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Tag Archives: Malaysia Airlines

The Netherlands has now identified 262 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17, one was found wearing an oxygen mask

Malaysia MH 17 Flight Route Map

The investigation in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in the Ukraine continues with the Government of the Netherlands taking the lead. According to this report by CNN, one passenger was found wearing an oxygen mask suggesting the passenger had time to don the mask. The shoot down and crash occurred in the pro-Russian rebel portions of the eastern Ukraine (see above) near Donetsk.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

On October 3, 2014 the Government of the Netherlands issued this statement about the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine.

It was announced that a further 11 victims of the MH 17 air disaster have been identified. Of these 11 victims, 8 were Dutch nationals and 3 were nationals of other countries. This brings the total number of victims of the disaster now identified to 262.

The next of kin of these victims have been informed. The mayors of the municipalities in which the victims lived will also be notified if, when consulted, the next of kin express a desire for this to be done. At the request of the relevant countries’ embassies, the nationalities of the identified victims who were not from the Netherlands has not been disclosed.

A team of specialists is currently hard at work on identifying victims of the disaster. However, as was previously stressed, it may take some time before all the victims have been identified. The media will be provided with periodic updates on the progress made.

On July 17, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashed in the Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. On board were 283 passengers and 15 crew members. Among the passengers were 196 Dutch citizens.

Map: PM3/Wikipedia Creative Commons.

Flight routes of MH 17 and Singapore Airlines flight SQ 351 including airspace restrictions.

Route of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 on July 17, 2014 at 12:55 to 13:20 UTC, and Singapore Airlines flight SQ 351 at 13:08 to 13:27 UTC; flight data from Flightradar24 (MH 17, SQ 351), rendered map from OpenStreetMap; restricted airspace zones as to NOTAMs A1383/14 and A1492/14.

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ATSB issues an update for the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 10.2014 Search Area

Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) has issued an update dated October 8 for the search of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. The ATSB believes the Boeing 777-200 ran out of fuel and spiraled down in the southern Indian Ocean. The ATSB is refining its search data using all available data. The search is likely to move further south. The ASTB issued this executive summary:

On March 8, 2014, flight MH 370, a Boeing 777- 200 ER registered 9M-MRO, lost contact with Air Traffic Control during a transition between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace. An analysis of radar data and subsequent satellite communication (SATCOM) system signalling messages placed the aircraft in the Australian search and rescue zone on an arc in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. This arc was considered to be the location close to where the aircraft’s fuel was exhausted.

Refinements to the analysis of both the satellite and flight data have been continuing since the loss of MH 370. The analysis has been undertaken by a team from the UK, US, Australia and Malaysia working both independently and collaboratively. Priority, medium and wide search areas were provided in the ATSB’s MH 370 – Definition of Underwater Search Areas (June report).

The latest analysis indicate that the next, underwater, phase of the search should be prioritized further south within the wide search area.

Work is continuing with refinements to the analysis of the SATCOM data. This ongoing work may result in changes to the prioritization and locale of search activity over the period of the underwater search.

End-of-flight scenarios:

To estimate and have confidence in a reasonable search area width, it is important to understand the aircraft system status at the time of the SATCOM transmission from the aircraft at 0019.29 (log-on request), and the variations in aircraft behaviour and trajectory that were possible from that time.

The log-on request recorded at the final arc occurred very near the estimated time of fuel exhaustion. The recorded BFO values indicated that the aircraft could have been descending at that time. Aircraft systems analysis, in particular the electrical system and autoflight system, has been ongoing. In support of the systems analysis, the aircraft manufacturer and the operator have observed and documented various end-of-flight scenarios in their B777 simulators.

The simulator activities involved fuel exhaustion of the right engine followed by flameout of the left engine with no control inputs. This scenario resulted in the aircraft entering a descending spiralling low bank angle left turn and the aircraft entering the water in a relatively short distance after the last engine flameout. However when consideration of the arc tolerances, log on messages and simulator activities are combined, it indicates that the aircraft may be located within relatively close proximity to the arc. Whilst the systems analysis and simulation activities are ongoing, based on the analysis to date, the search area width described in the June report remains reasonable with the underwater search to commence at the 7th arc and progress outwards both easterly and westerl

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile CEO Tim Clark of Emirates believes the aircraft was always under control and may not be in the southern Indian Ocean. Tim Clark gave an interview to Der Spiegel. Read his comments here on the investigation from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Maps: Google Earth.

Below: Google Earth/Flight path reconstruction group:

ATSB 10.2014 MH 370 Search Area

The ATSB issues an update on the search for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 including new underwater photos of the search area

N:gavGEOGRAPHIC14-8592 - MH370 for CNN - M Holland14-8592-1.

The Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) has issued this update on the on-going search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370:

At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. All the available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

The complexities surrounding the search cannot be understated. It involves vast areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information. While it is impossible to determine with certainty where the aircraft may have entered the water, all the available data and analysis indicates a highly probable search area close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

MH 370 Operational Search Update September 24, 2014

This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH 370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH 370 as quickly as possible.

Bathymetric survey

The bathymetric survey provides a map of the ocean floor to ensure the safe and effective operation of equipment during the underwater search.

Over 106,000 square kilometers of the wide search area have been surveyed (see map below).

ATSB MH 370 Map 1 (LRW)

The priorities for the search will continue to be reviewed and will change over time.

Ship movements

After resupply in Fremantle, Fugro Equator commenced passage back to the search area on September 19 and arrived on September 24 to recommence survey work in the search area in preparation for the underwater search.

On September 20, the Chinese survey vessel Zhu Kezhen completed her MH 370 search mission and commenced return passage to China.

The Chinese support vessel Haixun 01 continued to be stationed at the Port of Fremantle for repairs.

Weather

A series of cold fronts will move through to the south of the area over the next four days. A significant front will approach from the west on Friday. Sea conditions between sea states 2 and 7 are expected over the next three to four days.

Underwater search

Vessels involved in the search are being jointly funded by Malaysia and Australia. Fugro Discovery and Fugro Equator (which is currently being used to survey the search area) are Fugro Survey Pty Ltd vessels, and the GO Phoenix has equipment and experts provided by Phoenix International (Phoenix).

Ship movements

Mobilization of search assets is already under way. GO Phoenix received fit-out work in Jakarta in preparation for the sea and weather conditions it is likely to encounter in the search area. GO Phoenix departed Jakarta on September 23 for the calibration area and is expected to arrive at the allocated underwater search area on October 1. GO Phoenix will search there for around 20 days before sailing to Fremantle to be resupplied.

Fugro Discovery has completed fit-out work in Durban, South Africa and commenced passage to Australia. The vessel is expected to arrive in Fremantle on October 2, whereupon search equipment and a mission crew are expected to be mobilized.

Fugro Equator, the vessel currently being used to survey the search area, is expected to be mobilized as a search vessel when its bathymetric work is complete around the end of October.

Planning

The ATSB, in consultation with the contracted search experts, is in the process of finalizing the initial plan for the underwater search, to be followed and referred to by all parties involved in the underwater search. The comprehensive plan for the underwater search will include a sequence of priority areas. The first area to be searched has already been surveyed to ensure an accurate understanding of the sea floor topography.

Search priorities

From early in the search, analysis has consistently indicated a very high probability of finding the aircraft along a defined arc in the southern Indian Ocean (where the aircraft last communicated with a ground station through a satellite). This is where the aircraft is assessed to have run out of fuel.

Since then, complex, ground-breaking technical analysis of limited communications data and aircraft flight information has been developed and refined. This work has concentrated on determining the point on the seventh arc that the aircraft was most likely to have reached. This will enable a prioritized search effort in areas along the seventh arc.

ATSB MH 370 Map 2 (LRW)

Map: The Seventh Arc in the southern Indian Ocean.

Recent refinement to the analysis has given greater certainty about when the aircraft turned south into the Indian Ocean and has produced a better understanding of the parameters within which the satellite ground station was operating during the last flight of MH 370.

Based on these refinements, the Search Strategy Working Group is finalizing its latest assessment of the highest priority areas for the search, which will most likely extend south of the previous ‘orange’ priority area.

Top Image: ATSB. Three-dimensional model of the sea floor terrain in the search area.

New book claims the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 was due to a suicidal pilot

Book-Goodnight Malaysian 370 (LRW)

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 is still missing. No part of the Boeing 777-200 ER or its 239 passengers and crew members have been discovered or even located. The search for MH 370 continues in the remote Indian Ocean. This new book by New Zealand pilot Ewan Wilson and journalist Geoff Taylor presents a theory that some have suspected in the aviation community.

Description by Amazon:

The unbelievable facts behind the loss of Flight 370 will shock the travelling public. The book by New Zealand pilot Ewan Wilson and journalist Geoff Taylor presents compelling evidence about what actually occurred in the final hours of Flight 370, based on new analysis and new interviews with pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s family. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 captured the world’s attention and shocked everyone. The book takes you to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8 and brings together the lives of passengers and crew who ultimately met their fate on board what should have been a routine flight to Beijing on a well respected airline operating a state-of-the-art airliner with a near faultless record. For the first time, the book presents a detailed analysis of the flight, the incredible route it took, and who the authors believe was in charge of the aircraft as it plunged into the Indian Ocean. The book investigates each piece of evidence and eliminates all the possible scenarios until the reader is left with one shocking and unbelievable conclusion as to what happened to end the lives of 239 people that night. The authors also look at the most recent 777 tragedy MH17. They analyse how it occurred, the implications of the horrific event on future air travel and whether Malaysia Airlines can survive. The authors Geoff Taylor is a highly respected career journalist who is now deputy editor of the Waikato Times newspaper, one of New Zealand’s leading daily papers. Ewan Wilson is a commercial pilot, former chief executive of Kiwi International Airlines and Norfolk Air and has qualifications as a transport safety investigator. Goodnight Malaysia 370 is Wilson’s third book. He has also written Help My Plane’s on Fire while his first book Dogfight became a New Zealand best seller.

This book is available from Amazon.com via our World Airline News online store. All book orders are processed and sent by Amazon.com.

Read the analysis by the Huffington Post: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines has not issued a public statement since August 28 concerning its MOU between Malaysia and Australia where Australia will to continue to lead the search for MH 370.

What do you think?

The Dutch Safety Board issues its preliminary report on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine

The Dutch Safety Board is investigating the accident to flight MH 17 which occurred at Thursday, July 17, 2014 in the region of Donetsk (Ukraine). The Dutch Safety Board will be doing all it can to provide a clear view of the cause of the accident.

The investigation is operated in accordance with the standards and recommanded practices in ICAO Annex 13. The state of of occurance (Ukraine) has delegated the investigation to the Dutch Safety Board. The Dutch Safety Board is leading the investigation and coordinating the international team of investigators.

In addition to the international accident investigation, the Dutch Safety Board is also conducting two other independent investigations: an investigation into the decision-making process with regard to flight routes and an investigation into the availability of passenger lists.

September 9, 2014

The Dutch Safety Board has issued the preliminary report on the investigation into the crash of MH17 on Tuesday September 9, 2014. The preliminary report presents factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board.

In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report can be written. The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish the final report within a year after the crash.

Dutch Safety Board logo

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 9.2014 Search Area

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is working closely with the Malaysian government for the search missing flight MH 370. The ill-fated flight disappeared on March 8, 2014 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 passengers and crew members on board.

Malaysia and Australia signed a MOU for their on-going collaboration search for the missing airliner.

Here is the full statement:

Signs MOU with Australia for ongoing collaboration

On behalf of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Malaysian Government and the people of Malaysia, I want to express my profound gratitude for the leadership role the Australian Government has played in this complex and challenging exercise, and to the Chinese Government for their ongoing support and resources dedicated to our efforts. The discussion during the tripartite meeting today was productive and allowed us to discuss the progress in the search for MH370 and to chart the way forward.

I have been heartened by the openness and willingness of these nations who have provided us with immediate and ongoing assistance.

On August 28 Malaysia signed an MOU with Australia which provides the framework and broad parameters for cooperation in the search for MH 370. This forms an important part of our existing cooperation with Australia and reaffirms Malaysia’s commitment towards the search.

In this regard Malaysia will provide the necessary financial contribution towards the search effort and match Australia’s commitment. The combination of undersea search equipment, world-class experts and cutting edge technology that is being used will be our best chance of finding MH 370 and we are hopeful in our prospects of doing so.

I want to assure the loved ones of the passengers and crew on-board MH370 that we are resolute in our efforts to search for this aircraft. I have been touched by many of the stories I have heard and we will do our best to engage the next of kin and help them find closure. To that end we will be providing more regular updates and information related to the search as it becomes available.

Again, Malaysia pledges its continued and unwavering support in response to the unprecedented nature and scale of this event through our financial commitment, technical expertise, equipment and stamina in our search for answers.

JACC Media
sent on behalf of:

YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai
Minister of Transport, Malaysia

Meanwhile, The Economist is reporting “new analysis of satellite data has narrowed the area in which the aircraft might have come down from some 600,000 square kilometers to a 60,000 square kilometer strip of ocean, 650 km long and 93 km wide (see map above).

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Map: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Flights MH 370 and MH 17 continue to impact Malaysia Airlines, second quarter loss grows

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) reported a larger second quarter net loss of RM307 million ($97.4 million) for the three months ended June 30, 2014.

The company continues to suffer as a result of the March 8, 2014 disappearance of flight MH 370 and the shooting down of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014.

Here is the complete financial statement by the company:

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 in March 2014 continued to impact the airline’s second quarter financial results with Malaysia Airlines’ reporting a net loss of RM307 million for the three months ended June 30, 2014. Adding to the earlier loss of RM443 million in first quarter, the national carrier’s first half 2014 results stood at a loss of RM750 million, 65% more than the previous corresponding period in 2013.

For the three months ended June 2014, Group revenue fell 5% to RM3.59 billion compared to one year ago as a result of lower yield and seat factor following the MH 370 tragedy. The lower revenue coupled with a marginal 2% increase in cost, principally due to fuel cost for the quarter, resulted in a net loss After Tax of RM307 million after taking into consideration depreciation (RM223 million), finance costs (RM119 million) and unrealized forex gains (RM52 million).

Having lost substantial potential revenue from the popular MATTA Fair in early March and the decision by MAS to impose a deliberate advertising black-out in March and April due to the tragedy of MH 370, more aggressive marketing activities picked up in May and June.

The market responded positively to the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) held in May which saw sales increase 29% and higher than average daily sales compared to previous fairs that ran earlier in the year. MATTA Sabah, MATF Penang plus a greater push in all markets around the world further helped sales and restored confidence in MAS.

Seat factor which fell 9.5 points in May to 68.9% was seen to pick up in June to return to above the 80% levels again.

For the second quarter 2014, capacity rose 9% year-on-year based on improved aircraft utilization; however traffic remained the same year-on-year. Consequently, the airline’s seat factor recorded a fall of 6.7 points for the Quarter to 73.7% compared to 80.4% in the previous year. Malaysia Airlines carried 4.2 million passengers in the months of April to June 2014.

Fuel expenditure in second quarter 2014 rose 10% to RM1.53 billion compared with the previous corresponding period due to a rise in fuel price and weakening of the Ringgit against the US Dollar.

In an effort to reduce fuel costs and increase productivity, Malaysia Airlines brought forward the retirement of its older Boeing 737-400 fleet from end 2014 to mid-June. As at mid-August, the Group’s fleet comprised 127 aircraft. Of this, Malaysia Airlines’ operates 88 aircraft, which includes 54 Boeing 737-800s, 15 Airbus A330s and 6 Airbus A380s. The average age of the fleet for the Group as at June 30, 2014 is 5.28 years.

For the first half of 2014, total revenue fell 2%, however total expenditure grew 4%. Fuel costs, representing 43% of total expenditure, was 12% higher. Earnings before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) stood at negative RM134 million for the first half of 2014 against a positive RM258 million in the same period one year ago. Depreciation charges (RM460 million) and finance costs (RM241 million) continued to remain high.

Despite increases in capacity and revenue as well as cost saving measures and productivity improvements, the Group has continued to report weak financial performance.

