Archive for category MH 370

MH370: Mysteries, missteps and mistrust

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
March 8, 2015

COMMENTARY, March 8 — Experts appear no closer to solving the enigma of Flight MH370 one year after the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) jet vanished without a trace, making it one of the world’s biggest plane mysteries.

Contact with Flight MH370, which carried 239 people on board comprising mostly China nationals, was lost less than an hour after take-off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am local time en route to Beijing, China, on March 8 last year.

There was no distress signal and two communication systems aboard the Boeing 777 commercial jet were shut down during the flight in what experts believe was a deliberate move.

The transponder — which identifies the plane and transmits its altitude and location to ground controllers — was turned off at 1.21am local time as the aircraft flew into Vietnamese airspace from Malaysian air traffic control over the South China Sea, a vulnerable point noted by aviation experts in a Reuters report as Malaysian and Vietnamese controllers could assume that the plane was the other’s responsibility.

Another unanswered question is why Flight MH370 veered off from its original flight path and turned west back over the Malaysian peninsula. Read the rest of this entry »

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In MH370, military should have learned from 9-11, says ex-airman

by Muzliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
8 March 2015

When Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 vanished on March 8 last year, many believed the mystery as to its whereabouts could have been prevented had the Malaysian military scrambled jets to investigate an unknown aircraft its radar was tracking across the northern part of the peninsula.

It is still unclear whether any official has been held to account for this lapse in judgment, as questions posed to ministers have been sidestepped.

Former Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Maj Zaidi Ahmad said the lack of military action at the time stressed the need to change and update certain standard operating procedure (SOP) for the military, as well as for military-civilian cooperation.

This should have been done following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, but the Malaysian military maintained a “lackadaisical” attitude, said Zaidi, who had been a fighter pilot for more than 20 years.

“The 9-11 incident proved that anything can happen and we should be prepared. After 9-11 there was still no SOP between the military and commercial airlines. We should be taking note of things that happen in other countries and be cautious,” Zaidi told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »

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A year on, MH370 still a mystery, errors go unpunished

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
8 March 2015

One year since Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 vanished, the plane’s whereabouts remains a mystery, as does the nagging question – why can’t anyone be held responsible?

Scrutiny of the timeline of events after the Boeing-777 disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014 revealed gaps in communication and a lapse of judgment, in particular by the military, which saw the plane on primary surveillance radar, but did nothing to investigate why it had flown off course.

Malaysian military officials revealed on March 12 that an unidentified aircraft, believed to be MH370, had travelled across the peninsula after doing an air turn-back, and was last sighted on military radar 370km northwest of Penang.

Following this, the search area was then expanded from the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea to include the Strait of Malacca.

It was reported then that senior military officers only became aware of the radar data after news of the aircraft’s disappearance had spread.

Criticism quickly rolled in after this revelation, from opposition politicians, civil society, the Malaysian public and international media.

“Clearly, they had let an unidentified aircraft pass through Malaysian sovereign territory without bothering to identify it; not something they were happy to admit,” aviation consultant David Learmount had said.

“There was clearly a significant failure of response on behalf of the Malaysian air force. There’s no real way around it and you might imagine heads would roll for that,” Bangkok-based analyst for defence-and-security-intelligence firm IHS-Jane, Anthony Davis was quoted as saying in a report by Time.

Veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang had also called for “heads to roll”, demanding that an inquiry be launched to seek accountability in the plane’s disappearance and subsequent response.

Renewing his calls for accountability, the Gelang Patah MP said no one has been brought to book for the grave error that could have saved millions of ringgit and given the families of the 239 on board the closure they need.

“This only highlights the need to hold an inquiry through the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into the incident,” he added.

