Archive for March 12th, 2014

Missing MH370 may have strayed toward Andaman Sea, says air force

The Malaysian Insider
March 12, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Malaysia’s military has traced what could have been the jetliner missing for almost five days to an area near India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands, hundreds of miles from its last known position, the country’s air force chief said today.

After a series of at times conflicting statements, the latest revelation underlined that authorities remain uncertain even where to look for the plane, and no closer to explaining what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 or the 239 people on board.

The flight disappeared from civilian radar screens shortly before 1:30am on Saturday, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, as it flew northeast across the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand bound for Beijing. What happened next is one of the most baffling mysteries in modern aviation history.

Malaysian air force chief Tan Sri Rodzali Daud told a news conference that an aircraft was plotted on military radar at 2:15am, 320km northwest of Penang Island off Malaysia’s west coast.

It was not confirmed that the unidentified plane was Flight MH370, but Malaysia was sharing the data with international civilian and military authorities, Rodzali said. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia Airlines mystery: US issued warnings over Boeing 777 ‘weak spot’

By David Millward, US Correspondent
The Telegraph
11 Mar 2014

Potential weakness in fuselage of Boeing 777s was identified by the Federal Aviation Administration last year

American transport officials warned of a potential weak spot in Boeing 777s which could lead to the “loss of structural integrity of the aircraft” four months before the disappearance of Malaysia airlines Flight MH370.

The Federal Aviation Administration in Washington drew up an Airworthiness Directive in November. It was triggered by reports of cracking in the fuselage skin underneath a Boeing aircraft’s satellite antennae.

In its directive the FAA, which is responsible for supervising the safety of American-made aircraft such as Boeing, told airlines to look out for corrosion under the fuselage skin.

This, the FAA said, could lead to a situation where the fuselage was compromised leading to possible rapid decompression as well as the plane breaking up.

“We received a report of cracking and corrosion in the fuselage skin underneath the SATCOM antenna adapter,” the FAA warned. “During a maintenance planning data inspection, one operator reported a 16-inch crack under the 3-bay SATCOM antenna adapter plate in the crown skin of the fuselage on an aeroplane that was 14 years old with approximately 14,000 total flight cycles. Read the rest of this entry »


The search for MH370: Key areas of confusion

The Malaysian Insider
March 12, 2014

False alarms, swirling rumours and contradictory statements have made the wait all the more agonising for the families of the 239 people on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

As the search dragged into its fifth day, here are some of the key areas of confusion:

Did the plane veer off course?

Malaysia’s air force chief on Sunday raised the possibility that the plane inexplicably turned back after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing a day earlier.

RMAF’s Tan Sri General Rodzali Daud said the theory was “corroborated by civil radar”, without giving further details. Read the rest of this entry »


Aviation experts: MH370 could go dark if someone ‘forced’ pilots

The Malay Mail
March 12, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — An airplane’s transponders can be manually disabled from the cockpit to render the aircraft invisible to civilian radar, aviation experts said as authorities broaden the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 further west.

After Malaysia’s military radar showed the Beijing-bound jumbo jet may have turned back west from where it came, the biggest question is how it completely vanished from sight of all tracking maps.

Mikael Robertsson, the co-founder of Flightradar24, a global communicating system for commercial aircraft, suggested that the transponder aboard MH370 may have been switched off by the pilots as the plane had not sent any signal to the ground receiver.

“I guess to me it sounds like they were turned off deliberately,” he was quoted saying by the New York Times (NYT) in a report yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »


Aviation experts rap M’sian authorities

11:11AM Mar 12, 2014

Malaysian authorities have come under fire from aviation experts for fuelling what is believed to be misleading speculations about flight MH370, The Guardian reported.

“What is so mysterious here is the complete absence of any information, which to me tends to support a complete catastrophic failure at altitude. If the aircraft had come under control, it would have been picked up by some radar, or some radio communication.