The weak financial performance has made Malaysia Airlines acutely aware of the need to restructure the Company’s operations, even prior to the double tragedies of MH 370 and MH 17. The occurrence of the two incidences within a short span of 4 months served to worsen the situation further.

“We operate in a harsh business environment of stiff competition from regional and global carriers and high operational costs. Coupled with the impact of the two tragedies which have damaged our brand, the need to restructure the Company was accelerated. The full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH 370 and MH 17 is expected to hit Malaysia Airlines in the second half of the year”, said Ahmad Jauhari.

“Our Company has had to undergo a thorough re-examination and re-evaluation in order to reposition ourselves as a stronger and more sustainable Malaysia Airlines for the future”, said Ahmad Jauhari.

On August 8, 2014, majority shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, announced its intention to take full ownership of Malaysia Airlines and delist it from Bursa Malaysia. If approved, it will put into action a plan to restructure the airline group towards returning it to profitability.

Yesterday (August 29) the airline issued this statement about the recovery plan for the national airline:

The Board of Malaysia Airlines welcomed the release by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”), its majority shareholder, of “Rebuilding a National Icon: The MAS Recovery Plan” – a plan to facilitate the airline’s achievement of sustained profitability and competitiveness. It also acknowledged receipt of a letter from Khazanah relating to Khazanah’s planned investment in MAS to facilitate its delisting from the main market of Bursa Malaysia and restructuring, and the terms of such funding.

At its last Annual General meeting on June 25, Chairman of MAS, Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, and Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, made clear that even before the disappearance of MH370, radical change was already firmly on the Board’s agenda. The urgency for change, evident through our continued poor performance, was also accelerated by the loss of MH 17.

The publication of the Recovery Plan follows the formal request by Khazanah to the MAS Board of Directors to undertake a Selective Capital Reduction (“SCR”) exercise made on August 8, 2014. The SCR will be put to shareholders’ vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be convened in due course.

In parallel, MAS’ senior leaders have been engaging with almost 2,500 staff at multiple locations across the Group, to hear their views and concerns resulting from plans to take the Company private and restructure.

We, together with representatives of the employees’ unions, met this morning with Khazanah. We will continue this process of engagement with all parties including directly with employees and with representatives of the employees’ unions.

In the meantime, there will be no disruption to our current service. We will continue to fly, honor existing reservations, and plan future travel. The announcement on August 8 and this Plan will have no impact on the current fares we offer our customers and corporate accounts nor our membership in the oneworld alliance.

We are an award winning airline– including having won World’s Best Cabin Crew numerous times. It is our duty and honour to serve and we will continue to do so with pride and care.

In his foreword to the Recovery Plan, the Prime Minister called on Malaysia Airlines, all those who work with Malaysia’s national carrier and all Malaysians to play their part in ensuring today’s Plan becomes an enduring success. We look forward to playing our role and being a part of this effort to ensure that Malaysia Airlines becomes a profitable and sustainable national carrier of which all Malaysians can be truly proud.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia Airlines retired its last Boeing 737-400 in mid-June 2014. Boeing 737-4H6 9M-MMA (msn 26443) arrives in Singapore.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines struggles to fill its seats

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) continues to be in a crisis mode. Based on some recent online photos showing many open seats on its flights, The Mirror is reporting the airline is dispatching flights with rows of empty seats as it struggles in the wake of two highly-reported accidents.

Meanwhile a restructuring plan for the beleaguered company is expected to be announced soon.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Both Airbus and Boeing could suffer if the airline is downsized. Malaysia has been loyal to both manufacturers. Brand new Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSJ (msn 40152) passes through Honolulu on delivery.

Video: Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia proposes to take full control of Malaysia Airlines, airline’s board of directors decides to table the proposal for now

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has issued this short statement about the intention of the government of Malaysia to take full control of the airline:

We have received notice of Khazanah’s intentions to take full ownership and delist Malaysia Airlines. Our Board of Directors will be deliberating this proposal and an official response from the company will be issued later.

During this period, our business operations remains unchanged.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation on this matter.

The initial statement was followed by this statement to table the government proposal for consideration at a later day:

An announcement has been made to Bursa Malaysia that the Malaysia Airlines Board of Directors has deliberated on the offer made by Malaysia Airlines’ majority shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”) and resolved to table the proposed SCR to shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be scheduled at a later date.

Malaysia Airlines will continue to operate all our current flights, schedules and reservations. Our focus remains on delivering the world class customer service that we are known for around the world.

Here is the original full statement of Khazanah, the strategic investment fund of the government of Malaysia:

Khazanah Proposes to De-list Malaysian Airline System Berhad

We are pleased to announce that Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”) has today submitted a formal request to the Board of Directors of Malaysian Airline System Berhad (“MAS”) to undertake a selective capital reduction and repayment exercise (“Proposed SCR”) of MAS’ ordinary shares. The proposal will enable minority ordinary shareholders of MAS to receive a capital repayment amount of RM0.27 per ordinary share. This represents a 12.5% premium to closing price on 7 August 2014 and a 29.2% premium to the 3-month volume weighted average market price (“VWAMP”). Upon successful completion of the Proposed SCR, Khazanah will become the sole ordinary shareholder of MAS, which would lead to a de-listing of MAS.

In June 2014, Khazanah had announced that it was in the midst of undertaking a comprehensive review of MAS, in consultation with the Special Shareholder, the Minister of Finance Incorporated. Khazanah further clarified that subject to the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities, it would announce the proposed restructuring scheme within a period of 6 to 12 months. We reiterate that the proposed restructuring will critically require all parties to work closely together to undertake what will be a complete overhaul of the national carrier on all relevant aspects of, inter alia, the airline’s operations, business model, finances, human capital and regulatory environment. Nothing less will be required in order to revive our national airline to be profitable as a commercial entity and to serve its function as a critical national development entity.

In this regard, today’s proposal for de-listing represents the first stage of the restructuring scheme. Further, Khazanah is in the final stages of completing the overall restructuring proposal, and upon due process and approvals from the relevant authorities, regulators and the Special Shareholder, the Minister of Finance Incorporated, we envisage that additional detailed plans will be announced by the end of this month.

Khazanah is the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia entrusted to hold and manage the commercial assets of the Government and to undertake strategic investments. Khazanah is involved in various sectors such as power, telecommunications, banking, healthcare, airport management, infrastructure, leisure and tourism, property development, broadcasting, investment holding, and technology. Some of the key listed companies in Khazanah’s investment portfolio include Telekom Malaysia Bhd., Tenaga Nasional Bhd., CIMB Group, Axiata Group Bhd., IHH Healthcare Bhd., Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd., and UEM Sunrise Bhd.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MXA (msn 40128) departs from Phuket, Thailand painted in the retrojet livery of 1972 for its 40th Anniversary celebration in 2012.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

60 international investigators reach the Malaysia Airlines MH 17 crash site today, Malaysian Police secure the site

Malaysia logo-1

According to CNN, 60 international investigators today (August 1) reached the crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 in the eastern part of the Ukraine where fighting continues. Malaysian Police, after receiving permission, have secured the crash site.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Last night (July 31) Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia issued this statement:

Like the Netherlands, Malaysia is in mourning. We mourn the loss of all 298 lives on board MH 17.

And as we watched the first bodies arrive in Eindhoven, our hearts reached out to the people of the Netherlands, who have lost so much.

The flags flying at half-mast told their own story: of the nations who lost their sons and daughters. And of our determination to work together to bring them home.

Malaysia stands with the Netherlands, with Australia; with all countries whose people have been lost. We stand together, united in grief, and ready to help however we can.

Earlier, Prime Minister Rutte and I spoke about the continued military activity at the crash site; the inability of international investigators to deploy across it; and the human remains that may still lie there.

For the sake of the grieving families, it is imperative that all remains at the crash site are repatriated as soon as possible. Every single victim must be given dignity and a decent funeral.

Our other priority is to ensure the international investigators are given full and unfettered access to the site, so that they may collect evidence and carry out their vital work. Only then will we be able to find out what happened to MH 17; only then can we achieve justice for the victims and their families.

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine may not be easily resolved. But the people on board that plane had no part in it.

We ask that there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site – by both Ukrainian and separatist forces.

We ask that all sides respect the lives lost, and the integrity of the site, so that the investigation may proceed. The long walk towards justice begins with this step.

A team of 68 Malaysian police has arrived in Kiev. They will work together with the Dutch and Australian teams to help secure access to the site.

Malaysia fully supports the international investigation, and we are grateful to the Netherlands for their lead role in the international team.

Repatriating the remains of victims as fast as possible is a shared priority. Malaysian experts are already helping here in the Netherlands with the painstaking task of identification – and we stand ready to provide more assistance if required.

On behalf of Malaysia, I would like to thank Prime Minister Rutte and the Dutch people for all they have done, and continue to do, for the victims of this senseless and tragic act.

Thank you.

Malaysia Airlines MH 17 investigators are unable to go to the crash site due to fighting in eastern Ukraine

Malaysia logo-1

CNN is reporting the following concerning the on-going investigation of the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 in eastern Ukraine:

“International investigators and observers were again prevented from reaching the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Tuesday (July 29) by fierce fighting in the area between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces.

The Dutch Justice Ministry said the team was unable to leave the city of Donetsk because “there is too much fighting at the moment on and near the route to the disaster site.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines considers a new name, brand and livery

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), owned by a majority share by a holding company of the Malaysian government, is considering changes in the the wake of the two tragic accidents this year.

According to RT.com, the government is considering a rebrand, a different ownership restructure, a possible new name and an adjustment of its route network.

Malaysia Airlines is very likely to change.

As far as the livery, the two ill-fated Boeing 777-200 ERs wore the older 1987 livery (above) which features the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (Moon Dragon Kite) tail logo which has been seen in the headlines over and over, especially with the debris in eastern Ukraine. Any brand refresh would probably retire this iconic and historic logo.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FZ 9M-MLH (msn 31723) is pictured in action at Phuket, Thailand in the 1987 color scheme.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Below Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia refreshed the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (kite) livery in 2010 with this new twin arc look while retaining the kite tail logo. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSE (msn 40147) passes through Honolulu on delivery.

Below Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. When Malaysia introduced the new Airbus A380, the airline unveiled this special A380 livery (for only the A380s) in 2012. The red and blue kite morphed into a blue kite for the A380s. Is this enough of a change? Probably not. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNB (msn 081) departs from London (Heathrow).

Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. When MSA was split into Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines, Malaysian (later Malaysia Airlines) originally introduced this livery in 1972. As you will note, the original livery featured a red and white kite tail logo. Dropping this historic logo will be a tough decision for the airline but unfortunately it is now a tarnished logo. Boeing 737-2H6 9M-MBH (msn 20926) prepares to depart from the gate at Kuala Lumpur.

Poll:

 

Can Malaysia Airlines survive two major air disasters?

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is still in crisis mode after the savage downing of flight MH 17 over the Russian-speaking rebel-held area of the eastern Ukraine. The airline now avoids flying over the Ukraine.

Yesterday the flag carrier issued this statement about MH 17:

“Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH 17’s black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis.

The international investigation team, led by the Netherlands, has decided to pass the black boxes to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch for forensic analysis. It is normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorized by the International Civil Aviation Association.

The black boxes will therefore be flown to Farnborough, UK, accompanied by Malaysian experts and other members of the international investigation team.”

Meanwhile on the financial side, the airline is also hurting. Load factors and yield are reportedly declining given the attention the airline is receiving in the media.

Previously on May 15 the airline reported a growing quarterly net loss of RM443 million ($139.5 million) for the three months ending on March 31, 2014 compared to a loss of RM279 million ($87.8 million) for the same quarter a year ago.

Bloomberg Businessweek is exploring the question of whether the airline can survive as we know it given this double tragedy and declining fortunes and cash flow.

According to the magazine, “MAS executives are focusing on finding a way to save the company. The carrier this week is going to present a plan to its parent, state-run Khazanah Nasional, Bloomberg News reported. Bankruptcy is one option. Taking the company private is another.”

Most likely the carrier will continue to operate in some form but it will probably change.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Can Malaysia Airlines, with declining numbers, remain an Airbus A380 operator? The A380 is the flagship aircraft for the carrier but if it can’t fill the seats it may be the wrong aircraft for the airline. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNF (msn 114) arrives in London (Heathrow) with special “100th A380″ markings.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

The Dutch take over the crash investigation of shot-down Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17

Malaysia MH 17 Tail Debris (LRW)

The Dutch Safety Board has issued this statement:

The Dutch Safety Board took over formal responsibility for the air crash investigation from Ukraine yesterday evening (July 22). The two black boxes have since arrived in the United Kingdom, where they are currently being read out and analyzed by a team of international specialists. The on-site investigation in Ukraine is currently in full swing. Although investigators still do not have safe access to the crash site, work to gather and analyse data from various sources is underway in bothKiev and the Netherlands.

The first priorities will be to gather information from the crash site, analyse the black boxes and coordinate the international team. Ultimately, the air crash investigation should offer victims families and the international community a clear and comprehensive overview of the causes and course of the crash.

With the Dutch Safety Board now heading the investigation, the international investigation team will have more freedom to go about its tasks unhindered. The Dutch Safety Board is also responsible for coordinating all participating investigators and investigation teams from the countries involved (Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The international team currently consists of 24 investigators. A total of four Dutch Safety Board investigators are currently operating inUkraine.

Black boxes

On Tuesday evening (July 22) the two recorders arrived in Kiev from Kharkiv and were handed over to the Dutch Safety Board. They were then shipped by air to theUnited Kingdom, where an international team of specialists is working on the read-out and analysis of the data stored in the recorders. As a part of this effort, the team will also assess whether the black boxes may have been manipulated. The black boxes are expected to provide information relevant to this investigation. The analysis of black box data may take several weeks

On-site investigation

At the time of writing, the investigators have not yet been able to visit the site of the crash and conduct their investigation under safe conditions. In order to conduct an effective investigation, the investigators must have the opportunity to move around the entire investigation site freely, investigate materials and traces from up close and secure them for further study where necessary. At present, the investigators’ safety has not been guaranteed. The Dutch Safety Board and other parties involved are continually working to gain access to the accident site, and are working with other parties to organise effective security so that the investigators can do their work under controlled and safe conditions. Despite the fact that evidence and traces have been damaged or lost, the Dutch Safety Board expects it will be able to gather sufficient relevant information from the crash site.

Over the past few days, investigators have been working on the investigation in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and in the Netherlands on the basis of available film and photo materials and other sources of information.

Investigation results

All information gathered as a part of this international investigation will be submitted to the Dutch Safety Board. The Dutch Safety Board will subsequently analyse this information, which will serve as the basis for a report and – where necessary – relevant recommendations. Other investigators or investigation boards will support this process and comment on the draft investigation report and its conclusions. The Dutch Safety Board will have the final say as regards the contents and timing of all publications. If the investigation shows evidence of any criminal or terrorist activities, the information will subsequently be submitted to the relevant authorities in accordance with applicable regulations. The Dutch Safety Board’s investigation will focus on ascertaining facts, rather than apportioning blame.

In addition to the international accident investigation, the Dutch Safety Board is also conducting two other independent investigations: an investigation into the decision-making process with regard to flight routes and an investigation into the availability of passenger lists. These investigation reports are expected to be published ahead of the main accident report.

Bloomberg Businessweek: International airlines are scrambling to do risk assessment of certain routes to  now avoid conflict areas: CLICK HERE

Photo Credit: ANP. The tail section of downed 9M-MRD.

IATA makes a statement about Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17

IATA logo

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), representing the international airlines, has made the following statement of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines:

Statement of IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler:

“The tragedy of MH 17 is an outrage. Over the weekend it was confirmed that the passengers and crew aboard the aircraft were the victims of a hideous crime. It was also an attack against the air transport system which is an instrument of peace.

Among the immediate priorities, the bodies of the victims must be returned to their grieving loved ones in a respectful manner. For over four days we witnessed appalling sights from the crash scene. Governments must set aside their differences and treat the victims and their families with the dignity they deserve – and this includes urgently securing the site.

The investigation must also start quickly and with total freedom and access. Actions over the weekend which slowed down progress on both of these priorities were an outrage to human decency.

