Revealed: MH370 pilot's 'self-destructive', 'unusual' behaviour before final flight

A new investigation into missing airplane MH370 says the pilot displayed "self-destructive and obsessive" behavior that Malaysian Airlines should have paid more attention to.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was pilot-in-command of the flight which vanished on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board.

There are a number of theories as to why the plane disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, including that Captain Shah hijacked the flight as a political protest - an idea dismissed by Malaysian authorities.

But an investigation by News Corp would seem to support that theory, revealing Captain Shah's bizarre social media behaviour in the months before the plane disappeared.

The 53-year-old published rants on Facebook against the Malaysian government which owns Malaysian Airlines, putting his own career in jeopardy. He once called then Prime Minister Najib Razak a "moron", and posted 119 anti-government comments over the course of one month in 2013.

Shah was a supporter of the Malaysia People's Justice Party, and was distantly related to the party's leader, who was jailed for sodomy in 2015.

His sole profile picture was a selfie taken in Auckland Harbour, the ferry building clearly visible behind him.

In addition to airing his fiery political views, Shah - who was married - used Facebook to contact women much younger than himself, namely twin sisters and models Lan Qi Hui and Lan Qi Min, who were 21 at the time.

In the year before MH370 disappeared, Shah left 97 comments for Qi Min in particular, often of a sexual nature. He repeatedly asked her to come to Kuala Lumpur where he lived with his wife, and often called her "tasty" and "gorgeous".

Most of his suggestive comments went ignored.

Award-winning Australian journalist Paul Toohey authored the investigation, claiming that Shah "exhibited self-destructive and obsessive online behavior that should have raised a red flag with Malaysia Airlines".

Psychologist Paul Dickens, who specialises in the mental health of commercial airline pilots, agrees that Shah was displaying some concerning signs.

"What you're seeing is a degree of obsessional behaviour mixed with recklessness, which is unusual for a pilot. He had a degree of obsessional behavior about the politics and the girl."

Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas has also weighed in on the findings, telling Australia's Daily Telegraph that Shah should have been fired.

"It should have raised serious alarm bells with the airline that you have someone flying who has such strong anti-government views," he said.

"If a Qantas pilot did something like that, he would be spoken to and grounded."

Malaysia's final report into the crash was released in July 2018, and did not mention Shah's Facebook activity.