“The complete absence of any information suggests there was a big failure and it was very sudden,” said Steve Marks, a lawyer at the US firm Podhurst Orseck, which represented relatives of victims of a SilkAir crash in Asia in 1997 and the Air France crash in 2009 (right).

Marks said he was suspicious of information being released by Malaysia.

“In my opinion terrorism and pilot suicide are very remote and farfetched. It can’t be ruled out 100 percent, but it certainly shouldn’t be the focus.

“That kind of speculation without proof is very damaging and hurtful to the families,” he said, adding that the most likely explanation for the plane’s disappearance was a sudden technical failure.

“It is not uncommon in plane crashes over water to have a very extended search.” Read the rest of this entry »


Failing to manage MH370 crisis exposes leadership limit

The Malay Mail Online
March 12, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Malaysia, aspiring to become a developed nation in six years, is finding that more than 50 years under one coalition and tight control over information is a mismatch for handling a rapidly growing crisis followed across the world.

China is calling on Malaysia to be more transparent as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak lets his cousin, Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, be the face of the investigation into why a Malaysian Airline System Bhd. plane vanished on March 8. It was en route to Beijing with 239 people on board. Investigators from at least nine countries are trying to locate the jet.

Najib’s United Malays National Organisation leads the coalition governing the Southeast Asian nation. Only in recent years has it seen a move toward competitive elections, in some districts, that put a premium on public speaking. The government’s lack of a clear message, compounded by a series of false leads on the plane’s whereabouts and questions on coordination, risks undermining its image internationally.

“They’re handling a huge global issue as if it was domestic politics,” said Clive Kessler, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, who has analysed the nation’s politics for half a century.

“With the cause of the disappearance still unknown you can understand the need for discretion and caution but it’s being perceived in Malaysia and elsewhere in the region as a bid to hide the truth.” Read the rest of this entry »


After Anwar and Karpal, who’s next?

P Ramakrishnan
Free Malaysia Today
March 12, 2014

There seems to be a trend now to get rid of Pakatan leaders through the court process so that Umno can remain in power.


Malaysian courts have brought infamy to the justice system. The way justice has been dished out is nothing short of disgraceful and dishonourable.

What Karpal Singh did following the undemocratic overthrow of the duly elected Perak Pakatan Rakyat government was to express an opinion based on the Federal Constitution. The provision in the constitution provided for this opinion to be expressed.

At no time did Karpal Singh question His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak. At no time was Karpal offensive in expressing this opinion. No insult was meant.

The Sultan’s authority was not challenged. Karpal was not disrespectful to the royal personage.

The prevailing situation then needed a professional legal opinion on what had transpired. And Karpal Singh merely gave his professional legal opinion honestly, without fear or favour.

This is expected of an elected member of parliament and an experienced lawyer. Karpal was discharging his duty and responsibility by commenting on a matter of public interest.

It is a great national tragedy that the court is unable to differentiate an honest opinion from crass and gross verbal onslaught crudely expressed without any respect to the royal personage.

In Karpal Singh’s case, this is clearly a travesty of justice which is most unfair and undeserved. Read the rest of this entry »


Panglima Udara nafi pesawat MH370 di Pulau Perak

Astro Awani
Mac 12, 2014 07:08 (MYT)

KUALA LUMPUR: Panglima Tentera Udara, Jeneral Tan Sri Rodzali Daud menafikan membuat pengesahan bahawa pangkalan udara Tentera Di-Raja Malaysia di Butterworth mengesan pesawat MH370 berada dekat kawasan Pulau Perak di Selat Melaka pada pukul 2.40 pagi Sabtu lepas sebelum isyaratnya hilang tanpa sebarang petunjuk.

Kata beliau, laporan akhbar Berita Harian pada Selasa yang memetik kenyataannya itu telah tersalah lapor.

“Saya minta laporan itu dibetulkan bagi mengelak sebarang salah tafsir yang seterusnya tentang apa yang jelas tidak tepat dan salah lapor,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan yang dikeluarkan lewat malam tadi.