We have heard news of potential progress on both these issues. But promises now need to be turned into reality with actions.

Airlines and governments are partners in supporting global connectivity. Airlines carry the passengers and cargo. Governments and air navigation service providers inform airlines about the routes that they can fly and with what restrictions. Airlines comply with that guidance.

That was the case with MH 17. Malaysia Airlines was a clearly identified commercial jet. And it was shot down—in complete violation of international laws, standards and conventions—while broadcasting its identity and presence on an open and busy air corridor at an altitude that was deemed to be safe.

No effort should be spared in ensuing that this outrage is not repeated. Of course, nobody should be shooting missiles at civilian aircraft—governments or separatists. Governments will need to take the lead in reviewing how airspace risk assessments are made. And the industry will do all that it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead.

This was a terrible crime. But flying remains safe. And everyone involved in global air transport is fully dedicated to making it even safer.”

Where not to fly?

FAA logo

With the shoot down and crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 that was traveling at 33,000 feet over eastern Ukraine on a long range flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, many international passengers are now wondering where not to fly when they travel on long range international flights. The amount of international conflict areas, i. e. war zones, is increasing. Of course, the introduction of sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons is now a major concern in some of these conflict areas.

Do you know where your flight is being routed, especially between Europe and Asia?

For guidance, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has advised U. S. carriers to not fly in these dangerous areas. The Washington Post has produced this excellent map and report on the most dangerous overflight areas in the world.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

International calls to secure the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 increase

The crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) in the Russian-speaking rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine remains largely unsecured. The world is calling for the crash site evidence to be properly secured.

From CNN:

“Bodies, backpacks, passports and other piles of debris lay splayed across a miles-long area in the remote area in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 came down. The crash site is massive — an international observer called it “one of the biggest crime scenes in the world right now.”

“Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with. Meanwhile, armed rebels have greeted international observers with hostility.
Experts say that this crash investigation is unprecedented due to the site’s immense size and the lack of access given to investigators.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia MH 17 Crash Site (Google Maps)

Google Maps above: The location of the crash site in the eastern Russian-speaking (disputed) portion of the Ukraine near Donetsk.

Malaysia MH 17 Heartfelt Message

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines today issued these two statements (and the message above) on the tragic crash of flight MH 17:

The first statement – from the Press Briefing by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport:

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH 17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.

Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.

ON THE INVESTIGATION:

Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.

Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH 17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.

Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.

Yes, MH 17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered.

Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue.

ON DEPLOYMENT:

Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.

The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.

I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.

ON THE FLIGHT PATH:

On the matter of MH 17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH 17.

MH 17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH 17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.

The second statement from Malaysia Airlines:

Malaysia Airlines is appealing to the family members or friends of those onboard MH 17 to contact the airline. Enclosed is the MH 17 passenger manifest for reference.

In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members.

They are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines’ Family Support Centre at +603 7884 1234 (in Malaysia).

Alternatively the family or friends may call the numbers below in their respective countries:

Netherlands (Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam office) +31 20 521 62 62

Australia (Malaysia Airlines Sydney office) +61 2 9364 3526

Indonesia (Malaysia Airlines Jakarta office) +62 2 1522 9705

New Zealand (Malaysia Airlines Auckland office) +64 9 306 3930

United Kingdom (Malaysia Airlines London office) +44 20 7341 2060

Germany (Malaysia Airlines Frankfurt office) +49 69 1387 1980

Philippines (Malaysia Airlines Manila office) + 63 2 889 1863

As of July 19, 2014, 5:00 pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:

Netherlands

193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)

Malaysia

43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)

Australia

27

Indonesia

12 (including 1 infant)

United Kingdom

10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)

Germany

4

Belgium

4

Philippines

3

Canada

1

New Zealand

1

Total

298

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines deployed a ferry flight last night mobilizing 212 personnel from various government and media bodies and its staff to Kiev and Amsterdam in a special mission for MH17. A total of 85 Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Go Team’ members have been deployed, of which five members will join Malaysia’s Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) in the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region, while 80 other members comprising care givers and the management team will be stationed in Amsterdam to assist the family members of the passengers.

MH 5002 departed Kuala Lumpur at 9.30 pm on July 18, 2014 and arrived in Kiev at 2.58 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 with a two hour transit. The aircraft then continued its journey to Amsterdam at 4.50 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 and arrived in Schipol Amsterdam Airport at 5.30 am the same day.

The mission is also joined by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the National Security Council, Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysia’s Department of Information, the Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Special Air Service, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Department of Civil Aviation, Chemistry Department, Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia and the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team as well as participating media.

Finally, Malaysia Airlines requests the cooperation of members of the media to respect the privacy of the grieving families. The airline’s top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew and any information with regards to their movement will not be made public.

Who are the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine? CNN takes a look at this question: CLICK HERE

Editorial Comment:

On a side note, it was fate that selected Malaysia Airlines to be the target for the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine. According to U.S. intelligence, the rebels used recently delivered surface-to-air Russian missiles to bring down flight MH 17. Russia will have to answer for its decision to send these dangerous weapons to the Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union and a sovereign nation.

Why Eurocontrol was routing civilian airliners through this known war zone is something that will also have to be answered, especially after two Ukrainian aircraft were previously shot down by the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

Air India and Singapore Airlines aircraft were also in the area at the time of the shoot down and it was fate that selected the Malaysia Airlines flight over these two flights. Fate has not been kind to Malaysia Airlines this year.

Bottom line: The remains of the ill-fated passengers need to be returned to their grieving families.

Where not to fly? The Washington Post has published this map of dangerous areas where the FAA has advised U.S. carriers not to fly: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD arrives in Los Angeles.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashes in the Ukraine, all feared dead

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) (since repainted) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, while operating at flight level 330 (33,000 feet) and about 50 nautical miles northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine has crashed. The airliner came down near the village of Shakhtarsk, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines has confirmed the crash.

The airline issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH 17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30 km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH 17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members.

According to CNN:

“The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.”

Read the full CNN report: CLICK HERE

Read the full updated account (with photos of the crash site) from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Read the report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD was once painted in this special “Blue Heliconia” livery but it has since been repainted.

Malaysia Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD lands in Paris (CDG) in 2011 after repainting.

More information will be added as details are confirmed.

Video:

Video: This video appears to capture the moment of impact:

Video: The Russian surface-to-air missile that is believed to have been fired and taken down the Triple Seven. The missile was allegedly fired from a Russian separatist controlled area in eastern Ukraine:

The ATSB announces a new search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 6.26.14 Search Map for MH 370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) today issued this summary and report announcing a new search area for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420). Here is the summary (full report link at the bottom):

On March 8, 2014, flight MH 370, a Boeing 777-200 ER registered 9M-MRO, lost contact with Air Traffic Control during a transition of airspace between Malaysia and Vietnam. An analysis of radar data and subsequent satellite communication (SATCOM) system signalling messages placed the aircraft in the Australian search and rescue zone on an arc in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. This arc was considered to be the location where the aircraft’s fuel was exhausted.

A surface search of probable impact areas along this arc, coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, was carried out from 18 March – April 28, 2014. This search effort was undertaken by an international fleet of aircraft and ships with the search areas over this time progressing generally from an initial southwest location along the arc in a north-easterly direction. The location of the search areas was guided by continuing and innovative analysis by a Joint Investigation Team of the flight and satellite-communications data. This analysis was supplemented by other information provided to ATSB during this period. This included possible underwater locator beacon and hydrophone acoustic detections.

No debris associated with 9M-MRO was identified either from the surface search, acoustic search or from the ocean floor search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections. The ocean floor search was completed on May 28, 2014.

Refinements to the analysis of both the flight and satellite data have been continuous since the loss of MH 370. The analysis has been undertaken by an international team of specialists from the UK, US and Australia working both independently and collaboratively. Other information regarding the performance and operation of the aircraft has also been taken into consideration in the analysis.

Using current analyses, the team has been able to reach a consensus in identifying a priority underwater search area for the next phase of the search.

The priority area of approximately 60,000 km2 extends along the arc for 650 km in a northeast direction from Broken Ridge. The width of the priority search area is 93 km. This area was the subject of the surface search from Day 21-26.

Work is continuing with refinements in the analysis of the satellite communications data. Small frequency variations can significantly affect the derived flight path. This ongoing work may result in changes to the prioritisation and locale of search activity.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The “7th Arc”

You will hear a lot about this term in the coming days. Here is the explanation:

The latest information and analysis confirms that MH 370 will be found in close proximity to the arc set out in the map and labelled as the 7th arc. At the time MH 370 reached this arc, the aircraft is considered to have exhausted its fuel and to have been descending. As a result, the aircraft is unlikely to be more than 20 NM (38 km) to the west or 30 NM (55 km) to the east of the arc.

Based on all the independent analysis of satellite communications and aircraft performance, the total extent of the 7th arc reaches from latitude 20 degrees S to 39 degrees S.

Refinement of the analysis in the coming weeks will reduce the underwater Search Area along this arc to a prioritised 17,500 sq. NM (60,000 sq. km). The prioritised length of the Search Area along the arc is expected to be 350 NM (650 km).
More information about the Search Area will be made available as soon as it is verified.

Map of the “7th Arc”:

ATSB 7th Arc Map

 

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 is likely to move south

ATSB logo

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 of March 8 with 239 passengers and crew members on board remains missing. The next phase of the search is likely to move the search area several hundred miles to the south in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Associated Press first reported this change, citing Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

The Bluefin-21 will be redeployed in this new area. The exact new area is still being determined.

On May 26 Martin Dolan issued this statement about the search:

By Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner

It’s now been more than 11 weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 disappeared from air traffic control radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing.

Despite one of the most intensive and coordinated air and sea search efforts ever undertaken, there has not yet been any sign of the missing aircraft.

The complexities surrounding the search cannot be understated. It involves vast areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information. While it is impossible to determine with certainty where the aircraft may have entered the water, all the available data indicates a highly probable search area close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

It is now highly unlikely that surface debris from the aircraft will be spotted. This means that the most effective way to continue the search is to look for MH370 under the water.

The search will be a major undertaking.

The complexities and challenges involved are immense, but not impossible.

Following an announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia in late April, and at the request of the Malaysian government, the ATSB is planning an intensified underwater search of a 60,000 square kilometre area—roughly the size of Tasmania.

As part of its search operations, the ATSB’s initial work involves:

reviewing existing information, from an expert satellite working group, to refine a search zone of up to 60,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean
conducting a bathymetric survey to map the search area
consulting with domestic and international authorities—including various oceanographic institutions and private companies—to prepare the plan and specialist services required for the next search phase.
The bathymetric survey— or mapping of the ocean floor— has already commenced, with the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen conducting a survey of the areas provided by the ATSB. Zhu Kezhen will shortly be joined by a contracted commercial survey vessel in June. Taking around three months to complete, the bathymetric survey will give us crucial knowledge of the seafloor terrain needed to begin the underwater search.

The intensified underwater search will aim to locate the aircraft and any evidence (such as aircraft debris and flight recorders) to assist with the Malaysian investigation. The equipment used for the search will likely include a towed sonar, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle with mounted sonar, and optical imaging equipment. We expect the search to begin in several months and take up to 12 months to complete.

The search will be a major undertaking. The complexities and challenges involved are immense, but not impossible. The best minds from around the world have been reviewing, refining and localising the most likely area where the aircraft entered the water, which is why we remain confident of finding the aircraft.

On May 26 the ATSB issued this detailed statement on the considerations of where it will search for MH 370:

Background

At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 in the Indian Ocean. The search is a complex operation that involves vast areas with only limited data and aircraft flight information available.

Over-water searches

Over-water aircraft accident locations are usually found by conducting a broad-area aerial search. The search area is generally determined by a combination of:
Position information from ground-based radar systems (maximum range is generally 250 NM)
Position information automatically transmitted from the aircraft at regular intervals

Position reports from the crew

Re-tracing the planned flight route

Eye-witness reports (possibly located on the shore, on other aircraft or on ships)

Uncertainty in the position of an accident location increases with time from the aircraft’s last known position (fix) so the search area will expand accordingly as the position data becomes ‘stale’.

Once floating wreckage is observed, reverse-drift techniques can be used to help determine the aircraft impact location. Only a small-area underwater search is then required to locate the wreckage and map the wreckage field. This underwater search can be aided by the underwater locator beacons fitted to flight recorders. As the beacons have a limited duration of nominally 30 days and to minimise the inaccuracies of the reverse-drift calculations, it is important that an aerial search is commenced as soon as possible and the floating debris is found quickly.

In the case of MH 370:

The aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur at 1641 UTC
The final automatically transmitted position from the aircraft occurred at 17:07 UTC
No radio communications were received from the crew after 17:19 UTC
The final ATC (secondary) radar fix occurred at 17:22 UTC
At 17:25 UTC the aircraft deviated from the planned flight route
The final primary radar fix occurred at 18:22 UTC
The satellite communications log indicated the aircraft continued to fly for another 6 hours
No confirmed eye-witness reports were received
The search in the Australian search and rescue zone commenced on 18 March (10 days after the aircraft went missing)

As a result, the search area for MH 370 has remained very large. A useful comparison is the search for Air France Flight 447 (AF 477), which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on 1 June 2009. The AF447 aircraft was programmed to send its position automatically every 10 minutes, there were a number of fault messages transmitted via satellite during the last few minutes of flight and it was following the planned flight route. The search for the aircraft began on 1 June and the first surface wreckage was discovered on 6 June, 5 days after the accident. Given the relative accuracy of the aircraft’s last known position, a circular search area of 40 NM was defined (17,240 km²). After a search effort involving five separate phases, the aircraft wreckage was located on the ocean floor almost two years later.

As none of the traditional sources of data could be used to locate the aircraft wreckage from MH 370, it has been necessary to use novel sources of data and analysis techniques. This has led to a larger than typical search area; and there have been changes to its location as validation and calibration checks have been performed and the analysis is refined.

Determining the search area for MH 370

The flight path of MH 370 has three distinct sections; one under secondary radar in which the aircraft transponder was operational and ACARS messages were being transmitted, a primary radar section during which the aircraft was being tracked solely by air defence radar systems and the final stage for which the only information available was the satellite communications log data.

ACARS and radar data

The final ACARS transmission was at 17:07 UTC and provided location reports from the initial stage of the flight as well as a recording of the aircraft fuel remaining. The final secondary radar point was at approximately 17:22 UTC. The final primary radar point was at 18:22 UTC. Figure 1 shows the first and second sections of the flight.

Figure 1: MH 370 Flight path derived from Primary and Secondary radar data:

MH 370 Figure 1

Source: NTSB/Google

Satellite communications (SATCOM) data

Following the loss of primary radar, the only available information was from satellite signalling messages, also referred to as ‘handshakes’, between the ground station, the satellite and the aircraft’s satellite communication system.

For each transmission to the aircraft, the ground station recorded the burst timing offset (BTO) and the burst frequency offset (BFO).

Figure 2: Satellite communications schematic:

MH 370 Figure 2

Source: Inmarsat

Burst Timing Offset (BTO)

The BTO is a measure of the time taken for a transmission round trip (ground station to satellite to aircraft and back) and allows a calculation of the distance between the satellite and the aircraft. Based on this measure, a possible location ring can be mapped on the surface of the earth (Figure 3). An analysis of SATCOM system parameters showed that the accuracy of the rings was ± 10 km. This analysis was validated using recorded BTO values from the initial stage of the flight when the aircraft’s position was known.

Figure 3: Satellite ring derivation:

MH 370 Figure 3

Source: Inmarsat

There were 7 handshakes between the ground station and the aircraft after the loss of primary radar data. The location rings calculated from the recorded BTO values are shown in figure 4.

Figure 4: MH 370 timing (UTC) with corresponding rings arrowed:

MH 370 Figure 4

Source: Inmarsat/Boeing /Google

The information from the BTO places the aircraft somewhere on each ring at the corresponding time. By taking the maximum speed of the aircraft into account, the rings can be reduced in length to arcs – there are some areas of the rings it simply could not have reached.