Lim said then that one of the areas that should be investigated was whether the disappearance of the jet could have been averted if military radar operators had been more vigilant and had acted promptly. Read the rest of this entry »

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A year into MH370 disappearance, Chinese aircraft maker pushes for new emergency recorder system

by Shuang Guo, Lei Yang
Xin Hua
2015-03-08

LOS ANGELES, March 7 (Xinhua) — In an event of a test model plane crash, an emergency recorder and tracking system is separated from the tail section of the plane.

The test, which is shown in a video clip, is part of a series of tests completed since October by the U.S. subsidiary of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) on a comprehensive emergency information recorder and tracking system.

COMAC America Corporation says its emergency recorder system includes a data storage and transmitter called Harbinger, claiming for the system it had been applying new methods that transcend traditional designs of black box recorders used in commercial aircraft.

The yearlong searching effort for Malaysia Airlines’ missing flight MH370 has turned up with no sign of the plane, but it has fueled the company’s resolve to come up with a system more efficient instead. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Mystery of Flight 370 Haunts Families and Baffles Experts a Year After Its Disappearance

David Stout
Time
March 6, 2015

Without a single scrap of debris, the search for the missing jet will likely end soon, taking with it all remaining hope

You can’t blame Jennifer Chong for being a nervous flyer.

Every time she boards a plane, the resident of Melbourne faces the inevitable walk past the cabin’s front row where her husband of more than 20 years, Chong Ling Tan, had been seated on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Twelve months on from arguably the greatest aviation mystery of all time, Chong says those empty seats can still induce panic.

“I start to think that if anything happened, like a hijacking, then he would be the first one who knows because he’s the one nearest to the cockpit,” Chong tells TIME. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flight MH370 a year on: Will we EVER find out what happened to the missing plane?

By John Kelly
Mirror UK

7 March 2015

It has been a year since Captain Zaharie Shah steered his mighty Boeing 777 into the night sky with 227 passengers and 12 crew, who have never been seen again

In a routine he had performed ­countless times before, Captain Zaharie Shah steered his mighty Boeing 777 into the night sky.

All must have seemed normal to the 227 passengers and 12 crew on the Beijing- bound aircraft – but something was wrong.

Shortly afterwards, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared.

One year on, what happened still remains a mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 pilot’s family lash out as Malaysia prepares to release report on plane’s disappearance

Lindsay Murdoch
Sydney Morning Herald
March 7, 2015

The family of MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah has lashed out at people who blame him for the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board 12 months ago.

“Disgusting … no-one, be you politician, scientist, aviation expert, plane crash investigator, pilot, retired pilot, media or whoever, none of you have the right to blame Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah for any wrongdoing,” Sakinab Shah, the 53-year-old pilot’s elder sister said in a statement to mark Sunday’s anniversary.

Ms Sakinab’s comments come as Malaysia is set to release a report on the investigation into the disappearance of MH370 on Sunday that could shed new light on one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history.

The findings of an investigation team comprising experts from seven countries have been shrouded in secrecy as the anniversary prompted renewed speculation and more wild theories about how one of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft could disappear while flying over the South China Sea en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early on March 8, 2014.

The report will detail the findings of extensive investigations into the plane, its flight path, crew and passengers and the data that led experts to conclude the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean west of Perth.

A key focus of the investigation has been whether someone deliberately switched off the plane’s transponder and communications equipment as the plane was leaving Malaysian air traffic control and entering that of Vietnam. Read the rest of this entry »

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5 theories about what happened to MH370

Nick Vivion
USA TODAY
March 7, 2015

It’s been one year since the tragedy of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 unfolded in disbelief. How could an airliner in today’s jet age simply disappear without a trace? Of course, like any widespread mystery, there are many theories about what happened on that fateful day. Here’s a rundown of what could have happened to MH370:

Sabotage, or the “rogue pilot” theory

This has become the predominant theory due to recent analysis by former Boeing 777 pilot Byron Bailey. According to the Telegraph, he suggests that the pilot was able to deftly thread through country borders in order to avoid raising suspicion with nearby flight controllers, leading Bailey to conclude:

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out who did it. Nearly all my colleagues in the aviation industry realised within days of the crash that only a pilot could have done this.

