4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

Washington Post
April 19, 2014

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Samuel Rogers, a 20-year-old German on a backpacking trip, in Bangkok and on his way to Malaysia.

He asked: “Why did the Malaysian military see the plane on their radar but not report it immediately?”

A: The Malaysian Air Force’s official line is that its radar operators spotted the plane but didn’t have any reason to suspect it. This is why they didn’t attempt to contact the plane or scramble jets to intercept it. Many aviation and defense experts say there are grounds to doubt this. They speculate the air force failed to spot the unidentified plane entering its airspace, or if it did, didn’t respond to what could potentially have been a national security threat. Admitting that would be a highly embarrassing and sensitive for any air force, and could be the reason for the delay in publicly confirming that the plane did turn back.


Aylen Meir, 25, of Munich, Germany, in Bangkok and on her way to Australia to work as an au pair.

She asked: “Why was the transponder switched off?”

A: Investigators have not categorically said the transponder was shut off deliberately, allowing for the possibility that it malfunctioned or was damaged in an explosion or some other incident. But there are strong grounds to think that someone on board did switch it off. The most obvious reason why a pilot would turn off the transponder is to make their plane invisible to commercial radar or other nearby planes. This would be consistent with the actions of someone on board who wanted to make it hard for anyone to track where the plane was headed, and strengthens suspicion of foul play. It would be very rare for a pilot to turn off the transponder in midair, though if it were malfunctioning they might do that.


Yip Royal, 29, a Hong Kong man at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

He asked whether the families of those who had loved ones on board will be compensated.

A: The Montreal Convention governs the amount of compensation airlines must pay when a passenger is injured or dies aboard an international flight. Currently that amount is around $175,000. Relatives will also be able to file suit in their home countries against Malaysia Airlines. They might also try suing Boeing in their own territories. They may get more money if a court rules that either entity were negligent.

Non-American citizens will find it very difficult to sue either the airline or Boeing in an American court, which could award significantly larger payouts. The Montreal Convention stipulates plaintiffs can file suit in five locations: the domicile and principal place of business of the airline, in this case Malaysia; the end destination; the country where the ticket was purchased, and the place where the passenger lived.

The Montreal Convention’s rules about where suits can be filed apply only to airlines, so relatives could also try to sue the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing in a U.S. court. But federal courts there have tended to dismiss cases in which the crashes took place overseas and the majority of plaintiffs are foreign.


Skander Aissa, who works in the finance industry in Connecticut, at the airport train in Hong Kong. He and his wife were traveling to Taiwan after visiting a friend.

He asked: “Why didn’t they install GPS on the plane?

A: The tracking of airplanes is almost entirely radar based, either commercial or military. Some planes have global position systems to help with navigation but they are not tracked on the ground. Since Flight 370 went missing, many people have asked this question and it is likely that tracking systems will be upgraded to ensure a plane is never “lost” again. However, who will pay for the changes and coordinate their implementation remains under debate.

  1. #1 by worldpress on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 8:25 am

    This plane main purpose is carry people and goods from one location to another location

    Missing plane carried mostly people was interest by some parties

    Who could get arrange a targeted bunch group of difference people maybe included goods too they interested in the same flight leaded to missing plane?

    • #2 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 5:04 pm

      The lesser of the two evils. What about those who have no idea about what the scheming is ?

  2. #3 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 9:58 am

    Here’s d 5th QUESTION: Can we TRUST d MANIPULATIVE Perkosa-UmnoB/BN minority-elected gomen?

    Answer: OF COS NOT.

    Although najis kept telling d world dat 1M’sia is democratic n d Perkosa-UmnoB/BN minority-elected gomen is fair n transparent, dat’s a lot of BS

    Just look at what is happening in Australia now
    Tony Pua, d Petaling Jaya Utara MP, was initially invited 2 speak at d Malaysia Summit Australia (MASA) conference
    However, later d M’sian gomen sponsors forced d student organisers 2 withdraw Tony’s invitation 2 d MASA conference
    D sponsors felt “it was not in the best interest of everyone” to have Tony in d line-up of panellists

    Perkosa-UmnoB/BN gomen, truly MANIPULATIVE n interfering, NOT only in 1M’sia but also in foreign countries

    CAN TRUST d Perkosa-UmnoB/BN minority-elected gomen meh? U decide

  3. #4 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 3:24 pm

    We don’t really need Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board 2 promote M’sia

    NOW lots of ppl on dis planet HEARD of M’sia, thanks 2 MAS

    In recent weeks, there was no shortage of news (esp BAD news, since newspapers n msm LOVE BAD news) on MH flights [missing plane, followed by MH flights with various technical problems], reminding citizens of d world abt M’sia, M’sia, M’sia

    There were also other reinforcements recently showcasing M’sia, like
    – D invasion n kidnapping event in Sabah
    – D various road accidents, involving politicians, tourists, tourist bus, MPV
    – D most recent: Japanese oil tanker robbed, three crew believed kidnapped in dramatic dawn raid

    WOW, air, land n sea, semua ada, M’sia BANYAK BOLEH what

    • #5 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 8:37 pm

      No. Not thanks 2 MAS. Awak salah. It should be thanks to us the Malaysians. The ordinary rakyat still think MAS is the safest because it is more pricey. The land, sea, air forces never fought a major war and so they do not possess a war mind which means business as usual. All those in authority never had to deal with crisis. What do we know about defense, fighting others ? Yes, Malaysia is a peaceful country. So peaceful that she sleeps. It is just a bad dream.

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