Burst Frequency Offset (BFO)

The BFO is the measure of the difference between the expected frequency of the transmission and the frequency received at the ground station. This difference is attributed to various sources including the Doppler Effect from the motion of the satellite and the aircraft, as well as some processing effects. Once the known components that contribute to the BFO are resolved, the remainder can be used to estimate the speed and direction of the aircraft. There are a large number of speeds and headings that can be consistent with a BFO recording. These are limited, however, by the operational constraints of the aircraft.

Candidate paths of different speeds were created which met the BTO ring location/time constraints and the predicted BFO values of these paths have been compared with the recorded values. The better the match, the higher the probability that the path was close to that of MH370.
Final handshake message at 00:19 (7th arc)

The 00:19 signalling message (7th arc) was a logon request from the aircraft. This is consistent with the satellite communication equipment on the aircraft powering up following a power interruption. The interruption in electrical supply may have been caused by fuel exhaustion.

Note on the satellite communication

The satellite’s normal function is essentially communication and it was never initially intended to have the capability to track an aircraft. Following the Air France 447 accident, Inmarsat engineers began recording the BTO in order to provide another potential means of geo-locating aircraft in the event of a similar accident.

Aircraft Performance Calculations

Estimates of fuel consumption were calculated from the time of the last recorded fuel quantity, using a range of flight paths and speeds. The results of these calculations were consistent with fuel exhaustion occurring close to the 7th arc.

Validation

Several teams independently provided both satellite communications and performance analysis as part of the validation process. The location of 9M-MRO on previous flights as well as the locations of other aircraft in the air at the same time were all used to validate the techniques.

Other information

Surface search

An international air and maritime force conducted a surface search of drifted regions along the 7th arc from 18 March to 28 April 2014. A drifted region is created by modelling the movement of an area of water over the time period when the surface search is conducted. During this time, no debris was identified to be likely from MH 370.

Underwater search

Acoustic detections possibly related to underwater locator beacons were made by two vessels in the refined probability area from 5 – 8 April 2014. To further investigate these signals, a search of the ocean floor around the detections was performed by a number of vessels. To date no further sign of MH370 has been detected.

Hydrophones

Low frequency hydroacoustic signals present in the Indian Ocean are being examined to determine whether they can provide any information to help define the search area. These signals are recorded by hydrophones as part of the United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) or the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

Use of waypoints

Comparison of possible flight paths with tracks using waypoints is also under consideration.

Air Routes

There is only one published north-south air route in the south-eastern Indian Ocean. Air route M641 connects Cocos Island to Perth and has four waypoints. The air route crosses the area where the four acoustic signals were detected.

Shape of the search area

At the time MH 370 reached the 7th arc, the aircraft is considered to have been descending. A study completed after the Air France 447 accident concluded that the majority of aircraft in loss of control accidents were found within 20 nautical miles (32 km) of their last known position. This provides a reasonable limitation for the size of the search area across the arc.

Additionally the Australian government through the ATSB on May 26 explained how it is searching for missing flight MH 370:

Background

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is leading the underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. All the available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

The search is a complex operation that will involve a range of vessels, equipment and expertise to cover 60,000 square kilometres of ocean floor.

Bathymetric survey

During the first stage of the search, the ATSB is tasking a Chinese PLA-Navy ship to undertake a bathymetric survey of the 60,000 square kilometre search area. A contracted commercial vessel with join the survey in June. The bathymetric survey will provide a map of the underwater search zone, charting the contours, depths and hardness of the ocean floor.

While the ocean depth of the search zone is understood to be between 1000 m and 6000 m, we currently have very limited knowledge of the sea floor terrain facing the underwater search operation. The information we receive from the bathymetric survey will give us crucial data to plan and conduct the intensified underwater search.

How the survey’s done

The operation will involve a ship surveying the ocean floor using multi beam sonar, which is capable of collecting high quality data to water depths of up to 6,000 m.

Multibeam sonar is a common offshore surveying tool that uses multiple sound signals to detect the seafloor. Due to its multiple beams it is able to map a swath of the seabed under the ship, in contrast to a single beam sonar which only maps a point below the ship. Different frequencies are used to map different water depths, with higher frequencies (>100kHz) used for shallow water and low frequencies (<30 kHz) for deep water.

Generally, the multibeam sonar transducer is mounted rigidly to the hull of the survey vessel and its position can be calculated very accurately. Other parts of the multibeam system include auxiliary sensors such as motion-sensing systems and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to ensure accurate positioning, motion sensing and sound speed measurement system.

A modern multibeam sonar transducer typically uses the Mills Cross telescope array. The sound is transmitted from transducers that are perpendicular to the survey track. Consequently, the sound pulses forms a transmit swath that is wide across-track and narrow along-track. The returning sound pulses, which are mainly recording the impedance contrast and seafloor topography, are received by the receivers which are mounted parallel to the survey track. These return beams are narrow across-track.

Unlike the sidescan sonar which commonly produces only acoustic backscatter data (i.e. hardness), the multibeam sonar generates both water depth and seafloor hardness data concurrently.1
How many vessels will be involved in the survey

The Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen (872) is already in the search area conducting a bathymetric survey of an area provided by the ATSB. A contracted survey vessel will arrive in the search area in early June.

How long it will take?

It is expected that the bathymetric survey will take around three months to complete, but this will depend on a number of factors, such as weather conditions, during the survey operations.
The underwater search will begin when we have enough data from the bathymetric survey to start searching. This means that the underwater search will begin while the survey is still being completed.

On June 4 the ATSB issued a request for specialist help in determining the new search area (all proposals are due by June 30):

The ATSB has released a request for tender to acquire the services of a specialist company capable of conducting a deep-water search under ATSB direction for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370.
Engaged as a prime contractor, the company will provide the expertise, equipment and vessel(s) necessary to undertake an intensified underwater search for the missing Boeing 777 aircraft in the defined zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

While the precise search zone is currently being established by an international search strategy working group, it is expected that the successful tenderer will search an area up to 60,000 square kilometres based on the ‘seventh handshake’ arc where the aircraft last communicated with the Inmarsat satellite. Definition of the search zone will be finalised within two to three weeks.

The successful tenderer will localise, positively identify and map the debris field of MH 370 using specialist equipment such as towed and autonomous underwater vehicles with mounted sonar and/or optical imaging systems.

The intensified search will begin in August 2014 and is expected to take up to 12 months, depending on weather conditions. The successful tenderer will use the data from a bathymetric survey (already underway) to navigate the search zone, which has water depth between 1000 and 6000 metres.

The search vessel(s) used by the prime contractor may also be coordinated with other vessels also undertaking search activities in the search zone on behalf of other countries.

A copy of the request for tender is available on the AusTender website at http://www.tenders.gov.au. Request for tender submissions are due by 5.30pm AEST on June 30, 2014.

At the request of the Malaysian Government, the ATSB is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Search for MH 370 Facts and Statistics:

Joint Agency Coordination Centre of Australia has issued these statistics on the search for MH 370:

Search for MH 370 facts and statistics

  •   Prime Minister Tony Abbott advised of the establishment of the JACC on 30 March 2014, headed by Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (Ret’d).
  •   Malaysia has lead investigative responsibility and the international accident crash investigation is based out of Kuala Lumpur.
  •   Malaysia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia were all involved in the visual search.
  •   Over 4,600,000 square kilometres of ocean surface were searched.
  •   345 search sorties were conducted by military aircraft for a total of over 2,998 hours.
  •   Over 30% of the military flights were made by Royal Australian Air Force planes.
  •   Aircraft that were involved in the visual search included:
    • -  8 x Royal Australian Air Force ( 4 x AP-3C Orion, 2 x E-7A Wedgetail, 1 x KA350 King Air, 1 x C-130J Hercules)
    • -  1 x Royal New Zealand Air Force (P-3K2 Orion)
    • -  2 X United States Navy (P-8A Poseidon)
    • -  2 x Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (IL – 76)
    • -  3 x Japan (2 x Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force P-3C Orion and 1 x Japanese Coast GuardGulfstream V)
    • -  2 x Republic of Korea (1 x ROK Navy P-3C Orion & 1 x ROK Air Force C-130H)
    • -  3 x Royal Malaysian Air Force (3 x C-130H Hercules)
  •   Over 25 million litres of aviation fuel was used during the course of the visual search.
  •   Up to 19 ships were used to cover the search area.
    • -  5 x Australian ships (1 x Replenishment Ship – HMAS Success, 1 x Frigate – HMAS Toowoomba including 1 x Seahawk Helicopter, 1 x Frigate – HMAS Perth, 1 x Australian Defence Vessel – Ocean Shield, 1 x Motor Vessel – Seahorse Standard)
    • -  1 x USA ship (1 x Replenishment Ship – USNS Cesar Chavez)
    • -  2 x UK ships (1 x Survey Ship – HMS Echo and 1 x Submarine – HMS Tireless)
    • -  10 x Chinese ships (1 x Destroyer – Haikou, 2 x Amphibious Landing Dock – Kunlunshan & Jinggangshan, 1 x Coast Guard Vessel – Haixun 01, 2 x Ocean going Rescue Vessel – Donghaijui 101 & Nan Hai Jiu 101, 1 x Ocean going Rescue Vessel – Ben Hai Jiu III Wars 115, 1 x Replenishment Ship – Quindao Hu, 1 x Ice Breaker – MV Xue Long including Chinese Helicopter 7102, 1 x Survey Ship – Zhu Kezhen)
    • -  2 x Malaysian ships (1 x Frigate – Lekiu 30, 1 x Replenishment Ship – Bunga Mas Enam BM-6)
  •   Bluefin-21 conducted a sub-surface search of over 850 square kilometres of the ocean floor.

 

CNN: How long will the search for MH 370 continue?

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Malaysia Airlines’ (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 has now been missing for 100 days. So far, no debris from the missing fine has been found. Nothing has been found, despite promising leads and observations. Everything turned out to be floating ocean flotsam.

The previously reported “pings” are now thought to be erroneous. In short, missing flight MH 370 is a true aviation mystery of epic proportions.

Missing Air France flight AF 447 took almost two years to be located so there is some hope MH 370 will be found. However authorities had a better idea where AF 447 was located. For the MH 370 without better data, no one knows for sure where the flight is located. For the families of the missing passengers and crew members, this uncertainty is so hurtful and very hard to accept. They cannot have any closure. The families rely on any hope which they cling to. Today, after 100 days, they have very little to cling to.

CNN has raised the difficult question of how long the search will continue. The search is very costly and without better data it has a low chance of being discovered. If anyone wanted to have this flight “disappear” they have succeeded.

So far Australia has shouldered most of the cost in the search. Australia is leading the search due to assumption the flight crashed into the southern Indian Ocean closest to Australia. Many other countries including the United States, Malaysia and China have contributed costly assets and crews in the search with zero results. The assumption that the flight crashed near Australia is now in question. In short, no one knows where MH 370 has gone.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Australia to contract out the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 is entering a new phase in the search for the missing Boeing 777-200. So far, no debris has been found from the missing Triple Seven. All 239 passengers and crew members on board Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remain missing.

According to CNN, “Australia, the closest country to the area where the plane is believed to have entered the ocean, has decided to delegate the management and operation of the new phase to a private company.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the search at the request of the Malaysian government, said Wednesday it is accepting proposals for the task until the end of June. The new search is expected to start in August, at the earliest.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile, Y.B. Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport of Malaysia, today issued this statement:

Introductory Statement

It has been 89 days since MH 370 went missing. We have entered a new difficult phase which brings with it new challenges which we will overcome together. Today, I met up with the 4 Ministerial Committees and we discussed on our way forward in the search for MH 370.

Let me begin by stating that the ASEAN Member States have publicly acknowledged in April their solidarity as reflected by the concerted efforts in the search mission of the missing MH370. They also recognised the unwavering support from all Member States in this new phase of this unprecedented search. This was again emphasised at the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw on May 20, 2014.

We also have a firm commitment, formalised by our Tripartite Agreement on the 5th of May 2014, between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

In the Joint Communique between the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Malaysia have also agreed to work closely together in the next phase of the search operation for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. This Joint Communique was signed and agreed upon on the 31st of May by both the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Li Keqiang.

The Defence Ministers of the Five Power Defence Arrangement have also reaffirmed their continued support for the search mission of MH 370.

As we enter the new phase of this search, we are grateful for the continuous support that we have received from the international community.

Next Of Kin Committee

With regards to the next of kin, we will continue to engage with the families of those on board MH 370 by providing them with timely updates on the search operation. This initiative has been led by Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun. We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time.

My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed. We also appreciate all that has been done by the Chinese Government on this matter.

Technical Committee

Preparations are well underway for the next phase of the search operations which includes the refinement of the search area. A team of experts set up and led by the Australian authorities in Canberra are currently conducting the re-analysis together with Inmarsat. This team has given me the assurance that the search area remains in the arc of the Southern Corridor.

Asset Deployment Committee

On the asset deployment front, we have been in discussions with several Malaysian companies to deploy highly specialised underwater systems and platforms including the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles (AUVs), Deep-water towed side scan sonars, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and support vessels to deploy these assets to join in the new phase of this search mission.

On that note, I am pleased to announce that PETRONAS has agreed to deploy assets under the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) approach where Malaysian companies are part of the resources to fund the search operations.

PETRONAS will contribute by providing funds for a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar. A complete system will accompany the asset with a dedicated support vessel complete with crew members.

Boustead is finalising terms for specialised assets and services to be deployed which will include an Oceanographic Survey Vessel with bathymetric survey capabilities, a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar for deep sea search and a ROV for recovery purposes.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defence for the United States of America during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last weekend. I have officially requested for the US to continue its lease for the Bluefin-21 AUV, to provide the Orion Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar and the Curv-21 ROV.

In addition, the Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, has covered 4,088 km2 as part of the bathymetric survey process.

It is important for all the Malaysian entities involved in this effort to be on the same page- working as one team, flying the Malaysian flag to find MH 370.

Communication, Coordination And Media Committee

On that note, the previously announced Communication, Coordination and Media Committee will be liaising with our Australian and Chinese counterparts. Jailani Johari, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Multimedia, will lead this team, consisting of members from all 4 ministerial committees along with the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Deputy Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to Canberra first to acquire the latest updates on the search operation and will then travel to Beijing.

Indeed, this will further strengthen our Tripartite Agreement between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

Concluding Remarks

Let me stress that the search has not stopped and we will keep searching for the plane for as long as it takes. I would like to conclude by stressing that we will continue with the search operations until we have fully covered the search area. We will strive to explore all possible options in finding MH 370

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 may be put on hold until August

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, the greatest aviation mystery, may be entering a new phase in the search. So far the search has resulted in nothing being found. According to CNN, the search for the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) and the 239 passengers and crew members may not resume until August.

According to CNN:

“The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will effectively be put on hold this week, and may not resume until August at the very earliest, according to Australia’s top transport safety official.

The new timeline means that once Bluefin-21, the American underwater drone operated by a team on board the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield, wraps up its work in a couple of days, it will be up to two months, if not longer, until new underwater vehicles are contracted and deployed in the hunt for MH 370.”

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Is Inmarsat correct in its assumptions of where WH 370 went down? CNN explores this question: CLICK HERE

On May 20 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement:

Following the announcement by the Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport on May 19, 2014, the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is pleased to provide further information on the discussion with Inmarsat, assisted by the AAIB, to get a common descriptor for the Inmarsat satellite data which had been provided to Malaysia Airlines when MH 370 first went missing.

It must be noted that previously where reference has been made to “data communication logs” and “raw data”- they refer to the same set of data.

In moving forward, it is imperative for us to provide helpful information to the next of kin and general public – which will include the data communication logs as well as relevant explanation to enable the reader to understand the data provided. It must also be noted that the data communication logs is just one of the many elements of the investigation information.

In line with our commitment towards greater transparency, all parties are working for the release of the data communication logs and the technical description of the analysis for public consumption.

DCA notes Inmarsat’s full support for the ongoing MH 370 investigation.”