Facts that support this deliberate diversion theory include that someone turned off the plane’s transponder and disabled the communications system within the cockpit. This is a sophisticated move that most agree could only be done by a trained pilot rather than a malfunction or amateur hijacking. The question of motivation is still left unanswered, but it could have been simple suicide, says science writer Ewan Wilson. A 777 pilot, Bailey also points out that a suicide attempt by the pilot would void any life insurance payments to family, which would be a real incentive for such an elaborate scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

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A year later: Why did we find AirAsia jet but not MH370?

Lindsay Deutsch
USA TODAY
March 7, 2015

Three commercial plane crashes and recoveries dominated the news last year. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine. AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea during bad weather. And Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — well, what happened in the skies with that jet remains shrouded in mystery.

Officials are still searching a vast area for any sign of MH370 one year after the crash on March 8, 2014. So what makes Flight 370’s case so different from Flight 8501, which was on a similar flight path?

Several factors contributed to why the debris from the AirAsia plane was located, rather than remaining the subject of conspiracy theories: Read the rest of this entry »

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Setahun sudah MH370

Nomy Nozwir
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015

Minggu ini genap setahun saya menulis dalam ruang kolum The Malaysian Insider, saya masih ingat pada mula-mula kejadian pesawat malang MH370, dari Kuala Lumpur menuju Beijing, telah hilang entah ke mana.

Bagi saya, peristiwa kehilangan pesawat ini adalah satu momen yang cukup besar kepada sejarah negara ini, sama seperti peristiwa 13 Mei 1969 atau pemecatan Anwar Ibrahim sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri.

Pejam celik pejam celik, sudah setahun peristiwa besar dalam sejarah negara kita itu sudah berlalu.

Peristiwa itu kita dapat menyaksikan seluruh rakyat Malaysia, tidak mengira agama, kaum, dan semangat kepartian bersatu berharap pesawat malang itu dapat ditemui.

Majlis solat hajat, kempen bakar lilin dan tandatangan sebagai satu tanda rakyat ini bersimpati atas mangsa yang berada dalam kapal terbang itu, serta berharap kapal terbang itu dapat dijumpai.

Sehingga hari ini, usaha untuk mencari pesawat itu masih diteruskan, dengan langkah-langkah aktif dilakukan oleh tentera laut Australia mencari kawasan seluas-luasnya di Lautan Hindi, serta penat lelah para pencari masih belum hilang. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why we must keep searching for MH370

– Guy Gratton
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 a year ago has led to one of the largest search exercises in history. The 140-tonne aircraft and all its 239 passengers and crew remain missing, and the search continues across 17,000km² of ocean up to 5km deep. For comparison, we knew within 20km where the 50,000 tonne Titanic sank in 1912, in water 4km deep – and even then it took 73 years to find it.

A steel ship is much easier to find than an aluminium aircraft because it has a far larger effect on the earth’s magnetic field and so is easier to detect. More obviously, locating something as big as a cruise liner based on a fairly good knowledge of the location is much easier than finding a much smaller aircraft in a large area of the Indian Ocean.

Why don’t we know where MH370 went, wasn’t it being tracked? Near to major cities and population centres, state air traffic control uses primary radar – which locates objects using reflected radio waves. But radar’s range is only a few hundred miles, and while airliners carry their own radar this is calibrated for detecting storms and mountains, not other aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 next of kin recall their disbelief at news of missing plane

by Melati A. Jalil
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015

United in sorrow, the next of kin of crew members on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 gathered tonight for strength and solidarity as they recounted the disbelief and terror they felt one year ago upon hearing that the plane carrying their loved ones had vanished.

“Oh My God, oh my God, oh my God, what’s going on, what’s going on,” was the first thing Melanie Antonio said when she first heard the news of the Beijing-bound jetliner’s disappearance on March 8, 2014.

