven't seen any political statements. Is it terrorism? Is it a statement about internal politics? Was an insurance scheme going on here? Your guess is as good as mine right now, Dan. Have you ever seen anything like this? This gets more bizarre and more mysterious every day. We need some answers. And they're not going to come until we find the black boxes. Which you said, we may never find them. We may never. Steve ganyard, we appreciate your guidance throughout this. Imagine how devastating this is for all of the loved ones. Brutal. Thank you. We're going to turn, now, to the latest on the crisis in crimea, where tensions are high,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":22931165,"title":"Personal Lives of Pilots Could Provide Clues to Missing Malaysian Plane","duration":"3:00","description":"The investigation into Flight MH 370's disappearance starts to focus on the lives of its crew.","url":"/GMA/video/personal-lives-pilots-provide-clues-missing-malaysian-plane-22931165","section":"GMA","mediaType":"default"}