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia government issues its preliminary report on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

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Malaysia government through the Ministry of Transport (Kuala Lumpur) has issued its preliminary report on missing Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370. Here is the full, although brief, report:

MH 370 Report pg 1

MH 370 Report pg 2

MH 370 Report pg 3

MH 370 Report pg 4

MH 370 pg 5

Malaysia Airlines aircraft slide show: CLICK HERE

The search area for missing Malaysia Airlines MH 370 to be expanded

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 remains missing. No sign of the aircraft has been located. According to Reuters the search area is being expanded once again:

“The undersea search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 is to be extended beyond the small area identified as its most likely resting place as the quest for any sign of the missing plane enters its 50th day on Saturday (April 26).

The submarine drone Bluefin 21 has so far searched about 95 percent of a 10 square km (6.2 square mile) area of the Indian Ocean seabed, pinpointed after the detection of acoustic pings believed to be from the plane’s black box flight recorders.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Missing Malaysia Airlines remains the biggest aviation mystery of our time, Bluefin-21 fails to find anything so far

 

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with all of its 239 passengers and crew members. It remains the biggest aviation mystery of our age. The underwater drone called “Bluefin-21″ has failed to find any remains of the presumed to have crashed airliner.

Here is an update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 from CNN:

“The underwater drone scanning for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 finished its seventh mission Sunday (April 20), having covered about half its intended territory without finding any sign of the missing plane.

The Bluefin-21 drone started its eighth mission soon after the previous one ended Sunday morning, surveying the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean for traces of the Boeing 777.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Yesterday Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport issued this briefing:

Introductory Statement

I would like to begin this with a message.

On behalf of the Malaysian Government and specifically the MH370 SAR team, we would like to extend deepest sympathies and condolences to those on board the tragic incident involving the South Korea ferry that departed from Incheon planned for Jeju. We empathies and can imagine how difficult it can be for the families and the SAR team coping with the situation. All our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I will now continue with MH370.

We have now entered day 43 of the search operation for the MH370. It has been six weeks since we started the operation in which we have continuously refined the search area in the quest to locate the missing aircraft. We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage and with every passing day, the search has become more difficult.

Search Updates

On Thursday, I spoke with Angus Houston and he has briefed me on the images captured from the Bluefin – 21 AUV. I can confirm that the Bluefin – 21 has captured clear and sharp images of the seabed while its search mission in the underwater search area. However, from all 6 missions conducted, no contacts of interest have been found to date. Bluefin – 21 AUV’s seventh missing has been commenced this morning.

From the images, Angus has also confirmed me that the terrain of the seabed is undulating and the Bluefin – 21 is focusing on the immediate search area based on the pings that have been detected. Some media reports have stated that it would take Bluefin -21 anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire underwater search area. This is incorrect. The immediate search area that the Bluefin – 21 is now scouring should be completed within the next week.

As Prime Minister Abbott stated earlier this week, and I quote –

“We will regroup and reconsider the SAR operations, if there are no new updates in the given time” – end quote.

I have to stress that this is not ti stip operations but to also consider other approaches which may include widening the scope of the search and utilizing other assets that could be relevant in the search operation.

The search will always continue. It is just a matter of approach. All efforts will intensified for the next few days with regards to the underwater search.

I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Malaysian government, to again thank Australia on narrowing the search area and doing all they can in the search for MH370.

Updates on Ministerial Committees

As I announced a few weeks ago, three ministerial committees have been established. They have been working tirelessly and I will now update you on their progress.

The next of kin committee, led by Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is working closely with various Governments especially the countries whose nationals were on board MH370. From the meetings with the representative embassies and high commissions, various issues that needed urgent attention were addressed.

Hamzah has also discussed with his counterparts in Beijing and both sides have exchanged views and discussed ways and means to deal with the situation with regards to the families of those on board.

The technical committee, led by Aziz Kaprawi, Deputy Minister of Transport, has developed and drafted the proposed structure and Terms of Reference of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team For MH370 in accordance with the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR 1996) and Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Chicago Convention.

The structure was developed after consulting the experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Brach, United Kingdom (AAIB), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), United States, Australia Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) and Air Accident Investigation Department, China. The proposed team would comprise of local and international experts.

We have also spoken with the ASEAN secretariat on the possibility of appointing some of our counterparts to come on board. This is in accordance with the ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation that was signed in 2008.

The Asset Deployment committee has identified private companies that have the capabilities for deep water salvage and recovery work, and other national assets that can be deployed to support this operation. Local companies such as DEFTECH and Boustead have been tasked to discuss with their international collaborative partners such as SAAB, DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales) and other to identify the relevant assets and instruments required for the search operation.

I have also been in consultations with Jean Paul Troadec given his experience in handling Air France 447 in deploying private commercial assets to assist in their search operations.

Concluding Remarks

As we move on to the next phase of the search, I am humbled that more friends from other nations have been expressed their willingness to assist and support our efforts to locate MH370.

Thank you.

 

 

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 switches to Bluefin 21

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, remains missing. The search for MH 370 has been long and frustrating to everyone involved. The fate of Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) (above) and the 239 souls on board remains a true aviation mystery. It may remain the greatest mystery of our lifetimes.

A new oil slick has been discovered near where the four series of pings were located west of Australia in the Ocean Ocean. There has been no sign of any wreckage from 9M-MRO.

According to CNN, the search for MH 370 enters a new phase with the underwater vehicle Bluefin 21 taking center stage.

However Bluefin 21 faces plenty of challenges in finding the missing Triple Seven. This article explains how the side-scan sonar works on Bluefin 21.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO lands at the Kuala Lumpur base in the past.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Australian Angus Houston: “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future.”

AMSA Map 4.9.14

According to Reuters, Australian officials today (April 9) reported “two new “ping” signals” had been detected in the search for Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, boosting confidence after more than a month of searching for the missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board.

According to Reuters, “The signals, which could be from the plane’s black box recorders, bring to four the number of overall “pings” detected in recent days within the search area by a U.S. Navy “Towed Pinger Locator”(TPL).”

Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency coordinating the search, said “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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The Joint Agency Coordination Centre today issued this statement:

Up to 11 military aircraft, four civil aircraft and 14 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Today AMSA has planned a search area of about 75,423 square kilometres.

The centre of the search area is approximately 2261 kilometres north west of Perth.

A weak front is moving in from the south east, expected to bring scattered showers.

The underwater search continues today, with ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the defined search area, and Chinese ship Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

Top Map: AMSA. The top map shows today’s search area and also the location of the areas where the pings were heard by the Australian ship ADV Ocean Shield on April 6 and the Chinese ship Hai Xun on April 5.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Map: AMS. A close-up map of the pinger locations found by ADV Ocean Shield.

AMSA Ocean Shield Pinger Map 4.9.14

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Video: From Malaysia Airlines:

 

MH 370 Update: Australian ship Ocean Shield using U.S. equipment finds a ping for two hours in the Indian Ocean

AMSA 4.7.14 Map

According to CNN, “Australia naval ship Ocean Shield hat’s towing a sophisticated U.S. pinger locator through an area about 1,750 kilometers (1,100 miles) northwest of Perth. The first detection lasted for more than two hours; a second lasted for about 13 minutes.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Map: AMSA. Areas being searched today.

Did Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 purposely avoid Indonesian airspace?

AMSA Map 4.6.14

CNN is reporting the following today (April 6) concerning missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370:

“A senior Malaysian government source told CNN that Flight 370 flew around Indonesian airspace after it dropped off Malaysian military radar. The plane may have been intentionally taken along a route designed to avoid radar detection, the source said.

In the search for the plane in the Indian Ocean, a Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 picked up two signals, one on Friday and another on Saturday, that were only 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) apart, authorities said.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

CNN Video:

If true, this would show intent by someone in the cockpit to avoid radar detention by avoiding flying over western Indonesia before heading south into the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile search teams have shifted to new areas to search (see map above) adding more credence to the Chinese ping reports. A British ship with elaborate detection equipment is moving into the area detected by the Chinese.

Map: AMSA.

Chinese ship discovers a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean, is this missing flight MH 370?

AMSA MH 370 4.5.14 Search Map

According to CNN, “A Chinese patrol ship looking for signs of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean discovered Saturday a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“That is the standard beacon frequency” for both so-called black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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The Joint Agency Corrdination Centre of Australia issued this statement today:

Up to 10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Today ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo continue underwater search operations.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 217,000 square kilometres, 1700 kilometres north west of Perth.

Today’s search area will focus on three areas within the same vicinity.

The weather forecast for today’s search is fair, with possible showers in the search area.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

 

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

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1. Introduction

It’s been almost a month since MH370 went missing.

The search operation has been difficult, challenging and complex.

In spite of all this, our determination remains undiminished.

We will continue the search with the same level of vigour and intensity.

We owe this to the families of those on board, and to the wider world.

We will continue to focus, with all our efforts, on finding the aircraft.

2. Investigation into MH370

As per the requirements set out by the ICAO in Annex 13 of the International Standards and Recommended Practices, Malaysia will continue to lead the investigation into MH370.

As per the ICAO standards, Malaysia will also appoint an independent ‘Investigator In Charge’ to lead an investigation team.

The investigation team will include three groups:

- an airworthiness group, to look at issues such as maintenance records, structures and systems;

- an operations group, to examine things such as flight recorders, operations and meteorology;

- and a medical and human factors group, to investigate issues such as psychology, pathology and survival factors.

The investigation team will also include accredited countries.

Malaysia has already asked Australia to be accredited to the investigation team, and they have accepted.

We will also include China, the United States, the United Kingdom and France as accredited representatives to the investigation team, along with other countries that we feel are in a position to help.

3. Formation of committees

In addition to the new investigation team mentioned above, the Government – in order to streamline and strengthen our on-going efforts – has established three ministerial committees.

Firstly, we have established a Next of Kin Committee. Hamzah Zainuddin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, leads this committee.

This committee will oversee all aspects regarding the Next of Kin of those on board MH370, providing families with information on the search operation, and offering support after the search operation has been concluded.

The committee will co-ordinate with relevant foreign governments, and will complement the work already being done for the families by Malaysian Airlines.

The second committee oversees technicalities, specifically, the formation and the appointment of the investigation team. Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, the Deputy Minister of Transport, leads this committee.

The third committee takes over issues related to the deployment of assets for the search operation. Abdul Rahim Bakri, the Deputy Minister of Defence, leads this committee. This committee will work with foreign counterparts involved in the search operation, and liaise closely with the Australian Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre.

4. US-ASEAN Defence Forum

This morning, I returned from the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, which I attended in my capacity as Defence Minister.

At the forum, I updated our ASEAN counterparts, and the United States, on the latest developments in the search for MH370.

I also spoke to officials from other countries involved in the multi-national search operation.

The spirit of co-operation at the meeting, and the support offered, was commendable.

During my bilateral meeting with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary Hagel reiterated his commitment that the United States would continue to support the search operation, and will provide whatever assets are deemed necessary.

I thanked Secretary Hagel for the United States’ unwavering support, which has included both the deployment of naval and air assets, sophisticated underwater search equipment, and assistance from the FBI, the NTSB and the FAA.

At the Forum, I also received strong support from our ASEAN partners in the search for MH370.

I would like to read out the joint statement issued by the ASEAN Ministers, which I believe underscores the tremendous spirit of co-operation within ASEAN, in the face of this difficult search operation:

“We, the Defence Ministers of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations express our deepest sympathies to the family members of the passengers and crew on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

We acknowledge that the member nations of ASEAN have participated in the search operations directly and indirectly since the plane went missing on 8th March 2014.

From the South China Sea, the Andaman Sea to the Indian Ocean – ASEAN has continued to assist in every way possible, true to the spirit of regional cooperation and friendship without any hesitation in sharing of information, assets and expertise.

We believe that Malaysia has done its level best in its response to this unprecedented predicament given the sheer scale of the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation which is the biggest and most complex we have ever seen.

We reaffirm our commitment for greater cooperation between each member nationespecially in the field of disaster management under the framework of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. This incident stressed upon us the importance of information and resource sharing as we strive to be in the utmost state of readiness in mitigating potential calamities and risks.

ASEAN’s unity will remain solid and is totally committed to assisting Malaysia in coordinating this massive SAR to locate MH370. We are resolute in finding a closure to this tragic chapter in aviation history. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families in these difficult times.”

5. Concluding remarks

Before I end, let me touch on some unfounded allegations made against Malaysia.

These allegations include the extraordinary assertion that Malaysian authorities were somehow complicit in what happened to MH370.

I should like to state, for the record, that these allegations are completely untrue.

As I have said before, the search for MH370 should be above politics.

And so I call on all Malaysians to unite; to stand by our armed forces as they work in difficult conditions, with their foreign counterparts, thousands of miles from home; and to support all those who are working tirelessly in the search for MH370.

Lastly, as I mentioned on Wednesday, while I was at the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, I spoke by telephone to the British Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond, regarding the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Tireless.

I hereby confirm that the submarine is now in the search area and helping in the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Searchers shift their search to a new northern area, five aircraft spot new floating objects

AMSA Map 3.28.14

The search for Malaysian Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board has shifted to a new area in the Indian Ocean after new analysis of the data and the spotting of new objects by a Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed P-3 Orion in this new area. The new area is approximately 680 miles further north of the previous search area which did not yield any confirmed debris from flight MH 370. The new analysis is due to new computations that MH 370 could have been flying faster and may have run out of fuel earlier.

According to AMSA a total of five aircraft spotted objects today in the new area. A ship will be in the new area tomorrow.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is leading the search from Perth, Western Australia has issued this statement about the change:

[Date]

We would like to update you on some credible information AMSA has received from the ATSB which will see the search area refocused today.

The AMSA search for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been shifted to an area north following advice from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

An international air crash investigation team in Malaysia provided updated advice to the ATSB, which has examined the information and determined an area 1100 kilometres to the north east of the existing search area is now the most credible lead as to where debris may be located.

The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres, about 1850 kilometres west of Perth.

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is re-tasking satellites to capture images of the new area.

Weather conditions are better in the revised area and ten aircraft have been tasked for today’s search.

They include two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a Japanese Coast Guard Gulfstream 5 jet, a Japanese P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea C130 Hercules, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin IL-76, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft, and one civil Australian jet acting as a communications relay.

Four of the ten aircraft are overhead the search area, with a further six planes to fly over the area today.

A further RAAF P3 Orion has been placed on standby at RAAF Base Pearce in WA to investigate any reported sightings.

Six ships are relocating to the new search area including HMAS Success and five Chinese ships.

Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) patrol ship, Haixun 01, is in the search area.

HMAS Success is expected to arrive in the search area late tomorrow night.

A US towed pinger locator and Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle have arrived in Perth to assist with location and recovery of the black box.

The depth of the water in the search area is between 2000 and 4000 metres.

Malaysia logo-1

 

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

Introductory statement

Today, the search for MH370 has been further refined. The international investigation team continue working to narrow the search area, and shed further light on MH370’s flight path.

We are, as always, grateful for the continuing co-operation of our partners in this difficult and intensive search.

Whilst search operations are on-going, we continue to focus our efforts on caring for the families. In Cabinet this morning, we discussed the importance of continuing to support the relatives of the passengers and crew.

1. Refined search area

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced that based on new data analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB had concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

On Tuesday, I confirmed that further study of this data would be undertaken to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft. The Malaysian investigation team set up an international working group, comprising agencies with expertise in satellite communications and aircraft performance, to take this work forward.

The international working group included representatives from the UK, namely Inmarsat, AAIB, and Rolls Royce; from China, namely the CAAC and AAID; from the US, namely the NTSB, FAA, and Boeing; as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The group has been working to refine the Inmarsat data, and to analyse it – together with other information, including radar data and aircraft performance assumptions – to narrow the search area.

Information which had already been examined by the investigation was re-examined in light of new evidence drawn from the Inmarsat data analysis.

In addition, international partners – who continue to process data in their home countries, as well as in the international working group – have further refined existing data. They have also come up with new technical information, for example on aircraft performance.

Yesterday, this process yielded new results, which indicated that MH370 flew at a higher speed than previously thought, which in turn means it used more fuel and could not travel as far. This information was passed to RCC Australia by the NTSB, to help further refine and narrow the search area.

The Australian authorities have indicated that they have shifted the search area approximately 1,100 kilometres to the north east. Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images over the past week.

This work is on-going, and we can expect further refinements. As the Australian authorities indicated this morning, this is standard practice in a search operation. It is a process of continually refining data which in turn further narrows the search area. With each step, we get closer to understanding MH370’s flight path.