Antonio, the wife of chief steward Andrew Nari recalled the shock and the speechlessness she felt that morning.

“They said the flight had lost contact and I said, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, what’s going on, what’s going on… seriously that’s what I said because I was shocked,” she told The Malaysian Insider tonight at the One Year Remembrance of MH370 Cabin Crew Families event in Petaling Jaya.

There were 12 crew members, including the pilot and co-pilot, on board the plane that lost contact with civilian radar over the waters off Vietnam as it headed towards Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The plane then did an air turn back before flying southwards to the Indian Ocean, where it is believed to have ended, and where a massive undersea search is ongoing.

Kelvin Shim, whose wife Christine Tan was the lead stewardess, said he told himself that what he was experiencing could not be true. Read the rest of this entry »

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It doesn’t make sense, says Maira Elizabeth Nari

Arfa Yunus
The Rakyat Post
Mar 7, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8, 2015:

“I think he is still alive, they all are, but I have a feeling that they are never coming back”.

Those were the words of MH370 chief steward Andrew Nari’s daughter, Maira Elizabeth Nari, who up until now still believes that the passengers and crew of the ill-fated flight are still alive.

Speaking to The Rakyat Post, Maira expressed her anger and said that the mystery involving the Boeing 777-200ER did not make sense and believed that “something fishy is going on”.

“How can a big plane just disappear? Maybe it is being kept somewhere. I am at this point where I don’t even know what to say or think anymore.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Pained by loss, MH370 kin questions Putrajaya’s timing of report release

BY MAYURI MEI LIN
The Malay Mail Online
March 7, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The government’s decision to release an interim report on the first-year anniversary of the missing Flight MH370 tomorrow has drawn flak from at least one family member of the ill-fated plane’s passengers.

Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother Anne Catherine Daisy was among the 239 passengers and crew who vanished on March 8 last year, said she was notified earlier today that the report would be released just before the families are to hold a remembrance function for their loved ones.

“We are in so much pain at this time that we still have no news of our loved ones,” the 26-year-old lawyer told Malay Mail Online in a text message through WhatsApp.

“What is the value of releasing this report on the 8th minutes before the official start time of our NOK event?” she asked, using the acronym meaning next-of-kin.

“Can’t they release it on the 9th?” she added. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 families vow not to give up hope until there is proof

The Malaysian Insider
5 March 2015

Just three days to the first anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, families of the missing passengers and crew have vowed not to give up hope until there is physical evidence of the aircraft.

In a statement today, Voice370 – a group made up of wives, husbands, children, parents and other close relatives of the missing passengers and crew – also called on Putrajaya to commit to the search for the missing plane and their loved ones until they are found.

“Despite the complete lack of wreckage found or physical evidence of a catastrophic event, the Malaysian government has officially declared that the airplane crashed, leaving no survivors, and it has ended the rescue phase of the search effort.

“We do not accept this finding and we will not give up hope until we have definitive proof of what happened to MH370,” it said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leaders to debate MH370 search funding

Jamie Smyth in Sydney and Tom Mitchell in Beijing
Financial Times
March 2, 2015

Australia, China and Malaysia will hold talks next month to consider whether to carry on funding the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing almost a year ago.

Canberra said on Monday it remained “cautiously optimistic” about finding the missing aircraft and rejected media reports that discussions had already begun on whether to call off the search — the most expensive and complex in airline history.

“Discussions are not under way to call off the search,” said a spokesman for Warren Truss, Australia’s deputy prime minister.

“Discussions are ongoing about the search. We remain cautiously optimistic about finding the plane.”

But he said that ministers at April’s tripartite meeting in Australia may discuss how to proceed if the aircraft is not found. Operations in the current search area are due to be completed by May. Read the rest of this entry »

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Withdraw lost in accident pronouncement, MH370 kin tell Putrajaya

by Pathma Subramaniam and Mayuri Mei Lin
Malay Mail Online
January 31, 2015 06:47 am

SUBANG JAYA, Jan 30 — The families of the crew and passengers of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 demanded tonight the federal government rescind its public declaration that all 239 people on board the missing plane have died in an accident.

