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A friend and fellow pilot of Malaysia Airlines flight 730 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is speculating that Shah’s recent marital woes may have pushed him to take the doomed flight on a tragic “joy ride.” According to the friend, who has decided to remain nameless, Shah’s wife’s decision to move out with his children may have “rattled” him. On top of that, the long-term friend adds that Shah was experiencing problems in his relationship with another woman that he was seeing.

“He’s one of the finest pilots, around and I’m no medical expert, but with all that was happening in his life Zaharie was probably in no state of mind to be flying,” the friend told the New Zealand  Herald.

The friend speculates that Shah may have taken advantage of the opportunity to take the plane to a part of the world he’d never flown in before and “do things in a plane he had previously been able to do only on a simulator.”

“It is very possible that neither the passengers nor the other crew on-board knew what was happening until it was too late,” he added.

He did, however, dismiss previous speculation that Shah was a terrorist

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