Searches must be conducted on the best information available at the time. In the search for MH370, we have consistently followed the evidence, and acted on credible leads. Our search and rescue efforts have been directed by verified and corroborated information. This latest refinement of the search area is no different.

2. Satellite images

Last night, Japanese authorities announced they had satellite images which showed a number of floating objects approximately 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. Early this morning we received separate satellite imagery from the Thai authorities which also showed potential objects.

These new satellite images join those released by Australia, China, France, and Malaysia, all of which are with RCC Australia. The range of potential objects, and the difficulty in re-identifying them shows just how complex this investigation is. We remain grateful to all our partners for continuing to assist in the search operations.

3. Concluding remarks

The new search area, approximately 1,680 kilometres west of Perth, remains in the Australian area of responsibility.

Australia continues to lead the search efforts in this new area, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority gave a comprehensive operational update earlier today. As more information emerges, they will be issuing frequent operational updates, including on assets deployed.

I would like to echo their statements that the new search area, although more focused than before, remains considerable; and that the search conditions, although easier than before, remain challenging.

For the families of those on board, we pray that further processing of data, and further progress in the search itself, brings us closer to finding MH370.

Map: AMSA. The new search area (in green) is 1,850 kilometers (1,155 miles) directly west of Perth .

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Thai satellite spots debris area of around 300 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean, bad weather hampers the search

AMSA Map 3.27.14 (AMSA)(LR)

A Thai satellite image has discovered a new debris field in the southern Indian Ocean containing around 300 floating objects. In addition, a Japanese satellite has captured about 10 flaring objects, all in the approximate area that French satellite images highlighted with yesterday’s report. However rough seas, high winds and icing have grounded the aircraft searching the area. However ships in the area continue to search for any debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

AMSA logo

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is directing the search in the Indian Ocean from Perth issued this statement today:

[Date]

Today’s search and recovery operation in the Australian Search and Rescue Region for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is now underway.

Search activities today will involve a total of 11 aircraft and five ships.

Today’s search is split into two areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 78,000 square kilometres.

Two Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orions, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, a Japanese Gulfstream jet, a US Navy P-8 Poseidon and a Japanese P-3 Orion will fly sorties throughout the day.

The first aircraft to leave Perth for the search area was the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft around 8am. The two RAAF AP-3C Orions are scheduled to depart before midday.

Five civil aircraft are scheduled to depart between 9.30am and 11am. A total of 34 SES volunteers will again be air observers on board the civil aircraft.

A Japan Coast Guard ultra-long range jet will depart at around 2pm.

A US Navy P8 Poseidon is scheduled to depart around 4pm.

A Japanese P3 Orion is scheduled to depart around 5pm.

HMAS Success remains in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth and was joined by four Chinese ships – Xue Long, Kunlunshan, Haikou and Qiandaohu – in the search area.

Weather in the search area is expected to deteriorate later today.

Malaysia logo-1

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

1. Chinese Special Envoy

a. Yesterday, His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China, met with the Prime Minister and Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, the Acting Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defence.

b. Following the meeting with Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, His Excellency Zhang Yesui also received a comprehensive technical briefing by the international working group, led by the AAIB. Inmarsat’s findings – which led to the conclusion that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean – were explained during the meeting.

c. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) of the CAAC were present at yesterday’s technical briefing. The CAAC and AAID have been, and will continue to be, members of the international working group.

d. Today His Excellency Zhang Yesui also met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are currently in KL.

e. Malaysia is committed to working closely with the Government of China and to sharing all information related to MH370 in full.

2. Family briefing in Beijing

a. Yesterday, the Malaysian high-level team met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are based in Beijing, for the fourth time. Over the duration of the three hour meeting, the relatives received a technical briefing and an update on the search operation. The high-level team also answered questions. Today, the high-level team met relatives again, at 3:25pm Malaysia time. The meeting is still underway.

b. Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive. Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the Government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general.

3. Operational update

a. The planned area of search today was 16,298 square nautical miles in the West sector, and 6,506 square nautical miles in the East sector.

b. The area identified by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday – where the 122 potential objects were sighted – was also due to be searched today.

c. Today, nine planes travelled to the search area – five in the East sector and four in the West sector. In the East sector, searches by air were conducted by:

- two Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand civil aircraft.

- one Japanese Gulfstream.

In the West sector, searches by air were conducted by:

-two Australian P-3 Orions.

-two Australian civil aircraft.

d. Today six ships were deployed in the search area – one in the East sector and five in

the West sector.

In the East sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-one Chinese ship (the Xue Long).

In the West sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-four Chinese ships (the Kunlunshan, Haikou, Qiandaohui, and Zhonghaishaohua).

-one Australian ship (the HMAS Success).

e. One Chinese ship (the Hai Xun) is expected to arrive in the search area tonight.

f. Today the weather deteriorated in the search area and search operations were suspended at 11:40am.

4. Malaysian team going to Perth

a. Malaysia is in the process of sending a team, comprised of the DCA, MAS, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, to Perth. This team will work closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre to assist with the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

 

Has missing flight MH 370 finally been located? French satellite shows a new large debris field of 122 shiny objects

AMSA Indian Ocean Search Map 3.26.14

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls may have finally been located (subject to on-site ship confirmation).

According to CNN, “Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from France that were taken on March 23. The images showed 122 potential objects in one area of the Indian Ocean. Some of the objects were as much as 23 meters in length. Some appeared bright, possibly indicating solid material. They were located about 2,500 kilometers from Perth. “This is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” said Acting Minister of Transportation Hishammuddin Bin Hussein on Wednesday.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued this update for today (March 26):

Today’s search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is now underway.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

A total of seven military and five civil aircraft will be involved in today’s search activities. One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China departed Perth around 8am for the search area.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft NZ P-3K2 departed for the search area around 9.10am.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart Perth around 11am. A US Navy P8 Poseidon is due to depart around 2pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is due to depart Perth around 3pm.
A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart for the search area around 4pm.

A Republic of Korea P3 Orion is due to depart around 5pm.

Two civil aircraft have now departed Perth for the search area. The remaining three civil aircraft will depart for the search area between 10am and midday.

A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will be air observers on board the five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success and China’s polar supply ship Xue Long are now in the search area.

 

Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:

Malaysia logo-1

Introductory statement:
The search for MH370 continues. Our efforts are now focused in the southern Indian Ocean, where a multi-national team, led by Australia, is combing the waters trying to find debris from the flight.
Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast. As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.

1. New satellite images:
Australia, China and France have already released satellite images, showing objects that may be related to MH370.
Yesterday, on 25 March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France. The images were taken on 23 March.
MRSA analysed the images and – in one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometres – were able to identify 122 potential objects.
Some objects were a metre in length; others were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.
The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometres from Perth. We will issue handouts relating to this new information, after this press conference.
MRSA’s findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth yesterday. It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.
We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.
2. Operational update:
Australia is leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, based out of Perth. Malaysia continues to play a co-ordinating role. All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of co-operation; that has not changed. Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West.

Today the weather has improved, and twelve planes will travel to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West.
In the East sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand P3 Orion.
In the West sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one US P8 Poseidon.
– one Korean P3 Orion.

- one Japanese P3 Orion.

- two Australian P3 Orions, and one civilian aircraft.
Two ships will also join the search operations.
Yesterday ‘HMAS Success’ was redeployed to the south of the search area due to bad weather. Today the ship has returned and will support the search operation in the West sector. Meanwhile, the Chinese ship ‘Xue Long’ has today been deployed to the East sector.
A Japanese Coast Guard gulfstream aircraft left Subang this morning for Perth, to join the search operation.
As I mentioned yesterday, the search operations in the northern corridor, and in the northern part of the southern corridor, have been called off. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change.
Before I continue, I would like to convey our appreciation to the Australian authorities, and in particular to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for making such an extraordinary contribution to the search operation.

 

3. Chinese Special Envoy
Today, the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China. I also met with His Excellency this afternoon.
During our conversation His Excellency conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible, and to deploy any assets that may be required.
Malaysia has provided his His Excellency and his delegation with a full update on the latest information from Inmarsat.
His Excellency and his delegation also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.

4. International Working Group
As I mentioned yesterday, based on the new information provided by Inmarsat, we have established an international working group. The agencies involved in this working group include: Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The role of the working group is to help try and refine the Inmarsat data and, if possible, more accurately determine the final position of MH370.

5. Further information
I should like to note that the CEO of Malindo Airlines, Chandran Rama Murthy, has joined me on stage today, and will be able to answer any questions that you might have.

As I announced yesterday, MAS is now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences. MAS will hold another press conference tomorrow.
Concluding remarks
New satellite images continue to provide clues in the search for MH370. And with improved weather conditions, aircraft are now able to investigate objects of interest.
I would like to thank once again our international partners for their continued support and assistance. The search for MH370, and the investigation into what happened on board the flight, is now a truly international effort.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bad weather and rough seas disrupts the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370

20131127raaf8227810_0033.jpg

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board remains lost somewhere in the remote south Indian Ocean. So far, no confirmed debris has been located from the missing flight.

According to Reuters, “bad weather and rough seas today (March 25) forced the suspension of the search for any wreckage of the missing Malaysian jetliner that officials are now sure crashed in the remote Indian Ocean with the loss of all 239 people on board.”

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is leading the search from Perth, Western Australia, issued this map and statement today:

AMSA Search Areas for MH 370 3.25.14 (AMSA)

 

A search and recovery operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean will resume on Wednesday, March 25.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed on Tuesday the focus is now on search and recovery of any objects related to the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

A visual search will resume tomorrow when the weather is expected to improve after gale force winds and heavy swells resulted in the suspension of the search operation on Tuesday.

As many as twelve aircraft are expected to be involved in the search tomorrow, including seven military aircraft and five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success will return to the search area and conduct a surface sweep of an area identified on Monday afternoon by a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion as the location for several objects of interest.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

India has also offered to join the search and recovery operation.

China’s polar supply ship Xue Long (Snow Dragon) and three other Chinese ships are expected to arrive in the search area on Wednesday.

 

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

By: Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines

As you will be aware, last night the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, announced new evidence regarding the disappearance of MH370 on March 8.

Based on this evidence, the Prime Minister’s message was that we must accept the painful reality that the aircraft is now lost and that none of the passengers or crew on board survived.

This is a sad and tragic day for all of us at Malaysia Airlines. While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board. They have waited for over two weeks for even the smallest hope of positive news about their loved ones.

This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response. The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8. But we will continue to support the families – as we have done throughout. And to support the authorities as the search for definitive answers continues. I will now ask our Group Chief Executive¸ Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, to provide you will with fuller details of our support for the families.

By: Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines

I stand before you today not only as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, but also as a parent, as a brother, as a son. My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families. There are no words which can ease that pain. Everyone in the Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences.

We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, will not see their families again. And that those families will now have to live on without those they love. It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board.

And let me be very clear on the events of yesterday evening. Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did. Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS only as an additional means of ensuring fully that the nearly 1,000 family members heard the news from us and not from the media.

Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Like everyone else, we are waiting for news from those authorities. We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take. But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery areas if they so wish. Until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation. And may I express my thanks to the Government and all of those involved in this truly global search effort.

In the meantime, Malaysia Airlines’ overwhelming focus will be the same as it has been from the outset – to provide the families with a comprehensive support program. Through a network of over 700 dedicated caregivers, the loved ones of those on board have been provided with two dedicated caregivers for each family, providing care, support and counsel. We are now supporting over 900 people under this programme and in the last 72 hours, we have trained an additional 40 caregivers to ensure the families have access to round-the-clock support.

In addition, hotel accommodation for up to five family members per passenger, transportation, meals and others expenses have been provided since March 8 and that will continue.

Malaysia Airlines has already provided initial financial assistance of $5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. We recognize that financial support is not the only consideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues.

This unprecedented event in aviation history has made the past 18 days the greatest challenge to face our entire team at Malaysia Airlines. I have been humbled by the hard work, dedication, heartfelt messages of concern and offers of support from our remarkable team. We do not know why, and we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened. But as the Malaysia Airlines family, we are all praying for the passengers and crew of Flight MH370.

Copyright Photo and Map: AMSA.

 

Malaysia Prime Minister: MH 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak announced a few minutes ago Inmarsat has further analyzed the radar data and concluded missing flight MH 370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

The search areas in the Indian Ocean from CNN: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile the debris spotted earlier by Chinese and Australian aircraft have not yet been identified.

Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:

Note: The communication below was shared with the family members of passengers and crew of MH370

Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, new analysis of satellite data suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.

On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time.

We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We will continue to provide assistance and support to you, as we have done since MH370 first disappeared in the early hours of March 8, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain. Alongside the search for MH370, there is an intensive investigation, which we hope will also provide answers.

We would like to assure you that Malaysia Airlines will continue to give you our full support throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead.

Once again, we humbly offer our sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.

Earlier today Malaysia Airlines issued this statement:

Introductory statement 

The search for MH370 continues. Over the past few days, new leads from satellite data have focused our search and rescue operations in the southern corridor. Our partners continue to deploy assets to assist us, as we work to narrow the search areas.

1.    Operational update

Yesterday, 18,500 square nautical miles were searched in the Australian search area.

Two orange objects approximately one metre in length and one white coloured drum were sighted by search aircraft, but remain unidentified and have not been conclusively linked to MH370.

HMAS Success detected two radar targets within the search area, but could not locate the targets on further investigation of the area.

Earlier today, a Chinese search plane reportedly sighted objects in the Australian search area. These objects are not in the vicinity of those which were identified by the Australian authorities last week.

A few minutes ago the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, who informed him that an Australian search aircraft had located two objects in the Australian search area, one circular and one rectangular.

HMAS Success is in the vicinity and it is possible that the objects could be received within the next few hours, or by tomorrow morning at the latest.

Three search areas, totalling approximately 20,000 square nautical miles,  have been identified for operations today. RCC Australia anticipates that 10 aircraft will be used.

HMAS Success remains the only vessel in the search area. A number of Chinese vessels are expected to commence arriving within the search area on 25th March.

3 aircraft – 2 from Japan and 1 from the UAE – have already departed from Subang today and are en route to the southern corridor.

6 Malaysian ships, with 3 ship-borne helicopters, are now in northern part of the southern corridor. 10 Chinese ships are in the southern corridor, carrying out search and rescue operations. HMS Echo is currently refuelling in the Maldives and will be sailing to the southern corridor this evening.

In the northern corridor, Turkmenistan have confirmed they have not had any sightings of MH370 on their radar. Each piece of information we receive from our partners in the northern corridor helps us to continuously narrow the corridor.

1.    Satellite images

New leads into MH370’s possible location have come from satellite data. This was one of the four tools we identified that could narrow the search area, along with surveillance radar data, increasing surface and air assets, and bringing in more technical experts.

The most recent images were obtained by French satellites, which captured radar images of potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor on 21st March. These images were received by Malaysia on the evening of the 22nd March, and were relayed to RCC Australia on the morning of the 23rd March, as they are leading the search in that particular area of the southern corridor.

This morning we have received a further set of images from French satellites, this time captured by cameras. These images were taken yesterday and have been relayed to RCC Australia.

2.    Family briefings

Yesterday, the high-level team met with families in Beijing for more than eight hours.

The families asked many questions, and made detailed requests for radar readings and other data. Some of these questions could not be answered, and some of the data they requested was still being held by the investigation, as is standard procedure in investigations of this sort.

After meeting with the families for a total of more than twelve hours, and taking hundreds of questions, the high-level team has returned to Kuala Lumpur to discuss the matters raised at the meetings. They will return to Beijing tomorrow to continue.

The briefings in Kuala Lumpur over the last two days went smoothly,  and the families responded as positively as could be expected, with the families engaging with representatives from the relevant authorities.

It has always been our intention to keep the families as fully informed as possible. We continue to do so.

3.    Specific questions

There are a few specific questions I would like to respond to.

On the police investigation, we can confirm that the police have interviewed more than a hundred people, including families of both the pilot and co-pilot.

As far as the transcript is concerned, the technical committee is considering releasing it and we will keep you informed about the decision.