Frustrated that the families were not first consulted before the announcement was made by the Department of Civil Aviation’s yesterday, they demanded any declaration be withheld until the search is officially concluded.

“It would be a better idea for them to withdraw the declaration given that the search has not been concluded,” said Grace Subathirai, the daughter of Anne Daisy, one of the passengers.

Some 10 representatives of families of the crew and passengers on the ill-fated flight present at a late-night news conference here said the DCA’s announcement yesterday was a shock.

“It hasn’t been a year, the search isn’t complete… I and every other person, who had friend or family member or loved on board… will hold on to hope because it is not humanly possible to accept that the people you love the most in this world are gone without a shred of proof,” said Grace.

“We don’t want their condolences. We want evidence… we expected the government to care just a little bit more,” she said, holding back tears. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: Nine things we will never know about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines plane

Rose Troup Buchanan
Independent
29 January 2015

Authorities declared the flight’s disappearance an ‘accident’ today, but promised that the search would remain a ‘top priority’

Malaysian officials have confirmed that although the search for missing flight MH370 will continue, the disappearance of the aircraft has been labelled an “accident”, effectively drawing a line in the sand over speculation.

But for those fascinated by the mysterious disappearance of the plane, this means that there are many things we will – probably – never know.

1. Where is the plane now?

Obviously, this is the million-pound question. And one which Malaysian authorities have seemingly admitted they may never find. Although they had stressed that searching for the missing aircraft will remain a “top priority” – approaching a year after the plane’s disappearance, hope is fading.

The most recent searches have focused on a swath of ocean off the western coast of Australia. Despite the use of sophisticated sonar equipment, and aid from governments including China, nothing conclusive has turned up.

The search area has expanded massively to include the territory of a dozen countries The search area has expanded massively to include the territory of a dozen countries

2. Why were the plane’s communications systems disabled? Read the rest of this entry »

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“Where is the Transport Minister and Prime Minister?” encapsulates the heart-rending cries of despair and outrage of bereaved families of 239 passengers/crew of MH 370 at the continued bungling, insensitivity and lack of respect shown to them by Malaysian authorities

“Where is the Transport Minister and Prime Minister?” encapsulates the heart-rending cries of despair and outrage of the bereaved families of 239 passengers/crew of MH 370 at the continued bungling, insensitivity and lack of respect shown to them by the Malaysian authorities.

There is no answer to the outrage of a family member who said: “They have no guts to announce it right to our face”, for it was the truth.

Clearly, the Malaysian authorities have not learnt very much from their series of blunders and failures in the mishandling of the MH 370 disaster since the disaster of the disappearance of the MAS jetliner on March 8 last year, in particular to treat the bereaved families with respect, whether with regard to the latest updates on the missing plane or government’s intention or plans.

Why didn’t the authorities first inform and consult the bereaved families before making any official announcement yesterday that MH 370 was “an accident” and all 239 passengers and crew on board presumed to have lost their lives? Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370 kin say on ‘rollercoaster’ of emotions after DCA cancels presser

by Ida Lim
Malay Mail Online
January 29, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 29 — Families of passengers and crew aboard flight MH370 were left reeling after the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) abruptly cancelled a hastily called media briefing on the still-missing plane.

Jacquita Gonzales, the wife of inflight supervisor Patrick Gomes, said family members found out from reporters today that the DCA was planning on giving a media update, despite having tried on their own to get updates since two days ago.

“It’s not right, we are going through a rollercoaster. One minute this, one minute that, our emotions are whacked right now. We don’t know what to say, what to feel.

“I think for the cabin crew’s family, again a rollercoaster, what do you want to announce, please put us at peace. Tell us, don’t beat around the bush, we are bright, you know,” she told reporters. Read the rest of this entry »

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