Archive for March 10th, 2014

Woke up with heavy heart like majority of Malaysians as MH370 tragedy enters third day with nothing to go on about the mysterious disappearance of the aircraft and 239 persons on board

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart like the majority of Malaysians with the news that over 50 hours have passed since MH370 was reported lost from radar and there is nothing to go on as to what happened to the 239 passengers and crew of the Boeing B777-200 aircraft on its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

There has been no confirmed signs of wreckage or debris, no distress signal from the aircraft before it lost contact with ground control, and no clear indication that the plane had experienced any technical failure in mid-air.

Hopes of Malaysians and people around the world who prayed for the safety and a miracle to ensure that the 239 people on board MH370 could survive their mysterious disappearance have become more and more tenuous.

This has brought home the stark reality that something terrible had in fact happened to the aircraft and the 239 passengers and crew although the international search and rescue (SAR) operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 on board has intensified. Read the rest of this entry »


MH370’s disappearance exposes global air safety flaws, says paper

The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 10, 2014

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 over a busy part of Southeast Asia has exposed flaws in global air safety, from usage of stolen passports and outdated black box technology, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today.

It said that as a search for clues to the fate of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft resumed in the waters off Vietnam, air safety and anti-terror authorities on two continents appeared equally stumped about what direction the probe should take.

The passenger jet was cruising over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board when it suddenly dropped off air traffic radar screens, less than an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur, early Saturday morning. None of the Beijing-bound plane’s transmitters appeared to signal distress before shutting down.

In a massive international investigation, no early theory has emerged about what transpired on the airplane, which was traveling in good weather at cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The known sequence of events includes elements that seem different from anything in the annals of recent jetliner accidents, the business daily said.

“For now, it seems simply inexplicable,” said Paul Hayes, director of safety and insurance at Ascend Worldwide, a British advisory and aviation data firm. Read the rest of this entry »


As search expands, MH370’s disappearance remains puzzling

The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 10, 2014

It was a clear night and the weather was good. Oil rigs and fishing boats blinked lights like a string of pearls across the shallow Malay Basin northeast of Kota Baru. And Flight MH370 flying above in the night sky disappeared.

For a third day in a row, more ships and aircraft are searching for the missing Boeing 777-200ER which was carrying 239 people when it lost contact with air traffic controllers at 1.30am Saturday.

No one has reported a mid-air explosion and US authorities have also discounted that from data obtained from satellites and radars in the area, which is one of the busiest parts of the South China Sea.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that for many, the mystery over the disappearance of Flight MH370 is deepened by its occurrence in what is quickly becoming one of the world’s most militarised zones, with hundreds of millions of dollars being expended to detect fighter jets, missiles, submarines and other threats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where in the world is flight MH370 and other questions

The Malaysian Insider
March 10, 2014

An extensive air and sea search resumed for the third day this morning for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, as more questions arose over its last known location and the identity of some of its passengers on board the Boeing 777-200ER that vanished early Saturday morning.

Vietnamese authorities found fragments believed to be the composite inner door and tail section of the 11-year-old passenger jet, 50 miles south-southwest of Tho Chu island.

Malaysian authorities also found oil slicks some 20 nautical miles from MH370’s last known position when it disappeared from radar screens without even a distress call or signal.

Officials investigating the disappearance of flight MH370 with 239 people on board are narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated in mid-flight.

The MAS jet vanished after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing in the early hours of Saturday, but search teams have not been able to make any confirmed discovery of wreckage in seas beneath the plane’s flight path almost 48 hours after it took off.

“The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet,” said the official, who is involved in the investigations in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


MH370 pilot an aviation tech geek, spends off days on flight simulator at home

The Malaysian Insider
March 10, 2014

The pilot of a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing on Saturday enjoyed flying the Boeing 777 so much that he spent his off days tinkering with a flight simulator of the plane that he had set up at home, current and former co-workers said.

Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, captain of the airliner carrying 239 people bound for Beijing from the Malaysian capital, had always wanted to become a pilot and joined the national carrier in 1981.

Airline staff who worked with the pilot said Zaharie knew the ins and outs of the Boeing 777 extremely well, as he was always practicing with the simulator. They declined to be identified due to company policy.

“He was an aviation tech geek. You could ask him anything and he would help you. That is the kind of guy he is,” said a Malaysia Airlines co-pilot who had flown with Zaharie in the past.

Zaharie set up the Boeing 777 simulator at his home in a suburb on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital where many airline staff stay as it provides quick access to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Pictures posted by Zaharie on his Facebook page show a simulator with three computer monitors, a tangle of wires and several panels. Read the rest of this entry »

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Conspiracy theories abound as search for MH370 enters third day

by Clara Chooi
The Malay Mail Online
March 10, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Over 50 hours have passed since MH370 was reported lost from radar and still, there is little to go on.

Intensive, round-the-clock efforts by an army of rescue workers from at least seven countries, manning as many as 72 vessels by air and by sea have failed to turn up a single indication that the Boeing B777-200 aircraft carrying a staggering 239 people had crashed.

There has been no confirmed signs of wreckage or debris, no distress signal from the aircraft before it lost contact with ground control, and no clear indication that the plane had experienced any technical failure in mid-air.

During take-off at 12.41am on Saturday, weather conditions appeared normal.

The aircraft, described as one of the “safest”, was said to be equipped with the ASD-B flight transponder, which transmits data on its altitude, speed and direction back to air traffic controllers every second.

It also has the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), which can be manually activated by the pilot or should transmit information on the aircraft’s location in the event of a crash.

As such, if the plane was experiencing problems in mid-flight, it should have been able to transmit a distress signal back to ground control. The fact that this did not happen has led to speculation on the behaviour of the aircraft at the time it went missing. Read the rest of this entry »

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