The Inspector General of the Police will attend tomorrow’s press conference to answer further questions on the investigation.

We can also confirm that MH370 was carrying wooden pallets. However, there is as yet no evidence that these are related to the wooden pallets reportedly sighted in the Australian search area.

4.    Concluding remarks

The search for MH370 has taken us halfway around the world. At the moment there are new leads, but nothing conclusive. Our thoughts continue to be with the families who are still waiting for news. In the meantime, we are grateful for the on-going co-operation shown by our partners in this multinational search.

Chinese Il-76 spots “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today

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A Chinese Ilyushin Il-76 search aircraft has spotted “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today (March 24) according to Reuters, quoting a Xinhua news agency report. The crew spotted two “relatively big” floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometers, Xinhua reported. The object could be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) and its passengers.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

In addition and Australian aircraft has also spotted additional debris.

According to CNN, “military radar tracking shows that the aircraft changed altitude after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, a source close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN. The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the source.”

This would suggest a possible massive decompression or fire on board and the crew was trying to get back to land and a lower altitude.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Some missing airliners are never found. In June 1960, Northwest Airlines flight 2501 vanished over Lake Michigan. It has never been found:

The loss of flight MH 370 has been a struggle for the state-owned flag carrier. The presumed crash will also have a financial toll for the carrier. The airline has been struggling to be profitable. Bloomberg Businessweek discusses the financial health of the airline.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Forbes: Boeing 777 controls cannot be hacked: Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Finally Malaysia Airlines has issued this short statement and a video from its CEO Ahmad Jauhari:

As the search and rescue mission of flight MH 370 continues to prove to be an uphill battle, Malaysia Airlines has not wavered in our efforts to offer compassion and support. Throughout this entire period Malaysia Airlines has provided complete cooperation to the SAR team. However, our priority has always been the well being of the family members of our passengers and the crew on board.

Video:

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

French satellite spots potential debris from missing flight MH 370

According to Reuters, “new French satellite images show possible debris from a missing Malaysian airliner deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia said Sunday (March 23), adding to growing signs that the plane may have gone down in remote seas off Australia.”

According to the Malaysian authorities:

“This morning, Malaysia received new satellite images from the French authorities showing potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor,” the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement. “Malaysia immediately relayed these images to the Australian rescue co-ordination center.”

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Therefore the remote southern Indian Ocean area (around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia) is the most likely resting place for missing Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) (above) with its missing passengers and crew members.

However no confirmed debris has been found from the missing Boeing 777 9M-MRO. The southern Indian Ocean is one of the most remote spots in the world. If you wanted to get lost or disappear, this would be the area.

Here is the press briefing statement yesterday (March 22) of  Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport:

Introductory statement

Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.

1. Operational update

In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar.

With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search.

HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

2. Australian search area

Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest.

Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today.

Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas.

A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

3. Family briefings

The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes.

I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened.

We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them.

We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

4. Transcript

The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed.

As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

5. Cargo manifest

On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course.

Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance.

As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.

6. Concluding remarks

Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.

Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis.

I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government.

I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370.

As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

China claims to have spotted a new large floating object on satellite images

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China, according to CNN,  has discovered “new satellite images showing a large object floating in the southern search area” of the Indian Ocean.

The object is 22 meters long and 30 meters wide, (72 feet by 98 feet), Hishammuddin Hussein announced. He told reporters he’s just gotten the information, and China will release more details in “coming hours.”

Unfortunately the Chinese satellite image is four days old!

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The search for MH 370 debris has also been hampered by the ever-worsening ocean debris problem.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

It is now night time in Perth, Australia and the southern Indian Ocean.

So far no debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) has been discovered and verified.

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines addressed the issue of lithium batteries with this statement:

Malaysia Airlines wishes to clarify that the lithium ion batteries carried onboard MH370 on 8 March 2014 was in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements where it is classified as Non Dangerous Goods.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Australia says possible Malaysia Airlines MH 370 debris may have sunk

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has issued this latest statement today. Meanwhile Reuters is reporting Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said today (March 21) the floating objects spotted on satellite images in the remote southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) may have sunk. The satellite images were taken on March 16 of two large floating pieces of debris approximately 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia. Here is the statement by the airline of the press briefing of Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport:

Introductory statement

Malaysia continues to work on the diplomatic, technical and logistical challenges involved in the search for MH370.

We are still awaiting information from the Australian search and rescue operation as to whether the objects shown in the satellite images released by Australia yesterday are indeed related to MH370.

In the meantime, we are continuing search and rescue operations in the rest of the southern and northern corridors. I will now give you a brief operational update.

1.    Operational update

Search efforts southwest of Perth continue, and the Australian authorities are intensifying their efforts in the area. HMAS Success is due to reach the vicinity of the objects tomorrow.

China has deployed 5 ships and 3 ship-borne helicopters, which are currently heading toward the southern corridor. 3 Chinese aircraft (2 Ilyushin IL-76s and 1 Shaanxi Y-8) arrived in Malaysia at 11:00 this morning. They will also be searching in the southern corridor.

Japan is deploying its assets to Perth, including 2 P-3 Orions, to assist with the Australian search efforts.

This morning I have spoken with the acting High Commissioner from the United Kingdom, who confirmed that the Prime Minister has spoken to the Prime Minister of the UK, and that HMS Echo is already heading towards the southern Indian Ocean to support the search effort. He also confirmed that the UK will be providing us with a list of possible assets that can be deployed if needed.

He also has reaffirmed that, in addition to the technical support provided so far, it stands ready to provide further specialist search and investigative assistance once more information about the fate of MH370 becomes known.

I have also been in touch with the French delegation, which is led by the French Ambassador to Malaysia, and includes the man who led the investigation into the Air France 447 crash. They have agreed to assist us with their considerable experience and expertise.

I will also be speaking to the US Secretary of Defence at 21:15 tonight, to request further specialist assets to help with the search and rescue efforts, including remotely-operated vehicles for deep ocean salvage.

The Kazakhstan authorities have assured us that they have found no trace of MH370, and we are awaiting permission for Kazakhstan to be used as a staging point for search operations.

On the police investigation, the Ukraine police have confirmed that the background checks on the Ukrainian passenger have come back clear.

2.    Satellite data processing

I would like to briefly discuss the processing of the Inmarsat data.

The investigations team received the complete raw Inmarsat satellite data which included the six handshakes at approximately 15:00 on Wednesday 12th March.

This type of data is not normally used in investigations of this sort. It is only because we have so little other information to go on in this difficult and unprecedented situation that the data is being used.

Upon receiving the raw data, the Malaysian authorities immediately discussed with the US team how this information might be used. The US team and the investigations team then sent the data to the US, where further processing was needed before it could be used.

Initial results were received on Thursday 13th March at approximately 13:30, but it was agreed by the US team and the investigations team that further refinement was needed, so the data was again sent back to the US.

The results were received at approximately 14:30 on Friday 14th March, and presented to the investigations team at a high-level meeting at 21:00 on Friday. The UK AAIB, who had also been processing this data independently, presented their results – which concurred with ours and those of the US team – at that meeting.

The Prime Minister was briefed on this satellite information at 08:00 Saturday 15th March, and publicly announced it at the press conference at Saturday lunchtime. Search and rescue operations were immediately shifted to the northern and southern corridor.

3.    Family care

Last night in Kuala Lumpur we held a briefing for the relatives of those on board MH370. As I mentioned in yesterday’s statement, the briefing was to update family members on the latest developments, and to answer questions and clear up any confusion.

The meeting was well attended by family members from different nations, including Malaysia, and by representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

A high-level Malaysian delegation, including representatives from Malaysia Airlines, the Department of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council also attended the meeting.

We had a very constructive and frank discussion. Although we answered most of the questions they raised, we could not answer them all. These briefings will continue – at the families’ convenience – for as long as the families want them.

The briefing brought the families and the Malaysian authorities closer together, not just in terms of sharing information, but also in terms of listening to the voice of the family members. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China will be co-ordinating the briefings in Kuala Lumpur from now on.

The high-level team I announced yesterday arrived in Beijing last night. Today they met with family members for three and half hours.

 

Two objects are spotted floating in the Indian Ocean

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Two large objects have been spotted by satellite floating in the Indian Ocean around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia. It will take several days to confirm if they are from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is leading this search of the Indian Ocean.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement concerning the debris:

1.    Australian satellite images

At 10:00 this morning, the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian authorities in Kuala Lumpur have also briefed me on the situation, and the Australian Foreign Minister has spoken to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) continues co-ordinating the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft within Australia’s search and rescue area, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, the New Zealand Air Force, and the US Navy.

AMSA’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) Australia has received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search for MH370.

RCC Australia received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery today. The images were captured by satellite. They may not be related to the aircraft.

The assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation as a possible indication of debris southwest of Perth.

As a result of this information, four aircraft have been re-orientated to an area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

A Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft arrived in the area at about 10:50AM.

Another 3 aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area, including a second RAAF Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, and a US Navy P-8 Poseidon.

The Poseidon was expected to arrive early this afternoon. The second RAAF Orion was expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce, Perth, mid-afternoon. The New Zealand Orion was due to depart this afternoon.

An RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft has been tasked by RCC Australia to drop datum marker buoys to assist in drift modelling. They will provide an on-going reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted.

A merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday was also expected to arrive in the area this afternoon.

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is en route to the area but is some days away. The ship is well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370.

Every effort is being made to locate the objects seen in the satellite imagery. It must be stressed that these sightings, while credible, are still to be confirmed.

2.    Assets deployed

The search for MH370 is a multinational effort. I will now give you an update on the assets which have been deployed.

During the course of this operation, the Chief of the Defence Force has spoken to his counterparts from countries including:

•        Australia

•        China

•        India

•        Indonesia

•        Japan

•        Maldives

•        Nepal

•        New Zealand

•        Singapore

•        Thailand

•        Vietnam

•        The UK

•        And the USA.

All were very supportive, and all offered their assistance. As the focus of the search has moved from the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca to the northern and southern corridors, our international partners have continued to provide whatever support they can.

A number of assets have been deployed at different phases of the search and rescue operation.

Currently, there are 18 ships, 29 aircraft and 6 ship-borne helicopters deployed along the northern and southern corridors, as follows:

Aircraft

In the northern corridor, there are 4 aircraft:

•        2 from Malaysia

•        1 from Japan

•        And 1 from the US.

In the southern corridor, there are 25 aircraft:

•        2 from Malaysia

•        5 from Australia

•        3 from China

•        4 from Indonesia

•        2 from India

•        4 from Japan

•        1 from New Zealand

•        2 from South Korea

•        1 from the UAE

•        And 1 from the USA.

Ships

All 18 ships are in the southern corridor:

•        6 from Malaysia

•        1 from Australia

•        5 from China

•        And 6 from Indonesia.

This deployment includes 6 helicopters:

•        3 from Malaysia, and 3 from China.

Until we are certain that we have located MH370, search and rescue operations will continue in both corridors. I can confirm that Malaysia is sending 2 aircraft to Kazakhstan, and the UK is planning to send 1 ship to the southern corridor.

In addition to the assets I just listed above, a number of countries in the northern corridor are carrying out search and rescue operations within their own territory:

•        China is using every means possible, including 21 satellites, to search the area within its borders, and is ready to send more ships and aircraft wherever they are needed.

•        In Cambodia, 4 helicopters are conducting search operations within Cambodian territory.

•        The Laos Air Force is carrying out search operations within Laos.

•        Singapore are using their International Information Fusion Centre, where a Malaysian representative is stationed, to notify mariners and help with the search.

•        The Thai military are conducting search operations in the northern part of Thailand with all available aircraft.

•        And Vietnam are conducting search operations within their territory using an unspecified number of aircraft.

Together this represents a significant international force deployment. I am thankful for the co-operation of our partners as we continue to focus on finding MH370.

3.    Family care

The high-level team I announced yesterday is leaving for Beijing this evening.

I would also like to confirm that representatives from the Malaysian government spoke to the families who were present here yesterday.

In addition, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, will lead a briefing today for the Chinese families who are here in Kuala Lumpur.

Also in attendance will be the Department of Civil Aviation, the Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and MAS. A similar briefing will also be held for the other families.

4.    Concluding remarks

For families around the world, the one piece of information they want most is the information we just don’t have: the location of MH370.

Our primary focus has always been to find the aircraft. And with every passing day, our efforts have intensified.

Yesterday I said that we wanted to reduce the area of the search. We now have a credible lead. There remains much work to be done to deploy the assets. This work will continue overnight.

 

 

Search Area:

Search Area Indian Ocean

Photo courtesy of AMSA:

Satellite imagery provided to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in a revised area 185 km (115 miles) to the south east of the original search area in this picture released by AMSA March 20, 2014. A Search aircraft are investigating two objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia that could be debris from a Malaysian jetliner missing for 12 days with 239 people on board, officials said on Thursday. REUTERS-Australian Maritime Safety Authority-Handout via REUTERS

Was missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 sighted in the Maldives?

Maldives Map

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board may have been sighted on the remote island island of Kuda Huvadhoo in the Maldives (south-southwest of Male). Islanders spotted a Jumbo Jet with a red stripe flying low over their island at 6:15 am local time on March 8. The distance from the last reported position of MH 370 to Kuda Huvadhoo is around 2,000 miles.

Read the full account from the International Business Times: CLICK HERE

Read another report from Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Map Google Maps.

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines has issued this 21st media statement:

The passengers and crew on-board flight MH 370, their families and loved ones, have been at the center of every action Malaysia Airlines has taken as a Company since we first learned the flight disappeared.

The Malaysian Government is coordinating an unprecedented international search effort covering 2.24 million square nautical miles. With this simply enormous area we cannot determine how long it will take to locate the aircraft.

Considering these challenges, our caregivers have informed the family members of the missing passengers and crew that we have taken the decision to continue to provide information and assistance through the further enhanced Family Support Centre (FSC) based in Kuala Lumpur which has been operational since March 8, 2014 rather than the various Family Assistance Centers (FACs).

The Family Support Centre will continue to proactively provide relatives waiting for news at home with daily updates. In addition to personal phone calls, Malaysia Airlines will now send out SMS blasts with brief updates to the families. We have also set up an email address for family members as a channel for them to communicate with us. Updates via the Malaysia Airlines website are also available.

This Family Support Centre will be open round-the-clock and will house family support representatives trained to assist those who are seeking answers and further information. The representatives will be divided into four shifts with ten staff handling each shift. This will ensure that someone is available to attend to the families at all times. The centre will also have Mandarin speaking personnel.

Below are the toll-free numbers that has been set-up for eight different countries. A back-up number is also given to the families in the event they are not able to reach the toll-free number. The number to call to get in touch with this centre is +603 8777 5770.

Countries            Toll-free number

China                    10-800-130-1364 (South China) / 10-800-713-1404 (North China)
Malaysia                 1800-81-4819
Indonesia               001-803-015-203-7708
Australia                1800-198-163
US/Canada             877-504-4210
New Zealand          080-045-4029
India                     000-800-100-3449
France                   080-091-2622

All this while, the families have always been briefed first, followed by the media and then the public whenever new information surfaces. However, the often conflicting information and wild speculation have caused a major distress to the families.

The Airline continues to work closely with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international agencies during this critical and traumatic period.

Our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew.

Bloomberg Businessweek explores the question of whether Malaysia (the government and the airline) can restore its public image.

Read the article: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines (aircraft slide show): AG Slide Show

Malaysia rejects criticism of how it is handling missing Malaysia flight MH 370, Indonesian fishermen claim to have seen MH 370 crash in North Sumatra

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Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has rejected criticism, especially from the United States, that it is not sharing as much information about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 as they can. Hussein “specifically defended coordination with the United States and China and said he had been in touch with his counterparts in both countries” according to Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile angry Chinese families are threatening a hunger strike until the Malaysian government tells them the truth according to Reuters.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported today it is reducing the area of its search area in the Indian Ocean to a 230,000 square mile corridor according to Reuters.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

The New York Times reported overnight on the absence of call phone calls from the passengers.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Flight MH 370 was turned to the west after a heading change was entered into the aircraft’s flight computer according to the New York Times. This would require a greater understanding of the aircraft’s systems.