Berita Harian melaporkan Rodzali berkata pada malam kejadian, pangkalan udara di Butterworth mengesan isyarat kedudukan pesawat berkenaan yang berpatah balik menghala ke laluan asalnya ke Kota Bharu, Kelantan sebelum dipercayai melalui ruang udara Pantai Timur dan Utara tanah air. Read the rest of this entry »


As more clues surface, MH370 mystery only deepens

By Justin Ong
The Malay Mail Online
March 12, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — With the clock ticking away on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, efforts to locate the inexplicably missing plane appear to be going farther astray with each new clue.

What was first thought to be a clear-cut search and rescue mission has now become a conundrum that has “puzzled” investigators with the inability of the nearly 100 air and sea vessels from 10 countries to locate a shred of evidence of the plane’s whereabouts.

At over 63 metres long and weighing nearly 140 tonnes unladen, the Boeing 777-200ER should have left debris all over miles of ocean, but four days after its disappearance, not a single piece of the aircraft or its contents has been recovered.

“The lack of debris is more perplexing than anything else … the floating pieces should be there, and they’re not,” Bill Waldock, a safety expert and crash investigator from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told US daily Wall Street Journal Read the rest of this entry »


Flight MH370 sent engine data before vanishing, says magazine

March 12, 2014

The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER sent at least two bursts of technical data back to the airline before it disappeared, according to the New Scientist magazine.

The data may help investigators understand what went wrong with the aircraft, no trace of which has yet been found since it disappeared early Saturday morning, the magazine reported yesterday.

“Malaysia Airlines has not revealed if it has learned anything from ACARS data, or if it has any,” it said, referring to the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which automatically collates and files four technical reports during every flight so that engineers can spot problems.

These reports are sent via VHF radio or satellite at take-off, during the climb, at some point while cruising, and on landing. Read the rest of this entry »


From patience to anger over MH370 search and rescue boo-boos

The Malaysian Insider
March 12, 2014

The mood among Malaysians now is moving from patience in the search for the 239 people aboard the missing flight MH370 to embarrassment and anger over discrepancies about passengers, offloaded baggage and concealed information about its last known position.

First, the discrepancy over whether five passengers did go onboard the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER bound for Beijing early Saturday but had their baggage offloaded when they did not turn up in the plane.

Up to Monday, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said it did happen and the bags were offloaded and passed security checks.

Yesterday, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said it did not happen. And Malaysia Airlines confirmed his version of events later in the evening.

Why didn’t Malaysia Airlines officials clarify the matter immediately when the director-general of Civil Aviation, Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (pic), disclosed the matter earlier?

And now this – the revelation that the passenger jet could have actually turned back and flown to the Strait of Malacca where it then disappeared from radar.

Why did it take the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) so long to share that key information with their counterparts and the public? The initial information has got everyone searching in the wrong area. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia Airlines struggling with press

Grant Bradley
The New Zealand Herald
Mar 12, 2014

Malaysia Airlines faces an uphill public relations battle as it struggles to get on the front foot after the disappearance of MH370.

The airline’s response to the loss of its aircraft in the first three days was described as a mess, partly because of inexperience in dealing with Western journalists, said veteran aviation industry commentator Geoffrey Thomas.

Furious relatives among the 227 passengers reportedly complained they had been “treated worse than dogs”, at one point storming out of a hotel room where they had been taken in Beijing and starting a petition to demand more information.

Media briefings by Malaysia Airlines had initially been fleeting, with spokesmen not taking questions.

Thomas, the editor-in-chief of, said the lack of international experience among Malaysia Airlines’ public relations was a problem. “Their PR department has been missing in action. It’s when something like this happens you really need them,” he said.

The airline’s representatives were accustomed to dealing with a more compliant local media, not journalists from around the world who were more demanding. Read the rest of this entry »