Nightly News   |  March 15, 2014

Investigators Search Missing Malaysia Jet Pilot’s Home

Police are investigating the men who were at the helm of the missing Malaysia jet.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it was a deliberate act the question is now who in the cockpit is calling the shots. in a search for answers, the malaysian authorities is trying to question them. keir simmons has more from kuala lumpur .

>> reporter: good evening, lester , a stunning development here, the very job for the pilots whose job is to protect their passengers at all cost, they're under investigation by police. police were in the home of pilots whose responsibility was to fly flight 370 safely. they left the co-pilots' houses after two hour, apparently with two family members. earlier the same detectors left the pilots' house, and searching their home. the pilot, zaharie shah was in his 50s, he lives in an upscale neighborhood with his family. in his home, he has a flight simulator , the co-pilot, fariq hamid is said to be engaged and a very private, quiet man.

>> he is a very nice man, he comes, goes to work, then when he comes back, he says hello, hi, that is all.

>> reporter: detectives will have many questions about the men in the cockpit, what motivation might they have for hijacking their own plane? have either of them been behaving strangely in weeks, and perhaps crucially the investigators will examine the simulator in the pilot's home to see what kind of flights he had been flying out.

>> you can potentially go back and look at previously flown routes on a simulator, and in that sense, law enforcement if they found a route similar to the one this plane took that would certainly be critical evidence for the investigation going forward.

>> reporter: all the passengers and crew on flight 370 are being investigated as the devastated families wait for news. after today i have high hopes that the government will find the aircraft says a father whose son is on board. one key to discovering where the plane is might be establishing who was flying it. and why. tonight, i have been told that the pilot's flight simulator was taken from his house by detectives. could it be crucial to this investigator, lester ?

>> all right, keir simmons , thank you for more on the search and the investigation we're joined by michael lighter, also greg fife, former senior air safety investigator for the ntsb, michael let me begin with you, we just heard the flight simulator for the pilots has been taken into custody, i know you have the people with known links to potential terror groups, here you have two who appear to be upstanding pilots. how do you even start to peel the onion?

>> it is very difficult, lester , this investigation has gone down other paths, you start with the usual suspects now. it is what kier talked about. talking to the family and friends , going through computers and seeing if there was any indication on the relationships or the communications which could give a motivation or suggestion that people had been thinking about this before the plane took off.

>> other than knowing it is a deliberate act everything seems to be on the table, so i'll go ahead and ask you, has the u.s. intelligence community ever gained a scenario where a plane is not just hijacked or stolen perhaps to be used for some other nefarious purpose in the future?

>> the intelligence community was criticized post-9/11 for failure to use imagination, after that we did all sorts of war gaming for different sorts of act. and i have to admit as bizarre as some of those were we did nothing like this. and in that sense i still do think the idea of this plane being taken and landed for some future act is still a very, very, very unlikely possibility.

>> all right, greg fife, let me turn to you. this harass been brilliant technical work to use the pings to determine how far the plane traveled. but have we reached the limits of technology? is there any other technology in the bag of tricks that could pick up any information