Read the full report from New York Times reporter Matthew Wald: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from Time: CLICK HERE

According to CNN, the Thai Air Force reported “six minutes later (after the last communications from MH 370), the Thai military detected an unknown signal, a Royal Thai Air Force spokesman told CNN. This unknown aircraft, possibly Flight 370, was heading the opposite direction.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia says the evidence gathered so far suggests the plane was deliberately flown off course, turning west and traveling back over the Malay Peninsula and out into the Indian Ocean.

Finally Indonesian fishermen claim to have witnessed the crash of MH 370 in the North Sumatra provincial district of Pangkalan Susu (see map below) on March 8 according to philSTAR.com.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Bottom line: Until the aircraft is found, no ones knows for sure where flight MH 370 with 9M-MRO has gone.

North Sumatra, Indonesia Map

New Straits Times: MH 370 flew at or below 5,000 feet to avoid local radars

New Strait Times is now reporting a theory that the missing Malaysia Airlines MH 370 may have been flying at 5,000 feet (or below) possibly using “terrain masking” to avoid local radar over three countries citing local sources in Malaysia. If true, this would raise the aspect of a terrorist takeover once again.

However all countries in the area, including India and Pakistan, have stated there was no flight over their respective areas.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In addition, Malaysia Airlines management now believes the first officer uttered the last words from the flight “All Right, Good Night”.

The government of Malaysia has now reversed the sequence of events saying the transponder was turned off AFTER the last words were uttered by the first officer. According to Reuters, here is the new timeline:

“0119: Someone in the cockpit says “All right, good night” to Malaysian air traffic control. They were the last words heard from Flight MH 370.

0121: The plane drops off air traffic control screens as its transponder – which responds to civilian radar – is switched off. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam says the plane failed to check in as scheduled at 0121 with air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City. Malaysian authorities believe that someone on board shut off the plane’s communications systems and turned it sharply to the west.

0215: Malaysian military radar plots Flight MH 370 at a point south of Phuket island in the Strait of Malacca, hundreds of miles west of its last known location.

0811: The last signal received from the plane, according to satellite tracking data.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Bottom line: no one knows for sure at this point what happened after those words were uttered.

Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Transport on missing flight MH 370

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has issued this statement detailing the press briefing of Hishammudin Hussein, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Transport on missing flight MH 370 on March 16:

I know many of you have submitted questions, and I will try to answer some of those questions in my statement today (Sunday, March 16).

Every day brings new angles, especially as we are refocusing and expanding the search area – and as always, we have a responsibility to release only information that has been corroborated and verified.

We cannot respond to every request immediately, so I ask you to bear with us.

1. Search area

As the Prime Minister said yesterday (March 15), the operation has entered a new phase. The search was already a highly complex, multinational effort. It has now become even more difficult.

The search area has been significantly expanded. And the nature of the search has changed. From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries, as well as deep and remote oceans.

The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25, which brings new challenges of co-ordination and diplomacy to the search effort.

This is a significant recalibration of the search. The search and rescue operation continues to be a multi-national effort, one led and co-ordinated by Malaysia.

In the last 24 hours, the Prime Minister has spoken to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the President of Turkmenistan, the President of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister of India.

Yesterday (March 15) the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia briefed representatives from countries along the northern and southern corridors.

At 2 pm today (March 16), the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia briefed representatives from 22 countries, including those along the northern and southern search corridors, as well other countries that may be able to help. These include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.

Malaysian officials are requesting support from these countries – as well as others. This support includes general satellite data, radar playback – both primary and secondary – provisions for ground, sea and aerial search, and assets as appropriate.

We are currently discussing with all partners how best to deploy assets along the two search corridors. At this stage, both the northern and southern corridors are being treated with equal importance.

We are asking countries that have satellite assets, including the U.S., China and France amongst others, to provide further satellite data. And we are contacting additional countries who may be able to contribute specific assets relevant to the search and rescue operation. Surveillance aircraft are required, and maritime vessels are needed, particularly for the southern corridor.

2. Police investigation

As the Prime Minister said yesterday (March 15), up until the time the aircraft left military primary radar coverage, its movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.

I cannot comment on speculative theories as to what might have caused the deviation from the original flight path, as I do not wish to prejudice the on-going investigation.

I understand the hunger for new details. But we do not want to jump to conclusions. Out of respect to the families, and the process itself, we must wait for the investigation to run its course.

The Malaysian authorities are refocusing their investigation on all crew and passengers on board MH 370, as well as all ground staff handling the aircraft.

Yesterday (March 15), officers from the Royal Malaysia Police visited the home of the pilot. They spoke to  family members of the pilot and experts are examining the pilot’s flight simulator. The police also visited the home of the co-pilot. According to Malaysia Airlines, the pilot and co-pilot did not ask to fly together on MH 370.

I would like to stress that Malaysia has been working with international law enforcement agencies since day one.

3. Aircraft maintenance

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft (9M-MRO) was subjected to the required maintenance program: the Boeing Maintenance Planning Document. Checks are done according to this program. The aircraft had been fully serviced and was fit to fly.

4. New involvement

The Inmarsat team arrived yesterday (March 15) and will support the investigations team, which includes the Malaysian authorities, and the U.K. and U.S. teams.

5. Concluding remarks

I would like to conclude by reiterating that the search for MH 370 has entered a new phase.

The information released yesterday (March 15) has provided new leads, and given new direction to the search process.

We will provide more detail on the redeployment of assets when it becomes available. Facts must be corroborated and verified before being released.

When possible, we will keep the media fully briefed, but our priority remains the search and rescue operation. To that end, we have been engaged in diplomatic and investigative efforts over the past 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 went into the southern Indian Ocean, it’s a lonely place, was the captain politically motivated?

MH 370 in southern Indian Ocean

Investigators are now looking at the possibility that Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 made either a north turn or a south turn once it was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The satellite data revealed by Prime Minister Najib suggests the airliner could be anywhere in either of two arcs: one stretching from northern Thailand to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, or a southern arc heading from Indonesia to the vast southern Indian Ocean. If the missing flight with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) and 239 souls on board took a turn to the south it could have not picked a more desolate spot on earth except for the polar regions.

According to this article by Reuters, a plane could crash in this area without a ship spotting it or even radar picking it up. In short, it is a lonely place.

So far no trace of missing flight MH 370 has been found. Searchers are now switching to the Indian Ocean but it is a vast area and will be a daunting task. The aircraft could have flown another 2,200 miles after it was last spotted off the northwest coast of Malaysia. That leaves a lot of ocean territory (see map above) to search.

According to Reuters in the article, “The southern Indian Ocean, between Indonesia and Australia, is broken up only by the Australian territories of Christmas Island, home to asylum seeker detention facilities, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) northwest of Perth. The Cocos Islands have a small airport to serve the islands’ combined population of just 3,000 people.

Further south, the only habitation is the handful of research stations on the scattering of tiny French-run islands including Kerguelen – a group of volcanic outcrops between Africa, Australia and Antarctica. While home to several powerful astronomical scanners and radar, there is no airport and it is seen extremely unlikely the aircraft could have made it that far.”

In summary, MH 370 may never be found and could become the biggest aviation mystery in history. Let’s hope there is some closure for the grieving families.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile investigators are also searching for a motive and an answer to the large “why?”. Investigators are investigating the backgrounds of the pilots, crew members and passengers on board missing flight MH 370.

Was this disappearance meant to embarrass the ruling government of Malaysia which has not done a good job of handling this crisis?

Reuters reports the captain (who had a simulator in his home) had postings on his Facebook page suggesting the pilot was a political opponent of the ruling Malaysian government coalition that has ruled Malaysia for the past 57 years since independence.

Read the full article from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Timeline of events: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this 19th media statement late yesterday:

Further to the statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier today into the ongoing search for Flight MH 370, Malaysia Airlines has shared all available information with the relevant authorities since the moment we learned that the aircraft had disappeared, in the early hours of Saturday 8th March. This includes the very first indications that MH370 may have remained airborne for several hours after contact was lost, which the Prime Minister referred to today.

This is truly an unprecedented situation, for Malaysia Airlines and for the entire aviation industry. There has never been a case in which information gleaned from satellite signals alone could potentially be used to identify the location of a missing commercial airliner. Given the nature of the situation and its extreme sensitivity, it was critical that the raw satellite signals were verified and analysed by the relevant authorities so that their significance could be properly understood. This naturally took some time, during which we were unable to publicly confirm their existence.

We were well aware of the ongoing media speculation during this period, and its effect on the families of those on board. Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumour, and with each false or misleading media report. Our absolute priority at all times has been to support the authorities leading the multinational search for MH370, so that we can finally provide the answers which the families and the wider community are waiting for.

We remain absolutely committed to sharing confirmed information with family members and the wider public in a fully open and transparent manner. However given the nature of the situation, the importance of validating new information before it is released into the public domain is paramount.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 227 passengers and our 12 Malaysia Airlines colleagues and friends on board flight MH 370. They will remain at the center of every action we take as a company, as they have been since MH 370 first disappeared.

Today the airline issued this short statement:

The current general enquiry number +60378841234 for the MH 370 incident will change effective Monday, 17 March 2014 at 12.00 noon.

Moving forward, families of passengers and crew of MH 370 may call +603-87775770. This is a dedicated number for families only.

For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and our colleagues on board MH 370 as well as their families and loved ones.

Malaysia Prime Minister says flight MH 370 left its planned route due to “deliberate action”

Malaysia logo-1

Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia announced today (March 15) that Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 left its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing a week ago as the result of a “deliberate action” by someone on board the aircraft according to the New York Times.

According to the Times, “That conclusion was based on a final signal from the plane picked up on satellite at 8:11 a.m. on March 8, nearly seven hours after ground control lost contact with the jet”.

Read the full report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis from CNN: CLICK HERE

The search area is again being expanded for the lost Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) that was operated on flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing over a week ago.

The homes of the pilots are now being searched.

The Prime Minister also reported someone in the cockpit said “OK, good night” to Air Traffic Control (ATC) AFTER the transponder and ACARS was turned off! This would show intent and knowledge of the turn off. The aircraft then turned to the west rather than proceeding on course into Vietnamese airspace as instructed. After that the aircraft either turned north or south in the Indian Ocean.

Here is a timeline of events by the minute when MH 370 went missing: Read the full report from ABC News: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

Further to the statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier today into the ongoing search for Flight MH 370, Malaysia Airlines has shared all available information with the relevant authorities since the moment we learned that the aircraft had disappeared, in the early hours of Saturday March 8. This includes the very first indications that MH 370 may have remained airborne for several hours after contact was lost, which the Prime Minister referred to today.

This is truly an unprecedented situation, for Malaysia Airlines and for the entire aviation industry. There has never been a case in which information gleaned from satellite signals alone could potentially be used to identify the location of a missing commercial airliner. Given the nature of the situation and its extreme sensitivity, it was critical that the raw satellite signals were verified and analysed by the relevant authorities so that their significance could be properly understood. This naturally took some time, during which we were unable to publicly confirm their existence.

We were well aware of the ongoing media speculation during this period, and its effect on the families of those on board. Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumor, and with each false or misleading media report. Our absolute priority at all times has been to support the authorities leading the multinational search for MH 370, so that we can finally provide the answers which the families and the wider community are waiting for.

We remain absolutely committed to sharing confirmed information with family members and the wider public in a fully open and transparent manner. However given the nature of the situation, the importance of validating new information before it is released into the public domain is paramount.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 227 passengers and our 12 Malaysia Airlines colleagues and friends on board flight MH 370. They will remain at the center of every action we take as a company, as they have been since MH 370 first disappeared.

The mystery of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 deepens

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H7 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with no sign of debris. There are reports the the airliner may have flown for up to five hours after the after radar contact was lost (the transponder was turned off). The mystery is deepening and the search area is broadening once again.

According to Reuters, “military radar data suggests a Malaysia Airlines jetliner missing for nearly a week was deliberately flown hundreds of miles off course, heightening suspicions of foul play among investigators, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Analysis of the Malaysia data suggests the plane, with 239 people on board, diverted from its intended northeast route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and flew west instead, using airline flight corridors normally employed for routes to the Middle East and Europe, said sources familiar with investigations into the Boeing 777’s disappearance.

Two sources said an unidentified aircraft that investigators believe was flight MH 370 was following a route between navigational waypoints when it was last plotted on military radar off the country’s northwest coast.

This indicates that it was either being flown by the pilots or someone with knowledge of those waypoints, the sources said.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

If the Reuters report is correct, this means the aircraft was flying (for whatever reason) towards the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (see map above) or beyond into the Indian Ocean. This will probably broadened the search area towards and possibly into the Indian Ocean.

Oddly today (March 14), a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the sea off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey reported via CNN.

Another report also deepens the mystery. Chinese researchers have reportedly detected a “seafloor event” in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam around 2:55 am on Saturday. This is about 72 miles (116 km) northeast of the last known position at 1:30 am.

Read the full report from the Indian Express: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines has issued this latest statement:

Malaysia Airlines reiterates that we will continue to give our full support in cooperating with the search and rescue mission which is coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) under the purview of the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines is fully aware of the on-going media speculations and we have nothing further to add to the information we have already provided.

Our primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH 370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support.

Malaysia Airlines will continue to provide regular updates to the general public via the media and our website on all matters affecting MH 370.

CNN Video: 9M-MRO is most likely at the bottom of the sea:

CNN Video: A tour of the Boeing 777 cockpit:

Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines retires MH 370 and MH 371 flight numbers, 9M-MRO may have flown for four hours after losing contact, no debris found

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has retired the affected flight numbers and issued this statement:

As a mark of respect to the passengers and crew of MH 370 on March 8, 2014, the MH 370 and MH 371 flight codes will be retired from the Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur- Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route.

With effect from March 14, 2014, the new flight number to replace MH 370 and MH 371 will be:-

MH 318 – Kuala Lumpur – Beijing

MH 319 – Beijing – Kuala Lumpur

There are no changes to the frequency of our services and we will continue to operate double daily services to Beijing.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of our colleagues and passengers of MH 370.

In other news, the Wall Street Journal is reporting U .S. investigators helping to probe the disappearance of MH 370 now believe the Boeing 777-200 may have flown for four hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers due to the engine date. If true, this would dramatically require the widening of the search area.

However this information seems to be in dispute, as Reuters is reporting Malaysia Airlines has said previously that the Rolls-Royce Trent engines stopped transmitting engine condition reports  when contact with the missing 9M-MRO was lost.

Meanwhile planes and ships were searching an area of the South China Sea where Chinese satellite images had shown what could be aircraft debris, but had so far searchers have not found any debris from MH 370.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

The Australian explores the question of whether the crew passed out due to oxygen starvation because of a possible fuselage leak. The Australian  looks at Helios Airways crash in Greece. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

In summary, there is a lot of conflicting information and reports out there and really no one as this time knows the true location of the lost Boeing  777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420). No debris from the aircraft has been located despite some interesting reports. The direction the aircraft may have taken after losing radio contact and the distance it may have flown are all in dispute among the parties involved. Hopefully we will soon have closure on this tragedy.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Where in the world is 9M-MRO? As incredible as it seems in this modern age, this missing airplane is becoming reminiscent of the long-time search for the much smaller Amelia Earhart’s missing Beechcraft in the South Pacific Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines:

Is the image of Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370?

MH 370 Satellite Photo (China)

China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has “announced the discovery of three suspected floating objects and in the South China Sea” according to CNN.

According to CNN, the objects are “13 by 18 meters (43 by 59 feet), 14 by 19 meters (46 by 62 feet) and 24 by 22 meters (79 feet by 72 feet). For reference, the wingspan of an intact Boeing 777-200 ER like the one that disappeared is about 61 meters (200 feet) and its overall length is about 64 meters (210 feet).”

According to the Chinese, the objects are located at 105.63 east longitude, 6.7 north latitude (see map below) in the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam..

Read the full story from CNN: CLICK HERE

Read the full story from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Image: State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Editor’s Note: The Chinese Government later admitted this image was a mistake and should not have been released.

Map: Google Maps.

China Coordinates

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