Co-pilot spared MH370 tragedy but not MH17

KOTA BARU - The family of co-pilot Ahmad Hakimi Hanapi was spared the agony of losing him when Flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

This was because he switched places with first officer Fariq Abdul Hamid in the last minute.

Four months later, however, Ahmad Hakimi, in his 20s, was on the doomed MH17 flight that went down in hostile Ukraine territory on July 17.

This dealt a terrible blow to his family here.

Speaking of his grandson, 80-year-old Daud Ahmad, said he was relieved when he learned that Ahmad Hakimi was not on the ill-fated MH370.

"But this time, he has perished and I feel very, very sad," sobbed the grandfather.

"He is a good grandson who was always concerned about his mo­­­-ther," said Daud.

"He would allocate a portion of his salary to his mother's Tabung Haji account and gave me money to spend each month," he said.

He also revealed that Ahmad Hakimi recently gave extra money to repair the house.

"I accept the fate that I will never see my grandson again," added a distraught visibly Daud during a visit by Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob to his home in Kedai Melor yesterday.