The Malaysian Insider
April 10, 2014
A senior Malaysian government official has revealed that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) had scrambled search aircraft at 8am on the morning of March 8, soon after Malaysia Airlines had reported that flight MH370 was missing.
In a surprising new development, CNN reported today that it was informed by the official that the RMAF search aircraft were scrambled well before authorities had corroborated data indicating that the missing commercial aircraft had turned back westward from its last-known location over the South China Sea.
A source involved in the investigation into the missing MAS plane has confirmed this latest information, CNN reported.
According to CNN, the source also told them that RMAF did not inform the Department of Civil Aviation nor anyone in the search and rescue operations team until March 11, three days after the aircraft disappeared.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am on March 8, and was en route to Beijing when it lost contact with Malaysian air traffic control at about 1.20am, while over the South China Sea.
The plane, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day.
It was later confirmed by Malaysian military that its radar had detected the plane making a turn-back and then crossed over the peninsula heading to the Strait of Malacca before moving on to the Indian Ocean.
The plane had, however, disappeared from military radar for about 120 nautical miles after it crossed back over the peninsula, the source told CNN.
Investigators say that the available data points to this being caused by the plane most likely dropping in altitude to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.
The source also revealed that investigators have confirmed that MH370′s pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was the last person to speak to air traffic controllers with the words “Good night Malaysian three-seven-zero”.
According to CNN, the Malaysian source told them that there was nothing unusual about the voice and there was no indication of stress. Confirmation of the voice belonging to Zaharie came after police played the recording to five other Malaysia Airlines pilots who knew the pilot and co-pilot, first Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid.
“There were no third-party voices,” the source told CNN. – April 10, 2014.
MORE TO COME.