The ATSB issues an update on the search for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 including new underwater photos of the search area
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.
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).
The priorities for the search will continue to be reviewed and will change over time.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
Map: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
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:
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 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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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 (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 (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.
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.”
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
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.
Bottom Map: AMS. A close-up map of the pinger locations found by ADV Ocean Shield.
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
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.
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
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:
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.
Has missing flight MH 370 finally been located? French satellite shows a new large debris field of 122 shiny objects
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:
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.
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.
Bad weather and rough seas disrupts the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 (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)
New Zealand 080-045-4029
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
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
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?
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 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:
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.
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with 239 people on board remains lost and has become a bigger mystery. The search area has now been broadened. Malaysia is now asking for international help, especially from Europe, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to review the conflicting radar data.
Malaysia Air Force chief has denied military and government reports the Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) turned around and headed west to the Malacca Strait although this area is now part of the official search area.
The transponder was apparently turned off when it apparently turned to the west.
In summary, no one knows for sure where flight MH 370 has gone and there has been no confirmed debris found from the flight. It remains a mystery.
Read the full report by the BBC: CLICK HERE
New Straits Times has been comprehensively covering this story – here are all of their local articles: CLICK HERE
Pictorial video from New Strait Times:
Questions and answers on the MH 370 disappearance from the New York Times: CLICK HERE
Time Magazine: 6 mysterious airplane disappearances in aviation history: CLICK HERE
Malaysia Airlines has issued this statement:
Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines.
We have deployed teams of caregivers consisting of trained MAS staff and volunteers from Mercy Malaysia and Tzu Chi Foundation. These caregivers are stationed at five different locations at Beijing and four different locations in Kuala Lumpur.
As of now, we have 115 family members in Kuala Lumpur and they are taken care of by 72 different caregivers. At least one caregiver is assigned to each family together with a Mandarin translator for the families from China.
The caregivers have been keeping the families updated on the search and rescue efforts as well as provide emotional support.
Equal amount of initial financial assistance are being given out to all families of passengers and crew over and above their basic needs. This amount is extended to families of all crew and passengers in Malaysia as well those from other nations.
We regret and empathise with the families and we will do whatever we can to ease.